During the conference, we were able to listen to the wise words of successful "dinosaur" bloggers (what Leandra Medine calls Blogger 1.0) such as Tina Craig of Bagsnob, Susie Lau of Style Bubble, Aimee Song of Song of Style, Karen of WhereDidUGetThat, and the Man Repeller herself. We also met the CEOs of successful companies in particular Lisa Salzer of Lulu Frost, Neil Blumenthal of Warby Parker, and Katia Beauchamp of BirchBox. Sponsors such as Frederic Fekkai, Monster Products, MailChimp, Bare Minerals, and Alex&Ani were there giving us a better understanding of their brand. Every panelist had something insightful to offer and it was great learning about important topics that have really become significant issues today such as copyright laws, poor photography, affiliate linking, etc.
Major tips for fashion bloggers who are just starting out and ones who want to improve their blogs:
1. Stand out, be yourself, and strive for authenticity. Back then when there were a small number of bloggers, it wasn't as hard to stand out. Nowadays, since blogging has become such a phenomenon, there are plenty of people writing about the same topics over and over again. Sometimes writing about fashion may not be enough to capture someone's attention unless you put your unique spin on it. Focus on your talents, strengths, and quirky interests.
2. Niche, niche, niche! Know your audience. Find a niche in this industry that allows you to display your fullest potential. Once you have locked on your readers, make sure you stick with it. Readers can tell if you start posting things that don't make sense when they come to read your blog. For instance, if you are known for posting about affordable clothing and suddenly you start endorsing a luxury outfit that your readers may not be able to afford you will confuse and lose your audience. Also people may think you are just endorsing the item for a company and soon they will wonder whether you are promoting an item because you like it or because someone paid you to. Don't represent brands and products that you don't believe in. When you build a loyal and engaged following, sales will follow on their own if you are hoping to create revenue.
3. Quality, not quantity. It's not about how many posts you create, it's the content of your words. Are you half-assing just to make sure a post gets up in time? Are you writing mundane statements that show no personality? Hopefully you're not copying others' work or paraphrasing their ideas. At the end of the day, in order to hold on to your readers, you will need to put an original spin on things and make sure you're ahead of everyone else. Try to become the place where readers will come to get the first scoop on trends, a place where they can enjoy witty writing that may put a smile on their face, or a place for inspirational photos. Whatever it may be, put meaning into your words.
4. Building a following takes love and patience. The community of blogging is huge and its all about trying to build your own spider web. Spread the love with fellow bloggers by checking out blogs and genuinely commenting and engaging in their posts and conversations. Be kind and people will notice and return the favor. Try avoiding phrases when contacting bloggers with "hello fellow blogger". It makes people feel insignificant and shows you only want followers instead of real friendships. Focus on bloggers who aren't spamming and want to work with you. With haters and their comments, listen and understand first where they are coming from before becoming angry and completely defensive. Is the argument picking up steam with other commenters? Do they have a large audience that may agree? Keep in mind any negative comments is an opening for positive comments.
5. Learn to reach out if you have innovative ideas. Amy Levin of College Fashionista shared her story about emailing different companies and marketing her talents and sharing her passion. She ended up hearing back from Michael's who helped her bring a DIY truck for her crafts to SXSW in Austin. The truck taught people how to do DIY projects and engage in hands on crafts...how fun! If there is something you are passionate about, it does not hurt reaching out to people who may be able to help you in the long run. Who knows you may be able to benefit them as well and it will be a win win for everyone!
6. How to appropriately reach out: Think like a marketer. Keep in mind you are reaching out to individuals who could potentially do business with you. Be kind, interested, and engaged when emailing or making phone calls. Nobody wants to hear what you have to say if you don't even believe in what you have to say. And most importantly, be honest. Do not lie just to make yourself look better such as misrepresenting your traffic. Companies will be flexible if they see passion, strategy, commitment, and solutions.
Definitely hope to be able to utilize these tips and reach out to old and new bloggers again! Hope you find these tips useful as well! :)
YES, Mr. Tyson Beckford stopped by!
Starving after much learning. Turkey breast and avocado sammich with a cookie, brownie, and rice krispy treat! Mmmm!
I apologize for the blurriness of these photos (they were taken with my iphone). Big thank you to the IFB and Birchbox for these wonderful swag bags and boxes! Hopefully, I will be attend IFB Conference next time and hope to see you there!
I am here in NYC for a few more days staying warm and safe indoors from Nemo. Will update y'all on my entire trip very soon! :)
Outfit 1// Rag & Bone sweater, Celine floral skirt and patent loafers
Outfit 2// Zara stripe shirt, Dries van Noten studded vest, R13 boyfriend jeans, Balenciaga bag, and Ann Demeulemeester lace up heels