There’s a lot of investment and planning that goes into attending a conference, especially if you’re a military spouse. And since we all know that September and October are THE months for military conferences, that makes it particularly difficult to figure out which conference you should invest in attending.
In an effort to help you make an educated decision next year, come “military conference season”, we wanted to share everything that we didn’t get from this year’s Military Influencer Conference.
We Didn’t Get An Event That Only Spoke To Male Veteran Entrepreneurs.
We have a love-hate relationship with titles. Yes, they are a great way for someone to display the wonderful achievements and contributions they’ve made to the world. But, sometimes we can get too focused on titles and subsequently entrenched in all of the ways that we are different from one another, instead of celebrating all of the things we have in common.
Upon first glance, the Military Influencer Conference speaker lineup was stacked with impressive, talented, and hyper-successful male veteran entrepreneurs: think Dan of Grunt Style, Eli of Bottle Breacher, Paul of Duffel Blog, and Matt of Combat Flip Flops. But it didn’t take long to spot the heavy-hitting female veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs that some of us totally fan-girl over and secretly want to be BFFs with: think Emily of Sword & Plough, Jen of MilitaryOneClick, Cameron of R.Riveter, and Kristine of USMC Life. Even further, the goal and message behind every speaker, every panel, every piece of knowledge was the same—how to find success for yourself, your family, and your community, regardless of your title.
We Didn’t Get The Same Old Played Out Content.
I don’t know about you, but I hate finding myself in the following scenario: I carve out time to attend an event called The Secret To Getting A Zillion Facebook Followers, show up ready to learn, and hear that the “secret” to getting a zillion Facebook followers is to post more frequently. Thanks, Captain Obvious. We all know that’s not the secret to getting a zillion Facebook followers, right?
In order to grow your business you need to do things differently, find unique solutions to your problems. Hearing the same, boring “secret” over and over again doesn’t help me grow; we need to be challenged as business owners. Tom Morkes (Insurgent Publishing) gave some extremely unique, extremely practical tips on turning a cold email into a warm email in order to cultivate relationships with influencers. Instead of blasting off an email to someone we don’t know, we need to engage with them on their own digital turf to build rapport. Then we heard from Josh Elledge (upendPR) about shifting our perspective on how we approach media relations. By serving others with little to no expectations, we make room for genuine and mutually beneficial relationships that can transform our PR efforts. And Ryan (The Military Wallet) explained how we can conduct a simple content audit on our website and use it to generate more cash money. Each speaker shared unique, applicable ways for us to positively impact our businesses.
We Didn’t Walk Into A Conference Full Of Strangers.
We may not come from the same background, have the same level of education, lie on the same side of the political fence, or even agree that Texas BBQ is the best (which it totally is), but when you put a bunch of veterans and military spouses into a room, we instantly connect.
One of the most rare and beautiful things about the military community is our ability to instantly connect when we meet another member of our community for the first time. We empathize with one another and are able to connect on a deeper level because we understand sacrifice. Sure, many of the people at the conference were strangers to us. Some we only knew through a Facebook Like or a Twitter retweet. But as soon as the intros were made, we instantly bonded and started to collaborate on ways to make each other and our community better. The first event we attended, the VIP Social at Honor Courage Commitment, we met Ellie Kay. In case you don’t know (which you probably already do but we are going to brag a little about our new BFF), Ellie Kay is an amazing military spouse who has published multiple books, appeared on over 200 media outlets, and has traveled all over the states as a prestigious speaker. We met for the first time and, after 20 minutes of conversation, started sharing intimate tips and advice on ways we can be more successful.
So, here are some closing remarks we can leave you with about what you won’t get if you decide to invest in being a part of #milblogging18.
You won’t hear from the same old people and get the same old boring content.
You won’t feel out of place as a military spouse.
You won’t be disappointed.