I want to start by saying; this is a very sensitive topic in the blogosphere, or better yet in life. No one likes to talk about money or ask for it, whether it’s in their professional or personal life. I, however, think it’s a sign of immaturity and business amateurity (if that’s a word).
What is the Internet of Things? According to my friend Wikipedia, it’s a proposed development of the Internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data.
Is your fridge out of milk? Let me add it to your grocery list! Not sure how to clean your coffee maker? Just ask your machine! These are just some of the conveniences you could expect from the Internet of things. The scary thing is that we are almost there, it’s just that the Internet of things would be a global strategy to have everything talking to each other. I mean, we already have smartphones and smart TVs… so this would just mean that all your household appliances would also be.. well …smart!
Because this is a fashion blog, not a tech blog, I have decided to share my predictions of how the ‘Internet of Things’ could potentially affect the fashion industry:
Cher’s closet will become the norm. It’s a brilliant idea, but why on earth is this not mainstream yet? Whether it’s automated purchases to complete a look, or styling advice based on your schedule of activities, I think getting dressed will become more digital than we think. I also saw this body measurements tool that helps you buy jeans online! Now that is pretty cool!
Smartjewellery. Wearable technology is already a thing, I know, but I think more of it. For example, I just bought myself a gorgeous lavender and gold Fitbit Charge 2! An all-in-one accessory and watch that will track my health score all while keeping my wrist looking gorgeous. I can also get involved with an online network to keep me motivated and engaged. And what about changing colours? Michael Kors has already released a smartwatch that has an interchangeable face.
Colour changing makeup. Remember those mood lipsticks from the dollarstore? The colours always seemed to turn into this dusty pink that would stain your lips. Well, I bet there is a fancy brand out there looking at developing a better digital lipstick that would give us a plethora of colours to choose from. Just point at a colour you like and “bam!” instant lipstick change! Have you also seen the nail polishes that change colour based on your temperature? A similar technology could be used for the lipstick I just invented.
Colour changing clothes. Apparently, the 80’s had all of this figured out. Remember the hypercolour t shirts? Man, I wanted one so bad. I think there would be room here for digital improvements, don’t you?
Shopaholic budgeting. Yes, I think we can use this technology for good. Maybe if we start tracking more where our money is spent or the cost-per-wear of our clothes, we will be able to make more informed decisions… and waste less! I’ll take a little budget-friendly and eco-conscious with a side of technology, please!
So maybe, my predictions aren’t super riveting, but what can you do?!
Plus, do you really think I would share a million dollar idea on my blog for all my readers to see for free??!! Any smart business woman would say, helz no!
Since the story of my life is giving free advice (and doing free work for people who don’t value my time or the fact that I run a business), I’ve decided to openly share my advice on how to become a successful blogger or blogger-preneuer. It’s a job, and just because we make it looks easy, it doesn’t mean it is! If you skip through this, just promise me you will at least read #14… the golden rule!
Learn, eat, live, breath social media. It’s a powerful tool to promote your brand. Start an account on each new channel that exists to secure your account ID. Start building your following early on the channels that you think will work for you. Stick to three. The longer you wait to build your following, the more expensive each follower becomes. For example, building a high following on Twitter today is a thousand times more difficult than it was 6 years ago.
Be authentic. Just be yourself, it’s the only thing you know how to do. If you’re funny, be funny. If you’re a geek, own it. If you’re a troll, stay under the bridge, because no one likes an online bully.
Be original. When you have an original thought, don’t research it. Do your best with what comes out of your head so you know it was genuinely your idea.
Be careful when you draw inspiration. Sometimes, even when we browse something quickly, a simple impression of something left in your brain can convince you it was an original thought. If you do get inspired by someone else, the classy thing to do is to give that person credit and refer to their original content (otherwise it’s called plagiarism).
Consider your hidden costs and budget accordingly. The cost of blogging may seem relatively low but you may not be factoring in the following expenses:
a. your time
b. professional development courses (ps- my friend is teaching a full-day workshop on graphic design in Ottawa on Dec 2. Tell Rachela I sent you because I get a little referal bonus!)
c. purchasing google ads or facebook ads to get noticed
d. the cost to maintain your website, like your domain name and hosting service
e. you may need to hire a web developer or graphic designer if you can’t do the work yourself ( or invest more in b.)
f. business cards
g. purchasing clothing or products that are featured in your work (yup! We love those flowers in the flat lays, but it’s not all free!)
h. equipment like a nice camera, lighting, laptop, smartphone
i. attending events may seem free, but when you factor in your time, your clothing and the promotion work you promised, events actually cost you money
Include IRL (#inreallife) in your social networking strategy. Yup, we’re all great at hiding behind our screens, but nothing is more impactful than making a great impression in person. Your fans and followers will really appreciate the face-to-face time. Going to networking events can also help make business connections or open collaboration opportunities. But remember the cost (see “i” above).
Be timely. Just like a good newspaper, you need to react quickly to stay relevant. There is no point in blogging about an event you attended 2 months ago,unless you’re promoting the dates for next year!
Be transparent. Yes, bloggers get a lot of free swag and paid opportunities, but only the classy bloggers will tell you if and when something was gifted and not purchased. ( See 5 b.)
Be consistent. If you’re starting a new series or launching your blog for the first time, don’t announce it unless you commit to your promise. If you can only realistically do a tutorial video every 3 months, then do it every three months. Don’t say things like “I plan on doing these tutorials every week…” Find a cadence, and stick to it!
Find balance in your content. I am guilty of this and need to stop myself sometimes. I definitely need to prioritize my sponsored content, but sometimes it’s nice just to say what’s on my mind (like this post for example).
Make it about your reader. It’s not about you; it’s about your audience. What value can you bring to them? Ask yourself what are you doing for them in exchange for their reading time? Again, this is what I ask myself every time I post something… I hope I am doing a good job.
Be nice. Just like in real life, when a person takes the time to compliment you, you say thank you! The same principles apply to social media. You should respond to all your comments, with a genuine and sincere tone. Don’t wait too long to do it either. I know we’re all busy, but this is your business, take a minute to respond.
Take care of yourself. Again, I should be taking my own advice here, because I really don’t take care of myself enough most of the time. Running a blog, just like any business, is hard and takes a lot of time, energy and effort. A little work-life balance goes a long way. Unfortunately, sometimes the work-life limits in blogging are not very clearly defined.
Be professional. I recently got burned by a client who won’t pay me for the work that I put in (I know! Can you imagine? PROMOTION IS NONREFUNDABLE!), and I didn’t have a contract or agreement to back me up. Lesson learned my friends- always lay out the expectations and deliver on your promises. I’m relying on karma heavily to fix this one for me.
A BIG THANK YOU TO MY FRIEND DEBRA COWIE WHO LET ME USE HER STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY FOR THIS POST! CHECK OUT HER WORK, ITS INCREDIBLE!
Most people hate taking surveys, but boy do they love reading the results! I can’t wait to show you the results of my readership survey, but first I have a few things to tell you.
I have been running this blog for just over two years now, and it’s incredible how it has grown from a personal journal to Ottawa’s hotspot for all things fashion and local Ottawa lifestyle scene. I have had some amazing opportunities come my way, have been gifted some pretty cool swag and mostly I have had the chance to meet and work with some incredible people.
You can see how after being distracted for the last two years, I felt almost out of touch with my readers. It was time to reevaluate what I was doing with the blog and see if my readers were happy. I wanted to reconnect with some of you, who have helped me get to where I am today. And like any good business person, I hosted a survey on my blog to see what you were all thinking. Today, I get to share the results with you.
But first, I want to say THANK YOU for reading and for sharing your kind words with me and for taking the time to complete the survey. Thank you for smiling at me at the grocery store, for stopping me at events and giving me your words of encouragement. I see you staring sometimes, hesitating to come talk to me. Please don’t, and come say hello! It means the world to me, to meet you all in real life. The digital world can get lonely behind the screen, so talking to humans feels good (also, I am an extrovert, I thrive on human contact!)
Without further ado, here is what you had to say…
So what do you think? Do you agree with the results? Did you miss the survey and did not have a chance to share your thoughts? Drop a comment below, you know how good it will make me feel! (It’s not about you, Chantal… it’s about your readers! Oops.. I have to keep reminding myself of that!)