Are influencers being taken advantage of?

street shoot

The way brands advertise has changed massively in the last 10 years. Influencers and content creators now play a huge part in how brands promote their new products. However some brands are starting to take advantage of influencer marketing and using creators in a way which is becoming an issue in the industry.

Earning Potential

Influencers have the potential to earn a really good income through promoting brands. There are lots of ways to make money, for example – through sponsored posts, affiliate links, or becoming brand ambassadors. For the more well known influencers with a large following, they have the opportunity to be taken on all expenses paid brand press trips in return for promoting the latest products. You will also see them creating ‘edits’ with fashion brands as well as creating their own designed collections. These sort of campaigns not only give the influencer a large pay check and commissions through sales, but also generates a massive revenue for the brands.

Read all about it..

For a brand to place an advert in a magazine it can cost thousands of pounds – even tens of thousands depending on the magazine. This is a big chunk of money for any business. Brands now realise the potential that content creators, bloggers, and people with a large social media following have. Using influencers to promote their products for them not only helps them to spread the word really quickly, it also helps to encourage others to go out and buy these items. We live in a world now where reviews can make or break a business and influencers have already gained the trust of those who follow and engage with their content so they are perfect for showcasing products to everyone.

A brand has no way of easily being able to quantify how may people saw their advert in a magazine and how many sales were generated because of it. But an influencer is able to provide a brand with statistics showing exactly how many people liked their post, how many commented, liked, saved or reposted it. If the influencer shared a discount code or a link these can also give the brand an indication of how much interest the viewers have in their product. This sort of data is hugely beneficial for a brand.

street shoot

street shoot

The issue with “gifting”

There are a lot of people that want to be an influencer or a blogger as a career choice and the market has become saturated. Because of this, brands are able to have their pick of the bunch. They have a huge amount of choice and a lot of people hoping to break through and be noticed are more willing to accept free or gifted products from a brand rather than asking them for any form of payment.

Creating content is time consuming – Writing blog posts, shooting the products, filming, editing the photos or videos all takes a lot of time, work and effort. You wouldn’t go to any regular job and expect to put in hours of work without being paid so this should be no different. A free item doesn’t pay the bills at the end of the day but a lot of brands will now only offer this to influencers and where so many are willingly accepting this, it is making it more and more difficult to receive actual payment from brands.  For example, to send out a few free items of clothing is such a tiny cost for many companies and so they prefer to do this rather than actually paying the influencers.

So for any aspiring influencers/bloggers reading this blog post, always ask a brand what budget they have available if they contact you asking to collaborate on a project. A brand that tells you they don’t have a budget is not always being truthful. All marketing departments have a budget whether they are a small business right up to the large corporations. It’s time for bloggers to be given more credit for their worth. Of course it’s completely the decision of the content creator if they are happy to work on a project on a gifted basis only and agree to not accept payment for their work. I myself still do this if I love the brand and am passionate about their products. However, unless bloggers/creators in the industry stand together more on making a positive change about being paid more regularly by brands as opposed to purely working on a gifted basis, we are far off from this being resolved.

In this industry there isn’t a set standard on how much you should charge for your content and there is a massive grey area with this, adding to brands being able to take advantage for this.

Leave a comment below if this issue has affected you. I would love to hear what your experiences have been with blogging and receiving payment for your content.

Image @Pinterest

Outfit featured in today’s blog post

Love heart Jumper :  I saw it first

Denim Petite Lockett Handbag  : Jimmy Choo 

Sunglasses : ASOS

 

Trend Report: Bucket Hats

Bucket hats have been back on the scene for a while and they don’t appear to be going anywhere any time soon. All of the major fashion houses are involved with the trend but the brand that really brought these back into the limelight for me was Prada with their nylon version which is available in an amazing colour selection. Bucket hats can be a bit of a marmite fashion accessory though – you’ll either love them or hate them and they haven’t always had the best reputation. Unlike other types of headwear like beanies, fedoras, or berets, buckets have struggled to reach the same level of mainstream appeal. But as the high end designers continue to push this style, the more they are becoming acceptable and even coveted items.

A step back in time..

The bucket hat originated in the 1900s and were typically made from wool or tweed, worn by Irish fishermen and farmers as protection from the rain. It’s has had several comebacks since then and whether they bring back memories of Kevin and Perry, the 60s mods, the 90s rave culture or from the hip hop scene, the bucket hat is once again the accessory piece to be seen in.

Revival..

Prada tried to bring the trend back in 2005 but it never quite took off. Moving forward into Spring/Summer 2018, Chanel featured bucket hats on the runway and they also appeared again in Dior’s Autumn/Winter 2019 collection. Since then, Prada has had a huge success with bucket hats and the trend has branched out with various other designers including them in their accessory collections.

The catwalk presence along with the huge popularity on Instagram has also helped to kick start everyone’s interest again. Celebs such as Rhianna and Billie Eilish and many more have been wearing these countless times also adding to the appeal of the bucket hat being back in fashion and the style to be seen in.

A trend or a new classic?

So what is it about the bucket hat that has everyone excited again? It could be because they are not age restrictive – anyone from teenagers to the more mature fashionista can look stylish wearing one. They also go with literally everything and are so easy to wear. A basic relaxed shirt and jeans combo paired with a bucket hat can easily top off the look, or added with loungewear for a casual street style vibe. They are now available in so many colours, prints and textures, that adding a bucket hat to an outfit can really polish the whole look.

The last 2 years of lockdowns has seen fashion moving into a more relaxed style which will also play a part in the popularity of these hats.

I’ve been wearing my black Prada bucket hat with colourful prints and oversized sweaters, with casual loungewear and a pair of air force 1 or Nike Jordan sneakers. Because it’s in a classic black colourway, it’s perfect to add to any outfit, whereas with a patterned version you might be slightly more restricted in what you pair it with. I definitely want to invest in more colours, as well as into other designer brands and have fun styling them. In particular, I’m loving the selection at Dior and Fendi with their classic logo prints. A fully colour co-ordinated look would also be amazing and something I want to try out for a full matching colour aesthetic.

Shop some of my favourite bucket hats..

What are your thoughts on the resurgence of the bucket hat?

Links to previously written trend reports are Here or Here

Pregnancy: Getting the best support possible

Image @ Pinterest

Pregnancy can be an uncertain time. Like me, this might be your first time experience, you might not have been around other pregnant people before and feel a little bit overwhelmed with everything going on leading up to your birth. There are a lot of hospital appointments to attend with various scans, blood tests, and never ending urine samples. All of the glamourous situations! There are also a lot of things to consider along the way such as planning your birth and getting everything organised before your little bundle arrives.

Today’s blog post is a review about ‘Bump to Beyond your birthwhich is an amazing antenatal and postnatal support service for mums to be, and I’m really excited to share this with you all!

Image @pinterest

My pregnancy support journey

During the last 9 months, I was not prepared for the lack of information or support that we were given along the way. Covid is possibly one of the main reasons for this but as this is my first pregnancy I don’t really have anything else to compare it to. I thought that I would have been assigned a dedicated midwife that I would meet with regularly who would be on hand to go over everything we might need to know but this really wasn’t the case at all. 

As someone who has barely even held a baby before, never mind fed, changed, bathed or given birth to one, I had a lot of questions buzzing around my head. So we joined an online NCT group which unfortunately we really didn’t enjoy very much and didn’t get on with at all. I found it to be quite a judgmental space and more geared towards women that only wanted to breastfeed which can be a very touchy subject. The group was made up of around 6 other couples and I found it a little intimidating to ask questions in this sort of group setting with others that were not open to other people’s preferences. So we didn’t really get what we actually needed from this type of course.

Discovering a new kind of support Network

This got me wondering what other options there were out there for us and then I thankfully discovered Bridie from ‘Bump to Beyond your Birth’. She has a wealth of experience, having been a midwife for over 10 years and is also a mum herself to 2 children. Bridie offers birth preparation courses on a one-to-one basis which takes place over a Zoom call. So you can sit in the comfort of your own home with a nice cup of tea and talk with her openly in total confidence. You can arrange to have a birth preparation course (Antenatal) which will cover the whole labour process and she also has a baby preparation course which will help you with making sure you are all ready and informed in time for bringing your new baby home with you.

Feeling informed and prepared

I was personally really interested in finding out more about the whole Caesarean process as well as bottle feeding. As the courses are on a one-to-one basis it’s so much easier to tailor these to your specific questions and needs rather than being in a group setting. We scheduled in a Zoom call together and from the outset I felt relaxed and comfortable as we went over the following:

Signs of Labour we discussed the signs to look out for that will mean you have gone into labour. This will be slightly different for me as I have a planned caesarean booked. However her Antenatal course will cover this topic for you as well as what the stages of a natural labour are, of the different pain relief options that you will have available, your partners role in the whole experience and what to expect after the first 24 hours of birth.

The caesarean operation process – we went over the whole procedure for me, covering everyone that will be in the room during the operation and what each person’s job is. This was a great comfort to me as I wouldn’t have thought to have asked about this and would have been wondering who everyone was in the room which could be a little scary. We then covered what happens during the actual procedure, through to the recovery process afterwards. This was so informative and has really put my mind at rest about the whole thing.

Preparing to go into hospital from what to pack in my hospital bag (I will write a separate blog post on what I have packed in my bag) and what to plan for when I come home and go into the recovery process.

Bottle Feeding As I plan to bottle feed, we discussed about doing this whilst being in the hospital, following onto when we are back home. 

How to book a course

I was so impressed with the professionalism and information that I received from our Zoom call. I felt that I was able to ask as many questions as I needed – there was no such thing as a silly question and there was zero judgment whatsoever. I really recommend booking a course with ‘Bump to Beyond your Birth’ as it’s the perfect way to go over everything you need and to feel prepared and empowered in time for your birth. 

There are a few courses that you can choose from which I will list below, but just to let you know that you can have a 15 minute Zoom call free of charge with Bridie to meet each other and for her to explain in more detail what your course will cover ready for your scheduled call which is great.

  • Booking an Antenatal course with ‘Bump to Beyond your Birth’ is recommended from around 28 weeks of pregnancy. The 4 hour course can be split into 2 sessions and is priced at £170. As mentioned above, this course will go over in detail what the stages of a natural labour are, the different pain relief options that you will have available, your partners role in the whole experience and what to expect after the first 24 hours of birth.
  • Booking a practical preparation for baby course is also recommended from around 28 weeks of pregnancy and is an excellent follow on from the above courses. This is a 3 hour session priced at £135 and will cover everything you could possibly need from how to hold your baby, nappy changing, taking the baby out, dressing, bathing, feeding and all other general care. An essential for anyone feeling nervous like I was, having little experience with babies before.
  • Booking a preparing for your labour, birth and baby course is recommended from 32 weeks pregnancy onwards. It’s a 2 hour session priced at £90 which will cover your choices for birth, putting together a birth plan for you, packing your hospital bag and preparing your home for the new baby.

You can email the following address to arrange a course booking or to ask any questions:  info@bumptobeyondyourbirth.co.uk

I know you will enjoy these courses as much as I have and so I am really happy to blog about my experience with this. I would love to hear how you get on too and what course you decide to go for!

Also, if you missed my recent pregnancy blog posts I will leave the link to them HERE. and HERE

7 ways to get out of the 2020 slump

2020 has been a strange one and it’s so easy to get yourself into a slump at the moment. There is a lot of tension out there from constant arguing and opinion slinging on social media to people actually having a go at each other in the street – I have had this directed my way a couple of times recently from complete strangers which is just the weirdest thing ever. I’m all about keeping positive right now and have 7 ways on how to get out of that 2020 slump.

Switch off from social media

This sounds like an obvious one but social media can be a bit of a toxic space at the moment, especially on Facebook and Twitter. We are all constantly on our phones and having that endless stream of doom and gloom news can really start to get to you after a while. 2020 has seen a huge increase in the suicide rate and social media will definitely play a part in this. Turn off your phone for a few hours a day and step away from the news and newspapers to give yourself a break from it all. They say ignorance is bliss and I can’t help but agree as when I take a break from the news and social media it makes me feel a whole lot better and is the perfect way to reduce stress or anxiety levels.

Less slump, more get up and go!

Being on lockdown and staying indoors for long periods of time can definitely get you in a slump and feeling sluggish. The weather is turning colder and you might just want to stay in your pyjamas binge watching Netflix. This is completely ok but not all day, every day. Make a plan to do something productive every day. Start reading a new book, clear out your wardrobe (see my previous blog post with tips on this), re-organise a room in your home, do something creative, go for a nice Autumnal walk, do those jobs that you have been putting off for a while. You will feel so much more positive and productive when you get up and get moving.

Write yourself a list

Following the above point, writing lists is a great way to get a plan of action in place. There is something really satisfying about crossing things off of a list when you complete them too and you will be able to see everything you are getting through and accomplishing. Writing down a list is also an excellent way to clear your mind as sometimes it can feel a bit overwhelming when you have a million things buzzing around your head all at once and a list helps to see everything written down clearly. Plus, it’s always nice to treat yourself to some new stationery.  My favourite places to buy fabulous stationery are Smythson, Papier, Paperchase, The Magic Notebook, and Juniqe.

Paperchase A4 Jungle Forest Notebook
Paperchase A4 Jungle Forest Notebook
£8.00
Smythson Mara Chelsea Notebook
Smythson Mara Chelsea Notebook
£115
Paperchase Luxe A5 Subject Notebook
Paperchase Luxe A5 Subject Notebook
£7.00
Paperchase Letter H Notebook
Paperchase Letter H Notebook
£7.00
Smythson ‘S’ Monogram Panama Notebook
Smythson ‘S’ Monogram Panama Notebook
£69
Paperchase A4 Jungle Forest Notebook
Paperchase A4 Jungle Forest Notebook
£8.00
Smythson Mara Chelsea Notebook
Smythson Mara Chelsea Notebook
£115
Paperchase Luxe A5 Subject Notebook
Paperchase Luxe A5 Subject Notebook
£7.00
Paperchase Letter H Notebook
Paperchase Letter H Notebook
£7.00
Smythson ‘S’ Monogram Panama Notebook
Smythson ‘S’ Monogram Panama Notebook
£69
Paperchase A4 Jungle Forest Notebook
Paperchase A4 Jungle Forest Notebook
£8.00
Smythson Mara Chelsea Notebook
Smythson Mara Chelsea Notebook
£115
Paperchase Luxe A5 Subject Notebook
Paperchase Luxe A5 Subject Notebook
£7.00
Paperchase Letter H Notebook
Paperchase Letter H Notebook
£7.00
Smythson ‘S’ Monogram Panama Notebook
Smythson ‘S’ Monogram Panama Notebook
£69

Practice gratitude daily

One way to avoid falling into a slump, is instead of focusing on negative things, think about all of the amazing things you already have in your life. Be grateful every day for what you have and it will definitely make you feel more positive. You could even write down one thing a day that you are grateful for and then read over them by the end of the week. You might be surprised at how lucky you are even by the most simplest of things. Here is an example of a daily gratitude list:

  • Monday I’m grateful that I have my own home/place to live in.
  • Tuesday I’m grateful that my family live near to me.
  • Wednesday I’m grateful that I have a good job and have been able to work during the pandemic.
  • Thursday – I’m grateful for having an easy pregnancy this year and that I am about to be a new mum.
  • Friday– I’m grateful for having a great support network around me.
  • Saturday– I’m grateful for all of the amazing, friendly messages that I receive on Instagram every week and meeting new people.
  • Sunday– I’m grateful that I have a fridge and cupboard full of food.

Pampering

Whenever you feel a little stressed out or in a slump, having a nice hot shower, using some gorgeous products can make the biggest difference. It’s an instant mood lifter. Having a little pampering session, like spending time doing your nails, applying a hair or face mask, or having a long exfoliating soak in the bath – these are all things that you might not have time for usually every day but setting aside an an hour for a little pampering is a great way to get you feeling good about yourself and out of that slump! Cult Beauty have some amazing sets at the moment for a perfect pamper night in.

Cut back on alcohol

Alcohol is a depressant which means that any amount you drink can make you more likely to get the blues. Drinking too much, too often will make you feel tired and sluggish – definitely not good when trying to avoid being in a slump! Lots of bars and restaurants have been closed this year which has lead to an increase in home drinking and it’s easy to get into a habit of over doing it. Take a step back from the home boozing, have a little detox and practice the other tips in this blog post and you will feel so much better for it. 

Do something nice for others

Thinking about others and brightening up someone else’s day is an instant mood lifter. Why not send a little care package to someone to cheer them up, or a bunch of flowers. You might know someone who is not able to get out of the house easily and taking them round some essential bits and bobs could be a massive help for them. It will make you feel good to help someone out. I think 2020 is a year where we all need to be checking in on each other more than ever. Make the time to call someone and see how they are doing. They might be more grateful for that chat than you realise. 

If you enjoyed this blog post, check out my other tips around self care HERE

My top 4 websites for affordable and fashionable maternity wear

Legoe Heritage maternitywear

Finding fashionable maternity wear and dressing your growing bump during pregnancy can be a challenge, especially when you hit the third trimester. I have 2 weeks left to go of my pregnancy and have reached the stage now where it’s literally a struggle to fit into anything easily!

Throughout my pregnancy I’ve tried and tested clothes from a variety of different brands and websites. No one wants to wear something that makes you feel like you are wearing a sack and for me, still keeping fashionable but comfortable were important factors for my maternity wardrobe. So, for today’s blog post, I have narrowed it down to my top 4 places where to buy maternity clothing to help anyone currently pregnant with shopping and styling their changing body shapes. 

Asos

ASOS is a great place for being able to look through a wide selection of different brands and their maternity collection definitely doesn’t disappoint. If you have a special occasion like a wedding to attend to, then ASOS is a great place to find dressier pieces catered for baby bumps. Although there do not seem to be many fun events happening at the moment thanks to Covid… But if you have a small baby shower or home gathering and want to wear a pretty outfit then this is the best place to look. Their own brand ASOS design has some really beautiful dresses which are definitely worth checking out.

You will also find a decent selection of basics on ASOS such as maternity leggings, vests, plain t-shirts etc.

You can shop the ASOS maternity range HERE

Boohoo

For me personally, I didn’t plan on investing a lot of money into maternity clothing but I still wanted to wear fashion forward pieces. Boohoo has been a perfect place for this and they have a really fun and affordable selection of fashionable maternity wear. My pregnancy has mainly been over the hot Summer season and so I picked up outfits such as biker short/t-shirt co-ords, pretty dresses, a cute polka dot pinafore dress, smock dresses, and some loungewear bits. Now we are moving into the Autumn/Winter season, they have started to introduce more shirts, jumpers and coats into their range which is great.

You can shop the Boohoo maternity range HERE

Legoe Heritage

Legoe Heritage is an Australian premium maternity wear brand. Their range is made up of contemporary, effortless and simple styles, in quality fabrics. They very kindly reached out to me back in the Summer and sent me a selection of pieces to try out and I was really impressed. I particularly love their ‘Falling for You’ striped top which I have worn over and over again as the fabric is just so soft and comfortable. The design of this top can also be used for breastfeeding which is an extra feature of this item. Every time I have worn their pieces I have always felt smart but relaxed which is just what you want during pregnancy!

You can shop the full Legoe Heritage range HERE. and you can use my discount code HANNAHxLEGOE for 10% off.

Here are a couple of pieces from the brand that I have also loved wearing:

Legoe Heritage maternitywear

Legoe Heritage maternitywear

Missguided

Similar to Boohoo, Missguided has been another affordable fashion go-to that I have been wearing maternity pieces from. I really like their jersey basics, loungewear sets and oversized sweatshirts for those days when you just want to chill out at home and lets face it, 2020 has definitely been the year of staying at home! The clothing quality of these fast fashion e-tailers is not always the best but I only planned to wear these items during pregnancy to manage my growing baby bump, so I was able to compromise on the quality more than I usually would.

You can shop from the Missguided maternity range HERE

For more pregnancy style tips, check out my previous blog post HERE where I share some of the favourite styles I have been wearing.

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