Two years ago, when I was invited to my first Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, I was an admittedly green blogger. Although I was nearly two years into blogging, I was operating in a bit of a bubble. As a single mom who worked full-time, blogging was an outlet for me, and a way to make a little extra money. I really didn’t have the time to think about it as being any more than that. After the celebration, though, I had a greater sense of my blogging purpose, and made several huge changes that really changed the course of my life. Those changes helped make the 2014 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration a much different experience for me a few weeks ago. Now, I have a better understanding of how my influence works, and know the power and the magic of influence.
The Celebration was filled with fun experiences for all of the bloggers and our families, but one of the best parts for me was definitely the conference day. All day we listened to and were inspired by folks who were able to identify ways to use their influence to really make an impact on the world around them. As life starts to get more busy, I’m married now and Ayva’s getting older, everything that I do really has to have meaning and a purpose. The time that I spend working on this blog…it needs to mean something.
Speakers like Gary Buchanan from Disney Parks, Jay Ward, Creative Director at Pixar, former Green Bay Packer, Donald Driver, and more, shared story after story of how folks used the magic of influence coupled with creativity and hard work to add more color and depth to the world around them. So, what were the lessons that I learned? In keeping with my tradition of a list for sharing my Disney Social Media Moms experience (2 years = tradition!), here are the 4 most important lessons about the magic of influence that I took with me on conference day.
1. Remember that social media tools help give people a voice.
It can be overwhelming sometimes, social media. We have our lists and we work to create tribes of folks who are interesting to us, and who we like. Doug Bowman (@stop), Creative Director at Twitter said that he loves Twitter because it gives people a voice. He’s right, and it was a reminder that social media gives us an opportunity to learn more about what other people are going through. It really is a chance for us to connect as humanity. Deep, right? But it’s true.
2. Bloggers have a duty to use our influence for good.
You have thousands of friends and followers, have the ability to generate millions of impressions. Now what? Folks have expectations for celebrities, why not bloggers? We have the power of the
pen keyboard, and folks are listening. Every day we should be thinking about how we can leverage our influence to help others.
3. Authenticity matters.
When we’re telling our stories, or using our influence to give a voice to others who don’t have one, it’s important to be authentic and real. Kathy Magnum, Executive Producer of Walt Disney Imagineering, talked about how she and her team traveled on Route 66 to experience it before creating Cars Land. They talked to the people, explored restaurants and shops, and really got to know the area. When it was time to recreate it, they were able to honor Route 66 through their authenticity and the care that they took in keeping things real.
Whatever you do in creativity, you should be authentic. It should challenge you, but not turn you into someone you’re not. #disneysmmoms
— Brandi J R (@BrandiJeter) April 11, 2014
4. Give what you have to others.
Maxine Clark (@ChiefExecBear), founder of Build-A-Bear workshop talked about starting her extremely successful business in her 40’s after another full career. The advice that she gave to us was, “Dream big and give big!” When we hold ourselves back from our greatness, we have to remember that we could also be impacting others who we’re meant to serve. If you can’t dream big for yourself, dream big for them!
Earlier this year, I was able to do all of these things with the #DayOfLight project, and I have so many ideas of ways to translate my online influence into real life support and help for others. I am truly grateful for the jumpstart, and once again, the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration and the messages came right on time!
Disclosure: I was invited to participated in the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration for a very discounted rate. It was magical, and wonderful, and all opinions are my own.