Considering I don’t have a sweet tooth at all, I sure do pin a lot of pretty sweet treats… hum, I wonder what that says about my psyche? I hope you’ve all had a brilliant and productive week. I’m really looking forward to this weekend because I’m going out – not once but twice! Sheesh, what a party animal. Now excuse me I better go and grab a quick disco nap before the chaos commences. I’ll see you on the other side!
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“The day when artists could build platforms for themselves simply by being on social media has turned into myth. And the glut of “social media experts” and “content experts” who offer proven strategies for building a tribe is growing tired.
So how do you build a base for your work? Kevin Kelley once proclaimed the principle of “1,000 true fans,” where he stated that only 1,000 customers were needed to build a sustainable career. In this new “maker society” where your livelihood comes from your followership, how do you stand out in the long tail?”
I was never very popular at school. I had a group of four friends who I stuck pretty close to and we were delightfully nicknamed ‘the bods’ (our school’s name for geeks/ nerds/ squares) by our much more popular peers. As a teen, popularity is such a life-defining thing. If you don’t act a certain way or fit in with a particular group you’re ostracised or bullied and you spend your days saying “Well who’d want to be like them anyway!?” while all the time wondering what you ever did to be so despised.
As soon as I left that horrific school, I unwittingly shed my unpopularity pretty quickly. In college being an outsider was considered cool and at university pretty much everyone was best friends. I have since learned that when you get past those awkward teenage years, it’s actually your idiosyncrasies and differences that make you more liked.
One of the questions I get asked the most (by far!) is how to get more followers on social media. So while I can’t claim to have always been someone that people wanted to follow, here are a few little tips I’ve discovered along the way about what makes people want to on social media.
1. Be interesting
It’s sounds pretty flipping obvious, but look back at your last 10 or so tweets, Instagrams or Facebook updates… are they? Would you follow someone who posted those things? If not, why not?
Share things that are funny, engaging, happy, sad, inspiring, quirky, colourful, useful, entertaining. Be kooky but considerate, be funny but not sarcastic, share personal stories but don’t be boring. Don’t just tweet the fact that it’s raining or post yet another photo of your lunch. Come on now, who wants to follow that?
2. Vary your uses
The social media platforms are all very different beasts so don’t treat them the same. If you’re cross-posting the same things everywhere it’s going to be repetitive and boring for anyone that follows you in more than one place, and you’re also not going to be getting the best out of each platform. Similarly, the kinds of people that follow you in each place will be different. I’d say that the majority of my Twitter followers (or at least the ones that engage with me) are people in the wedding industry, whereas my Facebook is chock-full of brides. So why would I post wedding industry specific updates on Facebook? It wouldn’t make any sense!
Photography: Marla Meridith Photography
This week has been busy but delightful. I signed off on my two big projects (one of them will be hitting the blog on Monday – watch this very excited space!) and spent an evening with Gareth at a spa (yes, it was just as wonderful as it sounds). Then today I’ve hotfooted it to London to speak at the fabulous Papergirls Paperfest conference followed by one to many cocktails with Debs, Lucy and Abbey. Despite speaking to them all pretty much every day I haven’t seen them in forever and it’s just beyond magnificent to catch up in person.
Also Gala kindly just reminded me that we have less than two weeks until we fly out to Austin for the final US Blogcademy of 2013! Waaaah, I have so much to do before then! Can’t stop to chat, I’ve got too much blogging to do…
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WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE TO ANYONE STARTING OUT IN BLOGGING NOW?
“Have a point of view. That’s the hardest thing. Most people don’t have a point of view. They’re not willing to say what they believe and I guess they want to do it for different reasons than I did. They want to make money. They want to get famous. They want to sit in the front row. I didn’t think any of that stuff when I started the blog. I just wanted to communicate and talk about fashion and the way that I love it.”
When it comes to valuing your worth, something which I am a fierce advocate of, it’s not just cold hard cash that can be the deciding factor. While the thought of working for free might initially seem like something that no-one in their right mind would want to do, on the contrary, doing some pro bono work can actually be a really good investment in your business. If you chose your projects and collaborations wisely and correctly use that work as part of a larger campaign or as a stepping stone to something else, it can be a hugely beneficial exercise.
The very best way to get paid work is to show potential clients that do you do the kind of work that they want. If you’re approached by a company to do something but they don’t have a budget to pay you, ask yourself, will the experience or portfolio content you’re going to get out of this make it worth your while?
Don’t just sit around waiting for these offers to come your way though. It’s up to you to make sure you have the right body of work to show your clients. If you don’t then it’s time to get proactive. If you’re a wedding photographer wanting to shoot alternative weddings but all your current clients are at the traditional end of the market, a great way to do this might be to offer discounts or host a free wedding photography contest that targets the exact market you want to attract. If you’re a designer it’s easier – simply take some time to design some items that will be appreciated by the clients that you want to work with. Just because you’re not getting paid to design something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing it in your own time!
I get a lot of companies wanting to work with me but who only offer exposure in exchange – i.e they’ll mention me in their newsletter, link to me on facebook or write about me on their blog. While it’s very flattering to be asked and all press is good press, I have to consider whether this exposure is going to be a fair exchange for the time and effort I need to put into the project.
I don’t mean to brag but when it comes to The Blogcademy, London is where it’s at! Not only did we do two sold out classes when we were here in January, but due to overwhelming demand for a weekday workshop this time round (I’m looking at you wedding industry peeps and freelancers who couldn’t get the weekend off) we’ve decided to add another class when we’re in town in September!
Our weekend class in September is now sold out (yey!) and so if you couldn’t join us for those frivolities, this one’s for you. Our additional class will kick off at 10am on Thursday September 5th, and go until around 6pm on Friday September 6th.
“There’s a lot of noise & nonsense out there about how to become a ‘professional blogger.’ The Blogcademy headmistresses bring it back down to the beautiful basics: Killer content. Artful packaging. Consistent posting. Personality & charm.
If you’re a baby blogger, consider this workshop your official initiation. If you’re a seasoned pro, think of it as your finishing school.
Gala, Shauna & Kat walk their talk — and blog their walk. A weekend well spent? No question, for me. Get thee to The Blogcademy!” – Alexandra Franzen (attended Minneapolis in June 2013)
Just like our weekend class, it will be held at the sublime Curtain Road Studios in Shoreditch. Here’s what you can expect from our time together. You can also read our course overview for all the specific topics we cover.
“The Blogcademy is fucking life-changing. I sold half of my wardrobe (no joke) in order to attend and I’d sell the other half and show up in nothing but my undies and black eyeliner ten times over: these women are legit. Their energy is through the roof. Their knowledge is powerful. Their commitment is palpable. And they will give you the necessary kick in the ass you need to own your identity, no matter how scary that might be. Between the sparkles, sea of hair colors, and resounding tribal spirit, I kept waiting for Jessie J to burst through the window on a Tarzan rope belting out ‘Just be true to who you are’. (I wouldn’t put it past these three. I believe them capable of anything). But all in all, whether you have to walk 500 miles, subsist on Ramen noodles for a month, or fly on a broomstick to get there…GO. Stop thinking about it. GO. I kid not when I say it will alter the course of your professional career and, by extension, your life.” — Madelin Adena Smith (attended in New York, June 2013)
Photography: Vincent Sandoval
Oh hello there friend, how the devil are you? As usual I’ve been a busy bee this week. Apart from the obvious admin and writing that comes with this lil job of mine, I’ve been furiously putting very nearly final touches to two big projects that I’ve been working on for the past 6 months or so.
The first is issue 3 of the print magazine which is due out in August. It’s been SUCH a mammoth project as unlike the previous two issues it is filled with 100% brand new and exclusive content. I call it a magazine but it’s basically been like writing a damn book! There’s new real weddings, unseen DIY tutorials and a bunch of advice articles I’ve penned just for the mag. I’ve also organised two massive photo shoots for it. The first was an editorial shoot with proper models and some proper gorgeous wedding inspiration which I’m not afraid to tell you I’m super duper proud of. I can’t wait for you guys to see it!
The second was the cover shoot. With all the content now being previously unseen I figured I should also come up with a brand new cover shoot concept to tie it all together. Those of you that follow me on Instagram might have seen a couple. of. hints as to what it’s going to look like already…and yes, that gold dress was just as glorious in real life (thank you Fur Coat No Knickers!)
The second project is a collaboration that I’m also super excited about. I don’t think I want to tell you exactly what it is yet (such a tease!) but it involved sparkly pretty things that you’ll be able to buy.
Oh and in other news (phew!) I had an article published by Cosmopolitan Magazine featuring my top 10 weddings. Did your favourite make the list?
EXCITING TIMES AHOY!
♥ Six steps to making your content contagious (this is really, really brilliant by the way!)
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♥ More people are doing marketing badly than any other profession I can imagine
♥ How to deal with controversy
“A good controversy demands that we draw a line in the sand and dare others to cross it. If you’ve got a topic so heartfelt and genuine that you just have to share it – do it. One post that’s near and dear to you will be worth more to your readers than ten “safe” posts.”