It was an early crisp October morning walking into The Crosby Street Hotel. The hotel lies in Soho (on Crosby Street), so it is only fitting that the hotel has an artistic feel to it. My eyes diverted to all of the prints and colors. I was not able to make it to the Happy Hour the night before due to my on-going sickness. Even with the intriguing aesthetic, the hotel gives off a comforting home feeling.
How did I first hear about Fohr? A friend of mine who was interviewing for the company sent me a link about their “school” where class was in session for a day with Fohr U. The class was a little pricey, but after looking at everything that they offered as well as the guest list, the experience outweighed the cost.
-Sai De Silva
-YouTube Panel with Reneé Chow, Arshia Moorjani, Erika Fox
-How to Build and Strengthen Brand Relationships with Patrick Janelle
-Crafting a Unique Perspective with Tezza Barton
-Menswear Panel with Igee Okafor, Denny Balmaceda, Jeremy Mitchell, and Justin Livingston
I was very ill this day, but I sat in the back and continuously ate cough drops so that I was not a loud distraction. There were various guests which are listed above, that all covered and represented different categories in the world of media and influence. There were people speaking who were fairly new to this platform, people who have been creators for years, Moms, Men, well-known across two countries, well-known across all of Instagram, Youtubers, the list goes on. I really appreciated having the ability to listen to a wide variety of experiences, and their personal experiences, vs. just having one category that I cannot personally relate to.
It was really eye opening to hear the recommendations of how all of these influential people keep everything organized in relation to their posting schedule, travel schedule, and pay rate. Some people were self represented, others had agents and publicists.
Some of my favorite takeaways from the seminar, but not all! You will have to attend yourself to learn all of the tricks of the trade.
Sai De Silva: @Scoutthecity – is a blogger turned Mommy blogger. Her lessons over the year were:
-Luxury rarely pays you, mostly will just send gifts
-After attending any large event, bcc everyone with a template letting them know what you can do for them. You never know how many responses or what responses you will get so it is always worth a try to get yourself out there
-After about 9 months of having her blog she was approached by a handful of people reaching out advising that they could help her when it came to landing more brand deals, negotiating, and curating her overall look. This first agent did not do anything for her, and was essentially a waste of money. She even had to get an attorney to sort things out contract wise. After this mess, her next agent had a 3 month trial period to see if they were a mutual fit before legally becoming an entity. This agent was a fit and was even able to land her a 6 figure deal after multiple successful partnerships! (If you cannot afford an agent she suggested making up an agents email if needed).
-Mommy bloggers: you need a team that is understanding. If your kid is just having a day where they are not going to cooperate, the team needs to be understanding that they need to reschedule, or just work with the content that they were able to get. Kids are a whole other animal, and they cannot be forced to be on set for 9+ hours if their parents do not want them to be.
Erika Bearman: @erikabearman
Erika is a brand advisor for her own company-Erika Bearman LLC and she has also had an amazing career in the fashion world as she held the title of SVP of Global Communications at Oscar de la Renta. What she has learned from working in the corporate world of PR and social media, is that you should never forget that this is your personal platform that you are creating. Personal meaning that you do not have to do anything that you do not want to. You need to make things real and believable, and if a brand is not part of this, do not try and make them fit. As Erika is a mother now, she now sees how much privacy has become a luxury. From people have Finstas (fake instagrams that are private for select eyes only), to the pressure to conform to the typical “Instagram look”, get enough likes, and feel good about what you are putting out there without the feeling of deleting something later, there really is no privacy. We are all basically walking around with a number above our heads – the number of followers we have.
It was also interesting to hear that brands used to constantly delete negative comments, but now they leave them there to create conversation. From working in PR she can confidently say that Influencers are the new brands, and that PR follows innovation. Be as innovative as possible, and your brand can really take off.
Erika Fox: @RetroFlame
Erika is originally from Ireland and has an amazing worldwide following through Instagram and Youtube! Her advice: that anyone can read through a script and know if it is genuine or not. She tries to make her feed 80% organic and 20% sponsored. If you are in the position where you are getting free product and no payment, post the free product and blow that post out of the park. Once you have showed them what you are capable of no matter what you following or engagement may be, have the confidence to reach out with what you think you are worth.
“Make content that is timeless, and that people still want to watch and stumble upon two years from now” -Erika Fox
Tezza- Building your Craft @Tezza
I cannot remember when I first came across Tezza on Instagram, but I never stopped following her, and continuously love to see the eye-catching content that she comes out with every week while traveling all over! She always had a love for creating content and photography, she attended art school. She is humble about her work as she has been working on her craft for the past 10 years, things are not just made overnight. What she has learned is similar to what Erika noted, is that you want your content to stand the test of time.
A lot of thinking and planning goes into this. A handful of her content comes from inspiration from others of course, but a fun spin is that she actually encourages copying content. Copying someone will never result exactly the same, there is a time and place when you know how far you can go copying, but there is a lesson to come along with this. When you are copying someone you really come to see how much work went into their post. If things are not working out, you can always turn around a bad location or lighting with some creativity. This is key in NYC as there are always so many people everywhere at all times, and most of us have small apartments where we cannot shoot gorgeous product shots aside from flat lays.
Before accepting anything Tezza recommends showing the brand your vision to make sure that you are both on the same page. Typically if you see you vision and believe in it, then the brand will too. There is not a point in curating something that does not resonate with what you want to do and what you are proud of at the end of the day.
Fun fact her best work is exploring new places to shoot between 5:30-9:30 am. The early bird gets the shot without all the people in the background!
Post Q&A there were workshops, snacks, and time to network. I learned so much this day. Sometimes you just need to hear from someone in the industry vs. trying to google everything or learn from an Instagram post.
Shop the look: