The idea came to me, as the best ideas always seem to, on holiday.
There’s something quite magical that happens once you totally switch off and just relax, isn’t there? Free of constant notifications, the pressure to post a better Instagram than last time or to simply stay on top of your diary, amazing things start to happen. Your mind is clear and your creativity starts to wander. Best of all, I think the best ideas happen when you’re not even looking for them.
And so it was. Day two of the holiday, I’d settled down onto my sun lounger and picked up my magazine to read with my iced coffee. And bam! It hit me. This idea could so work for The Brand Stylist.
I’d been thinking for a while that I wanted to get my newsletters into better shape. I didn’t love how they looked, but more to the point, I was conscious that they weren’t adding as much value as I’d like. We’re all busy and I really, really appreciate those of you that let me into your inbox every month. And whilst we both want you to be up to date with the latest workshops or submissions for the book, I’d always intended to send out a little more. More in terms of value rather than quantity!
I’d wrestled with what to do for months. The truth is, I have no time. So committing to a regular ‘editorial schedule’ just seemed too much. And also too much for you guys. I find that the best emails to receive are the ones that don’t ask too much of me. So I didn’t want to send out a ginormous twenty minute read. I wanted to do something that was very accessible, but how?
Have you read The Simple Things magazine? I had a gift subscription a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it so picked up the latest copy to take on holiday with me. And there it was, a truly simple idea that blew my mind. As I read the Editor’s letter I saw in there something that just fitted so well with what I want to do. Every issue is focused around a single theme. So simple but so effective!
I started to see how this sort of thing could work for my newsletters. There are certain rhythms to business; things slow down over the summer and pick up in Autumn. January is all about fresh starts and in Spring we get creative and inspired. It ebbs and flows with the seasons and means that we can share a certain focus without things getting overwhelming.
Every month I’ll send you out a newsletter with a very particular focus. It’ll be very brief and I hope, very inspiring. If you have the time or the inclination, there’ll be links to some more in depth workbooks and resources. This month is a chance to clarify things. Taking that calm and ability to focus that you hopefully gained over the summer slowdown, we have an opportunity to take a step back and set our intentions for our business before we get overwhelmed by deadlines and our to do lists.
It’s a new way of doing things, and like everything new, it’s scary. It’s going to push me out of my comfort zone, big time. I’m already a little terrified by the boundaries of email design. I hate not being able to totally design how the text looks or exactly how things behave on different devices. But completion over perfection is something I am a big believer in for the web. You just can’t make everything look perfect all the time – you just have to do your best.
The first new look newsletter will be out next week, and I’ve already sent out a couple of emails in the new style so some of you will have already had a preview. I do hope you like – please do let me know what you think! Oh, and if you’re not already on the list and you’d like to subscribe, you can sign up here. Enjoy!
Here’s the mockup I created initially to just play about with what was possible, and hopefully those of you that have received it have found it not a million miles from my initial design. I can’t wait to share the story behind the lovely new identity for The Brand Stylist too – although looking at my diary, it could well be some weeks yet!
Do let me know what you think!