The past three months I’ve really been putting myself out there, going to events, meeting new brands, bloggers, and exploring venues. While doing this I’ve noticed a real difference in my engagement. You’d think if you’re wanting to grow your online presence you’d need to do all the work online. Wrong, you need to be out about networking too! I want this post to be a few helpful tips if you’re wanting to attend more press events, or even just connect with your local blogging community.
-FIND YOUR COMMUNITY –
When I first started blogging I would always attend Birmingham blogging events. There was loads of meet ups, and events happening. However over the years I’ve took time away from my blog and events have slowed down. But because of working in Birmingham City centre the past 6 months Knew I wanted to get back into the community because I’d be in the city most days for work. I actually live in Shropshire. However there isn’t really a large community for bloggers there, and brands don’t really work with bloggers or do many launch events like Birmingham based businesses. So finding your community may be really easy if you’re more city based. However if you aren’t look for your next local community you can be apart of.
Once you find your community it’s time to connect with the bloggers, brands and PRS. This is where you then need to do your research! Find you local hashtags! (#brumbloggers / #londonbloggers / #hullbloggers ) you may even want to look at the location hashtags! I always hashtag where my photo was taken. So if I shoot in Birmingham, I’ll also hashtag #brum #birmingham #citycentre. With hashtags as part of my engagement time I always like to click on these hashtags and go through and engage with bloggers who have also used the hashtag! This is a great way to introduce yourself and get to know other local bloggers! You’ll also find that a lot of the local bloggers end up being marketing mangers / social media managers for brands within that community so what better way to shout at them that you’re a blogger in the area than engage with their own content!
Lastly, join support groups! I’m apart of a number of Birmingham bloggers facebook groups. These are super useful to see PRS asking if any bloggers want to attend events or collaborate. But also to connect and network with other bloggers, in most groups there will be threads to share your latest blogpost, or instagram. Introduce yourself and plan meet ups with other bloggers! Just do your research again and see what is available for your area! Also don’t be afraid to create your own community! You may not be close to city so make a local community and find more bloggers!
-DISCOVER NEW UP AND COMING BRANDS-
Whenever I go anywhere to eat or drink I love to find somewhere that is instagram worthy. With this I do a lot of insta-research. Ask my friends I know a lot of cool places to eat and drink because I’m kinda addicted to sourcing cool new restaurants and bars. Take your time to go to these places and invest in order to get a collaboration. Let’s say you go to Miller and Carter for a meal, tag the *sh*it* out of them on your stories. Get they’re attention. This is basically you jumping out to the brand to say hey I love what you do I’m a blogger. I personally prefer to approach smaller independent brands. Let’s face it the likes of Miller and Carter don’t need no local blogger to promote them as they are already a well-known chain. While if you was to approach a small cafe, they need all the help they can get to get their business beaming. This applies to restaurants and clothing brands.
-CONNECTING WITH PRS-
Now connecting with PRS, is actually the easiest thing you can do, and one of the best decisions you will make in order to improve your blogging relationships/exposure.
Along with discovering the brands, you also want to discover PRS. Finding PRS can be harder than finding brands / bloggers. I’d found most of mine from a bit of research and from getting invites. Most bloggers when they do PR unboxing will tag the PRS, bang there’s a new PR to add to your contacts. But also you can’t go wrong with just doing a google search. I’ve also recently been on Linked In where you will find out who works there. If you have a job that requires you to have your role above your name, most likely you’ll be able to find them on Linked in. You can then add two- and two together and try a couple of emails. Also there is no harm in sending a few direct messages on Instagram asking fora media enquiry email. I’ve had a lot of success from this.
-GETTING WHAT YOU WANT-
Once you’ve found a PR, or brand contact you want to work with you then need to think about how you’re going to approach them! For me I personally aint the biggest fan of pitching, I love having brands approach me, because I know they want to work with me. But then you can’t always expose your self to the brand if you don’t try? So while I’ve been growing over the past few months and I’m trying to move away from plus size clothing brands this is something I’ve been focusing on and it’s been going great! However with working full time pitching for me isn’t essential as my blog is still just a hobby / pocket money for me.
But if working with new brands is what you’re after, I’d highly recommend you try pitching. Introduce yourself to the brand, tell them what you love about them, and what you want to do together regarding content!
I really hope this post is of some help to any new bloggers, or bloggers like me who have been doing it for years but are only just getting their ass into gear. If you want more questions answered feel free to drop me a email for DM on instagram.