Sunday Morning Soliloquy - Musings of an Urbanite: February 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014

My Bird's Eye View of Cape Town

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Paragliding in South Africa

Thanks to Fly Cape Town I had a bird's eye view of Cape Town 

Launched from Signal Hill and headed down over the city and landed on the beach with Fly Cape Town. 

Taking off from Signal Hill

I planned a lot of my trip to South Africa using Google+, the South Africa Community was tremendously helpful. +Rob Baker introduced me to +Stephan Kruger via G+ and I that was when I learned about Fly Cape Town paragliding. After viewing their site (and looking at Stephen's G+ page), I KNEW paragliding was an absolute must for me while visiting Cape Town.

Flying high above Cape Town

Nearly 20 years ago, I paraglided off the Swiss Alps - floating over the mountains in a small resort town was enchanting. As I planned my trip to South Africa, I thought the mountains, the ocean and the beautiful city-scape of Cape Town would make it a perfect place to for my second attempt at paragliding.

Look up! 

I requested a booking from the Fly Cape Town website, at first it was a bit tough to get a hold of them because they're usually up on a flight and there is very little cell service on Signal Hill. Stephen was very accommodating with my schedule and got back to me via text, email and tweet to ensure I got my flight in! When I met him, I found him to be conscientious, cautious and very safe -- which was extremely reassuring.

Coming in for a landing

The scariest part of the experience was waiting for the person ahead of me to take off... and looking over Signal Hill to see the city and the water below. Once I was in the air, it was relaxing and peaceful. They take a GoPro with them on the flight so you don't have to worry about pics, if you'd like the photos at the end you can purchase the SD card for 200 Rand (about $20) -- well worth it, don't you think?? 

The landing was surprisingly smooth. It was as if I had stepped off a stool and walked right onto the beach. So glad I did this!! And can't thank Stephen enough!

For more info on the company visit Fly Cape Town website or tweet them @FlyCapeTown 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

So... I'm Getting This

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I'm Getting a Onesie!

Adult one-piece fleece... and I can't wait to review this product (finally, something I truly like is being sent my way).

I am occasionally contacted by PR people, social media people, marketers, etc. to write product reviews. I usually don't write product reviews for brands for a couple of reasons... 
a) I have to ask people to write about stuff for a living and usually I can't pay them. But before I peddle away, I make it a rule to get to know them a bit by reading their blog and social channels. So, when someone approaches me with a Sailboat Festival in Indiana or they want me to commit to six months of content production in exchange for something totally stupid, I wonder... What a-hole thought this was a good idea? Did they stop and ask themselves, "Would I do this for free? Would I take time out of my precious life to write about a car I'll never drive, or a power tool I will never use?" No. They didn't. BUT the difference is, I did and I do. I do my best to advise against pitching things to bloggers or influencer that don't make sense.  
b) I don't have the time. I barely blog for myself, and unless your product is a fit with my lifestyle - why would I write for you?

But when I was contacted by the people at OnePiece to write about their product, I was excited. They were up-front, they offered me a free jumpsuit (up to a $179 value) and they provided an additional incentive for me to post. **If you haven't figured it out by now, I am receiving a free product in exchange for this review (want to know more about how I am compensated by partners, see my FTC disclosure on my About Me page).

A few days later, I received an email confirmation from Lauren, the lovely marketer who asked if I would write about the One Piece fleece jumpsuit and the order was placed! I can't wait to get my jumpsuit in the mail and I can't wait to post pics wearing my OnePiece onesie in navy blue!

Since I brought it up, some points on how to approach bloggers
This is for marketers and PR people who are not as savvy as the OnePiece folks

  1. Be nice. When you contact a "blogger" or influencer, introduce yourself and let them know that you've read their sh*t. 
  2. Be gracious. Pretend like you're a guest in their house, after all, you are asking them to do something for you.
  3. Be concise. Nobody wants to read your blogger pitch but not one body will read your blogger pitch if it is more than two paragraphs long.  
  4. Don't beat around the bush. Give it to me straight, I already know you want something don't insult me by dancing around it. 
  5. Don't obsess about UMVs. You may find that the bloggers and influencers who work the hardest for you are the ones who fit your brand and not necessarily the ones who drive the most traffic. Look at the big picture - passion over numbers
  6. Don't ever use the word OPPORTUNITY. If you send an email saying I have an opportunity for you... it better be a real opportunity.
  7. Do provide a value. Usually a product that suits the blogger is fine (if you ask me), but an additional incentive is mutually beneficial. 
  8. Do build a relationship. Why would you waste your energy by going back to the well over and over again? Identify a short-list of people you want to work with and stick with them. 

On the flip side, I've worked with a bunch of a-hole bloggers 
Here's a note to bloggers: If you wanted to get paid to write, you should've gotten a job that pays you to write. Don't expect brands to pay you just because YOU think they should. I can try to sell a plastic ring for $500 because I think that is what I should get for it, but if no one is buying, I'm not selling. 

That's what I got for you all. Next post - I'll be IN my Onesie -- in the meantime, here is a 15% Off With Code ILOVEONEPIECE 

While you're at it..follow me on Instagram and Twitter. Do It.