How to Find Brands to Work With

This week’s #Print4BlogHer @TheUPSstore Blogger Ambassador program lesson is about doing research for the goals you set. Read last week’s lesson and then decide what you really want to get out of the BlogHer conference. If you are going to just have a good time, meet a free bloggers, and walk away with some free swag, then these lessons aren’t for you. If you want to get the most of out of your conference experience, whether it be BlogHer or some other conference, then you should be taking notes.

Week Three: Doing Research

Last we learned how to define out conference goals and give them a name. By seeing what there is to work towards and writing it down we can get more out of any conference. It basically all boils down to who do you want to see and spend your time with at the conference:

  • Brands/Sponsors
  • Bloggers
  • Speakers
  • Media

I didn’t get a lot out of BlogHer last year because I wasn’t prepared. This course, taught by Debba Haupert of Girlfriendology.com, is helping me to clearly see what I should be doing before I go to a conference. I now know I need to be proactive in my approach.

library research

Now that you have your conference goals defined pick one or two and do some research.

In the “olden days” we could only go to the library for research. The Internet has changed the way we research and has given us so many more tools. Everything is right at our fingertips.

Finding Brands That Are A Good Fit

First you will want to find out what brands are going to be at BlogHer that you might want to meetup with. Find out what brands are a good fit for you, your blog, and your readership. What can you honestly endorse and be passionate about? Don’t always go for the big brands (P&G, Johnson & Johnson, Pepsico, Hillshire), take a look at smaller brands you can form a relationship with (RetailMeNot, Sharis Berries, Skinny Cow, BookBaby). These smaller brands could lead to bigger things. Use the BlogHer site to find the brands that will be in attendance.

Once you found the brands you want to work with, connect with them on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin. Start a list on Twitter and add the brands you found to it. Follow that list and interact with the brands to get the conversation going.

Do some research on the brands to find out:

  • what they offer
  • if they work with bloggers (use the word blog or bloggers + their name in Google)
  • who takes care of their public relations and their social media
  • find out who their target audience is (who they sell to)

By being proactive you can “be way ahead of other bloggers who just find out about them on the tradeshow floor.” (Debba)

Finding Bloggers to Connect With

Maybe your goal is to find bloggers who are in your niche (the topics you write about), find local bloggers you can physically meetup with, or introduce yourself to that blogger you have chatted with online but never met in person. Most, but not all, bloggers who attend the BlogHer conference can be found on the BlogHer website as well.

Setup a list on Twitter and use the hashtag #BlogHer or #BlogHer11 (change out the year for the current year if you are reading this after 2011) to see who is going and what they are talking about. Jump in the conversation and introduce yourself.

Meeting Speakers

Attending sessions is a big reason why we go to conferences. There is a lot to learn from some amazing speakers. Maybe you want to become a speaker and need a mentor or just want to ask a few questions from an experienced speaker. Check out the BlogHer schedule and make a note of those speakers you want to meet in person. Connect with them on Twitter or Facebook and ask them if you can set aside a time to meet with them.

You can build a relationship with speakers just by retweeting what they are posting on Twitter. Become their championship and support them and they will most definitely respond.

Finding Media To Work With

Debba said that this is a little harder to do but it is possible. I found one Media outlet that is actually a sponsor. Maybe you want to get into a newspaper or online article or get on the local news while you are at the conference. By doing research you can find the media outlets (newspapers, blogs, TV and radio stations) in the local area (in this case San Diego, California). Introduce yourself on Twitter or through their site and give them an idea for a story. Maybe you are attending BlogHer for the first time and you live far away. That would be a great local story. Get creative and you could get some media coverage for your own brand and blog.

  • Use Google to find TV stations in San Diego with this custom search
  • Use Google to find newspapers in San Diego with this custom search

research using twitter facebook linkedin

How and Where to Do Your Research

Start with the BlogHer.com website. Every conference you attend will have a website and will be a valuable resource. You can find brands, Bloggers, Speakers, and even some Media there.

Use search engines to find information about brands. Once you find the brand’s website find out about the brand and who their contacts are.

Use Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin to find bloggers, brands, and media. If you don’t have a Linkedin account you should. While I am not too active on mine I do have it setup with all of my sites and the feeds that show what I write. Brands, PR people and media may find you if you are on Linkedin. Over 100 million professional people use it.

My Linkedin Profile

Follow us each week as we share our journey to prepare for the BlogHer Conference in San Diego, California. Our group is working with Debba Haupert of Girlfriendology.com who will be teaching us all about how to prepare for conferences, market ourselves and our blogs, and how to work with brands and companies to successfully market ourselves. This training will come in handy not only for BlogHer but any tradeshow or conference.

You can follow along through Sweeties Reviews or on the aggregate site, www.lovinlogistics.com

Take a look at the other 4 bloggers who have been hand-picked to be a part of this amazing campaign:

This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for #collectivebias. All opinions are my own.

Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links. Some products may be media samples given to us to for our honest review. All opinions are our own and not that of the brand. Read our policies for more details.

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