Sunday, February 12, 2012

Lessons from the IFB Conference

I already wrote about the highs and lows of the IFB Conference, but the reason I attended was to meet other bloggers and learn from the ones who are already successful at their passion.
 Crew L/S Shirt: H&M; Cashmere Hoodie: Vince; Pencil Skirt: Express Studio
Necklace: Express; Cuff: So Good Jewelry; iPhone: Apple

This is what I learned:

FIND YOUR VOICE AND BE YOURSELF:  The number one thing that panelists said throughout the day is to be unique.  The fashion blogging scene is already oversaturated and people will NOT continue to read a copycat blog when they can go directly to the source and get the good stuff first-hand.  This is important for bloggers who are starting out and even for those who have “lost their inspiration” and visit others to be inspired.  Personally, I follow over 100 blogs via GFC and bloglovin and I try very hard to link back to the blog that inspired me or allowed me to discover something new.  I also try to put my own stamp on what I wear.  Sometimes it’s boring, but that’s who I still am! I started my blog to find a way to break out of my “office ready” and “weekend wear” outfit rut.  I’ve been somewhat successful over the last 5 months, but I did it because so many bloggers out there help me shop and put my clothes together in different ways.

DETERMINE YOUR WORTH AND DON’T DILUTE YOUR PERSONAL BRAND:  When bloggers are starting, they are so grateful for ANYONE to want to partner with them that they don’t realize that the brand is not doing the blogger a favor.  It is a partnership and if a brand wants to work with you, you (or your blog) have something of value to offer the brand in return. One of my favorite panelists, Macala Wright of FashionablyMarketing.Me said, “If I have to come find you, I will have money for you.” This goes hand in hand with Number 1 and being unique.  If a particular market is oversaturated, you HAVE to stand out so that brands can identify you.  TomandLorenzo made a huge point to say that if your hope is to work with the big brands, partnering with the brands that knock them off isn’t going to get you where you want to be.  Determine what you want your brand to say about you and your blog and work only with companies and brands that promote that aesthetic and feel.
 Tote: Calvin Klein
CREATE AND CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMMUNITY:  Once you determine what direction you want to take, create a feeling of community on your blog.  Leave meaningful comments on blogs you like and DO NOT SPAM other people’s blogs with links to your own.  This is hard when we are starting out and want people to come and read our blog, but it’s important to note that ALL the panelists said that if you start building the relationships with other bloggers and brands you want to work with, they will come find you.  It’s annoying to leave comments that only say, “Come follow my blog!” or they leave a comment with FIVE links to their blog in their signature.  I’ve already noticed that I personally don’t like that.  But if someone does leave an interesting comment, I go see if they have a blog and read it.  Several panelists discussed the importance of engagement vs. number of followers.  Yes, it’s great to have hundreds or even thousands of followers, but if they are not interacting with you or coming back to read your blog, there is little value to that number.  Several of the brand representatives stated that they would rather work with bloggers who have fewer followers, but greater interaction than a blogger with many followers and very little engagement on the part of those readers.

CONTENT IS KING:  Nicollete Mason put it best when she said, “Don’t post something just to have a post.  Post when you have something of value to say.” Everyone wholeheartedly agreed and the consensus was that if you are bored with your post, your readers will see it.  If you are excited, they will feel that excitement as well.  Also, grammar was surprisingly at the top of the list when it came to content.  Using text speak in general blogs or even Twitter will bring about groans from people who can’t understand why it was too much effort to type out “be” instead of just “b.” For style blogs in particular, everyone agreed that photography is the most important aspect that bloggers should focus on.  If you have a limited budget and want to focus your investment when starting out, focus on photography.  Our readers are visual and many only visit to see the pretty photos.  Give your readers what they want.
 Tights: Spanx; Booties: Stuart Weitzman
So my last few posts have been a bit wordy…I will go back to photo heavier posts soon!  I hope everyone had a terrific weekend and those of you still in New York, I hope you are keeping warm!


  1. Wow, sounds like you learned some fantastic things from the panelists! Those are some really valuable points, especially about working with brands and contributing to the community.
    Great post!

    Also, I really really love your shoes!


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