Black Girl Magic was on full display at the 9th Annual Blogalicious Weekend, held in Miami Oct. 5-8.
By ISHEKA N. HARRISON
MIAMI – When you go to a professional development conference, but leave every day feeling like you’ve just left church, you know you’re in the right place!
That’s the exact sentiment I felt every day at the 9th Annual Blogalicious Weekend, held Oct. 5-8 at the Hilton Miami Downtown.
Every session I attended, conversation I had or suite I entered had this unmistakable motivating energy that compelled me to get my stuff together, stop making excuses and go after my dreams!
This year’s theme celebrated the importance of tribes, which Blogalicious defines as the trusted communities that each of the attendees have built and are so expertly leading. Not surprisingly, I met quite a few women whom I wouldn’t mind having in mine.
Imagine being in a space full of the most inspirational content creators and social media influencers today ranging from bloggers, Instagrammers and YouTube personalities to notable Twitter voices, Facebook stars, authors, public relations gurus and more. Now imagine that each and every one of them as approachable and willing to share their knowledge. That sums up my weekend.
The sessions covered everything from the types people you should have in your tribe, being an effective leader and managing your brand to how bond with your competition, go from blogger to author, know and negotiate your worth and make our passion your profession.
Presenters were women at the top of their fields that generously shared their tools of the trade.
Dwayna Haley was one of those women. In her session, she took attendees to church with her passion and insight. “
“The devil can’t do nothing with you if he can’t even get your attention,” Haley said during her workshop that detailed the types of people everyone needs in their tribe. “You need to understand how to block out distractions … Imagine waking up in the morning where nothing is an impossibility. … Take the lid off of your minority mindset and start to believe in the possibilities.”
Myleik Teele, the creator of CURLbox and podcast “My Taught You,” also brought her keen insight to the conference.
“You can live life unapologetically on your own terms at all times. … There’s somebody out there that is looking for someone just like you to tell the story they are dying to hear so don’t be afraid to tell it because we need you,” Teele told the audience during her keynote conversation.
“You can’t say God is so good and I’m blessed and highly favored then say I don’t know how I’m gon’ pay this light bill. … If you trust God like you say you do, you shouldn’t care what happens next,” added the weekend’s host Precious Bivings, a celebrated life and business performance coach, best-selling author and TEDx speaker.
If the priceless knowledge shared wasn’t enough, Blogalicious also gave attendees tons of free resources and keepsakes including professional headshots (with make-up sessions available if necessary), Vlogs (video blogs), an array of hair and beauty products, bras, t-shirts, hosiery and more.
Sponsor suites from Kia, Coca-Cola, AARP, Stop Stalling, Haynes, Jack Daniels and Change the Cycle (among others) offered more than just the aforementioned nice goodies, they also offered valuable resources. For example, Change the Cycle provided valuable information on how to treat fibroids, which affect many black women.
There was also a Shark Tank-styled Perfect Pitch Competition, during which three entrepreneurs pitched their brands to a panel of expert judges and the winner received $5,000 for her business.
Stacey Ferguson is the chief curator of Blogalicious. She said Blogalicious’ main goal is to celebrate diversity in social media, build community and equip content creators with the tools and connections they need to be successful.
“Relationships really are the basis of everything I do. We’re all content creators. We’re creative and that part comes easy; but how do we flip that and turn it into a revenue generating business,” Ferguson said. “Everyone has a gift inside … and the world needs to, and deserves to, and must get it. You really need to be clear at being intentional about what you’re doing.”
The weekend has doubled in attendance annually since it began in 2009. Blogalicious also has an online digital community with over 20,000 members that reach over 200,000 individuals each month through their social media platforms.
Kiana Clark, a Miami native who is the founder of Forward PR, said she understands why the reach is so extensive.
“From the first day of the conference, I felt the magic within the tribe of bloggers and the passion behind Stacey’s vision,” Clark said. “Walking in as a publicist, I was granted the opportunity to build relationships with fabulous women in the industry of communications, and grow a better understanding of how we can work together to get others’ stories told. There was never a dull moment and the breakout sessions were all informative and helpful.”
Ferguson said her success is intrinsically linked with that of others.
“Our goal has always been to be the ultimate conference for multicultural bloggers and influencers, and I feel blessed that I have been able to bring the best talents in the community into our Blogalicious tribe, which is why it is no coincidence that Blogalicious 9 is focused on attendees’ building their tribe,” Ferguson said. “Our tribe is integral to our success! In my eyes, seeing Blogalicious community members make their empires work for them and create successful businesses is the greatest success possible.”