Positive Peer Pressure

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When you’re a teenager, peer pressure sucks. That constant squeeze from your peers to act the same, think the same, be the same as them. It forces you to fit in, to conform, to not be your own weird ‘n wonderful self.

As an impressionable, confidence-lacking 14 year old, peer pressure can define you. It can make you take up smoking (yep), start drinking (er… yep), sneak out of class and lie to your parents (yep, er… yep!) I think we can all look back on those times and realise that peer pressure was actually just a form of bullying, dressed up with a more socially acceptable name. And bullying sucks. Period.

Then suddenly, you’re an adult. If you’re anything like me, you quickly realised how stupid it was to want to be the same as everyone else, and how marching to the beat of your own weird-ass drum is a much more attractive option. After all, it’s what make you, you. You’re more confident in your own skin, and much happier doing things that make you jump for joy, rather than trying to please other people.

But for a lot of us, the peer pressure remains. However in adulthood, with our new-found self-awareness, it can actually be a really positive thing. Peer pressure is more likely to encourage you to push outside of your comfort zone and improve yourself, rather than make you want to take up a questionable or addictive habit.

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Tote bag from Another Fing Tote

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Confetti Explosions at The Blogcademy, Chicago

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A little known fact about me is that I was a huge nerd at school. I think people assume that I must have been one of the rebellious ones, hanging out behind bike sheds and bunking off classes, but actually, I was super well behaved. It wasn’t until I hit 15, discovered rock music and boys that didn’t resemble pre-pubescent gremlins, that I became a bit more of a wild child!

Since then, I’ve pretty much exclusively attracted a more rebellious crowd, and that isn’t just limited to brides that read my wedding content. At The Blogcademy workshops, seemingly wherever we were in the world, the girls in attendance definitely err on the alternative and quirky side.

So you can imagine my surprise when, in Chicago, we were met with the most well behaved class we’ve ever experienced! They actually threw us off a bit at first. They were so quiet and polite I started to worry that they weren’t having a good time. But, after getting to know them all on a one-to-one basis throughout the weekend, I soon came to realise that they weren’t that different to our usual crowd. They were one of the sweetest, kindest bunch of babes we’ve ever had. In actual fact they were a lot more like me than I first realised: eager to learn and just wanting to soak up everything and anything that they could during our time together.

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Many, many, many notes were taken (SO STUDIOUS!)

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Big Blogcademy News..!

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It wasn’t all sun loungers and cocktails while I was in Palm Springs at the beginning of the year. While my fellow headmistresses and I may have pretended we were just there on an extravagant jolly, we actually went with a seriously big agenda… the results of which are (finally!) being launched tomorrow!!

The Blogcademy website has been given a facelift (pop by tomorrow to see it!) and we have some new and very, very exciting new offerings. By now I think most of you have probably guessed what kind of format it will take (the camera in the photo at the top of this post kinda gives it away right?) but nonetheless, The Blogcademy: Home School will be winging it’s way to a computer near you TOMORROW! To be the first to know as soon as we flip the switch, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!

And because nothing is ever perfect first time, presenting: the bloopers reel!

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How Do I Know What to Charge?

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Hi Kat
A quick query: How much do you charge for product reviews? I am a virtual vet. I also have a blog, posting every day. This is becoming a larger part of my workload, but I do it for free, which is a challenge. Part of my mix is a weekly product review, which I have done for free up till now. A PR company told me that one of the reasons that they use me is that I am free whereas people like you charge a fee. So hence my question: How much do you charge?

Hey Kat
I’m a relatively new wedding photographer and struggling with setting my rates. I know I’m cheap (a lot cheaper than most other photographers I’ve looked at) but I feel that my prices
 are justified because I’m still in my first year of business and I have a lot to learn. I guess my question is really this – how do I know when I’m good enough to charge more and how do I get from where I am now to where everyone else seems to be?

I get a lot emails from people asking me these kinds of questions so let me start by being completely honest – when it comes to how much you should charge I really have no idea.

There are so many factors that need to be considered when setting your rates, and as an outsider I can’t examine any of them. What I can do for you though is point you in the right direction for figuring this all out for yourself.

Finding your pricing sweet spot should depend on a variety of elements, all of them very specific to you and your business. There are a number of things you need to look at:

1. How much time the job will take you – time is money and all that. It might be easier to think in an hourly rate, i.e. the longer and more complex the job, the more you should be paid.

2. How much doing this job will cost you - in expenses such as travel, kit or outsourcing anything. These obviously need to be covered by whatever you charge.

3. How many paid jobs you want to do per week/month/year - so you know how much you need to get paid, per job, to reach whatever salary you want to earn.

4. How much you need to earn, per job, to make a profit - because, after all, you hopefully want to make one. Make sure you add a little bit extra on your fee to get there!

5. How much it costs you to run your business - knowing this will help you figure out how much you need to earn for your business to be profitable. Taking all of the above into account as well of course.

6. Your experience - the more of it you have, the more you can charge. In the vet’s case, you also need to consider the traffic and reach of your blog. What kind of results can you give people who pay to be reviewed on your site? The more traffic your site has, the more you can command per article. How many products will the companies you feature need to sell off the back of your review for them to be happy about what they paid? For example, if you charge £200 for a review, a dog biscuit company might have to sell 40 packets of biscuits at £5 each to break even.

7. What you think you’re worth – how much do you think each job is worth? Would you be happy to do the task for £100? £500? £1000? £10,000?

8. What people are willing to pay you – it’s all very well and good quoting someone £10,000 for a job, but will they actually be willing to pay that?!

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The Blogcademy, San Francisco

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The night before our first Blogcademy workshop of the year I turned to Gala and squealed “I AM SO EXCITED!” It had been nearly six months since our last class in Auckland and I was dying to get cracking again.

… And I wasn’t disappointed. I think this actually might have been one of the best classes ever!!

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The reason being that every single gorgeous creature that came along was enthusastic, driven, with a unique story to tell. Esme was a writer with some damn good style, Mariah passionately ran her organic skin care spa line (and had treats for everyone!), Erin was a sewing champion and Hannah paints her face everyday and posts photos on her blog!

Paula holds the world record for drawing Fred Flintstone (!) and blogs about fashion for the over 40s and Angela is a pastry connoisseur. I mean, goodness, what a diverse bunch ‘o babes!

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20 Ways to Keep Your Facebook Page Active

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Like most small business owners, I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. We might all moan about whatever new development they implement next, but it is still, by far, the social media channel that brings the most traffic to my blog, and the one where the most reader engagement happens. Although the reach of your page may be decreasing due to whatever it is Facebook is up to at the moment, it is still a vital tool for any small business owner.

Here are 20 easy ways to keep your page active. The key with Facebook, or any social media outlet really, is to post things that your fans will want to engage with. Don’t just use it as a place to spam your latest business updates or blog links. Using a mixture of these ideas will help to naturally engage your fans, and over time, up your overall reach.

1. Update it regularly (at least daily)

2. Post funny, shareable memes

3. Ask questions

4. Run a contest

5. Share sneak peeks

6. Post funny, real life, stories that your audience will relate to

7. Post inspiring quotes

9. Engage with other people’s pages

10. Start conversations

11. Vary the lengths of your updates

12. Share trivia

13. Re-post old blog content

14. Run opinion polls

15. Share news stories

16. Give your fans special offers/discounts

17. Post infographics

18. Include videos

19. Remember who your audience are

20. Use Facebook Insights to post when your fans are online

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