So you’re all signed up for your first blog conference, what’s next? If you’re anything like me, and I think you are considering you might be in fact a HUGE introvert, your mind is racing.
Again, if you’re like me, you’re most likely overthinking everything and questioning your abilities to hold conversations. Because, let’s be honest, you’re a writer not a speaker. I can relate. You’re probably scouring social media looking for other attendants and comparing yourself to them, re thinking outfits and rehearsing your “What’s your blog about?” answer.
Am I right?
I was in the same boat not too long ago. Excited, when I received my confirmation email after registration, worried about how different I would be in person during the conference, and straight up doubting everything about my blog and its content after coming back home.
I’m here to tell you it’ll seriously be okay.
The photos below are from my very first blog conference. Thrive Blog Conference was more than I could’ve ever imagined. Its was as if I had died and gone to bloggers heaven. Everything from the decor to the food was perfect for an impromptu photo op and it really made you feel comfortable in your surroundings. This was far from a normal business conference, Thrive was made by bloggers for bloggers. If you’re in the Houston area I highly recommend this event!
Lets get down to business shall we??
You have a story to tell. If you didn’t why would you put so more effort into learning the ins and outs of blogging? You’re so unique and you offer something completely different than the next blogger in line. As hard as it may be, don’t doubt whether or not you offer what your readers want. You have earned every single one of your readers by being true to yourself. During my overthinking hiatus my mom told me something that echoed through my mind the entirety of my first conference. “You’ve been upfront about who you are in your blog, and even your Instagram. You’re open about your tendencies and who you are as a mother.. These ladies know you for you, and they like you just how you are. Accept that and run with it.”
Try to connect with other bloggers beforehand. This way you won’t walk in completely blind. Others will already be familiar with your presence and it takes a lot of the heat off the initial ice breaking conversation. You already have the same passions, if you didn’t you wouldn’t be attending the same conference, duh. Make the first move online, which is your comfort zone, once you meet face to face it will all come naturally.
Dress to impress. This was a huge confidence booster for me. No matter where I find myself I always know that if I love what I’m wearing I can be positive. Take the time to find yourself a business casual outfit, and don’t be afraid to splurge on it. If there was ever a time to come off as confident and bold now is the time. Below was my “splurge”. An age appropriate, simple but trendy, outfit that made me feel on top on the world. You can find the jacket, purse, and hidden top at Francescas.com.
Arrive prepared. Blog conferences aren’t just for learning. They’re the solid foundation to a great network of likeminded bloggers. Design yourself some blog cards, with all of your social media and blog information. Bring more than enough pens, laptop, DSLR, whatever your heart desires. The more prepared you are the less you’ll have to worry about. Reduced worries means less overthinking for you!
That small talk that you constantly steer clear from? You’re going to have to face it full force. If something doesn’t feel uncomfortable you’re not growing. Nothing can prepare you to transform overnight, I have yet to make that transformation myself. Although, I know that I did witness growth in myself. The first time is always the hardest, but you’ll learn so much about yourself in the process. Practice in the mirror, take some classes, force yourself to talk to a stranger, whatever you have to do I urge you to do it. If you expect to grow your blog you need to network, in order to network efficiently you need to have people skills.
Pay attention and be assertive. Im one of those people who “love” to zone out of a conversation, or appear to be interested when in fact my mind is elsewhere. Gotta love being introverted.. thats a joke! I don’t do this deliberately and its the one thing I wish I would have noticed during the conference. Don’t be afraid to show confidence. Display a forceful personality to assure others that you are present and serious in what you do.
Respect your boundaries enough to give yourself a break. If you’re feeling anxious, unimpressed or antisocial take a breather. Go outside and reboot, or sit on a pretty pink couch, you’re sure to feel better afterwards.. It doesn’t mean you aren’t cut out for this, your brain is just wired differently, and that’s okay. One of the worst things you could do is force yourself to socialize through those emotions. You’ll probably come off in an even worse light to fellow bloggers and even brands if you don’t stop while you’re ahead. Listen to your mind and do what feels right.
Im taking away so much from this experience. Not only from what i’ve learned about blogging, but what I showed myself. I am stronger than I think, I don’t give myself nearly as much credit as I should, and regardless of my quiet reserved personality I made friends who admire me for who I really am. What more could a girl ask for?!
With that being said. Don’t be afraid to jump out of your comfort zone every once and a while. I am a total homebody but I somehow managed to drive an hour away from home, sleep in a hotel alone, and network with some amazing ladies. I subconsciously knew that if I wanted to grow my blog presence I needed to literally be present. As an introvert I believe you can always change, you are who you surround yourself with and right now I surround myself with myself. Its no wonder this was such and eye opening experience. As an introvert I wish to be that outgoing, life of the party, extrovert someday.
Happy blogging, friends!!
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