How to get invited to blog events | Advice from @halliekwilson

Be a Better Blogger, Vol. 3: Event How-To’s

For Volume Three in our “Be a Better Blogger Series“, we’re talkin’ events — how to get invited to them, make the most of them and more.

backstage-pass-fashion-week

A significant chunk of e-mails that I receive from readers and fellow bloggers are about how to grow your blog or your career – whether you’re in New York or not.

More often than not, my answer is the same…

I grew my blog to where it is today (over the course of five years) by very much being a yes person.

I always do (and will continue to) preach the importance of in-person relationships — and similarly, I think it’s really important to put yourself out there… Literally. Go to events, meet people. Follow up with them.

astr-concert-in-nyc

A few weeks ago, L’Oréal invited me to Féria Live in Color, a concert and fashion show they hosted in celebration of one of their latest hair color collections.

As I’m sure you can relate, moving is something that keeps one busy.

Back then and still, now; my schedule allows for rare nights off as-is, so I relish the evenings that I’m able to spend offline. Quite honestly, one of the draws to attending was that I didn’t know anyone else going.

(… Well, that, and two of my favorite artists were playing.)

milk-studios-fashion-show

While going to events solo can seem uncomfortable, it’s good to push ourselves beyond the confines of our comfort zones every so often, isn’t it? This, personally, is when I feel the most bold and outgoing. (Plus, the event sounded really cool! We’ll get to that.)

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L’Oreal’s hair-coloring kits are all about “living in color” – or living a bold, vivid, fulfilling life.

The brand asked if I’d like to post a recap of the event on my blog, and given Féria’s mantra of “living boldy” is one that I personally abide by, I knew it’d be easy to discuss in a manner that was timely, interesting to read and relevant for all of us to interpret directly.

nyc-fashion-show

First, the event:

“Live in Color” was really cool (you can click the video below to see more). In attendance was designer Helen Castillo, as well as musicians Elliphant and ASTR. FAll of the artists in attendance — fashion and music alike — showcased their own interpretations of the colored world of Féria, so it was an inspiring environment to be in. Sensory overload!

My favorite element was Helen’s fashionable play on of L’Oréal Féria’s rusted copper color – she created a look that was inspired by the hue, and I remember thinking I’d wear that straight off the runway (slash out of the salon).

l'oreal-copper-highlights l'oreal-feria-copper

Now, a note on living boldly (in order to grow your blog/brand):

So, events. They’re nerve-wracking, stressful and sometimes a hassle to get to (/get into). But are they worth it? Totally. This is a new-to-me-again sensation that I’m experiencing with my move back to Chicago – but it’s proven to be a wonderful way to meet lots of new people!

Your first question might be: How do I get invited?

helen-castillo-fashion-designer

I know. This was something I asked myself on the reg when I first started blogging — and I felt very much kept in the dark. The answers are a lot simpler than you might image, though.

First-off, don’t play the comparison game (“why did she get invited to that but I didn’t?”); instead, take action. Here’s some advice:

  • Join a blogger group or network, such as Style Coalition (how I was invited to this event in particular), Mode (formerly known as Glam), PopSugar, StyleList and Federated Media, among others. In Chicago, there’s a great group called the Windy City Blogger Collective, too.
  • Socialize. Not much of an in-person type-of-person? That’s okay — I’ve met some of my best friends online (Jess and I met through Twitter before we ever met IRL). You can still participate in events, conferences and the like using hashtags. There’s a conference happening this weekend, actually — Create & Cultivate. I’ll be there live-tweeting, so join the conversation!
  • Just ask. Do you ever think to do that? Have your pal ask for a plus-one — and don’t be afraid to communicate with brands directly. Reach out to PR people and ask to be added to their press lists (if you can’t figure out who to contact, tweet ’em and ask). Send an email introducing your blog, expressing how much you like the brand and that you’d like to keep in touch about opportunities to partner up. Finish by saying that you’d like to be added to their press list to hear about the latest news and events from their clients.
  • Focus on your foundation – your unique content foundation. For the sake of comparison: It’s the same thing as coloring your hair, really. Begin with what you’re workin’ with up top, then figure out how to hide the grey’s (just me?) and highlight your best assets.
  • Say yes to things! Be bold. Put yourself out there – in situations and at events where you’re forced to be outgoing, confident and personable. You’ll surprise yourself… And as they say, your life actually begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Ultimately, know that brands will find you.

It might take longer than you’d like, but if you have a point-of-view, you’re conversationally active on social media, and you’re truly passionate about the content you’re creating, it will happen. So start here as a focal point.

l'oreal-feria-live-in-color

Thanks to L’Oreal and Style Coalition for partnering on this post.

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