On Friday, I attended the Fohr U Conference at the amazing Crosby Street Hotel and it was exactly what I needed after feeling in a creative rut. I wanted to share some things I learned as well as my take on why you should be going to these conferences/events in order to grow your blog and brand. For me, it was honestly a breath of fresh air and I'll tell you why below... so keep on reading. 
James Nord, one of the founders of Fohr.com and the narrator of A Drink with James has always had my attention. There is something about his very real and raw industry advice that always brings me back for more, so when the Fohr U Conference was announced, I registered without a doubt. I honestly didn't think twice about it and purchased my ticket and I am so happy that I did. One of the things that stood out most for me was that this was a no bullshit conference. Now what do I mean? This wasn't a conference where I was there to here "be you, be authentic" for the 1000th time. If you are a blogger or influencer, we hear this more often than I'd like to even admit. For me, I wanted to go to a conference where they would tell me exactly what I needed to do to have better partnerships, how to create better content and especially what I needed to do to create long lasting and powerful relationships with the brands I love and work with, and of course how to get the attention of those that I want to potentially partner with. That's exactly what I got from Fohr U.
The speakers were amazing, I loved the variety of topics they covered, but mostly, I loved the diversity and inclusion of all sorts of different influencers. From Sai De Silva to Nigel Sylvester and Tezza! To Arshia Moorjani, who I just started following and love. And who remembers OscarPRGirl? from back in the day... also known as Erika Bearman. Every single panel was full of great information and they each shared their story and secrets to success, each individual way and what I loved most from their own perspective and not blanketed or general advice.

Here are some of the tips I wanted to share:

1. Show face! And I am not talking just showing up to events. Meet up with the brand, grab the phone... put a face to a name, basically make yourself memorable. So many of us get caught up on the emails and barely ever meet the publicists and brands. Go grab coffee or lunch and start building a more meaningful relationship.

2. Don't take shortcuts! Yes buying likes and followers is the easy way out... but build a brand that is reputable and pay your dues. Work, work and work some more. It is the longer route but it's totally worth the reward. The truth is that success doesn't happen overnight.

3. Stop worrying about the numbers! I know I am guilty of feeling some type of way over this too. But I love that agencies like Fohr are rooting for us little guys and pushing for brands to focus on ENGAGEMENT rather than likes or followers. I was so excited to hear it from the man himself. It's nice to know they are pushing for authenticity from all angles. Thanks James!

4. Don't be afraid to change things up a bit. If you listened to Episode 119 from A Drink with James, he mentioned changing things up, trying new things and simply testing new outlets. You don't lose a thing and might gain knowledge and extra love and exposure by   stepping outside your comfort zone and switching it up a little.

5. Set yourself apart! One of the things that stayed with me the most was  at the end of the conference where he said "be the person that your friends are speaking to other friends about during dinner". Use Instagram to your advantage, take that photo to the next level, write great captivating captions, make them stop scrolling when they come to your picture that day.
If you get a chance, make it a priority to attend next year. And if you are near the city, Fohr also offers classes once a month. But you can always listen to the podcasts or watch the episodes on YoutTube. There is no excuse not to learn and continue to be inspired to grow and evolve. I hope you guys enjoyed this little recap about  my experience at the Fohr U Conference 2018. 

 Thanks of my friend Claudia for being an amazing friend + photographer  during our stay in NYC. Love ya! Guys, go Follow Claudia on IG (@miles.and.smiles) because she will be posting a video recap on her IGTV soon!