Things You Should Do Before The Year Is Out... - Zeena Xena

Thursday, 22 December 2016 London, UK

From taking breaks to eating whatever TF you want throughout the holidays, ya gurl has compiled a list of things you should do before the year is out. This is a collaboration post with New Look, and sadly the last post for 2016. But don't worry, I'll be back with even more insightful posts in the New Year, my first being an improved version of me. I hope you enjoy this one guys, and Merry Christmas to you all! 

[Outfit details can be found below]...

A Collaboration With New Look Focusing On Things You Should Be Doing Before The Year Is Out


1.// Have a Digital Detox 
This is the point I NEED to take into consideration. Whether you work using smart devices, use it for personal reasons or both it's always a good shout spending time away from the digital world. I spend about 12 hours total on my devices a day so you can imagine my eyes and head are in constant pain. Once Christmas is outta the way, I'm definitely going to use the last few days of 2016 to rejuvenate, if you're anything like me you should consider doing the same!

2.// Eat What You Want 
New year new you right? So the saying goes anyway haha. I mean let's face it, the festive season is all about stuffing your face relentlessly and feeling guilty some days after. But why should we have to feel guilty? If you've been on a healthy trip this year, I'd definitely say allow your mind, body and soul to be free. Of course don't over do it and eat in moderation, but allow yourself to be happy this festive season. Personally, food is my happiness so I'll be going in and exercising at the same damn time haha!


3.// Be Thankful 
It's so important to be thankful for life and all the ups and downs 2016 has brought into your life. Yes even the negatives. Think about the outcomes of negative situations... This could be, not getting a job you really wanted or letting go of toxic people. I've had both of these situations arise in 2015/2016. For the first part, the positive outcome was me chasing my dreams and working for myself. Something I always dreamed of as a young child . The latter, well let's just say I no longer have to deal with sheep in wolves clothing. I'm SO thankful!


4.// Spend Time With Loved Ones
As much as I love being alone and my own company, there's nothing like a good ol' catch up with family and friends. Before the year is out, make the effort to see those you haven't seen in a while, if this is not possible just a call or catch up message session is also good. Just show those who have played a positive role in your life, how much you care before the year ends... They deserve it!




5.// Leave The Past In The Past
I always start a new year fresh and leave all the negativity behind, because what's the point of starting the new year on a bad note? Write things that have hurt you this year on bits of paper, open them up and say what those things are, and chuck them away in the bin! Learn how to let go, move on and start the year feeling positive. Of course these negative things will always be memories, but for me I feel like this activity is a great way for me to end chapters and never re-visit them again. I've spoken about things that have hurt me in 2016 to the death of me, all my emotions are out. I feel no need to continue to do this in the new year.


Puffa Jacket - New Look [here]
Jumpsuit - New Look [here]
Shoes - New Look [here]
Choker - LaModa [use code 'ZEENAXENA' for £ off all orders here
Bag - Asos [here]

How cute is my alternative party look? It's just getting too cold these days so I've opted for an outfit that'll keep you warm during your commute to and from the club! Next day delivery is available on New Look in time for Christmas or New Year's.

As always, your comments are much welcomed and appreciated!

Lots of love! xx



Photo Credit: Nikita Nevasion

Getting Even More Motivated & Productive In 2017 - Zeena Xena

Tuesday, 20 December 2016 London, UK

How To Get Even More Motivated & Productive In 2017...


A Post About Getting In Motivated In 2017

Now don't get me wrong, I've had a pretty amazing year although it has been very challenging and draining, it's been good on a whole and I'm forever grateful. Since one of my previous posts (How Keeping Active Changed My Life Here), my productivity levels had fallen to an all time low, and it wasn't hard to realise why. I stopped taking care of myself. From exercising to eating healthily, I was lacking in the very things I needed that keep me going.

Two weeks ago I decided to make a change. I was fatigued constantly, taking naps during the day (something I rarely do and hate doing), and just couldn't afford to feel like this anymore. As you know with freelancing, opportunities do come to you but often, you have to actively go on the hunt for them yourself, spending hours drafting proposals. So I decided to write this post for those of you like me, looking for a little motivation to get hella productive in 2017...

Eat Well
Before I do anything I have a glass of water in the morning... Then If I work out, I'll have a cup of tea and some fruit to keep me going prior to an exercise. After working out, I'll then have a bowl of porridge to fuel me throughout the day, I've been loving Chia Co porridge, they do dairy-free options.

I've been cooking a lot less lately but hope to get back into meal prepping in the New Year. Eating healthy isn't cheap, but neither is taking/dining out. Preparing home-made meals not only is good for you within, but gives you a sense of achievement also. One of my goals of 2017 is to cook more, dine out less.


Work Out In The Mornings
I'll be honest I don't workout all the time but if my mood/energy levels ever stoop I know exactly what to do - get the mat out! Personally I like dance workouts because I somehow can stand 45 minutes of this instead of "Give me 50 squats". I learn well when things are super fun and interactive so if like me you hate exercising, this is a fun way to get your heart rate pumping without feeling annoyed. Some dance workouts to try:

1) Bollywood Workout - here
2) Belly Dance Workout - here
3) Twerk Workout - here
4) Zumba Workout - here

Set Weekly Calendars & Daily Tasks 
Let's face it, we need some type of organisation in life to get through the days in the week. As life get's hectic, we as individuals need to find the time to plan and prioritise what needs to be done and when. I plan my weekly calendars on a Sunday so I'm clear on what needs to be done during the upcoming week. By doing this, I'm able to see which days are less-busier so I can cram more in, which means for the days that I'm out, I don't have to worry about work as I've done it all!


Talk About Your Goals/Dreams
As cliche as it sounds, I'm a firm believer in putting things out there to the universe and them actually manifesting at some point in life. Meet up regularly with like minded people for working coffee dates and discuss things you want to achieve in the year, what you're proud of and things you need to change. Honestly on your way home you'll feel like you're ready to conquer the world... I felt like this after my recent Blogging Gals event.

"Constantly surround yourself with people who inspire you." (- Me, but somebody else probably already came up with this lol).

Follow People Who Inspire You 
You know how there's the saying "your network is your net worth", I believe it's the same thing in the people you follow and look up to. It's all good keeping up with the latest Kardashian drama and your fav funny viners, but how about those that will provide you with daily inspiration/motivation to do help reach your goals? I mean we all need to rest our minds for a bit and not take life so seriously, but there's also a part of us that needs uplifting through people that we can relate to.

Personally I like to follow influencers that I can tell work hard on their personal brands, founders of companies big or small [I love Richard Branson, I studied Travel and Tourism at uni so feel I can relate], and motivational speakers - they're the best!

Jacket - Miss Pap 
Polo Neck - Primark 
Skirt - Miss Pap
Boots - Public Desire 
Sunglasses - Ebay

Let's really get motivated in 2017! If you ever need a push make sure to come and visit my blog as I plan on doing loads of inspirational posts, or give me a tweet! 

May 2017 be the year of accomplished dreams, good health, wealth and overall success!

Much love x






xx


Simple Ways To Boost Your Engagement On Instagram - Zeena Xena

Tuesday, 22 November 2016 London, UK

Learn How To Boost Your Engagement On Instagram With My Simple Tips...

Coat - Miss Pap
Jumper - Miss Pap
Jeans - Audacious Style
Heels - LAMODA 
Get 10% off using discount code 'ZEENAXENA' at checkout

I hope I don't shoot myself publishing this (LOL), but I just really wanted to write this post as I feel it could help smaller influencers like me out there in some way.

For many years now, I've had a love/hate relationship with instagram if I'm honest. I felt that instagram wasn't as real as any of the other social medias, so never really cared to make an effort with my page until this Summer. Why this Summer you ask? Well, I kind of noticed the small decline/shift in blogging and the rise of the Instagram influencer. Big companies are mainly focusing on how many followers you have or how many likes you can generate via instagram opposed to any other outlets. Having monitored this, I decided it was time for change...

During the Summer I accepted this change and decided to focus more on the quality of my content, consistency and my overall brand. From this, I have been able to grow my instagram a little over the past few months, from followers to engagement and of course, had to share some tips with you guys as always!

Content & Feed 
I always start off with this point (because it's important), but try your best to produce great quality content ensuring you're somewhat consistent. You don't need a professional photographer to have an acceptable feed, some influencers have found success taking mirror photos believe it or not. It just all comes back to your personal brand and what you feel best suits you and what is achievable at the time.

In terms of post frequency, you don't need to post everyday in order to be labelled "consistent". I'll usually post every other day or twice a week minimum just as I personally don't like to bombard my followers with too much content. I find that this works for me.


Okay so feeds are a tricky one right? I always have a vision and end up going way off the "theme" however there are some things you can do to work around this. I recommend using a tool to help you pick and choose which photos look best on your feed. Planoly is great for this, or if you're old-school like me you could always make another instagram account (nobody has to know haha). Days before uploading my content I'll sort of upload what I think looks best on my feed to my 'practice page' then save it as a draft on my actual instagram page until I'm ready to publish. With Planoly however you can upload, drag and drop items within there app before you decide to upload.

Work Strategically 
Without sounding like the ultimate snob, as you feel yourself grow as an influencer you have to know when to say yes or no to collaborations. Don't get me wrong, I'll work with the odd smaller fashion line now and again, but not too often just as I don't benefit as much. Instead, I like to work with larger brands who not only offer clothing, but ways to increase my following through re-posts for example.

Using my favourite brand Pretty Little Thing as an example, if I get a re-post on their page I'm guaranteed at least 30 followers from that re-post. For a small influencer like me, that's a lot!

I'll just leave that there...

Coat - Forever Unique (currently sold out in this colour)
Dress - Pretty Little Thing
Shoes - Simmi Shoes


Engage With Others 
I used to be what I like to call a 'Lazy instagrammer' where I'd only log into instagram to post something and log straight off again, this is not what I call good blogger practice. These days I actually engage with those I follow not just friends, but making sure I'm actively looking out for posts when I have the time, and looking through hashtags that are relevant to my interests. I find when other influencers recognise you supporting them all the time, they are likely to reciprocate. This is one of the top ways I've managed to turn my followers into loyal ones!

Join Engagement Groups 
Until a few weeks ago, I didn't even know engagement groups were a thing and to be quiet honest was a little sceptical. I didn't think it was an organic way to grow engagement rates until I actually put some thought into it. With Instagram's new algorithm, I find I'm seeing posts from the same 'top 20' people over and over again although I follow over 300 people. Joining engagement groups, is a great way to 'never miss a post' by notifying each other of new content then engaging by commenting and liking. It's that simple!

Tip; You can create these groups by sending a group message to a handful of bloggers (or more) and even modify the groups name. Thanks Katie Matthews for making me aware of these!

Promote Your Content 
Just like blog posts there's no shame in promoting your instagram in general or specific posts. I have an ifttt recipe set up automatically for when I post on instagram, meaning that the recipe is pushed out as a photo instead of a link. This helps alert my followers on twitter making them aware of any new content including a direct link to my instagram post/page.

Denim Jacket - Shein
Hoodie - Miss Pap
Denim Jeggings - Mango
Shoes - Ego
Bag - La Moda Get 10% off using code 'ZEENAXENA' at checkout!

Use Instagram Stories 
As much as I hate change and didn't see the point at the start, I feel Instagram stories really helps to push your content out just that little bit further. When I have a really busy day shooting or at events I'll make sure I put some content up, or even when I'm just lazing about at home/having a quiet week. I've found that even when you don't have any fresh content up, some of your viewers will end up visiting your page and engage with your pictures just because of your instagram stories!

So there you have it! Some simple ways to boost your engagement on instagram. Let me know what you think of these tips and if there's anything else I've missed out. As always, I love reading your comments/receiving feedback on my posts so be sure to comment!

Until next time....



xx


Why We Should Be Supporting Each Other More - Zeena Xena

Friday, 14 October 2016 London, UK

Supporting Each-other Goes A Long Way..

Sometimes we often get caught up and lost in life that we tend to forget to worry or think about others. I feel that at this present moment in time, I've never needed support from family and friends as much as I do now. I decided to write this post to share the reasons why we should all be supporting each other more and what it can do for each of us. 

I'm going to try and keep this post as light and general as possible just so my content isn't too targeted to bloggers only, but you'll catch a few points here and there specific to bloggers.


General Support 
I think it's really important to support your friends and family when it comes to their jobs, businesses, studies, hobbies etc. Life as it is, is not easy and so uplifting each other and celebrating victories, big or small are important. I feel like when my friends praise me and vice versa, there's a change in my mood and I feel determined to work even harder because my loved ones are noticing my efforts. Sometimes these little praises go a long way especially when you're feeling down, like in my latest post here. I remember I had so many people reminding me of how hard I work and supporting my decision to just take a break. This was nice as I always feel pressured to help people, really refreshing to instead get the help and support I needed. 

How To Support 
There's a number of things you could do to support your friends; being verbal and complimenting them is great but how about contributing to their success? If your friend/family is a blogger why not assist in taking their pictures or contributing to their blog? Have a photographer friend? Why not assist them on a photoshoot? Have a friend who runs a business? Purchase from them! The list is endless! Don't stop at supporting them once or twice.... Continue to do it - forever

Recently my friend Nasrin sent out a broadcast message to let her friends/family know that she'll be doing a 5 mile walk for refugees of Syria. I helped by donating some money to justgiving.com/team-nsss and it just feels good to know that the money she raises will go to helping these refugees with; Winter fuel, blankets, mattresses, clothes etc. Supporting goes a long way and doesn't always have to mean supporting people that you actually know. If you have some extra £'s spare this month, please donate too!




What It Means To Support
From the above, you can tell that supporting people in certain instances may mean they receive things we take for granted - necessities. Supporting those in need is definitely one of the best feelings ever and if you are offered the opportunity of doing so, take it! 

Supporting those you know offers a sense of fulfillment too. Life is not just about being selfless and/or going to work and getting paid to help somebody else's vision which has already flourished. Supporting can also mean; Helping a family member move house, visiting a loved one in hospital or supporting a major life decision. I'll use my mum as an example, someone who suffers with mental her health. Like most people she can have a really good week, then a couple of days where she wants to stay in bed for a few days straight because she's feeling super down. Something like me cleaning the house, preparing her meals, paying the bills, is a big weight lifted off her shoulders. This is me supporting her in the daily tasks that she can sometimes find difficult. 

You can physically support someone and aid to their mental health, positively. 

Supporting Sponsored Content 
Lately I've been working with a few brands on a few sponsored campaigns which is great for me! This means that I get to promote a product or service that I fully support and get paid for doing so. However, I've noticed in most instances that sponsored content is the least popular when it comes to the amount of likes a photo gets on instagram or RTs on instagram. Now, I get that we as followers of bigger influencers may not want to see anything apart from their beautiful faces, flatlays or whatever else has made them popular, however this is not always possible. 




This part of the post is just to remind bloggers and non-bloggers that being a popular instagrammer/blogger/youtuber etc is a job whether you like it or not. I feel like these days there's so much comparison to "real jobs" aka your traditional 9-5's, which is just silly because the two aren't comparable. Bloggers and other freelancers work equally as hard, if anything sometimes harder in order to get paid. We have to actively look for work and sometimes go through "bad patches" or have slow months and this is the reality of it. So the next time you see a post featuring #ad, like and find a way to praise the author for whatever they've posted. The more interaction, the happier the agency they've worked with and client! CHA-CHING!


Before I leave I just wanted to thank the below amazing people for ALWAYS supporting everything I do! I love you guys...

  • Lucinda - LCNDA // Fashion Editor + Blogger
Shop my look;

Coat // Miss Pap - here 
Dress // Miss Pap - here
Shoes // LAMODA - here Get 10% off using discount code 'ZEENAXENA' at checkout



Until Next Time xx








We Should All Take Breaks & Do Absolutely Nothing - Zeena Xena

Friday, 7 October 2016 London, UK

It's Time To Take A Break...


I know I've had a little blog break again, and do I feel bad for it? No, honestly. I feel like we all as bloggers put so much pressure on creating content for our blogs along with our day jobs, that we often forget to just enjoy life. I personally have learned over this past year to just go with the flow and not force myself to blog, because it doesn't become enjoyable, instead more of a chore. 


Rewind to two weeks ago, I was meant to go on a vacation to Morocco for 9 whole days but due to some very unforeseen circumstances, it never happened. For me, this vacation wasn't just any old random holiday, far from that. I had planned on visiting family I hadn't seen in three years and felt like this is the break that I needed to motivate me to do the things that I haven't been doing. Morocco is a very vibrant country full of beautiful buildings and architecture, all the inspiration I needed to give me that push. Apparently, not this time though. 

I was sad that I had missed out on this trip, even more sad that it wasn't even my fault. However, after many depressing tweets, not answering calls etc I decided it was time to unplug from social media for as long as I needed. I did this for about 4 days and stayed indoors for over a week... 


As you know, this is very unlike me! I pretty much always need to be out and live on social media, but again it was needed. Each day I sobbed at the unfortunate fact that I didn't get to go away, the fact that so many bad things kept happening all straight after each other, then decided to turn my focus to more enjoyable things.

Don't laugh but, until two weeks ago I'd never watched an episode of Pretty Little Liars. I never was really into watching TV, unless it was a documentary or series on crime (lol). Anyway, I managed to whizz through one whole season in just under two weeks, which took my focus off the whole holiday catastrophe. Instead, I too was trying to figure out who A was haha.

I was completely out of work mode this week. Didn't care about anything but focusing on myself and my mental health. It did me good, but after a week I realised that because I had stayed in so much, I'd almost become a recluse and avoided any outings with friends/family. It wasn't until my friend Oghosa invited me out to a Gala, where somehow I plucked up the mental energy to put together an outfit and go out together. May I add, we slayed. I thank her for this because from this point on I felt like things have been going all the way up. I've been non-stop shooting, out running errands, putting things that matter first and generally getting on with life again.


Having said this, I needed that break to just do nothing. I don't think I've ever had a week like that in my life unless I was seriously ill so it was nice. Honestly, that week I wasn't myself... I lost all my motivation, confidence... Didn't care about my physical appearance etc. So I'm here to tell you, don't ever feel like it's not okay to feel like this, life can get to us all. If you can, at some point each year take some time out for yourself... Do things you love, explore your city and just love yourself! 

The purpose of this post was to simply let you guys know that sometimes taking a break from life and doing absolutely nothing is fine. Completely fine. During my break I also started bath meditation via  guided meditation on youtube, and my oh my they've helped so much. I've really managed to unwind and almost feel like when I take these baths, I wash all my problems away. 

Lastly, I want to put emphasis on social media and how we can be perceived as having such a perfect life. Don't ever compare your life to another's by the things you see on social media, the majority of it is not real which I'm pretty sure you already know. We all have problems we mask and do so via controlled tweets/pretty images, nothing wrong with it but just don't ever feel like you aren't enough because of what you see - YOU ARE ENOUGH! 

Jacket - Boohoo similar (here)
Top - Primark 
Leggings - My Bandage Dress (purchase here)
Shoes - Zara 
Choker - La Moda 

Until next time x




How To Work Effectively Work With Bloggers - Zeena Xena

Wednesday, 14 September 2016 London, UK

Blogger Outreach 101: How To Effectively Work With Bloggers

How To Effectively Work With Bloggers

Chuckle all you want at the title of this post, but we both know it's true. I've come to realise that companies actually need to work on their techniques when it comes to blogger outreach these days. I feel that as the blogging industry continues to evolve, so should the approach by PRs big or small and direct companies.

Over the years, I've had a few issues with dis-organised/rude companies, however, instead of calling the out, I thought I'd do a post to educate them and who-ever else comes across this instead.

More recently I've witnessed a few miss-haps being discussed in the bloggersphere & rightly so. These situations should not be overshadowed, so yes let's discuss these matters because blogging is not just about hauls and fairy lights, let's be real. Essentially, I'm here to shed some light on what brands should/shouldn't be doing, in the hope that this will hopefully help some new, niche and well-established companies with their blogger outreach strategies.

Actually Read The Blog In Question
How many times have we as bloggers read an email stating our blog names? I mean I guess mines is a bit confusing because Zeena is an actual name (just not my real name), but referring to someone as 'pixie123' is just ridiculous isn't it? Just goes to show that you as a company have not bothered to read the person's blog or what they're about.

Once you land on a blog page and are done reading the posts, I'd suggest heading over to the 'about page' where this will give you an insight as to why the blogger has actually started their blog, where in the world their from and will often include their real name/contact details. EASY PEASY!

Get In Touch  
If you like what you've seen from the blogger, the next step is to get in touch. When sending emails to bloggers to collaborate with your company, remember to always be polite. You are emailing them for a favour so don't approach the situation like you're doing them justice! Instead have a good template in place to include;

* The bloggers real name
* Which company you're emailing from
* Why you love their blog/social accounts
* What you have to offer/why you'd love to collaborate
* Anything else you may want to include

Don't send each blogger the exact same email unless you have some sort of specific campaign running. Use a standard template, but make it personal to each person for maximum results!

Don't be rude... 
This is for everyone but mainly smaller companies. I have to say in my experience over the years. the smaller companies are often the rudest. From a professional standpoint I'm often shocked by some of the things I have witnessed in the past due to the lack of experience and professionalism.

When bloggers reach out to you who are perhaps not on the calibre you want, do not hit them with; "Sorry we only work with girls with 100k followers". In my opinion this reply is just blunt and let's me know you do not know the first thing about marketing. Instead form a template for those bloggers you feel are not suited to your brand and again tailor it each time you send it to a blogger explaining why you can't collaborate together. If the blogger has great content but doesn't have good engagement rates etc, explain that once they have worked on improving these stats, you would perhaps consider working with them in the future.

This makes YOU as a company seem more professional, you'll become more likeable and you may even gain a new customer through this approach.

Do Your Products Fit Their Blog/Target Market? 
Having spoken to a number of bloggers, we've all had emails from companies who do not fit our blogs at all. Do your research by looking at things they've posted over the last few months.

Lifestyle bloggers generally post about a wide-scale of topics so are more willing to accept campaigns from a variety of industries. Don't waste time by contacting any and every one, again research those bloggers and contact the ones you feel you can create valued relationships with.

If You Have A Budget... Use It! 
I love this point. Yes I understand times are hard and paying for promotions is not always possible, however if you have a budget... Use it!

Think about it this way, in your professional day job no one asks you to come to work for free so why should bloggers have to do the work for free? Again, as mentioned above I know as a smaller business it is often hard to compensate bloggers in this way, however if you're a bigger company or PR with a budget you should definitely be considering this.

From my experience, it's clear that with a budget and clear direction, bloggers are able to put out content done to the best of their ability, done in a timely manner!

Put agreements into place...
Now we've all seen posts on bloggers not complying with rules and companies not making payments as agreed. To avoid any of this, put things into written agreements whether these be in a separate document or an email. This should highlight;

* The parties involved in the project
* Details of the project
* Fee/Payment
* Deadline/s
* & anything else you deem necessary

Maintain Those Relationships...
I'm sure I've mentioned this point somewhere in my most recent post here on working with brands as a blogger, from a company this is highly important too. If you've worked with a blogger/influencer who has provided real value to your brand then make sure you stay in touch. Send them products from new launches, let them know about upcoming planned events, and praise them when they've written amazing posts or even share them, it'll go a long way honestly.

From both standpoints (being a blogger and freelancer), I always try to maintain relationships with those I've worked with in the past, even if it's just an email to say hey!

So these are some quick tips on working effectively with bloggers. I hope they help any of reading this and if they do... Please leave a comment below or get in touch with me.

If You'd Like My Services... 

I'm sort of a whizz when it comes to blogger outreach, so if you need a hand with any of the following;

* Outreach
* Consulting
* Advertising
* Events

Please get in touch; zeenaxenablog@gmail.com to discuss how we could work together.

Thanks for reading x


How To: Work With Brands As A Smaller Influencer - Zeena Xena

Friday, 2 September 2016 London, UK

Learn How To Work With Brands As A Smaller Influencer...

Blogger Zeena Xena Discusses How Smaller Influencers Should Be Working With Brands  (Work With Brands).

I bet you've been looking for a post like this for a while now right? I wanted to write this post because I get asked all the time "Oh Zaineb, how do you get to work with so many brands and you don't even have that many followers" - let me just tell you this, it's not all about the followers, I'm being honest. 
I wanted to write this post as I also feel like many bloggers that are "well-known" cover how they work with brands but don't offer many tips for those that are smaller or even just starting out.

In this post, I'll be highlighting what you should be doing, what you need to be doing and what you may be doing wrong and of course, offer solutions to the problem.  Please remember, this post should be used as guidance and not for you to start suddenly thinking that every brand is going to start replying to your collaboration requests. It just doesn't work like that, however hopefully you take away some great information from this post and apply these tips to your blogging life. 

Step 1. 

Overall Image + Content 

You want to make sure you have an overall good blog, instagram, twitter etc. What I do sometimes is go on my blog, and just look at it from a far and ask myself does it look good? Brands like that whole 'clean' aesthetic so make sure your images are crisp, the layout has co-ordination and that the fonts you use are easy to read. Same with my social medias, especially instagram - from a brands perspective would they want to work with someone that takes good quality photos, has a theme going etc? Hell yes

Next, the content make sure it's relevant, has a purpose and will have your readers and brands engaging with you. You want a brand to email you like "Oh my goodness the post you wrote on XXX was absolutely amazing, we'd love to work with you...". You may not have this goal for all your content but it should be the main goal for some (this is the reason why you're hear remember, to learn how to collaborate with brands). Take me for example; I'm doing this post to help bloggers work with brands not for brands to work with me. So in terms of brand collaborations I won't really benefit from gifting etc, however someone could see this and want me to a talk, interview etc. It's all about being authentic really and just knowing what you want to achieve from your writing & photos. 

Step 2. 

Consistency

This point is probably played out but so important. Consistency doesn't mean you have to be blogging ALL the time (honestly, I rarely even blog once a week anymore), however you should always be active. Keep posting on twitter, snapchat, instagram, instagram stories wherever you deem important to you and your brand, stay relevant! 

Step 3. 

Social Cleanup

Okay, I have to admit sometimes when I'm not really posting a lot of blog type stuff my twitter feed can be full of crap like funny memes, opinions from the night before (while I was in a mood) and so fourth. This point is just to be mindful of what you're tweeting/who you're tweeting, because when you reach out to a brand they'll do a lot of stalking (I do this for my clients). Remember, reaching out to them to collaborate is essentially saying "I'd like to represent you" by promoting their products etc. Put yourself in their shoes & answer this - Would you work with you having examined your social feeds? If the answer is yes, we can proceed, if no... Well we've got some work to do! 

Step 4.

Reach Out To Brands

Okay so the fun part! I'm doing a whole post on writing emails to brands so for now I'm going to keep this short and sweet. 

Don't be shy, If you want to work with companies as a smaller influencer reach out to them. How will you gain opportunities if they've never heard of you? A simple email format that I recommend and use myself;

* Introduce yourself (keep this sweet no life stories, just explain your blog)
* Explain what you want & why you want it (a product, service, feature etc)
* What you can offer the brand (only you can answer this... So what makes you stand out from the rest?)

Don't think just because you have a "small following" that you have less value, nope, as bloggers we are all equally important - people just like to put labels on others *rolls eyes*. I'm going to use LAMODA as an example, as they are a perfect example of how brands should be collaborating with bloggers. 

So if you're a blogger and follow LAMODA, you'll know that they are all about empowering women and are very into the 90s r&b type style. If you're a fashion blogger that has similar style, takes great photos you could reach out to them saying you'd love to style some items for a piece you're working on. It could centre around an all pink or baby blue theme and you could even include examples of shoots/pictures etc to help the brand in question create a vision. This is what helps you land collabs & lasting working relationships.

A statement from LAMODA's Creative Director;

"We work with smaller influencers because although a large following is obviously beneficial to a brand, it's not the be all and end all of a collaboration. A lot of the smaller influencers we work with will put so much time and effort into a collab and make sure everything is on point. I believe that everyone has to start somewhere so we want to support girls with a smaller following as much as possible and give them the same opportunities to enable them to grow. 

As you know LAMODA is all about girl power so it's really important for me to make sure the brand fully lives up to this ethos, which means supporting ALL female creatives, not just the ones with 100k followers. As a side note, some of the coolest influencers I know have less than 10k followers but still produce the best content and imagery for us as a brand! For us, if the drive to create amazing content is there and on brand, following really isn't a big issue."


Work With Brands

Sunglasses & Bag are both LA MODA 
Step 5. 

Collaborate With Other Bloggers 

Companies love to see bloggers collaborating with each-other and I do too! Whether you have a big or small following, it's nice to see girls & guys coming together to create something that is unique to them. It may be that one of you is great at taking pictures, styling, writing or being the model of a shoot... Either way brands really buy into collaborative efforts and blogging "girl gangs". 

Step 6. 

Network

This isn't as easy for everyone, I understand this and remember going to one of my first events 4 years ago with a non-blogging friend shit scared. I didn't know what to expect, but having gone to one, I wanted to go to another and then another haha. For me personally, it's so important for brands to know what I'm like behind the blog and emails, so attending events hosted by brands I want to work with in the future is a high priority and should be for you too. Once you've met with PR girls, directors etc, more time you'll be in touch quite regularly. Because of the relationships formed you'll sometimes be first in line for opportunities, not because of your following/who you are online but because of who you are as a person and the fact that they've met you in real life. 

These people then sometimes go on to becoming real life friends, where you can both help and elevate each other in your professional careers and build a great friendship too! Win win! 

Work With Brands

Outfit details
Sunglasses - here 
Top - here 
Skirt - similar here 
Shoes - similar here

So these are my tips... I seriously hope they help some of you reading this. If you think I've left anything out... Fell free to add anything in the comments below. 

As always I love writing these posts, so if you have any suggestions for me at all I'm all ears. In the meantime check out my other helpful posts; 


Thanks for reading x

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