10/22/13

Follow the Leader: 5 things every blogger/entrepreneur should learn from Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere

Emily Schuman Cupcakes and Cashmere
{all images via cupcakesandcashmere.com}

When I was assigned to write a blog for my final project in my communications & culture class during senior year of college, I never, in a million years, could have imagined it could one day turn in to a potential career for me. Some would call it luck, some a coincidence, and some would say I had way too much time on my hands surfing the web for endless hours.  But either way, the October after I graduated, I came across Cupcakes and Cashmere for the first time, and essentially "met Emily." To me, she is the Michael Jordan of all bloggers. She is the one that us rookies look to for guidance, stability, advice, and the hope for potential success in our own careers. I could go on all day about everything I have learned from Emily, however, I have tried my best to sum it up in 5 main points. I read her blog daily and follow her on social media so the teaching is endless. If you have your own blog or website, are thinking of starting one, or, in general, need tips when it comes to being a young entrepreneur, I highly suggest you make your way over to the Cupcakes and Cashmere website. 

 1. Developing a relationship with your readers is critical.
Emily has mastered this step so well, that, in the least creepy way possible, I feel like I know her personality, values, sense of humor, style, etc. better than I know some of my very own friends. Yet, I've never met her. She makes sure to always respond to people via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and any other forms of social media I am leaving out. Almost every time I have asked her a question, or  just done something as simple as showing her a manicure I had gotten that was inspired by her, she has responded within a few hours (sometimes minutes). If someone who has 144K Instagram followers, 83.3K Twitter followers, and 167K "likes" on Facebook can constantly be responding and interacting with all of their fans and readers...so can you. When your readers feel like they have a strong relationship with you, they will constantly come back for more...and you can bet they'll be bringing friends. 

2. The little things become the big things.
Emily is a self-proclaimed perfectionist, which has actually been a key foundation to this empire she has built. The detail and care she puts into every picture, video, recipe, decoration, comment, explanation, the website design and lay out, and her overall presentation on display to the world does not go unnoticed. In fact, it is what led her to become a top tier blogger. If you think readers will not notice the time and care you put into the little things {blog title posts, outfit styling, the convenience of your site, the clarity, organization, responses to readers via social or email, and overall post quality} you are mistaken. These "little things", which are essential to the start of a strong foundation, will lead to collaborations and big opportunities with brands, advertisers, designers, both small and large businesses, and (as we've seen with Emily) it even brought her to releasing the book "Cupcakes and Cashmere." 

3. Less is more.
This is something I wish I could just scream from the roof tops (assuming it's a sea of fashion bloggers standing below me). Emily keeps the "less is more" motto in everything she does. In her fashion posts for example, she has A LOT of really really great things (bags, shoes, coats, sweaters to die for) yet she is down to earth enough that we get to see repeats of her favorite things that we know and love.  She also knows better than to make the mistake many bloggers make -- deciding to wear all of those really really great things they have in their closet all in one day. Spread it out, keep it simple and realistic for your readers. Her website design itself screams "less is more".  It is clean, simple, and easy to use. There are so many blogs that the overwhelming manner of the website makes me immediately click that little red x in the top left corner.  Cupcakes and Cashmere is a relaxing, luxurious experience, and it is only like that because Emily built it and has held it to that standard.

4. If you love your job, it isn't work. 
I know you've heard it before. And it's still true. Did Michael Jordan ever ask people to watch him play basketball? Does Beyonce ever ask people to listen to her sing? Did Brad Pitt ever have to twist our arm to go see his movies? No...we did all of those things because we wanted to engage in their talents. People read Cupcakes and Cashmere because they want to. It's that simple. Emily loves what she does, which means a great deal of time and passion has been poured into the foundation. Her talent comes naturally and isn't forced. Her talent, just like the people listed above, has turned into a career for her. Although Cupcakes and Cashmere is a business, it is also a lifestyle to her, which has allowed it to expand to where it is today. Don't spread yourself too thin. Pour your heart and soul into a specific area; pick a niche that you are passionate and knowledgable about and you will thrive. Nothing worth having comes easy, but, if you are motivated enough to stick with it, there will be success on the other end.

5. The sky is your limit. As a young entrepreneur, you should always be creating, developing, and expanding. 
The blog Cupcakes and Cashmere is living proof of the statement above. It is constantly evolving and expanding, and I have had so much fun watching it grow. The blog has developed naturally, as you can see with the series she has created. The first series was "Five Things." Although I don't know for sure, it seems as though the other series to follow were a natural progression of popular sets of similar posts. The other series include "Ask Emily", "Links I Love", "Crave or Save", "Personal Posts", "Places", and "Round Ups." A huge land mark for Emily was the release of her book "Cupcakes and Cashmere" in August 2012. The business has grown to be so successful that her husband has now joined the team and works on the business end of things so that Emily can constantly be innovating new ideas and stretching what once was a tiny little blog, to the huge Empire it is today. Take a look back at some of her very first posts here, and then see where the website has evolved to today. Hats off to you Emily!


28 comments:

  1. This is great! Helpful advice

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  2. Number 5 is very true

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  3. You can be bigger than Emily. The sky is limit for you Shanna.

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  4. Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere is my favorite blogger in the entire world!!

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