Shhh…I’m going to share a little secret with you. I went to VidCon this week with only a “Community” pass, which means that my access to the inner sanctums of the You Tube elite were closed off to me. And while the community is obviously an essential part of a You Tube star’s success, I wasn’t there to be a fangirl. I was there to network. I knew before I got there that all the “Creator” badges–the ones that gained you access to the panels and speakers–were sold out way before I even knew about VidCon, so that was out of the question. I was hoping that if I smiled and bated my eyes I’d might be able to gain access at registration, but again, it was a big, fat NO.
So I started getting depressed. I’d rented a hotel room and made an investment, and it looked like I wasn’t going to get anywhere. But little did I know that the very clothes on my back would make the whole trip worth it.
When I go to conventions, I usually play up my look a little bit…dress like me…but just…amplified. Since I’ve discovered PinuUpGirlClothing.com, I’ve basically used the dresses I’ve purchased as “costumes.” They look normal enough to not be creepy, but distinctive enough to be a conversation starter. And that’s exactly what I was aiming for. I wore looks that gave people an excuse to talk to me. And boy, did they!
Dressed up in this, I visited the Marriott bar, ready to drink my cares away for fear of a wasted trip…
In addition to the many positive comments on my outfit, I got one from an executive with Best Buy, who secured half of the hotel’s fourth floor for a studio and VIP section for “Yellow Tags,” which were featured You Tubers and part of the ‘elites.’ I mentioned my predicament, told here I was indeed a creator and recently celebrated my 15,000 subscriber milestone, and she thought I was interesting enough to participate in a project they were producing and was kind enough to allow me to use their studio for my own projects.
But it didn’t stop there. On my way to my hotel, I saw that You Tube was have a private party, and I just stopped by casually to say hello, and politely ask if there might be any hope for me to get “creator” access, since well, You Tube basically sponsored the entire convention. They couldn’t. But guess what? They invited me into the private party, where I met new people, learned that I have access to the You Tube studios in Los Angeles, that’s fully equipped with all the stuff you’d ever need to create a kick-ass video, and made contact with the head of You Tube kids, a special app for shorties between the ages of two and eight. Malik was intrigued with my brood of kids, and invited them to meet his four kids at the Playa Del Rey location! Can you spell S.C.O.R.E?!
And once I was “in,” others just assumed I was part of the “in crowd,” which opened doors for me to meet and connect with new people.
In the end, my trip was a smashing success. I met some of my favorite You Tubers, including Gabe and Babe and The Nive Nulls, and made important contacts with You Tube executives. What’s more, I didn’t ever need to buy a drink or pay for a meal, because Best Buy and You Tube had it covered!!
So what was it about me that got me noticed and grated me access? Sure; the clothes had a lot to do with it. But what had the most impact was the CONFIDENCE those clothes gave me. I felt so good about how I looked, how I was presenting myself, and the positive feedback and attention I received, that I felt brave and confident to make the big guys assume I should have been there in the first place.
Learning what it is about my appearance that gives me the most outward confidence is bittersweet, because I discovered it in my late 30’s and early 40’s. Of course it’s not too late, but I just think about how many opportunities I might have passed up because I was so self-conscious.
But like they say, better late than never!!