Sometimes, you need to come to a conference and not attend a session.

Wait. What?!

I usually play conferences by the book. There’s enough time and money invested that – I feel – there is very little room to argue skipping out on sessions. To me, it’s skipping out on an opportunity to learn.

*sacrilege*

But I did see an opportunity on today’s schedule to skip out and focus on a different kind of development. So I took it. Now, don’t get me wrong. The section of the conference I decided to miss is a very important thing – and there was a cost to not attending.

Let me get you on the same page —
It was an opportunity to sit in small groups to define your platform, and express your ideas and dreams – and get real-time feedback from people who share your passion for storytelling, business development, and social media marketing. Totally invaluable.

But I don’t really need feedback right now, what I need is knowledge (and time) to make the changes to my platform that are required to take the next steps. I’ve been working on that slowly through the last year little by little. Trying to shore up my foundation. And I’m really excited about the fact I’ve made as much progress as I have, while balancing the schedule I have.

And I know that sitting in a small group would’ve given me an opportunity to hear and be inspired by other makers in the space, but I made the choice that my time would be more valuable spent trying to knock out some of those outstanding action items on my list.

I went to my hotel room with the intention to log into the LinkedIn Learning platform, and pull up some Google Analytics training. But what happened was even better!

A few minutes after I had taken some time to focus my mind on a little bit of Zen, my roommate walked in and we started catching up on the day. During our conversation, she shared a few tidbits she had taken from a session I didn’t attend (Live Streaming + Video Development), and I furiously wrote down highlights in my notebook.

I was in the Podcasting 101 session.

She also talked to me about the tool she uses to invite readers to subscribe to her newsletter. We discussed the pros and cons of having a pop-up on the website, and though I’m not a huge fan of pop-ups, I do understand that they are valuable tools for conversion. But in my case, I just need to get something up. And I’ll be checking out a tool she recommended.

Because she has so much more experience than I do as an Influencer and engaging in sponsored posts, she throws around names and terms with more familiarity and comfort than I think she realizes. And what did I do? I continued to write things down furiously in my notebook.

I confessed that I was planning on watching the Google Analytics training session on LinkedIn Learning, because – although I have a lot of experience in certain areas of the business – there are other areas (IMPORTANT areas) that I’ve never developed as a blogger to make sure I was set up appropriately for applying to campaigns. One of those things being, having a solid Google Analytics set up on my website, and being able to navigate the platform to get the stats I need to support a media kit.

Seems crazy right?! Believe me…I’m shaking my own head.

My roommate – the infamous Sarah Coggins – was kind enough (and patient enough) to walk through some vital initial steps to make sure that my Google Analytics account key was placed correctly on my website.

And then, our conversation expanded to YouTube. We pulled up one of her videos – and I immediately oohed and aahed over her watermark. She showed me how could I edit my settings to implement my own. WHAT!!

What she wanted to show me (the watermark was just a cherry on top of the bonus) was the card functionality, and how it linked back to her website to help drive traffic. I literally had no idea what she was talking about. And again, she was kind enough to walk through the steps so I could see what I needed to do to take advantage of the same opportunities.

It’s time to level up. I have a lot of content creation experience, and I’ve done a lot of development within different industries on social media, but that doesn’t mean I know everything.

And having the opportunity to be in a quiet space where we could just talk and develop and rabbit trail (yes, I used that as a verb) – well, all I can tell you is that it made all the difference for me this afternoon in regards to leveling up.

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate being involved in a network, in a community of professionals who believe in building each other up and investing in our mutual success.

Thank you, Sarah!

How about you? Is there someone you can give a shout out to? Do it! Use the comment area below. Post to their social media platforms. Send them a note.

Let them know you appreciate their investment in your advancement!