Thoughts from BlogPodium 2014

How do you sum up BlogPodium in a post?? I've been struggling for the past few weeks to put my experience into words but it will never be a perfect summary, so I'm embracing my jumbled thoughts and sharing my favourite take-aways from the weekend :)

Good things take time
Someone asked me during my presentation for tips on how to create professional videos that compete with Michelle Phan. And my answer at the time was fine - make sure it's HD, don't use iMovie music, don't go 'transition' crazy, etc - but thinking back to the whole day I think my answer would be this:

Just start. If you wait until you have every skill in place to compete with Michelle Phan, you'll have missed out on so much. Just turn on your camera, use what you have (but please not the iMovie music! haha) and do your best. Michelle Phan did not become what she is overnight. It took years of regularly uploading videos, let alone the years before she ever joined Youtube. You will never, ever ever start something at the top and instantly be the most successful. Good things take time. You have to be willing to wait, and learn & grow & change in the process. But you can't do any of that until you start.

Quality over quantity.
When it comes to how many people you met, or your blog stats, or your engaged readers, we should all be more focused quality over quantity. It's what brands are looking for now - the influencers & tastemakers - and engaged followers are much more worthwhile than a mere number on analytics. And one or two genuine connections at a conference will far outweigh 100 business cards from people you barely remember meeting.

Face-to-face connections can't be beat.
I feel like I really bonded with a few people this time around. People I'd met at past conferences or worked with over email were so easy to just start chatting to & it was like the initial awkwardness of meeting new people was just not there. I'm not entirely sure why, but dang, some good conversations were had!

Do you.
There was a lot of talk on authenticity - from Donna's morning keynote, to the fantastic lunchtime panel - and I couldn't agree more. You will never succeed trying to be someone else. And someone else's path will never work the same for you. Embrace your own journey and you will succeed.

"Don’t look left. Don’t look right. Do what you yourself do – and that’s it." (via)

On the front of every program are the three words of BlogPodium's mission: Connection. Conversation. Collaboration. The first two are relatively easy, but true collaboration takes work! And I don't mean guest posts or sharing other's work (which are both great & I don't want to downplay), but truly collaborating on a project from start to finish is hard in the blog world when we're all so spread out. But I think (and I include myself in this!) that we need to really work together more. Combine strengths & work as a team. I mean, BlogPodium would absolutely not happen without the fantastic team Jen has put together. I play a very small role, and watching other people do what they do best is so neat to see.

Overall, I came away from the weekend feeling so grateful. For new friends, for the opportunities I've had, and for all the incredible things that are going to come out of it.

Thankyou Jen & Julie & Tia & Brittany and the rest of the amazing team for a weekend I won't forget anytime soon :)