Feeling like a “real” blogger: Create & Cultivate Dallas

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Last weekend, I went to Create & Cultivate Dallas. It was my first ever blogger conference, and I’m not going to lie, I was pretty nervous. I sit down with my blog reader every morning, so there’s something of a celebrity status reverence in my mind. I also anticipated a great deal of fashion bloggers, given that it’s a popular category in general and in the Dallas area.

A twinge of impostor syndrome had me feeling the need to up my style game and buy a bunch of new outfits. Some confidence-boosting FT business cards and soul-searching later, I realized a) my closet is already too full and b) I like my every day style, so it just wouldn’t be me to dress like my idea of a “real blogger”. Some outfit planning later with my style consultant (as in, if my husband hears “these shoes or these shoes?” one more time…) I ended up 100% comfortable as just me in things I already owned. Figures.

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Once I actually got there, I realized I had nothing to worry about anyway. Everyone was truly friendly and nice. There was also way more of a range of blogger levels and career fields present than I expected, which kept things interesting and way more approachable. It also helped a ton that one of my favorite people was there.

Overall, it was fun, fancy, and I’d definitely go again! Here are my big takeaways from Track #2:

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Let’s get technical:

  • Know your audience – where else should you be for them to discover you, what do they actually want or need from you.
  • Engage with people who’ve just liked / commented / followed – they are most likely to still be on their phone or in the app.
  • Hashtags – check before you use! Luckily, this lesson was already cemented while researching before a client’s major sports event…In case you were wondering, “#score” on Instagram is not so much sports-related. That’s all I’m going to say on the matter.
  • Specify rounds of edits in partnership contracts in advance, as well as fair fees for extra / extensive ones.

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Make your own opportunities:

  • Bag Snob turned a negative review for a designer’s bag –> a product conversation –> into a bag pitch –> into her own line.
  • House of Harper was looking to personally embark on a home remodel. She decided to explore expanding her blog content accordingly and pitched Lowe’s with her design ideas to see if they would maybe, like to, potentially sponsor. They did.

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Quotes, thoughts and things:

creativity is a practice

 

know your strengths, tap your network for the rest

 

sell the idea over the skills

 

respond to “no” with “why”

 

you’re only as good as your last _____

 

authentic > innovative …and is often innovative in and of itself

 

inspire creativity by understanding how people work best – and then letting them

Hope to see ya’ll at the next one!

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Meeting Lauryn from The Skinny Confidential!
Meeting Lauryn from The Skinny Confidential!

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Dallas Autumn Ball

Last Friday night, ze boyfriend and I got all gussied up for the Dallas Autumn Ball and had an absolute blast.

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The Dallas Autumn Ball is an event at Hotel ZaZa that according to the website seeks to “engage, impassion, and empower young professionals and young individuals to celebrate charity and raise much needed awareness and funds for worthy educational causes in Dallas. This is a unique black tie event that delivers a philanthropic opportunity to give back to the community in a festive setting.

The money raised at the ball went to Project Amplify. It’s a tutoring initiative for right here in Dallas to improve the education system, motivate our young people and help uncover passions. Through a highly researched method, Project Amplify sets out to rock the education system as we know it and start some real change.

So, last Friday night gave the opportunity to the young Dallas professionals to give money to a great cause, and then dance the night away with their friends. All of which I’m down for. Plus, it combined all the things a young Dallas professional loves; dressing up, Hotel ZaZa, booze, photographers, #hashtags and Uber (a local cab service).

Basically, we had a blast. Everything was to perfection, including my date. AND my feet didn’t even hurt..well..not that bad. Okay yeah I walked back barefoot but whatever. The aforementioned booze at least helped ease the pain a little. If you haven’t heard of the Dallas Autumn Ball before, now you do. Be on the look out, I’m counting on 2014!

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Let the countdown begin

I recently came to the conclusion that teachers are smarter than the rest of us.

Not only do they get the satisfaction that comes from a noble, rewarding job and (hopefully) cute kids, but they also get the entire summer off to do whatever their hearts desire. Maybe I’m the only one that saw High School Musical 2, but since May has arrived all of two days ago all I can hear in my head is the semi-creepy whispering from the movie’s opening number: “summer summer summer.”

I’ve heard the magic of summertime is supposed to fade just a little bit post-graduation, but this 20-something girl can always make time for a little summer fun in her work day. Of course, Texas weather loves to remind me that I may be jumping the summer gun, as outside is now gloomy, windy and expecting temps in the 30’s. Minnesota is even in the middle of a snowstorm for goodness sake! But sitting at my desk in front of a space heater and looking at these fun (and free!) Paperless Post invites, I can’t help but get excited about all the upcoming opportunities for friends and sunshine. On Monday I shared that one goal for making the most of my current apartment before my impending move will be to host a going away pool party / cookout. Thanks to these loverly invites, I’m proud to announce, mission accomplished.

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Do you have any fun summer plans in the works or am I the only one counting down the days until we can make this summer thing official?