Held at the historic Eden Roc Hotel in Miami Beach, the Revolt Music Conference Women in Social Media panel featured: Tahiry, social media maven and entrepreneur; Angie Nwadu, founder of The Shade Room; Claire Sulmers, CEO of Fashion Bomb Daily; Necole Kane, CEO and founder of XONecole.com; and Cardi B, artist and cast member of “Love & Hip Hop.”
There’s a special common thread within the lives of five women: a Harvard graduate, an unemployed woman sleeping on her aunt’s sofa, and a former accountant, bartender and adult entertainer — these ladies have revolutionized creating success by building their brands on social media. By using their voices and little-to-no capital, they have respectively generated millions and even billions of impressions and followers.
For good reason, Revolt Music Conference curated this unique group of women to share their stories and give insight on how they became leaders in the social media industry. Moderated by media executive and writer Amy DuBois Barnett, (former editor in chief of Ebony, and Teen People magazines), she brought out the best in all of the panelists. And whether it was the defining, vulnerable moments from Necole Kane, or the realness and comedic timing of Cardi B, the panel kept guests engaged, enlightened and entertained, from beginning to end.
Here are few takeaways you can learn from these successful women as you work toward building your own empire.
Give yourself time
“Stick it through for a year. If you can break even by the end of the year … OK, keep going. If you quit before a year, you’re not built for this life. You really have to be able to stick in there. Even when it’s hard, when it’s up, when it’s down because I could have quit a million times when it came to the Shade Room. But we just said, those brands that refuse to die are going to be the ones that are going to last. “ –Angie Nwadu
Be passionate and build a good team
“Definitely make sure you are passionate about what you are doing. Like I grew out of my website probably four years before I quit the website and people can tell when you no longer care. … If you don’t love your brand how can you expect anyone else to love your brand? And so once I realized that I was like, I am going to have to bow out gracefully, you know? But that’s my main advice. Making sure that whatever you do, you’re passionate about it. Even whatever advertisers … you’re passionate about them. Your team is passionate about your brand. My team has believed in my brand even when I gave up on my brand and it’s the reason I’m still here.” –Necole Kane
“Be comfortable with pivoting. Nicole and I come from the old-chool website, you know blogspot when we had all the traffic and now it’s Instagram and now we have to put all our energy into Instagram, next to Snapchat, next to Facebook Live. … Always be open to whatever is new and don’t be afraid to try and to pivot.” -–Claire Sulmers
Master your craft
“It’s about doing the homework. It’s not just because you are pretty and funny you can post and make some money. It’s not all about the following, either. Just because an artist has 13.5 million followers doesn’t mean he sells 13.5 million copies. … It’s about doing the work that comes with everything else.” –Tahiry
“When you do everything and learn every part of your business, just enough so that you can run the business, it’s going to be the best thing you can do. Now when you are hiring people … you can be like, ‘Oh I know what you are supposed to do,’ that’s what being an entrepreneur is all about. You have to have that variety in your knowledge.” –Angie Nwadu
Organically monetize your following
“Knowing what you are selling and who you are selling to. Is it believable as a brand? I stick to what I know and what I use. They see that whatever I’m selling works.” –Tahiry
“There are so many ways you can get paid, to speak, to host, and then with merchandise, it’s genius. So, Tshirts, iPhone cases, really anything.” – Claire Sulmer
Please your audience
“Everybody always says, ‘why don’t you guys do this highly produced interview?’ Our fans like more authentic looking content. They like cellphone videos because it’s real to them. They know that it’s not manufactured. It’s real. ‘Straight from the street.’ Having that connection and that authenticity is what really will give you an audience, a loyal audience …” –Angie Nwadu
When it comes to discussing hot topics, delivering the “tea” or opening the doors to their day-to-day lives, here are a few pointers on how these social media mavens manage their presence using social media.
“Find what works for you and when you find it, keep doing it. You can’t stop doing what you did from the beginning.” –Cardi B
“If you care about the people you are connecting with, then you care about yourself because it’s just too exhausting for me to pretend. You know, just keep it real — it’s all about bringing people along for that journey. –Tahiry
“I never want to seem too far away … I just want to make sure we are nurturing a community where everybody feels involved in what we do.” –Claire Sulmer
“You can deliver gossip, and you can deliver what’s popping right now without insulting or putting down somebody.” –Cardi B
Use razor sharp focus
“Too many people will focus on their competition — focus on your brand and how you can constantly compete with yourself and that’s what gets you to the top. “ –Angie Nwadu