In my opinion, the two best parts of blogging are making new friendships and learning new skills. Although it used to be (and sometimes still is) outside of my comfort zone, I love meeting and connecting with other bloggers and readers. There is nothing like having your circle of friendship expanded because the coolest opportunities come from new people and new circles of influence.
Blogging is also a job and a lot of hard work and to do it well, you need to have knowledge. I've learned so much since I started blogging- from photography to modeling to social media in's and out's to Illustrator and Photoshop. And there is always more to learn because things are always changing!
So what combines the two best parts of blogging in one exhilarating and exhausting event? A blog conference. Last month I stepped out of my comfort zone and headed to ALT Summit- alone- to network with bloggers and take classes. I went with the intention of growing our business and improving my blog and having been to a conference or two I knew I would get out of it what I put into it. So I put on my friendly face and showed up ready to meet people.
I don't think it comes naturally to very many people, but I did my best to introduce myself to strangers all day long, to sit at tables full of people I had never met and to hand out business cards like it was my job (cuz it was.) It was very freeing to just give myself permission to approach anyone and to tell them about myself and about Nickel & Suede. It definitely got easier the more I did it, but holy cow- it was also so tiring! Talking to people all day long every day is not my ideal day. I'm more of an introvert who likes her quite time. But I feel like it was worth it. I am positive I made the most of my time there and that I met as many new people as possible, even if I couldn't meet everyone.
So I accomplished my first goal for attending ALT- I met people and made friends. Tomorrow I'll share more about my second goal.
Do you have a hard time meeting new people? When have you had to open yourself up and make friends out of strangers?