6 Things I Learnt From Running a Fashion Blogging Seminar
The idea to host a fashion blogging seminar and networking event stemmed from my own curiosity on the rise of Instagram influencers. Despite completing advertising and marketing degrees, the world of fashion bloggers left me stumped. The hashtag revolution dominated the space of online marketing and companies were quick to change their strategies for promoting fashion and beauty products. The use of print media slumped, and the cost effective way of getting women to buy into certain brands or makeup products was to sell through Insta-famous kids, who had masses of followers and online presence.
After much stalking and deep thought, I came to the conclusion that leading fashion bloggers shared some skill sets:
- A knack for finding and producing great content
- A strong sense of self-marketing and branding
- An ability to capture eye-grabbing photos
As an effort to delve deeper into these traits, I put together Flash & Followers – Melbourne’s first-ever fashion blogging seminar and networking event. It was ticketed and I hired out a room at CAE. To get the word out, I shared the event through Style Events and Runway Australia. My goal was to get inside the minds of successful social media personalities, so I could grow my own following, meet the right people and essentially grow my business, too. A wider objective was to make this information available to newer bloggers or business people wanted to break through the competitive digital space. As someone who actually loves public speaking, I also used Flash & Followers as an outlet to practice being a host, myself.
The scouting process for speakers was much more of a struggle than I thought it would be. After weeks of head hunting, name dropping and being rejected by PR agencies, I was ecstatic to have Adriana Perri and Karen Woo agree to conduct presentations on self-marketing and photography for fashion blogging.
Adriana is a self-taught writer and PR guru, building an Instagram following of over 15k. She is stylish, tech-savvy and is no stranger to receiving exclusive invites to launches and events. On any given day, her inbox will be filled with introductions from major brands, who are offering freebies and cross-promotional gigs.
Karen Woo’s resumé is equally impressive. She is an internationally known photographer, whose portfolio boasts of celebrities and labels like H&M, Bobbi Brown, Sephora, The Kardashian Kollection and The Iconic (not to mention she has a Science Degree, a Master of Business Systems and is a mummy!).
Without dragging my essay on for too much longer, here are the main points that I gathered from Adriana and Karen’s talks:
1. If you’d like to get approached, look and act approachable. It doesn’t matter how good your page looks – if you aren’t showing off a vibe that is friendly, authentic and upbeat, chances are, that people won’t want to work with you. Even if you want to be perceived with a high-end persona, you can still brand yourself with an image that is upmarket, without appearing snobbish and egotistical.
2. Engage, engage, engage. Want more followers? The way to get more traction to your page is by constantly liking, commenting and connecting with others on your platform. Those who are serious about getting their numbers up, will allocate time throughout their day to “like” and follow those with the same interests.
3. Having formal education does make a difference. Before I begun my research on Flash & Followers, I was under the impression that young and influential fashion bloggers were just a bunch of rich, good-looking kids, who used nothing but their selfies and pretty pictures to level up. As I scoured over biographies, I noticed a strong link between the success stories and the student life. A lot of the time, these fashionistas had past degrees or certifications that weren’t even directly related to fashion or journalism. They came from law, science and medical backgrounds, and began blogging as a hobby before it became a serious source of income.
4. When you’re shooting fashion, it helps to be great with people. Personally, I think that one of the most overlooked skills for photographers is the ability to make others feel comfortable in front of the camera. To avoid being the creepy in-your-face camera man (or woman), Karen has a way of photographing strangers off the street that involves a friendly introduction and a compliment on what the subject is wearing. Once the subject feels at ease, it’s much easier (as a photographer) to direct a person to achieve a shot that reveals an emotion or tells a story.
5. Don’t deny the data. It’s a crime to ignore analytics and insights if you want to get noticed on the web. Almost all major social media sites provide such information, allowing users to recognise the characteristics of successful posts. Knowing the right keywords and trends can also be impactful for extending your reach and understanding your target market. Make it part of your daily checklist to go on Google Trends (http://www.google.com/trends) to find out what’s ‘in’.
6. If you’re doing it just for money, you’re doing it wrong. This doesn’t just apply for fashion blogging, but for virtually any career aspiration. With the right approach, money does come in hand with doing that thing you love, but it all starts with that willingness to go overboard without receiving anything in return.
Felisha Mendoza Mina is a multidisciplinary creative, teaming up with brands across Australia, North America and Europe. With 6+ years of experience across Graphic Design, Creative Direction, Videography, Photography and Marketing, she takes a highly integrated approach to media and communications that uses a breadth of technical and analytical skills to help industry leaders look better, work smarter, and create with efficiency.