February 1, 2016
Why You Should Start a Blog/Business Young
I don't know with definite research that it helps your business to start while you're young, but I do know that it helps you as an individual.
When I first started my blog, I knew my way around the computer, I was a quick typer and I had taken one creative writing class. (Oh yeah, and when I was 12 I attempted to write a kid's cookbook. I don't know where I thought my smiley face pancakes were going to get me.)
I had wanted to be a "blogger" for a long time. The thought had occurred to me a couple times over the years as I was the "shopping guru" out of my friends and had an affinity for moving people with words. After a pivotal church mission trip the summer after my graduation, I thought...hey, why not.
I learned a lot from starting a blog...and quickly.
I learned that Instagram was not just for clever captions and selfies at the school pep rally, but that it could open you up to a loyal audience and networking base. I suddenly saw pictures as not just memories fulfilling a space on a feed, but little windows looking out onto a bigger picture - a brand, a product, a lesson, a story.
I learned why social media even matters in the first place. That it's not just a "trend" that all the kids are using, but a community where people are growing and building relationships. Better yet, I learned how to use it. I know a slew of random facts and statistics like when the best time to post a picture is and what hashtags will generate the most traffic. (And I get really geeky about it all...I love it.)
I learned (and am still learning) how to market. I sit down and I don't view a post as "Ok, let me show this product and write about it". No. It's more of "Why does my audience care? What information should they know to help them better understand what I'm presenting? What does my audience need and how can I give it to them all while entertaining them?". It's really fun.
We young business owners and founders of our creativity know a lot before our time. We will be well versed in email etiquette long before we ever sit in a cubicle. We understand how to work with brands, how to say no, and how to create relationships. Heck, we've had conference calls and interviews and some of us aren't even able to legally buy alcohol yet!
That's all great. That's the business-y part of it. Do we have a leg up on that? Maybe. I certainly feel confident going into an interview and talking about my knowledge of SEO and I couldn't have said that two years ago. But, there's more to it...and I think this is the good stuff.
We know how to care for customers (or readers). We know how to deliver what people want while still staying true to ourselves and our brands. We understand this crazy mess of a social media world enough to fight it and let it empower us rather than control us. We are given the opportunity to be more comfortable in front of the camera or maybe even behind the lens. We take constructive criticism, and we turn right around and do something amazing with it. We learn to be proud of something that we, on our own, curated and made possible. And we learn to be really, really thankful for those that helped us get there.
Whew. Man, what even is this post? I bet you guys have had no idea that this whole time I've been building up to introduce you to a brand and founder/entreprenuer that I really admire.
See that's my thing, my blog "tell" if you will. I always want to tell a story or teach a lesson. I want to show you a product that I like, but I want to leave you with something more than a coupon code or a link. I want to make you feel something! I want you to be proud of yourself and what you do - whether you're a blogger, a small-business owner, a college student, a single mother, or just your average big-dreamer.
My friend Alyssa started her own business selling gorgeous pearl jewelry in 2013 when she was a freshman in high school. Now, she has over 10,000 pearl lovers eyeing her designs on Instagram, several stores selling her creations, and a loyal customer base that just loves to see the latest products hit her etsy store.
I really admire her for seeing a trend and dedicating her time to bringing it to life at a more convenient price for fellow young ladies in high school and college. (There's even jewelry for guys now! What!) She and her reps model her collections and customers get regrammed on her instagram page.
When she asked if I wanted to feature some on the blog for you all, I danced in the grocery store checkout line (ask Cameron). However, I wanted to tell you guys what I really loved about ARL pearls, not just touch on how cute and affordable they are.
This day in age, anyone can create an Instagram account or make a website. It definitely takes a special person to dedicate the time to make their visions come to life, but I truly believe the only thing stopping most of us is fear. Maybe it's fear of being too young or not being good enough, but if you give yourself 10 minutes to push that out of your head, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.
If you'd like to sport some ARL pearls, you can go ahead and place an order on the etsy store. Or, check here to see where ARL pearls are sold! To keep up with it all and to receive notice on special sales or giveaways, follow on Twitter and Instagram!
Thanks for letting me talk your ear off today! Comment with any small businesses you love, entrepreneurs you admire, or blogs you can't stop reading. Let's create some inspiration today.