Friday, September 17, 2010

Evolving Influence's Evolution

I've been a member of the amazing organization, the Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB) pretty much since it began back in September 2007. Can you BELIEVE I've been blogging since 2006?? But I digress! Creator Jennine Tam Jacob wanted a community for fashion bloggers to meet and crowd source each other's knowledge, to discuss how to best monetize your blog, what hosting platforms are best, styling tips, anything and everything!

We started meeting up during fashion week back in February 2009, it was a pretty intimate affair back then and more of a cocktail party. Remember the Dress Up Soiree contest? I won fourth place, after Jordana of Clutch 22 and the Sugar Rock Catwalk ladies!

In September the event starting to take shape to include panel of awesome fashion bloggers and experts including: Susie Bubble from Style Bubble, Wendy Brandes, Crosby Noricks from PR Couture and more. The place was two to three times more crowded and we could all see Jennine was on to something! Everyone had questions about taking their blogging to the next level: How do you build relationships with PR agencies and designers? How do you make sure you're not being taken advantage of? Do you blog for free stuff? How do you optimize your site for search? The crowd was hongrah for more!
By February 2010 Evolving Influence had been born! There were multiple sessions with various experts like, the infamous BryanBoy and the adorable Tavi! With such famous bloggers, we should have had our own red carpet, no? Remember how I liveblogged the Fashion 2.0: The Business of Blogging panel?
And just this fashion week was the most successful event yet. With more amazing experts like Rumi Neely from Fashion Toast and Amy ODell from NY Magazine's The Cut, the 300 attendees learned so much!

There was a lot of discussion on content. Amy Odell said "Live content is queen! If you wait 5 minutes you're too late! You can't miss anything - people will keep coming back to you if you don't miss anything." It's so true, but man it's hard when you have a full time job like me! And it's not exactly like I have the inside scoop anywhere... maybe I should find a way to get a spy cam into Michelle Obama's closet?
There was also talk about monetization - something every blogger is interested in but surprisingly few have cracked. I seriously make maybe $25 a month, so go ahead and take the time to click on the banner ads now :O Susie Bubble spoke about how she actually has an agent to handle project fee negotiations and the like - I hope to be as big as her one day! She recently styled the Ting Tings and previously did a photo project with Dr. Martin. She's so inspiring, I have a bit of a girl crush on her (the British accent... swooon!).

There's been quite a buzz on fashion bloggers for the past year, and no one can deny that Jennine hasn't been a driving force behind that. Being a part of this organization has not only helped me elevate my own blogging, turning a hobby into a full blown passion and lifestyle, but has introduced me to some amazing friends that I hope to have forever!


WendyB said...

Jennine does great work!