Imagine you're an up-and-coming blogger, living on the outskirts of London (and hey, maybe you really are!). You've got an eye for photography (or a way with styling or you're a master curator…). You've got no connections to the PR world, no friends on the inside. How do you get your talent in front of the right eyes? How do you find project opportunities?
As it stands now, those are tough questions – and ones that a new brand-and-blogger tool, Fohr Card, hopes to answer.
Fohr Card came to life officially last month, from the combined efforts of Rich Tong, Holly Stair and James Nord, but has been in gestation for months. The trio spent many a long night working on the concept, and often over a shared cocktail of choice – the Manhattan. As it turns out, the drink is beloved on a small island off the coast of Germany called, funny enough, Fohr Island.
On the Lower East Side of Manhattan, I sat down with Holly, James and Rich, to find out more about their goals and hopes for Fohr Card, which plans to go live November 1. From what I gathered, these are three people hell-bent on seriously changing the way brands and bloggers do business together.
So how did Fohr Card come about, and what exactly is it?
The genesis of the idea came from Holly Stair and Rich Tong, when they worked together on the first two Tumblr Fashion Week projects. (To refresh your memory, in 2011 Tumblr rounded up more than 20 of it's most promising fashion-related Tum-bloggers and hosted them during New York Fashion Week, giving them access to shows and events.) Stair and Tong discussed how frequently they were contacted for help enlisting bloggers for projects, and wondered why there wasn't a database that already had all that information available, in one place. Not only is it time consuming to gather, but much of what's available publicly in terms of statistics is not reliably accurate.
Think of Fohr Card like a directory for brands and bloggers, with your blog's Fohr Card functioning a bit like a model's comp card or a baseball card. The idea is that brands who subscribe have access to a huge network of bloggers, with constantly updated statistics, that can be filtered through three different channels: platform, category, and location. There's also a listing-style feature where brands can post opportunities they are looking to fill, and if a blogger meets the qualifications, can apply to be hired.
The press release states, “Brands who subscribe to our service will be able to view the social media follower counts, traffic, and rankings of the world’s best fashion blogs, providing them the most comprehensive picture of the fashion blogging landscape to date.”
Companies and agencies will be able to subscribe to Fohr Card on a monthly or annual, per-user basis. The service will allow them to view and contact Fohr Card's index of bloggers, search blogs through their filters, create lists of bloggers they’d like to work with for specific campaigns, and download CSV reports on the bloggers they’ve selected.
“First and foremost, our goal is to have every fashion blog in one place, so brands can see the whole blogging landscape, and hopefully reach out to blogs outside their usual network,” noted Nord.
But more importantly, how will it benefit bloggers?
The founders hope that Fohr Card can scale the experience that many of the most popular fashion bloggers have had, and “add transparency to an industry that desperately needs it,” added Nord. That's where the numbers and statistics come in.
“We want you to go from blogging about a brand to working with a brand,” Nord said of his hopes for how Fohr Card can help bloggers. “We genuinely want to change people's lives.”
By filtering the blogs by category, platform and location, brands will be able to easily narrow down their pool of options, and easily find bloggers who's profiles and statistics fit with their goals. According to Tong, “every brand is looking to push different things,” and Fohr Card wants to streamline their search efforts while simultaneously helping talented bloggers get the right kinds work.
“We want to get their work in front of some of the best brands in the world, which is an ability they might not have otherwise,” continued Nord.
What's included on your Fohr Card?
- Twitter followers
- Tumblr followers (if applicable)
- Instagram followers
- Google Analytics traffic (bloggers input a link to their analytics, so numbers are up-to-date)
- Brands you’ve worked with in the past
- Recent press for your blog
“We want to scale the experience that some of the most popular bloggers have had, and add transparency to an industry that really needs it. Bloggers should be getting hired for the work that they do and the following they have, not the PR people they know.” – James Nord
“I don't want to hound and I don't want to hustle; I don't want to be an agent. It makes me happy to see talented people catching great experiences and getting great work. Communities are built on the pride and support of your peers.” – Holly Stair
“There's a lot of talent out there, and we want to help anyone who is ambitious.” – Rich Tong
*Interested? Fohr Card has extended 250 invites for IFB bloggers, just login here, using the invite code: “ifb”*
What do you think of Fohr Card's concept? Do you think it has the potential to shake things up in the way bloggers and brands do business?
[Photo by: Zoltan Tombor via FGR]