One of the things that I started looking into even before having an actual blog was blogger events. I figured I could go and get answers to questions and get inspiration for the blog. Welllll, it didn’t exactly happen like that. I went to a few events and this was the standard experience: I would go, there would be a panel of successful bloggers and then there would be a networking session.
One good thing is, most of the people I see at these events are like you… wanting to know more about blogging and how to do it well. Hopefully they will follow my blog because from what I am seeing you are not going to get the direct answers you want at a blogger event. Key point here: ASK QUESTIONS DURING THE EVENT…Even if you don’t get the answer you want, you appear more approachable to others in the room and networking will be easier later. (We will get to networking in one sec) Here are examples of my questions: How did you generate followers on Instagram? Panelist: Like others people’s pictures and comment. In my brain I am saying you have 10,000 followers..I have like 70…You did more than like a picture or comment. Question: How do I determine rates if I am a novice? Answer: Rate based on your time. Ummm, what? Is there a standard rate?
Overall point, take what panelists say with a grain of salt. When people want info they will frame people even with the slightest success as experts. We are all out here trying to build something. I am not an expert, but I do know a little bit. You will know something where another person doesn’t, so we all bring value! Just be aware that even an expert can be off. Example: at a recent event I heard an panelist say they bought their domain from Blogger for 99 dollars a year. 99 US dollars! You should ALWAYS own your domain. Everything offered free, ain’t free! You can go to Hostgator or Cheap domain and get domains for 4-14 dollars per year. So listen to the panelist experiences, and take it as a different perspective. You may gain some inspiration even if it is the inspiration of what NOT to do. So what will you definitely get out of Blogger Events…
You will get to meet people! At the end of these events, you will be able to network! This is a great thing! Here are some quick networking pointers I have learned over the years in my corporate life (19 years and counting) and I apply those same things here..Before you get there, practice what you will say about your blog. What do you specialize in? What makes you special? It is like a sales pitch, you are getting them to buy into…you. When people like you, they will support you. You have to believe in yourself or noone will believe a word you say. Be authentic, because people can smell a liar. So don’t try to be anyone else. Be you, and people will like that. Be someone else and you will not connect. That is what it is…a connection. Share with others what you are blogging about. Let people see your pov. Have your IG up on your phone. Tell people about your IG, have them follow you. Follow them. That is what is great about blogger events. Now…how do you find out about blogger events?
I look for events via Meetup.com or Eventbrite.com or any site featuring events in your town. If they have no results, search hashtags for your city on IG or twitter like #atlantabloggers #atlantanetworking etc. Talk to people, ask people helping you in stores or boutiques you shop in and they will tell you about events. I spoke with my hairstylist and she was saying how she gets invited to events at Saks Fifth Avenue and she would forward the events to me. You never know who will direct you where.
I think Blogger events are worth your time and a great time to practice talking with others about your blog and why they should take a look at it and follow! Make friends…blogger friends and connect with other professionals. You will leave feeling happy, and if not at least you will have a great story to blog about!