Monologues: An Update on This Fashion Blogging Gig
It's been a while since I've given you all an update on how this fashion blogging gig has been going. It's basically been smack bang three months since I launched my platform (went live 21st January) and I think it's going fairly good. I mean I don't have a comparative benchmark to match my blog against, except only those hugely successful international male bloggers that've been at the game for years and feel so out of reach for me. But that can be a dangerous game if you think you can't get to such levels and you settle for less. It's just a matter of knowing that rewards come to those who are patient and persistent.
For me and my new blog, I believe I've made a good start. I've made a start - and that right there is the biggest triumph. Every one of us has the ability to come up with amazing ideas, and have even bigger dreams, yet the real power is in the hands of those who actually follow through. Those that take the first step, make the first sacrifice and put those ideas into action. That right there is the difference.
To sit down, plan, build, shoot, write, collaborate, and create is why I needed to take a break from Advertising. It just wasn't going to get done, or done properly, if it was sidelined as a hobby at that stage of my life. Having hit pause on my Mad Man days gifted me the time, focus and energy to get this fashion blog up and running. That was honestly the biggest hurdle, just setting that date and getting it live. Sure I've still got my training wheels on, with lots to still learn and more growing to do, but I'm loving what I'm doing and sometimes you've gotta do what feels right above what may appear like the right thing to do. People often get that confused and follow what is deemed the right way by others, when it should be what's right from the inside, not outside that counts. It's you, your goals, dreams and ambitions that matter, not what people will think of them.
It's early days. And it can be hard to remember this fact. In a world dominated and ruled by instant gratification, you almost expect overnight results. Building a brand, an audience, credibility - it's all a slow burn. I'm starting to get a some good traction with local and even international labels and brands which has been such a good confidence booster yet it doesn't all happen by chance. I've got a hit list of about 15 brands in my notebook that I'm eager to work with over the next 12 months, and just like any goal setting you've got to make some plans, no matter how small to achieve those goals. It's about taking one or two steps at a time. That's how you climb a mountain, you don't just run full speed up hill expecting not to lose your grip and not fall over. Mini goals = small successes = progress & movement.
There's a real opportunity here. One main reason behind why the soil is quite fertile so to speak is mainly due to the fact there aren't many guys who have a distinct voice in fashion. Sure there's a few with some impressive grids on the gram, and there's a handful of guys who are killing the streetwear scene, but I've found my own niche, which is a reflection of who I am, at this point in my life. That's being 30, that's being refined and that's inclusive of an evolved taste and sense of style. That doesn't by any count mean that I don't wear and love streetwear, I do. I'm currently wearing some fresh Puma Ignite sneakers I picked up from Platypus and you'll see me have fun with style across my content, but the playground I'm most comfortable in is the more elevated looks, the smart casual for the guy who wants to dress smart, feel and look good and do it all fairly effortlessly.
The other opportunity worthy to note is there are brands that haven't yet engaged or used local influencers before. With the pace at which digital marketing is evolving, it can be difficult for brands to keep up, I mean even at my own individual level, there's always so much new tech, apps, ways of doing things to keep on top of. Now with new avenues that start to override traditional forms of advertising or marketing, there's the ability to help mould the future by working together with brands to come up with a new paradigm or way of building a relationship that's mutually beneficial. This presents itself a hugely exciting prospect of being more than just a content creator, who takes the order and serves up the dish. Influencers can be someone that can be a part of a longer term, more strategic voice, and be a fundamental element in a marketing matrix.
One of the toughest challenges at the moment is helping potential clients understand the true value of influencer marketing and content creation. The former is yes a relatively new phenomenon but the later is part and parcel of being in the creative space. Photographers, artists, musicians all suffer or at least have the delicate balancing act of getting a job or not by negotiating what they believe is their self-worth. At the heart of it all, it's still about educating and reminding clients that creativity is the most powerful force in business and how it can solve real business problems. That doesn't change, it's simply the lick of paint that does.
One thing I'm trying to get used to is that blogging never really stops. It feels like you're always on. Thinking about the new social post, replying to comments, organising your next shoot, writing content. It's as full on you want it to be. What I'm learning is to turn off, put down the phone, close the laptop and make time outside of being connected. Sounds silly, but when your business is digital, it becomes connected to your hip and without you realising it, it can start to affect what's happening right infront of you, in the real world.
This blog couldn't happen without others. I'm forever thankful to the people who continually invest in me, my dream and help produce content that I'm very proud of. There's so many to thank so a big shout out to everyone that's helped behind the scenes or have featured on the blog. A massive thanks to my biggest support and editor, Alex, who happens to be my girlfriend - so she works for free! She continually works around my often mad schedule and puts aside her time to review my content and make edits where needed (often I want to put up a 100 photos as it's too hard to make a small selection). Now onto the many stunning visuals you'll see across my platforms including social are thanks to an incredibly talented local photographer Sophie. She's been such a blessing to have onboard and has been instrumental in bringing to life my vision and we're always having a laugh working together. Having fun is what makes this all worth it.
The blog isn't perfect. And I'm not perfect. I'm trying to be tough on myself to push towards producing better quality content, improving on consistency and striving to be more value to people like you. If you want to see more of something, less of other things or have thoughts on what you'd like me to cover or talk about than just flick me a note anytime. I'm doing this cause I love it, but it's equally about keeping at it because there's a real need and desire from people who want to connect and get a kick out of the content. It's helping people like you that fuels my passion and keeps me tapping on the keyboard and doing my best blue steel face infront of the camera.
That's update number two, and I'll be sure to keep 'em coming so you can get the download on the ups-and-downs of men's fashion blogging. Have a super week and remember to keep at your goals and dreams. Even a tick against one item on your to-do list can be celebrated. It's all progress and that's when you make shit happen.
Jaheb wearing // Commoners denim shirt, Flux skinny jeans, Common Projects chelsea boots, Ray-Ban sunglasses, Daniel Wellington watch & Marc Jacobs manbag.