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In The Country Magazine
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In The Country Lifestyle

Dear Diary… Hello 2020!

It’s the first Monday of 2020 and I felt inspired to try something a little different this year – amongst many other new things to come. I thought I’d write this little diary entry (more so for myself) outlining some of what I hope to achieve over the next 12 months, how I am feeling going into 2020, perhaps a few things I want to leave behind in 2019 and then, come January 1st/2nd 2021 (because let’s face it, no one really fancies sitting down in front of the computer on New Year’s Day and writing) I’ll be able to revisit this one year on, and create a new entry for 2021 based on what happened this year.

Going into 2020, I feel an immense sense of excitement, potential and growth. I also feel slightly apprehensive about how I will manage to achieve all of the plans I have for the year ahead.

I am focussed on saving this year, something I haven’t ever been very good at up until a few months ago. Seeing close friends buying their own homes recently has really ignited some sort of spark within me to help myself to achieve the same.

Thanks to the immense support of my father, In The Country is now an established business and I hope to further consolidate that as In The Country moves into it’s third full print year and fourth business year. I have spent lots of time over the Christmas period researching, evaluating and planning for how I can build upon the last few years.

What can you expect from me and In The Country in 2020?

Magazine:

The magazine itself is the heart of the brand and this won’t change much as we head into 2020, what you can expect is some fabulous, valuable and entertaining content across each issue. I am looking at ways in which we can start to give back to our loyal annual subscribers and also I am planning something extra special for the Autumn edition (but I won’t say too much yet because this is in it’s infancy).

Digital:

This is where you can expect big change – in a good way! I am passionate about really maximising our digital offering over the coming months. I have so many ideas constantly whirling around in my head that if I could ever put them all into one issue, it’d be at least 600 pages not to mention extortionate to print! With this in mind, I am planning to publish regular articles onto the website, look out for a little change in layout on the website as we make the whole website experience more user friendly. You may have already noticed a flurry of articles appearing online over the last month or so, this is just the start!

From the very beginning, I wrote down as my mission statement; to become the UK’s go to women’s country lifestyle media brand.

This hasn’t changed, in hoping to build an empire, multi-media content and strategy is necessary. I was reading an article about the legendary Anna Wintour and future of Condé Nast under her leadership along with Roger Lynch. Here is the article if you fancy a read;

Condé Nast is the publishing house of magazines like Vogue, GQ, Tatler and Glamour which recently went online only – an interesting move.

Podcasts:

This is the big news on the block! It is estimated that half of all brands have or will have a podcast by the end of 2020. Half of all brands!! That is a phenomenal amount. I hope you choose to give my little old podcast a go, in a sea of hundreds of others in that case!

Podcasting is unchartered territory for me, just like publishing a magazine once was but I am excited to get started. I have drafted out an intro and have already listed about 70 episode ideas/topics.

I am even planning to record one live and invite you all to come and share the experience, I’m not sure when this will be though, probably towards the latter half of the year though. Let me find my feed first.

Is there anything you’d like me to discuss or explore through the podcast? Equally, have you any tips and things for me to avoid?

Events:

Another new addition for 2020! Print and the world of magazines is a fragile space, whilst I think it has huge potential, it definitely isn’t the lucrative, untouchable industry it once was. Independent magazines like myself, have a real chance at solidifying their name and their position in the game but only if they build a engaging brand around the publication. Without the additional offerings to their readers, print only titles just won’t survive in this modern day social, digital and community dominated world.

That is why, through events I can not only connect with so many of you wonderful people which is going to be great fun for me, but also, it helps to establish a community-feel around In The Country.

The first event will be an insta-meet style get-together which I am hoping to host early/mid March.

Social media:

The almighty, dominating power house that is the world of social media… a lot of us have mixed feelings about social media, myself included but, the power, reach and influence that social media can have is just out of this world. Just consider how many times the horrific state of Australia has been shared over the past few weeks and more importantly, how much money has been donated via these posts being shared around the world on Instagram and Facebook, I’d say that was definitely social media doing good there.

For me, in 2020, I really want to maximise my offering on social media. I have organically built an established following of over 20,000 across the social platforms I use and I would really like to look at how I can use this ‘influence’ to benefit others.

I am looking at partnering with one or two animal welfare charities that align with me as an individual and my beliefs. I have seen a few, but I need to do a little bit more research before jumping in. I would love to volunteer some time to each. It has dawned on me, that I do have a significant audience and so, I feel that I am wasting the opportunity to help change the lives of even one or two animals by sitting on this and not doing anything. Who knows, one or two of you may be inspired to re-home an animal in need through seeing something on my accounts… I can only try.

Through working with the brands that I do, I am focused on being able to offer them more valuable marketing options, which includes social media. Where the audience is more engaged and the results of their investment is easy to track and evaluate. Whilst, looking to work with more brands and introduce more sponsored posts is a focus of mine, I am conscious of doing this in an organic way that fits with me as a person and the type of feed I have curated.

Instagram stories will be something I will strive to use more and more over the coming months too.

I am just under 20,000 on Instagram and so this is one of my goals for 2020. Reach 20K on Instagram before March.

I am also invested in learning how Pinterest works… it is a bit of a minefield to me at the minute, but it is predicted to be a huge platform over the next 12 months and so, what better time than now to get started. If you hang out on Pinterest, you can find me here.

Other – video/brand collaborations/products:

There is so much more in the pipeline for ITC in general but also to be achieved within the next 12 months. Things such as product launches (yes I am hoping there will be one or two – stay tuned) and exclusive brand collaborations are all a bit hush hush. I am even nervous of sharing my ideas with the brands themselves!!

Video is something I am really passionate about introducing but this isn’t something I can physically see myself achieving on my own and so, until I find the right person or people to help me work on this, I am just going to have to keep jotting down my plans and ideas ready to turn into a reality when the time comes.

A few personal goals:

Believe in yourself as a business woman and stand up for the business you’ve worked tirelessly to build. As within any area of business and life, there are people who don’t take you, or your business seriously or seek to condescend and undermine you but, this year, I am determined to stand up for the empire I am building and be proud of it.

  • Love and look after yourself.
  • Be confident. People look to you for inspiration, advice and friendship.
  • Don’t waste your time on those who don’t bother with you. You are too nice, one-sided friendships are draining and do nothing for your mindset. Your time is valuable.
  • Don’t loose focus.
  • Ride more.

I’ll be back in a year’s time to review this. Speak then,
Until 2021…
Lots of love,
Hollie-Ella Xxx

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