So you’ve signed up for the Megaphone Summit Influencer conference. Yay! I’ll see you there. What’s that? You’re feeling nervous? Anxious? It’s your first AWB conference or first conference of any kind for that matter? Feeling awkward? No worries.
In my experience, awkwardness has been a state of mind. Mostly. I’ll explain more about that in a bit. Today, I’d like to share with you 5 tips for lessening the feeling of awkwardness that may be holding you back from participating not only in the Megaphone Summit, but also in other areas of social life both online and off.
Build Relationships Beforehand
This is probably fairly obvious and most likely something you’re already doing. You’re part of the group but maybe you’re too timid to join in conversations. Speak up. Ask questions. Offer perspective – everyone has a viewpoint and some are honestly more helpful than others. Even if you don’t have advice, a simple “I’m in the same boat” sort of response can build a relationship and create camaraderie. Visit blog posts, leave comments, let people get to know you. These are great ways to inspire friendships and collaborations.
Make A Plan For Connecting
Having a plan in place for connecting before you get to the conference will ensure that you get what you need out of the workshops and the speakers. Look over the workshop schedule. Make a list of questions you have. Anything on your list that isn’t answered during the speaker’s presentation-ask!
Connect with bloggers in your niche. Is there someone you admire? Like their blogging style? Let them know. Making the first move, much like a romantical (totally made up word) situation, and approaching someone you haven’t met can be awkward. We’ve all been there. Don’t be shy. A great opening line (not to be confused with a pickup line) would be something like “Hey, Blogger. Your post on XYZ really spoke to me. Enjoyed it a lot.”
Bring Something For Them to Remember You By
Conferences and workshops tend to fly by. We’re all absorbing so much new information that it may be difficult to remember everything and later, when you follow up (foreshadowing), Blogger XYZ maybe needs a reminder of your conversation. Okay, I need a reminder because I have a terrible memory. It’s not you, it’s me.
My point? Business or blog cards are a good way to get your information into Blogger XYZ’s hot little hands. I like to make notes on the cards I collect. For example, “talked with XYZ about craft collab next month,” or “XYZ mentioned a blog series she writes-check it out.”
Realize That Awkwardness Is Mostly A State-Of-Mind. MOSTLY.
Let’s be honest. We’re hardest on ourselves; we overthink; get scared; stumble over our words. Nervousness and awkwardness go hand-in-hand like nerdy lovers in a new relationship. Eventually, things will smooth out and all will move like clockwork.
Or, you could actually stumble. Like, trip over electrical outlets built into the floor while passing out food samples from a large tray you were holding. Singsong it with me: awwkwaaaard.
Probably, I’m the only one who remembers that time that blogger did that. Because. It. Was. Me. Awkward. I laughed at myself and kept going and you can, too. (It helps that this is a totally understanding and upstanding bunch of bloggers we’re associating with)
Lastly, Follow Up And Follow Through
When the conference or event is finished and you’ve recovered from information overload, take out those cards and notes you collected. Follow up with emails or social media shout outs. No one gets a second date if they don’t make a second call, right? In this case, though, the “let’s just be friends” statement is a good thing. Blogging and bloggers are like dating. Online they look great and sound great, but in real life maybe you just didn’t click. That’s okay, too. It happens.
Reconnect with those people with whom you can keep building. Together, we can influence, build great working relationships, and foster lasting friendships.
Are you feeling awkward about attending Megaphone Summit? Let’s connect while we’re there! The first five people who tweet out to me (@gknupp) with the hashtag #DSGisAwkward will receive something crafty from me to be given at the conference. See y’all soon!
Hey, y’all! I’m Gina, a creative lifestyle blogger, serial DIYer & crafter, and hater of writing in third person perspective. I live just outside of Heber Springs on a hill, in a tiny cottage overlooking Greers Ferry Lake. My day job of nearly twenty years involves working in retail administration. I have a fiancé, a cat, and a budding infatuation with growing succulents. See what I did there? Connect with me at my blog Desperately Seeking Gina, on Instagram, or on Twitter.