As you may know, we recently attended The Savvy Experience in Scottsdale Arizona (led by the amazing Heather Crabtree). This conference was super special for us to attend because not only were we speaking, but this group (The Savvy Business Owners) is where the two of us first met! Think Creative Collective literally exists because of the Savvy Business Owners group, so we feel like we owe it our lives and happiness.
The entire trip was amazing and we could gush all day about all the beautiful details and how Heather truly didn't forget a thing. The entire experience left us rejuvenated about our business, excited about new friendships, and exhausted from all the brainpower that was going around. We began to get asked how we knew that this particular conference was the right one to invest in and what we could recommend for people just starting to attend conferences and retreats.
Photos by: Lunabear Studios
Since it’s such a grey area about what conferences would be best for you and your business we’d thought we’d highlight some of The Savvy Experience attendees and their key takeaways instead. This way you can see what folks actually learn and bring from events like this to see if your business is in need of something similar.
Below, in no particular order are some highlights from some of our new best friends and their takeaways from The Savvy Experience. Feel free to click through to see what they do!
Dannie Fountain, LE Consulting | www.leconsulting.org | IG: @leconsulting
I took away two major things from my time at Savvy (among countless other lessons, tips, tricks, ideas for new business projects, and friends). First was Monique's client experience style, learning to focus on the way the client perceives you and proving out your value regardless of the price you charge, instead of being focused on the transactional side of things. The most interesting thing was the post-purchase experience - how to engage with your clients to keep them in your loyalty loop whether it's to refer potential clients or to re-use you for a service one day.
The second thing I took away was Courtney's sales page method. Sales pages seem like these daunting and crazy things, but her tidbit about how most people decide whether or not to pull the trigger in the first 20% of the copy made me feel better. We still have to go through and make sure we're doing all the work to make the full sales page awesome, but if we're limited on time and resources, we can focus our energy on writing kickass copy for that top 20% since that's where the majority of sales will come from.
DeNeitra Burnett, Savvy Events | www.savvy-events.com | IG: @savvyeventsllc
I learned so much from all of the speakers, but one of the speakers that most impacted me was Jessica Rasdall. I learned that regardless of your industry or your background your story matters. The "why" behind why you do business is important and should be shared. I believe it shapes the way we interact with others, the way we operate our business and ultimately the way we serve people. I learned that it is so vital to share your story and to be authentically who you are because you have no clue who you can impact.
Meghan Maydel, Meghan Maydel | www.meghanmaydel.com | IG: @meghan_maydel
The biggest thing I learned was how little the tweaks can be to be able to grow massively. I think we all get so caught up in thinking there needs to be some big act or big launch to be able to skyrocket our business and what each of the speakers showed me was that it's just minor shifts in my biz to give me that leap I need to hit my next goal. Amber did a great job in her talk to really emphasize the need for test and tweak and using the numbers to back up what you want to implement next. Just in the past couple of days I've been able to look at my numbers, test & tweak and already grow from what I've been able to implement and change. It was a business changer!
Jessica Stansberry, Jessica Stansberry | www.jessicastansberry.com | IG: @jessicastansberry
I learned so flippin' much y'all! The biggest thing I learned, I think, was that you can learn so much from everybody; people in your same industry, with the same audience, doing the same things, etc, they're all stocked full of information that can help you tremendously. Also, the value of meeting people IN PERSON is far greater than any other avenue and you can legit form real-life friendships and relationships SO QUICKLY (ok Bachelor, I get how you can fall in love and get engaged in a 3-month time period now all while dating 20 other women...ok!).
The conference lit a fire under my booty like nothing else ever has. #iwannadoallthethings
Amy Homan, A Stylish Design | www.astylishdesign.com | IG: @A Stylish Design
The most important I took away from the savvy experience conference was that I'm not alone. No matter what business you create, service or product, no matter what age you are, how "seasoned" you are, there is so much to learn and networking is SO powerful. Everyone there just "clicked" and was so willing to give, absorb, share.. it was truly amazing!!
Ginny Krauss, Ginny Krauss | www.GinnyKrauss.com | IG: @ginnykrauss
The biggest thing that I took away from the Savvy Experience was that I'm not just a small fish in a big sea, everything I am doing matters just as much as the next persons, and everyone there truly made everyone feel that they had value to provide. No matter how successful they were or how new in business, everyone was welcome and everyone equally shared among each other. No one was hiding their secrets to success. Jessica Rasdall's speech really hit home for me that everyone has a story and no matter how big or small your message may be, you should share it.
I also really loved Monique Melton's speech about putting the sweet in your client experience and making sure you are treating your client just as good, if not better throughout your relationship together, just as you did when you were trying to book them. This experience truly changed my life, each and every one of you left a lasting impact, both personally and professionally.
Stephanie Cope Wilson, Stephanie Cope Wilson | www.whimandproper.com | IG: @whimandproper
I took away so many great nuggets of information from every speaker, but I think the biggest takeaway for me was finding and embracing my “story.” It’s something I’ve struggled with for a long time and I don’t think I could have ever figured it out on my own if I hadn’t stepped away from my desk / the grind for a week. This was a huge part of Jessica Rasdall's presentation, and admittedly, during the presentation, I kept thinking how NOT different or how uninteresting I was from everyone else — from all of the other designers out there, other business owners, etc. It wasn’t until talking to other attendees and making new friends did I realize what my story actually is. And it turned out to be the one thing that I was a little reserved in sharing about myself when meeting everyone at this particular conference because, to me, it felt like I was unfocused and I didn’t think anyone would care or find it interesting.
Long story short, at the beginning of the conference I was just introducing myself as a graphic designer because that’s how I’ve identified myself for so long, but toward the end of the conference, and from now on, I’m embracing opening up more about everything I do outside of graphic design. I have multiple streams of income — my graphic design business is one part of the many businesses I own and work on.
I help with my husband’s wealth management business, a client-turned-friend of mine and I are starting an event rental business locally and my husband and I invest in real estate (student rentals and house flipping, both of which I do interior design for). Eliana talked about related streams of income in her presentation, and in hindsight, I realize I really resonated with her presentation as well because I was doing something similar. I think I was a little embarrassed by my inability to sit still and focus on one thing, but now I see that’s what makes up my “story.”
Heather Crabtree, Heather Crabtree | www.heathercrabtree.com | IG: @heather_crabtree
I learned something from every speaker and every attendee. I also know that we are all going to RISE UP together and if someone starts to fall, the SAVVY community will be there to lift you up. The Savvy Experience energized me to keep building on the solid foundation that is already there. It also brought back that little girl inside of me that with her 70ish cousins every weekend (my Dad was one of 11 children) when we would get together on Sundays for Sunday lunch and have enough kids to fill more than 2 kickball teams, where no one entered the house or left the house without hugging and kissing each member of our family, where there were family struggles, but we got through them together...there was always that community. This is where community started for me and I thought it was just a way of life and everyone had this.
It also brought me to the moment of when my Dad died and he had over 5000 people at his funeral (even though we are from a very small town) and people came from all over and all different parts of his life. That is community...that was all I knew. I want everyone to feel a part of something greater, bigger than themselves...where you are seen and heard, where you have something to give and always something to learn.
Mallika Malhotra, Mikifoto by Mallika Malhotra | www.mikifoto.com | IG @mikifotonj
So many great takeaways, but Rachel Hofstetter's simple and powerful words, “GIVE GIVE GET”, rang deep and true. Not only for obtaining good press but as a movement for all women in business. GIVE your expertise, your story, yourself even if no one is buying. GIVE abundantly, personalize the experience, and treat your audience as friends. Be grateful for all you GET in return, especially the relationships and the community. Rinse and repeat!
Monique Melton, Monique Melton | www.MoniqueMelton.com| IG: MoeMotivate
I came to the Savvy Experience with my heart set on connecting with real women in business who have a desire to make a difference in the world while building one another up...and that's exactly what happened x 10. I took away new friends and more energy to serve and support others. I loved seeing so many faces that were familiar from connecting online, but I also enjoyed meeting new faces too.
The Savvy Experience was like going to a highly-anticipated family reunion. We laughed, we learned, we cried, we chatted by the pool while dozing off mid sentence because your body hasn't adjusted to the 3-hour time difference, and we simply let our guards down so we could connect, be vulnerable, and be truly authentic.
I learned so much from the speakers and the attendees because I believe we are always learning and growing. I had some very specific takeaways that I'd like to mention.
I really liked Reina Arai Pomeroy's strategy about the to-do list and how we should further digest (or breakdown) anything that will take more than 30-60 minutes. This struck home for me because I love to-do lists and I'm really good at breaking things down, but I've noticed some things don't get done or get pushed back because they aren't broken down enough. That was very helpful to hear.
I loved Danielle Miller talk about Pinterest, and now she has me thinking about using it.
Cathy Olson got me to thinking bigger when it comes to things I could teach and that it doesn't have to be things exactly in my brand. So I immediately thought about makeup, because that was something I did for 10 years prior to doing my current business as brand strategist, mentor, author, and speaker, so thank you to Cathy for that.
Eliana Baucicault made some great points about expanding your service by thinking about the things your clients are asking you about. And I loved all the questions people asked her because it gave us a clearer look into her successful world as an event planner.
Annette Stepanian's presentation was fun and showed us how adding that spark and fun to our experience is just as important as the content itself. Mary Beth Storjohann, thank you for reminding us to really take a closer look at our finances and to start somewhere.
Heidi Yarger: thank you emphasizing the importance of SEO and because of you I'm adding some more pics to my site of not "just me".
Emylee Williams & Abagail Pumphrey were super fun and really have me convinced that I need to commit to building my blog and Instagram...okay, okay already!
Jessica Rasdall showed up and confirmed some really great things for me. I firmly believe in the truth that we all have a story and that we can heal and find purpose in our stories. This is the type of work I do with my clients and it was so confirming to hear her address this with such conviction. She created a safe place for us to share and that, my friends, is amazing.
Courtney Johnston I love the analogy of the rainbow and pot of gold...it really made the sales page simple and easy to understand. Alisha Johns did a great job explaining how to get strategic with social media and further convinced me to get strategic with Instagram.
Rachel Hofstetter gave us very clear and tangible direction for PR and I love that she made herself available to us for on-going support. The give, give, get was great and really resonates with how I approach my business and life.
Amber Housley thank you for reminding us of how important it is to have a goal and to measure our results...will never look at Google Analytics in the same way.
Kristin Kaplan reminded us of how important it is to have a strategy behind our pricing, which is something I really appreciate and enjoyed hearing.
And Katie Lawler Hunt, thank you for emphasizing the reality that we may hire a lot of people before we get the right one for us and that was very helpful to hear.
Okay one more thing, now that I've given you my second novel! I really appreciate that Heather Crabtree showed us that despite how challenging, difficult and discouraging things may get that we must never give up on our dreams. We may need to change things up, pivot or go in a different direction, but we must never give up. Thank you for showing us what it looks like to persevere and truly shine bright! And thank you my friend for being committed and intentional about building real community and embracing diversity. If you take a look at the Savvy Ambassadors, speakers, and attendees and you will see that they were all so diverse in more ways than one...that, my friends, is what real community is all about.
Abby Herman, Abby Herman | www.abbyherman.com | IG: @write_solutions
I learned something from every speaker and the whole experience was very powerful for me. Some confirmed that, yes, I'm on the right path. Others sparked ideas that I'll dive into when the time is right. I love all the community I saw - there's no such thing as competition and we all have something unique to add to the mix. Katie Lawler Hunt's message to hire experts rather than generalists hit home (and seriously...who knew there was something called Task Rabbit?).
And Jessica Rasdall's talk about telling your story was so powerful. I have to-do items from Heidi Yarger's talk about website optimization and Amber Housley's sales funnel strategies were spot-on what I needed!
It's taken me the better part of a week to get back in the swing of things because my mind was just swimming with possibilities. The relationships fostered, the collaborations discussed, the friends made, the fun had...It was an amazing experience!
Courtney Johnson, The Rule Breakers Club | www.rulebreakersclub.com | IG: @courtbourtinc
There is NOTHING like showing up to a live conference not knowing anyone personally and leaving 3 days later feeling like you have 64 new best friends. It's absolutely game changing and I can't recommend going to an event like this enough. If I had to choose, the #1 thing I learned was that there are so many SIMPLE social media strategies I can be doing to blow the roof off of my business that I just... haven't been doing (bad entrepreneur!). I'm ridiculously revved up and already implementing what I learned!
Lauren Black, Legacy Loft | www.legacyloft.com | IG: @legacyloft
The biggest impact from Savvy Experience is realizing that community is key! Whether that means collaborating on services to offer your clients more value, finding accountability partners, learning from one another, receiving encouragement during tough times, hiring others, or finding business partners – you cannot go about entrepreneurship on your own! There's so much value in bringing individual talent and experience together to make something stronger than could ever be accomplished alone.
Annette Stepanian, Annette Stepanian | www.annettestepanian.com | IG: @annettestepanian
What I learned - or rather what it reminded me: Get up from behind the computer screen and go connect with people face-to-face. It'll be more impactful and leave more of an impression than any tweet, scope, post, email, or Insta Story. Having now attended the Savvy Experience - these women are now top of mind - and perhaps forever etched in the forefront of my brain.. You can be sure I'll be referring others to them.
Katie Williamsen, Katie Williamsen | www.kwilliamsen.com | IG: @katiewilliamsen
There were so many takeaways from The Savvy Experience, but one that really resonated is to let others help you. Whether you are just starting out or have been in business for a while, in order to move forward, you must let others help you along the way. For example, when you are just starting out, if writing your website copy is keeping you from launching, then hire a copywriter. As your business grows, if you don’t have time to think about social media strategy, hire a strategist to help you formulate a plan that will work for you. There’s nothing wrong with hiring other small business owners to help you fill in the gaps and move your business forward. It will leave you with more time to focus on what you truly love to do in your business!
Amelia Anne Wilson, The Editing Shop | www.theeditingshop.com
The best thing for me being at the Savvy Experience was being surrounded by so many like-minded women who truly understand how life and business intersect. I haven't found any communities in Europe that even come close to the supportive, creative, nurturing environment of the Savvy family, and being part of this experience has given me the boost I didn't even know I needed. I've taken away not just game-changing business advice (of which there was much!) but also a grounding confidence in that life and business ups and downs happen to even the most polished professionals, and actionable strategies for dealing with times that can't be "confetti moments"! Thanks, Jessica Rasdall. As business owners we put our best foot forward, and oftentimes no one sees the behind-the-scenes hard work. Being part of this experience allowed me to see others’ behind the scenes, and it was so inspiring and encouraging to see that wherever we are with our businesses we all share common goals and common struggles.
This experience was so much more than a conference - I left feeling like I'm part of a family and a community that's there to support each other through all the successes and struggles that come with entrepreneurship. As a one-woman shop, these kinds of friendships are absolutely priceless!
Danielle Miller, Miller Media Management | www.mmmsocialmedia.com | IG: @mmmsocialmedia
My biggest takeaway was the importance of filling my cup. Spending time with supportive people who give graciously left me feeling energized and excited. During the presentations I also learned some valuable lessons. Rachel's "Give Give Get" will forever be my mantra when it come to PR (or just about anything!). Kristin's advice to "Solve bigger Problems" and Courtney's Rainbow Bridge are also top of mind.
Cathy Olson, Love Inspired | www.Love-Inspired.com | IG: @loveinspired
What an INCREDIBLE experience! The Savvy Experience allowed me to connect with others struggling with the SAME things I'm struggling with, and come up with the ideas to tackle them FOR GOOD. I realized I've been ignoring parts of my business out of fear. I feel confident in this next season for us and that we are going to totally CRUSH it in 2017!
Amber Housley, Amber Housley | | www.amberhousley.com | IG: @amberhousley
The experience most of all reminded me how in-person learning experiences are still very much needed. With many of us running businesses entirely online, it's easy to believe that the best learning investments are those that are quick, fast, affordable and easy to digest. However, that will only get you so far. Nothing online will replace the moments of delight, of light-bulb moments hearing speaker presentations first hand, or the new friendships and networking relationships that are formed in the time outside the conference sessions. When you are in person, and face to face, that's where the true magic happens.
So there you have it. Just a sampling of the amazingness that The Savvy Experience made happen for so many women and business owners. This is exactly why it’s so difficult to put into words what a conference can do for you, because everyone needs something a little bit different.
For us? We loved building physical, real-life relationships with so many ladies that we’ve met virtually. There’s something like hugging your “internet friend” for the first time when you already feel like you know each other so well. More so than any other moment in our business, The Savvy Experience made us feel like we belong, that we fit in somewhere and that it was okay to be us. It solidified that by creating that atmosphere in our own community was worth it and would pay off tremendously. Oh, and we also want to hire like 7 people that we met there, so there’s that!
Even if you weren’t able to be at The Savvy Experience with all of us, the Facebook group does a great job at creating that community online. You can join Heather’s group here and be sure to come hang out in ours as well by heading here. Welcome to the community!