*For those of you who aren’t blessed with Cajun roots, “Laissez les bon temps rouler” is an expression used in Acadiana to mean that we had an enjoyable, lively time at an event. Try interjecting this phrase into your everyday conversations. It will surely give your peers something to talk about!
As I blogged about last week, I attended the wonderfully informative Central Soaper’s workshop a few weeks ago in Kansas City. It was an event packed full of information for attendees and Sunday’s sessions were loaded with great information.
A fun soaping sticker that was in our SWAG bags
First up was Kayla Fiorvanti who taught us about writing great copy – in every aspect of our website: product descriptions, blog posts and static web pages on our site. I’m in the middle of reading Kayla’s book “Puffy and Blue” – the story of her childhood and it’s an excellent read. It’s funny, inspiring and truly a great story. I highly recommend it. She truly knows a thing or two about writing great copy, so we were all certain to listen intently and take excellent notes.
Donna Maria of Indie Business Network followed Kayla’s presentation perfectly as she spoke about blogging and the importance of regularly, consistent blogging on your website. She gave ideas about blog post topics and tips for making the most out of your posts.
Rounding out the morning sessions was a presentation from Danielle of Outlaw Soaps. Her presentation titled “It’s not sales if you really mean it” emphasized the importance of knowing your ideal customer. She spoke of how many of her customers have become friends and urged us all to design our brands around the types of people you’d like to spend the rest of your life with – your ideal customer. Once again, we were reminded that we were put in the driver’s seat of our companies & brands. She also shared a few funny and educational stories from meetings with wholesale buyers which were comical, but also taught us lessons from her experiences. Thanks for your authenticity and honesty, Danielle. You were wonderful.
After lunch, we were treated to a presentation by Preston of Sudz by Studz who spoke to us about increasing our effectiveness when posting photos on Instagram. He gave us great tips on how to increase the number of our followers, how to post content that is on brand and how to increase engagement with your followers. The most interesting part of his presentation for me was when he spoke about loop giveaways. I’d never heard of these, but a quick internet search revealed their brilliance. Stay tuned – a loop giveaway may be coming soon! We were all furiously taking notes and many of us have been posting more regularly and with more intent since his presentation. The best part is that Preston is Cajun – he’s from Lake Charles, y’all! We bonded and swapped tips about where to find the best smoked sausage and I tipped him off about the deliciously decadent pepperjack boudin balls from Billy’s. We’re hoping to visit Cajun country at the same time in the near future so we can “pass a good time” back in our homeland.
The last presenter was Lela Barker, who covered the 7 Deadly Wholesale Sins. The information Lela covered was solid, sensible advice for anyone who is considering wholesaling their products. Lela has learned many of these lessons while running her beauty brand, Bella Lucce’ over the last 10+ years. Her thoughtful sharing of her lessons learned is a benefit to all handmade entrepreneurs.
The day wrapped up with a quick “Family Feud” style trivia game, which was lively and fun. It brought out the competitor in many of us. In the end, the competition was all in good fun and revealed how much we all learned throughout the weekend.
We then departed after many hugs and promises to keep in touch. I am glad to have returned from the conference with a number of new friends and a truckload of new information. It was well worth my registration fee + time to attend. If you’re a soaper and have access to a local soaper’s gathering, I strongly encourage you to attend. The experience greatly exceeded my expectations and I’m certain you’ll have a similar experience.