I’m just back from Design Bloggers Conference in Atlanta, not that it was a far drive (like 40 minutes). For those of you who don’t know it’s a conference of multi-talented bloggers, designers and industry folks. It’s a sharing of ideas, networking and general mayhem (for those who like wine). For me it was a chance to reconnect with my fellow bloggers, after changes in my family life (an adoption) have taken me “out of the scene” for a brief time.
In all honesty, I was tired and simply not up to conversation, chardonnay and crudites. But, that quickly changed. If there is one thing that will get you fired up and feisty it would be a line-up of fabulous speakers. What conference is lucky enough to have Jeffrey Alan Marks, Candace Olsen, Timothy Corrigan, Jennifer Boles, Jan Bills (who is the driving force behind Two Women & A Hoe), Amy Flurry (Amy, the check is on it’s way. P.S. I really owe her money), Andrew Joseph PR, Paloma Conteras, Susanna Salk & Quintessence Blog? This extremely talented group of visionaries brought ideas, and passion to the table which lit a fire underneath even the most tired & hard partying bloggers. (I was tired, but my partying days are long over. Okay, that not might be entirely true). I was blissfully overloaded with information…and I tweeted, and tweeted because there was too much great information to be shared with the Twitter-verse. I also tweeted to stay awake, a small group of like-minded designers and I had stayed up for the past week putting the finishing touches on a home for a family in need. I’ll share their story sometime soon (but for now we are protecting their privacy), I think the paint was barely dry on the walls before I headed to downtown Atlanta. So even though I was high on paint fumes, lack of sleep, and painful feet, I still connected with old friends, made new ones, went out to dinner with the fabulous Allison Victoria, of HGTV’s Kitchen Crashers, had drinks and dinner with Jan Bills of Two Women & A Hoe (who by the way is just beyond witty, and if you don’t follow her then you must!), and still managed to catch a little sleep.
The Design Bloggers Conference is comprised of a group of bloggers who were there for a multitude of reasons, topping the list were- networking and connecting with new friends and old. What did I take away? (Other than showerheads, monkey hats and perfume?) A lot of great information that will help me as I navigate the blogosphere in the weeks ahead. So here are some highlights, with more to follow soon…
1) “Be Authentic”- Jan Bills of “Two Women & A Hoe” talked about this. Have an original voice. Original, authentic content is going to set you apart from the pack.
2) Connect with others in your industry via social media. Do it for the right reasons. It’s not about what others can do for you. It’s essential to support each other, we can all be successful if we lift each other higher.
3) Adam Japko stated that, “We gravitate toward people like us. New things often come from outside of your inner circle.”- In other words, we have to push ourselves outside of our comfort zone in order to succeed. I’m naturally shy- so whenever I go to a conference or an event, I go alone. This forces me to connect with people that I wouldn’t meet if I stayed around the same people. It’s been a great strategy for me because it forces me to go outside my “comfort circle” and forge relationships with people that have truly been an important part of my success, both personally and professionally.
4) “Focus on your blog, and keep your blinders on to the noise in the blogosphere”-Jennifer Boles, The Peak of Chic. This was great advice not only for our industry, but in general. Don’t compare yourself to others, do what sets you apart. Be unique, and keep an original voice.
5) “There is power in creating strong partnerships, it’s all about collaboration and involvement.”- Susanna Salk & Stacy Bewes of Quintessense. They met last year at DBC 2013, and have created and collaborated on a series of videos about the life and style of some of the industries top tastemakers. Proving that networking can be critical to our success.
6) “Create quality content. Use your blog as a springboard for your talents”-Paloma Conteras, of La Dolce Vita. Those points can not be stressed enough. Make sure that you create a product that gets your readers coming back, and once again that means creating original, authentic content.
It was a fabulous conference, and again Adam Japko did an amazing job of giving us the tools to move forward and build success in our industry. As Jan Bills stated “There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs.” Thanks, Adam for helping us build the stairs.
Until next time,