This isn’t just another story about how good God has been to me. This is also a story about how powerful Black women are when we link up, share our gems and consistently break barriers with our ambition, hard work, and faith.
To begin, I want you to ponder on this: Have you ever wanted to go to something or be somewhere but you just simply couldn’t afford it at that time? That’s how I felt seeing a bunch of people I follow on Instagram post about attending the Made Maven Leadership Summit. This event was a weekend-long celebration featuring a plethora of established women in the blogging, public relations, entrepreneurship and non-profit industry host workshops and more.
As we all know, I am currently NOT making a lot of money at my day job. I saw the ticket price and decided to pass it up….until the week before the event was to take place, someone from the PR team hit up my IG DM’s and asked if I would like to attend the event and cover it for my blog. TALK ABOUT DIVINE TIMING!!!!! TALK ABOUT GOD ALIGNING SOME SHIT! I was so happy and honored to do so.
So I did what any smart woman would do… I accepted the request and grabbed one of my homegirls and off to the Made Maven Summit we went!
A boomerang of me!
At this point, you’re probably wondering what this summit is and why it was so important for me to attend. Lucky for me and you, I got a chance to chop it up with Kris Christian, publisher of Made Maven.
A self-described serial-entrepreneur, Kris is a woman who wears many hats and wears them well. She is not only the CEO and Founder of Made-Magazine, she also plans high profile events through her company Fame Enterprises and just launched another company called Chicago French Press, which specializes in healthier and alternative ways to drink coffee.
Kris says that it was her own personal experience of being an entrepreneur that led her to create the summit. “I’ve always been ambitious and never believed in being tied to my background,” she says. “What I was seeing though, in working and hiring black women was the need to cultivate their skillset and connect them with the proper resources like mentorship.”
“I think a lot of times we’re looking for a figure like Oprah to influence our decisions or inspire us in some way when the reality is they’re not enough. So, do your OWN thing. Be your own Oprah or Beyonce in your OWN lane or career. Everyone doesn’t have to be an entrepreneur,” Christian said.
Held at the beautiful Virgin Hotels in downtown Chicago, I went to a total of four sessions that ranged from PR tips to how to negotiate like a bad ass for that big corporate sponsorships some of us hope to get one day. Here’s a small recap of what I learned from each one.
When PR Pros and Bloggers Meet
The best way for Bloggers and PR Pros to work well together is for both parties to do their research. You don’t want a person hitting you up for a collaboration on either end & what you’re trying to offer doesn’t align with what they’re about. Also, the best thing a blogger can offer their readers is authenticity. If something isn’t a good fit, don’t try to force it.
Get Information: Forming & Growing A 501C3 Foundation
This was a really dope session led by Donnie Smith, Co-founder and Executive Director of Donda’s House, a Chicago based organization that gives free access to the arts for youth.
She gave us a GREAT workbook that outlined everything we should know about starting a non-profit and was very transparent with some of her joys and challenges from running Donda’s House the past 5 years. Whatever sector you want to go in, Donnie suggested that knowing the ins and outs of them is most important, as well as having creativity and knowing what your in-house expertise is.
Capturing Audience: A Guide To Social Media Amplification
Led by Taylar Barrington, this session was all about being an influencer on social media and how to leverage that through diversifying content, fine-tuning messaging and how to attract the brands you want to work with. She broke it down into 3 tips which included
- Know Your Role ~ As a blogger or influencer, you are a service provider to your audience.
- Work Smart, Not Hard ~ Make the job of posting content easier so you can spend time being creative: utilize a content calendar, download different scheduling apps such as HootSuite, etc.
- Hack Your Growth ~ Utilize those business page features on Instagram people! They give you all types of analytics, the best time to post, demographic breakdown and you can even follow hashtag trends to get your posts to stand out more.
Pitch Perfect: Pitching To Win A Corporate Sponsorship
The last session I attended was led by Jetta Bates, an award-winning marketer who takes brands and businesses from good to great with her sharp analytical skills and influence. In this session, I learned all about asking for sponsorship from big companies and she gave us 3 key points to keep in mind.
- Be Clear About What The Sponsor Wants ~ Google their initiatives. Take note of their giving priorities.
- Be Clear On Who You Are Reaching ~ Think about the things your core audience consumes and tailor your proposal to that.
- Are You Benefitting Anybody? ~ She told us to think about what type of things are we giving back to our community.
Needless to say, I had a really dope Sunday afternoon. I walked away more knowledgeable than I entered and learned about some resources to not only better myself and my own budding brand, but also the people around me too. ♥
For more information about the speakers, panelists, and sessions, visit www.mademaven.com.