Since I was little, I’ve always been a naturally shy and quiet person, so when I received my first invite to a bloggers event, I was utterly terrified. I never thought I’d make it there without chickening out, but I did – and here I am, two years later regularly attending local events and loving every minute of it. So when people are new to the blogosphere, I can fully well appreciate just how nerve-wrecking attending bloggers events can be. I’d like to say I’m quite experienced in attending the events now, and I thought I’d share some of my top tips that I’ve learnt along the way.
– Something I do on the run up to every bloggers event, is talk about it via Twitter. Where I’m based, us North East Bloggers use #nebloggers an awful lot – so I like to follow this hashtag before any event to see if anyone mentions it also. By asking around who’ll be there, I find it settles my nerves as I know what to expect when I get there and who I’ll know. It’s sort of like breaking the ice before even attending the event and is a great way of starting conversation if the idea of approaching new people absolutely terrifies you in person.
– And if I’m feeling particularly anxious, I often arrange with people to meet beforehand. As you may know, I suffer with anxiety which can be pretty severe some days especially when it comes to leaving the house, so going to new places alone is a real challenge for me. Sounds like such a feeble thing, but going into places alone is one of my biggest anxiety triggers – even going into pubs and shops on my own can be a problem for me. So by arranging to meet up with people beforehand, it takes away all of those jitters before attending the event and makes the whole experience nicer. Plus, if there’s any new bloggers – it’s a great way to introduce yourselves without feeling overwhelmed.
– The word networking used to send a shiver down my spine, but in time, I’ve slowly learnt the best ways to overcome this. It’s totally natural to feel nervous when talking to new people, especially when it comes to talking about yourself and your blog. If you’re like me, it took me months before I even told my friends about my blog. I’m not sure why, I just get a little embarrassed about it and still do when people ask my blog’s name. But it’s all a bit silly, because your blog is something you should be proud of – you’ve worked your ass off and it’s a great way of showcasing your talents. And you’ve been invited to the event for a reason, they trust you can bring them something worth while. So you go for it – fake it until you make it and all that. You may be shaking like a leaf inside, but give yourself a little pep talk beforehand, stand up straight and you’re good to go – YOU’VE GOT THIS.
– Chances are that amidst all your networking success, people are going to ask for your contact details. I think it’s very important to create a brand with your blog, and events like these are a great way of showing people what your blog is all about – and more importantly, make a good impression. I like to always carry around a selection of business cards to hand out to companies or fellow bloggers, you just never know when that super exciting collaboration is going to crop up! What’s a better way to show others you’re serious about blogging, than some good quality, carefully designed business cards?! I’ve really been enjoying the business card printing services by Precision – you want to stand out and there’s no better way to do so, in my opinion any way!
– Outfit wise, while you may want to be dressing to impress, wear something you feel comfortable in. By all means go and treat yourself to something new, but don’t go for something out of your comfort zone purely because you think it’ll look better for others. There’s nothing worse than wearing a skirt that feels too short, shoes that feel a little too tight and tops that leave you feeling somewhat exposed. Confidence is what people want to see, so wear something you feel the most confident in and you’ll be ready to take on the world. And if there’s something that fits in with your brand style-wise, go for it. For example, I’ve never attended an event without wearing a hat – it started off as a comfort thing as I felt I could fake my confidence more wearing it (weird, huh?) and now people actually recognise me for my hat. It’s become part of my brand and something that people remember me by – the other week, I was meeting up with some people and they couldn’t actually find me… because I wasn’t wearing a hat, true story! I already have my next hat on my wishlist – this one and this one from ASOS have me written all over them!
– And most importantly, have fun. It’s not meant to be a scary experience, it’s all about meeting up with like-minded people and chatting away for hours. Some of my closest friends I’ve met through events and they’ve made my blogging experience all that more amazing and enjoyable. And if in doubt, one thing I like to remind myself:
Next time you’re worried that someone is judging you, just remember that they’re probably too busy worrying whether people are judging them, for them to judge you. Soz, but it’s true.
And let’s be honest, if they are judging you – who wants to be friends with someone like that? They aren’t worth a second of your time. As the quote goes;
“An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t put you down unless you allow it to get inside you.”
Have you attended any bloggers events? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks!