When I first started blogging I noticed there was a common thread among fashion bloggers who had achieved success with their blogs; influence.
It is my strong belief that if we can understand what influence is, we can learn how to create it ourselves.
If you are new to fashion blogging, my hope is that you will gain as much insight from this research project as I did. I would love to hear your reactions in the comment section below.
Three Major Ingredients of Influence & How They Affect Buying Decisions in Fashion Blogging
Decision making is often social in nature. We usually look to others for opinions or advice when we are unsure about a decision. One of the ways we judge their advice is whether or not they're confident when they express themselves. The higher the confidence, the greater the influence.
If a reader has clicked on your fashion blog, they are immediately sizing you up through your posts. Confidence is communicated in the way you write, the topics you choose and the way you pose in your photographs. If you're interested in persuading people to purchase you're going to need to build your confidence and have confidence in your personal style. (See tips here.)
|Exhibit A: The Man Repeller in her natural environment, looking super confident.|
If people like you, they will read and engage, even if your skills are sub-par.
Pop culture tells us likeability is based on superficial attributes like physical appearance, wealth and social status however, research tells us that the top three qualities people most admire are warmth and kindness, expressiveness and openness, and sense of humour. Other important qualities include trustworthiness and extraversion.
The key is to keep it real and be true to yourself. Not everyone will respond positively but you must be able to form connections with readers in your niche. When you're creating a personal style post, write a small paragraph to connect the dots and reveal some of your personality. Make a human connection.
Credibility is the ability to communicate and carry an effective message in the area of your niche and inspire belief in your ideas.
In the area of personal style, readers are looking to see that you have great personal style. If you can effectively put an outfit into context and make it interesting and appealing for your readers, they are more likely to be influenced by your suggestions.
|Exhibit C: Sincerely, Jules on the beach... competently communicating her laid back style.|
Another hallmark ingredient of credibility is authenticity. Be genuine. Be yourself and present yourself as an individual instead of a branding puppet.
Some great advice from the very successful affiliate marketing blogger Pat Flynn is to 1) Only recommend products you're familiar with and 2) Recommend products in an honest matter. Put your products in context with who you are and what you're doing.
At the end of the day, everything in life has a learning curve and if you've recently started your blog and don't have any of these items down-packed yet don't be discouraged.
Influence can be built over time, along with all of the ingredients I've mentioned above.
For some inspiration along the journey, I like to check out the archives of successful bloggers and go back to their first couple of posts. You will see that gaining influence is a slow progression. Building trust online takes much longer than building trust in person.
|Exhibit D: One of BryanBoy's blog posts from 2004.|
1. "The Communication and Influence of Confidence and Uncertainty" by Dr. Caroline Wesson & Dr. Briony Pulford
2. "What Makes a Person Likeable" by Roger Covin, Ph.D. "12 Practices for Improving Likeability" by JD
3. "The Perception of Credibility. Do You Have it? It Means Everything" by Kevin Hogan. "5 Steps to Develop Blogging Competence and Audience Commitment" by Roberto Montanez. "6 Ways to Enhance Your Credibility" by Geoffrey James
Thank you for reading.