|Snapshots of my Blissdom experience 2013|
|Blissdom last year in 2012|
Three years ago I attended my first ever Blissdom Canada conference. It was a leap of faith. I was a newbie. I had newbie nerves. I’d been writing for years at that point in mainstream media and had a lot of bylines that accumulated over the years. I had a small blog. It was a growing blog, but still something wasn’t quite yet clicking.
Jennifer Reynolds from Canadian Family threw down a challenge during a writing and publishing workshop. Write about finding your bliss. I knew I’d do it, but I procrastinated. I needed to hear that little voice in my head telling me the words to spark a concrete concept. Then it came. That year I wrote Detour. The story was nominated for a Reader’s Choice award at Canadian Family and it helped solidify a direction, a way forward for me, straddling mainstream media and digital media. I sold my first ad. I wrote often, stretched myself.
In 2012, we hit the Blissdom Social Media Conference again this time for more inspiration, networking, connecting. That was the year I incorporated and became a social media strategy consultant. I ran a business and it was growing fast. I picked up a few tips about search engine optimization (SEO) and built more relationships in the business. I expanded my blogger outreach programs and found several new bloggers for a few different clients. This past weekend Blissdom Canada 2013 came and went leaving an impression yet again. Over the last year thriftymommedia has become blogger outreach, consulting and training agency. It continues to evolve as the marketplace demands. This year I advised several of my own clients to come to the conference and some took that advice which was very rewarding to see.
So after three years of Bliss, what’s left to learn? What lessons do I pull uniquely out of this experience that will help guide my business, my head and heart through the next 365 days?
Five Lessons Learned from Blissdom Canada 2013
1. Real Estate: Your head and your heart are your most valuable real estate – this according to the fantastic closing speaker Drew Dudley @NuanceDrew. Nobody gets to take up residence rent free. No negative allowed in my head. I don’t have time for it.
2. Delegating: There comes a point where you need to delegate. When doing the thing that makes you happy – the thing that builds your business is being compromised by the other necessities of doing business then it’s time to outsource something. In fairness, I have been 100 % intending to do this since TBEX travel bloggers expo. Then I heard the same thing reiterated at Blogher 13 and I thought yes now is the time to hire someone to do the accounting or invoicing or tedious tasks I am tired of. (When I am invoicing I cannot do the writing or build the content and relationships that help drive me and make me happy at thrifty mom media) I set a plan in action and yet life happened. I started to worry that 2014 might not play out as well as 2013 did financially. I worried that the contracts might not be renewed. I waited. Yesterday I hired an assistant. Blissdom proved to me the time to delegate is now.
3. Business Smarts: “Never lower your price. There is no loyalty among bargain hunters. By accepting lower than your worth you attract bottom feeders.” (The Mom Biz Coach ladies are on twitter every Monday night with their #mombizchat. Shelagh Cummins and Lara Galloway.)
4. Building Your Brand: Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals, testimonials and endorsements. If you have done a job you are proud of build your fan base. ( This was actually an aha moment during Leslie Hughes Linked In presentation.) I realize women are much less likely to ask for what they are worth. That can’t be my default position. My blogger outreach campaigns have been very successful. I need to get more assertive asking for these.
5. Leading with Your Heart is never wrong: When I started blogging I held back a lot. I thought blogging was a lesser form of writing. My writing, my business and my life expanded and flourished the minute I jettisoned any negativity. My best writing takes place when I connect with other people’s hearts. From Chris Read’s speech at Power Hour, to Drew’s closing keynote, to Shannon Mischuk’s energy in pulling the whole concept together, I saw 100 examples of why excellence occurs at the corner of passion, conviction and vulnerability.
Thanks for another great inspiring year. I can’t wait to see what’s next.