10 Things I Learned From Attending the Seattle Style Summit

Every year Sydney Mintle of Gossip & Glamour hosts an amazing event for Seattle life and style bloggers called The Style Summit. This event is designed to bring the Seattle style community together to build relationships offline and to inspire creativity. Over 100 Seattle bloggers gathered on a beautiful Saturday morning to partake in a well planned event including panelists of speakers focused on important blogging topics.

Event graphics by The Fancy Cat Studio

The panelist speakers included: Moorea Seal, Alan Gertner, Jenny Keller, Jessica Branning, Sammy Scharg, Tiffany Ishiguro, Brandy Brown, and more.

Photo by Vivian Hsu Photography

Here are 10 things I learned from attending the Seattle Style Summit:

1. Be Social

Networking is such an important aspect of blogging- both online and offline. Having an opportunity to network with local creatives was so valuable. Socializing with your peers can build relationships, nurture creativity, and ultimately grow your following.
One phrase that stands out to me from the panel is: "It's called social media for a reason." Online interactions beyond 'likes' are valuable. A simple comment, message, or email can display to someone that you are genuinely interested in them and that goes a long way.

Photo by Vivian Hsu Photography

2. Be Authentic

Authenticity is so important in blogging! You want to make sure that your followers know what you are about- staying true to your purpose, or 'brand,' will create trust with your followers. They can sense when something is not genuine, and chances are they read other blogs so use your own ideas! You definitely don't want something to feel forced or out of place on your blog.

3. How To Get A Brand's Attention

Most brands have a presence on every social media platform. If you are trying to get noticed by a brand, tagging them in your posts is a great way to increase your exposure. If you are trying this method to get a brand's attention, make sure their item is the spotlight of your post(s), and that their competition isn't included! Brands are looking for engagement with your audience, so try asking your friends a question in your post.

4. How To Reach Out To Brands

Much like applying for a job, there is a form of etiquette for approaching brands with collaboration ideas. Really, just use common sense- spell check, proof read, send your pitch to the right place, etc. Remember, brands are looking for exposure too! Tell a story in your pitch, explain why you are a good fit for each other and why their brand is compelling to you. Add value to your pitch by suggesting a post idea in collaboration and linking similar posts you have written. Most importantly, when trying to work with brands make your interactions all about the relationship that you are forming (remember, be authentic!)

Vivian Hsu Photography

5. Not All Brands Know How To Work With Bloggers

If you are interested in working with a brand, and you hear back from them that they are not looking to pay for a project right now don't sweat it. 
Most brands have a marketing budget and some just haven't figured out how to work with bloggers yet. Knowing your worth (and the worth of that relationship) will help you decide if working with a brand on an unpaid or limited budget project is something you would like to do anyway.If the brand really falls in line with what you are about and you are interested in building a relationship with them for future projects, then consider these opportunities chances to build your portfolio.

6. You Can Always Do More Than Blog

The second panel was all about 'Beyond the Blog.' We see a lot of bloggers going full time and then expanding their brands into other areas. Some create their own clothing lines, jewelry lines, open shops, write books, etc. If you like to do something, don't stop at just writing about it on your blog!

7. Define Your Role And What You Want To Do

If you are looking to go Beyond the Blog, then you'll probably need some help! By defining what aspects of the 'business' that you want to do, and delegating the rest, you can ensure quality and happiness in what you do. It's okay to ask for help from a friend, family member, or even a pro on the aspects that you decide you have no interest in. Sometimes that freedom helps you stay creative!
"If you are doing your job well it will get harder" Moorea Seal

8. Be Yourself 

Do what makes you happy! You started your blog for a reason, continue it how you want to and don't let the pressure of others encourage you to do anything beyond what is 'You.'

9. Create And Cultivate

Be creative with what you do, and share your knowledge and wisdom with others. Help cultivate a creative environment around you and establish a culture of growing and sharing. Sydney has done an amazing job doing this for our Seattle Style Community!

Vivian Hsu Photography

10. Seattle Has Style!

The biggest lesson I learned from attending the Seattle Style Summit was that Seattle has style! Too often are we stereo typed for being a grunge city full of people who wear socks with sandals. I was surrounded by 100 of Seattle's best dressed and I was so impressed by everyone in attendance. Dapper gents, street style, fashion forward, upcycled... so many creative looks and creative people in our style community.

Catch all of the stylish pictures on social media with #SEAStyleSummit

Vivian Hsu Photography

Jenna Lynn Photography

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