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2018 Goal Setting & Planning Workshop

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2018 Goal Setting & Planning Workshop

Hi, If you have just come across this blog post let me introduce myself! My Name is Katherine Elizabeth and I am an award-winning entrepreneur, business owner, millinery & events designer.

A year ago I set up the Inspiring Creative women community so that I could help women with their own creative businesses and I would love to help you.

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How to start your own blog

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How to start your own blog

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1.     Start with a mission statement- what do you want your blog to accomplish? Like most things in life, how much you get out of something, directly relates to how much you put into it. Decide how much time you are willing to put into your new blog and stick to it. Every blogger has his or her own method, whether it is a set schedule post or an “on-the-go” post. A rigid blogging schedule might help you to balance your work life and your personal life, whereas occasional inspired posts may result in your most creative work. With this being said, the hours you put into your work should be a labour of love, so don’t stretch yourself too thin. Keep in mind blogging should be a fun outlet, so don’t get too caught up in the amount of followers you have. Stay true to yourself and what you love, and the rest will follow.

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2.     Chose a name- picking a name for your website is a lot like shopping for a bag. Its best to chose something you love, because you will be spending a lot of time with it. Have a brainstorming session, bounce ideas off of those creative-minded people in your life, and do some research. Finding the perfect name for your blog sets your tone, and should encapsulate your personality. A simple blog name can be catchy and easy to remember, but don’t sell yourself short. Explore creative and unique blog names that set you apart, and draw your readers in.

3.     Pick a platform- there are many on-line publishing tools you can create your blog on, so do some research and decide which platform you would like to use. Websites like Square Space and Word Press are great ways to create your own personal blog. With hundreds of online tutorials, both of these websites are very easy to navigate, and can help you create a beautifully organized blog. Another online platform that may be helpful is Tumblr. Tumblr is a great website to use when you are first starting out your blog, as it allows you to post photos, videos, and text, and can help you organize your blogs theme and aesthetic.

4.     Work on your layout- Aesthetics of a website are extremely important, so take some time to work on the layout of your website. This can take either 5 minutes or 5 weeks, depending on how complex you make your design. Whether it’s creating your own DIY banner or hiring a web designer, your blog doesn’t have to be too fancy, just easy to navigate and eye catching! One of the benefits of a website like Square Space, is that it gives you the option to use a pre-made layout, which is an easy alternative for any not so creatively inclined women. It is also important to think about how you place your words. It is extremely beneficial to create a heading for each individual blog post, with a sub heading touching upon what the blog post will include. Using photos in between paragraphs is also a great way to break up your blog and keep it aesthetically pleasing to the reader.

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5.     Promote yourself and your brand- a successful blog is derived from love and passion, but it is quite hard to show people this passion if you are not promoting yourself! After you have created a few blog posts and feel confidant about your budding website, spread the word! Try to befriend other bloggers who interest you and explain why they inspire you. Ask them to have a look at your website and even give you some tips on how to better your site, what they like, and what they don’t. Connecting with fellow bloggers will put your blog on the map, so work on creating a twitter page or a Facebook page. These websites can attract viewers and start a conversation about your blog. Using hash tags is also a great way to get your blog known, allowing people to search for key words and phrases.

One of the most amazing aspects of creating your own blog is that is in fact, your own. Your blog should be your outlet for self-expression, a place to go where you can decompress and work on something you love. If you take the time to put these steps to use, your blog is sure to be a success.

If you would like more help, please join our Inspiring Creative Women Facebook group for weekly videos, advice and help from our amazing members, we look forward to getting to know you.

https://www.facebook.com/Inspiringcreativewomen/

Please leave a comments below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Have a lovely week.

Katherine x

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Tips for organising your business!

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Tips for organising your business!

A perfectly organised business is the pipe dream every hard working hustler strives to achieve. What if I told you there might not be such thing as a "perfect business" but what I like to call a healthy work-life balance? For many, their business is their life, and their life is business, which can get pretty hectic if you ask me. During the holiday season this business-life duo can be put on full blast, as all the exciting festivities may bring a lot of overwhelming responsibilities and tasks. In a world where technology is at your fingertips, this ability to bring work on the go can be a good and a bad thing, depending on how it is treated. The “clock out” mentality seems to have been tossed aside, and ideas and minds are always “on”. How can you stay organized and out of your own mind while still keeping on top of your business? Lets discuss.

One of the best websites I have stumbled upon is called Trello, also known as your saving grace for staying cool, calm and collected. Leaving brilliant ideas in random notebooks and journals was good for a while, until these million dollar ideas slowly became forgotten about. Trello is a free and easy online project management website that uses cards, boards, checklists, and labels to help outline a clear and concise to do list. Trello allows anyone to create a private list or even assign team members or co-workers to see what is being worked on, who is working on what, and the progress of each task. The visual aspect of this website makes it so appealing to the viewer, allowing every idea to be separated in its own box, easily adjustable and extremely visually appealing. 

The three main components to Trello are: Boards, Lists, and Cards.

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The board, which is used to house your entire project, is where lists and cards can be viewed. Edits can be made to these sections, and the board is what houses all your tasks. Multiple boards can be made, or one board can house all the projects that you manage.

Lists are exhibited on the boards. These lists are columns that categorize and catalog the tasks on your board. Not only are these lists extremely useful, they are also very visually appealing, allowing for a clean and concise board. Lists can be modified and edited, allowing you to change their names, adding or subtracting them. Within these lists are the Cards.

Cards are the little projects any team member, or just yourself, can work on within a specific list. When you click on a card, details appear and you can add things like checklists, due dates, attachments, and team members can even attach files. If you click on the bottom or the back of a card, you can see the progress of each card, to ensure this task is being performed.

Trello is a great tool to keep organised, staying out of your head and leaving your thoughts somewhere more visual, and less cluttered! Here are an additional five tips to stay organized during a hectic workweek or holiday period.

1.     Clean, organise, and purge your workspace. When staying on top of tasks it is vital to work in a space that is free of clutter, waste and anything non-vital to work related responsibilities. When working with physical files and paperwork, it is extremely beneficial to categorize and label each separate file, making it aesthetically pleasing and easy to view. Buy new files in different colors, and organising them by color; green for financial papers, purple for clients, and so on. Labeling these files alphabetically within each color scheme and adding titles is a great way to keep separate files, separate!

2.     Buy one calendar to house all upcoming events. Purchasing one calendar to record and keep track of everything is a great way to visually see responsibilities as opposed to letting them get lost in your mind! If you’re maintaining more than one person’s schedule, use different colored ink to record information for each person.

3.     Make a note on your calendar, one week prior to any event, on what is needed for that event. Not only making a one-word note about an event, but writing what to bring is extremely helpful and helps remind you how to stay prepared.

4.     Make a list of your goals. Writing out personal or professional goals for the future (whether it be upcoming weeks or months) helps keep you on track. Put this list away for a bit, and check it every now and then to monitor your progress.

Choose one or two goals you want to accomplish this year with your business. Maybe it’s to make more money or to gain clients. How will you achieve this goal? What amount of money will you make this year? How will you do it? Write this information out in a clear sentence and put it by your bedside, or a place you go to every day. Read it every morning to help inspire you and remind yourself of these goals.

Keep working hard and don't forget, 

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If you would like more help, please join our Inspiring Creative Women Facebook group for weekly videos, advice and help from our amazing members, we look forward to getting to know you.

https://www.facebook.com/Inspiringcreativewomen/

Please leave a comments below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Have a lovely week.

Katherine x

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More than 30 ways to making your first SALE

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More than 30 ways to making your first SALE

I found this amazing in-depth article on Shopify and wanted to share it with you.

50 ways to making your first sale, I have taken out the ones that are not relevant to us and listed the rest below. 

Please refer to the link if you would like to see the full article, they also have links to extra help. Click here

I suggest that you study them all and research the ideas that you like.

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SOCIAL MEDIA

  • 1. Make Friends on Facebook: Do some research and learn how to get started with Facebook marketing - everything from crafting strategic status updates to create a Facebook page for your store.

  • 2.Facebook add’s are effective but you don't have to pay for them at the beginning, there are ways to do this for free. Join Facebook Groups and look on business pages to make friends.

  • 3. Network on LinkedIn: Find out how to strategically connect with people, complete your profile, think about what to post and how to leverage LinkedIn groups. It’ very important to look professional on LinkedIn!

  • 3. Get Busy on Youtube: Discover how to sell with video, what video software to use, what kind of video content to produce. Having a YouTube channel can be one of the strongest marketing and sales tools you’ll ever own.

  • 4. Spark Conversations on Twitter

  • 5. Inspire with Pinterest: Pinterest can be a huge driver of traffic.

  • 6. Work It on Instagram: Instagram is quickly becoming one of the best platforms for online store owners to build an audience with. The quality of the pictures are really important if you want to attract followers!

  • 7. Tap Into Tumblr: Tumbler is a good platform for blogging.

  • 8. You have to remember what platform is good for! For example Instagram is more about pictures whereas Twitter is more about opinions… You have to select the best social media platform for your business.
     

SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING

  • 9. Get On Google Places: Google Places is Google’s answer to the good old yellow pages, and yes even if you haven't made a dime, you're going to want to be found on Google Places.

  • 10. Get Search Engine Optimized (SEO): Search engine optimization (SEO) is often considered by some as the holy grail of Internet marketing.

  • 11. Learn from Web Analytics: Analytics (for short) will show you what your customers are doing on your site, on which web pages they leave your site, and in some cases how long they have been a customer. 
     

PR

  • 12. Get Product Reviews: This is the online guerrilla marketing method of PR. There is a unique benefit of getting product reviews from other websites that help increase brand credibility.

  • 13. Write a Press Release: Learn how to be newsworthy and craft a press release that rises above the noise. 

  • 14. Pull a PR Stunt: PR stunts are the ancient version of the viral video. They are loads of fun and help bring tons of attention to your brand if executed well.

  • 15. Sell a Unique and Newsworthy Product: Standing out from the crowd is one of the best ways to move merchandise. Especially if you’re in a crowded space where your competitors sell similar, if not the exact same products.
     

CONTENT MARKETING

  • 16. Create a Video: A video is an amazing tool to attract people. On the video you have to surprise, to be positive and to be interesting!

  • 17. Start Your Own Blog: Starting a successful blog can be the easiest and cheapest way to attract thousands of new customers. All it comes down to is how well you can create valuable content for your readers.

  • 18. Write a Controversial Blog Post: Creating controversy is one way to get your brand to race out in front of the masses and gather some serious consumer attention. But it has to be done carefully and artfully. 

  • 19. Build Your Email List: There's no question how important email marketing is when it comes to adding to your bottom line.
     

PAID ADS

  • 20. Pay for Google Adwords: No other advertising network will give you faster sales results than Adwords.

  • 21. Buy Banner Ads: Banner ads can work magic when it comes to selling products online, but like every form of marketing, they have to be done right.

  • 22. Promote Your Tweets on Twitter: Learn how to leverage Twitter's advertising platform to get your content in front of more people and increase your engagement on Twitter. 
     

TAKE IT OFFLINE

  • 23. Sell Wholesale to Other Retailers: You are allowing other businesses to take part in the marketing of your products. They will talk about your products to their customers and hopefully spread the word about it through their own internet marketing activities.

  • 24. Take Your Business On the Road: A fun and productive way to see the rest of your country while looking to make that first sale.
    I did this when I first started, I traveled to lots of county towns in England and visited the best boutiques. I was quite successful, lots of shops bought and rebought products.

  • 25. Get a sales rep: Sometimes getting that first sale is a quick endeavor but sustainable growth in sales quickly makes you realize how tough it can be to be a one-person sales team, especially if your product requires a little more convincing than traditional consumer goods.
     

TRADITIONAL ADVERTISING

  • 26. Get Going with Tradeshows: Trade shows can have a profound impact on your business, especially if you’re the manufacturer or source of your own products.

  • 27. Distribute Flyers: Even with the popularity of internet marketing, flyers and direct mail are still effective ways to make sales.
     

EVERYTHING ELSE

  • 28. Tell Family and Friends: Your network of friends and family will most likely be your easiest first sales. You may not want to sell to them, but this is a powerful way to kickstart word of mouth for your business. Ask your friends to like and follow you on social media!

  • 29. Participate on Forums: Participating in online forums can be an amazing way to get your business in front of the right audience.

  • 30. Demonstrate Trust and Security: A major hurdle all small online retail businesses have to face when they are just starting out is getting consumers to trust doing business with them. You need to make sure that your website appears trustworthy.

31. Delegate and Get Things Done: When you're first starting out, it feels like the entire world is on your shoulders. Decide which tasks to do yourself and which ones you should be delegating in order to run your business efficiently and maximize sales. 

I hope you found this useful!

 

If you would like more help, please join our Inspiring Creative Women Facebook group for weekly videos, advice and help from our amazing members, we look forward to getting to know you.

Inspiring Creative Women Facebook Group

Please leave a comments below and we will get back to you as soon as I can.

Have a lovely week.

Katherine x

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Inspiring woman of the month! One of our own!

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Inspiring woman of the month! One of our own!

WOMAN OF THE MONTH!

This week I am starting a new project, I want to SHOWCASE an Inspiring creative woman of the month from our amazing Facebook group. Why? because you are ALL so amazingly talented and this needs to be recognised. It will give you a chance to talk about your business, it will also help everyone understand how a real business works. If you would like to have your business showcased on our blog and Social media please let me know in the comments below! OR JOIN OUR INSPIRING CREATIVE WOMEN FACEBOOK PAGE and message me. 

This week our amazing woman of the month is
Designer SHEENA BULSARA
 

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ABOUT HER
She is an innovative designer with experience in roles as a senior jewelry designer. She has worked for a variety of well-known luxury and high street brands. For the last 13 years, she has been spent immersed in a world of precious stones, costume jewelry, trims, beads, vintage jewelry and antique artifacts sourced from around the world.
She has also honed her jewelry making skills and production knowledge, not only by creating collections for various brands across the High Street but by building her own brand SB where she makes one of a kind jewelry by using and restoring old antique components with Swarovski Crystals. 
She embraces the challenge of taking on new projects and conceptualizing and creating innovative jewelry.

Q&A

What motivated & inspired you to start your business? 
SHEENA: I have worked in jewelry design for 15 years designing for all the UK High Street retailers and concessions in Galerie Lafayette Paris. 
There has always been this inner fire within me to try to break the norm within the design, break and redefine the boundaries of how objects should be used or worn.  Tired of designing throw away fashion items, I really wanted to create unique diverse collections which inspired people, evoked a sense of amazement, excitement and shows craftsmanship and skill. 
 

TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS
Would you describe your career as a passion? 
SHEENA: Passion is all I am  I’Mextremely passionate about Art, Design and what I do. I love creating and making new pieces it’s a feeling I can't really describe in words it's just an inner sense this is who I am. I knew I wanted to be a designer from the age of 10. 

What part of being a designer do you prefer? The Creative, Sales, social or marketing side? 
SHEENA: I love the design part the post but also the social side as I love meeting new people, talking and discussing MTM orders and also making people feel happy with what they have bought. 
 

WHAT ideas did you take action on/steps YOU TOOK TO GET YOUR BUSINESS UP AND RUNNING? 
SHEENA: It was helpful for me to be able to do this as I had been working within the industry for 15 years and also had the experience of traveling and working in many European and far countries. It was this experience I have been able to gain a sense of what is required to have a jewelry business.  

What is required for marketing, merchandise, aesthetically? What sells and what level of finish and quality you need to maintain in the business? What has been the most effective way of building your tribe for your business and getting new customers? 
SHEENA: The most effective for me has been social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram but I also know a lot of stylists and buyers in the industry. This has helped to strengthen my tribe for business. Also, word of mouth a great book sums a lot of this up really well, book title purple cow by Seth Godwin. 

Who do you follow to get inspiration? 
SHEENA: Inspiration for me isn't from one source it's everything around me. I visit and go out to lots of fashion events, museums, private views, exhibitions and it's always inspirational.

What have been your biggest challenges so far?
SHEENA: I know that commercial pieces always sell better but I'm so tired of commercial jewelry that in actual fact I could potentially be earning lots more money but have made a choice to be bespoke from beginning to end. so the challenge has been financial. 

How did you overcome these challenges? 
SHEENA: I have overcome this problem by having additional services like loaning jewelry out for stylists to use for fashion events, runway shows or magazines. I also advise and repair jewelry for clients. the key thing in any business to be open, versatile in your approach, love what you do. 

What do you love the best about running your own design business? 
SHEENA: I love being in control of my design and in charge of what I want to place in my collection. I sometimes feel in fashion jewelry it's always about the next season but still feel that you can follow trends but still re use certain styles in the next collection by re inventing some styles. 
 
What advice would you give to other creative entrepreneurs? 
SHEENA: I would say to stay focused, be yourself, try to enjoy the process, be clear what direction you want your business to take, what you want from the business, and what you want to achieve and what time frames you want to get this done by. but to still smile.and try not to be overwhelmed with the business side. 

How do you keep motivated when you are having a bad day? 
SHEENA: I dance I'm an artist in many different ways, I feel it helps me to loosen and open my mind to creativity. 

What are your main inspirations? 
SHEENA: My main inspirations would be music, colour, art, painting.
 
What platforms do you use to sell you products on? 
SHEENA: A lot of social media and my contacts I have with stylists and people I now within the industry, also blogger events.
 
What ones are the most successful for you? 
SHEENA: Social media and bloggers events.

What is your objective in your business? what do you want to achieve? 
SHEENA: To innovate, create new designs that open the eye to the way we see and wear jewelry.

 What advice would you give someone who is starting out? 
 SHEENA: Just keep trying and believe.

Do you have any tips on tools that you use ie apps, websites, online things to help your business? 
SHEENA: I look at lots of different blogs as you can find endless information from them.

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I hope you find this useful if you would like to be featured next time please let us know in the comments below and if you haven't already joined our Facebook community (click here), full of inspiring creative women.

Katherine x
 

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14 Great Creative Blogs to give you Inspiration

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14 Great Creative Blogs to give you Inspiration

 

I have been researching blogs for my millinery business and I wanted to share some of the best with you. I have included some recommended sites for learning, plus some fashion and lifestyle blogs to give you inspiration.

Lastly I added a link to a blog detailing trends for this year’s wedding season, you might not work in weddings but the trend boards in this blog are great for any designer.

 

Enjoy x

 

Learning

Tuts+: Learn creative skills and shape your future. That’s the message from the people behind Tuts+, which has over five million users and shares lessons about code, illustration, photography, web design, and more.

Skillfeed: With over 67,000 video tutorials and more than 8,000 hours of learning, They even offer a free trial.

Udemy: A place to learn real world skills online.

Lynda.com: One of the best known online tutorial websites,  Lynda.com covers a huge range of topics, including web, design, development, animation, video, audio, photography, business and even education.

 

Lifestyle

Kinfolk: With jaw-dropping and mouth watering photography, Kinfolk is a popular choice for many creatives worldwide. Its website features content that’s available to subscribers.

Poppy Loves: A fresh and very appealing London lifestyle blog that covers the city’s events, cafes, restaurants, fashion, music, art and design.

Everyday Carry: Peek inside the pockets and lives of interesting creative people. Very simple idea but so fascinating.

The Selby: Take a peek at interesting creative people in their own studios, homes or workplaces. With funky little interviews and great photography, this is a must-read for creatives everywhere.

 

Fashion lifestyle

The Fashion Guitar

Dutch-born, NYC-dwelling, statement dress-wearing fashion blogger, Charlotte G.

Why: Charlotte mixes up her ultra-feminine style with classic staples, with a quirky twist.

 

Pernille Teisbaeck

Lithesome, Danish, street style regular Pernille Teisbaek

Born in Copenhagen, Pernille Teisbæk is the epitome of sleek, Scandi, style perfection.

Stella's Wardrobe 

History graduate Stella Kattermann

Kattermann is instantly recognisable for her bleached do and serious fringe. Her blog is suitably personal, hot in East London.

 

Coco's Tea Party

Gregory’s blog is all about feel-good fashion and interesting

 Coco’s Tea Party is a lifestyle blog dedicated to providing attainable style inspiration for fashion-savvy young professionals.

 

Advanced Style

Cohen’s dazzling street style snaps of stylish seniors is a treat. He grew up worshipping both his glam grannies and parlayed his respect for the older lady

Finally, I will leave you with a Summer wedding trends blog, to finish with a bit of inspiration

http://www.magnetstreet.com/wedding-color-trends

Have a Great week and see you next time x

Thank you to Google images for images 

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