This month I attended my first Blog at the Beach event hosted by icelolly.com. I had no idea what to expect from the event but went along with fellow blog buddy Sunshine Sarah.
On Saturday 13th January 85 travel and lifestyle bloggers descended on a small café come events space called Duke Studios eager to hear from icelolly.com and brilliant bloggers.
The Blog at the Beach Line Up
First up we heard from icelolly.com. It has an impressive influence programme and embraces this new form of media in a way that encourages you to learn how to work with brands. Bravo! For those who doesn’t know, icelolly.com compare thousands of holidays so you can get the best deal. Based in Leeds, icelolly.com aim to have the best holiday without it costing the earth. Their approach to working with influences is simple; icelolly.com believe others are better at talking about their brand than hearing it from themselves. And it’s true, according to MuseFind, 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than an advertisement or traditional celebrity endorsement – hooray for us!
Our first blogging diamond was Kirsty from Kirsty Leanne. She spoke about how to pitch to branch like Ice Lolly. It’s daunting approaching brands if you’re not confident but Kirsty gave us simple tools and helpful hints on how to approach brands such as including a media pack, links to similar posts and asking what you want from them in return.
Next up was Bee from Queen Beady who’s from my neck of the woods! She spoke about blogging alongside a full-time job. I know full well what this is like; 45 hours a week at work plus 20 to 30 hours on the blog and you soon find you have no room for a social life.
Bee helped me put it into perspective whilst identifying easy wins to squeeze as much out of the day as physically possible. Bee has some impressive stats too. In just one year she’s focused her attention on Instagram which has doubled it’s following to over 10K!
Our final speaker was the very funny Kaye from Fordtography. A true inspiration, probably because I know I need to improve my photography somewhat. Specialising in travel photography (after all the event is called blog at the beach) Kaye had some handy tips to get the best from your photography. She said camera are like the wands in Harry Potter. ‘You don’t choose the wand but the wand chooses you’
The event had a good balance of speakers and the opportunity to mix with other blogger and capture your experience on social. I did however have a funny thought about blogger etiquette. So many of us knew each other’s faces, twitter handles and blog names but I for one couldn’t tell you what their first name was! So here’s my four things I think can all do to help and support the blogosphere to thrive and prosper for the future:
1. Go say hi – because you darn well know the other person wants to do the same!
2. Don’t slag each other off in person or online – I’ve had it, it’s not nice so let’s just not step into that realm.
3. Connect and support one another – ask to follow people you meet, they’ll be stoked you asked and they may follow back.
4. Build your community – don’t unfollow as soon as you leave the door. If you follow someone then mean it. Comment and take interest in their posts, be active and build your community.
I’d like to say a massive thank you to icelolly.com for creating such a fun, engaging and learning environment. I can’t wait for the next one and the possibilities with being part of icelolly.com Influencer Hub will bring.
If you like this post and feel events like this are daunting and scary. I’ve also written helpful networking tips as I run a Business Networking event in Harrogate called Harrogate LIVE. Read more here.