Business Lessons From The Best of 2018 Awards, 2018 in Review, Recapping The Holiday Party
Jenna Redfield is the leader of the Twin Cities Collective, the largest resource in the Twin Cities for bloggers, small business, entrepreneurs & creatives.
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Hey, whats up guys, it's Jenna here from the Twin Cities collective podcast. This is our last episode for 2018. I've taking a few weeks off during the holidays, because usually our episodes come out on Tuesdays. And obviously, both holidays fall on Tuesdays this year. So I thought that I would kind of do a summary of 2018 not just the podcast, but also of all the stuff happening agencies collective. I'm also going to be recapping our recent best of awards, as well as the party that happened as of last night because I'm recording this on Thursday. So I'll just be kind of like talking about a lot of things, things I learned about the party, and about the wards. And just there's a lot, it was just kind of a lot in like a two week span. So I just kind of wanted to reflect on everything that happened. And things that I will probably change for next year, things that went really well. So that's kind of what I wanted to do today. So I'm going to kind of start off with kind of just talking through 2018. All the things that we did here at Twin Cities collective, when we start the year, I launched the very first workshop with Twin Cities collective and that was our Instagram growth workshop. And, you know, I priced it pretty low, because I had no idea how many people would come. So I think I charged $10 for the first workshop, and it sold out and probably one day 35 spots. So I was like, Whoa, okay, I guess there's a demand for this. And then the next month, you know, I kind of like slowly increase the price, which is great. And it's still kept selling out. So I've kind of hit the peak right now, I in charge about $35 per workshop. And I found that the sweet spot because it's not too expensive that people don't want to come. But it's also not something where it's like it's not worth the value, if that makes sense. So we did our first three workshops, January, February, March. And then we did I think we did another one in May. We've done one on Instagram stories, we did one on media kits. And then we did one on branding. So I think we did six or seven workshops. And they were all in the spring. And then in the summer, we do do any workshops, because I was working on my online courses, which launched in August. And then in September, actually, I think it was October when we did the Pinterest workshop with Laura. So we didn't do as much workshops the second half of the year, because I was working on the courses and just trying to figure out my own services. But I'm excited because in 2019, we are going to be relaunching some of our courses, we're going to be doing Instagram growth in January, we're going to be doing Instagram, TV, and Instagram stories in February. And we'll be doing in March, a kind of a new work, it's gonna be like a new workshop, it was kind of kind of like our media kit workshop. But I'm also going to be talking more about how that works with Instagram, how to become an influencer, how to work with influencers, and also how to sell your products on Instagram, more of Instagram marketing, because there's a difference between growing your Instagram account and actually selling things on there. And I feel like at my Instagram growth workshops, I didn't talk as much about the sales process of Instagram and why people use Instagram to actually sell products or services. So that's what I'm going to talk about at the march workshop. So I will be posting those, I believe the day that this podcast comes out. So I will have the links in this podcast description if you want to buy tickets. I mentioned this in a video on my Facebook page, that
basically I've decided to close the Twin Cities collective circle, which if you want to understand more about why I did that, you can watch that video, the basically returning our monthly membership into a workshop membership. So basically, if you want to come to all three workshops, you can buy a combined package rate, and you can kind of save some money. And then also you'll be added to a group message. So we can all kind of chat and share Instagram tips. So that will also be available when this podcast comes out. So that's kind of a really, really, really quick recap of 2018. For us. One of the biggest things that happened was at the end of the year, which was very unexpected spur of the moment, idea I had that ended up becoming our biggest social media campaign ever. And that was the best of awards 2018 a lot of people are like, How on earth did you come up with this idea? And honestly, I was sitting in my bed at like, 9am, I just woken up, and I was on my laptop. And what I had been doing for the past few weeks is I've started offering influencer marketing services. So basically, I want to connect people to the right influencers. So I've been making all these lists on my computer, researching people who I'm following on Instagram, you know, taking notes on everybody. And while I was doing this, I was like, why doesn't everyone know about these awesome people, like a lot of people probably don't even know, a lot of the influencers that live in Minneapolis. And then I think that's when it hit me. I was like, why don't we do an awards, where people nominate their favorite people in the Twin Cities. And then I like the moment I had that idea, I just go, oh my gosh, it's December, it's the end of the year, I have to do it for you know, 2018. So within about an hour and a half, maybe I had created the graphics, I had set up the categories that I thought of I had set up the Google form that basically was the thing that I sent out to everyone. And it was literally guys within an hour and a half I had it done and I had posted it. And I I had no plan to do it that day, I had other things to do. But when this idea came to me, I said I can't wait another second for this. Because if I wait a week, it'll get too close to Christmas, all this stuff. And so and then I also knew we were having our holiday party, it didn't quite click with me right away that we should do something with the holiday party that I already had planned until about a few days later. But basically, I posted it not knowing we know maybe 10 people would fill it out, I had no idea. Within the two days that we had posted it, we had 400 people and to someone in so that was amazing to me, I was like oh my gosh, 400 people, people were telling their friends to nominate them, it was just insane. Like I had no idea it was going to get hit that much. So with the nomination round, and this is something that I will be talking about for the second round. But we basically said if you don't know anyone in a category, just leave it blank. And I decided that because I'm like, I'm sure there's people that don't know anyone in a single category. So not going to force people to vote for a single person. But that was a good and a bad thing. The good thing was, they really just voted for who they knew. And but the bad thing was there were a lot of categories that were under filled out. There was some categories that had, I think the lowest one was maybe 20 different people either nominated total, or just in general. So and then there's some that had like 200 people nominated. So it really just depended on the category and how well known people are in the Twin Cities. So that was something that I struggled with. With the second round. I was like, dang it, why didn't more people vote for this category? Or, you know, I wanted it to be kind of more on equal ground. So, so after I got all the nominations, I added them up. And you know, some categories, they were clear winners. Some It was kind of hard. There were some you know, tiebreakers that had to break. I wasn't expecting to do that. So I didn't really have a process for that. So I ended up having to go off of follower counts. And then I did kind of a randomization.
And so that's kind of how we got the top five finalists. I mean, obviously everyone that was a top five finalists was actually voted, and people actually nominate them. So that was really important to me that everyone in there deserve to be in there. But when I decided to make the final round, which was the picking the top five finalists, this is when things got really crazy. But also things got good and bad again. So I sent out the nominees it was on Monday morning of I think like a week ago, and took me about an hour to tag everyone on Instagram, because there was 38 categories and five nominations, and each and I had to tag each individual person. But that kind of exploded it in an entirely new way. Because a lot of people that were nominated first of all had never heard of us or they didn't know they were being nominated. You know, all of these things. They're just like, we're like there was so many people taken by surprise that they had been nominated. So a lot of people shared it, like almost everyone that was nominated shared it on their stories. And that really exploded our stories, we got the most views on our stories I've ever gotten in the entire two and a half years I've been running this Instagram, we averaged about 1500 views on each story which I get about two 300 on average. So that was like crazy. So that Monday was probably one of the most insane days I'd ever have. And people were sharing it on their main Instagram, on Facebook, on Twitter everywhere, because I but I said you guys get one entire week to vote. So I mean, use it wisely. But you don't have to vote just today on Monday. And one of the things that was the biggest struggle I think with this was I, one of my decisions was because I was so sad that there were some categories that hadn't really had that many nominations in round one. I decided that to make it so that everyone had to vote for each category. And this was something I've debated with myself of past two weeks. And whether or not that was a good decision or not. I mean, really, the reason I did it was I wanted people to stop and actually like read and research about the five people nominated and then make an educated vote about who they were going to pick and select for who they thought was the best. And I put the links, obviously in my Instagram story to every Instagram account. So people could actually go in and, and research all these people. There are a few reasons why this might not have been a good idea. The biggest was is a lot of people said they don't have time to do that. And then another thing is, you know, people just they just yeah, I think time was probably the biggest thing. And obviously there were some people that spent the time and they actually went in and followed all those accounts. And a lot of people love that part. They told me when I asked what their favorite part of the of the voting was, is that they got to see all these new businesses. And that was why I did this to begin with is I want people to find out about these really awesome small businesses that maybe don't get as much credit. Or maybe they don't have as many followers, but they're just as exciting and important as some of the bigger ones. So basically,
I had some people kind of upset that they had to vote in every category. And at first, I was just very defensive. And I was like, Oh, you need to like figure it out. Like That was my my thought. And over the past two weeks, I realized, oh, maybe I shouldn't have done that. So that was probably the biggest thing I regretted about the second round was making everyone vote for category. And so what I've decided to do for an next year's best of awards is I'm going to add a six category. And it will say, I don't know any of the people in this category. So they can leave that and that could be their vote. But I really do encourage everyone to go back and actually find out about some of these businesses if they have time. Because that's really the point of this isn't just to have a winner, but it's to really see the nominees and maybe find out about a new business you didn't know about. So that is going to be the biggest change next year is I will add a six category that that says none of the above. And I think that that will impact a lot of things. But I think that that will be for the positive. There are some other things I'm going to change next year. First is some new categories, I will be adding the biggest two that I missed that I regret not doing is fitness gyms or studios, as well as life coaches, because those ended up going in the small business category. So I kind of wish I'd added those. There are a few others like youtuber brewery, there's a couple of other ones that I kind of wish I'd added dessert places another one. But again, I did it so quickly that I just, I thought of all the ones I could. And then it wasn't until people brought it to my attention that I was like, Oh, yeah, I probably should have had a few more. So next year, I'll probably have about 45 categories instead of 38. That's what we had this year. The other thing that I would change is I would definitely do a lot more prepping for getting the excitement going ahead of time. Fortunately, it took off when I announced it. But next year, I'll definitely be like kind of marketing it before it happens. So that's something that I I'm going to be doing. And the other thing that I really, really want to focus on is the party next year and making it the award show even bigger. We did it last night, and it was awesome. But I think I want to make it more of a like an actual award show where you know, there's an MC and stuff like I want to do bigger for the awards. So that's something I got to think about next year, it was because I already had the party planned that it just kind of added an award show into it, it kind of went really fast. And it was just kind of informal. And I gave out certificates. And a lot of the winners weren't there, because again, I only gave him about two weeks notice. So that's something I would definitely change next year is making it more of a big deal about the awards. The next thing I want to do next year, is I want to help people become well known in their category. So I think the thing that a lot of people struggle with is a lot of people around town don't know them. So they didn't think to nominate them. And one of the things that I think that this could help with is people getting to know about you, especially if you ask to be nominated or say please nominate me. Honestly, I think the people that promoted that the most ended up getting a lot of the votes. I honestly believe that I saw it with the numbers, I looked at the stuff and I said okay, well, this person's been promoting the heck out of it. And they are getting, you know, the most votes. So I think that by building, you know, an online audience, as well, as a local audience, it's so important, because then you'll be able to, hopefully get some action taken by your audience, and they'll actually vote for you in the competition. So, and again, that's within your own niche. So I think having a niche, being the first person that people think of when you are in a niche is so so important. And so that's like something that I just I think next year, with the podcast episodes and everything, I really want to focus it around, how do you become well known in your industry, doesn't matter what industry you're in, but you need to become well known in it, you need to be the first person people think of so that when they're nominating someone, they go, huh, who's a good web designer, oh, that person that I heard about on a podcast, or I, I met through a friend or I saw their work, and they're amazing, you need to be that person in order to be on the front of people's minds so that you get the most nominations. Also, obviously growing your audience and telling people that you're, you know, you want to be nominated. Because I think actually the nomination part is even more important than the actual final round. But obviously gains the top five is, I think, just as much of an honor, as winning. The other thing I want to talk
about is something that I I got and I also debated was I did get nominated for a few categories. And next year, I think I will just take myself out because I felt very weird about that. I ended up winning two of my categories. And I didn't want to lie to the audience and say I didn't win and just give it to the next person. So I didn't, you know, declare myself the winner. But I think next year, I'll just ask people not to vote for me, because I got very uncomfortable, especially at the award ceremony, actually giving myself an award for my own award ceremony. And I think, like, it's just it's the it's the most weird thing, because it's like people voted for me. But I also was like, but that's not the point. Like I get more out of the fact that people are taking my awards show thing, and actually coming like that, to me, is, for me, specifically me is more of a bigger deal than winning something where people just know my brand. And they're taking my brands award. So I mean, it makes sense that they'd probably write down my name, because they just thought of me in that moment. So I think for me, that's another thing I would definitely change next year's I'm just not going to be I will just even put in my categories, please don't vote for me. Like I just I just don't feel comfortable winning my own award. So that's something that I think I've definitely learned to, and it was really, you know, I felt really good to win. But at the same time, it's like, Okay, well, this feels also really weird. So I did want to also recap the party. So we did a party last spring, it was our first one that we ever had. That was like a big party. And I learned so much from that. Well, first of all, the big thing that happened was, there was a snowstorm. You guys remember that April snowstorm where it was like insane. That happened on the day of the party. And I had planned this party for like a month and I had everything ready. And we had Everyone ready to go. We had a lot of volunteers. We had photographer videographer, we had people bringing in live plants, like we had food, all this stuff was ready to go. And then that snowstorm happened. And I did not expect that to happen, where I was like it's an indoor party, you know, no snow storms going to keep us and then my mom kept saying please don't have this party. People could get hurt, you know, you don't want to be liable for that. They're going to drive there, all that stuff. And so I had to make that decision. I had to make that call that I'm going to cancel it. I definitely cried. But anyways, so that was like a whole thing where it's like, you know, you never know what's going to happen the day of a party and we ended up postponing it and doing it a week later, we got about half the people that we originally had wanted to have. But you know that really opened my eyes to being prepared. And so for this party, I was super prepared. Like I thought of everything. My car was so packed full of stuff when we drove to spaces, it was insane. I had to get there at least two hours early. Because the last time we only got there an hour early for our party and we were scrambling with like six volunteers. This time it was just maybe three or four volunteers and we gave myself at least two hours to prep for the party. But it was awesome. We did a step and repeat which is like a big what's called vinyl backdrop for our photo booth which I ended up ordering. It has our logo on it was really awesome. We did a whole photo booth. We did the cocoa bar with legally crafty blog who ended up getting third place and her category congrats to Holly and then unforgettable events MN who I just met for the first time she's friends with Holly they did the entire hot cocoa bar which is so beautiful. Like you guys need to check out the pictures. North mellow they donate some marshmallows which was awesome. And then I Holly had the idea of doing a flatly station which I have all the flat lay products so we did a slightly station and then it was just a lot of networking again we had like 70 people come so was amazing. We did photo booth all that stuff and then we did the awards and the giveaways so that was really a kind of a recap of the award show. Next year I'm going to definitely be the person that's like all right, we need to change some things but I did want to go through who won because I think if you haven't heard yet or haven't checked out social media, I'm just going to kind of go through that quickly the winners at the award show I actually did the top three but I'm just today going to go through all the winners. So for the category of graphic and brand designers we had a minute Minnesota creative studio Nicole was actually there at the award so she was able to pick up her award Miss skip the one I'm in
photography, Laura Ray photography, she's awesome. videographer was Kylie and Christian creative. Kylie, if you don't know runs girl creative and unfortunately they had a conflict at the same time so she wasn't able to make it but congrats to Kylie web designer was also Nicole, MN creative studio, artists and painter with Amy Kiefer. The maker home decor was Timberland to lip calligraphy stationery was Jessie re design, copywriters and legal was Katie Axelsson musician was hippocampus. The nonprofit and charity that got first was second hand hounds. The small business was last company on his gym, which is actually my brother goes I found out I'm so chiropractor and health practitioner was Lynn Lake chiropractic. The business coach consultant was savvy bird consulting she's been on the podcast, makeup and hair was stellar hair co love Katie stellar, she's awesome. Jewelry was handmade pan made company. fashion boutique was primp fashion brand was soda clothing. Interior Designer was Ali pop design, realtor was Julissa She was also the event. bridal salon and dress designer was the white room Minneapolis. The event planner was Jamie events. The winner for Best florist was Kindred blooms, the lifestyle and fashion blogger that one was champagne and macaroons. The DIY home blogger was North Country nest. The food blogger was pinch of young. The model was shopped a lot day. The parent blogger was how to mom. The travel and outdoor blogger was girl of 10,000 Lakes. She was also at the awards. The next few people were actually the words fitness blogger was Malin faith fitness. The health coach was Allison Moscow. The instant famous pet was Gus Gus in the city. I think he's a French Bulldog. And the restaurant was red cow that one actually won by a quiet ways which I thought was interesting. Same was by house coffee they won for best coffee shop. co working space was the coven. And then we actually won Best podcast. So that was really awesome. Again, I mentioned this before, that the being the best podcast was something I struggled with. But you know, the fact that you guys like the podcast is really awesome to me. And I really do appreciate you guys listening to this one. We try to have some of the best people on here. And I think that this year, we've really just upped our ante. And I hope next year I already have some lined up for some interviews. We are doing our business of the month as well, if you haven't heard about that, so some of those people will be on the podcast. And so I'm so excited for you guys to hear about them. But I just wanted to end this podcast today. Just saying thank you for all your support over the last year, we definitely have a very consistent listenership. So I appreciate everyone tuning in every week, as we chat about social media and marketing and the Twin Cities and meeting lots of awesome people. This is one of my favorite things that I do every week. So I just want to say thanks again to everyone for listening. So this is the last podcast episode for the twins eclectic podcast this year. I will see you guys hopefully the first week of January, I will have a new episode coming out. So thanks guys so much and I'll talk to you soon. Thanks for listening to the Twin Cities collective podcast with Jenna Redfield. Make sure to click subscribe if you haven't already. And make sure to leave us a review on iTunes. Thanks again for Ian at Studio Americana for producing this episode as well as Melanie Lee for designing the podcast art and thanks to Nikolai had less for the use of the song in the intro and outros. Thanks so much again and I'll see you next time