Top Reads of the Week- Take Note

Researching, reading and writing- this is my life and I wouldn’t change it. Occasionally, I’ll stumble upon reads that are too insightful not to share, so here you are, grab a cuppa and take notes.

  1. BRW- reinforcing the need for quality content (now this is what I want to see!)      http://goo.gl/HSdkel
  2. Startup Smart’s take on the social media news fresh-to-biz business owners must be aware of http://goo.gl/Vpyxip
  3. Ruby Connection present some noteworthy legal points as to how and what you share on social media http://goo.gl/AQsm7R
  4. Insurance Business Online explore the potentially harmful effects of ignoring social media as a business owner http://goo.gl/LT7VYA
  5. Unashamedly Creative take aim at which business owners have taken over which social media platforms http://goo.gl/Vu1YnG (I don’t necessarily agree with the idea of ditching Facebook just yet, but I’ll let you form your own opinion of course……)

What have you been researching this week? I’m always keen to read and share articles that I think will assist others in the journey we are all sharing.

Which social media platforms work best for you? Which are your favourites and why? Which are more suited to your personal and professional endeavours?

 

Stay tuned this week for my take on where social media interest is headed in the coming months……

 

Lauren Jeffery

Little Red Writing Solutions

Follow me on Facebook

Tweet me

Send me an email lauren.jeffery@live.com.au

Giving Your Word Some Nerd

Give Your Word Some Nerd- The Importance of Quality Content in Business

 

Content is just a mash of business buzz words right? No. Not just. Your business content is the words you use to convey messages, inform, educate and communicate in your business, whether this is with other business owners or with actual/potential clients. Content marketing is just advertising right? No. There are so many ways to convey business messages through text and images. Anything text you create and attach to your brand reflects on you and how you operate in business.

Content comes in all forms in business

Content comes in all forms in business

 

The good, the bad and the ugly in content is easily definable. Good content inspires. It appeals to readers to read more, think and act. Gary Bencivenga (copywrite extraordinaire) once said “effective content is salesmanship in print”. Bad content is what makes you look like just a salesperson. And with all the effort you put into your products and service, that’s not who you are.

With all the interesting information on the Internet, no one is going to want to read an article that just lists all the benefits of your products or business (http://smallbiztrends.com/2013/12/create-engaging-content.html)

 So once you drop the sales act, stick to pure and simple. Clever content can often backfire and your messages will definitely be lost on your clients. Either that or they will look elsewhere for a business which has got hot-to-trot content.

Clear, concise content is the key. You will appeal to a wider audience if your voice reflects the needs of a more diverse group of clients. Many business gurus speak of the “feature versus benefit” debate on how to brag about your business. Personally, I prefer to speak of the features of a business so potential clients understand what you are about, rather than rampaging into the benefits of engaging with your business and missing the core messages you want people to remember. Benefit-speak can lead you into sales pitches. Remember to avoid those yeah?

Making your words work hard for your business- that's what TOP CONTENT is

Making your words work hard for your business- that’s what TOP CONTENT is

Engagement, especially in terms of social media management, is the way to grow your brand (a type of product or service delivered by a particular company under a specific name) and having more people interested in your business. Clients will respect the time you take to get your business content right. Make sure the voice you use is honest and respectful. Personal stories also help in conveying your business brand to the public. And always remember that a desire for a product or service can’t be fabricated.

Quality content will educate your clients and provide insight to potential clients. This can increase lead generation as clients will recognise the value in knowing you and seeing your can’t-live-without business unfold before their eyes.

A determining factor in deciding whether to use a copywriter these days in business is time. Do you have enough time to get your content right? What is “right” for you and more importantly, for your client base? Do you make time or are you unmotivated and don’t see it as a priority? It really needs to be a priority. Simple content errors can turn literally hundreds of potential leads away if they are paying attention to you.

Errors errors everywhere- gulp

Errors errors everywhere- gulp

Copywriters are more than a “hired pen”. We get stuff done because it is our job to do so. Our motivation and inspiration to write is the heart of our business so if you lack any one of these, saving you time is a big BIG deal. Time is something you don’t ever get back so why not use it to work in your business, rather than on it?

So to end, here is the Little Red Mini Checklist for creating SUPERSTAR content (or the beginnings of):

  1. Research to cure your writer’s block (self-directed learning is compulsory if you want to succeed in small business);
  2. Edit and proof read (many times, and then ask someone else to critique your bulkier writings);
  3. Describe well, create pictures in the minds of your readers, don’t be too wordy and stay focused (clients should be able to feel why they can’t go on without learning more about your product or service);
  4. Show your personality (remember, honesty is the best policy in everything you do and your personality in business is what makes it unique); and
  5. Write for your target audience and speak their language-  don’t waffle or baffle!

Can you add to this check list?

Little Red- Creating, Thinking, Writing, Living

Little Red- Creating, Thinking, Writing, Living

 

www.lrwsolutions.net

www.facebook.com/LRWSolutions

lauren@littleredwritingsolutions.com.au

0432-394-391

If It Doesn’t Challenge You, It Doesn’t Change You

I’ve been on an extended break from Little Red Writing Solutions to focus on my family commitments over the Christmas and New Year period. It has been wonderful to just be with my children and my husband and to be able to just relax and have fun without any major planning.

In the back of my mind however, I have been going over and over what heading back to “work work” will mean for me. I write during the night when my children are asleep and I have a part-time day job which keeps me more than occupied.

But soon, my contract will end and I’ll need to find more “work work”. You may or may not know that I am a Registered Nurse and was working in Surgical Nursing until I went on Maternity Leave to have my daughter in December of 2012. Alongside writing. Then in April of last year, my Mother passed away unexpectedly and my whole career vision started to shift. I couldn’t go back to Nursing out of fear of breaking down in front of patients. I couldn’t face introducing myself to a patient with the same name as my Mother. I was frightened to leave my children to go and care for other families when I needed to be around them so badly. So it was with this sudden change of heart that I decided to let myself look into other options, without feeling “guilty” for leaving Nursing.

I made the decision to take on a temporary contract at a hospital I was very familiar with, just so I could work, heal and have the time I desperately wanted with my young children. The job has been wonderful. I’ve really enjoyed it and still have a few months left.

In the meantime, as I continue to write for Little Red part-time, I’ve happily and proudly come to a conclusion. With my extensive public health care experience and my profound passion in the areas of grief and bereavement, depressive illness, anxiety and panic disorders and mental illness, I can happily announce I’ve been accepted into a Masters in Psychology program.

I needed to take greater responsibility for my long-term happiness and for the future of my family and believe that this path in life is for me. So with this career change, so changes the rest of my life! I haven’t left Nursing behind yet and I’m not sure if I ever will, but for now, I’m putting all my (spare) energy into this new program, combined with Little Red.

Little Red will continue on as normal (refer to my Facebook page for opening hours and the product/ service listing), I just needed to share my good news.

Cannot wait for these new challenges to test every inch of me!

Lauren @LittleRed

Take Control of Social Media in 2014- A Little Red Investigation

Image

{image courtesy of bryandigital.wordpress.com}

After spending 2013 on all the big wig social media platforms {and truth be told, enjoying Pinterest and Facebook the most}, I’ve come across some trends that I hope will prevail this year {oh dear God it’s a new year already and I was only just getting used to writing 2-0-1-3……}

Social Storytelling is booming. We’ve all read the “I can check in on Foursquare, Post a Photo of it on Instragram, post an update on Facebook, Tweet my details” etc posts floating around in Google. We can share EVERYTHING we do ANYWHERE at ANYTIME. How cool is that?!

We all know how huge Facebook is. We spend the most time on it. We connect with friends more there than we do text and call friends in Australia {are text messages almost as obsolete as the old ICQ chat thing? I never used it but it must’ve been quite intriguing}. Mobile-friendly Facebook is quite awesome. It’s not much more difficult to navigate than Desktop Facebook, probably because all the top developers know that wherever we go, we want Facebook to be right there with us. We want to tell our friends and consumers {if you are a business owner and Facebook-savvy} what we’re up to, where we are checking in and so forth. In other words, read our online diary to our friends and followers.

Tailored content and mobile/video ads {of which YouTube are already the masters} have made website browsing, searching and shopping all the more simplified through the likes {pardon the pun?} of Facebook advertising. Your business is instantly mobile friendly with the short ads that are now, well practically everywhere. Sometimes you don’t even know you’ve clicked on a sponsored ad {if you don’t happen to spot the “SPONSORED” sign on some posts}. Also, search high and low through iTunes and PlayStore this year for business-related apps. Every year is the Year of the App, but with most sites being mobile-friendly, how better to pair a mobile site with a few handy apps to get your business motor running this New Year.

My advice to small business owners and community page owners this year re: Facebook? Stop spamming people’s walls and connect. Make new contacts that you’ll actually engage with. I’m over the “like for like” experience. Most of the people i “like” won’t come back to visit my page. And frankly, I don’t want to be spammed with another “try this miracle body wrap and lose 2000 inches of your childbearing hips” page {whinge over}.

Image

Are you already onboard the S.S #facebookhashtag? Wondering how much it will grow in 2014. All my friends hash-tag and to be honest, I find it entertaining and thought-provoking. Especially to think that you have to come up with some very poignant, individual words for some otherwise mindless pics or updates. But to me, they always work and the random conversations where every word is hashtagged always makes me giggle {is hashtagged a word in the dictionary yet?}

For those who went to Kindergarten and for those who remember it, we all used to participate in Show And Tell- where we’d share an important fact, object, detail of our life. This can now be loosely translated into how we see social media now. So much more of our content this year should be visual and image based. We want to like what we see, we want to focus on detail and we don’t always want to read thousands of words strung together. B-O-R-ing.

Marketing will go full circle and come back to basics this year. 91% of marketing gurus in Australia {roughly} used social media platforms in 2013. Small businesses are all about social media. Social media has become a solid investment and is no longer about communication only. Factor in networking/collaborating, planning, processing and researching and there you have it my friends, your focus for 2014 {SOCIAL MEDIA, in case you missed it}.

Google+. SEO’s best friend. Now here lies an interesting social media network. Have you noticed that to access good old YouTube, you now need a Google+ account? Sneaky hey?! Thumbs up Google, well played. Join a Google+ Hangout, TV for social media and comment and share information in real-time. I’ve tried it and I love it. In the past two years, I’ve been led to believe that Google+ has jumped above Twitter in the number-of-users game. But the big question is- will it jump above Facebook? We’ll know soon enough. Jump on Google+ in 2014 and network like crazy. It’s good fun and well worth your time. 

Instagram- the online photo album. #hash #tag #crazy. Take a photo of anything in good taste/good spirit and it’s out there for the Instagramers to “heart”. #idontliketalkinginhashtagsbecauseibelieveingoodgrammarandpunctuation but I do like seeing what celebrities are posting, it’s like a free version of NW Magazine. I expect that Instagram will only get bigger this year, especially with the new ads and “Flipagram”-style videos you can post. It was found to be the fastest growing social network in the world for 2013. {you probably should follow me on Instagram, really}. A friend told me on New Years Eve that over 70% of the top brands in the world now use Instagram. Now there goes the old catalogues in the mail that I used to read whilst having a hot cuppa. Everything goes out of style!

No matter which platform you’re on, you’ll always find those viral posts somehow. You know, the ones with a kazillion shares of that picture of a monkey riding greyhound in a cowboy suit or the “my girlfriend will marry me if this post gets a trillion likes”. Keep sharing them or even better still, use 2014 to create one of your own. You never know what will go viral! In my case, I always look at funny posts that will make me cry in hysterics. You’ll have my vote if you can make me laugh that hard.

My second favourite platform {well, favourite in my personal domain rather than professional} is Pinterest. Oh my Lord, the ideas that have come from this network are unbelievable. As a crafty person myself, Pinterest is like Heaven. Pinterest now has analytics and place and rich pins. Can’t go wrong this year with Pinterest, it’s as simple as pinning a pin.

Twitter is a digitally enhanced land I used to visit quite often but with my desperate need for human contact, I found it a little cold and uninviting in 2013. With tailored audiences, promoted accounts showing up in timelines and keyword targeting to hit the big{ger} time in 2014, don’t ignore Twitter any longer. Do what you can to get the hang of it. My business tip? You need to post a lot otherwise you won’t be seen. Simple.

If you want to network more and find more leads in 2014, head across to LinkedIn. It may not look as pretty as Facebook and as covered in beautifully filtered pics as Instagram but it’s worth it.

Social media advertising will become more complicated than ever in 2014. Just because I think there are so many outlets and new audiences to reach. Status updates can be “promoted”, you can DIY advertising packages now and it’s becoming easier for anyone to share their work and thoughts. I’d stay away from the “give me $5 and I’ll give your page 1000 new fans” packages this year. Let all those pages fizzle out. I’m sorry but if I pay more money, like $1000, and you’ll give me 100,000 new fans, do you actually have 100,000+ fans yourself and do you know these people? Are their pages reputable? Will they engage with me and my business? Nope. So no thank you, if you want to like my page in 2014, you need to be interested in what I do and who I am. Another Little Red tip: stop tricking your consumers this year, your SEO needs to be a brilliant display of online marketing.

2014 is all about pizzazz, personality. Guts and glory. Digital marketing is losing steam and people want to connect with real people. Not updates on autopilot. Recommendations from others drives up sales. I know I buy many things after being recommended them by friends and family. We want to know the truth from people we can trust and this is how we should want our consumers to see us and our products. They want to know about us and what we do. Not who we think we want to be and what we think we should be telling them to drive up our analytics figures {despite our society’s focus driven by performance}.

Image

This year, stop thinking about how Facebook and Twitter ads will earn you money. Question whether it is worth it and then think about how you can improve your social media profiles to offer more insight to your consumers. People want advice and information. People always seek out help. You need to know how to show people they need you without selling til the cows come home.

Image

Privacy and censorship has taken a back seat to the proliferation of social media in years of late. Do we care less? Why don’t we feel the need to restrict what strangers can and can’t do with our information? Because the more we share, the greater the reaction we get from people. We love being recognised and we love creating original and unique content. It’s free and we get a kick out of it.

My final thoughts? Pinterest will be amazingly helpful to personal and professional account holders {did you know you can have a business account on Pinterest now?} and survive huge growth spurts this year. Foursquare and Tumblr will be on the up but Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are where it’s at {again} this year.

Arm yourself with knowledge in 2014. It’s your greatest weapon and ally. Only 39% of Aussie have some type of social media strategy in place when it comes to small and online business operations. In a time where B2B connections are more important than ever, get yourself with a top-knotch diary, some longlasting pens and get writing. Plan the heck out of 2014 and you’ll see the light.

Image

 

Lauren @LittleRed

 

You’ll Have My Business IF…..

I’m sure all you small business owners out there post on your social media pages about why your product and services are IT and a BIT. You may do this regularly.

You’re cutting edge. You provide something you believe no one else is. You’re the only {insert cool business product here} seller in {insert small town or bustling metropolis here}. You know what your target market wants and why they need you RIGHT NOW.

You spend a lot of time marketing your service and your products in the hope that someone or a group of someones will engage with you. And we all know what engagement leads to. Number one? Strengthened relationships. Number two? Sales.

I like to be different and take a walk on the weird side every now and then. So this is what I’m proposing. Think about how much time you spend selling yourself and your products {which, as a rule in the social media scene, shouldn’t be all that much or often} and now spend half that time researching which businesses you WANT to engage with. Sales are sales, if you are that desperate.  Focusing on which businesses you can work with can strengthen your brand and build your business character. Think back to your target market. Does that need to change? Has it evolved with your business planning? Have your business goals changed? Of all the clients you have provided a service to or sold products to, which have you really remembered?

Whichever industry, field, market etc you’re in, there will be top business owners, mediocre business owners, rubbish business owners and THE GREATEST BUSINESS OWNERS {just to emphasise the point}. Choose the ones you want to engage with wisely. Make your relationships work for you. You do it in your personal lives- you have family and friends who support you and love you, are there for you when you need it. So do it in business. Find those awesome businesses that can give you EXACTLY what you are after. Don’t just settle.

Branding after all is building. Build your name, your business reputation, your service, your products and your research skills. Make communication, documentation and RELATIONSHIPS your number one priorities. Think about who you engage with. That might seem sensible and also a bit strange of me to say. But when you take the Facebook Networking “Like for Like” scenario of engagement between businesses, thinking about who you are engaging with doesn’t always come to mind. You like their page, they like yours.

Then what? You get their news feed items straight to yours and vice versa. But do you really need to know what is happening with those body wraps that claim to reduce your waistline in just a matter of days if you are an accountant? Do you need to know which baby hair accessories are on sale for Christmas if you are single, a male and running an online marketing page?

Be wise and be weary. Get the most out of your networking and marketing by choosing wisely who you will share your business time with and also those will be share in your business dealings. Your business is precious and a valuable asset in your life, whether you are making dream dollars or not. You have started your business for a reason and that reason is as important today as it was the day you started working on your vision. Business relationships are a two-way street, like any relationship.

Give and take. It’s not always about how your business can work to make sales for you, it’s also about how other businesses can help yours to flourish. How can you help someone else in their small business adventures? You will learn from other great business owners, it shouldn’t always be about what you can sell or what they can buy.

Make this a rule- You’ll have my business IF we will both grow from the experience. Appreciate each other’s experience, background and knowledge. Quick sales don’t help you grow. Well, maybe a few dozen or a few hundred do, over time. But just try it. Time and money will be saved and your brand will be strengthened.

Lauren @LittleRed

A {little} Reminder

Image

Who?

Lauren Jeffery is the director and writer, Australian Small Business Owners are her market

What?

Little Red Writing Solutions is a Copy Writing Service

Stay tuned for an updated Service Brochure!

How?

Small Business Owner {A} contacts Lauren

via email: lauren@littleredwritingsolutions.com.au;

via phone: 0432 394 391;

via Faceboook: http://www.facebook.com/LRWSolutions;

via Twitter: http://twitter.com/LRWSolutions with a brief outline of their content {and context} requirements, Lauren provides an obligation-free quote with appropriate contractual details and the partnership grows from there

When?

Little Red Writing Solutions is open for busy-ness Thursday-Friday 0800hrs- 1700hrs and Saturday-Sunday 1000hrs-1600hrs {please contact Lauren via email with enquiries outside of these hours}

Where?

Based in Melbourne, Little Red aims to assist small business owners Australia-wide with a variety of business writing and social media content needs

 

Follow me on:

Twitter {LRWSolutions}

Google+ {Lauren Jeffery}

Facebook {LRWSolutions}

LinkedIn {Lauren Jeffery}

 

Lauren @ Little Red 

x

 

 

Little Red’s Guest Book- Emily Foote (Me & Em Graphic Design)

ImageMe & Em Name Print

(Image courtesy of Emily Foote)

Can you introduce yourself and your business to my readers?

Hi my name is Emily Foote of Me & Em Graphic Design. I’m a Graphic Designer and artist who has created a gorgeous range of products to decorate babies & children’s bedrooms.

What made you take the leap into small business?

At the time I was a single parent, working in graphic design for the local newspaper and studying part-time to reach my goal of becoming a freelance graphic designer. I didn’t want to be limited to designing for newspapers, and I wanted the opportunity to put more of my personal stamp on things as I have a strong need for self-expression.

Which social media platforms do you use to publish and promote your work? (include links here if you like)

Almost all of them!! I love social media as a way to promote my products and services, it allows me to do it all for free, and to reach out to my large circle of friends & family and tap into their networks as well. I especially love the visual aspects of Instagram and Pinterest.

Facebook

Etsy

Pinterest & Instagram: meandemandyou

Who and or what inspires you in your life and your business?

Other female artists and designers inspire me, such as the late textile designer Florence Broadhurst – she was such a vivacious character and had a real drive and determination to succeed – but unfortunately passed away.

Colour & nature are always intriguing to me, I can generate new ideas just from looking at a particular colour swatch or plant in the garden! I also love to play around with interior design in my house.

How do you treat yourself after a long week of work?

My weekdays can be incredibly hectic as I’m still working 2 jobs part-time on top of running my business, so I definitely need to wind down on a Friday night! I take my partner Steven and 5-year-old Hunter out to our favourite pizza joint. Hunter thinks it’s great because it’s the only chance he gets to have lemonade!

Image

Me & Em Number Print

(Image courtesy of Emily Foote)

If you could donate $1m to a charity of your choosing, which would you choose and why?

That’s a hard one because I’d love to help everybody! But Epilepsy Action Australia is one that is close to my heart – my eldest cousin Robin suffers from a very rare form of Epilepsy – called MELAS. It affects the nervous system, brain and muscles, creating a slow deterioration in bodily functions. He has stroke-like episodes which progressively damage all his systems, however he’s lived well past the expected age for survival of 30 years of age. I’d love to give $million to aid in the research of this disease.

What is the single best piece of advice you’ve received?

Be yourself! You cannot get the best out of life if you try to do exactly what other people are doing. Forge your own path, and blaze your own trail.

Image

Me & Em Personalized Wedding Bunting

(Image courtesy of Emily Foote)

What is your favourite of all the products you’ve created and why?

My favourite product is the Vintage Floral custom name poster. Each illustration is researched and created specifically to match the meaning of the child’s name. I love when I get a new order as it sparks my imagination and allows that creative drive to happen. Personalised things make such special gifts that can be treasured forever.

What has been your greatest achievement in your business to date?

There’s no one thing that I focus on but the general pride I feel in creating and running this business all on my own is a fantastic feeling.

How have you overcome your biggest challenge (in life or business)?

The biggest challenge for me in my business has been time management! I still struggle with it occasionally because it is a constant thing that doesn’t go away on its own. When you are the sole owner/operator and employee, you have to do EVERYTHING! To manage this I write lots of lists, have a diary and calendar handy all the time, and prioritize/rearrange schedules constantly.  My email is always active and if I have 5 minutes spare I use it to get on top of any communications I’ve not yet responded to.

Name three things that put an enormous smile on your face.

1. My son’s cheeky grin and giggle – he is a very charismatic and funny little boy, I think he’ll go into a job in theatre when he’s older.

2. Food! I’m a self-confessed foodie, I eat a lot, cook a lot, and talk about food all the time!

3. Babies – I love the innocence and purity, their tiny little bodies, sweet-smelling skin and that they rely on you for all their needs.

If you were granted $100k for your small business, how would you spend it?

I would probably use it to develop heaps of new product ranges, not just for babies & children. I’d love to put my stamp on interiors with tableware, upholstery, bed linen, wallpaper etc I could go on for hours!!

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? In ten years?

In five years time I’d like to be working from home 5 days a week with excellent sales and time to create new products for your home.

Can you describe your business in three words.

Uplifting, Bespoke & Inspired.

What makes you different from your competitors?

Great design should be thoughtful, considered and deliberate – some large businesses out there are spewing forth mountains of new products and imagery which are highly manufactured but poorly executed. They are created to fill a perceived market, but not everyone wants a picture that a million other people have also got. My designs are unique, original illustrations which have been thoughtfully developed and lovingly created.

If there was one person you could swap lives with for a day, who would it be and why?

I have a girl crush on Beyonce, so I’d love to step into her shoes and get some great business advice. Also to be able to sing like her would be amazing, currently I love to sing but nobody else does!

Which song that always gets stuck in your head? 

That Taylor Swift song “Trouble” gets in there all the time!  “I knew you were trouble when you walked in…”

Your next holiday destination and what will you do on the first day?

Really hoping to have a mini getaway to a B&B in the King Valley. Not too far from home, and a nice quiet place to relax. I’ll be reading magazines and having a massage for sure!

Which small business are you loving right now? 

Nest Design Studio – Belinda is an Interior designer who specializes in making over children’s bedrooms. They are delightfully uplifting rooms and are decorated with such care.

Any parting words for my readers?

It sounds corny, but follow your dreams! You can be anything you want to be if you work hard and have determination to succeed.

You can help me build my Em-pire by liking and sharing my Facebook page, or head on over to my Etsy store to make a purchase! Each package sent is a little bundle of joy for you and me.

www.etsy.com/shop/meandemgraphicdesign

Thanks so much to Emily for participating in Little Red’s Guest Book today, I’m a big fan of her work and can’t wait to see where her vision takes her next!

If you’d like to be part of Little Red’s Guest Book, please contact Lauren via lauren@littleredwritingsolutions.com.au

LEJ

Little Red’s Guest Book- Rebecca Nicolandos (Bibo Photography)

 Image

Would you kindly tell my readers a little bit about your business- how did you get started? Where are you are based? What do you do?

I started taking photos when I was 16. After Secondary College, I studied at RMIT in Commercial Photography, which led me onto assisting fashion, commercial and industrial photographers. I then moved on to work in a wedding photography studio, where I learnt most of what I know from the lead photographer, Vanessa Hall. Then I decided to explore another career so I studied and worked as a Primary teacher for 5 years. I still photographed many weddings and family shoots in that time via word of mouth referrals. Once I became pregnant, I decided to open my own business, Bibo Photography. This name stems from my maiden name: Bibby.

I live in Mooroolbark, and travel to many places with my weddings including Ballarat and other regional areas of Victoria. I photograph weddings, babies and families mostly.

What made you start your own small business?

Flexible work hours to suit being a Mum.

Tell us about your favourite photography experience to date.

This always changes! I have so many wonderful experiences in my work. A most favourite one, as of two days ago, was helping out a couple whose wedding photographer caught the flu and lost her voice the day of the wedding. I jumped on board and photographed the day for them. It was so exciting!

Who are your favourite Australian and International photographers and why?

I like photographers who keep it real. Their work is natural and playful. Recently I have been admiring Beth Jennings work, she makes fusion films incorporating audio and still photographs to create memories of a certain moment in time. I also like ‘Jinky Art’ although the photographs are very different to what I do, that is what appeals to me.

Have you ever been given a really strange brief for a shoot? Tell us about it.

Mmmmmm, nothing really surprises me… can’t say I have!

Do you have any advice for the budding photographers out there who want to start their own small business but might need a little push in the right direction?

Attend workshops, join a local camera club to get new ideas (I’m a member of Camberwell Camera Club), start slowly and keep your overheads down by working from home, network, start a referral program – word of mouth is the best advertising….

Which social media platforms are you using to promote your business and more importantly, connect with the online community?

Facebook and my blog are my main focus now. I am just about to have a business marketing review done to give me more ideas on this.

Do you market yourself in your local community? How? 

I used to attend baby markets to help my business name get out there. As I work part-time, I rely on word of mouth at the moment and networking. I always have a great amount of business.

Image: Rebecca captures the finer details of your perfect day

Image: Rebecca captures the finer details of your perfect day (image courtesy of Bibo Photography)

You are stranded on an island in the middle of the Pacific. Which three “survival” items do you have on you?

Mmmmm… tricky. I need to live, so water, food and digital camera! I wouldn’t have anything to load them onto, but at least I wouldn’t be bored!

What’s the best advice about small business you’ve been given?

Believe in yourself and your abilities. Be true to yourself and don’t be afraid to refer people elsewhere if their requirements don’t gel with what you offer.

Do you have a photography bucket list? ie a list of “must do” shoots? 

A bucket list for MY family is…

a beach shoot

an urban shoot (we have done this one)

and at Monsalvat – where James and I were married

ImageImage: Rebecca and her beautiful daughter Maya

How would you react to seeing your images posted on someone’s page? (Without consent or acknowledgement) How would you best deal with this situation?

I don’t see this happen much as I explain my policies clearly to clients and place a ‘read me’ file in with any USB drives that people purchase.

My first reaction would be one of feeling flattered (they clearly like my work), then I would remind them of the terms of use as in the information I  provided and ask them to load the ‘web ready files’, which are watermarked and acknowledge my work appropriately.

Colour or black and white? Candid or posed? 

OK EASY!

For me…

I LOVE high contrast black and white and bright and punchy coloured images! I love it when clients tell me they love black and white too – my heart leaps with excitement!

Once you check out my work you will see and range of posed, yet casual imagery teamed with candid playful photos also.  For very small babies they can’t get around much (ha ha) so they need to be more posed and for toddlers – definitely – outdoor sessions where kids can play and have fun!

Ceremony Candid_Thwaites weddingImage: a touching candid image captured by Rebecca (Bibo Photography)

You’ve been given $100,000 to invest in your business. What kind of photography dreams would this grant make reality for you?

I think I would renovate one room in my house where clients could come for any meetings, to save me traveling to their homes. The gear that I use is awesome, so I wouldn’t change that. I would also hire an incredibly fun receptionist, who loves kids as much as I do, to help me take calls when I am out and about photographing families or weddings.

Best advice for parents out there taking photos of their little ones- how can they make their shots great?

For children who are sitting, standing, walking, running, jumping and playing – hold the photography session outdoors – the kids will be relaxed – and hopefully, you will be too! Choose the right time of day for your photography session for the youngest or most energetic child in the family e.g. early in the morning. Carefully consider your clothing options to suit the location and other outfits. Hire a photographer who photographs young children regularly – one who is prepared to be silly with them and has many tricks up their sleeve if someone doesn’t want to co-operate. Trust your professional photographer – they know what looks great in images.

Image

Image: Rebecca’s family have their family portraits taken each year by a friend who is also a professional photographer

What’s your favourite family tradition?

Ha ha! Yearly photography sessions, that way you have a great record of your children growing up!

Who and or what inspires you in business?

Like minded Mums in business – they are a wealth of great information! Other wedding industry suppliers – we are all in this together :)

How do you unwind after a long shoot? After a hard week of work?

I unwind after a long shoot first by loading all of the images. Once I know they are all saved I can then relax by reading stories with my 3 y.o. daughter, playing ponies or teddy games. I like reconnecting with her and my husband after playing with other people’s kids. After a wedding, I like to just sit still for a while – my feet will no doubt be sore!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? In ten years’ time?

In five years’ time, I will still be working full-time with my photography work. I might move to the country, maybe Ballarat, and have a small studio within my home for my newborn sessions and meetings. I also hope to teach others about photography a bit more than I already do know.

 

Any parting words for my readers? Words of wisdom? Any special offers your business is promoting currently?

My clients can all quite easily obtain free photos as part of my Share the Love – referral program. This is simple to do, refer a friend, and you will both get a free photo. Write some comments on my blog post about your photography session and you receive a free photo!

Moments in time are fleeting, whether they be the first pigeon-toed steps of a one year old or the special event where you marry your soul mate. There is nothing better than photography that captures the emotions and feelings at the time. We all find it easy to pay money on bills, a car service, new clothes or a weekend away.  While these are good things to have organised and to treat yourself, they don’t bring you continual joy.   Every day I look at the two large photos on my wall of my daughter. Every day I smile as I pass these. I will keep adding to my collection, to capture more incredible moments in time.

As my slogan says:

We all grow old, but remembering the best moments of your life never does….

Thanks Bec for taking time out of your schedule to appear on Little Red’s Guest Book, I really appreciate your honesty and photographic wisdom!

LEJ

If you’d like to contact Bec for further information on her services, you can via the following:

Rebecca Nicolandos

Bibo Photography

Phone:

0419 114 075

Email:

Check out her work here:
 
For her blog:

Connect via Facebook:

(All images displayed in this post were provided kindly by Rebecca Nicolandos from Bibo Photography)

A {tiny} Social Media Experiment- Little Red the Researcher

A {tiny} Social Media Experiment- Little Red the Researcher

One week of Little Red’s super sleuthing has lead to some disturbing results. So disturbing I’m seeing double tonight. My Facebook posts present an insight into who I am as a person and who I am as a Woman in Business. Not who I am as a Women in Busyness. I know it’s not just me who values spelling and a great read.