After attending my first London Edge at the beginning of the year it fast became my one of favourite events, not only for the outstanding array of alternative fashion but also the engagement that they have with both brands and bloggers.
I feel like most of my inspiration for moving this little space I call Emma Inks forward is other bloggers; their openness, encouragement and willingness to share their experience is what makes the community so inviting. Though lots of this information is online, I found that attending talks from Kat Williams (at London Edge last year) and Zoe London is where I gained a lot of confidence within my blog. They took down the barriers between new and established bloggers and made success seem hard work, but achievable.
Having gained ideas for strong blogging foundations from the prior talks I was looking forward to ReeRee Rockette’s seminar exploring how and why brands and bloggers should collaborate. Although I am beginning to work with brands and PR’s I am very much at the stage where I am shocked that people even know that I exist on the Internet, but I am aware that being modest is no way to take this blog to the next level.
ReeRee arrived and made the lively announcement that she was not looking her best as she had spent the night in a tent after talking at Blogstock. Though I completely disagreed and thought see looked like a Rockabilly babe, the ice had been broken and the tone set for the informal and inviting presentation which followed.
ReeRee Rockette began blogging 6 years ago but also has many other strings to her bow, including: being a writer for Huffington Post, a tattoo columnist and is also owner of East London based salon Rockabilly Cuts – so this girl knows business and had lots of thoughts to share. Below are some of the keys points I picked up;
Why should brands work with bloggers?
- It helps to increase a brand’s social media presence, brand positioning and SEO which are all hugely important factors within such a digitally savvy society
- Bloggers are a powerful source of advertising with an engaged audience
- They are the models who we choose to follow and style clothes in a completely different way from editorial adverts
- People trust their favourite blogger’s opinion, therefore are more likely to purchase from a brand that they recommend
How bloggers work successfully with brands (and make money)?
- ReeRee described this collaboration as win-win-win
- The brand must fit with your blog to for this to happen
- Work out your budget for sponsored posts depending on the brand, and also decide if you are simply happy with collaborating?
- If you have a brand that you want to work with don’t wait for them to come knocking at you door; get creative and pitch a unique way to work together
How to be found?
- Be a super fan, tell the brands that you want to work with that you love them
- Use Twitter: search for opportunities and get involved with chats
- Connect with other people
- Make sure that you are on blogger indexes such as Vuello (previously Cision)
- Remember that PR’s are people and connect with them
- Have a strong “about me” on all platforms, and remember to include that you are a blogger
- Create authentic and engaging content
- Be professional not demanding, nice but firm; the blogging industry is filled with talent and you are replaceable, but you are also unique
And finally BE YOU.
This latter is the one major point that has been reiterated by many of the bloggers whom I respect. Sharing your unique viewpoint and connecting with your audience seems to be the key in creating meaningful relationships that benefit everyone, so even though it might be a slower path it is the one I am going to continue to take.