By: Leslie Fischman
Simply Stylist LA by Leslie Fischman | MYMOLLYDOLL
On March 19, 2016 I attended the long awaited Simply Stylist LA Fashion and Beauty Conference at The Grove Los Angeles. I arrived in the Afternoon for the Brand Discussions, Pink Wrist Band, and entered the main Lawn by the Fountain to a Festive Day filled with Music, Champagne, Fashion, Beauty, and Jewelry. They had everything from Fashion Drawn Selfies by an Artist, to Contouring Make-Up Stations, a Nail Salon, and Free Samples of Tinted Shampoo for your Hair.
As I made my way through the festivities, I came across a Make-Up App, that does your Makeup for you. While waiting in line for a Rose Water infused Glass of Champagne compliments of the Event. In addition, there was a Home Décor Station offering a Cash Prize for the Best Photo’d Layout, and Brand Influencer Partnerships thru RewardStyle. Next were the Selfie Stations, I had my Photo taken by the #OOTD Poster, where a Polaroid was printed and taped to the wall behind me along with others who had their photo taken. I kept a sticker print out as a souvenir I featured on my blog earlier this morning.
Next, I made my way upstairs to the Speaker Series on Branding. The First Speaker was Erin Armstrong, aka The Accounting Sage. She made reference to Tyra Bank’s earlier statement that Fashion Blogging was about “opening fields to empower other people.” She then went on to talk strategy and job placement explaining that “if you take a low paying job you can’t take a higher paying job,” which is why many of her “clients in the industry work for themselves.” These “feelings resonat[ed]” with many of the members of the audience, who similarly have “fears worrying too much” and that starting her own Business was a way for her and likewise many of the audience members to “start making money having more ideal clients.”
Getting started in the Industry does “require you do to some work for free.” But always be able to “take something away from it.” Building Professional relationships in the Fashion Blogging Industry is a two way street, you “get something in return, you give them a lot … negotiate a Professional Price.” At the end of Erin’s Presentation she opened up for Questions from the Audience and I rose my hand, asking her what her “best advice for monetizing your blog” was and “what do Brands look for in Influencers” and if she had any tips what were they. Erin responded that Fashion Blogging is all about “authenticity, sell from you at a Business Perspective, if you know all your Followers gives you more negotiating power.” -She concluded with an Announcement that she is offering a course entitled, “Money for Bloggers” that begins April 1st on basic tax deductions terminology and her creative business partnership with an Attorney.
The next Speaker was Calli Cholodenko @somethingsocial, who started Something Social, a Lifestyle Brands Company that represents Companies online thru Social Media. She is a USC Graduate who majored in Communications, who gained experience through fitness and Beauty Internships. She recalls her first Interview, for a Social Media Position, in which she was asked to recall who her Favorite Fashion Bloggers were. She has always loved Photography and has had a passion for aesthetics. In doing Social Media for different Brands her goal is to help them find their “distinct voice” and help them to develop. Some advice she offered to the audience members was that “you just gotta do you, [set] actual attainable [goals] action terms … [take] small steps, then work your way up.”
Today Something Social boasts a roster of 25 Brands in Lifestyle, Fashion, Fitness, & Nightlife Events. She explains that her job requires a high “attention to detail” while “lifestyle brand[ing]” the Brands she works with. She describes success as “finding what your vision and aesthetic is.” She goes on to emphasize that “social media is the first thing that they see of your Brand. -What is gonna be that driver … see a little more of what this person is about.” Through your Social Media is where (she explains) your audience and potential Followers “see what you like and what you’re about.” She says that it is important to “find your aesthetic and do it over and over again,” key traits of a “recognizable Brand.” In term of Aesthetic, Calli encouraged audience members to “keep it consistent” in your “social feeds” and find your voice. She goes on to state that, the “more you show people who you are and what you’re about [they’ll] start to trust you.” When building your content, consider the time it will take to build your content and how to stay consistent. Consistency, trust, and loyalty were three factors she considers to be important to be a successful Blogger, and to “show [that you are] well-rounded.”
The next speaker was Kristen Phillipkoski @stylenik, who lead a Discussion entitled “How to Evolve Your Blog Like a Boss.” Kristen is from IFB, which is a Fashion Organization which started in 2007. Kristen has been a News Blogger and Freelance Writer since 2008. She then introduced Callivintage.com (2008) Personal Style Blogger, who began her Career posting 5 Outfits a Week. Calli started Fashion Blogging because it “allowed [her] to connect with people who are doing what you’re doing.” She would post outfits and then write about them Monday thru Friday. Kristen asked her “when did you realize [this was] a Career?” Calli replied, she was just “in the right place at the right time.” Calli was among a select group of Fashion bloggers who were chosen to go to Fashion Week when she just got started Blogging. Calli started out partnering with various Brands, taking small jobs here and there, and now works with Agencies to get Corporate Sponsorships. In order to get Sponsorships “you need to have a large Following.” This is based on, as she explains, “how well you’ve represented yourself on Social Media… [in terms of the] general content, high quality content.”
Kristen Phillipkoski writes for Forbes.com (and doesn’t allow gifting). She advises the audience to “be honest about everything -let them know you are writing about something for a blog, and what they want from [that] interaction.” -They then go on to discuss how it is “important to network with people who are doing what you’re doing.” “How you connect” determines your “agency” and ability to grow within this profession, and they encourage us to “reach out.” They explain that it is a lot of work to make a deal with a Brand, “not all [of us] know how to make deals, [but] always reach out.”
The Next Speaker were The Mane Addicts Team, who led a Discussion entitled “Turning A Vision Into Reality.” She emphasized the use of Professional Photography in your Blog Work. And “finding people” to work with to help find that balance, and knowing what your strengths are. For many Bloggers, that team up, they have separate writing and art departments, which is common. Some Blogs even have Editorial Directors. She describes when building your Core Team, knowing “what is going to keep you growing the quickest.” She encourages us to “think about your audience” and to “always think about how you can engage the reader.” She explains that making money from your blog is all about Engagement, “look at your engagement its all about them.” She then advises the audience to “find your niche and attack it, think about -what you and your girlfriends need … it’s a lot of work.” You have to think about your content, taglines, network, connect with people, email, or face to face [interaction], work ethic, get the job done, respond right away, [these are all examples of traits of successful bloggers] and “important to the success of every Company.”
The Branding Seminar ended with a Speaker on Blogging 101. Overall I learned a lot from this Speaker Series, reminded to pick and choose my battles online while maintaining authenticity and building trust amongst my Followers. Speaking my mind while at the same time maintaining a Professional front representing the Brands and Blogging Communities I have built Partnerships with along the way. This was a great learning experience to put myself out there, and introduce myself to the Vendors and hand out my Business Card. This was the first time I entered the Fashion Arena as a Professional in face to face interaction and I think I did a good job, for the most part. I wish I wasn’t shy and introduced myself to the Speakers after each session but was so caught up taking notes that I was not able to in between Speakers. I hope that this was the first Conference of many to come and look forward to introducing MYMOLLYDOLL to the Fashion Blogging Community and Beyond as a Friend Online, Professional Confidant, LookBook Connoisseur, Blogging Tips Resource, and newly selected Style Curator for Sassique. I look forward to the road ahead and continuing to building Partnerships within the Fashion Community and hope that the relationships I build online will continue to translate into budding Business relationships off and online. Thank you for taking the time to read my Article on The Simply Stylist LA Fashion and Beauty Conference and hope that you have learned as much about Branding as I have from this Speakers Series.
By: Leslie Fischman
Although we like to think we are perfect writers not everything we write is going to be a masterpiece. It’s important to cite and make reference to Professional sources throughout your Blog to maintain a certain level of Professionalism. If you don’t have a Blog, try citing to other people’s Blogs. When I first started blogging I relied heavily on those sources for material everyday on my Blog (i.e. Bloglovin, Tumblr). However, eventually you must incorporate your own work too. One of the first places I went to upload my work to was Weebly. Weebly is a great, easy to use website, for beginners with no coding experience. There you can build a website and show case your work and writing via the various formats and tools they have to offer. Once you build and create a website then you can post from your website and blogs to your other newsfeeds on Twitter, Facebook, Bloglovin, Pinterest, etc. -When you post to your newsfeeds make sure you use links, links that come with boxes, if there are no boxes, find and upload a photo to accompany your post and link, to help make everything look complete. Links with photos not only look more Professional but it also captures the attention of your followers and potential followers via hashtags you incorporate, on a newsfeed. When you post don’t forget to include a “via” indicating the source, if not your own, to give credit to the original source of the post. -All of these skills are important to maintaining an audience: Professionalism, organization, citation, knowledge, and adequate use of the various social media platforms to promote your blog.
By: Leslie Fischman
Figure out what’s important to you in your life, and stay on topic. It’s not about what you write that counts it’s how you write. Nobody is perfect and no one expects you to know everything but always do your best. You will get docked points by your Audience for Presentation. Make sure you always include clear headings and topic sentences. Sounds pretty basic, right? You’d be surprised once you start writing it’s easy to get carried away. -Being yourself requires that you know what you’re about, never make it apparent that you care too much about what others think of you, signs of weakness in writing are apparent by too much negativity, lack of confidence in self, tells your reader you also lack confidence to write Professionally. The more honest you are, the more likeable you become, and keeps your reader coming back for more. No one expects you to be a robot Online, only write as much as you can, quality is better than quantity. On that note, that’s all I’ve got -see you at the next post. Sincerely, Leslie.
21 Tips for Getting Started on Twitter as an Influencer
By: Leslie Fischman
Tips for Writing on Twitter and Maintaining a Following
Blogging Tip #1: Keep a journal to Record your Progress and Set Daily Goals
Blogging Tip #2: Keep Track of all your Used Material & Don’t Re-Blog anything more than 3 times.
Blogging Tip #3: Never count your Followers per day just sign up for Sprout Social – what matters most is that you have a Schedule to stick to.
Blogging Tip #4: Don’t over Mention your Favorites, once in awhile is okay but not too much. Remember your Twitter Etiquette.
Blogging Tip #5: For every Follower I lose, I edit, delete, and change Tempo.
Blogging Tip #6: Retweet Sparingly, to maintain a Following don’t overwhelm them with Retweets they are Following you because they want to hear from you.
Blogging Tip #7: Be careful what you write on Twitter because it shows up in your Google Search. Represent yourself well at all times.
Blogging Tip #8: Its important to keep a Journal to track your progress so you can #blog about it later once you find success!
Blogging Tip #9: Twitter is a very specialized kind of Blogging you are the traffic controller of people short on patience, be contentious.
Blogging Tip #10: The easier you can navigate the Web the easier your viewer can navigate, don’t share crap only the best research, be thoughtful.
Blogging Tip #11: The Quality of your content determines your success as a Blogger. Know your sources, be mindful of your Audiences needs.
Blogging Tip #12: Handwriting is a good way to slow things down and focus on your writing itself. Its easy to get carried away at the computer being too wordy. To put your best foot forward, write sharp, clear, and concise, online it is especially necessary to do so. -Handwriting forces me to do everything twice. For Publishing Online that’s a great trait! -Handwrite, type, then Post!
Blogging Tip #13: If you can, you should always condense your material to one Tweet if possible, avoid series Tweets, helps to stay organized.
Becoming a Brand Ambassador
Blogging Tip #14: Prior to registering for any Influencer Campaigns make sure you are first Registered as an Ambassador with an Organization. (Example: Glambassadors).
Blogging Tip #15: Once you are registered with an Organization (i.e. Glambassadors, Bloglovin Activate) make sure you apply with your Website (i.e. Wordpress, Weebly, Tumblr, Twitter) not an Affiliate Marketing Website (i.e. Shopify unless it is complete with a Blog and appears as any of your other Websites demonstrates your work ethic as a Writer and Love for Fashion). To be an Influencer you must have a Blog, that can be viewed at the time of Application. This is a requirement for places like (Example: ShopStyle, RewardStyle).
Blogging Tip #16: Image is everything. Make sure you are put together and well organized have a clear vision on paper before you apply, so they know you’re ready.
Blogging Tip #17: Make sure your contact email on your website is different from all your other emails to keep track of Inquiries, and know from which Websites they are inquiring from.
Blogging Tip #18: It’s okay to have multiple identities Online, so long as you are organized have a cohesive vision (i.e. School, Personal, and Fashion).
Blogging Tip #19: myshopify is a New Platform -you need to razzel dazzle them if you’re trying anything new out of the ordinary.
Blogging Tip #20: When a Company asks for an Influencer they want you as a Brand be put together not an empty Storefront.
Blogging Tip #21: Nothing is obvious about Affiliate Marketing it sounds simple but very complicated hard to get into, don’t give up, and regroup.
Leslie A. Fischman