Aaron Marino likes to tell a story about a friend named Steve.
“He had a hot date coming up,” Marino recalls. “And, not knowing what to wear, he asked me for some suggestions. I said, ‘Why don’t I swing by your place, check out what you have, and if you need something we can go shopping? While we’re out and about, we should visit my hair stylist for a new cut. And by the way… you have got to do something about those nose hairs!’ ”
With that initial make-over a few years ago, Marino not only proved himself a good friend, but he unknowingly started his Atlanta-based business as a men’s style consultant.
That tale also leads to an interesting example of taking online relationships into the real world, and of building your brand through social media.
And now he’s promoting a men’s conference on style this Friday-Sunday (May 1-3) in Atlanta, called StyleCon2015. His partner on the project is ex-Marine Antonio Centeno, founder of the Real Men Real Style site The friends have invited other bloggers and Internet coaches to meet and counsel their readers and others men who are looking for help in bumping up their style and confidence.
“This is so much more than just style,” Centeno says. “This is lifestyle – fitness, relationships, career, life…”
Marino says the goal is to give men a place to talk comfortably about issues like accessorizing and manscaping – without having to defend their masculinity or listen to a bunch of lame “metrosexual” cracks. (If it matters to you, Marino and Centeno are straight, and the StyleCon agenda includes advice on impressing women.)
Looking Good as a Competitive Advantage
“It’s a competitive world, and there is nothing wrong with trying to put your best foot forward at all times,” Marino says.
Seminar titles include:
- Modern Manliness: How to ‘Man Up’ in Your Daily life
- 10 Masculine Style Essentials
- Art of Charm: Going from Ordinary to Extraordinary in 7 Steps
Marino and Centeno promise tailors and hairstylists onsite at StyleCon, along with whisky and wine tastings. And the list of bloggers on the schedule includes:
- Brett McKay, The Art of Manliness podcast
- Brock McGoff, The Modest Man: Style Tips and Advice for Short(er) Men
- Ryan Magin, Handsome Guy Secrets
Keeping It Real – and Social
I’m no style expert, but I love the idea of Internet entrepreneurs (in any line of work) taking their online personas out into the real world, meeting their readers and sharing tips and camaraderie.
It keeps the focus on “social” in social media.
And while I’m not a slob by any means, I have been in poor Steve’s worn-out shoes a few times. Maybe I’ll go and see if I can pick up some pointers.
You can get more details on the StyleCon site. Mention this blog and you’ll get a deal – three days admission for the price of one.
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