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BlogHerPro 13: Brand and Bloggers Keynote Discussion


 

Last week, I posted details (and a discount) for #BlogHerPro ’13 Conference For Professionally-Minded Bloggers.  This week, I would like to highlight a subject covered at the October 23 discussion, where I will be one of the keynote speakers. The topic is, “Monetization: Brands & Bloggers Keynote Discussion” with some fantastic fellow social media professionals including Ana Picazo of Finding BonggaMom, Jim Lin from Ketchum PR and Busy Dad Blog, and Sarah Penna from Big Frame.

 

When the panelists held our first organizing conference call a few weeks ago to prepare for the conference, the conversation was enthusiastic and covered much ground. We could have talked the whole day about making money from our brands. Here are some of the key concepts I will be covering. Please comment with any thoughts you have on Monetization: Brands & Bloggers!

 

Because I am a believer in plans (per my book “My Parent Plan”), I decided to give my Brands and Blogger tips in the form of a 5 year plan based on my 6 years of blogging, looking over what made money and what could have been done better to monetize. I started blogging from a passion for technology but waited years to assemble a business plan to make money.

 

I believe that anyone considering professional blogging or social media entrepreneurship should create their business plan from the beginning to help them create a monetization structure that supports their business. In social media, there needs to be a balance between creating a community and creating a business. Many parts of creating an online community do not involve monetization, requiring engagement, listening, giving information and sharing perspective. As Guy Kawasaki expressed in his book, Enchantment , you need to “enchant” your customers to have a success business.

 

The key for anyone setting up a social media business is to engage the target community while also building a business, all the way being very clear what social posts are “editorial” and which are “advertorial”.  These rules are important for both FTC disclosure compliance rules as well as keeping an authentic relationship with your audience. Another key part of a business plan includes creating a monetization structure to get paid for “work” (which means not working for FREE). As many social media professionals have learned, that balance can be a challenge.

 

Every business person needs to feel empowered to get paid a relevant wage for their work.  “Relevant” means that the wage should be reasonable when compared to what is being paid in the market for that service, taking into consideration factors such as audience, influence and engagement.  At the same time, there is no magic formula to determine pay in social media so just analyzing numbers or statistics may not show the true influence of that engagement.

 

I chose early on to focus my blogging content on technology because I realized that women are the power consumers of technology and want to participate in that conversation (editorial and advertorial).  As Jennifer Elias wrote in her SV 411 article about BlogHer Pro13:

 

Listed below are TechMama’s recommendations on a 5 year Business  Plan for Professional Bloggers/Social Media Entrepreneurs:

 

 

By Year 1:  Develop your PLAN (incl. working w/brands):

  • CREATE BUSINESS PLAN:
  1. Define business goals, online brand, niche, target audience, social media platforms and tools, media kit, brands to build relationships  with (press &/or paid),  when/if you need to hire help and how you will enchant your customers online.
  2. Define monetization strategy (what are your service & rates) Ask yourself:          

If you are your own “start-up”, then how will you get funding?

 

Are you making a living from social media or another job(s)?  

 

  • CREATE CAREER PLAN:  Types of jobs, work skills & what you need to earn. Define what is “paid” work and what is professional brand building.
  • DEFINE COMMUNITIES FOR OUTREACH (community = engagement)
  • MANAGE RELEVANT LEGAL ISSUES : Learn about (or hire lawyer ) FTC/Disclosure  & contracts (esp.  service, exclusivity, name/likeness)
  • ANALYZE  MARKET TRENDS:  implement tools to keep AHEAD!

 

 

Year 2-5:  Focus, Assess and Revise Plan (no pain, no gain)!

 

  • FOCUS: Refine “business” to focus on specific services (paid) and brands (i.e campaigns, spokesperson). But always put your AUDIENCE first. Keep “press” relationship with brands for editorial content.
  • ASSESS & REVISE:  Assess ROI of your business. Do you need to make changes to your business strategy to reach your business (and financial) goals? IF so – create new business opportunities or pursue another job .

 

PRIORITY CHECK : Always make sure your personal life (family) and medical/financial health are a priority!

 

Along with creating a business plan, social media entrepreneurs should also spend time to understand the different types of relationships they can have with brands. Here are the ways I define my relationships with brands:

 

EDITORIAL: First and foremost I value the press/editorial relationships I have with brands because it allows me to obtain information that I can then share over my social media channels to my audience.  If community = engagement, then engagement = editorial sharing. I find that my audience wants to hear my editorial perspective on the topics I cover and share their perspectives with me. I feel that type of conversation is the most important to have in social media. It is also good to look at working with brands for editorial purposes as also building a (mutually respectful) professional relationship. Although this type of relationship with brands does not involve any sponsorship, it may at a future time (with proper disclosure).

 

ADVERTORIAL (SPONSORED): This type of relationship with brands that involves either sponsored posts, advertising, ambassador, spokesperson or other paid projects. Before working with brands in this manner I always suggest to have a media kit to provide clear information on what services you offer and what rates you charge. To understand what are the relevant rates to charge, it is helpful to have an understanding of are market rates for specific services or if  you have special factors for charging a premium. I feel it is important to feel empowered to get paid for work and look at your ROI (return on investment) for the amount of time you spend on a project versus what you are being paid. In the 5 year plan “focus” phase, this is especially the time to review ROI and say “no” for projects that don’t meet your criteria.  I also feel it is important to always keep an authentic voice when working on advertorial posts.

 

This is also a phase where understanding contracts (or as I said hiring a lawyer to help) is very important. For example, I focus close attention on sections in my contracts such as exclusivity, services, name/likeness, compensation and ownership. But each contract is different and I learn new things every time. Luckily I had a great lawyer help me understand contracts for the first few years (and still use them on occasion).  The FTC Disclosure rules are also something very important to comply with for all advertorial posts.

 

PERSONAL BRAND BUILDING:

Another type of relationship with brands is what I call “personal brand building”. For those starting out, it may be mutually beneficial to work with brands (non sponsored) in your niche to build up experience and meet new communities.

 

As I mentioned before, it is always important in any phase of your business to share an authentic voice with your audience and give “goodwill” back to social media communities you participate in.

 

Please share your tips for interacting with brands and what type of business plan you found helpful for your social media business.

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored series. My words are my own.

 

GoDaddy launched a new brand strategy last month that revolves around small businesses. ‘It’s go time’ is a comprehensive company-wide messaging transformation supported by a refined GoDaddy user-experience and reinvigorated products sharply focused on helping small business owners.  Check out this article by The New York Times.

 

 

 

 

#BlogHerPro ’13 Conference For Professionally-Minded Bloggers

*GIVEAWAY IS OVER – BUT PLEASE FEEL FREE TO USE FRIENDS DISCOUNT SHARED BELOW!.

BlogHer as been a big part of the most “important” reason why I got involved in social media: Community! I joined in 2006 because I had pivoted from a career in a top consulting firm to starting my own business. Over the years I have gained the value of not only meeting a great community of social media entrepreneurs but also learning so much  from BlogHer and the BlogHer conferences. That is why I am especially excited to attend BlogHer Pro 2013 as one of the Keynote Speakers on the  Monetization: Brands & Bloggers Keynote Discussion with some fantastic fellow social media professionals including Ana Picazo of Finding BonggaMom, Jim Lin from Ketchum PR and Busy Dad Blog, and Sarah Penna from Big Frame.. BEST YET – I have a discount code and am giving away TWO BlogHerPro13 conference passes! Can you tell that I am excited to be sharing the fun with others?

 

Just check out the other BlogHer Pro 2013  panels and speakers that include content management, mobile and business intensive workshops. Here is a link for where to  register for BlogHer Pro 2013 and more details: “BlogHer PRO is a multi-track conference for professionally-minded bloggers looking to take their business, marketing, and technical skills to the next level. Improve your knowledge and hone your skills on everything from personal brand to personal finance to personal privacy.” Honestly, this conference is also for anyone in business that wants to learn more about the powerful medium of blogging and social media for business.

 

DISCOUNT CODE: First of all I have a friends discount code to share (because my readers are my friends of course!Use Friends Discount code, PRO13FF, for 30% off registrationRegister today!

 

GIVEAWAY:  Second, I am giving away ONE CONFERENCE PASS to BlogHer Pro 2013 for TWO WINNERS (one conference pass will be given to each winner – 2 winners total).

TO ENTER: Please comment on this blog post (by Oct. 11, 12pm PST) and then share on Twitter that you have entered this contest.

DETAILS:  PLEASE COMMENT ON THIS POST BY OCT 11, 12PM PST. To enter, please comment on this post then tweet out “I entered @TechMama’s #BlogHerPRO ’13  giveaway  http://bit.ly/GDRZf4″.  For the comment please share what type of questions you have about being a social media professional? Do you have legal, SEO, content, questions about interacting with brands or general questions about how this all works? Or I would love to hear your story on how you use social media professionally.

 

WINNER CHOSEN AT RANDOM: The winner will be chosen randomly using Random.org and will be notified by Oct. 11 at 2pm pst. Winner must respond with confirmation by October 14 2pm pst.

 

Rules: 1. One Blog Post comment per person. One Blog Post comment is equal to one entry (so only one entry per person)  2. Winners are limited by geography to US residents only 21 years of age or older. 3. If a valid email address is not provided in the entry, another winner will be chosen. 4. The prize is not redeemable in cash and must be accepted as awarded. 5. Approximate value of prizes may vary. 6. All decisions are final. 7. All Federal, State and Local taxes and travel expenses associated with receipt of prize is the sole responsibility of the winner. 8. By entering any giveaway on this website you release Techmamas.com from any liability whatsoever, and waive any and all causes of action.

 

 

Disclosure: As a speaker on the Keynote Panel discussion for BlogHer Pro 13, I was assigned conference passes that I decided to share with my readers. All of my words are my own. The idea for this giveaway was also my own.

 

Sharing Family Memories with Microsoft SkyDrive and Skype

 
Time goes by so fast, and as a Mom and the family historian I want to make sure I am keeping track and sharing family memories. The first step in this effort was learning to copy all digital pictures from numerous cameras to my PC in a timely manner. Next was the challenge of sharing photos and movies with family and friends. A big time-saver in this content management exercise, with multiple devices taking pictures and offering quick connection with cell or WiFi access, is to send pictures directly to the cloud. I store my digital photos and documents all in one place in the cloud using SkyDrive, which allows me to send a link to these great memories if I want to share. I not only have SkyDrive on my PC, but also have the SkyDrive app on my phone to enable photo loading to the cloud no matter where I am!

 

Check out my video where I shared my trip to Montana with Grandmom using Skype and SkyDrive.

 

 

 

 

 

Skype compliments SkyDrive in family archiving. Video calls with family and friends are just a click away, and if I want to give them a peek at the kids’ homework, art work or class projects, Skype easily allows screen sharing.

 

 

Both sets of Grandparents know that the only way they will be able to keep up on what is going on in our busy lives is with regular Skype chats while viewing our family SkyDrive digital photo albums at the same time. Our Office 365 Home Premium subscription also makes it more economical for our family to chat with friends and family all over the world because it comes with 60 Skype minutes each month.

 

How do you share your pictures with friends and family?
 

 

Social Is The Future of Search And SEO


One key topic discussed at social media conferences is SEO, search and influence. At the recent BlogHer Pro conference in San Francisco, the lunchtime keynote subject was  Growing Your Audience and Influence with Social + Search with speakers Duane Forrester of Bing, Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes and Elisa Camahort of BlogHer.  While Elise Bauer explained that she focusses on good content rather than over analyzing if her posts are SEO friendly, she also revealed that over 80% of her traffic comes from search engines. Many conversations about the content on her SimplyRecipes.com site, including recipe questions, happen on social networks such as Facebook. Duane Forrester predicted that in the future, social will be the most important part of search. He also mentioned that each social network platform has value in sharing content and conversations, but you need to determine which platform provides the best value for your brand.  Elisa Camahort added, “Twitter is good for brand awareness, Facebook is good for influence because it consists of your friends.” Everyone also discussed how Pinterest can generate lots of traffic because it is a visual platform that benefits posting content with pictures.

 

I have personally witnessed the power of social when it comes to sharing content. I use multiple social media platforms including Twitter to share my blogging content and when that content is “retweeted” it magnifies my reach. I also find more and more content on the web via the social streams of my friends. This confirms what Forrester said, that social is becoming the most important part of search on the web. Forrester also mentioned the new Bing Social Sidebar.

 

I also had the opportunity to talk with Kari Dilloo from Bing (who also presented on the BlogHer Pro panel “Growing Your Reputation: Working with PR and Media Professionals as Part of the New PR Food Chain“) about Bing Social. She explained that Bing Social Search has the advantage of pulling information from across social networks (including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Klout and Quora) when doing a search. Dilloo explained that Bing is looking at reinventing search and seeing where search is going to make it easy for people to find info they are looking for.

 

Bing social search

Photo Credit: Bing Search Blog

 

 

When doing a search on Bing, the left hand side is the web search. In the middle is a snapshot view that includes visual maps, pictures and even links to sites such as Wikipedia. The far right hand side displays a social search column with results from friends and other social networks that recently discussed the topic being queried. For example, a search for a Mexican restaurant will result in a listing on the left hand side bar of local restaurants with links to menus and phone numbers. These businesses will also be identified on the map in the middle column. The far right hand side bar displays a list of restaurants being discussed by those in the searcher’s various social networks. This allows a true social experience when performing a search on Bing, including who blogged or tweeted about the topic. The cross platform result provides new opportunities for those creating social media content on particular subjects to have their content discovered in searches by others interested in the same topic.

 

 

Bing social search

 

 

When I searched on Bing  for “gadget gifts”, I saw that my friend Jennifer Comet Wagner shared a post from her blog titled “Tech Gadget Gifts for Teens and Tweens“. Because I trust her opinion, I was more influenced by her post then by the general web search posts.  I review technology so my kids are used to seeing all the gadgets I have tested. For their holiday gifts, I needed a fresh perspective. On Jennifer’s post that I found from Bing, I discovered two fun tween/teen gift items I had not heard of and were perfect for my son: an ePillow for when he reads eBooks on his tablet and OWI Robotic Arm Edge for some Robotics fun. As a blogger, I realize now more then ever that social is an important part of how my posts will be found.

 

But more then that, as Kari Dilloo shared in the “How to Build Your Reputation” panel, research is very important part of building the right reputation. She explained “My advice is to do your research and make every conversation count. Whether it’s small talk at conferences or over twitter, etc, seek out the people and/or companies you admire and be armed with ideas that could spark a mutual brainstorm.” Social search can also benefit this type of research not only to find what is on the web, but also what your friends and social networks have to say on the topic.

 

Are you more influenced by what your friends share on social networks or from search engine results?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All of my words are my own.

 

Building Success: Using Bing Webmaster Tools

 

As part of my preparation for BlogHer PRO, I had the opportunity to speak to Duane Forrester, Sr. Product Manager with Bing’s Webmaster Program. He will be leading the lunch Keynote titled, “Lunch, and Keynote Brought to You by Bing — Growing Your Audience and Influence with Social + Search”.  Forrester explained to me the details of his personal journey: to share with others how to build success and how to leverage your business assets to become successful. He also believes that to deliver a quality product you need to have customer interaction.  His two books, “Turn Clicks Into Customers: Proven Marketing Techniques for Converting Online Traffic into Revenue” and “How to Make Money with Your Blog: The Ultimate Reference Guide for Building, Optimizing, and Monetizing Your Blog” detail how a business can increase customers and generate revenue with blogs.

 

We discussed many different topics related to blogging and one was of particular interest. Forrester discussed the new features of the Bing Webmaster tools including the “Link Explorer, SEO Analyzer/SEO Reports, and updates to current tools such as our Keyword Research Tool (beta), and our URL Removal Tool.” Bing Webmaster tools (available to anyone) detail standard info including queries, your site’s ranking and where you were shown. The tools also send alerts and when combined with Bing crawler you can proactively manage bandwidth by time of day. Another option is to set controls that someone else manages for your website. With Link Explorer you can not only see who is linking to you, but also who is linking to your competitors. BingBot offers the ability to have a crawler fetch your blog’s URL then have a search engine assess the code on the page and come back with a status. For example, you can watch out for signs of hacks in your websites such as really long links. Forrester shared important advice for all bloggers: we should get to know what “normal” code looks like on our website so we can spot when it has been hacked.

 

In addition to all of these tools, Bing is now the first search engines to provide SEO advice to users. This is accomplished with SEO Analyzer, which scans a URL then shares what SEO work needs to be done.This tool helps you know what SEO work needs to be done now, helps you learn more about SEO from a trusted source and can help you test fresh areas of your site quickly.
When I checked out the Bing Webmaster Tools online, I was happy to see blog posts from the Bing Webmaster blog that explains key product areas. For those who want to find out more, there are Bing Webmaster Guidelines blog posts and  free recorded webinars . The Bing Webmaster Getting Started Checklist is a great place for the user to start outlining the process and tools to build workflow. This checklist covers areas such as how to configure your site reports and data, Webmaster diagnostic tools and SEO Analyzer.

 

Here are some of the blog posts that are great resources not only for Bing Webmaster tools but also for SEO and reporting:

 

For more information, check the BlogHer Pro live blogs.

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  

 

Katie Couric, BlogHer, Sheryl Sandberg: Women Social Media Leaders That Rock

The recent episode of the “Katie Show” helped Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and her company celebrate a major milestone, 1 Billion global users. Many of those users are my family members. As Mark Zuckerberg expressed in a blog post this month, We believe that the need to open up and connect is what makes us human. It’s what brings us together. It’s what brings meaning to our lives“.  Facebook has offered me exactly that, a place where my family and friends connect. All online social networks face privacy issues (I will be talking about that more in another post). With Facebook, I am happy there is a place where all of my family and friends have profiles and I can keep up with their latest antics no matter how busy their or my life may become.

 

In addition to Facebook enabling me to stay connected to family and friends, I also enjoy seeing COO Sheryl Sandberg showcased as a great role model for younger women pursuing tech careers. On the “Katie Show”, Cheryl was a clear symbol of female success in the high technology industry.

 

Here is my summary of some my favorite highlights from the “Katie Show” with Sheryl Sandberg:

  • Katie Couric asked if Facebook was worried about not being the “new thing”? Cheryl Sanderg said the initial fear was that Facebook started with only college students. Would they stay active users when mothers, grandmothers, and teachers joined? Everyone stayed because Facebook made it easy for them all to connect.
  • Katie asked how people use Facebook to discuss political campaigns? Cheryl  explained how conversations that used to happen around the “watercooler” now happen on Facebook (and the “watercooler”). There are 170 million Facebook users in the US which is greater than the number of people who will vote. Eighty percent of Facebook users are outside the U.S. and Canada, and people around the world use  Facebook in some common ways.
  • Katie then asked about the dark side of being connected, including spam and scams: do those things keep you up at night? Sandberg explained that every technology ever invented has positive and negative uses. The more powerful the technology, the more powerful the use.
  • Katie discussed an inspirational story about a daughter who posted a Facebook update sharing that her mother needed a new kidney.  A friend of a friend of the daughters saw this, knew she was right blood type and contacted the daughter to donate her kidney. The whole story was heartwarming, the mother got a new kidney and the daughter feels like she has a new “sister”, the generous women who donated her kidney. The full story is discussed in a post on the Katie Show site “A reason to connect and donate“.
  • Facebook business success stories were discussed with one women in the audience (Mandie from Got What it Cakes) sharing that after she joined Facebook and her friends started sharing, her business doubled and doubled again. Mandie explained that she is a proud mom conducting business in her kitchen and her Got What It Cakes Facebook page has 6200 fans (now over 7,000).

 

Talking about role models… Katie Couric has been my media role model for years. She not only wrote a New York Times best-selling book titled, “The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons From Extraordinary Lives“, but also is a dedicated cancer advocate. And she is one of the most successful anchors along with being a fellow working mom.  Her bio listed:


In September 2006, Katie Couric became the first female solo anchor of an evening news broadcast. Couric served as anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric until May 2011… On May 31, 2006, Couric completed a 15-year run as co-anchor of NBC News’ TODAY show. In October 2011, the Wall Street Journal called Couric of the “most successful anchors ever” at the TODAY show. Couric joined the Disney/ABC Television Group in Summer 2011 and serves as special correspondent for ABC News….. Beginning in September 2012, she will host a new syndicated daytime talk show, Katie.”

 

 

What some may not know is that Katie Couric was one of the early news anchors to understand the value of social media and parent bloggers.  Around the time of BlogHer Business 2008, I was contacted by Katie Couric’s production team at “The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric”. It was part of their social media outreach to promote the show. I was already such a big fan, not only because of  Katie’s trailblazing career in news, but also due to Katie’s intelligent, engaging, professional and inspirational presence on any show where she appeared. I had started a list titled, “TV women to learn from”, because I had a goal to film television Tech Segments. Later that year, as I started making TV appearances, I could not help but wonder how much of my own personal style in front of camera was developed by watching Katie.

 

The most exciting thing about the initial social media outreach from the Katie Couric team was that it led to a studio tour offered to me and a selection of mom bloggers in New York City for the BlogHer Business conference (2008). The BlogHer community, founded by inspiring female leaders Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort Page and Jory Des Jardins in 2005, is another social media powerhouse that has the largest community of women who blog.

 

 

I have to admit… part of why I chose Katie Couric as my role model back then was also due to her great fashion choices (including fantastic shoes!). To prepare for the studio tour, I got myself a  Katie Couric haircut (forget the Jennifer Aniston!) and a matching jacket.  Needless to say, when I finally met Katie Couric together with my mom blogger colleagues, she was as engaging in person as she was on television.  She was also very savvy about social media, asking insightful questions and sharing her perspective. And I just may need to submit that picture as a Katie Clone!

 

In August 2012, Katie Couric was the lunchtime Keynote at BlogHer12 in New York City and it was so great to see her on stage again (I was in the audience cheering her on)! Bringing the story full circle, a highlight of my 2012 BlogHer Conference was a brief meet and greet with Katie before she gave her Keynote lunch.  Although I did not qualify as a Katie clone this time, I did have a chance to tell her I was looking forward to watching her show when it debuted the following month.

 

I am happy that there are multiple other social media platforms I can use to interact with the Katie Show (back from my home in San Francisco area) including Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. There are great behind the scenes videos on YouTube and Google+.  During shows they have bloggers participating in many ways. Fellow tech mom Heidi Leder was not only in the audience for the Facebook show (which I was following via the #Katie Twitter Hashtag), but she also wrote a feature post on the website about how Facebook Keeps Her connected. I also feel lucky to have so many women social media leaders that have blazed the trails to offer ways for us all to connect offline and online.

 

What are your favorite ways to connect online?

 

 

 

BlogHer ’12: How To Prepare And What to Wear

 

BlogHer’s 8th annual conference will be held in New York City on August 2-4, 2012 and for the sixth consecutive year I am heading out to join in the fun, connect with my fellow bloggers and hear about the latest blogging & social media tips, tricks, trends and strategies. As I shared in a recent post about what people learned from previous BlogHer conferences: “Because blogging is an isolating activity – BlogHer also invigorates me by connecting with the amazing network of “BlogHers”!

 

I will be speaking this year (i.e. getting my geek on) at the BlogHer 12 Geek Bar.
Check out the schedule and make sure to sign up for some great sessions. I am leading the discussion titled, “ Managing Social Media Via Mobile: Android OSMaximize your mobile device to get the most of social media! Learn best practices, top apps, and security precautions you need for Android”. ANDROID OS users – PLEASE SHARE your favorite ways to use social media on your Android device by commenting on this post. I also look forward to hearing tips from others at the conference.

 

Because I’m a BlogHer veteran, here are my tips for how to prepare and what to wear to BlogHer 12 – NYC version!

 

STEP 1 – “The Schedule”:  The first step is to confirm all of your travel arrangements including hotel and transportation. Many of us made plans months ago (especially those of us traveling to New York City). Five weeks before BlogHer, I always like to circle back and confirm my travel arrangements. One year, I realized that I had made an airplane “reservation” but not purchased the tickets (luckily I still was within the month before so I made a new plane reservation).

 

The next step is review the BlogHer12 agenda and start putting together your schedule. Check out the official BlogHer ’12 party plan and update your schedule with some nighttime fun. It is important to make sure you plan time to visit the BlogHer Expo to see the exhibits and interact with the sponsors. Those who want to start early can attend the BlogHer Evening at the Expo Hall event the night before the conference. If you are new to BlogHer, there are official parties every night that offer additional opportunities to network. Those who have been to BlogHer before may attend one of many other social events that go on around BlogHer as well. But my key piece of advice is to network as much as is comfortable – but not overdo it.  Don’t pay attention to all the crazy plans that everyone else is setting up – create a schedule that works for you and allows you to connect with the bloggers most important to you. Also make sure to reach your hand out and introduce yourself to people you don’t know and make new connections.

 

 

Step 2 – Take Your Schedule Mobile: To prepare for the busy conference schedule, make sure your personal schedule is not only organized but also on your mobile device via an online calendar or mobile app. One important mobile app to download is the official BlogHer12 mobile app that is available via iTunes for iPhones or the BlogHer12 app for Android phones on Google Play. The CrowdCompass page will also have other mobile apps that are available for BlogHer12. For those with Windows Phones, The Windows Marketplace also has great mobile apps for networking.

 

I also like to have “backup” paper printouts of my schedule just in case my battery runs out (but some prefer not to use paper). On the topic of batteries – I suggest everyone bring a mobile battery charger because batteries can run out and you will not have time to charge during the day. I will do another post on battery chargers – but I am always happy to help people find one that works for them. The key is not to buy the cheapest – but buy the one that really works. While there are budget friendly mobile device battery chargers that work well, the key is to test it before you leave for the conference and keep the packaging/receipts just in case it does not meet your needs.

 

 

Step 3 – Prepare Your Networking Materials: With all the technology available to share contact information, I still prefer good old fashioned business cards. Therefore, my next tip is to make sure you schedule time to print business cards before you leave for BlogHer. I usually print around 500 to have enough for passing out to old and new friends and at the BlogHer Expo hall. Some of my colleagues prefer to print even more. At past conferences I have seen bloggers use creative ways to share their own professional brand by giving away branded screen cleaners, business card holders, bags, bracelets and tee shirts. I have also seen creative business cards that fold and have headshots printed on them. When preparing materials for BlogHer, it is important to comply with the guidelines for sponsored bloggers.

 

But there are also technology options that can enhance the sharing of contact information. For example, if you print a QR code on your business card then those with QR code readers can scan it to load your contact information. Or even have your QR image on your mobile device to share. Many mobile apps (even SMS applications) share contact information, but when sharing contacts via mobile devices it is also important to consider the security implications. I will cover some of my recommendations in another post  and please do share your favorite contact sharing mobile apps if you have some recommendations.

 

 

 StI'll be wearing cute shoes to BlogHer '12ep 4 - What to Wear: When attending a conference one of the key questions is what to wear. For social media conferences, all outfits should be camera appropriate for all the pictures and instant uploading that takes place. Personally, I also focus on comfort for my feet to survive all the walking of long days in big conference halls.
I’ll admit it… I love wearing heels. I’m always on the hunt for comfortable, stylish shoes and went through years of trying different brands of shoes with heels. I have even tried to find comfortable flats and stylish sneakers. While sneakers are of course the most comfortable, I did not want to give up on my search for the perfect pair of heels. Luckily, several years ago I bought my first pair of Sofft shoes and they passed many years of walking miles at the Consumer Electronics Show. After I had already decided that Sofft shoes were my comfortable and stylish shoe of choice and filled my closet up with different pairs, I did get the opportunity to review some of their new 2012 Spring Summer shoes (disclosure – I received shoes as part of that review, but all of my words are my own). I had already been a Sofft Shoe customer for years before the review opportunity.

 

Here are 5 of the 7 pairs of Sofft Shoes I have purchased over the years…

 

 

My clothing strategy is to plan something comfortable for the day, that can withstand the heat of New York City in the summer -but also has layering to adjust to air conditioning indoors. Sometimes I will bring a dressy top to change into if I don’t have time to switch clothes before the night events. I also bring some dresses to change into for those nights I feel like taking it up a notch. I try to choose outfits that fit within my personal style, but also feel comfortable when I am sitting on the floor at sold out conference sessions. I have also learned that just because I love silver sequin tank tops together with a jacket does not mean that it photographs well on me (sequins can accentuate a twin mom’s tummy). I realized that for my shape I like to have solid black or jewel tones, throwing in accent pieces with patterns that works for photographs. I also like to layer with either a shirt, wrap, sweater, jacket. Lately I have been obsessing over the look of women’s tailored jackets over tee shirts as a great way to have outfits with clean lines.

 

 

 

Step 5 – At the conference, have an open mind to learn, network, have fun and meet new people: Go to BlogHer 12 with an the goal of learning, networking and having fun. Set a goal to not only connect with old social media friends but also meet new ones. Introduce yourself to the person sitting next to you. Check the pictures of some of the social media BlogHers you read about online but have not yet met and introduce yourself. Take the time to meet new people and ask them about their site and interests. At the same time, try to catch up with your existing social media friends because social networking is not complete without the “live” connection.

 

I look forward to connecting “live” at BlogHer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curating BlogHer10

I am excited to be heading to the BlogHer10 (2010) conference. I will be looking for great links/posts from the conference to share on my BlogHer10 Pearltree. The information shared at BlogHer is always so rich with interesting, informative, inspiring and just plain ole fun – that I decided to curate the info during BlogHer.

Here are two posts about I wrote with details about Pearltrees – a social curation tool: Understanding Pearltrees: A New Way To Organize Web Content. There are also updates to Pearltrees functionality that I will be posting about soon. I will also be visiting Kirtsy and BlogHer to find fun content about BlogHer10.

**Please comment or share your BlogHer10 posts or Pearls/Pearltrees with me!***

Here is my main BlogHer10 Conference info Pearltree:

BlogHer2010 Conference INFO

Here is my BlogHer Day One Agenda:

BlogHer10 Day One Agenda

Here is my BlogHer Day Two Agenda:

BlogHer10 Day Two Agenda

I will be speaking with two fab mom bloggers (Kimberley Blaine and Susan Getgood) Day One about Online Branding. The title of the session for BlogHer10 is "Professional: ROYO – Social Media is Bringing Sexy Back to Branding — Do You Have the Social Media Strategy and Tools for Success?". To collect information for my presentation I created an Online Branding Pearltree.

More to come as I add new content to my Pearltrees during the conference.

Disclosure: I am a Pearltrees Evangalist

 

Using Pearltrees To Prep For BlogHer 2010

Summer is finally here and it is getting close to my favorite conference of the year (other then the Consumer Electronics Show): BlogHer . This year is "BlogHer10" and it will be held Friday/Saturday August 6/7. BlogHer conferences give me the opportunity to connect "live" with a wide range of interesting and amazing bloggers that I read about online.

I used Pearltrees to starting gathering information for the presentation:

1. A Pearltree on BlogHer Conference Info:

BlogHer2010 Conference INFO

2. The fabulous Kimberly Blaine and Susan Getgood  – and I (Beth Blecherman) are excited to be presenting the following BlogHer10 panel:  "Integrating Your Online Presence Across All Platforms: It Can (And
Must) Be Done!
" that is part of the Room of Your Own Professional track.

Here is the description: Whether your brand is your personal brand, your
small business or your employer's, the plethora of networking tools and
opportunities can be overwhelming. Share best practices on building a
consistent brand by integrating your efforts across all available
platforms, including social networks, traditional media and even offline
events.

August 6, 2010 -
2:45pm4:00pm
Conference Day: Day 1

To prepare, I am reading up on everything I can about Online Brand(s). I hope to get suggestions for more interesting online branding reads from my community. I created a Pearltree to collect the information I have found so far:

OnlineBrand

3. I am also starting to refresh my memory of last year's conference by taking a look at some of the Live blog posts from BlogHer09. I just added a few of the liveblogs from last year to start:

BlogHer09 Liveblogging

Disclosure: I am advising Pearltrees.com