Happy Monday, homies.
Let’s go ahead and preface this post with the understanding and agreement that the Internet is weird.
Awesome. But also weird.
When I started blogging about 16 months ago, I never really gave any thought to how my “online” life would collide with my “offline” life. I viewed them as very separate for quite some time. I talked about my blog very rarely to people that I socialized with day-to-day and never sought out occasions in which I could “talk shop” or actually MEET (like face-to-face) the people that read my blog.
That was dumb. New bloggers: don’t do that.
In the past few months, I’ve met a few new people through Twitter. I’ve started talking about this blog to new acquaintances. Hell, I’ve even been bringing it up on purpose in bars and on dates. I’ve started to talk about my blog in equal measure with my job. Sometimes, I’ll even talk about my blog more.
And you know what? People seem to think it’s cool. Not nerdy. Not narcissistic (well, if they think that it is, they’re at least kind enough to not tell me to my face). Cool.
Ermm, awesome? Refreshing and unexpected? Yes. But also very awesome.
St. Louis Fashion Week VIP Blogger Lounge
Anyway, back to the point of this post. I went to my first blogger event in St. Louis last week: Alive Magazine‘s St. Louis Fashion Week VIP Blogger Lounge.
The event brought together beauty, fashion, lifestyle, parenting and fitness bloggers as well as local business owners and designers in a fun, fashion-forward event at Scape in the Central West End.
Leading up to the event, I was really nervous. Nervous to the point of avoidance. I waited until the very last minute to get my business cards together and honestly, spent more time than I’d like to admit worrying about what to wear (spoiler: I just went with mostly black. Because I like black. And I’m not a fashion blogger. Comfort won out.).
But once I got there, the event was really fun. I met some seriously awesome business owners that are doing really neat things right in my back yard. I practiced talking about my blog and presenting myself as a blogger…not a marketer or a student or any of the other titles I’ve been really apt to adopt in the past. For some reason, owning the title “blogger” has never come easy to me. But events like this definitely help.
The main thing I learned that applies to everyone, even non-bloggers, is this:
If it makes you nervous, you’re probably doing something right.
Striking up conversations, offering someone your business card, sharing your work and talking about your opinions will always be a bit nerve-wracking. But every single time you do it, it gets easier. It gets more natural. And it gets to be more FUN.
Seriously, this is the lesson I’ve been learning time and time again when it comes to social situations lately. Nerves are good. And to overcome them, remember that everyone else has them too.
I know that’s not a revolutionary idea, but it is really comforting.
So keep that in mind next time you find yourself in a similar, new situation in which you have to own what you do, what you love and who you are. Or, as my roommates and I like to say,
“Let your freak flag fly.”
I definitely want to give a big shout-out to a handful of the businesses I talked to at the event. It was awesome to meet everyone. I look forward to future collaborations with more local business owners and can’t wait to continue watching their businesses grow! Check a handful of them out:
Huge ups to Lindsay Pattan from Alive Magazine for coordinating an awesome event (you can also check out her awesome fashion blog, here) and to Kourtney for being an awesome wingwoman for me all night.
For any fashion-loving readers located in the St. Louis area – be sure to check out the rest of the events for St. Louis Fashion Week. Find the full schedule and grab your tickets here.
Now over to you, for some discussion in the comments: How do you psyche yourself up for events that make you nervous? Any bloggers out there with positive experiences to share about blogging events?
P.S. Struggling with Blogging Confidence? I wrote about the topic once before right here.