Regular readers know that I often preach the wisdom of finding conferences that “work” for you and what you’re hoping to achieve, and making the commitment not just to attend but to try to speak at those events periodically as well. It’s about networking, stretching your wings a little, and figuring out where you can best leverage your talents while best tapping into other resources.
And now that I typed that sentence I sort of want to punch myself in the face. Look; it’s about finding where you can do some learning, some leading, and a lot of finding your tribe amongst some folks you enjoy professionally and maybe even socially. Is that better?
This year I’m thinking about Savvy Blogging Summit, which is a conference I’ve never attended, but have heard really good things about from multiple people. The thing is, the next one isn’t for just over a year, so rather than my standard go-check-it-out method, I’m thinking I want to pitch a session. Even though I’ve never been, before.
I find myself feeling oddly shy about this endeavor, and proposals are due in a week. I speak all the time on a variety of topics—I have no problem speaking to a crowd. Similarly, I have no problem owning (or faking, ha!) my expertise when someone comes to me and says, “Hey, can you come talk to us about [Topic X]?” You ask me, I’m there. Probably with slides, even.
I’m not sure what the hitch is, this time, except that it’s been a long time since I went to a “new” conference. I tend to go to the same ones over and over, and as such I think I’ve kind of worn a comfort groove in a place I shouldn’t. I’m actually headed to a conference I’ve done before in a few weeks, and then I’m thinking that… after that, I may try not to hit another conference I’ve already done for at least a year. Right or wrong, I feel like I need to branch out.
But: I’m finding the challenge of coming up with a conference proposal from scratch, for an audience I maybe don’t know all that well, a little bit daunting. It’s a good feeling, under the fear, actually. It means I’m trying to stretch and that’s always good. But I also feel a little bit like I’m flying blind to just submit a proposal without any feedback before hand.
This is where you come in. Surprise!
I’d love a bit of a sounding board from my fellow professional, semi-professional, and wannabe-professional bloggers. Right now I’m thinking of pitching something along the lines of the ins and outs of maintaining your voice, integrity, and focus across multiple sites/gigs. So, that would cover things like when it’s time to create a new site rather than just multiple categories on a single site, how to stay “you” when writing for vastly different audiences, and things to be aware of and look out for in terms of your commitment to promote contractual jobs in your personal space.
Does this sound like something you’d be interested in attending? Have any of you attended Savvy before, and does this sound like something that “fits” in that space? If this doesn’t quite hit the mark for you, tell me what you feel like would make more sense.
My thinking is that a lot of bloggers are trying to bridge the gap between “I have a personal blog” and “I am now a professional blogger,” and there’s a lot of confusing territory between the two, particularly if you’re only just starting to write other places or start another site. But maybe I’m way off base.
Any and all feedback welcome. And yes, this is sort of like me asking you to do my homework, but gosh, did I mention how pretty you look today? So pretty!