Since we haven’t been able to host happy hours, which have brought thousands of people together, we decided to bring something different to our community so we could make it up for the plenty of events missed. That’s how Connections 2020 was born.
A Virtual Conference Designed For Small Business Owners
With Connections 2020, you’ll have access to practical advice, tools, and be able to initiate discussions about the following 9 categories:
What Makes Connections 2020 Different Than Any Other Marketing Conference
Number One: Strategic Networking
Connections 2020 is all about generating strategic conversations that allow you to grow your network. You will make lasting connections through peer learning and mentorship opportunities with some of the brightest minds in marketing, sales, and entrepreneurship.
It’s not the kind of conference where you just attend and listen to the gurus, take notes, and leave. Our talks will give you the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals.
Number Two: You’ll Get Exposure
During this 2-day conference, you’ll have opportunities to get the spotlight and share what your business is about.
It’s not just about you coming as a student. This conference has been designed for leaders.
Number Three: Get Connected With Global Brands
Our number one goal at Connections 2020 is to help you expand your professional network. Our Expert Speakers are seasoned trainers with amazing wisdom who come from a place of giving and serving.
We have over 20 talks for you. We understand that 2 days won’t be enough time for you to go through all the content and that’s why you’ll have unlimited access to the content until December 31, 2020.
Number Four: Get Access To Paid Content
Your CEO pass will give you access to content that will be delivered live and on-demand. After the conference ends, you will have unlimited access for the rest of 2020.
We are talking about a wealth of information! And it’s $37.
Our topics at Connections 2020 were picked thinking about the current challenges that business owners are encountering and practical solutions.
Spectrum Reach is one of our Elite Sponsors and will bring us OTT (Over-The-Top) Advertising, by Eastan Croson, Advanced Advertising Sales Manager with Spectrum Reach.
Check out Eastan Croson Career Highlights:
✔ Directed sales teams in multiple markets resulting in 20% revenue growth YOY
✔ Developed and employed email marketing strategy that generated more than $1 million in revenue in less than a year
✔ Directed online content and digital advertising strategy, increasing website page views by 153%
This talk alone can transform your business! But we have 20 more!
Digital Tools Needed For Increasing Efficiency And Growing Your Bottom Line by Rachel Schapiro with Vcita.
How to Build an Online Audience Through Powerful, Consistent Search Optimized Content Creation by Julia McCoy.
True story: I’m in conversations with the management of a very popular local business in Austin, about planning an event. During the process, I was asked a question that made me stop and think.
The question was, “Are you an influencer?”
My instant response was, “What do you mean?”So they said, “How did you turn yourself into an influencer? How does your influencer events work? What is your process? We want to know, because we hear a lot about influencers and see them on Instagram but we don’t really understand how does that work.”
Bingo! I then understood the nature of their question.I told them my story.
This makes me feel very old, but I had to clarify, I became a brand ambassador during a period that people didn’t even know that word meant, back in 2009-ish. I never planned to NOT work as an attorney, but my success, which was a result of recommending products, working from home and spending time with my babies, made total sense. Who wants to divorce people when you can make more money taking selfies and doing creative videos? NO ONE!
How did I become an influencer?
I clarified to them, I am not an Instagram Influencer. I consider myself a professional marketing strategist who has a background in law and business, that happens to be a natural connector and is passionate about helping people.
I know that some people think that influencer is a buzzword, but actually, influencer marketing isn’t new. What has changed is the number of people that have “influence” in this modern age of media. And now, our ability to measure the impact of influencer marketing has .increased and morphed into what we once knew as the ability to influence.
If you’ve ever been in direct sales, you probably were presented with a Get it Started Guide at some point and were asked to make a list. If you were a top recruiter, you know about the Memory Jogger.
I did direct sales for about 6 years and was a top recruiter. I used to teach a lesson on how to enroll 20 people in 30 days and it all had to do with ONLY prospecting influencers FIRST. Not family and friends. That strategy got duplicated and it was one of the ingredients of our recipe for success.
The conversation I had with these business owners inspired me to write this article. So buckle up and get ready to read my manifesto about the power of micro and local influencers these days.
So What Makes Instagram Influencers So Popular These Days?
Instagram influencer marketing is a $1.7 bn industry, and shows no signs of slowing down. Google searches for Influencer Marketing grew 1500% over 3 years, according to Influencer Marketing Hub.
And while these numbers speak for themselves, the number one question that most people ask is: what exactly is an influencer? Here are the 5 traits I consider, before calling someone an influencer.
The 3 Types of Influencers
Since Instagram Influencers is such a buzzword when you first think of social media influencers, you likely picture individuals with flawless Instagram aesthetics, and follower counts in the millions. That’s the perception of most people, however, there are different kinds of influencers that exist:
✔ Micro Influencer. The emerging stars. Most in this category are personal brands who have a significant group of followers who trust in their recommendations. They can also be called brand ambassadors. You can find them by mostly searching under popular hashtags and will notice that they have gotten some posts viral (not always organic).
✔ Local Influencers. Local influencers are leaders in their community. This concept refers to those who have an active voice in their community. They might not consider themselves as an influencer (but they are).
Despite the various types of influencers, they have things in common:
✔They are passionate about their interests, are wildly authentic, and genuinely engage with their audience.
✔They have earned the trust and respect from their audience (so they can influence them).
✔Their influence is due to their authentic connection with their audiences, developed by being a leader or expert in a particular field, and directly engage with their community.
One thing to remember: influence is directly related to leadership. Would it be more accurate to then make a difference between Instagram influencers and local leaders?
I say yes, to end with the confusion!
Local Influencers Are In High Demand
More than 65% of businesses say they find it challenging to find relevant and suitable micro-influencers or local influencers.
I believe that business owners are very open to adding influencer marketing to their marketing endeavours; but they don’t understand how it works. In some cases, they have reached out to Instagram influencers because they hear the buzzword, without a clear strategy, and don’t see the expected results.
Small Business Owners Should Implement An Influencer Marketing Strategy
Small business owners very often spend many resources in their location, operations, staff, and management, and leave their marketing for the end of their priorities, with very limited budgets. So it makes sense for them to rely on the audience from influencers to push their products or services, instead of paying for expensive Google Ads or Facebook Ads. This is Eespecially true if they are in an industry where their cost per click is prohibitive (fashion, makeup, luxury brands).
Social media influencers are a great addition to a marketing campaign, but in my opinion, this can’t be the only piece of their marketing strategy.
How To Find The Right Local Influencers (Or Leaders)
Define your goals.
Do you want to drive traffic to your location or website? Online or offline?
Some influencers have an amazing online presence, but they have no offline presence. So you need to make sure that you define your goals and if, for example, you want to host an event and want the influencer to invite people to your event, clarify if they are experienced in hosting events. This is a very particular skill set that will be needed.
Launch your influencer marketing campaign to a niche
Even when your audience is all women from 25-75 years old, you don’t want to launch an influencer marketing campaign to such a broad crowd. Be specific as much as you can so you can have the right influencers representing your campaign.
Build Your Influencer Marketing Playbook
The more equipped you are for this campaign, the more successful it will be. Define clearly what is the message that you want. For example your brand, your story, facts about your business, all of those are pieces of information that you need to provide to the influencer, so they can share a very clear message.
Create a folder where you can add all the information about your business and share with the potential influencers. Get into the habit of tracking your activities by adding codes or links, for example.
Your business is special. Your audience is special. If you are working with a local influencer, call them for an interview. Again, their main quality should be charismatic. But what if they are not? We see so many cases where people are amazing in pictures, but they are completely the opposite in real life.
Another factor to consider is their values. I love this definition by Paul O’Brien, one of the listed top influencers of Austin.
To recap, Instagram influencers are not necessarily Local influencers. Local influencers, not only have followers who like them and trust in them, but they go the extra mile to help others.
Are you ready to meet some of the top movers and shakers of Austin?
Meet Some Amazing Austin’s Local Influencers (Summer 2019 edition)
Since I have no choice but claiming the influencer status, I want to shout out to some powerful leaders in our Austin community and local influencers, in case you are considering adding influencer marketing to your business and need a voice for your message!
So here’s the list of local influencers of Austin, Summer 2019 edition! Check out their communities, attend to their events, and reach out! They are successful leaders, connected, and believe in giving first!
If you know a leader in Austin who is giving-first oriented and have an active community, please reach out! We want to expand the list!
We are always into planning amazing events in Austin, Texas, connecting local business owners, so follow our events page!