September 9, 2011

evolving influence: IFB conference re-cap.

IFB on a personal note Uncategorized

after spending a few days in new york shopping and catching up with friends and family, wednesday it was time to get to work. first on the agenda was the independent fashion bloggers conference at milk studios. back in 2009, i attended the very first IFB conference, which was part-party and part-discussion. now the day long event included four panels with bloggers, pr/social media professionals, journalistic icons, and entrepreneurs plus a keynote from elle creative director joe zee.

the aldo display; attendees were treated to free manicures from magnum ice cream; celine of my life in heels’ fabulous miu miu booties

here are some highlights from each panel and the keynote:

the bloggers toolkit
“thank your audience…they could be reading other blogs”
“use or create quality images”
“join a network, not just for advertising, but to connect and learn from other bloggers”
“a media kit is essential if you want advertisers”
“make sure you pursue opportunities that are right for your brand…your readers will sense if it’s not authentic”

is the social media industry broken?
“if you’re working with pr firms, know some basic marketing…buy a book, know how to read/understand contracts. you can’t use the excuse ‘i didn’t know'”
“if a PR company pitches to you, you should write in your point of view…don’t change it to suit them”
“ask PR/advertising companies who they represent, how many clients they have, how long they’ve been in business”
“brands want to work with people who interact with their audience…start conversations with your readers”
“make it easy for companies to find out about you…create a compelling about page”

the balancing act panel, led by grechen cohen of grechen’s closet; ari goldberg of stylecaster was my favorite panelist

balancing act: business and blogging
“fellow bloggers are not your competition: learn, share, promote, get friendly with your local network”
“write a mission statement about your blog/brand. struggling to do it? find a brand that you relate to, and rework their mission statement”
“everything in the fashion industry should be high gloss and pretty. your blog is a reflection of you”
“quality posts always trump quantity”
“know what you stand for and what you don’t stand for”

the evolution of fashion media
“be authentic…write how you speak”
“don’t rely on social media…get out from behind the computer and show who you are. it’s more relatable”
“if you wouldn’t say something in real life, you probably shouldn’t say it on your blog”
“promote your blog posts through twitter, and have sharing buttons on your page”
“fashion can be very exclusionary, so be a unique voice and write about what you’re passionate about”

tina craig from bagsnob and joe zee; joe and jennine jacob of IFB

keynote from joe zee
“any industry is saturated. the ones that stand out will rise to the top…if you have something to say, say it”
“it shouldn’t be about the blogger vs. the editor…why can’t it be both?”
“no matter what business you’re in, you want to grow. keep learning, keep striving to get better?
“bloggers are the future…you can show how fashion brands work for the masses. be the bridge for your readers, either high end or low”
“bloggers and editors are both content providers. the difference is i do it once a month while bloggers do it once an hour”
“if you have a voice, it doesn’t matter if you use images or words, be concise, say it quicker”
“you only need one brand to give you a chance”

overall the experience was a great one, and i got to connect with many other bloggers from all over. jennine and the ifb team did an amazing job of gathering panelists who really have knowledge of bloggers and who genuinely want to see us succeed. i do wish there was more discussion about bloggers who are writers and not devoted to personal style, and a look at newer social media tools (like snapette, instagram, etc.) that can aid bloggers, but there’s always next year!

sneak peek of my outfit: marc by marc jacobs shorts, ann taylor booties, chanel bag, j.crew/hermes/gap bracelets, dannijo ring