After attending rStheCon for the past three years, a few friends asked why I wanted to register again for the 2019 experience. The answer is simple – the conference is INVALUABLE. For those who are not familiar, rewardStyle rStheCon 2019 brings together the top publishers from the rewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it platforms for a few days of networking and beyond. Every year I leave with countless tangible actions to make this blog and business better. This year was no exception. Since the conference isn’t big enough for all 25,000 or so influencers on rS’s network, I wanted to share the five best lessons from rStheCon 2019.
I really need to give the LIKEtoKNOW.it and rewardStyle teams and speakers major props for focusing on providing tangible takeaways and actionable advice. There was not a single classroom session I attended where I didn’t glean ACTUAL lessons. They brought their absolute A-game this year, and based on some rumors, next year is going to be even bigger!
Last year, I compiled a similar list, and I know many of you found the insights to be helpful. I hope this year is no different! Without further ado… here were some of my personal favorite takeaways.
Lesson #1: Storytelling
Content creators are storytellers. We know the importance of this concept, of course, but we’re not always perfect about implementing it. I know I’m not! Storytelling is both art and science. It’s a reflection of our personalities and the lens through which we see the world.
I truly struggle with this concept all the time. Sometimes, I fall into the habit of writing captions or blogs that say, “how gorgeous is this dress?” or “you need this pleated skirt in your closet for spring.” I’m never lying but sometimes I forget to talk about the why. More often than not, it’s a result of time. Given that I have a full-time job in PR, I don’t often have the extra hours to dedicate to crafting long form content each and every day. Regardless, it’s an important element that I continue to work on (like this blog post right here!).
Trust me, I’m going to try to be better about it. In general, I need to take a step back to think about the story, how I’m explaining it, and how you (my valued audience) are receiving the info.
Lesson #2: The LIKEtoKNOW.it App is the Real Deal
Sure, when attending a conference hosted by a brand, you can (and should) automatically assume they’re going to talk about how great their products or services are.
However, LIKEtoKNOW.it has the data to explain why they’re fantastic. Seriously (and it’s mind boggling). The LIKEtoKNOW.it app is transforming the way that people shop.
Moxie’s is our favorite spot for a snack in between sessions!
One of my favorite classes during the conference was “LIKEtoKNOW.it All,” which was lead by Raj Lalsare, Senior VP of Strategy & Analysis and Sarah Bertness, Associate Director of Marketing (and one of my fave people of all-time). They talked about the fact that the LTK app is algorithm-free and helps shoppers find exactly what they’re looking for.
After all, there’s a million reasons why people visit Instagram or a blog every day. The intentions of each person logging into the channel are different. For some – they want to get up to date on what their friends/family are up to. Sometimes it’s filling time when they’re bored.
The LIKEtoKNOW.it app is designed for one thing – SHOPPING. If you want to find a great spring dress or the perfect wear-to-work outfit, they have it. In fact, it doesn’t necessarily need to be recommendations from me. Through the app, you get endless insiration from other bloggers (some of whom you may not know yet).
Lesson #3: LTK Hashtags
Okay, this info is not applicable to all readers – but want to flag it to my fellow bloggers who use the channel! 🙂 There are three new hashtags – #LTKworkwear #LTKspring and #LTKtravel (woo-hoo!). Also, they made this tidbit very clear – do NOT go overboard on hashtags in your posts.
Have you searched #LTKMens? In general, the feed is all women showcasing their OOTDs. Be smart and strategic about how and when you use the hashtags (and make sure it’s applicable)!
They didn’t say this (nor have ever), but keep in mind there’s an army of LTK employees checking these hashtags on a minute-to-minute basis to find content to regram on their feeds and newsletters. Why would they want to feature your content if you’re taking advantage of hashtag community searches that aren’t accurate? Use them sparingly, and be smart about it 🙂
Lesson #4: Half of the rStheCon Attendees Were First Timers
This may seem like an odd lesson to include in the roundup, but it’s by far my favorite stat and insight. I applaud the rewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it teams for being more inclusive and diverse with attendees. I’m not just talking race, age, or gender. I’m also talking about verticals and focus areas. A big step in the right direction.
Lesson #5: New Platforms
A big part of our jobs as content creators is to evolve our creative endeavors. It’s about taking risks and being open to change. I loved the “New Platforms, New Formats, New Possibilities” session with Erin Busbee of Busbee Style and Ashley of Everyday Pursuits.
Erin (who’s amazing BTW) dove headfirst into YouTube. She talked about the tolls, techniques, and equipment you need to start a YouTube channel. Instead of outlining her recommendations, I’d like to encourage those of you who are considering it to reach out to Erin directly. She clearly spent a lot of time pulling together her presentation. Follower her YouTube page, and send her a message.
The other speaker, Ashley of Everyday Pursuits, is a gem too! We’ve hosted her on trips for my full-time job, and she’s such a wonderful person! She recently launched a podcast in February. She talked about the importance of launching a channel and why it works. While I’m currently not planning a podcast, I appreciated her talking about the options for launching one!
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again… if you are fortunate enough to get an invite to rewardStyle’s rStheCon, accept it and make a plan to attend.
rewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it power a lot of our businesses and provide us paychecks to keep them going. Go. Support them. And above all – thank their team for all of the hard work to make our brands and better.
With that, a huge thank you LIKEtoKNOW.it, rewardStyle, Amber, Baxter, and the entire team for all of their hard work! I can’t wait to see what 2020 holds!
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