When you’re trying to start a blog, a career, or grow your influence, it’s easy to get excited about conferences like BizCom Summit.
That’s because you’re probably ready to learn all the latest tips and tricks for Instagram or that new, magical Pinterest shortcut you’re sure will change everything overnight.
But, if you want to make the most out of attending an awesome marketing conference like BizCom, the truth is learning about tactics should be the last thing on your mind.
Now, don’t get me wrong, learning new ways to leverage social media or SEO is super important. If every project or channel you build is a bonfire, tactics like those can be the big logs that help the fire stay lit.
BUT…what if you don’t have a fire that’s already burning? What if you don’t have an established business or a following?
Because if you’re an excited new blogger and all you have are tactics…then the only thing you have is a pile of logs, right? You still need to get the fire started (aka get traffic).
The secret value of conferences for new Bloggers / Influencers that’s 100x more valuable than any tips or tricks you’ll learn as an attendee…
As a new creative business the only thing that matters is getting your project some traction (aka getting your fire started). That means before you focus on gathering up those Pinterest hacks (aka the logs) you need to be gather the basic components of a fire:
- The spark…your idea that excites you, serves others, or solves a problem.
- The kindling…consistent effort.
- The oxygen…a community of others that will help you first ignite. You can’t start a fire in a vacuum.
Now you don’t need to go to a conference to get an idea and buying your ticket definitely won’t replace consistent effort.
But…do you know where one of the best places to find a community is? That’s right…a conference!
Almost nowhere else but at a conference will you find such an “oxygen rich” environment of people who are encouraging, creating, and building.
For example, at BizCom I got to meet a TON of people that are super talented designers, business owners, and are doing all sorts of things that Stasia and I hope to be able to do someday with Haroldson House.
But, how do you turn a “nice to meet you” into a community?
Now that you’ve decided you’re going to a conference and you’re going to meet people, how do you actually build connections that matter? This is where I turn to a lesson that I learned from my wife Stasia, who is the best relationship builder I know.
As a new creative you need to learn that you don’t deserve to have anyone care about your thing. That sounds harsh because you are most definitely excited about your project (and you should be)! But, the truth is that if you expect to show up and be showered with admiration for your talents…you’ll be very quickly disillusioned.
However, if you show up with the goal to listen and to figure out how to help someone else, you will be amazed at how much opportunity suddenly seems to come out of nowhere. And how much more interested others will be in you.
What can happen when you help others?
Normally I wouldn’t talk about this, but since I’m trying to convince you to go out and be helpful, I want to share a little example of how this approach can benefit you.
You see, the whole reason I was at BizCom in the first place wasn’t because I optimized a headline and it definitely wasn’t because of a perfect Instagram post. I was there because I had gone to a prior event where I met Morgan from Construction2Style.
And as I learned more about what they were working on the opportunity to help Morgan by photographing BizCom appeared. Most importantly, I didn’t ask for anything in return other than a chance to do a great job for her.
But, even though I was truly happy to help and expected nothing else, Haroldson House was able to get a bunch of organic backlinks that you can’t buy and frankly, we don’t deserve at this point. It might even be why you’re reading this right now.
A challenge for new (and established) creatives…
So, if you want to grow something and you’ve never done something like this, I’m challenging you to find an event that you can attend locally like BizCom. And when you go, make it your goal to find at least one person you can help.
They might be someone you admire and are doing things you hope to do someday. Or they might be someone who can benefit from your experiences or an opportunity you can give them.
Whether you go to a conference like BizCom Summit, a workshop, or a meet-up. It doesn’t matter. Just go, be interested, and look for way someone with your talents.
Because while the platforms change (hey Tumblr!), and the tactics always change, what NEVER changes is the energy you get from being interested in helping others.
And no, it might not result in more likes, a bigger following, or some amazing collaboration right away. But, in some form or fashion, every single opportunity I’ve gotten can be traced back to someone I’ve met and a time I said, “I can help.”
BTW…In the spirit of making connections we’re looping up with other creatives who were at BizCom Summit! Check out what they’re sharing! I hope you’ll learn something, be inspired to attend a conference or meet-up, or just DM one of them with a great question or a way you can help them out!