4 Thoughts on The Reward Style Virtual Conference

If we’re friends on Instagram you know that I am a little late getting this post out. I mentioned writing it right after the RewardStyle Conference (rStheCon) on August 20th, and a lot of you said you were interested in knowing more about RewardStyle, Influencer Marketing and the LiketoKNOW.it shopping app. If we’re not connected on Instagram this post may still have value as I think the themes here are relatable in many aspects of our lives. And if you like to shop online or want to learn more about it download the Liketoknowit app. You can follow real women who will show you how items you are interested in really look on non-model bodies (you can find my LiketoKNOW.it page here). 

But first I want to say that I have a really exciting project that I am looking for the right home for. Once it lands in the right place it will be available to all of you and I cannot wait. So much of my blog time has been dedicated to this project. Thanks for bearing with me. 

Now back to Reward Style. I actually became a member a couple of years ago but I honestly didn’t use the app like I should. At first it felt a little off for me to ask people to shop my looks. I know that’s a little confusing since I often partner with brands I love to share fashion and beauty items but somehow that felt more purposeful. I wasn’t actually asking you to buy from me or shop my literal closet. I was simply sharing looks I loved from brands I believed in.The decision to purchase felt just a little more removed. More like friends sharing good things with friends. And while I am compensated for those shares I am very picky about what I present to you. I say no a lot.  But when it came to Reward Style it was my older daughter who encouraged me to sign up. She always knows what’s trendy and cool but it wasn’t until I started shopping on the app myself, that I really found value in it- real women showing you how real styles looked. It was really the same thing that I was doing on Instagram but a little more casual. I wasn’t vetting a brand to see if it aligned with my ethos as much, but because I was already in the fashion sphere I didn’t really need to. I was still shopping at the same retailers I already knew and loved, and then sharing with you in a more informal way.

I am still really new at using the app and my following is still kind of small. I share about it but I don’t cram it down anyone’s throat. But I do really enjoy using it and you might too which leads me to why I attended the conference. 

I saw all the cool kids (and by kids I mean my 40+ blogger friends) attending the RewardStyle Conference year after year and thought I might actually like to be in that room one day. Alas no one is in the room right now but there is still Zoom! So when they reached out and offered me a spot I couldn’t have been happier. And not because I was going to rub elbows with some of my fabulous online friends but because I really wanted to learn more. I am always a believer that if one person has a question or wants more info others do too. Unfortunately (or fortunately) depending on your take on it a lot of the info I thought I would share has floated away because it took me two weeks to post about it, but I am a believer in big ideas that matter and those are the ones still rolling around in my head. 

Here are my 4 Big takeaways:

  1. On who to follow or engage with- (I think this is true IRL as well as in the digital space)Authenticity, relatability and trust are words that kept coming up over and over again in the conference and if you have been here awhile you know I often talk about these three things here too. I will concede it can look different depending on what your own interest and beliefs are. There is really no one way to be, except true to you. So whether you are creating content, consuming content, or a little of both, make sure you are creating and/or following creators who check those boxes for you! I think Oprah said this best to someone who trolled her Instagram post awhile back. “Life is too short to follow people you don’t like.”
  2. On photography-I often have people reach out to me about my photography and they are usually surprised to hear that in many instances I use my Iphone. I like a more real raw (but still beautiful image) and so many of the larger content creators shared that they also like to have fewer professional shots and more candid moments shot on their phone. Now I will admit that my feed is curated but you will often see outtakes or big hearty laughs because I like the real stuff too. Even Liketoknowit says that shoppers prefer mirror selfies. We love the creativity and the drama, but we crave the real. So if you are getting started, looking to make some changes, or even just someone looking at all the perfect feeds- know that even those with highly curated pages are starting to ditch the photoshopped perfection for more candid photos. I think this is why people like IG stories so much too. 
  3. On video-video is everything right now. People are craving voices and moving parts especially when we are seeing so much less of that IRL right now. LiketoKnowit just launched a video option too! Video just like everything else, should be made with the idea of providing value. But if we’re being honest sometimes the value is just pure entertainment. So it’s okay to have fun with it and try new things (Hello Tik Tok and IG Reels). I’m working on trying to play with and create more video too. 
  4. On making good decisions-This was probably the best thing I heard from one individual person during the entire conference- Businessman/filemaker Imran Khan (formerly SnapChat’s Chief Strategy Officer) shared his thoughts on making decisions as a business owner/entrepreneur and what he said resonated with me hard. He said that if he makes a decision that he can sleep with at night, then he knows it’s for him. He doesn’t worry about what anyone else thinks about it. If he can sleep with it, he knows he made the right choice. In life and in the digital space we will all be presented with options that are sometimes very enticing for one reason or another, but at the end of the day I believe that if it causes you to compromise your beliefs no matter how good it might sound to someone else, it isn’t good for you. The idea that you always have to compromise is a myth. There will always be another great opportunity that comes along. It is ok to walk away.

So those are my main takeaways. If you attended rStheCon I would love to hear your takeaways too!

P.S. I would be remiss not to mention that I was featured on their LiketoKNOW.it Instagram page of 3.5 million followers, where I shared my thoughts on race, diversity and inclusion. It was a huge honor to be featured on that platform speaking about such important topics in our current climate. It brought me so many new friends and if you are one of them, I am so glad you are here with us! 

Until Next Post, 

Xo Tonya Parker

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Tonya Parker is a counselor, author and certified life coach who believes in helping women look and feel their best! Ambassador for O, The Oprah Magazine and author of Single Mom Chic

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