Social Media Camp 2017: Idea Lab

Idea Lab handout for Social Media Camp 2017 cover image

Hello and welcome!  If you’ve found your way here, you likely attended my Social Media Camp workshop, Climb Into the Content Clubhouse, a session designed to help you find and craft content ideas. Whether you’re a blogger, a livestreamer or a staffer in charge of the company newsletter, I hope you learned lots to help you with your content planning.

Did you get a copy of the handout?

I went old school for this workshop with a printed handout. As I likely said in the room, I’m an advocate for analog!  If you’d like a digital copy, grab the Idea Lab handout here.

Sample Inspiration Resources

Throughout the workshop, I mentioned various resources that can help you identify potential content ideas. Here are a few visuals to further develop the idea:

Toy Rhapsody mind map for Content Planner

Mind Maps

Blank paper and a pen or sharpie are all you need to capture ideas in relation to one another with a mind map. IF you prefer, you Mind Meister or a similar tool to make digital mind maps.

Thought Cloud Thought Cloud

Thought clouds let you gather a variety of digital words to look for patterns. Wordle helps you speedily create beautiful thought clouds.


Wonder question books

Put “question book” into the search bar of an online bookstore and you’ll find thoughts of books filled with questions! The books I brought to share at Social Media Camp included:

Inspiration decks

The inspiration decks I shared included:

  • Derek Walter’s Mahjong Deck
  • John August’s Writer Emergency Pack
  • Roger von Oech’s Creative Whack Pack
  • Violette Clark’s Artists Deck
  • Tim Porter’s Stormdeck

Happy Idea Hunting

I wish you every success with your content planning journey. Identify the topics and formats you love. Create great content to share your passion. And move those ideas around.  And, please, let me know how you’re doing! I want to see the great content you create.  ~Angela


A Vancouver Mompreneur™ in Toronto

Joining Mompreneurs™ Canada was a leap of faith for me. I joined on the strength of my admiration for Elaine Tan Comeau and became a founding Elite Member of the Vancouver Chapter. So rich was the content in our local meetings and in the resources on the national website that I felt compelled to travel to Toronto for the conference. I’m very glad I invested the time, energy and money to get there.

As Jill Schoolenberg from Go Daddy Canada said, the benefits of attending a conference come in three phases – before during and after.

In advance of the conference, I read up on the known speakers, made lists of the people I hoped to meet and participated in pre-event events like the #MompConf tweet chat.

During the event, I made sure to be open to opportunities to meet as many people as possible. If the number of business cards I exchanged are any indication, I shared meaningful dialogue with 50% of the attendees. 100 conversations in two days? No wonder I came home tired!

I especially enjoyed chats with fellow business communications professionals like Katy Takaoka from SBT Virtual, Kelly Farrell from Teach Me Social and Rania Walker from Front Door PR. I’m certain those conversations will be ongoing.

I also loved the unexpected brainstorms and a-ha moments shared with Jennifer Maxwell of The Wedding Coach, Dolly Bhatia-Frolick of Dolly Bollywood / Frolick Fitness and Rebecca Saha of iSpy Children’s Clothing Resale. Between us we solved a branding issue, a logo revamp, a product launch, a product development cycle and created two product extensions.

2016 Mompreneur™ Award Finalists
2016 Mompreneur Award Finalists

And I met the inspiring Colleen Dyck of Gorp: Clean Energy Bar, 24 hours before she was presented the Mompreneur™ of the Year 2016 Award of Excellence.

Beyond meeting my fellow delegates, I also valued the opportunity to learn from the weekend’s speakers.

Debbie Travis taught me that the qualities of how I am perceived are my brand. As Debbie said, “Focus on your brand. Extend your brand slowly [and thoughtfully].”

Meeting Debbie Travis at Mompreneur™ conference
Meeting Debbie Travis

Natalie MacNeil emphasized that I must figure out and understand my why. A fully understood why motivates everything an entrepreneur does. I also liked what Natalie said about selecting opportunities that support my 5×5, my 5 milestones each with 5 goals, for the year.

The Honourable K. Kellie Leitch challenged every woman in the room to mentor another woman under 35. This was a good reminder to me that I need to make time to formally engage in mentorship again soon.

Ruthie Burd’s statement that you must be “too stubborn to quit” resonates with me. After nearly 7 years in business and numerous family and health hurdles, I could adopt Ruthie’s words as my mantra.

Colin Sprake inspired me to write my “vivid vision”. I think he’d be pleased that I’m already two full pages into that document and have lots left to write. I’m looking forward to his Make Your Mark program, a generous gift to all attendees.

Meeting Natalie MacNeil at Mompreneur™ conference
Meeting Natalie MacNeil

Erica Ehm’s top tip was about taking time to build relationships. She reminded us that relationships sell and that investing time in building relationships is time well spent. I think that’s extraordinarily important. I’d much rather have genuine relationships with clients, colleagues and suppliers. Schmoozers need not apply.

Julie Cole’s advice about planning the legacy of a business applies to us all at every stage. I also liked her comment that “if I’m the smartest person in the room, I need to find a new room.” I firmly believe in lifelong education and professional development.

Looping back to Jill Schoolenberg’s comments, I’m now in the after phase of this event. This week has been a flurry of new connections on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter plus a blitz of incoming and outgoing email. Over the months to come, we’ll deepen our relationships and, perhaps, at some time in the future we’ll do business together or share advice on a tricky business situation or send a referral. With luck, some Mompreneurs™ will also read one or both of my forthcoming books.

One last thought before I sign off, when traveling “carry-on only” it’s impossible to compete in the fabulous shoes department at the Mompreneurs™ Canada National Conference.  I may just have to check a bag next year. See you in 2017!

Next trip: National Mompreneurs Conference

Headshots of Elaine Tan Comeau, Wendy Armbruster-Bell, Jacqueline De'Ath, Angela Crocker and Constance Zacharias
Vancouver Mompreneur panelists at the Microsoft Canada event Celebrating Women Entrepreneurs

As I’ve said before, I LOVE conferences.  Taking two or three days to focus on professional development is a great way to hone your business communications. Conference attendees learn new things, share ideas, meet new people and reconnect with familiar folks. They also get to practice their elevator pitch, explore potential partnerships and fine tune the smooth moves needed to elegantly exchange business cards.

My next conference is the 2016 National Mompreneurs™ Conference in Toronto.  Together with fellow west coast attendees Elaine Tan Comeau of Easy Daysies and Maria Freeman of Little Jots, I’ll be connecting with some of the brightest and most-successful female entrepreneurs in Canada.  I’m looking forward to meeting keynote speakers Debbie Travis, Erica Ehm and Natalie MacNeil.  I’m also keen to connect with Mompreneurs™ Canada CEO Maria Locker and the leading women of the 15 chapters from across Canada. With three notable keynote speakers and two-days of events and workshops, I’m sure I will be inspired, enriched and energized.

As always, I think its important to prepare to make the most of each conference. There’s no point in wasting time and money going to an event without some careful forethought.  My two part article How to Prepare for a Conference, is a handy reference. Check out part one on my website and then head over to Social Media Camp to read the rest.  (By the way, I’ll be speaking at Social Media Camp 2016. Its been five years since my last presentation at Social Media Camp, one of my all-time favourite conferences. I’ll debut my new talk The Digital Cleanse.)