Where is the Turquoise Tornado™ Going Now?

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Goodness, what a rollercoaster The Blogcademy has been already, and today we’re about to take another upside-down corkscrew followed by a loop the loop because we’re adding even more dates to our 2013 world tour! Your headmistresses are nothing if not diligent, and when we announced the full wack of dates back in March, there were some outcries that we weren’t going down to any of the Southern US states… Well, your wish is our command and so we’ve added an Austin date in August. BRING. IT. ON.

But that’s not all. The Melbourne class sold out so damn speedily, that we’ve decided to add a second date on our way home from Australia. It means we’re pretty much going to be away from home for a whole month (!) but hey, we love ya and we know you’re gonna make it worth our while! Our poor suffering husbands will just have to hold the fort at our respective homes a little while longer I guess…

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So the 2013 world tour now looks as follows, click the relevant link below if you’d like to book a space on any of these classes.

New York (limited spaces remaining!)
June 22nd & 23rd
Patina

Minneapolis (limited spaces remaining!)
June 29th & 30th
Public Functionary

Austin
August 17th & 18th
VUKA

London
September 7th & 8th
Curtain Road Studios

Brisbane (limited spaces remaining!)
Proudly presented by Tourism & Events Queensland!
November 2nd & 3rd
Bleeding Heart Gallery

Melbourne (SOLD OUT)
November 6th & 7th
Lightdrop Studios

Auckland
November 9th & 10th
Generator

Melbourne (second date added!)
November 14th & 15th
Lightdrop Studios

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Business Bites: Magazines & Mini Meltdowns

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Photography: You are my Fave

Yesterday Gareth & I hotfooted it to Brighton for a mini shoot with the inimitable Lisa Devlin for our magazine. Did I mention that I’m working – hard! – on the next issue right now? Oh yes, I am soooo super excited about it because I just know it’s going to be even bigger and better than the last two editions. I’m actually taking the idea in a brand new direction and I’m super duper psyched to see what you all think about it! Onwards and upwards and all that…

In other news, next Tuesday I’m taking part on Cosmopolitan Magazine’s superblogger masterclass. I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty darn nervous about it all. I’d love to see some friendly faces there, so if you’re able to get to London next Tuesday evening and you have a spare £30 lying around (honestly, what a bargain!) I’d love to see you. There’s a cocktail reception before it starts too so we can all gather for a drink and steady our nerves together. Now that sure sound like a jolly good plan to me!

Now please excuse me while I try not to have a mini meltdown…

Twelve blogging income streams
How to handle online bullying
Nine signs its time to quit your blog
♥ How to know when it’s time to move on
How to write copy that goes viral

“The best approach is to write for just one person. Make an impact on just one person. Even better, make it so they can’t sleep that night unless they choose to make a difference for just one other person by sharing your message with them” Seth Godin

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The Three Reasons Why Your Business is Going to Fail

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While there are infinite and varying possibilities as to why your business could fail, there are just three that will all but guarantee it.

1. Your business doesn’t provide something people want

It seems simple – sell something people want to buy – so why do so many businesses flounder at the first hurdle? It’s all very well wanting to come up with ‘the next big thing’ but if there’s no market for it then what’s the point?

In some ways exactly what you’re offering doesn’t matter at this stage. What does matter however is that it either solves a problem, makes people happier or it takes away something negative. For extra bonus points, it might even be able to hit all three! If you don’t believe me, Facebook is a great example. The social network solve a problem by connecting you with people you don’t see every day, makes you happier by entertaining you and removes the negative of having to actually speak to people in real life (come on, you know it’s true!)

You might think your new product or service is genius, but unless it adheres to at least one of these fundamental needs, it’s going to fail. Why? Because your idea is worthless without customers who actually believe in it and would part with their hard earned cash to get it. Is your idea something people actually want? Have you seen a demand from your target market and spoken to people (other than your mother) and had a positive response? The value in your product can not be determined by you, it has to be determined by your customer. You can’t base a business on what you think people want, a successful business must be based on what a customer actually wants (whether they know it yet or not!)

Think about your own business right now. Are you offering something that solves a problem, makes people happier and/or removes something negative? If you’re answering yes but your business is still failing, it might be time to move onto point number two.

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2. Your business isn’t reaching the right people

It’s all well and good having the most amazing new idea or product, but if no one knows it exists then who do you expect to actually buy it?

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Spending my Birthday at the Los Angeles Blogcademy

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After a blissful few days in Portland, it was time to hit the road and fly down to Los Angeles for the next stop on The Blogcademy world tour. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve visited LA once before and didn’t really fall in love with it, but I was looking forward to experiencing it with my girls and seeing if my mind could be changed. I mean obviously the weather made it much more bearable, it was a scorching 25 degrees a lot of the time which was rather blissful, especially when hearing that it was snowing heavily at home!

The thing that drives me crazy about LA is all the damn driving. The city is so spread out that if you’re car-less (as we were) and in the wrong neighbourhood you’re a bit screwed. Luckily we discovered an amazing ride sharing service call Lyft and we stayed in a loft just in the heart of Hollywood, right in the middle of the action. Although it was noisy at the weekends, it was the perfect location for us as it was just a short car ride to our workshop space, McCaddenSpace Studio.

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Unlike a lot of LA, there were also plenty of things to do in our neighbourhood that were walking distance. Gala & I quickly became obsessed with the juice bar that turned me into a green juice addict and all three of us agreed that Tender Greens needs to move to our respective cities, like, now. There was a Frog frozen yoghurt stop (yes, the same chain as Snog here in the UK!) and an Urban Outfitters where we stocked up on all our rainbow film!

The workshop fell on my birthday weekend and I was excited to spend it with some many inspiring babes. They spoilt me with unicorns, flowers and yummy cakes!

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Unsupportive

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I‘m a regular follower of your blog and whilst I love the amaze-balls photography and reading about real couples kick-ass big days, what I love most is the Green Room, or more specifically the attitude you have to your business, brand and beliefs. Because of that (and I don’t normally do this I swear!) I’m writing to you to ask for some words of wisdom.

I’m at the very beginning of setting up an online business as a virtual assistant/PA but I’m starting to crumble under the weight of everyone else’s opinions already which in turn is making me feel like I should just quit. 

I’m 29 and to date (deep breath) I’ve had 23 jobs… I’ve never been happy in anything I’ve done. I initially started out training to be a primary school teacher and did that for a year after realising it wasn’t for me and since then I’ve been lost. I floated into social work, vets, travel agents, office support, housing associations, youth workers, ambulance 999 call handler – you name it I’ve probably done it. I’m currently working as an office manager at a software company and honestly want to cry most days. My colleagues are lovely and the managers are OK –  I have definitely had worse – but I’m so unfulfilled and I hate to admit it but I feel like a bit of a failure.

Setting up on my own is all I’ve ever wanted to do and I know I have the fire in my belly that will spur me on. Ultimately I want freedom and I do believe I can have that by working for myself. True to form I’ve been through a lot of business ideas up to this point! Everything from running a pancake van to starting a theatre company for kids, but this idea of being a virtual PA is the first I’ve had where the passion to get it going hasn’t gone away quickly. 

My main issue is getting past the negative and ‘helpful’ comments from my friends and family that are actually really sarcastic and really hurtful. Everyone keeps saying that this idea is “just another one of my phases” and “it will pass” or they roll their eyes when I start to talk about my business ideas. My mother even said I have a “self-destruct button”. It makes me feel rotten rotten rotten, drains my self-confidence and makes me feel like maybe I actually don’t have what it takes to get the customers and make this work. I know that my mum is not saying it to be mean or nasty, but in this particular area of my life I really feel like my loved ones don’t understand me at all.

I’m finding it really hard to ignore what they are saying and draw positives from it to give me the strength to continue.  My two sisters (both younger than me) went down the very traditional path of school-university-qualified in something-successful careers-married-children. I am none of those things. I feel like such a failure. 

I’d be eternally grateful for any advice or help you could give me to assist in giving me my focus back! I understand you’re a busy lady, thanks a million squillions and I’ll understand if you can’t reply…

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My heart literally ached when reading your email. I want to reach through my computer screen and give you the biggest hug ever. I’m sorry you feel so low and that your family and friends are being so rubbishly unsupportive right now.

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Business Bites: Moving Forwards, Always

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Photography: Made U Look Photography taken at The Blogcademy: Portland!

You never really know how a new blog series is going to go down with your readers, so I was so thrilled to read all your positive comments about Business Bites last weekend. I appreciate every single comment I get on this ‘lil blog of mine (ahem, well except those kinds of comments) so keep ‘em coming!

I hope you’ve had an awesomely productive week. I’ve been making real progress with issue three of the magazine and I’m literally bursting at the seams with excitement. I’m hoping (touch friggin’ wood) to be publishing it mid-Summer again so watch this space. We’re down to the last few copies of issue two (once it’s gone it’s gone!) so bloody hell, I better not have gone and flipping jinxed it now…

Alrighty then, let’s get on with the show…

♥ If you’re a photographer in the UK, I’m sure you won’t have missed the news of the government’s new ‘Instagram law’. There’s obviously been a lot of angry photographers raging about it, but this BBC piece offers some much needed clarity
♥ However it’s obviously going to be pretty crappy if the law is passed, so if you’re in the UK please take two minutes to sign this online petition!
How to move ahead when everything sucks
Say it backwards
♥ This market research for the wedding industry is so invaluable
Explaining what makes you, you
♥ Having business cards on you at all times is so important but Danielle took hers to another level. You’re never going to forget the babe that gave you one of these are you!?
♥ Do you make these 6 domain name mistakes?
♥ Find what you love and let it kill you

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