Have you ever wondered why you’ll spot your favourite bloggers at fancy dinners or showcasing new collections on Instagram Stories?
Over the past 10 years blogger events have evolved from smaller cupcake-filled gatherings to complex, week-long island getaways and conferences with bloggers by the thousands. They’re an important part of the influencer ecosystem, but it’s important to understand why they take place and how to make the most out of them.
If you’re wondering how to get invited or what to avoid once you’re there, then read on for our tips. You’ll be a networking pro in no time.
The invites to expect
Press days and product launches are probably the most prominent events on social media to help grow your fashion blogging business. You may get invited to drop in and see a collection alongside journalists or attend an intimate breakfast to celebrate a new fragrance. Get in the good habit of attending what you can and learning from these experiences. They’ll help you establish relationships with brands, as well as get your blog name out there as a contender in the marketplace!
There are also blogger-specific events, tailored around Instagram-friendly activities such as flower arranging. Each example is usually part of a broader marketing campaign, designed to get you to write a post or share photos across multiple platforms.
How to get on the list
It’s so important to be realistic and not expect to be taken on an all-expenses trip straight away. Your first focus should be building relationships with the brand and showing an interest in their products.
That could involve buying them yourself, tagging the brand on Instagram and using any hashtags they’ve created. Hopefully it’ll lead to their social media manager getting in touch but if nothing happens, then it’s worth sending a direct message and asking for a contact email. According to an Econsultancy report, 54% of brands search for influencers manually, so you could be doing them a favour by getting in touch first.
The initial message shouldn’t be about demanding an invite to the next shindig, but simply asking to be added to the press list and considered for future events. Always leave the recipient in a situation where they can comfortably say no. Sending over any previous coverage means the brand can see whether you’re a good fit with a genuine interest.
You’ve made it! Here’s what to do next
Although it’s easy to get distracted by manicures and free food, you need to use your time wisely. Your main aims should be engaging with the product, chatting to the influencer contact and finding out about future opportunities. This gives you an idea of whether they just work on a gifting basis or if there’s the potential for larger projects.
Ideally you should follow up via email within 48 hours and send over any links to social media posts. Check in every 6-8 weeks so always you’re front of mind.
In short, events are a great way to get inspired, build a network and understand the business of blogging. Check out how these five influencers are making their mark in the fashion world. You may be contacted directly by brands, or via PR, influencer, SEO and media agencies. Each comes with their own objectives and with time you’ll figure out your own approach for creating opportunities.
They key is to build lots of connections simultaneously, whilst creating content that you’re passionate about. Your following needs to be relevant for the brand and most will expect you to be a loyal supporter, even when there’s no gifting in the mix. It may take some time, but if what you’re creating has value and engages an audience, then the right brands will get in touch.