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.
My favorite breakout sessions were How to Determine Your Blog Aptitude and Beyond Blogging: Moving to Brand Ambassador or Community Manager. 

Some key notes that I took away from How to Determine Your Blog Aptitude:
  • 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.
I think the Beyond Blogging: Moving to Brand Ambassador or Community Manager was the breakout session that I most looked forward too. I’ve experienced being a brand ambassador on several occasions, but I’d love for the opportunity to move into the direction of becoming a Community Manager. Some key notes that I took away from this session were:
  • 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.
Really, I could keep telling you about all the great knowledge that I took away from the conference, but I’d be babbling forever. The best decision I made was not bringing my laptop to the conference. I tucked my phone away during each breakout session and just sat back with my trusty pen and pad of paper to take it all in. 
While I walked away from the weekend with a post-conference hangover, I’m left clinging to all the wonderful memories that were made. For the experience, I’m forever grateful! Now to get working on that 12-month plan of mine. I haven’t felt this inspired in a long time. 

8 Comments on ShesConnected Conference 2012 – It’s a Wrap! {Reflections}

  1. Lisa Marie Fletcher
    October 25, 2012 at 4:45 pm (5 years ago)

    It was so amazing to meet you – and thanks for letting me feel like part of the gang all weekend too! 🙂

    You are right, it did feel like hanging out with a conference full of friends. 🙂

  2. ~ The Country Mouse ~
    October 26, 2012 at 12:32 pm (5 years ago)

    I was so happy to have bumped into you and had a chance to speak a little. Glad you enjoyed the conference!

  3. Monica
    October 26, 2012 at 1:14 pm (5 years ago)

    I wasn’t able to make it to this years SCCTO so it was fun reading your post and getting an overview and a general feel for what the conference was like.

  4. Brandi Yee
    October 26, 2012 at 2:00 pm (5 years ago)

    I would have loved to have met you! But unfortunately there were a few that I wasn’t able to simply because there was so little time lol! Next time!! 😉 So glad you had a great time, I did as well and learned so much 🙂

  5. Tammy inRdream
    October 26, 2012 at 2:08 pm (5 years ago)

    Great reflections! I am so glad we finally met! Wish we had more time to get to know each other.

    Katie was my FAV keynote too! I live by “GO BIG or GO HOME!”

    Listening is the most important skill to learn in any business!

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. NPC
    October 27, 2012 at 2:40 pm (5 years ago)

    Great post and so happy you enjoyed it. It was a busy weekend indeed and I didn’t get around to most everything I wanted to but, I took away from it exactly what I wanted. Great reflections BTW and awesome pics!

  7. Shayna
    October 29, 2012 at 8:40 pm (5 years ago)

    Oh I can’t believe I totally forgot to add that picture to my slide show!!!

    It was wonderful to spend some time with you and I’m glad to hear that you got so much out of the conference!


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