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What Joanna Gaines taught me at Alt Summit

Megan Martin


Ahh, back again. I hit the work ground running this week after a relaxing and refreshing 2 weeks of minimal work (and an entire week off Insta!). We enjoyed spring break with our babies and last week I jet-setted off to Palm Springs, California to speak at Alt Summit.


I had been eyeing Alt Summit for quite a few years and never would have imagined I’d get to go as a speaker! I was so honored to share about how you can intentionally design and craft your website to convert with 160 of the sweet Alt attendees. In between prepping for my talk and managing my nerves (160!!!), I attended a handful of Alt sessions to learn from a few people I’ve never even heard of. I loved it! I gained a fresh perspective from hearing new voices in the creative circles.


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Please excuse my grainy iPhone images 😉


Although, one voice you may have heard of: Joanna Gaines.


Joanna was the opening keynote speaker at the conference and all 1200 attendees showed up to hear her! Duh. Joanna!


She was darling and compelling and of course, inspiring. She shared about keeping her business local to Waco, what’s on the horizon for Magnolia, staying true to her core, and how she deals with the not so encouraging parts of social media in her interview with Alt founder, Gabrielle Blair.


But my biggest takeaway wasn’t from something Jo said.


It wasn’t intentionally from Gabrielle either.


It was a moment in their story that completely moved me.


Would anyone want Joanna to open their conference? Sure. Dream speaker. But Gabrielle and Joanna had more ties than just a conference host seeking a big name.


The Unexpected Lesson I took away from Alt Summit


As the story was told, years ago Gabrielle featured Joanna Gaines’s home tour on her blog, Design Mom. Gabrielle has been a blogger since the early 2000’s and shares all things in the intersection of motherhood and design. Joanna was featured in her series, Living with Kids, where she highlights home tours that are beautiful and family friendly.


Joanna explained that within a week of being featured on Gabrielle’s blog, a production company reached out to them to see if they wanted to film a pilot. The rest is history.


I’ve been thinking about that moment ever since. It was so neat to hear about how Joanna’s business was catapulted into success from there on, but the biggest takeaway I had from Alt Summit wasn’t about the ways I learned to get featured, land brand deals, or leverage other audiences. None of those things are bad. They helped Joanna & Chip build their empire!


Since I walked away from that interview, I’ve been thinking about how our platforms matter.


Sometimes we focus a bit too much on the growth. More traffic. More followers. The next number.


But the platform, the followers, and the traffic we already have now matters.


Even if it feels small and insignificant compared to larger platforms of celebrities and influencers to our right and left.


While Gabrielle may not have shared the words, the unexpected lesson I took away from that keynote interview was that her blog has made a lasting impact.


And not just in the Gaines’ life.


Millions of people worldwide have been impacted by the Magnolia brand. One of my favorite things about Fixer Upper wasn’t the gorgeous homes, but rather the spotlight on a family who values marriage and treats their spouse with respect (while having fun!). The spotlight was given to two parents who made it clear that family comes first. Two parents who boldly proclaim their faith with the world. That show is a beautiful picture of a mom who loves what she does in business and in her life roles. So good.


And she was essentially “found” on Design Mom.


A blog.


If you’re reading this today, I hope you feel inspired by that story, too. Your platform matters. You can use it for good. You are impacting more people than you know.


I hope you’ll stop the chase for more, bigger, and faster. Just for a moment. And realize you have a chance to pour into someone who is already here.


Beautiful, right?!


If you want to get some of the same tips I shared to the attendees at alt, you can grab my free guide, The Fast & Free Way to Figure Out If Your Website Converts HERE!


the fast and free way to figure out if your website converts by megan martin creative, website design, heatmap, how to optimize your website for conversion


After my talk was through (whew!), Jeremy landed in Palm Springs in time for these two parents to live it up kid free for 48 hours. We went to the spa. Ate good food. And sat still by the pool for hours. It was glorious! Thanks, Alt Summit for having me! 🙂


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  1. This is an amazing perspective on what you got from it. I was at Alt as well as a volunteer, unfortunately I missed Joanna’s keynote but this was a juicy piece of info. Thanks for sharing!