BlogPodium is this Saturday. I attended the inaugural event in January and it by far exceeded my expectations. For those of you who aren’t “in the know”, BlogPodium is a conference series dedicated to bringing design bloggers together. The only forum of it’s kind in Canada, BlogPodium is the brainchild of Jen from Rambling Renovators and Lindsay from Little House Blog. I am very lucky to living in the Toronto area and be able to attend an event like this.
Saturday’s topic is “The Business of Blogging” – specifically what opportunities are there to monetize your blog while staying authentic and true to why you write. Nicole Balch from “Making it Lovely” is the keynote speaker followed by a panel discussion and cocktail reception.
Why, you might ask, am I interested in attending an event where the focus is on “The Business of Blogging”?
#1 Blogging is Tied to the Future Growth of my Business
Yep, I said it out loud … my business. I have already generated referrals from my blog for my interior decorating business, Spruce Street Projects, even though I have not actively promoted or rarely mentioned that I have a job outside of blogging – right now. With this in mind, I want to know what other bloggers are doing, how they are doing it and what opportunities are there to collaborate and learn from like-minded people in the design community. Networking in this fashion only serves to generate better content to you, the reader, and by extension my clients.
#2 Meet the Brands that are Sponsors of BlogPodium
Jen and Lindsay have put together a fantastic line-up of brands that are keen to work with bloggers. I’m talking top tier brands in the design industry. These are companies that I’d like to work with both as an interior decorator and blogger. The panel discussion promises to provide insights on how to work with brands as a blogger followed by face to face conversations.
#3 Motivation & Inspiration
Every blogger event I have been to I have walked away inspired, connected and motivated to keep blogging and striving to the next level. Given some of the contests and conversations leading up to BlogPodium this weekend I have a feeling this might be the best event yet.
So there you have it. Three reasons why I’m going to BlogPodium. I will report back next week with a post-event wrap up.
Do you attend any conferences in your area of specialty that leave you energized and motivated?
Just a quick note to tell you to take a minute today to check out the amazing blog “Hodge: Podge” where Barbara has featured me today as part of her “So Canadian Eh?” series. I am very excited to meet Barbara in person at the upcoming Blog Podium.
I am beyond flattered! Thank you Barbara!!
Enjoy your Friday!!
Seriously, how much can a girl handle in one weekend. As I mentioned earlier this week, I attended Blog Podium and soaked it all up like a sponge. The balance of the weekend was spent attending the Interior Design Show and my second Canadian Design Bloggers Meet Up.
A few of the highlights from IDS12 that stood out to me:
I loved this beauty from Weavers Art. The colour and the movement of all the shapes really stood out to me. I might have even squealed when I first saw it. This particular piece was designed by Michael Pourvakil, the founder of Weavers Art.
Living Lighting on King Street had two standout light fixtures. The sparkle from these “bubble” lights danced before my eyes. Wouldn’t this look amazing in a dining room with high ceilings or in an entry hall?
This light fixture, also from Living Lighting, was also a standout.I’m not sure I would have been able to count that high but any guesses on how many individual strands there are?
I spent some time in the Snob booth. I’d never heard of this store before but love what they are doing. Each piece is from a different artisan in Southern Africa and they all tell a story. The wires in this light fixture were measured by the waist of the craftsman who made it. He wrapped the wire around his waist to size it.
I loved this grouping of people and the play of colour between the blue and gold created a real sense of movement with the eye. In the background you can see the bottom of a mirror that is bordered with rows of mussel shells. I look forward to checking more out in their store.
Then on Saturday night I attended my second Canadian Design Bloggers Meet Up. I remember being sooooo nervous back in June when I attended and this time was totally different. I KNEW people! Was so great to walk in and feel a true sense of belonging.
Cameron MacNeil and Lisa Murphy of House and Home shared insights about colour trends and the House & Home app for ipad & iphone. Cassandra LaValle of the popular blog Coco + Kelley shared her blogging journey from working in PR and event planning to now blogging full-time. She had fantastic tips on how to keep things fresh and networking with other bloggers. The final surprise guest for the evening was Brian Gluckstein – one of Canada’s foremost interior designers. He loves blogs and in particular the sharing of ideas with like minded people – said it reminds him of being back in school where ideas are flowing all the time.
I’m still out of breath just thinking about the weekend. What does one do next weekend for an encore? Not sure if the hockey arena will cut it!
It’s been a whirlwind weekend of design inspiration, seeing old and new faces and learning so much my head is about to explode! Today I want to share with you what I learned at the inaugural Blog Podium which was held in conjunction with the Interior Design Show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
The blogger brains behind this fantastic event are Lindsay of Little House Blog and Jen of Rambling Renovators. The mission of Blog Podium promised Conversation, collaboration and connection in a conference series that brings design & lifestyle bloggers, marketers, and the design community together.
Friday’s session didn’t disappoint. The topic was “Blogs & Media” and the panelists explored everything from the evolving relationship between traditional and new media to how to make your blog stand out to how to pitch magazines, television and other media with content ideas.
Blogs have leveled the media playing field and magazines are paying attention. As Margot Austin of House and Home said – she loves the dialogue it creates with readers and the feedback she gets on articles that are run.
To be a successful blogger it is critical to have a key message and stay on point. Kimberly Seldon wants to learn something from the blogger and is looking for an original voice with original thought. Kate Moore wants to see more about who we are and moments from our work. Who is the individual behind the blog? And, Margot Austin loves a beautiful, well edited blog. As she said: “There is space for appreciators not just creators”. She really appreciates someone who “creates a package of lasting beauty” with their own unique voice in how they present their words and images.
Jen Flores provided a unique blogger voice to compliment the media panel and her key pieces of advice for bloggers are to network, do guest posts on other blogs, make sure you have a blog roll so your readers can link up to other like-minded blogs and make sure that your content is easy and concise for editors to find.
So, how do you pitch your content to get published? All three media panelists had specific suggestions but the key elements to consider are the story behind who lives in the space, what does the space look like and a bio on yourself. But most importantly know who you are pitching to. For example, Chatelaine has a very different look than a House and Home story.
And finally, credit, credit, credit. Too many bloggers take liberties and don’t credit their images appropriately. It’s a hot topic in the blogging world and a message that was shouted loud and clear by the Blog Podium panelists.
So what am I going to do differently after Blog Podium?
Well, for starters … ReDesigning Sarah is about to introduce a new logo (thank you GS&B!) … Here’s a peek:
I’ll provide a recap of the IDS12 and Canadian Design Bloggers Meet Up I attended in the next few days but was so inspired by Blog Podium it deserved a post of its own.
Have you ever attended a conference or seminar that got your creative juices flowing?
I went looking for inspiration. I went looking to learn.
What I found most of all was an amazing sense of community. I found myself in a room full of people who loved the same things I did and loved sharing it with others.
On Saturday night I attended the Canadian Design Bloggers MeetUp at the fabulous Brassaii. The group was full of the whose who of the Canadian Design blogging community. Sponsored by Ikea Canada, Delta Faucets and CIL – the room was literally buzzing with chatter, laughter and more than a few squeals.
Tommy Smythe, the hilarious and insanely talented HGTV star was the keynote speaker for the evening. Tommy & Sarah (that’s Sarah Richardson – to be clear!) are known for creating amazing spaces in shows such as Sarah’s House & Sarah 101 to name a few. When I had my photo taken with Tommy I nearly melted (insert stalker fan visual here) when he said that I could be his “Sarah” for the night. Ahhh!
Tommy opened his presentation by observing that we shouldn’t be called just “bloggers” but rather “bitches who blog” – brought the house down! I am still laughing at that line!
He shared photos of his recent trip to Scandanavia with us. I was wowed not only by what I saw on the screen but also his commentary and the inspiration he found. He showed us one picture of a building that he wanted to use as inspiration for a headboard – the windows in another building suggested a design for a rug. Did you know that there are hardwood floors in the Copenhagen airport?!
It gave me pause to look at buildings for more than their detailed finishes and focus on the overall image a building or facade portrays and how it looks in it’s environment.
Using the “Lack” sidetable from Ikea as an example, Tommy pointed out that good design at whatever price point will always be relevant. The “Lack” table can be found as much in student dorms as in million dollar homes.
After Tommy’s presentation it was mix and mingle time. I was able to meet face to face with writers of blogs that I’ve been reading and admiring such as Rambling Renovators, Life Begins at Thirty, Decor Mentor, Little House Blog, First Time Fancy, Bijou and Boheme and Decor Happy.
Check out these blogs – you will drool with inspiration!
Then … the icing on the cake. I won the draw for an iPad2. I was so stunned it took me a minute to react and I basically walked around the rest of the evening with a dorky grin on my face.
Today I am one inspired and motivated lady. Can hardly wait for the next meetup.
Have you ever been to an event and walked away with a newfound sense of community?
Happy Friday. I’m going to an event tomorrow where I look forward to meeting some new faces and finding inspiration in their ideas and wisdom. Will share more next week!
In the meantime, I leave you with one of my favourite quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt.
What are you up to this weekend?
im·pos·tor (noun): one that assumes false identity or title for the purpose of deception
Can I do it? Do I know what I am doing? Can they see that I’m nervous? What if they find out that maybe I don’t know everything I should know!
Ever feel like that?
Being a new business owner I’ve experienced that feeling more than once. It’s a feeling of overwhelm, a feeling that maybe I don’t really know what I am doing.
I had an experience several months ago where I had pitched some business and when they called and actually hired me (gasp!) all of a sudden I wasn’t so sure. I was telling a good friend of mine how I was feeling and she barked at me (‘cause she talks in “bark” sometimes): “Hepburn, you know your sh**, you’ve done this before … you’re just gonna have to fake it ‘til you make it.”
For me, it was so powerful having someone else say that I could do it because at that moment I knew exactly what I needed to do and went out and rocked it.
Ever heard of “Impostor Syndrome”? Valerie Young, a public speaker with a doctorate in education, is a specialist in helping individuals overcome their feelings of professional inadequacy, has defined Impostor Syndrome as follows:
Despite evidence of your accomplishments, you continually discount your success, thinking instead that you must be fooling everyone and thus in constant danger of being unmasked
She has put together a quiz that looks at how you handle mistakes, or your approach to challenges and your perception of those around you (clients, colleagues, competitors). At a certain point, a lack of confidence in yourself will hold you back and Young coaches people of how to manage those feelings.
In exploring the idea of “Impostor Syndrome” I decided to talk to other business owners and see if they had ever experienced the feelings of doubt that I periodically did (or if I was just really a complete headcase – shh don’t tell my clients!).
I started with my dear husband, Brad. He’s a Chartered Accountant and partner in a local accounting firm, and far more reasonable than me at times. He said that one of the things that he has learned over the years is that he can’t possibly know everything off the top of his head – particularly as it relates to the ins and outs of tax etc. He’s learned to be upfront with clients in these cases and get back to them with the answer.
My friend Jane, who owns her own consulting company, The Reeves Group, pointed out that the whole idea of “Impostor Syndrome” or “Faking it ‘Til you Make it” is really just the stories you tell yourself in your head – it’s all made up. She also pointed out that the minute you don’t feel nervous about a new client meeting or a project you probably aren’t caring enough about your work.
So … with all this in mind, how do I overcome perceived feelings of inadequacy and boost my own confidence?
Prepare, prepare, prepare
This includes knowing the client, knowing the scope of work and making sure I have a buttoned up list of exploratory questions if I am meeting someone for the first time
Follow up and follow through
Always immediately follow up after a meeting and always follow through on what you said you’d do – setting client expectations gives me confidence to do my job because I know that we are all on the same page and are working towards the same goal
Dress the part
Pull the outfit together ahead of time, walk with confidence, hold that head high and for gosh darn sakes clean your shoes and ladies, apply the lipstick
So, now that you all know I am not always the ballsy confident woman you might have thought I was … how do you boost your confidence when you know your stuff but just need a little help convincing yourself?
All images via here