I’ve been starting and stopping this post for days now. I’ll write a couple of lines, have a thought, pull out my notebook (yes, I’m a pen and paper kind of gal!), and scribble down the three new ideas I have. I have sketches, post outlines, brands, proposals, and other bloggers all jumbled together in one giant notebook of inspiration. It all started with SNAP.
I’ve spent the days since SNAP trying to get my thoughts together and wondering what on earth just hit me. I went into it nervous because I knew that I didn’t have the numbers a lot of other attendees had. I stressed over what to wear and how to present myself in a more professional way while not losing who I am. I really want to grow my blog this year and wanted to make sure I got the most I could out of SNAP. Sound familiar?
I enjoyed the classes. The speakers were awesome. The parties were a blast. I had a ton of fun with the Secret Sister exchange. My absolute favorite part, though, was being able to sit down with other creatives and just talk. I found myself surrounded by bloggers and brands who wanted to talk to *me*. We talked late into the night. We talked over meals, in the hallways, and at the booths. We exchanged ideas and honest feedback. I found a group of women who accepted me and all of my beginning blogging mishaps. The lessons I came home with were not at all what I had expected.
The number one lesson I walked away from SNAP with was BE YOURSELF. My blog is me–the awesome, the awkward; the maker, the learner. In the end, I basically threw a bunch of clothes into my suitcase and decided I’d figure it all out when I got there. No one cared that I hadn’t planned out outfits or had forgotten to put fresh polish on my nails. Talk about what really interests you. You may discover that your roommates are closet geeks and you all backed The Veronica Mars Movie for an instant bonding moment.
YOU’RE MORE THAN YOUR NUMBERS! Being around so many blogging rockstars who have a crazy huge following and are uber successful can be really daunting. I had been falling into the trap of comparing myself to others and even had a moment where I wondered if I should even attend because I wasn’t a “big” blogger. Everyone started somewhere, though, and no one made it big with their first post. When I first started talking to the sponsors, I was really surprised at how easy most of the conversations were. When we got around to talking about how their particular brand works with bloggers, many of them weren’t overly concerned with numbers. Of course they matter some, but brands want an actual relationship with a person and up and coming bloggers are often a perfect fit. And to bring it back to being yourself, my babbling (seriously, sometimes I start talking and just can’t seem to stop) and my TARDIS phone case (that I almost changed before I left home) did more for connecting me with brands and other bloggers than any mention of numbers.
ROLL WITH IT. I have an unusual name that people recognize. The problem, I discovered, is that it’s the same as Albion Fit, whom I love, but I’m not them. I had more than one person see my badge, excitedly tell me how much they love my swimsuits, and inquire about working together. I’m probably now remembered by some as the Albion who doesn’t have awesome clothes. However, this led to some conversations that I wouldn’t have otherwise had and connections with more people.
I left SNAP energized and slightly overwhelmed. I have so many things in the works right now, both personally and collaboratively, and none of them would have happened without actually being there. I’ve gained confidence and friends. I have projects in my notebook that I’m really excited about. The only problem is figuring out where to start.
(On a side note, I didn’t take nearly enough pictures! I very much lived in the moment while I was there, but on this side of the conference I’m really regretting it!)