Become a girl boss, like Elle Ferguson

Who would have imagined a ‘side project’ could grow to over 1 million followers collectively, multiple businesses, a personal invite to Kim Kardashian’s home and a killer wardrobe? Well this is a reality for Elle Ferguson, who 10 years ago decided to start a blog with her friend Tash Sefton called They All Hate Us.

Here are some tips on how you can get started:

  • Discover why you’re different

Pick your passion and stay true to yourself, don’t try to be everything to everyone. Tash & Elle started sending fashion mood boards throughout their office to unleash their creativity and soon realised they had found a niche market. In one instance they even crashed their server. Today the blog is still dedicated to their mutual love for fashion and has more than 8 million views each year.

  • Post regular content

Posting regular, engaging and consistent content will help grow your audience. Today Elle posts photos at least twice a day via Instagram @elle_ferguson and is continuously adding to her ‘stories’. It might be something as small as playing with her dog or going camping with her boyfriend, but it’s content, it’s regular and it’s consistent.

  • Engage, engage, engage!

Fashion makes up the largest segment within the blogosphere. Although it would be virtually impossible to provide an exact number of blogs, this means standing out is difficult so you need to be creating engaging content. If you look at Elle’s posts, there is generally a series of posts using different photos but the same outfit. If you think about what goes into these posts; clothes, styling, hair and makeup, a photographer, writing the content, it is smart to create as many posts as possible in the one session.

Tip: Start to build a relationship with your subscribers by encouraging them to ask you questions and be sure to keep it conversational. 

  • Be patient

Don’t expect to grow your audience overnight, it will take time so you’ll need patience.  In 2014 Elle had 488,000 followers, and today she has 635,000 which is a growth of 30 per cent over almost 4 years. Also don’t be disheartened if you lose followers throughout your journey as this is the nature of the game (ya win some, ya lose some).

  • Analyse the statistics

See what works and what doesn’t. There is no point continuing to post content your audience isn’t engaging with, it’s wasting your time and potentially losing their interest. Analyse what is getting the most ‘likes’ or comments, and try to theme your content to suit this. If you check out Elle’s Instagram, she has created a consistent style that mostly includes fashion, beauty and some boyfriend posts.

  • Nitty Gritty

This might seem obvious to some but when you get caught up in the excitement of creating a blog, the essentials (aka nitty gritty) sometimes get forgotten.

  • Schedule time to create content
  • Include social media sharing button
  • Always reference your sources, it’s basic blogging etiquette

Are you an experienced blogger or just starting out? Share some tips you’ve come across that may help others looking to venture into the blogosphere.

Building equity through building homes

Equity, a term used regularly in the property industry but also a term not everyone understands. Equity, in short is the difference between what you owe on your property and the property’s value now. Home equity is really good to have if you ever want to borrow from your mortgage provider, and it also makes it much easier for you to secure a loan for future investments.

Let’s look at an example of how equity is calculated on a new home:

  • A 400m2 block purchased during the early release phase: $230,000
  • Home build with volume builder: $230,000
  • Total cost: $460,000
  • Bank valuation six months after build: $510,000

Equity created: $50,000

What’s the best way to create equity when building a new home?

  • Sacrifice – you need to understand if you want to make money, you need to sacrifice some things. Think about your long term goals, is the home going to be your ‘forever home‘? If you answered no, start cutting back on those items you might love but not everyone else will.
  • Try and stick to the builders ‘standard inclusions’ and not upgrade everything unless it will add value.
  • Add value – look at other property sales within the area and see what the common themes in homes are. Is a second living area more important than a freestanding bath? Are five bedrooms popular amongst the majority of people? Probably not, but this is why you need to research.

Benefits to building a new home versus buying established?

  • Can be built to what you want, remember to stick to what will add value to the home.
  • Lower ongoing costs in terms of maintenance and energy.
  • Incentives such as the First Home Owner Grant.
  • Issues and defects are covered under QBCC warranty.

More tips can be found at domain or if you have helpful hints on how to build equity, leave your comments below.

The information provided in this article is of a general nature only and in no way constitutes legal or professional advice, or specific advice in relation to any finance. In all cases we recommend you seek professional financial advice for your own personal circumstances. 

Header image: Source

http://grittypretty.com/makeup/get-the-cover-look-elle-ferguson/

Girl boss status achieved

Now you’ve created your social media profile, you’re getting views and your following is increasing. Fast forward to when you’ve achieved ‘Insta famous’ status and you’re being paid to promote products. Congratulations.

Where to now?

Looking back on last week’s post about Elle Ferguson, she ticked all the boxes in terms of what she had achieved through blogging and social media. She was promoting clothes, beauty and travel and getting paid for it.

The next step in her brand life cycle was to create a product and start capitalising on her success. Elle decided to introduce a self tanning product. According to many reviews about this tan, the major difference with competitors is it literally smells like roses. The tan is called Elle Effect, again Elle is capitalising on her success by using her name in the brand.

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Source: Elle Effect

Prior to launching the product, Elle was promoting the brand only which meant she was cleverly creating buzz around the brand and not the product. Elle used Instagram stories and her social media channels to intrigue her followers. Since November 2017,  Elle Effect now has more than 27 thousand followers.

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Source: Elle Effect

Once the product launched she began leveraging a number of Instagram ‘influencers’ to promote the product. Brands including Spell Designs who have more than 890,000 followers, and Kim Kardashian posted about Elle Effect via their Instagram channels. According to Elle, this saw an instant sales increase of her product.

 

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Source: Spell

I’ve included a few more tips in the following video to help launch your own products.

Please leave a comment below

Credit: Header Photo Source Gritty Pretty

Source: Ausmar Homes

Planning for your first home

So you’ve decided to take the plunge, you’re sick of paying rent and want to start planning your first home. The question is where to start, do you buy established so you can move in straight away or take advantage of the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) and build a new home?

 

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Source: Kate Dunn

Step 1. Make the decision you want to own your own home.

In a lot of situations this can be the hardest step. Financially and personally it is possibly the biggest purchase you will ever make. What helped me take the plunge is I didn’t want to be paying off someone else’s mortgage, rent felt like ‘dead money’ to me so for me it seemed like the obvious next step.

Step 2. Start saving.

The sooner you start, the easier it is. Start small and adjust when you can.

Everyone is different, but some things I changed were:

  • Create a budget
  • Leftovers for lunch (no takeaway)
  • Extra $5 notes all went into a money tin
  • Deposited a regular amount each week into savings and would increase in small increments (lenders love seeing ‘genuine savings‘).
  • You can find more helpful information on MoneyStart

In a lot of instances, a deposit of 20% is required in order to avoid Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI).

Step 3. Find out what you can borrow.

Knowing what you can borrow will help with your research (step 4). Looking at properties for $700,000 when you can borrow $500,000 is wasting your time and can be disheartening. Being single and on an average salary, my borrowing capacity was very limited with my current bank so I started looking into mortgage brokers to get the best offer.

Once you have an idea on what you can borrow, you can start planning. You may not be able to buy/build a home for 1-2 years however having a goal definitely makes it easier to plan.

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Source: Kate Dunn

Step 4. Do your research

Find out which suburbs you can afford and start here, don’t be put off if it’s not on the beach or a million dollar home. You need to start somewhere. If you decide to take advantage of the FHOG and build a new home, start looking at land developments to get an idea of land pricing so you can work out your build budget. As all state grants can vary, be sure to check if you’re eligible for the First Home Owner Grant here.

More than 100,000 First Home Owners Grants were issued in 2017 (ABS).

The key elements to look for in suburbs, particularly ‘hot spots‘ is infrastructure (schools, shopping centres and parks). It is suggested this is what people look at when purchasing property or moving so it is likely your property value will increase if within these areas, particularly if it is a new development.

More house hunting tips can be found on RealEstate.com

Are you currently planning for your first home? What tips can you share for others that are in the same situation?

the priority line

Good afternoon,

How do you manage your priorities? I started this page/blog/diary/business in an effort to focus my love for interiors + design. Juggling f&g, full time work, part time uni and my love/social life is proving difficult as it is usually the ‘passion’ that is put to the end of the priority line.

Don’t get me wrong, my life is great.

My man is one of those guys who everybody adores; funny, charming, exciting and can cook!! He will try everything once and do anything for you. He has an extremely stressful job (I’m talking really stressful) and comes across like he hasn’t a worry in the world. Yep, he is perfect!

My family are supportive in everything I do. I have one of those sisters who I speak with daily and yet still have so much to talk about. We have that relationship where we can laugh till we cry & get those vacant stares from others in the room who have no idea what we’re laughing at. My brother works 25 hours a day & still finds time to help his sisters with ‘construction’ stuff. My parents are also next level, despite our efforts to wear them down as teens they always offer their help with everything. They are the kind of parents who don’t understand the concept of ‘no’.

My  ‘actual’ job is awesome. I am in marketing and it is extremely rewarding. I work for a company who are also passionate about what they do and their staff, a rarity I’ve found over time!

My studies are taking me further than I could have imagined, the challenge is great and I love pushing myself. I am a perfectionist, so I get extremely disappointed when I don’t get those perfect marks. My one regret is not doing it sooner.

Finch & Grace was created as I found myself always looking at interiors (I subscribe to almost every home mag) and I love graphic design. It has helped me hone in this love and have the ability to share across various mediums.

But how do I manage everything & still find time to work on my passion? Kudos to those mamas who do everything above & somehow manage a fam bam, I don’t know what that’s like… yet 😉

KT x

To find out where to buy the products below, check out @finchandgrace

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appreciation.

What’s the worst thing about building (or renovating)…? The World Wide Web!

In my opinion (and my builders) it is the devil. Since joining the Instagram world to start a side project, I have come across a number of Insta accounts, blogs and creative minds who are forever distracting me and making me second guess my choices for my new home. I can only assume I am not the only one with this dilemma?  Today for example, I came across Mim Design a Melbourne based studio absolutely nailing it in the design world! They specialise in interior design, custom furniture and industrial design, styling, creative brand direction and architecture. They have been featured on The Design Chaser, another blog I follow & absolutely adore!

I would love to know what blogs or Instagram accounts you love? Feel free to leave a comment or share them via Instagram – @finchandgrace

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Happy browsing.

KT x

light filled.

Like most people, a light filled space makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The way such a natural ‘thing’ can make any room feel so homely is beyond me. My master bedroom has a large butt glass corner window & sliding glass door so I can get as much light as possible. Speaking of my new home, this week has been terrible. I was given some beautiful ‘honed blocks’ from my gorgeous baby sister… massive cost saver and will be a gorgeous feature. Wrong: the blocklayer arrived on site, only to tell me they won’t all work and I will need to get more or they will look terrible. What was originally a big cost saver, will most likely end up costing me a pretty penny. I have had to order more blocks, try and engage a different labourer to hone the ones on site… all in all, not a good week! Luckily for me, my boyfriend is one of ‘those’ guys who can fix almost every situation and make it all better. He’s definitely one of a kind and I would be lost without him. Fingers crossed it will still end up looking tip top but at the moment the thought of it is making me feel sick with worry (can block work actually make someone sick?).

So with that in mind, I decided last night to go searching for some inspiration. It is so hard waiting for a house to be built and seeing such amazing interior spaces – jealous is an understatement. I came across a blog Alvhemmakleri, nothing short of perfection! High ceilings, beautiful crisp white trims throughout and those floors, wow! You really need to visit their site to check out the rest.

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Happy Thursday.

KT x

progress.

So a few posts into this phenomenon they call blogging and I can actually say there is progress with my new abode, they have put some little green pegs in the ground and that’s the laymen term for ‘surveyor set out’. Exciting huh? Not really… but it is progress and progress is definitely exciting. Some people get really excited about this kind of stuff, and I think I will as soon as I start seeing more (wait for it) progress. I have mentioned before I am a visual person, I need to see things, touch & feel things to be able to get really animated about it. But when I do, it’s a whole new level of ‘me’. I think my boyfriend thinks I’m a robot, or some ‘lacks serious emotion’ as he is absolutely thrilled at the idea. Me? Not so much, yet!

I will endeavour to share as much about this adventure as I can, as once its finished – boy oh boy I will be posting my little heart out. If you follow my Instagram feed, you’ll quickly realise I love ALL things interior, styling, trending and home. All of this, plus more is what you’ll see over here on the F&G word page. Please be patient with me and my somewhat irregular postings as I work a very demanding job, am currently studying my marketing & advertising degree and have the most amazing boyfriend to spend my free time with… cooking, fitness or just curled up on the lounge watching some lame ass movie, together.

So I’ll leave you with a picture of my house ‘progress’ so far… try not to get too excited about it.

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kitchen + dining

I love entertaining. I love cooking (especially with my man) so I wanted this space to be uber amazing for us and visitors. I want people to enjoy the space as much as I do. I love the feeling of cooking for people and sharing moments, albeit just laughs or laughs + food + wine! It makes me all warm + fuzzy.

With that in mind, I wanted to make the kitchen + dining area really warm & inviting so I’ve added some pinky tones to the somewhat earthy mix in order to achieve this. To save some money on prints, I’ve joined the Istock community where I discovered these beautiful feather illustrations. Further details below.

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Frankie Wall Clock in Natural/White $59 – Interior Secrets

Lab Pendant Lights  from $149- Beacon Lighting

Menu Grinders in Ash/Carbon from $129 – Hello Little Birdie  or Norsu Interiors

Waterford Crystal Rebel Decanter Set $695 – Waterford

Matt Blatt Stockholm Console Table $695 – Matt Blatt

JuJu Hats from $350 each – JuJu Decor

Geo Dining Table in Black $1850  – Globe West

Harrison Dining Chair in Black $520 each – Globe West

Muuto Elevated Vases $199 each – Muuto Design

Kali Dinner Plate in Black $99 (4) – Aura Home

Colca Wool Rug from $599 – West Elm

approval.

My plans are officially approved, I am officially excited now. The whole process up until now has been quite nonchalant for me as I’m a very visual person. I like to see things happening, not think things are happening.

On a side note, we ordered our lounge last weekend. THE lounge actually determined the whole internal colour scheme, I had to change my main floor tiles to suit my new lounge. I think I am actually more in love with the new tile though which is perfect. As much as I wanted the ‘wood look’ tile, I went with the classic ‘carrara marble‘ from National Tiles as it was a more affordable option for me (I keep having to remind myself ‘this is not your dream home so hold back’).

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The lounge. The oh-so-comfy lounge. We ended up making the most of the recent Nick Scali sale (we saved a bunch $$$), we chose the Maura 3 Seater with Chaise in the stunning colour ‘Shale’.

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Here’s to loungey nights in the new house.

kt. x