This past weekend I spent surrounded among various bloggers, PR representatives and blog-lovin’ brands. That’s right. This past weekend marked the 3rd annual She’s Connected Conference. A conference that brought together influential members in social media to learn, share and grow. I did just that.
Like last year, I had experienced my share of pre-conference jitters as the big weekend approached. The what-if’s plagued my mind for days. The wonderful Denise from 50Plus Single BBW messaged me days before the event and asked if I would feel more comfortable commuting into Toronto on the first day of the conference with her and Lisa from Learning Titus 2. I happily obliged.
The morning commutes came very early each day. I kicked off the first day of the conference at 3:30AM (thanks Cameron!) and the second day at 5:30AM. I may have been a zombie during each commute, but I quickly perked right up when I found myself in the McCafe Lounge upon arrival at the conference, sipping away on a latte. It was total bliss to be waking up and spending the mornings with some of my favorite tweeps. The exact ones that I would normally wake up each morning and chat with online.
My favorite part of the conference was meeting up with new and old faces. Whether it was bloggers, PR reps or blog-lovin’ brands… we were all at the conference for the same reason; To connect, engage, share and learn… all the while having fun! Everywhere you would walk, you would stop, look around and see many laughing or smiling faces. It felt like I was at a conference with 300 of my friends.
My favorite keynote speaker was Kate White, veteran editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan Magazine. Some key points I took away from her session were:
- Go big or go home!
- Stop worrying that people won’t like you.
- Get in touch with your inner bitch envy. Don’t think about what you don’t like about someone. Ask yourself “what is the other person doing that I should be?”
- Drain the swamp as you slay the alligators. Always think about the bigger picture, even when you’re caught up in the everyday.
- “I’m not going to let my BlackBerry make me it’s bitch.” My husband laughed when I shared this point with him. I’m notorious for constantly having my nose glued to my smartphone. I need to learn a balance and allocate a time to step away from blogging, social media and all other of life’s stresses to think about and take in the bigger picture.
- There are 3 blog types: PR, Media and Personality.
- PR blogs feature a lot of brand content.
- Media blogs showcase a wide range of information and usually feature multiple contributors.
- Personality blogs focus on the founder of the website. The writer is usually very outgoing.
- A good writer can write the negatives without being malicious. A product review can still be excellent without being sugar and roses. Be honest. If you really don’t like a product your testing notify the company, so that they can work to resolve the problem.
- When monetizing your blog, brand new bloggers should never charge below $50.00.
- The beauty of a blog is organic. As you flourish, it will flourish. It’s constantly changing to adapt with you and your lifestyle.
- Value yourself because it you don’t value what you do no one’s going to pay you what you’re worth.
- Brands want to work with someone who can talk, but also who can listen.
- Be engaging, credible and fun.
- A lot of brands tend to not listen and that’s the most important thing they can do. Listen.
- Don’t work with a company if you wouldn’t support their company or brand.
- Host Twitter chats and initiate your own campaigns. Make yourself stand out. Brands are constantly watching.
- Learn where to draw the line between personal and professional.
- Develop listening skills. Don’t sell yourself short. Tone is very important.
- Working for a brand is not a 9 to 5 job. You are giving yourself to them 24/7.
- Think of your passion and own it. Get yourself out there and network. Get noticed.