Next Big Thing is the brainchild of Kait Kucy and Mike Morrison, two journalists who understand the value of online business and the business of being online. They created a one-day conference to educate and celebrate professionals who use social media and the internet to promote themselves/their work, and make money. As fans of their work and vision, Boom Goes the Drum was honoured to sponsor this event and provide production services. It was another fabulous year of learning and inspirations – cue the highlights!
1. ‘Call to Action’ is dead. Long live ‘Invite to Collaborate’.
Something we heard time and time again from the panelists and speakers who generate income as social influencers is that their relationships with brands are more successful when the brand approaches them with a collaborative spirit. Working with an influencer means understanding who they are as a person, and what about their voice resonates with their audience, and then presenting them with a win-win-win opportunity thats more than just ‘tell your fans to buy our product’. If you want to get the attention of an influencer identify for them the link between them, their audience, and your story/product, pitch a few ideas, be up front about budget, and work with them to find the best fit. They know their audience, and they’re there to serve them, so trust them.
2. Stay in your lane. What makes you different makes you beautiful.
Keynote speaker Sarah Dubbledam (CEO + Editor-in-Chief, Darling Magazine) spoke about how Darling leaned into being known as a ‘modest’ magazine, even though that reputation had been somewhat unintentionally earned and really was just a by-product of showing real women wearing clothes they loved and felt comfortable in, without photoshop. Staying in that lane meant they cornered a market they weren’t even aware of, and have really enjoyed.
3. Fight the pressure to be ‘pinterest perfect’ in every area of your life – focus on the work.
While we heard a few times that photography matters, brand matters, and consistent style matters in what you put out (especially from the folks who run online stores – wow! So much work!), we heard from keynote speaker Sarah Dubbledam (CEO + Editor-in-Chief, Darling Magazine) that they had to get over themselves in hard times and focus on what mattered (the work) and let go of what ultimately didn’t (being perfect, vanity, caring about competitor’s, etc). She told a story about how they sold their fancy office furniture to have enough money to get the magazine printed at one point – the work mattered more than fancy chairs. As well, it became clear listening to the panelists and speakers throughout the day that being authentic earned them more followers and favour than being ‘perfect’.
As producers, Next Big Thing is eye-candy and an atmospheric dream: a beautiful room (in this case, the beautifully restored St.Louis Hotel in the East Village) full of people eager to share and support one another, hosted by gorgeous sponsors. From the colourfully glazed mini-donuts (Pretty Sweet) to the custom totes (Sarah Ward Interiors enlisted artist Tyler Lemermeyer). Thank you to Mike and Kait for inviting us to be a part of it. Can’t wait to see what you all do with your brilliant minds this year.
— Tyler Lemermeyer (@lemermeyer_) October 15, 2017
— Irene Seto (@HeySeto) October 14, 2017
— RocketHouse (@RocketHouseInc) October 14, 2017