Ahh email. Without a doubt it is the biggest blessing and curse of the modern era. Nothing else has connected us so quickly whilst simultaneously frustrating us so entirely!
Before I started the Green Room I had a series on the blog called ‘post it notes’ where each week I would share one ‘note’ about wedding planning and another with a short business tip. One of the most well received posts by a mile was one where I shared how I organise my insane inbox. It was less of a note though and more of a friggin’ essay. But it was really popular and so today I thought I’d revisit it with extra tips and some more recent updates.
You can thank me later.
I get a lot of emails. And when I say ‘a lot’ I mean a mothereffinghugeamount. At least 50 submissions hit my inbox on a daily basis, nestled in nicely with about another 200-300 other messages ranging from advertising requests, press releases, press enquires and messages from brides or bloggers asking advice. And no I’m not exaggerating those numbers. I wish I was.
There is nothing worse than sending an email and not hearing anything back for weeks (or not at all!) It’s rude, unprofessional and it gives a bad impression of how you run your business. No matter how busy you are, replying to all your emails should be a top priority for everyone. No question. Unless it’s a dreaded ‘dear blogger’ email or one that’s clearly been spammed out to everyone on their mailing list, every email I receive gets some sort of reply. Some are short and sweet, others are more thought out, but it is a priority I’ve chosen to make for my business.
If it’s not clear to you already, let me put you straight – I am an email freak. Gareth often comments how I chew through emails like nobody’s business! I don’t by any means think my system is the most efficient; but it works for me and that’s the most important thing. The key to conquering something like email – that needs constant attention or it will spiral out of control – is to have a very regimented system. In a way the actual techniques you employ don’t really matter as long as you have ones that work for you.
When you’re scared, listen to the advice of a six year old…
the Scared is scared from Bianca Giaever on Vimeo.
Image by Danielle
Planning two workshops at once may be double the work but it’s also double the fun – especially when it came to picking our scholarship winners for both cities at the same time.
The three of us trawled though all the amazing entries late last night, emailing back and forth with our favourite ones. Although we were pretty unanimous that our Los Angeles winner had to be Danielle. Her entry was so cute, creative and fun. We might have just been a little swayed by the paper headmistresses (& Gareth!) in the video too – so damn cute!
Some of my eagle eyed readers might actually recognise her – I not only featured her wedding waaaaay back in 2008 (!) but we met in Las Vegas last year and Lisa did a shoot with her and husband Jose. They really are the sweetest couple ever and nobody deserves this more than Danielle.
via Bakers Royale
I don’t even like chocolate, but this looks utterly delicious.
As well as dreaming of stodgy food all week, I’ve been browsing around on your behalf. Grab a cuppa (and maybe some cake?!) and get stuck in why don’t ya..?
♥ Fabulous article on dealing with imitations
♥ Desperate measures? Bloggers faking VIP status by paying for their own swag
♥ What you can learn from eight top wedding bloggers (nice to be included, thanks Heidi!)
♥ Everyone has the potential to do something great, even ‘those people‘
♥ Finding balance when writing features for your blog.
“While it’s important to have a defined niche that your content revolves around, if you wind your blog too tightly around a singular subject, it can become very dry and insular. Always use your niche as a guide — think of it as a bull’s eye in the middle of a dart board. But then, throw some darts a little further outside of the center.” Shauna Haider
Being at the start of something is an exciting but frustrating time. You have all these ideas and you’re full of enthusiasm (exciting!) but you feel like you’re often held back by your lack of experience, connections or knowledge (frustrating!) A brand new business is like a blank sheet of paper. It can become anything and everything you want it to. It’s full of potential and endless possibilities… you just have to start writing.
If you’re just getting started with your business, instead of feeling like you’re always going to be ten steps behind, I’d implore you to take advantage of this important time.
You’re not jaded
I don’t want to sound cynical, but in any career there will come a time when you start to feel frustrated with something to do with it. However when you’re at the beginning this is way, way off. As a newbie you have no baggage and no wounds that need to heal. Use this time and your positive attitude to really propel yourself forward. Just be sure to remember this feeling when you’re an old cynic like the rest of us!
The Blogcademy has been a life changing new direction for me and my career. Making the decision to teach others was not an easy one and was something that the three of us knew would take some time to perfect. Going into something thinking you have nothing to learn yourself is a fast-track route to failure. In fact I haven’t learnt quite as much about myself, or the way to run a business successfully, in such a short space of time… er ever.
1. Build a strong team
When you go into any new venture, it’s vital to have co-workers that you can trust. Even if you’re going it alone, it’s unlikely that you will be able to do everything yourself. Be sure to hire or collaborate with people who have the same overall vision as you. You need to openly discuss your objectives early on to make sure you’re all on the same page and have the same ultimate goals.
Communication is key. Be sure to talk through any issues or concerns right away – as soon as you feel them arising. Being open and honest about these things with not only help to maintain a healthy working relationship, but will allow your team to help you work through any personal concerns along the way.
2. Not all advice will be good advice
Asking for feedback from past customers or collaborators is a necessary evil. Sometimes it’s all to easy to bury our heads in the sand and aimlessly convince ourselves that we’ve done a perfect job. But perfection takes time (in reality it will never be met!) and although you may already be aware of areas that need improving in your business, asking for feedback from people who you know will give it to you honestly us a great way to grow. But it can be tough to hear – especially if you feel you’ve worked really hard and put your all into something. It can seem like people are picking holes in everything you’ve done, but they may have noticed things you didn’t and may offer you some really valuable advice about how to improve things next time.