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Navigating the Blogging Conference Marketplace

The blogging conference.  Your job is to make connections, generate new leads, and find new business.   

I attended MOM 2.0 Summit for the first time a couple of weeks ago and I admit, I was terrified.  So many awesome and noteworthy brands… so many ways for me to make a fool of myself.  I had no idea what to expect nor how to conduct myself in this sort of environment.  Thankfully, MOM 2.0 hosted a newbie session where I asked my burning question, “Walk me through what a conversation with a brand would look like.”

Amy Mascott of Teach Mama walked me through it and I used her technique the entire conference.  It worked well because I hit every brand, found a few I totally identify with and am now actively pursuing some new partnerships.


 The basics are:

  • Introduce yourself (be ready to tell about your blog in a short sentence or two if they ask what your blog is about)
  • Find out as much as you can about the brand
  • Exchange contact information
  • Follow up.

Let me walk you through it as well.

I braved the marketplace during the morning keynote session on the first day.  When I searched for a brand to approach, I tried to seek out the booths that didn’t have a big crowd around them at the time.   As soon as I saw someone free, I went for it.Mom-20-Marketplace

 “Hi, I’m JoAnn.  I blog at Whimsicle.”

“Hi JoAnn, nice to meet you, I’m _____.  Have you heard about (insert business here)?”  

Usually, I responded with a “No.” or a “Yes, I love it”.  

The brand representative/ PR rep then launched into their prepared pitch about their product. At that time, they gave me a few samples, had me enter a contest, or do some activity.  At MOM 2.0, LEGO let us build name badges out of the LEGO bricks, Vanity Fair fitted us for bras, Safety First had us tweet to win Safety First products. Kia let us drive their cars any where we pleased.


They gave us the keys to @kia and said we could take it anywhere. Seriously! #kiamom #mom2summit

A photo posted by JoAnn (@awhimsiclelife) on

If I was genuinely interested in the brand and the representative had not yet discussed how they wanted to work with bloggers, I asked them:

How are you looking to work with bloggers?

They then gave me the rundown of everything available.  Some possibilities were:

  • sponsored posts
  • reviews of products
  • blog ambassadorships (write a certain number of posts about the brand)

Then, I asked for a business card and gave them one of mine.  I told them it was nice to meet them and then moved onto to the next booth.

 At a blogging conference, you are simply gathering information and meeting people face-to-face.  As the popular saying goes, “the fortune is in the followup.”  After the conference, I sent a follow-up email to each of my brand contacts saying that I enjoyed meeting them at MOM 2.0 and told them that I was very interested in working with them.  I explained how excited I was about the brand and as an added bonus, included a couple of links to some of my posts that showed what a good fit I was.  I wish I had some results to report, but everything is still in progress.

As you can see, the entire process is pretty straightforward with no added mystery.  Simply try and introduce yourself to as many people as possible, learn as much as possible, exchange contact information and follow-up.

I had nothing to fear.

JoAnn Crohn

CEO/Founder at No Guilt Mom
JoAnn Crohn, M. Ed is a parenting educator and life coach who helps moms feel confident in raising empowered, self-sufficient kid while pursuing their own goals & passions.

She’s an accomplished writer, author, podcast host of the No Guilt Mom podcast, and speaker who appears in national media. Work with her personally in Balance VIP

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  1. Hey! So fun to meet another east valley blogger! I was at Mom 2.0 just for Thursday teaching the podcasting workshop with Erica (laddventure.com) who is also my next door neighbor, we podcast at Girl Next Door Podcast. You did better than us at meeting different brands, good job hope some partnerships come through for you!

    1. Hi Kelsey! Great to meet you! I hear that the podcasting workshopping was fantastic! Off to check out yours and Erica’s blogs now. Hopping on your social media to follow you as well!

  2. Your blog is my new favorite place to hang out. I think you and I need to team up.
    In other news…
    You say you were terrified and claim to be shy, but lies, woman! You are like the most confident person at events! Sounds like you did a great job connecting with brands, and I hope you get to work with your favorites! Now I need to go send some emails… 😉

    1. Thanks Megan! It’s a forced confidence. I have to take frequent breaks where I close myself in a bathroom stall and play on my cell phone to recover from all the interaction 🙂

      Send those emails! I need to get on that too 🙂

  3. JoAnn, I don’t think I got a chance to meet you, but wanted to say hi and let you know I’m reading through all the blog posts from Mom 2.0 that I can find and felt I needed to comment to say thanks for sharing your insight on how you, as a blogger, approach a brand. I went representing a brand, but in more of a learning capacity and it really helps to see it from the blogger perspective. It’s crazy interesting to me to see how bloggers are hoping to find brands, when brands are hoping to find bloggers – and we all want to work together, but the big “how to make it happen” is on both of our ends!
    Also – read your comments above and I’m glad I’m not the only one who does that hide with the phone thing. I feel vindicated! 😉

    1. Sometimes you just need to get away from it all and regroup. Around a ton of people, the restroom stall ends up being the only place that people leave you alone 🙂 When I think of it, blogging is such a new field and we just haven’t all figured out how to work it yet. But that leaves tons of room for innovation and experimentation. I think back to college when I was so worried about finding a job. Little did I know, my career hadn’t even been created yet! Thank you for stopping by! Are you going to next year’s MOM 2.0?

      1. I really do hope to go again next year! I learned so much and made new friends, and it’s not far from Arizona (I actually lived in the OC for a while so I’m familiar with all the surrounding areas.) I am heading to BlogHer15 in NYC where I’ve never been before so hoping to learn more there too, but if I have my way, you bet I’ll be at the summit again next year! I totally get what you mean about the job thing too… I was did a parenting podcast for years and was just using Social Media to promote myself, when suddenly Social Media became its own job and now that’s what I do, only not just for myself 😉
        Thank you so much for the response!

  4. This looks like a really valuable experience! I’m a little jealous–I just went to my first conference (and paid for a plane ticket, hotel, rental car on top of the ticket price) and it was a major let down. No new or helpful information, no brands, no information on…anything, really. Just sort of a big infomercial for friends of the organizers. I’ll have to look into this conference next year. Thanks for the review!

    1. Awww… that’s a huge letdown. I definitely recommend Mom 2.0. So many big bloggers, amazing brands and tons of valuable information. Plus, next year it will be on the beach in Laguna Nigel! I already have my ticket!

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