Oh April! Seriously, the first quarter of the year has come and gone and I'm still trying to get my summer body back! I guess it's just not going to happen this year because I have other goals in mind. #2018Goals
In March, we got real about what we wanted out of Thrive Lounge and our annual Vision Board Conference and decided this is the year we host the MOST GRAND VISION BOARD CONFERENCE... EVER. We started to take steps toward that goal and we immediately realized we're standing at the bottom of an imaginary mountain made of road blocks, challenges and, in many cases, lack of knowledge.
Oh well, I guess it's time to lace up our climbing boots. #JustDoIt
THE RECAP - April GOALS:
Find mentors for VisionCon 2017
Finalize the event Business Plan + Budget
Research Event Financing Options
This has been an interesting journey to say the least! It's much easier than I thought to find successful people to speak with you about your business...
Wait. Don't think it's all roses and butterflies just yet!
I spoke with one mentor that asked ALL. THE. HARD. QUESTIONS. He asked me about our email list, our web traffic and our online community. He really wanted to know who is watching their email box, waiting for Vision Board Conference tickets to go on sale? (Hopefully you! My #ThriveSquad got my back, right? 😃) He cautioned that as I move forward on investing my time and energy into building the event of my dreams, I need to also focus on building the community.
As a result of this conversation, you'll be seeing a lot of changes in the upcoming months... all centered around serving the community to the best of our ability... because we're nothing without you!
Finalize Business Plan + Budget
Yes! We spent most of March...
- Finding an amazing event planner
- Visiting a beautiful conference space in DC
- Chatting for hours about our BIG VISION for the conference
My event planner went to work in pricing out exactly how much our BIG HAIRY AUDACIOUS CONFERENCE GOALS were going to cost. A huge plus is... she also walked us through marketing costs and profit!
(Side note: Shout out to outsourcing! We would've never been able to properly estimate costs for this! In fact, we would've took 3x as long to create a budget and terribly underestimated a lot of important factors that would hinder the event's success in the process.)
Research Financing Options
With the new cost breakdown in hand, we knew that there are essentially two ways to finance this event - because Sallie Mae would not appreciate us taking her money to do it. #Truth We would have to get some investors or land some BIG sponsors. (Guess which one we decided on? Don't worry, I'll tell you before the post's over. :)
- Last Month: 619 Total Page Views
- Goal: none set
- Actual: 436
- Last Month: 276 Total Email List Subscribers
- Goal: none set
- Actual: 315
436 Page views, 290 Facebook Likes, 315 Email List
TOP TRAFFIC SOURCES:
42% DIRECT LINK
37% SOCIAL MEDIA
- 60% comes from Facebook
- 34% Pinterest (Thank you Melyssa Griffin for the AWESOME Pinterest Tips :)
- 3% Twitter
- 2% Instagram
12% RANDOM PLACES ON THE INTERWEBS
10% ORGANIC SEARCH
TOP PAGES VISITED THIS MONTH:
- So, You've Created A Vision Board, Now What (This post has been getting some good press on Pinterest! woot woot!)
- VisionCon 2017
- Four Things To Do Before You Make A Vision Board
- One Mistake Doesn't Define You: Four Ways To Recover From A Bad Day
The email list has continued to grow steadily without any extra effort because we started a meetup group back in March! Starting a meetup group can be a great way to meet your target audience in person and build a stronger relationship with them the old fashioned way.
Believe it or not, social media is not one of our goals this year. Instead, we're focusing on building our email list. The thinking behind this is that we do not own our followers on social media (ie. Facebook can change their algorithm whenever they want and they decide what followers see each post), but we do own our email list. While we continue to track our following here, it's just to have full transparency. However, rest assured, if we have a random jump, we'll be sure to let you know why!
If you want to know how we got to our first 200 followers, take a look at our first month of blogging recap post.
WHAT ELSE HAPPENED THIS MONTH:
Stacey's Sponsorship Strategy Intensive seemingly fell out of the sky at the exact right time. Now, I don't always like to get spiritual on the blog, but it is true what they say - when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
For those of you who don't know, Stacey Ferguson (aka. Justice Fergie) is the brilliant mind behind Blogalicious. She's the powerhouse behind the Blogalicious magic lining up sponsors like Coke and Dove year after year to host parties and hand out duffel bags full of gifts to attendees. She shared amazing info on how to identify and reach out to potential sponsors and how to make sure when you do pitch, you come correct.
I'll be following Stacey's tips down to the letter in May and I'll keep you all updated on what happens next in this journey to create an unforgettable conference.
- Start LIVE Interview Series
- Create Sponsorship Materials
- Reach Out To Potential Conference Sponsors
WHAT WE LEARNED:
The skills that got you into school, helped you get good grades, landed that cushy job you have are not the same skills you need to create something new. Becoming a creator requires lifelong learning. It requires humbling yourself and asking for help. It requires seeking knowledge and stepping out of your comfort zone. It requires late nights, sacrifices and dedication to your vision.
By the end of the month, we learned that this Vision Board Conference is something we believe the world needs. We inspire women like us to do exactly what we're doing - think outside the box, venture into new territory, build relationships and contribute to your community in a positive way. This is what empowers us to keep going.
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