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62: Taking the Stage: My Top Takeaways from Convertkit Craft + Commerce

See the show notes for this Episode here.

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Bonnie Christine [00:00:00]:

but I had very much put that intention out into the world, and now you can bet I'll be adding the speaking tab back to my website very soon.

Bonnie Christine [00:00:13]:

I'm Bonnie Christine, and this is where all things creativity, design, business, and marketing unite. I'm a mama living in a tiny town tough right inside the Smoky Mountains running a multi 7 figure business doing the most creative and impactful work of my life. But when I first set out to become an entrepreneur, I was struggling to make ends meet and wrestling with how to accomplish my biggest of becoming a fabric designer. Fast forward to today, I'm not only licensing my artwork all over the world, but also teaching others how to design their creative life and experience the same success. I'm here to help you spend your life doing something that lights you up. I'll help you build a creative business that also creates an impact, changes people's lives, gives you all of the freedom you want and is wildly profitable. Welcome to the professional creative podcast.

Bonnie Christine [00:01:20]:

I have just returned from speaking at ConvertKit's conference called Kraft and commerce. And, honestly, I had an incredible time. I learned so much. I met some incredible people and I wanted to take you a little bit behind the scenes and just talk to you about this conference and my keynote for it and the preparation that went into it, what the process was like, and just some of my bigger takeaways. I first just want to talk about ConvertKit. ConvertKit is my email service provider. and I truly cannot believe their commitment to supporting creators. Their whole mission is to support creators And so they are the ones who were able to film a documentary on me, and it just released a couple of weeks ago. You can go watch that if you want. We'll link to it over on the show notes for today's episode, and they do this creator series where they take creators who are doing incredible, you know, things with their business, and they just bring their story to life in such a beautiful way and their number one goal is to help creators, so artists, photographers, musicians reach their audience in the best possible way through email. And so it's just been a real joy to get to know ConvertKit a little bit better. I to meet Nathan Barry who owns ConvertKit and how they've built their business and run their team and really pour in all of their energy into helping creators has been just really, really delightful. And so these were my people at this conference. They were all creative entrepreneurs. and it was just really, really fun experience. We were in Boise, Idaho, and this was the biggest stage that I had ever been on. There were about four hundred people there, and it was my first keynote, you know, presentation.

And This very much just had me feeling all the feels. I set out earlier this year with a word for the year, and my word for the year was possibilities. And I just felt very ready. Like, very open very ready for new possibilities, not knowing exactly what they were gonna be, but I knew that speaking I wanted that to be a part of it. In fact, when I was building my new website, I had a tab on it for speaking. And it just said coming soon for I don't know. I had it up for about a month before I took it down because I was like, well, I do want to speak more. I would love to present more, but I don't have anything to show for that. I don't have examples or testimonials or clips or anything other than, you know, what I do for my own community. And so I ended up taking it off my website. But I had very much put that intention out into the world, and now you can bet. I'll be adding the speaking tab back to my website very soon. And so I was so grateful when this opportunity came to me. And so I have some notes about different things that I did and worked through for this presentation, and it's not superscripted. I have about 6 bullet points written down of things that I wanna touch on, but I wanna just very casually talk to you about the experience. Let's first talk about the preparation. I could have pretty easily gone and spoken on a number of different topics. but I wanted to be really intentional about presenting in a way that was as impactful as I could make it be. and I wanted it.

I knew that if I did well, this could potentially open up opportunities to speak more in the future. And so I put quite a lot of pressure on myself, not too much, not in a negative way, but in a way that I wanted to be very, very intentional. I wanted to do you know, I wanted to show up in a particular way, and I wanted to present in a particular way, and I wanted to get results for the people in the audience in a particular way. And so I did a lot of prep work. The first one was just what am I gonna talk about? And so because this is an email service provider, I was like, I'll talk about email and how I grew my email and all of this kind of stuff. But I had a meeting with Haley who is kind of the director of events at ConvertKit. And I said, do you have any ideas of what you'd like me to speak on? And specifically, what would be most impactful for the people attending the conference? And she pulled just one line out of my documentary that they had just released and said, I'd love for you to talk more about this. and that one line was how in my business I had begun to focus on doing only the things that only I can do. meaning really focusing on working in my zone of genius. Now zone of genius is where your greatest passions and your greatest talents overlap. And when I did that, how my business took off.

And that was just a simple idea And she said, oh, run with it. That's something that we all struggle with. We all aspire to do, and you've cracked the code. And I don't think that I would have ever thought about presenting on that topic, and I loved it. So my prep process was very much to to think about it. Honestly, there was, like, this incubation period. I probably just thought about this topic and the things I wanted to think you know, talk through for probably a month. and then I moved that to a Google doc. So I very much just started writing out my speech. What are the topics that I wanted to cover. It didn't really make a lot of sense yet. I was just kind of brain dumping all of the different things that I wanted to weave in. And I sat with that Google Doc for, again, almost a month. I would just read it almost every single day and tweak it along the way. and, you know, decide what I was gonna keep or or give away and edit from there because At the end of that, it's time to move into slide development. So I designed and developed my entire slide deck, which I was really, really happy with. It's beautiful. I hope you can see it soon.

And that for me was part of the biggest preparation process I don't think that I could have handed the slide development off to anyone else because it was in the it was in me really sitting with every single slide and how I wanted to, you know, speak and transition from that idea to the next one that really helped me end up being so confident on stage because I knew this presentation like the back of my hand. from that slide development, you know, I tweaked a lot of things and worked out a lot of the transitions, and that took me straight into practicing. So I only ran through the entire presentation about maybe five times before I actually did it live. And so I would just, on my laptop, run through it in practice mode and, you know, test my transitions and time it. And so a couple of times twice, I also recorded myself presenting. And this was so incredibly helpful because even if, say, I didn't have time to run through it, I could listen to myself running through it. maybe when I was getting ready in the morning. And so I probably listened to myself who give the presentation another five times and that was really helpful because I could see kind of where things didn't sound quite right or I wanted to adjust them. So that was my preparation process, Now the most difficult part of all of it was that I only had 20 minutes. 20 minutes.

And I think 20 minutes is a lot more difficult than, let's say, 60 minutes because I just would love to have the freedom kind of tell stories and talk about things in a in a deeper way. 20 minutes was very difficult, and so I started with, like, 72 slides and I had to work it down to I believe I ended up at 30 eight slides. And every time I worked through the presentation, I was coming in at, 23 minutes. And to be respectful to the conference, I very much wanted to cut it back to 20, and I just I couldn't cut anything out. I thought, At that point, it would just not even make any sense anymore. So I spoke with Hailey. She said we've got buffer on both ends of your presentation go for it. Like, go go with how it's running, and so I kept it the way it was. Now the last part of this prep process was a tech check. and I wanted to talk about it because it was actually my least favorite part of the entire preparation process. The tech check was the day of my presentation. So I was going on stage at 9:40, and my tech check was at 7:15 that morning. So I was staying just a block away from the conference venue.

And so I went at 7:15 in the morning and was just ready to kind of run through my slides go out on stage, test the mic, get fitted for the mic, and that kind of thing. But it was really awkward. It was very quiet. You know? Nobody was there yet and also had to get my slide deck over to the tech people there. I couldn't find a font, and, you know, you have to have all your fonts, you know, right there with it, I had to download 1. I just felt a little bit flustered. And then As you can imagine, like, you walk out on stage to an empty, you know, stadium or studio. And it's just like, what am I supposed to do? Am I really supposed to pretend this is full of people? Like, I just can't do that very well. So I was like, test test. Mike's working. All is good. Like, alright. Let's go. So I just felt a little flustered after that. and had to shake it off a little bit, went back to my room, and just kind of got my head in the game. So I'll come back to that in a minute because Obviously, it ended up being completely fine. So preparation process, that's what it looked like. Are you tired of spending hours crafting the perfect email only to be met with crickets in your inbox? or worse having your emails end up in your subscriber spam folders.

Bonnie Christine [00:12:31]:

I know that feeling, which is why I switched to ConvertKit as my email service provider many years ago. ConvertKit is the email marketing platform built by creators for creators. With ConvertKit, you can easily create and send beautiful personalized emails that your subscribers are not only going to open, but all so love. They have a drag and drop email editor that makes it easy to design emails that look and feel professional without any coding plus their powerful automation tools make it easy to send the right message to the right person at the right time. But that's really not all. Convert kids tagging and segmenting tools make it so easy to send targeted messages to your subscribers based on their interests and behaviors. So, for example, you can imagine that on my email list, I have people who are interested in buying my fabric to use in their projects, and then also people who want to learn how to design their own fabric. And so through ConvertKit's tagging system, I can communicate to those 2 different groups of people so that I don't ever have to worry if I'm bugging the other group with something that they're not interested in. You can also use ConvertKit to actually build out a page and a form so that you can easily grow your email list and turn subscribers into customers. So you know that we always want you to be growing your email list. And I can tell you that if you dive into ConvertKit, you can start adding subscribers to your email list within a day of focused effort. It's not that difficult. It's super easy to set up, build a landing page, put an opt in in, and then start getting people on your list. So if you are ready to take your email marketing to the next level, I want you to head on over to bonniekristine.comforward slash resources and sign up for a free trial on ConvertKit today. You can go ahead and dive in and get familiar with the program, their support is amazing and see what you think. This is truly an email service provider who can grow with you from once a subscriber to 500,000. So, again, head on over to bonniekristine.comforward/resources and check out ConvertKit today.

The other really key takeaway from this event was connections and meeting other people. And I wanted to talk about this because I am an introvert. I am learning to extrovert well because it's so important to meet other people and connect with other people, but I very much reenergize with alone time. And so my nature is to retreat to my room, like during a lunch or break, like, go retreat to my room. And I did do that some, especially when I was still in that preparation mode. You know, after my keynote was over, I felt a lot more free to kind of just kick kick my feet up and chill out a little bit. But it was so important to attend the workshop and hang around for lunch and, you know, just sit by people I didn't know and introduce myself and just Connect. And I'm leaving that conference with so many new friends and new connection points, and I was really happy that I was able to push myself outside of my comfort zone a little bit and just really play into, like, I'm here. I wanna connect and meet as many people as possible. Now similarly to that, I wanna talk about comfort zones because I want you to know just how outside of my comfort zone it was to step out on that stage. I had moments of why do you do this to yourself. And at the same time, everything that I wanted was right on the other side of that commitment. and that's so often the case. If we're just willing to say yes and show up and step outside of our comfort zone, Everything we want is on that other side. And I left that stage feeling like that's exactly why I signed myself up for this kind of thing. Because at the end of the day, it's all about the message.

At at some point, I felt like it you know, you're worried about maybe stumbling over your words or stumbling over your feet or maybe your voice beginning to quiver. And at some point, I just got out of my own way, and I said, this is not about you. This is about every single person in that audience They need to hear your message and you're nothing more than a vessel to deliver it, and that helped me so much. Get out of my own way. Stop worrying about all of the things that you're worried about and just show up and Searchie. Show up and make a difference for the people who are here, and that was such an important shift for me to make. Speaking of that, one of my biggest takeaways is the power of mindset. I had really no idea how it was going to go. I haven't spoken in front of a crowd in a long time, and I think I was most fearful of just maybe not being able to speak in the way that I wanted to. And so kinda fast forward through tech check, I had gotten my head back in the game, and now I'm over back at the conference center, completely ready to go mic'd up, and I'm within 20 minutes of bow time. and I could just feel my heart start beating. Like, I wasn't incredibly nervous, but I could I could feel my heart start to beat. And I just had this moment of, like, you're not nervous. You're excited. And that was all it took. I just started thinking in my mind You're so excited to get out there and deliver this message and make an impact on the people who are here.

And I can't even express it. I felt the nerves fall to my feet. And in the same instant, I, like, jumped to my feet, and I was just ready to go. I went on out to the area where I was, like, gonna going to wait in order to walk on stage. I had completely regained all of my like, my heart wasn't beating too fast at that point. I wasn't nervous I was just excited. I was ready to get out there already. I had done all that I needed to do. I was ready to Searchie. And that was really helpful because I think if I had said to myself, oh, no. You're nervous. Oh, no. You're nervous. You're you're gonna start sweating. You're gonna your voice is gonna be quivering. Oh, no. You're nervous. Then that would have just been true. It just would have expanded and been true. But I took that thought, and I completely re kind of programmed it to, no. You're not nervous. You're excited. Let's go. It's time to do it. And it worked. It worked. Okay.

One other thing that was really helpful for me was to think about a flow to the actual presentation, and I've gotta give credit to Dan Martel. who wrote buyback your time. That's the book that I love, and I was in a coaching session with Dan recently. And he shared a kind of model for anything you do, really. It could be a speech or a presentation. It could also be like a reel or an Instagram caption or an email. but it's a flow to telling a to telling a compelling story or presentation. So there are five parts, and I very much use this to help me formulate the way my speech, my presentation flowed as well. So the first one is the opportunity. What is the opportunity that we're talking about here? The second one is the experts story. So What is a story? How do you play into it? What is your unique perspective? And how has this impacted you, you know, the humanity part of it? Number 3 is the framework. So now that we know the opportunity and how this has specifically affected you, what we the framework that got you there or that worked for you. Number 6 is to address any common myths or lies or mindset issues. and number 7 is to recap all of that. And it was so simple, but it really does work so well. It's like There is a common challenge. I should have started with that, actually. The challenge is at the at the top. There's a common challenge and then there's an opportunity. So everyone kind of agrees on the challenge, and then there's an opportunity to not struggle with that challenge.

So I'll go from the top one more time. Challenge opportunity, expert story, framework, myth, or mindset, recap. And I loved that so much. It was very helpful for me when I was thinking about the speech. And so I knew that I wanted to tell a story I know the power of story. And by story, I mean a personal story that people can just connect with. And so for this particular presentation. I told a story about one time I planted a garden that didn't get enough sun and didn't produce anything. but I wove that story through the entire presentation. And, you know, if you can think back, like, I can remember stories much better than I can remember lessons. I have to generally review my notes after someone presents to get the lessons out of it. But if they told a story, I'm immediately can connect the lesson that they told along with the story. This doesn't come super naturally to me. I have things happen every day. Right? But I don't often recognize the story that could be that could be shared from it. And so about a year ago, I started just trying to be more intentional about thinking about the stories of my life. they don't have to be huge big things. Right? Just little stories. You likely remember when I told about Ollie getting her ears pierced and how she said at the end I did it.

And so that's a podcast episode from a couple of months ago. I'll link that in the show notes as well. And so anytime you're delivering a lesson, think about is there a day to day story of your life that could be used as a connection point with your audience to help drive home the lesson point. And then the last one is perhaps a little silly, but it was a big part of the week. And so I'm gonna share it with you. This is about how you feel and how you look. So we're gonna talk about clothes, hair, and nails. I knew that I just wanted to feel You know, like, everything was comfortable, but also I wanted to feel confident, and I also didn't wanna be worried about anything. So I booked a nail appointment for that week when I was in Boise and had a manicure and pedicure. I thought it's so simple, but it makes you feel just a certain way to make sure that you are, you know, the the best version of yourself. Right? and then clothes were a whole thing. Y'all, I don't have to get dressed like really ever. I wear my leggings and a t shirt most days. And so it's like, I have this whole thing. Like, typically, I only have to look good from the waist up because I'm sitting at a computer on Zoom or whatever. And so it's the whole thing when I have to go somewhere and really look nice. And so what I ended up doing was using rent the runway. never used rent the runway before, but I signed up for a month, and I believe I rented 15 pieces and ended up wearing 3 or 4 of those pieces for this event. And then I just get this in the back at the end. And so I was so pleased with that entire experience.

And then finally, I had my hair done. And If you have curly hair, I have curly hair. If you have curly hair, you know it's a whole thing to let anyone else touch your hair because it has to be the right way. But one of my dear friends who came to the conference was also traveling with a friend who was a hairstylist. She has a podcast. It's called Your Hair Mentor. Her name's Crystal, and she offered to come do my hair the morning of. And I was like, yes. please. So we had a little session. I told her how I wanted it, and just taking that off of my plate was Searchie relief. I know whatever. It's a little silly, but just not having to worry about those little details at a big event like that was honestly one of the nicest things. So those were my key takeaways. Now I am awaiting the release of this presentation. I believe we will have it, and I would love for you to be able to watch it. So it's not available yet, but I will be putting it on my website whenever it is available. So You can check at bonniekristine.comforward/sos to freedom. That's the URL where I'll be putting it. I'll also link that in today's show notes. But if you want to check to see if it's released yet, it's bonniechristine.comforward/ SOS to Freedom. I also have my documentary listed there as well as all of the free resources that I gave the audience. so you can go check those out over there. Thank you for tuning in. Thank you for cheering me on last week, It was one of the most exciting things that I've done, and I had so much fun bringing you along with me. friends, create the beauty that you want to see come alive in the world, and remember, there's room for you. See you next time.

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