In only 9 days I’ll be taking the drive from Tampa to Orlando to check into the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek hotel. What comes after dropping off my luggage in my room is entirely up to me. I have read quite a few newbie-centered posts from past conferences that have helped me plan my social media strategy, but I wanted to offer up my own ideas in case there are others like me out there that are feeling overwhelmed and wondering how they are going to manage it all.
These three tips may or may not work for you, but as someone who has never been, these are things I’m thinking about.
#1: Wardrobe and Makeup
I am not in any way a beauty blogger. I own not a tube of mascara. So while exploring the profiles, twitter pages, and instagrams of my fellow #blogher17 attendees, I began to feel drastically ill-prepared. I am a teacher by trade, and can dress professionally, but what is going to pop about me is not going to be the brands I wear or how my face and hair are done. I am also fat, so I wanted to focus on comfort while still appearing professional. I thought about the image I wanted to present, and ordered khaki pants and a blazer for professionalism, and plan to wear some of my fun book-themed graphic tees and flats for comfort. I’m going to go looking like myself, because if a sponsor wants to associate with me, they should know me.
The first time I looked at the schedule on the BlogHer Conference website, I immediately filled my google calendar with all the things I was going to see and attend. Realistically though, I’m slowly peeling some of those things off my calendar in favor of pool time, or nap time, or room service dinner. Being around this many people is going to tire out my poor introverted heart very quickly and scheduling in me time is going to be absolutely essential. And honestly, the more I read, the more I realize that just going with the flow and doing what I feel in the moment may just be the best way to go. Have the schedule handy, use the app to know what’s going on, but if I need sleep or want to float around in the pool, I shouldn’t feel bad about doing that.
What I have read though has suggested to go to at least one keynote, at least two informational sessions, and try to get into at least one sponsored event. I’ll share my tentative schedule in the next couple of days.
#3: I’m Not Too Small (repeat)
It’s very difficult to look at all these bloggers with thousands of followers, those with awards, nominated as voices of the year, or representatives of their community. I would love to be a Voice of the Year someday but right now I’m just trying to get 100 followers on all my platforms! But even if you are just as small as me, remember that everyone has to start somewhere. Luvvie started with 10 followers. Looking at all these successful bloggers is inspirational, sure, but it is also intimidating and can make you feel like you don’t belong. When those thoughts come in, shove them out and keep telling yourself “I’m not too small. I am beginning. I am determined. I am here. I am me.” Determination and confidence is going to speak more loudly to some people than your small number of followers or posts. You’re not too small. I’m not too small. Let’s begin together.
Please look me up on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter – I’m Angry Angel Books in all three places. I am excited to be at this conference and, for the first time in a very long time, I am excited to meet new people. I am proud to be entering the arms of such a welcoming community. I’ll see you there.