Nowadays, if you're not a lot of things, you haven't reached your full potential. -IMAN
IFBCON was a wealth of information for bloggers and entrepreneurs as a whole. From Day 1 of the conference, we brought you how fashion brand sponsors showed up for bloggers, integration and now we bring you take-home tips from the fashion industry's business savvy tastemakers. Day 2's panel discussions provided great insight on how to monetize your brand, stay motivated and be brave. As a publicist and entrepreneur, I was able to walk away with advice for both fashion bloggers and the more general spectrum of entrepreneurship. Glean the following valuable information divulged by a multitude of equally brainy beauties. Whether you're beginning a blog, are a year in or are looking to capitalize on your big ideas and launch your own business, these 6 tips will bring you closer to your goals.
Start your venture as a labor of love
As the saying goes, love what you do. This couldn't be any more true. People see your passion and they also see when it is absent - it will show in your efforts, your attitude and your success. If you start a high-pitched project based on love and passion, everything else will fall into place - love doubles as motivation and personal encouragement, even when the money isn't rolling in. If you do something just for the money, you may not get very far. When starting a business or blog, find what you are passionate about and go with it.
Be okay with failure
Think of failure as a lesson learned, rather than an end all, irreparable mistake. Anna Wintour was fired from W magazine and now she is the editor-in-chief of the holy grail of fashion. Steve Jobs was fired from his own company and he is now a legend. You never know when success is just one step away, so keep pushing and rolling the stone up the hill. You will never be 100 percent confident as an entrepreneur and it's important to know the risks and keep pushing regardless of whether or not you come face to face with them.
Write a business plan
A business plan is a great way to try to gain funding for your company. Even if you don't want funding, investors or a loan, it's a great way to answer questions about your company that you may not have thought about before. It will help you legitimize a lot of aspects of your brand. Take the time when writing a business plan to make it as thorough as possible. Enlist help from an adviser or someone who has written a business plan before - it can be a daunting task.
Make your business diverse
As important as it is to have a niche, you don't want to limit your business on what it offers - you'd automatically be limiting your reach. You don't want to start a PR firm that only represents shoe brands, nor do you want to be a website that only covers parties in the Lower East Side, as said by street style photographer Eddie Newton. Think about what else you can offer and in turn, you are dreaming up new ways to monetize whatever it is that you're doing. What trends are out there that you can integrate into your plan? What brands do you gravitate towards and how can you achieve that same gravitation from your target audience? Don't put all of your eggs in one basket. Keynote speaker Iman put it best, "nowadays, if you're not a lot of things, you haven't reached your full potential."
Stay motivated through the darkest days
If starting your own business was simple and painless, everyone would do it. Remember: you're lucky to be working on something you are passionate about! It's okay to have days where you feel less than motivated, but don't let them hold you back. Stay productive with other aspects of your brand, don't overwhelm yourself further by stressing about what you currently can't force yourself to do. There are smaller, less daunting tasks that need to be done and are as important as the one you need to step away from. If you're a blogger, and don't feel motivated to write, don't. Use that day to pitch sponsors. If you're a publicist, and you're not in the mood to pitch and aren't on a crazy deadline, use the day to build or edit your media lists and current editorial calendar. If you can't bring yourself to do anything, take a walk. Treat yourself to lunch. Read a book. Don't burn yourself out.
Take criticism into consideration
Not everyone will love what you do. Take the negative feedback and use it to make yourself and your business better. You shouldn't strive to please everyone, but if you hear something similar several times, sit back, take note, and figure out how to use it to your advantage.