My night as Guest Speaker at the POPdining IMPACT Dinner

I was lucky to be invited as a guest speaker at the third POPdining IMPACT Dinner at Print Hall's Small Print. Surrounded by like-minded people and hearing their stories was very inspiring. I walked away from the night feeling motivated about career and life. You can watch the video of the event by Marcelo Productions at the bottom of the post to get the feel for the evening.

I thought I would share my speech with you here on the blog with the hope that you might take something away from it. 

Here it is...

As I was preparing this talk, 19 year-old Australian, Essena O’Neill took over the news and social media.

With social media, blogging, branding and marketing yourself being the central themes for my talk, her story is quite relevant.

For those who haven’t heard about Essena, I’ll give you a little background. With over 600,000 followers on Instagram, she stated publicly that she was deleting social media for good, because it quote, “isn’t real life”. What she said has raised some interesting conversations regarding the integrity of blogging and the use of social media. 

I run the blog Lei Lady Lei. I am also the Digital Marketing and Retail coordinator at Betts Group. On a daily basis, I connect with brands and receive product to feature on my blog. Through Betts Group I work with bloggers but from the brand end, so I know both sides of the story.

I disagree with Essena’s view that "all social media is fake". She has painted people who work online and on social media, in a bad light. 

I believe social media as an excellent tool, that when used well can take your business to the next level. I have had lots of opportunities opened up to me through Instagram, in fact that’s where Ai-Mei, the founder of Pop Dining Impact, found me and asked me to speak tonight. I hope that I come across as real on my account as I am in real life.

When it comes to branding and marketing yourself or your company, I have learnt through experience that you need to do these 6 things:

Number 1: Ask yourself WHY are you doing the things you are doing? What inspired you to start this business? What impact do you hope it has on others?

Number 2: Be Honest, people will see through you if you’re not.

Number 3: Keep your integrity, this is key for long standing success.

Number 4: Make a good impression and network at events. Nights like POPdining Impact are perfect to meet others, step out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself, you never know what might come out of a meeting. Hand out your business cards and follow up with an email afterwards.

Number 5: Collaborate. We don’t utilise resources around us enough or ask for help as much as we should. Collaboration helps stimulate innovation – it’s a way to grow your network, get your name out there and learn from others.

I recently collaborated with fellow blogger Nadine Pougnet from The Essentialist to create an editorial shoot featuring Perth Milliner Reny Kestel’s headpieces. We contacted a photographer we admired. She put us in contact with her friend, a fabulous make-up artist. We asked some of our favourite local designers if we could borrow their garments, they all handed them over without a question.

We shot the editorial in York, about an hour and a half from Perth on a stormy spring day. York Tourism kindly put us in contact with farmers who gladly opened up their properties to us.

Our collaboration, Field of Dreams shined the light on Perth creatives and showcased the positive outcome when people come together and collaborate.

Beginning with a small idea and then asking around, we managed to get an amazing group of individuals on board who were equally as excited as we were about the project. Collaborating is when magic can happen, sometimes beyond your expectations.

My last point, number 6  I believe is the most important, and something I experienced a lot while I was living in New York City:

Number 6: Believe in yourself, take risks and say yes to every opportunity. These challenges will open you up to more.

Back in 2010 as a 23 year-old naïve Aussie girl from Melbourne, living in New York City was eye opening. The city was driven.

Driven to achieve what they could in the world. Each person I spoke to was trying to make their dreams happen and they were not disheartened by the possibility that they might fail.

When I asked a New Yorker friend, an artist, what he would do if he ran out of money, he shrugged and answered that he would get a job at the local café. Nothing seemed to get him down, he was realistic about his goals and would not let embarrassment or other people’s judgment burst his dream bubble. The majority of New Yorkers are like this.

It was this lesson that I took away from NYC: that you should reach for your dreams and wholeheartedly believe that you can do it.

These 6 points have guided me through to where I am today.

The Entrepreneurial Table - Dinner No.3

Posted by POPdining IMPACT on Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Lei xx

A big thank you to Ai-Mei Nguyen, the Creative Founder of POPdining IMPACT, for inviting me to speak and organising a wonderful evening. Also to the other guest speakers Emma Gilbert and Heath Daly from The Raw Kitchen, Melanie Marris Eyebrow Stylist, Katrina Snowden from Clean Slate for sharing their stories and advice with us. 

Photographer - H.M.A. Photos 

Videographer - Marcelo Productions