If it seems like the same bloggers are getting asked to speak at conferences or attend press junkets, it’s because they are skilled at working their connections and networks to put themselves on the radar of PR firms, brands, and conference organizers who will think of them when an opportunity comes around.
What can you do to step up your game and get noticed? Here are a few tips:
How do you present yourself in real life events and through your social networks? Brands are looking for certain kinds of individuals to represent them. While some want bloggers whose larger than life personas shine through in person and online, other companies may gravitate towards someone whose knowledge stands out in their niche. Rather than having to change who you are, find the brand who understands who you are and what your site is about. While you might not be the right person for right now, you may be at a later date.
If a regular blogging gig or a job in social media is something you strive for, use your blog as your portfolio. Demonstrate your knowledge through consistent high quality posts that are proofread and free of grammatical and spelling errors.
Invest in yourself
Attending conferences can be expensive but these days there are many to suit various budgets. If flying across the country for a multiple day conference is out of reach this year, choose a one-day conference within driving distance. Figure out what your goals are and don’t be overwhelmed by the fact that there’s so much more you could be doing. Stick to your goals and dedicate time to figuring out how to achieve them.
If a pitch for a product isn’t a good match, there’s no harm in letting a brand know through a short courteous email. Replying that it isn’t a great match but you’d like to be kept on their list to hear about future campaigns is a way to start a dialogue about the kinds of products that are right for you. It also helps you stay in the back of a PR person’s mind for campaigns that might be perfect at a later date.
It’s easy to sink into the comfort zone of familiar faces at in-real-life events but getting to know those outside your inner circle is a way to add to your contact list. Work the space and get to know your fellow attendees or try striking up a conversation with the person who Tweets about something you’re interested in. You can’t ever be sure where a connection might take you but it never hurts to put yourself out there and meet as many people as you can.
Take a risk
Risk taking is part of personal growth. Going outside your personal comfort zone is uncomfortable but always worth the chance. Find a table with an empty seat where you don’t know anyone and introduce yourself. Ask that company who is always asking for free advice to pay you as a consultant. Increase your ad rates. Reach out to a fellow blogger about guest posting on their site. Whatever your do, just remember that the worst they can say is no. If they do, realize it’s not personal then shake it off and try again. One day someone will say yes.
Your Blog is Your Business
I have said this many times before: I never felt like a businesswoman until I made the mind shift. That is, I began to think of myself as a businesswoman and voilà everything miraculously fell into place. Sure, it took time to reach my goals and it is still a work in progress, but I never started to make real inroads until I began looking in the mirror and saying to myself, “You know what, you are a businesswoman, not just a mom and a wife and a blogger, but a businesswoman.”
That is powerful stuff, my friends!
If you want to take your blog to the next level you can make all the necessary changes to your blog that you’d like, but it won’t fall into place perfectly until you see yourself as more than just a mere blogger.
That means taking yourself more seriously and setting better deadlines (I still have a problem with this one, but I’m working on it). That means filing your business as an LLC in your state and opening up a business banking account so you’ll feel official. That also means paying taxes on your earnings no matter how small.
That also means being more strategic about the way you handle yourself online because someone important is always watching. That also means going after the things you want and having the numbers to back it up whether it’s putting together a social media strategy for a local business or striving to land a spokesperson’s job with a national brand.
It’s also about being present and showing up at the conferences. The more you’re seen the more you’re remembered. I know you can’t be everywhere all the time, but the people who are at nearly every conference have a much better footprint in the digital mom space and get a lot of gigs because people recognize and remember them.
Always remember that your blog is more than just a mere online journal. Your blog has the real potential to make you a decent amount of money, especially if you shift your thinking and embrace that it is a business you’re running and in fact you’re a businesswoman!