When I wrote my post about networking, a reader commented and asked if I had any tips for networking as a newer blogger, when maybe you’re not getting invited to brand events and you don’t know anybody too well (yet!). So today I’m sharing some tips on how to network, meet like-minded people, and forge connections when you’re just starting out.
#1: Reach Out
I know I shared that article that said don’t ask people to coffee, and in certain ways I totally agree with it, but on the other hand, there are ways to make it work. Like I mentioned in the first post, creating a consistent connection online first before asking the person to meet up increases the likelihood of their saying yes. If someone “knows” you from seeing you consistently liking, commenting on, and sharing their work, they’re going to be more likely to take time out of their busy schedule to meet up with you.
#2: Make it Mutually Beneficial
When you follow someone on social media and read their blog, you probably know a lot about them and what they’re interested in. So a great way to ask someone to get together is to suggest an activity that’s mutually beneficial, or based around a shared interest. If you follow a blogger who clearly loves to read, reach out and ask if she’s going to that book signing you heard about, and would she like to go together (or just, “see you there!”). Recently I met up with Laynie, who’s a food Instagrammer. She got in touch by suggesting we grab brunch together at a photogenic place, since we both clearly like to explore foodie spots around the city. It was such a nice way to reach out and we wound up having a really great time.
#3: Do a Link Exchange
Last year Monica reached out to a few bloggers, myself included, and organized a holiday cookie link exchange. Obviously I knew Monica, but I didn’t know the other girls in the exchange, and this was a great way to get to know a few new people. We emailed a little about what cookies we were going to make and then cross-promoted each other on social, and overall it was just a good way to connect. With the holidays coming up, now could be a great time to reach out with a fun idea for a link exchange. Even though this is a super busy content time for most bloggers, if you get the idea out there early enough people might be happy to have something fun to add to their editorial calendar.
#4: Throw an Instagrammable party
A few years back I got an invite to a “Macarons and Mimosas” party, and of course was super psyched to attend. Courtney is the best at throwing adorable get-togethers and through her parties, I’ve gotten to know a lot of other bloggers. So, you can be like Courtney! If you like hostessing, throw a party or a little get-together. Try to invite a variety of bloggers – those just starting out, those with similar traffic to you, and those you admire and have been reading for a while. The benefits of making the party or get-together super adorable and cute are that 1, people will be delighted, and 2, they’ll Instagram it, they’ll tag you, and you might find yourself with some new followers and new readers, and thus maybe new people to connect with.
#5: Reach out to brands
A good way to connect with other local bloggers is to reach out to brands, especially smaller local ones, and ask to be added to their press list. Don’t be surprised if some (or a lot) don’t respond, but a few might. Then if they have an event, go, and that can be a really great way to meet like-minded bloggers and others in your industry. Case in point, getting to know Roxy and going to her Society Social events has been such a fun way to both meet new people and reconnect with old blogger buddies.
#6: Go to public events
This is probably the easiest way to meet other bloggers or just like-minded people. Again, Society Social as a case in point – I went to their holiday Spring Shop event two years in a row, and it was a great opportunity to see people and to connect with Roxy. When you go to a brand’s open to the public events, it also makes a good impression on them and increases the chances that they would invite you to private events. I know it depends on what city you’re in, but there are book signings, shopping events, in-store events, and who knows what else if you try to find things. Here in NYC, off the top of my head, there was the Rifle Paper Co. Open Studio, various Cupcakes and Cashmere promotional events, the Garance Dore book signing, and lots more – so follow your favorite brands on Twitter and make sure to keep your eyes and ears open! And remember also that often bloggers will host public events in collaboration with brands, so if you can go to those, it’s a perfect opportunity to network and make connections.
More blogging tips here!