I know a lot of you run small businesses so I wanted to share the article that I just wrote all about media kits with you. It covers what media kits are, why they’re especially helpful for small businesses and the top 10 things to consider including in yours. Check it all out here and let me know if you have any questions!
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When you’re traveling for weeks at a time with a just a small suitcase and carry-on in tow, space becomes sacred. Each little thing you buy could be the point of no return when it comes to zipping your suitcase closed. One of my vices when I travel are local magazines but as you know, they get heavy and bulky!
One afternoon, Gala’s parents took us to a cute little coffee shop in Wellington and I spotted Denizen. It was amazingly good — the styling, the fonts and the layouts were all pitch perfect. One flip through and I was asking Gala’s mom where the nearest newsagent was! It was one of only two magazines I hauled back.
Launched in 2010, Denizen is an Auckland-based publication that focuses on the art of living well. It’s not just about a singular subject but more about a lifestyle filled with great food, beautiful spaces and a killer wardrobe. Learn more and subscribe here.
Designers have been using Dribbble for a few years now to share snippets of their works in progress. Even though I’ve been a big fan of the platform for quite some time, I only joined very recently because like many of you, I didn’t think I could possibly take on another social media platform — managing another account on top of everything else stressed me out. But every time I clicked through and checked out the amazing work others were sharing, I felt the pull of wanting to be a part of the community and finally joined in the fun.
For creatives, one of the highlights of Dribbble is that it provides an environment to get constructive feedback on your in-progress projects — it reminds me of the absolute best parts of design school. Engaging in an immediate critique with your design peers is so valuable.
There are a few other benefits of Dribbble as well:
• They have a job board that employers have to pay to post on so the offerings are really high quality.
• It’s a great place to make connections. I’ve already engaged with so many designers I never knew existed before I joined. The community is a friendly, welcoming bunch.
• If you upgrade to a pro account, you can have an icon next to your name that shows you’re available for hire.
• Businesses looking for a reputable designer can search and see who’s active and shares a style that meshes with theirs.
• A lot of work that gets shared on Dribbble inevitably makes its way to Pinterest and opens up a much larger audience for the designer.
Are any of you on Dribbble? Let us know in the comments so we can check out your work!
Once I’d set foot in the QT Gold Coast, that was it. I’d found my perfectly designed mecca. I had my run of the lemonade stand and cherry red espresso machine, not to mention a shower tiled in black and white stripes all to myself. I was satisfied and content to spend the rest of my trip tucked away in my version of paradise. But the next morning, the Tourism Queensland ladies let me know that we were heading to Port Douglas, a vacation hotspot which just happened to be home to another QT.
I honestly didn’t expect much. I’d already seen the best…or so I thought. Then, I made three separate trips in as many days even though I wasn’t actually staying at the hotel. Take just one scroll through and you’ll understand why I couldn’t stay away!
Best summed up by the QT as an “interactive marketplace,” it’s basically an all you can eat buffet for the jet set. As you stroll through, there’s literally something for everyone and it’s all freshly made that day in the open kitchen.
Salads, seafood, meats, cheeses and a dessert bar are all waiting. I wanted to try a little of everything.
Gala and I both ordered grilled fish and asparagus and it was the best dinner I’ve ever had, hands-down — it was literally made right in front of me and served on the spot.
But, that was just the warm up! For dessert, we ordered a batch of churros and chocolate sauce. When you’re at Bazaar, you have to go all the way. Every time. Seriously, don’t eat the entire day before you show up because I guarantee you’ll want to eat three dinners (I did).
A big appeal of Bazaar are the chefs. Yes, they’re world class but they’re also incredibly charming. They’re more than willing to have their photo snapped and even better, will put on a bit of show on request. This one had a little too much fun shooting up some serious flames for our photographer, Janneke.
One night of fine dining at QT wasn’t enough — I begged to go back again…and Kat and Gala knew better than to argue with me! So back we went for Halloween (!!!) and the restaurant was decked out in pumpkins hand-carved by our hilarious chefs. As we perused the dessert section, nothing really hit the spot so I asked the chef what he could whip up for us. 10 minutes later, a platter of sizzling hot apple crisps arrived on our table. My idea of heaven.
Whether you’re ordering dinner or dessert, if you want something that’s not displayed, they’ll make it! I think they actually enjoy the challenge.
Once we waddled out of Bazaar, we explored the rest of the grounds. The bar next door immediately drew me in with its lemon yellow accents.
It was dead quiet in the late afternoon. This would have been the perfect place to take a meeting.
I wish we’d had more time to lounge on the back patio….but we had to rush off to a sunset sailboat tour (I know, it was tough week).
Gala loved the QT nearly as much as I did.
I thought this bird in the gift shop was real at first…haha.
No cheesy run-of-the-mill art here!
Best hotel sign ever.
That pool! I know where I’m staying the next time I’m in Port Douglas.
There’s nothing better than relaxing in style while enjoying a delicious meal. What I loved most about the QT is that it completely lacked stuffiness. Picture taking was not only allowed but encouraged. The staff engaged in friendly banter. The uniforms and decor were rad. Every detail was picture perfect. They have a good thing going and I can only hope that the chain eventually expands to the U.S.
I had no idea what to expect when we landed in Auckland but almost right away, I began to feel at home. For being so far from the U.S., Auckland felt very similar to Portland in a lot of ways and the drizzly weather only added to that feeling.
Our apartment had a direct view of the Sky Tower and we walked the 20 minutes to our venue at Generator both mornings, taking in all the sights downtown. Even though Auckland is a big city, I loved the huge variety of independent coffee shops and boutiques. My favorite coffee shop of the bunch was Shaky Isles.
Having a photo booth always encourages bonding right out of the gates — I have a massive stack of strips from this class thanks to The Amazing Travelling Photo Booth. I especially loved this moment. It’s the clown car of photo booths right there!
The creativity of Wink was really inspiring when it came to our decor. And our Auckland class was especially colorful — I felt a little guilty wearing black both days!
During our trip, Sophie of Crown and Glory surprised me with a custom flower crown in the very Branch shades of orange, gray and black! I had to stop myself from wearing it every day….it’s now resting on a glass head in my office. 😉
Our blogcadettes always make the most of the props. At the end of each day, we inevitably find ourselves sitting on a couch somewhere scrolling through all of their awesome snaps!
Gala’s style maven mother Janet wasted no time slipping on her ears.
One of my favorite testimonials from this class was by Angie of Gurl Interrupted:
“I read numerous comments stating ‘you can find everything you want to know about blogging/monetizing by simply googling it, or you can just ask fellow bloggers, as some have been doing this for ages’. The truth is, I’ve done a tonne of research on all these things (all the not-so-basic blogging questions), and have been blogging for years myself, and I’ve never found the information I needed (not the super-important stuff anyway) from Google or from just asking around … At Blogcademy all your questions are answered, and nothing is taboo – this for me was golden!! I guess what I’m saying here is if you are thinking about attending Blogcademy and are told that you can just get that info anywhere – my personal opinion is that you can’t and the wisdom I gained, made Blogcademy totally worth attending!”
Did I mention that our classroom had astroturf floors?! I LOVED this group so much. So colorful, so inquisitive and so welcoming.
The watercolor art by Clouds of Colour was a huge hit. My favorite of the bunch was this flamingo!
Native Creative made these adorable brooches.
As always, Crown and Glory made sure that there were sparkly ears for everyone!
Love Ideas Ink sent along these great little packs of postcards.
These concrete necklaces by Cocorrina were like nothing I’d ever seen! I loved the modern spin on an everyday material.
Extra notepads always come in handy during our classes and ToodlesNoodles made sure we were covered!
I keep rewatching our video by Craft Workshop! It perfectly captures the atmosphere and energy of the Auckland class so well. I want to go back and give every single one of those ladies a hug! Such a great city, such a great time.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: doing Blogcademy workshops and meeting so many of you has been one of the biggest highlights of my year by far. I’m having total withdrawals and can’t wait until we start up with our next round of classes.
Are you ready to take the plunge? Join us on the road next year!
How was your week? I’ve been busy getting our house ready for Christmas and our upcoming party. It took me a long time to get into the holiday spirit partly because throughout my early and mid 20s, I’d worked retail jobs and after decorating the store and then helping customers find their perfect Christmas gifts for 8 hours a day, putting up a tree and wrapping presents was the last thing I felt like doing.
When I met Joey, he was really big on Christmas but it still took me a few years of getting settled into the house before I was ready to decorate and throw a legit party. FINALLY it feels right! Over time, I’ve learned that you just can’t rush how you feel when it comes to your surroundings. I’m glad everything has fallen into place this year but boy, it sure took a long time.
I’ve been pulling together little details around the house — Target has some great, inexpensive decorations like these ornaments, straws and napkins! The white serving pieces are all from CB2 and the face pitcher is from the gift shop inside Kennedy School and is one of my favorite things ever.
I know the thing to do these days when you’re having a party is to set up a Facebook invite but that just feels so impersonal! We did that but I wanted to do something more for close friends and family and decided to mail out print invites. It was fun doing little handwritten notes on the back and adding those personal touches.
On another note, one of the things on my to-do list since I launched Branch back in September was to design a media kit. It’s one of those things we do for clients all the time, but I’d never gotten around to doing one just for us because it’s always easier to put off your own project and focus on paid work. I just finished our 16 page media kit earlier in the week and it’s awesome to have all the information about the business, FAQs, packages and processes all in one document. I’m working on a post about it for next week and can’t wait to share more!
I was all over the place yesterday, visiting Powell’s Books and catching a movie so today is a bit of a catch-up day. Totally worth it though — gotta play hooky sometimes. 😉
Have an awesome weekend, everyone!