I’ve only been writing for six months. I don’t get enough “likes” on my posts. My blog is barely making even each month. No one will even know who I am. They’re going to think, why is she going to a “Military Influencer” conference. Who is she anyway?
In the weeks and months that led up to the Military Influencer Conference in Dallas Texas on 23-24 October, I had a lot of negative talk and self-doubt going on in my head. In “real life”, I’m a fairly confident person. However, this new blogging and writing thing I’ve taken up, it’s pretty new to me. I knew there were going to be a lot of big names at the conference. People and companies I’ve been following for a while, some even years! There were going tot be people at this conference who are extremely successful entrepreneurs. People who have established themselves. I wondered, how I would fit in as a newbie?
Even before I attended the conference I connected with people in real life. From our MilBlogging Facebook group of all the conference attendees, we figured out who coming from the Fort Carson, Co. We met up for a happy hour and I had “insta-friends before the conference even started. Online, PR Rockstar, Moni Jefferson connected all of the attendees on social media before we even attended the conference. Now I was part of a network of over 250 military influencers! When I first started Her Money Moves, I saw everyone as a competitor, because that’s how it is in the real world. Not the case in the Military Influencer community. We lift each other up. We promote each other. We share our close-hold information. We know that we are all fighting to improve the military community
I Belong Here
Have you ever been to a work conference before? Well I have, and in my line of business it’s a lot of awkward financial types. Like a typical conference, I was expecting to have a lot of conversations about the weather forecasts for the week, but this was not the case with the Military Influencers. From the very start of the conference on Sunday night at the Honor Courage Commitment Social, I knew I belonged here and I knew I had found my people. The room was full of veterans, servicemembers, military spouses, people who grew up in military families and even civilians, but they all had one thing in common. They want to build and support the military community. I made friendships that will last way long after the adrenaline from the conference has ended. We laughed, cried, and even communally sighed together about military life. Maybe I had only known these people for a day, but they got me and they understood where I’ve been and what I’ve gone though. These people are my MilFAM.
I learned. I Connected.
Being a newbie, one of the biggest reasons I decided to attend the Military Influencer Conference was to learn. We listened and learned from super successful retail companies like Sword & Plough, Grunt Style, Combat FlipFlops, Bottle Breacher, and R. Riveter. I gained media insight from industry veterans like Jen Pilcher, Founder of MilitaryOneClick and Eric Mitchell, Founder of LifeFlip Media. I walked away with a list of “to-do’s” from presenters such as Lauren Tamm (The Military Wife & Mom), Ryan Guina (The Military Wallet), and Kristine Schellhaas (USMC Life). I also connected with people I’ve either worked with in real life or people I want to work with. The cost of my ticket is nothing compared to the relationships, knowledge and future work that I’ve secured by attending this conference.
Everyone else is learning too
Obviously I knew I was going to learn a ton by attending the conference because I was so new. But guess, what? I was actually able to help others too. I’ve only been blogging and writing for about six months, but that also means I’ve just been through the ringer of starting up my own website, learning more about social media than I ever wanted to and oh yeah, SEO. There were people at the conference that didn’t even have a website yet, just a good idea in their head. I was able to help them, and that feels awesome. I was even able to lend some knowledge to people I revered as legends, and that also feels awesome. Everyone has something to give.
There is work to be done
I flew home from this conference more energized than I’ve felt in a while. Yes, I have a huge list of things to do. However, I know that for each item I check off, it’s going to help lift up both Her Money Moves and military community. The Military Influencers Community is going to give me the opportunity to some pretty important work. Yes, I met a ton of people at the conference and I have stack of business cards. It hasn’t even been a week yet and I’ve followed up on the conversations and others have followed up with me. We’re all working towards a common goal. I know we will all keep supporting each other until we meet again in person next year.
I want to see you next year in Orlando
Next year, the Military Influencer Conference will be held in Orlando on 23-25 September 2018. I have no idea where I will be living next year (we find out in 2-3 weeks). However, I know that wherever I am in the world, I want to be in Orland on 23-25 September 2018. In fact, I’ve already purchased my tickets. If you’re on the fence, come join us. If you think you’re too new, come join us. If you only have an idea in your head and not a business yet, come join us. See you in Orlando.