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We spoke recently about the best money making methods for bloggers. By following these, you can be sure that your blog pays its way. And, with a bit of luck, your blog will see increased success as a result of your efforts. So much so that you may catch the attention of other bloggers, and even be invited to conferences.
In all honesty; us bloggers are often a shy bunch. There are, of course, always exceptions to this rule. For the most part, though, there’s a good reason we opt to work from home, instead of in the office. As such, when a call to attend a conference comes through, your first reaction might be to refuse.
In fact, you may even convince yourself that your blog isn’t that critical to you anyway. Anything to get out of facing your fears.
But, there’s no getting around the fact that attending conferences is a fantastic way to expand your reach. In fact, if you really want to make a go of this, it’s safe to say that conferences are essential. Here, you’ll meet new friends to collaborate with, gain new readers, and even meet sponsors. With that in mind, think twice before refusing next time.
Of course, getting the most from each conference all depends on your approach. None of the above is going to fall into your lap because you turn up. Instead, you need to get your business head on, and put together a conference kit which won’t let you down. Lucky for you, we’re going to look at a few of the things you should include.
You should already know by now that all bloggers need merch. It’s a sure way to build your brand and start earning. And, you’d be foolish not to take some of your merch along to the conference with you. It may even be worth taking your cheaper pieces, and handing them out for free. You are, after all, aiming to make yourself stand out. It’s unlikely people will buy from you at the event, but they’re sure to enjoy free stuff.
Keep it cheap, with branded lanyards from a company like customlanyardscanada.com, or pens with your logo and blog address on them. Options like these are sure to succeed. And, if an influential blogger is snapped while wearing them, you’ll see a real boost in viewings. You can also hand these out to those all-important sponsors to ensure you stick in their minds.
Many would argue that business cards are out of fashion, but they couldn’t be more wrong. For the most part, a Twitter handle is all it takes now. But, at conference events like these, you can’t expect people to hunt you down. Why should they look for your Twitter out of a whole stadium filled with bloggers? Instead, handing out a business card, like the ones found on www.moo.com, could seal the deal. This is especially the case when it comes to sponsors. When they sit back and consider everyone they met, they can turn straight to your card and see what you do.
Business cards are also handy for communicating with other bloggers. If they ever want to collaborate with a blog like yours, they can look at your business card and remember you straight away. Be sure to accept cards from other bloggers for this same reason. Keep them somewhere safe, and pull them out when you need to reach out to contributors.
A reference list
This is a less obvious piece of equipment, but it’s crucial just the same. The chances are that you already have a few long-distance blogging acquaintances. Conferences like these are a fantastic way to meet such people and turn them into friends. And, when you work in such a solitary manner, having friends who do the same can be a real comfort. Who better to understand the struggles and strains? Plus, in this industry, one friend leads to another, and each can boost your readership.
But, if you get to a conference and don’t recognize someone, or forget their name, you could do real damage. Word will soon get out, and you’ll find it difficult to breach friendship groups. Instead, develop a list before you go. Include pictures of all the bloggers you’ve spoken with, and a quick summary of their blog. Refer to this on a regular basis to ensure you make the right first impression. A step like this will help show that you pay attention to detail, and care about your fellow bloggers. And, that’ll get you far in this industry.
Last, but by no means least, you need to take your smile along with you. It may seem obvious, but many of us forget when we’re stressed or nervous. If you fall into that trap, you’ll come across as unapproachable. Thus, the whole purpose of the trip will come undone. After all, if people don’t feel they can approach you, there’s no point you being there.
Instead, make sure to take a smile along, and keep it with you for the duration. The event will be tiring; there’s no denying that. But, keep a smile on you the whole time. Make sure people know that you’re enjoying yourself. It’s the only way to ensure the event organizers invite you back next time. And, it’s the only way to seal your new friendships and business connections. After all, no one will want you around if you look miserable. Even if you get tired, smile, socialize and make yourself the life of the party.
What happens next?
If you got your kit right and made a good impression, it shouldn’t be long before new opportunities come your way. Keep your diary handy for the next few days, and answer every unknown number which calls you. As well as arranging collaborations in this time, you may be approached by an all-important sponsor. And, if that happens, your blog could take off in a significant way.