Gosh I don’t know where to begin. A re-cap is supposed to be full of key points, memorable moments and things that make you go Hmm.
I had all of those, sometimes all at once and other times, those moments and key points crept up on me and smacked me in the head like a kid jumping out at me from behind a corner. I would feel my heart race, my palms sweat and I would have a light bulb moment so bright that it would shatter and little pieces of awesome and glitter would rain down on me.
Type-A Parent Conference was more than a conference; it was a revelation that I’m right where I need to be, that the ideas I’m mulling over in my head are the right ones for my heart, and that the decisions I’ve made thus far will keep me right where I want to be.
Every conference has a different feel; a vibe if you will. This year’s vibe felt very business. Those of us that came brought our A-Games. We had a purpose for attending and we were very intent on following our purpose. So couple that business vibe with the resounding “you won’t fail if you don’t give up” mantra that was repeated over and over again and you had about 400 women who were there to go big and not give up.
I can’t possibly sum every thing up (yes I am planning on writing out my notes and sharing) but in the mean time, the following pieces of awesome and glitter keep tugging at me:
Don’t Be Afraid to Swing and Strike Out
This came from Angela England’s Brainstorming Session. I’m sure Angela had no idea that her baseball analogy would be picked up in various forms throughout the conference. She was only referring to brainstorming; write everything down. I have this bad habit of assuming that I’ll remember that genius idea that I had later and unfortunately… my brain is complete squirrel most days.
There isn’t a point, topic, category that can’t be expanded on. However, if you’re not swinging, you’ll never get a hit. Since her session I went out and bought two more steno pads. Feel free to mail me any pretty paper, notepads, or steno books you find. Angela suggests using lots of paper and I LOVE paper.
I was actually wise enough (okay and Heather asked if I could) to get the audio of Heather’s session on Photography and Photosharing with Kristen Doyle. Your perspective, where and how you aim your shot matters. I was also blessed to be Heather’s roommate for the conference and I took the opportunity to watch how she took shots, what she shared and how. I have a new love for Instagram and social sharing of my photos. Have fun and share (even Google+. Who woulda thunk?).
Taking perspective into consideration is making me look at life through my camera differently. I’m learning to explore and let the camera show me what it can do. I’m also having a blast with angles, perspective and choosing the best images.
Also? Heather is the Queen of hashtags.
Make S.M.A.R.T Goals
Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Relevant. Timely.
Heh. I think I tell the kids this all the time and yes, we can apply this to every day life but in this case, we’re listening to the awesome that is Melanie Nelson of Blogging Basics 101. In fact, if you didn’t hear her speak or you’ve never heard her speak, kick yourself. Do it. Right.Now. Melanie delved deeper into the chasm that is Facebook and explored understanding your insights, how to read them and know what’s working and what isn’t. Melanie also hit on steps to meeting the SMART goals that you set.
It’s those SMART Goals that I keep wanting to come back to; it’s important to keep challenging ourselves to build upon the goals that we’ve already achieved. I’m doing this now with The Guilty Parent Facebook page. I saw a jump recently so I’m pushing myself to find interesting, relevant information that will get my community talking. I love the talk and engagement so this is my goal. I have fans = increase engagement.
You ARE a Content Creator
So that wasn’t the topic of the Beyond Reviews and Giveaways session with Adam Keats and Holly Hamann but it’s what is sticking with me. I’ve known that I’m a content creator for a long time but hearing it from agencies that seek out bloggers is refreshing to say the least. I wanted to scream FINALLY(!!) but I refrained because it would’ve messed up my audio recording. It tells me that there are people looking at the content we create and not just our numbers (though Klout seems to still be big with Adam Keats and I just don’t see it, but that’s okay). While I don’t think I’m going to be on their radar; (I do have a bit of a potty mouth from time), I do respect what they had to say and it gave me some jumping off points for when I do want to work with brands.
It was interesting to see the ways they are both working with bloggers and working to recognize that as content creators we offer a significant value to the brands that are looking for promotion and buzz. Overall, it was be you (I struggle with this because I think it’s a scary balance of not losing yourself just to work with a brand), stand apart from the crowd (again with the balance of being you), and think about who you’d be willing to tattoo on your arm… THAT’S who you want to work with.
The one thing that I’d love for bloggers to realize though is that when you create good content, don’t be afraid of using SEO and keywords; that’s traffic you can capitalize on long after your campaigns are over. (I guess that’s a blog post I will have to write huh?)
In case you didn’t notice, there is a theme brewing here in the re-cap; the concept of constantly trying, looking at things with new eyes, building upon your goals and recognizing that you have something great to offer is what bloggers (I think) as a community come to discover in hard copy form when they come to conferences.
It’s nice to read each other’s posts confirming how great we all are or how we need to just keep swimming but it’s hard to resonate some days when it’s only you in the room with a laptop and caffeine. It becomes real and personal when you’re surrounded by 400 or so others who are searching for the same answers that you are. These are the lessons that I think everyone should take away from the conference. It’s the affirmation upon hearing that, Hey, I have those goals too that keep us blogging in to the next year.
Did you go? What did you take away from Type-A Conference this year?