Afternoon everyone! I hope you've had a wonderful weekend whatever you've been up too. James is currently sat watching the rugby with Bella and so I thought I would use this time
(I am not really a live sports kinda gal!) to chat to you about the final part of this mini-series.
One thing I have learnt over the past 18 months of producing the magazine, is that Autumn and Winter are by far the busiest months, for advertising and for orders. With this in mind, I want to try and introduce more of the farming community to In The Country during the Spring and Summer months, albeit these are the busiest times of year for them.
With that in mind, I want to introduce more of the British Farming industry and with the farming calendar FULL of exciting events in these months, it means there is so much content to write about and share with you all.
The equestrian competition season is also a hot topic for the Spring and Summer months within the countryside community and whilst I want to be careful not to focus too heavily on any one subject, I would love to feature more top riders and behind the scenes features. What do you think?
Our Autumn and Winter issues focused on hunting, game shooting and the festive seasons which is always great to read about. Christmas Lists are starting to be written and subtle hints are beginning to be left around the house and so it is always a brilliant time to create wonderful wish lists, top-picks and must haves for the seasons ahead. Last year's Winter issue was a huge hit although we didn't attend any trade shows as exhibitors this time around *fingers crossed* you'll see us out and about this coming Christmas! Trade shows are a fantastic opportunity to promote yourself and your brand but also to connect face to face with new and existing customers - I love it!
You might remember our Winter cover model Bailey and Rachael A.K.A Eventful Eventing. The pair were great and Nick was yet again on hand to snap the most incredible shots for us! For me, it was the perfect excuse to get to meet the handsome Bailey himself after having admired him from afar on Instagram for months! He was just as gorgeous as I had imagined!
I only had a matter of weeks to create the Winter 2018 magazine due to a small error on my part and one I have learned from and strived to avoid this coming year. I released the Spring issue quite late on which some of you might remember which meant that the subsequent issues came out rather late on in both the Summer and Autumn months, however I didn't want to miss out on the Christmas shopping/advertising period and I wanted to make sure that our readers were able to receive their copy before Christmas and for Christmas in many cases. This meant that I had to bring the release date of the Winter issue forward about a month, otherwise the Winter issue would most likely have been released early January with the timing I had created for myself and that would have been no good for any of us. But, this year, I have
learnt from my mistake and Spring is being released much earlier which means the other issues should fall in line much better.
At the moment, we are looking at approximate release times of early March for Spring, early June for Summer, early September for Autumn and mid November for Winter 2019.
The beauty, I think, of a new and constantly evolving publication is the endless possibilities and scope that it has. I have no set path and no determined future. Our content constantly evolves, improves and changes with the seasons, allowing the magazine to grow as the business does and find it's own path in line with what our readers and followers want to see.
Many of you might have noticed, I have spent the past month or so travelling New Zealand. This has been my little break which I so needed to recharge,
re-motivate and step back slightly from the craziness of this non-stop journey I have been on for the past three years or so now.
I don't want to share too much with you as you'll be able to read all about my travels in the upcoming Spring issue which is available for pre-order from TOMORROW (11th February 2019) but all I will say is it was utterly incredible and I would urge anyone who is thinking of making the trip to most definitely go. It is truly the trip of a lifetime.
Now that I am home though, it is full steam ahead on the upcoming Spring issue. I am so excited to release this one, the very first magazine of 2019 and also the first magazine within our second full year. There is such a huge variety of content planned for this issue that I am positively confident you'll love it.
Our Spring cover is being shot in the next few weeks up in Gloucestershire and I literally cannot wait to see my ideas come to life! Nick always does such a brilliant job at turning my drawings and ramblings into the perfect cover image.
My plans for 2019:
1. Look for an investor/business partner to help us continue to grow, develop and evolve the magazine and the In The Country brand. - I'd love to keep it small and in house but it is simply too much work for one person, plus my mum would quite like her house back I think...
2. Increase our print run. - This is key for our future growth. You can all help with this one by spreading the word, far and wide so that more and more people want to get their hands on a copy of ITC.
3. Increase our stockists. - Again, this one is key for our future and I suppose it goes hand in hand with point number two because we can't really increase our number of stockists if we don't increase the number of magazines we produce. I'd love to focus this on independent retailers nationwide but also by introducing the publication to supermarkets such as Waitrose and Marks & Spencers, we can guarantee that we are reaching a much larger audience who may not yet have heard of us.
4. Attend trade shows. - This is both a fun one and a serious one. Trade shows are undoubtedly good fun but as I mentioned earlier they are a brilliant way to promote your business and connect with existing and potential customers. I'd love to exhibit at Badminton and Burghley one day... I promise there will be prosecco!
5. Grow my influencer profile. - Social media has been a god send for my business and I couldn't imagine achieving what I have done without it, with our social media following almost in excess of 20,000 across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, I'd love to be able to work more with businesses and brands to promote their posts and work with them to create some beautiful and engaging campaigns that you guys really connect with.
There are so many more but I am still working on those yet and I wouldn't want to spoil them by telling you all now. 2019 is set to be an exciting year for us with four new issues, exciting collaborations, new products and so much more!
That's it... you're pretty much up to date with my business story now. It is something that is constantly evolving as I am learning and experiencing new things day by day. Perhaps one day I could write a book about it all? Who knows!
I hope you've enjoyed reading all about how and why I set the magazine up almost three years ago now, I have certainly enjoyed sharing it all with you. Keep your eyes peeled for our Spring pre-orders announcement tomorrow and don't forget to place your order to reserve a copy!
Until next time...
Lots of love,