Coupled with a completely different outlook and wardrobe -with color-, instead of my usual PR-black, I knew that BlogHer 11 would be different.
Not only did I have the honor of leading a Geek Bar workshop, I would also be representing the more than 270 members of the Latina Lifestyle Blogger Group (#llblog) and leaving behind my 9-5 role.
I practiced nearly every scenario in which I would be presented with the opportunity to introduce the #llblog community and our upcoming conference. I also double-checked with my agency friends if I should approach their clients -while there- or walk-by and wait for their introduction.
To reinforce the separation between my 9-5 and my blogging world, I made sure to print separate cards with my two very different contact details (just in case there was ever any doubt).
In other words, I prepared and did my homework because I didn't want to burn any bridges in either my blogging world or PR career.
But as the conference neared its start, I began to speak to both colleagues and friends that were from either side of the blogging arena: whether they were bloggers themselves, on the agency, client side, or new media consultants. And this is where the fogginess began.
Although I was quite adept at making clear distinctions between my two -very different- roles, many of the attendees were not.
When asking a newbie blogger from the Midwest what her blog was about during the Verizon BlogHer Luncheon, she nervously responded that her blog would be focused on being a new mom.
I tried not to stare too intently or even question the validity of her answer, but I couldn't understand why anyone would want to be just like everyone else.
A second blogger introduced herself by simply giving me her business card. She might have said her name, but she spoke too fast to comprehend whether her name was Mary or that she was "very" hungry, or tired (insert any other adjective here). And then hurried to add to her 100-pound swag bag only stopping to meet anyone that was in her way.
I also met many bloggers that were now Social Media Strategists. But when I asked them what their focus or speciality was, I either got a blank stare or a "who-are-you-to-ask-me-what-I-do?" brush off.
And then it got me to wondering: Was I the only person that practiced my elevator-pitch? Was it, well, old school?
This was interesting to me coming from a business background; being that I have to answer - almost daily - what I do and what my speciality is.
I work hard to stand apart and make sure to always highlight my speciality - because, well, everyone has a speciality....right?
But maybe, just maybe, it wasn't something that was broadly done at Blog Her....
When I was almost -but given up- on my well-practiced elevator-pitch, I met not one, not two, but a few bloggers that seemed to have it together.
And what did these ladies have in common?
- Their business card clearly branded their name and blog
- Their business card stayed away from industry jargon (in other words, they didn't list work titles that didn't really exist)
- Their persona matched their blog (i.e if they were fashion bloggers they didn't just wear a cute dress, they looked the part - from their styled hair to their fashionable shoes)
- Not only did they clearly state what their blog focus was about, they communicated it with eloquent passion
- They shook my hand with a firm hand-grip while looking at me straight in the eyes - and they treated everyone just the same
- They stopped to talk and engage with me and other people around them - not only their closest gal pals
- They were ready and open to learning new skills
- They engaged not only with the SWAG, but the brands and the people behind the brands
- So they missed a workshop, or the massage, they were still having fun, learning and networking - and they didn't let those hurdles stop it!
It's because of those women that I have already looked into Blog Her 12 and hope that you too can join me! Only, of course, if you get your personal branding, communications and mindset in tip-top working order!