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Last week I had the chance to attend TapInfluence’s first State of Influence User Conference in Boulder, CO. TapInfluence (Tap) is one of the companies we here at Factory work with to connect with brands and bring our readers, like you, unique stories that fit within our promise of originality in voice and topic. And as we have been very clear, we don’t hide our relationship with them or the brands in an effort to maintain transparency into our work. It’s all about trust, and we value it above all else.

The user conference brought together many of the brands and agencies we have worked with over the years, along with some other great writers, to talk about our programs, the direction they are headed, and best practices. As someone who not only writes here but works in product marketing, I was invited to join in on a panel in front of the other writers talking about strategies of growth and opportunities, and sharing some of Factory’s foundations.

Through the discussion that followed, it was interesting to see how everyone’s foundations were so different. From a mom looking to share recipes with friends to a lawyer who kind of fell into this side of writing, everyone had their own unique foundation. But, interestingly enough, there was one similarity among us all; our promise to ourselves. Toni Dash of BoulderLocalvore said it best; “In the end, we have to live with our readers.” And she is right.

There is a balance that comes from working with brands. In one way, we are being hired to write, hopefully positively, about a product or service. And on the other side, we are being hired for who and what we represent, which is ourselves and our readers. There is the balance between being just another sales pitch, which FactoryTwoFour is not, and ensuring a happy customer on the product side. And it was great to see as we all shared our stories and experiences with the brands and agencies, they respected that aspect. The voice of the writer, the authenticity of our word, was what they looked for in their working with us and others.

Now, let’s take that all into consideration. The world of marketing is changing from asking for defined messages to be delivered to readers, and is opening up to the unique word and style of the individual. Just as each of you are reading this and our other articles, along with the slew of other incredible websites out there, you are trusting that the products we are reviewing are being done so true and honestly. And here we are, seeing that acceptance of the unique and honest voice by an adapting industry.

So where do I go from here? Well, as the editor, that’s the fun part for me to define. We have been expanding our staff and looking to new topics and stories to share. And as FactoryTwoFour continues to grow, just like the industry, we will continue to adapt. But just as Toni said, in the end, we have to live with our readers, and it is our pleasure to stand by our ethos of unique, creative, and honest storytelling.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of TapInfluence. The opinions and text are all mine.

Richard Melick
About the Author

Co-founder and Editor of FactoryTwoFour.com. I am a writer and photographer with global travel ambitions. I never shy from a new recipe, adventure, or experience. I write about what I love.

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