Well, we all know, no matter what profession you’re in, networking is the fuel that accelerates success. Period. I always say what people call “luck” is preparation & hard-work meets the perfect timing. I had what you’ll call an ah-ha moment last week at a blogger event. We had a situation where the PR girl walked up to a group of us and everyone simply said hello and ignored her for the rest of the evening. Long story short, I was able to land a campaign simply because I approached the PR girl and was nice to her. I’ve always ran my blog as a business and so when I attend an event, I am simply thinking of it as a very important business meeting, so I conduct myself as such. I promised to write an article to help other bloggers and so here are 5 ways to make the best out of attending your next blogger event:
Build A Human Connection. For some reason, bloggers think of PR girls as just some girls working a 9-5 behind a computer. Let me help you out, PR girls are THE MOST POWERFUL GIRLS in our business. In the hierarchy of the fashion pyramid, they sit all the way at the top, even more important than the brand itself. PR girls decides who gets to attend an event, who gets a package, and who they dress for events. They are the eyes of the brand and ultimately the decision maker. Of course, don’t be an a** kisser but my god, simple decency of being nice to them would get you very far. Take the time to remember their faces, remember their names, and remember what they need. Just the core of getting to know someone, really, knowing them as a person. Remember, people are people, not just job gatekeepers! Believe it or not, I suffer from social anxiety, but you wont know it when I am at an event, I simply put on sunglasses breathe in and breathe out and put on a smile and say hello to everyone I make eye contact with.
Be Hyper-Aware. To be frank, I see a lot of bloggers coming to events to hang out with their girlfriends. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to hang out with your influencer girlfriends. However, there is a time and place for everything. You can hang out with your girlfriends at a nail shop, a coffee shop or at the mall. However, an event is where you should be in work mode and gossiping at work is not ideal. I tend to attend events by myself, so I can stand out and not be distracted from my main goal which is to land a campaign. PR girls, after a long exhausting day of putting an event together, are usually sitting in a corner watching the room. As they are watching me, I am watching them. If it seems like they are tired, I simply walk up to them and just ask “how is your day going”? To start a conversation.
Be Prepared. If you live in Los Angeles or NewYork, you are already one step ahead of the game. With that said, anyone with a modicum of sense knows that you need to have a strong body of work ready to show at any moment. Your work should speak for itself. Personally, I carry a mobile version of my media kit and a screenshot of my Instagram feed. So, if I get their phone number, I simply send them both for them to have easy access to.
STAND OUT. If your name is super common, hard to spell, or otherwise hard to remember, you might want to make it easier for the other party to remember by coming up with a nickname. I always say “my name is Niké, spelt like the shoe Nike, you know Just do it’ and everyone and I mean everyone chuckles right after I say that. It helps segue way into the conversion seamlessly. It is imperative to stand out always. I’ve always said “If all the bloggers are doing it, that means I shouldn’t” that has always been the rebel in me but it has helped me tremendously in networking. Have a different feed, a different voice, a different style. Let us stop editing all our pics the same. Half of my feed literally looks the same. Don’t be afraid to have a strong voice on social media and stand out.
Follow up. The core of networking is getting people to remember you, so they think of you when a good opportunity comes up. Since people are generally empathetic, the easiest way to do that is to remember them back. I normally send them an email right after thanking them for inviting me to their event and mentioning one of the conversations we shared that had absolutely nothing to do with blogging. Something along the lines of “Hey, want to grab coffee next week at that one place we both think is overpriced? lol”. If you do get a campaign out of this, please work very hard to do your best work. The PR industry is very small, and the jobs actually come by word of mouth (even if they are posted online to apply). Those who are respectable, hardworking, and dependable, they’re the ones who get the jobs and continue to get them after they complete a task. Protect your reputation fiercely.
Remember, If you only take opportunities, no one will want to help you because you’ll be seen as a selfish person and that is not a good reputation to have. Make sure you show your gratitude when the campaign wraps up and more importantly always lend a helping hand to your fellow bloggers.
Thanks for reading and stay fabulous.