Way back in February I attended my first ever creative conference and today I’m sharing my 5 takeaways. I literally had no idea what to expect and was a little apprehensive about going alone but I decided I needed to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone. While I’m 100% positive it would have been more fun with some of the blogger friends I know and love, what I gained was totally worth it.
Notebook courtesy of May Design (great boss babe story!)
The first speaker, Emma Chapman of A Beautiful Mess is just precious. I loved that she told her story which was not one of overnight success but instead had some big failures along the way which could have potentially sent her along a different path. She shared her 3 traits of being a boss.
- Set Measurable Goals (OFTEN!) and give yourself permission to dream and dream big. Stop waiting on something or someone else to convince you it’s YOUR time.
- Embrace learning as well as failure. Sometimes you will make a mess; find a way to work with it or start over.
- Power through and shut out negativity; others and your own. She stressed celebrating your own success and giving yourself a high five now and then but also stressed listening to constructive (not mean) criticism can really help you grow.
I learned that people can be a big deal but still be nice. I met these girls in line at a taco stand during lunch and we enjoyed a nice chat. Since I was alone, I seriously invited myself to dinner with them without even knowing at all that Erin of Living in Yellow is a big time blogger. Like seriously y’all, she just quit her day job and has a team working with her as she begins blogging as her full time career. She was totally real and relatable as was her sister who has the sign shop Joyfully Said Signs. Had I known who she was going in I would have never taken this chance. Now, we are not buds now or anything, but my point is meeting new people should never be limited by status.
I also met Jesse and she is just the most vibrant adorable thing. She’s a work outside the home Mom to 3 and she shared from the heart about her recent unexpected loss of her dad and I just immediately began following her.
Natalie Franke was probably my favorite speaker. She was just such an inspiration and is a total girl boss. Authenticity was her number one tip for creating the possibility for real connection. While noting you don’t just want to grow you want to engage your readers, she made the point it’s not really all about you but the person you are trying to impact. I loved the story she told about here first job as a shampoo girl and how she became the highest tipped shampoo girl around just because she took the time to learn peoples names, call them by name and invest a little time in them. She also really pushed building a stage and not a soapbox and bringing others with you onto that stage.
Can you pick me out of the crowd? I’m telling you I was completely engaged and soaking up every word!
The last day I attended an Instagram workshop led by Bonnie of B is for Bonnie Design. I was lucky enough to sit by these lovely ladies, Ramona who has an adorable and classy sense of style and shares it on her blog The Hemliner as well as Laura who was gathering information and ideas as she is still considering beginning her blogging journey. While I really thought this workshop was going to be more hands on learning and taking actual pictures, the content was so much more about using Instagram to create a conversation.
Overall, this conference was a nice price point for the content. There were many more speakers, lots of networking opportunities and so many friendly faces. I was thankful to have assigned seating, especially attending alone, and felt lucky to meet Angela from Pretty in Her Pearls as she was so kind and let me tag along with her for lunch.
The top 5 takeaways I came left with have definitely given me so much to consider and think about as I share in this space.
- Be authentic and transparent. My intent is to always share from the heart in this space and be the real true me. I would hope if any of my readers met me “in real life” you would not be shocked but feel I am exactly who I represent myself to be in this space.
- Engagement is not about me. Taking time to understand who my readers really are and developing my content to inspire emotion is important to me. Stop focusing on adding more followers and more on creating real connections with the audience I can most impact.
- Set Goals. I think this is something we all know is a plus in both our personal and professional lives but how many times do we really sit down to set goals much less go back and evaluate. Creating goals which are measurable and taking a look often to evaluate and see how I’m doing would really help me understand if I’m meeting the mission for my space. I’m also very guilty of not making my goals big enough out of fear of failure so dreaming bigger but still being realistic is definitely a takeaway.
- Be intentional. Probably the area I struggle most is planning out the content I’m posting. I’ve definitely been guilty so many times of throwing together a post without any real idea in my mind who might be reading. There are days when I realize I haven’t posted to Instagram in so long and feel pressure to add something and later I look back and realize it was quality crap. There are so many tools out there to help with scheduling, Later, Honeybook, Tailwind, there is really no excuse aside from setting aside the time in the first place to do some planning.
- Be kind! I really would not have had the same experience had I not run across so many kind women at this conference who were willing to talk to me, share ideas or share a meal. Sometimes as women we forget there really is enough success out there for all of us and we hold back a little feeling our knowledge gives a little power. Being able to share with other bloggers about what works, what doesn’t and share ideas for growth is definitely a positive.
So there you have it! Even if you are not a blogger, finding conference here and there to head to which offer such motivation and inspiration is really an amazing way to develop and grow. I think we all benefit from hearing others stories of struggles and success. Sometimes I just need that kick to make me feel alive and get my brain activated again. Take some time for yourself to continue to grow as a wife, a mom, a business woman, a blogger, a creative shop owner and I promise you won’t regret it.
Visit Linkup Love in the navigation bar to see who I’m joining today!