Being surrounded by people who just *get* me and being driven to do more at the conference makes it hard for re-entry into the ‘real world’ – where some people think blogging and social media is frivolous, or at worse, dangerous. (I’ve seen a lot of posts from my American friends about how hard re-entry has been post BlogHer. Arnebya, who I met at BlogHer’12 said when she returns to work after BlogHer, the things that hit her the hardest are “the lack of lanyards, tiny desserts, and howling laughter that make her stomach muscles scream”.)
So it’s important to keep the momentum from the blog conference going long after it ends. You can keep that momentum going by setting a goal.
Your goal might be just to write more each day. Or create a content schedule. Or connect with a new exciting person on social media once a week. Or to keep in contact with some of the awesome people you met at the conference. Or if you are like me (overly ambitious), your goal might be elephant sized. Like creating a real-life meet. Or writing a book. Or developing a blog course. (I don’t want to brag but I’ve done two of those since PBEvent14!)
I was inspired to create the Australian Ichthyosis Meet at last year’s conference. And so I did (with a lot of hard work and a few tears). Community and social good was a big theme of the 2014 Problogger Event.
Darren Rowse (Problogger) talked a lot about community at the event. I saw a video of Chantelle from Fat Mum Slim meeting with her blog readers and I wanted to do that. And Pat Flynn encouraged bloggers to create an opportunity for our community to meet with each other.
These messages were what kept me going from September 2014 to May 2015.
I planned my goal from the day I got home (hurrah for an annual leave day!). And here’s how I did it. (This isn’t about how I planned the event – that post will be coming soon!)
I wrote down my goal.
That kept me accountable. I wrote it in a notebook and on the internet – I was publicly accountable.
I told someone the intricacies of my goal.
I learnt to only tell someone who would nurture my idea as much as I did. I didn’t need anyone telling me that I couldn’t or shouldn’t make this happen. (The people who didn’t nurture my goal suggested I should stop being proud of creating this event. Hence why I learnt only to tell people who would nurture my goals in future.)
I set a timeline.
I consulted with people who were interested in attending the Australian Ichthyosis Meet and gave them a few options of when and where it would be held. And when consensus was provided, I worked to that date. The meet took nine months planning. My baby.
- I connected with brands at blogging events and via email and phone calls. It was so cool to work with Random House, Mad Man Entertainment, MooGoo, Olympus and more!
- I asked people who know how to do things that I didn’t. Adam made the chalk board! (And for this post, I got someone awesome to make my printable – Robyna May!)
- I asked some blogging friends to assist on the day – Nathalie from Easy Peasy Kids was the kids’ coordinator, and Nicole from Champagne and Chips helped with bag organisation and meeting and greeting guests.
- While I could have written my media release, a friend wrote it for me as I didn’t have time.
- Years ago I met a lovely lady in the green room at No Limits. She and her partner were the event facilitators.
- I crowd funded the event.
There are lots of steps in achieving a goal. These are all little goals. Working on them and achieving each of these makes a big goal more manageable. My main little goals were booking a venue, raising funds, collecting donations for giveaways, promoting the event so people would come, developing an agenda, briefing the medical team and putting together the goodie bags for the day. Phew!
Do you want to write a book? Make your first goal to create an ebook so you get into the practice of writing and have something to pitch. Then get a literary agent. Then write 1000 words a day. Then organise your book into chapters. Although – what do I know?! I haven’t written a book yet – but I’d like to!
I knew my weaknesses.
I’m no good at arty and numerical stuff, so I get others to help me. I am getting better at graphics but I still ask for help.
Maybe you need help with events planning or coding. You can ask others to do these things (DELEGATE!) or you can skill yourself up in them (if you have time!). Take a short course (or check out free ones on MOOC) or ask someone in this field if you can intern with them to learn stuff.
I am really lucky to have been working as an events planner and communicator for many years in my day job, so these skills helped me plan my event.
I also collaborated with some brands for my events – brands who I’d met through blogging. I wrote them email pitches (explaining my event, asking for products, telling them how I would promote them) and showcased their donations on social media. I went outside of my comfort zone, attending a parenting-bloggers’ event, because my new audience for this event was parents.
You build so many skills as a blogger. Writing, photography, marketing, social media… use them! And connect with the people you meet along the way!
I was prepared for hurdles.
Fortunately not much went wrong with achieving this goal. There were a few hiccups but nothing that I couldn’t handle. I had my Mum and Adam to vent to. I couldn’t adjust the timeframe, but I could scale down the event if needed.