Recap: WID-TC October Meet-Up
It's been awhile since I've regularly attended any networking events, but over the past month, I've been trying to attend more. I usually eagerly sign up for a number of intriguing events, but inevitably, as the day draws nearer, I always want to bail at the last minute.
I'm glad I didn't bail on this one.
Women in Digital is a nationwide organization supporting women who work in the digital marketing industry, and the Twin Cities chapter is brand new. I attended its kickoff event last Thursday at Timber & Tulip and was inspired by a group of women, ranging from college students to executives, sharing their stories and asking for guidance on a number of work and personal issues.
The speaker was a woman named Ashley, who founded Social Impact Branding. Ashley has made a name for herself online, and is particularly well-known on LinkedIn.
When it comes to gaining a following on LinkedIn, she says there are only a few rules.
- Your words, blog posts, thoughts, and opinions should always be AUTHENTIC, RELEVANT, and TRANSPARENT.
- Follow the "3, 2, 1" rule: Like 3 things a day, comment on 2, and post once. This way, your name will begin to pop up all over others' feeds, and you'll begin to be recognized by higher-ups.
Other important takeaways
Once you get a group of women together in one room, it's inevitable topics of workplace drama and discrimination will be brought up. Ashley reminded us the importance of shifting the power dynamic when we sit down with people who intimidate us. She drove home the mantra: Say what you mean and mean what you say.
As long as you state your needs in a professional and appropriate way, there's no reason not to advocate for yourself and ask for what you know you deserve. It's OK if people don't like you.
Emotion = Important
What's the secret ingredient in successful advertisements? Emotion. Ashley touched on this, saying, "Pay per click will never get you the emotional connection you want." I had never thought about it that way, but she's totally right.
Take this Windex ad for example, which had me tearing up.
What makes WID different
Aside from its niche focus on women working in the digital landscape, Women in Digital is unique from other, similar organizations because of its concept of Asks and Gives.
Board members opened the floor for anyone in attendance to ask for something they need. Advice, recommendations, a mentor, another event to attend... you name it.
Everyone in attendance is welcome to give advice, recommendations, etc. to whomever asked. They are also invited to give of themselves. For example, one of the board members announced she loves meeting new people over coffee, and if anyone was seeking to expand their network, they should reach out to her.
The icing on top of the cake was another Women in Digital tradition. When it was time for Asks, we popped a bottle of champagne (that I sadly didn't get to enjoy... because Whole30.) When it was time for Gives, another bottle was popped.
Now this is the type of group I can get involved with.
And, getting involved is exactly what I plan to do. I have been struggling a bit lately, and I finally realized it might be because I am not involved with anything outside of work. I attend a few events here and there, but I miss playing a bigger role. I plan to join Women in Digital as a founding member so I can continue attending events like these and developing relationships with even more kickass women in the area.