I returned from my first Southern C Summit a little over a week ago and I think that my head is still spinning! My desk is littered with pages of notes and to-do lists, but I feel focused and energized and I can’t wait to get to work! More importantly, I now have a clearer picture of what I want to do with Perch in the upcoming year. This year’s Summit was held in the gorgeous Cloister in Sea Island, Georgia. Part of the Golden Isles of Georgia, Sea Island combines the best of southern hospitality and coastal living. Any town where moss-laden live oaks rest next to palm trees has this warm weather southern girl going all heart eyes!
About the Southern C Summit
The Southern C is an annual multi-day conference that provides an opportunity for those in the media, blogging and branding community to connect and collaborate. 250 participants attend the Summit and it sells out every year. I signed up the moment they opened registration. I recommend subscribing to their newsletter and following them on Instagram so that you don’t miss the sign-up announcement. The three-day conference is jam-packed with presentations and networking opportunities. In addition, you can register for small group workshops and mentoring sessions. The list of presenters reads like a who’s who in the creative media and marketing world. There is nothing like learning from the best!
- Video, video, video! Video is the most effective social-media marketing method and everyone use it. Speaker Libbie Summers demonstrated a few different (and very clever) ways that she incorporates video to share her story. It has never been easier to create online video content to reach your audience. Libbie suggests planning ahead and taking advantage of every photo shoot by creating a variety of media, including video, while at the shoot.
- Incorporating video allows you to present content in a different style to your audience. Show a more casual side of yourself and your brand. Allow viewers behind the scenes. You can use it to highlight or preview a new product. Video can also be used to answer questions or show tutorials.
- Integrate your story into your brand. Telling your story is a powerful way to reach people. Use your story to create a feeling of anticipation so that people care what comes next. Also, your story allows people to identify with you and your brand on a more personal level.
- Be authentic. You do you better than anyone. Furthermore, your story is what sets you apart. This message was woven into several presentations, including a wonderful session by the very talented Gray Malin.
- Use social media platforms effectively and understand the analytics behind the numbers. We heard informative presentations on best practices of Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
- Up your social media game with apps and techniques such as Boomerang, using stop motion and background changes, adding sound, creating a podcast and of course, VIDEO!
- A drink with James. James Nord, a founder of Fohr Card, provided an informative and colorful commentary on the influencer marketing. In addition, James shared 15 tips and takeaways to help guide a marketing strategy.
If you arrived early enough on Wednesday, you could take part in small group workshops. I registered for a session hosted by Lauren Hopkins, founder of LBH & Co. “Developing a Press Kit, Publicity’s Power Tool” covered the basics of creating a press kit, noting and highlighting the unique and newsworthy elements of a brand and reaching out to the press. Lauren is so knowledgeable and presented this topic beautifully. I can’t believe how much information we were able to take away in the short time that we were together. Lauren also shared some fabulous giveaways. I won an adorable barrette from Elizabeth Heard which donated by Two Friends. By the way, the swag bag? Incredible!!
This summit also offered small group mentoring sessions. I signed up to meet with Monica Lavin of Lavin Label. Monica is a lifestyle blogger, stylist and content creator. I have followed Monica on social media for a while and I love her blog. So I was delighted to meet her. Lavin Label inspires me and Monica was the perfect mentor. If I had to describe Monica in just three words I would say fresh, smart and beautiful. Oh, and incredibly sweet and kind. (OK, I needed five words!). Monica was well-organized and our session was on point.
The Southern C is offering a smaller gathering in October. It will be a more intimate version of this summit and will be held in Watercolor, Florida. I’m so thrilled to be a part of the Southern Coterie community and I’m truly inspired by all the talented creatives that I met through the Southern C. I can’t wait for the next Summit!