HOW TO: CREATE AND SUSTAIN YOUR OWN SOCIAL MEDIA BRAND

MLM

Two of my friends asked me for some advice about starting online projects. It made me realise that over the years I have gathered some tips and tricks and I am the type of person to share my knowledge, no matter how limited.

Firstly, I’m going to blow my trumpet a little and tell you all why I am qualified to be giving out this kind of advice. This blog, this very blog you’re reading, is five years old this summer. I have been in the YouTube world for just over three years. I have been ‘online’ since 2010 and pretty much have an account on every social media network worth pursuing. I’ve worked with lots of different brands and groups, on both sponsored and non-sponsored content. And the icing on the cake is that I study Journalism Studies at the University of Sheffield, so I basically get taught all this stuff too!


People, Faces, Names

People react more to people. A lot of the time, when someone is trying to use social media to promote their business or brand, they are reluctant to promote themselves. While the business or brand is the thing actually making you money, you, as a person, is the thing attracting people to that business. You are the face of your brand. People are not only investing into your products and services, they are investing in you because they believe in you.

Linking this to social media, you will need to create social media accounts for your brand/business/service but also for yourself. You need to establish a personality for yourself and a separate one for your business.

People like to see the face behind a brand but they also appreciate the differentiation between the two.


Online Personality

Continuing on from the last point, you need to create online personalities for both yourself and your brand. When we were younger on the internet, parents, teachers and the government would constantly warn us of the dangers of the internet. “Don’t use your real name!” “Don’t tell people about yourself!” “Don’t say where you live!” and to be honest, they were right. The internet was uncharted territory then and everyone was weary of it. Nowadays, we can be open, while still being careful.

Some people go down the whole pseudonym route and will create a whole persona for being online. Many of the first ‘YouTubers’ and bloggers did that – y’all didn’t think Zoella was her real name, right??

On the other side of the spectrum are people who really blossom because of how open they are about their lives. We’ve watched my girl, Patricia Bright get married, have her first baby, move into her own house, and all the while felt like we’ve been on the journey with her!

Both of these, or even a mixture of the two, can be effective and have their pros and cons. Find the balance that works for you. Using myself as an example, I am fairly open – I say where I go to Uni and share a fair amount about my life. But I go by Paula Melissa and not my actual surname and withhold a lot of details.

That’s my balance. Find yours.


Formally Known As

Continuing (my GCSE English Language and Literature teacher would be so proud of my structuring here because they’re all linking and flowing), you need to decide what tone of voice you’ll have on your social media.

  • Will you be formal and only use it for business and networking?
  • Will you be totally informal and write like you’re speaking to your friends?

Again, both have their perks but also their qualms. Here’s where I slot my opinion – a mixture of both is needed!

When I started to work on my Paula Melissa brand, I consciously decided to change the way I tweet and post. I could not be writing in slang (Lord forgive me for ever writing like this in the first place: “yo wuu2 b??xxx” *gags*) and expect brands and companies I wanted to work with to take me seriously.

But at the same time, the USP (unique selling point – GCSE Business Studies, come throughhhh) is that my brand is based around me. My bubbly, friendly personality is my brand and potential clients need to get that through my online presence. So again, it is a balancing act. You can tweet about things that interest you and retweet funny videos of cats singing all while still tweeting updates about your products/business/content professionally.

Find your voice and showcase it, unashamedly.


#TEAMFOLLOWBACK

The title of this section is paying homage to an old-school trend on Twitter – if you know, you know;)

It is important to learn who to follow/contact when starting your brand. This is obviously specific to what online project you are creating. For example; starting a YouTube channel. Subscribe to other people creating similar content to what you’d like to make. Drop some genuine comments (oh, and by the way, we can tell when a comment is genuine and when it is just there to get me to sub back. Girl bye.)

On Twitter and Instagram, follow people posting similar things to you or in the field you want to be in. In terms of using social media to networking and find jobs, I’ve done a detailed post here.

The gist of it is, do not be afraid to contact people. Message them. Tweet them. Most of the time, people want to talk to you.


Which One’s Right?

Lastly, I want to talk about which social media network is the best for you.

When I started and in the first few years, I took the ‘bull in a china shop’ approach, meaning I just made every single social media network I could. I was hilarious. I struggled to update them all often and some of them where completely pointless for a teenage girl from London to be on at the time…

Social media can be so powerful if used right. People connect with brands and opportunities, get jobs and placements and can become self-employed through it.

TWITTER – Pros: instant interaction with audience, wide demographic of people (age, gender, race, class, geographical audience), Cons: can often be hard to get a following immediately, can be hard to stand out from people doing similar things

Twitter can be used to find your audience (people who will buy your product/watch your videos/care about your brand) and promote yourself to them. I would not limit Twitter to a specific sector – it is definitely one I would say can be vital.

INSTAGRAM – Pros: Visually displays products and creates strong brand visibility, wide demographic of millennials, Cons: not very useful for people selling a service that isn’t visual, harder to reach certain demographic e.g. older generation, people in ‘developing’ countries

If you are creating something visual, like a YouTube channel, blog, product, IG is for you. Visual services e.g. hair styling and make-up artists, also work every well on IG as people like to scroll through pictures of what you’ve done before. If it is a service like consultancy or news-gathering, Insta may not be the best, although I have seen some brand making it work, so don’t quote me.

FACEBOOK – Pros: Most used social media network, wide demographic of users, especially globally, Cons: can be rigid, ineffective in sharing options, younger generations using less

The power of Facebook cannot be overlooked, as much as I (secretly) hate it. A large percentage of the world is on Facebook so you can reach such a wide audience, especially if your business is transnational. I would say be careful about privacy settings though or you will get random people adding you and seeing all your details. I made a separate Facebook page for Paula Melissa – the brand try and avoid this.

Also, Facebook and YouTube are now apparently rivals so if you are creating videos I would recommend making short versions (with subtitles as lots of Facebook videos play without sound) to upload directly to Facebook. Sharing YouTube links onto Facebook does not work as well anymore.

SNAPCHAT – Pros: Useful in creating a personal rapport with audience, effective for bloggers and vloggers who’s brands revolve around themselves, Cons: very limited demographic (only people who have actually added you so often just friends and family), mainly young people – ineffective in translating that to sales/money

Here’s my opinion again, I would avoid Snapchat as a form of social media branding. It just will not grow your brand as effectively as the others will. Of course, use it to promote your stuff to your friends and family – to let them know a new post video is out – but it is quite an inward facing platform.

Personally, I do not give out my snapchat as freely as I do Twitter and Instagram. I use it randomly vlog my day and share my spontaneous adventures etc. It is not one I’d use to find clients and brands – although it is looking like this may change too, with the addition of ads.

OTHERS: LinkedIn, YouTube, Soundcloud, Pinterest, Tumblr, WordPress etc

There are loads more social media platforms, all effective in some ways.

YouTube is obviously the best video platform but do not forget that all of the top four above can use video too. WordPress is the best blogging/content sharing platform (Yes I am biased but I’ve used others so whatevs) but don’t forget Facebook can take a large amount of text on its statuses. Twitter and Instagram have many blogging/content creator groups. Pinterest and Tumblr can be great for finding inspiration and designs – visuals that you can share on Instagram.

Don’t forget – Social media is powerful.

I hope this has been helpful. I am happy to help further – contact me. Make sure you connect with me!

Ya girl, Paula Melissa xx

Five Days of Tears and Restoration

I cried five days in a row. Not for anything bad, but just because I could not physically fathom how amazing God is.

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Pictures by Sam

Last week, I went to Wales for the weekend, with my friends from my fellowship RY Sheffield. This wasn’t a cheeky getaway, as much as we did have fun, it was a retreat. It was time to get off social media and the internet. Get away from uni work. And focus totally on God. I was truly blessed that weekend.

Everyone kept saying “come expectant” but I don’t think I really did. I just asked God to reveal Himself to me. He did one better – He revealed Himself to me and also revealed me to me.

I learnt so much about myself. And it was the first time, in a long long time, that I really realised how much GRACE and MERCY I have experienced from God in my life.

So why did I cry for 5 days…

Well, it starts with me finally coming to terms with the fact that I’m an emotional person. Or should I say an emotive person? Because I am not irrationally moved by emotions (most of the time!). I just mean that I usually feel emotions passionately. I’m not a passive ‘feeler’ – if that makes sense.

These five days God used my emotions to convey to me how vulnerable and transparent I need to be both with Him and myself. He’s all knowing so He knows it all already, but He WANTS me to come before Him. He wants me to release every single thing into his hand. William McDowell (sidenote; as I write this post, lots of my friends are in Birmingham at his concert. I’m super jel) has a song called Withholding Nothing and that’s the mindset I need to have. Releasing every single thing – the good and the bad.

I don’t enjoy crying, I don’t think any sane person does. But the thing about crying, you always feel lighter afterwards (and always feel like taking a nap lol). God has spoken to me through different people, each of these five days.

I have never felt so good after crying as I do now. Because the Bible literally says weeping may happen in the night but joy comes in the morning and this makes me hopeful for the super joyful morning that is coming v v soon!

And the award for the worst crying face goes to...

And the award for the worst crying face goes to…

Peace&Love.

Ya girl, Paula Melissa xx

CAMERAS AND COACHES

Welcome to February 2017!

We’re only a week in and I already know this is going to be a super blessed month, with lots of opportunities for us to grab!

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MLM (IG: _ManLikeMike)

On the first of Feb, I was in Birmingham filming with and interviewing Chelsea Monye, who is  the CEO and Founder of The Esquire Network. My friend, Layomi came along with me to help with filming and we had such a great day in Birmingham. A post and video will be released later this month, so look out for it! I took the opportunity to catch up with my friend Yemisi, who is the founder of Lively Stones!

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PMP – (IG: PaulaMelissaPhotography)

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PMP – (IG: PaulaMelissaPhotography)

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PMP – (IG: PaulaMelissaPhotography)

The next day, Thursday 2, I went to London for the day to attend a YouTube Space London Open House event! I had so much fun, with my fellow YouTuber friend Micheal, meeting lots of other YouTubers and online content creators!

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MLM (IG: _ManLikeMike)

Misha B, former X-Factor finalist, was the special guest performer of the night. I absolutely LUV HERRR so of course I was fangirling, especially when she hugged me. I took the opportunity to do some photography, and took a few snaps of Queen Misha.

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PMP – (IG: PaulaMelissaPhotography)

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PMP – (IG: PaulaMelissaPhotography)

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PMP – (IG: PaulaMelissaPhotography)


Okay so this post was not her to boast that I’ve had an amazing week, which I have. It is to explain how I can afford to keep up my travel and filming habits – I am a university student without a full time job, after all!

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MLM (IG: _ManLikeMike)

Firstly, while I’m not the best at budgeting, I always make sure I have enough in my everyday-use bank account for rent, transport, uni related expenses and of course food. When that’s all sorted, I look at my ‘spare’ money.

When I first started university, I was so reluctant to spend a single pound. My mum let me know that it was unhealthy to look at money as something that is ‘too’ precious to spend, even when I needed to. Obviously spending needs to be controlled, but allow yourself to buy things that you want. Money is just a ‘thing’, and like any other things in this world, it has a purpose. It is not to be stared at and admired, it is to be spent in the exchange of products and services. That’s how it works in our capitalist society (channelling my inner Leonie tbh).

A lot of people spend their ‘spare’ money on clothes, make-up or nights out. I don’t, lol. Most of my money is spent on food, travelling around the UK and filming equipment.

Since the beginning of this year, I’ve treated myself to a new vlogging camera (which is swiftly returned because it was utter rubbish, be careful when buying compact cameras because the filming quality is very close to filming on those slide up Samsung’s from 2008, you’ve been warned..), a new tripod, a flashgun and an extra battery for my camera. I’ve travelled on about 4 different coach journeys and 2 train journeys and I’m planning trips to London and Littlehampton (near Brighton) this week. I love it.

But HOW do I afford this?

Well, I’ve changed my eating habits which has changed how much I spend. I eat a lot more veggies and pasta dishes which means I rarely eat out or buy food on the go. I bring a pack lunch to work on Tuesdays and go home for lunch when I can. I meal prep (chop up veggies and meat in preparation to quickly cook later on in the week and keep them in the fridge) which means I’m less likely to be lazy and just order a pizza!

The main thing for saving money when travelling nationwide – 16-25 railcard. I travel to London all of the time (it’s home<3) so having a railcard allows train tickets to be significantly reduced in price. If you’re a student and you’re between 16-25 and you don’t own a railcard – what u doing????

The next step is taking a coach instead of trains. Coach journeys are considerably cheaper than trains, especially if you take a Megabus over National Express, however they do take almost double the time a train would. A train from Sheffield to London would be a little over 2 hours – coach took 4. Not ideal.

Megabuses are the bane of my existence – they’re usually late, packed out and either suffocatingly hot or bitterly cold. But they’re cheap and meant I went to Birmingham and back for £6.75 and to London and back for £7 so I AM NOT COMPLAINING.

Hope you’re having a blessed 2017 so far! The plan is for us to all succeed together 😉 so go out and get your own!

MLM (IG: _ManLikeMike)

MLM (IG: _ManLikeMike)

Peace&Love.

Ya girl, Paula Melissa xx

YOU DO TOO MUCH!!

I enjoy working.

I like starting a project with the vision of what it could become in the future.

I like feeling fulfilled doing media projects, whether that’s blogging, filming, YouTube or photography. That is where I ‘find’ myself.

My friends LOVE to tell me, “Paula, you do too much!!” to which I laugh and continue anyway. If you love something you’ll find time to do it. You might not have time, but you will FIND time.

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That has basically been what I’ve done with this blog and with my YouTube channel. It can be hard to find time, especially considering I’ve been in the education industry all my life, but I make time because I love what I do.

That thing that people tell you that you’re doing too much, that may be your passion. Keep ‘doing too much’ girl (or boy loool we an inclusive space over here!) because some people are out there looking for anything to give them a sense of purpose. No shade, no tea. 

Of course, this post is not to say, run yourself to the ground. Rest is so so so important. This is just to say, try and give the best quality products or services you can in what ever sector you find yourself in!

If there is one thing that I plan to implement this year (It’s still Jan so new years resolutions are still a thingggg, idc) is a spirit of excellence. No more half-hearted work! That’s not to say unattainable perfection, it is to say that I willlllll be proud of every single thing I produce. Every post, every video, every photo.

You should try it too 😉

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Peace&Love.

Ya girl, Paula Melissa xx

So this is what freedom tastes like?? I like it.

Guys, I think I manage to forget how stressful exams are every single time. Like, stress. But as I write this post, I AM EXAM FREEEEE – until the next exam period but let’s not let that ruin this moment;)

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All photography in this shoot is by my friend, Layomi

If you’re close to me, you’ll know how tiring this exam period has been for me but also you’ll know how blessed I have been feeling too. It’s kind of confusing lool but this stressful period is also the time I searched and found myself and God the most! I think I, every so slightly, enjoy stress (judge me, I’m judging myself too tbh). You know what they say though, stress creates diamonds (AND IF THE SHOE FITSSSS, WEAR IT!)

On my wall, in my room in my house at Uni, I have a pyramid of post-it notes on my wall with goals I have set for myself. They’re a mixture of long term and short term things like make my parents proud, be on TV/ have my own show and  finish reading my Bible. Having them visually on my wall has been SO motivating for me.

I can be temperate (or so I’ve been told), meaning my feelings and action fluctuate A LOT. I go from super confident to doubting every single thing I have ever believed. I used to have lots of pictures of my family and friends on my wall. Some where along the line they were taken down and replaced with an exam timetable. My wall is basically a visual representation of my mind at a time. Well… through all of that, unpredictable moods and feelings and thoughts, God and that pyramid of post it notes have been my only constants. 

I feel so so so relieved now because I feel like the next stage of my life is now beginning. Yes dramatic, but then again, what else do you expect from me. I feel like it’s new year all over again, never mind that January is coming to an end looool.

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Guys, 2017 is going to be a fun one of learning and growing for me. Let’s learn and grow together!!

Sidenote: literally loving this hat. Found it in my closet after doing a clear out and reshuffle of my room (another visual representation of my mind lol) even though I’ve had it for years. From Topshop, in case you wondered!

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Peace & Love.

Ya girl, Paula Melissa xx

Nice guys and girls don’t win??

I’ve always wondered why people say nice guys (and girls) don’t win. Why is that? Why do we believe that?

Forget bag for life, I am a friend for life.

I strongly value nice people. This is a post is a shoutout to you guys, keep doing you, boo! Please do not let anyone let you think that being nice is equal to being weak. It is really not! It takes the strongest person to remain nice and sweet when life can continually be incredibly bitter. Do not let people look down on you or walk all over you just because you’re a nice person. You can be gentle but firm. Nice but smart. 

The connotations of being a nice genuine person also meaning you’re a doormat is something I strongly dislike. I was brought up to always want to help people. If it is in my capacity, why not help someone out. My mum would always say this to me, and I’ve grown up with it instilled in me. Forget bag for life, I am a friend for life.

I’ll always be there for you if I can. Of course, over time, people learnt this about me and they thought they could take advantage of me. I love that I can now laugh at this, but at the time, trying to balance caring about other people but also being a little selfish about my own needs was something I struggled with. Sometimes I still do.

But one thing God has revealed to me a lot recently (GUYS, we’re only a few weeks into 2017 and I have learnt SO much already. God is so good.) is that while people may repay your positivity with negitivity, your kind words with harsh words, you will ALWAYS have the last laugh. Always. And I don’t mean that in a malicious way but in a content way.

This year already, I have seen so many opportunities (I can’t wait to share some with you guys reallllllyyyy soon) that have only come my way because people remembered me. I may not have been the smartest, most qualified for the job or whatever, but they remembered me as a nice, genuine person and chose to give it to me. And I thank God for that!

This is not to boast that I am such an amazing person, because I’m really not. This is not to say I am a super nice person ALL OF THE TIME because I’m really not (ask my housemates, they’ll tell you). This is just to say that I live a life where I constantly think, how would I like to be treated, then treat people that way. Also, it is the fact that I see everyone as Children of God. I must treat them right, especially as someone who claims to know Jesus, the ‘nicest’ guy who ever lived.

 

Peace&Love.

Ya girl, Paula Melissa x

KEEP SENDING THOSE EMAILS! – How to Network in this Digital Age (Tips & Tricks)

Keep pushing the boundaries, keep working hard and keep knocking on the door.

As a journalism student, who is constantly being told that our industry is ‘saturated’ and that you have to be the very best to get a job, you can be pushed either of two ways.

You can use the competition as motivation to work hard, study hard and grow to be the best. OR you can give up.

I have chosen to the first one, because I believe nothing worth getting comes easily. And if it does, abuse of it is inevitable because you do not fully understand its value.

I’ve know I want to be in the media industry for years! That’s probably why I started this blog nearly 5 years ago. But I had no contacts and was a complete novice as to how this whole media thing worked.

A few years later and I know a fair bit, thanks to hours of research, fantastic friends and amazing mentors.

So back to the reason for this post, I want to motivate you guys that are at a similar stage to where I was a few years ago or even where I am now. Keep pushing the boundaries, keep working hard and keep knocking on the door.

Find those people who inspire you in the industry and contact them. Twitter is great for this because you can literally tweet them (or even DM them) and ask for an email address. So far, most people I have asked have said yes and given me their email. Tell them to look out for an email from you and then message them again when you’ve sent the email. If you’re anything like me, you’ll feel annoying and pushy, but sometimes you really have to be. These people need to remember you, so let yourself be remembered as keen!

Try to go to industry networking events! Email is great and everything but NOTHINGGGG beats speaking to people face to face. I am an extremely bubbly person. This can be very hard to bring across when I’m writing, especially when writing emails (it usually results in many many many redrafts lol) but once you meet me, you’ll get exactly what I’m like. It is a lot easier to make a lasting impression on people when you meet them at networking events. So carry yourself gracefully and do not be scared to just walk up to them and talk to them. Networking events are only places that that kind of thing is okay!!! I met my mentor at a RTS masterclass and as soon as she finished speaking on stage I ran up to her and introduced myself. She said I was the only person who had the guts to go up to her and talk to her and on the spot she gave me her email and offered to mentor me! BE FEARLESS! Put yourself out there. The worst they can do is say no.

Speaking of mentors, they are SO important. Walk in the footprints of giants. Learn from those who have done it before you and longer than you. Listen to them and learn from their mistakes so you do not have to make them. Mentors can also point you towards people you can connect with and grow from.

Speaking of connecting (wow, all these links.. someone would think I planned this lol), LinkedIn and Twitter are your best friends from this day forth. If you want to work in the media or business industries and you’re not on LinkedIn AND Twitter, what are you doing b? Get on them now (and follow me while you’re there)! It kind of works as your online CV so make sure it looks good and professional!

Let’s go on to the ole curriculum vitae! Everyone has a different way of writing CVs but here are a few tips I’ve been taught, and they seem to work so far. You either have to keep it to 1 page or 2 full pages. No 1 and a half pages. And most definitely nothing more than 2 pages, unless you’re Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or it’s an Academic CV (for postgraduate courses etc.) Keep the design simple and chic, there are loads of templates online so have a look at them. Also another cheeky lil tip I’ve picked up along the way, save your CV in pdf form as well as as a document. This keeps the formatting of it, especially if the person you email it (and tbh you will be using your CV more online than working around shops handing them out) to does not have Microsoft Word or downloads it to Google Drive (Oh gosh, have I mentioned how Google Drive, Gmail and Google Docs are your friends best friends RODs.. that’s another post for another day!).

What goes hand in hand with a CV – A Cover Letter! If you didn’t scream ‘cover letter’ at your laptop, phone, tablet or desktop because you don’t ever send cover letters, or in fact you don’t even know what a cover letter is, don’t worry, that was me literally this time last year. Ah, ignorance is bliss. But no longer. Cover letters are actually vital in saving people time. Bare in mind how long and detailed CVs are, cover letters help employers check if the CV is rubbish without having to go through it. In this lovely digital age, you usually attach this with your CV in the email or better still, type it out in the body of the email. Cover letters tend to still be in the format of a letter (especially if the company asked for it and you’re attaching it in an email). Make sure these do not go beyond 1 page. Make them short, concise and relevant to the business – they can actually tell if you just sent them a default one… they can tell. They can just sense it some how.

Lastly, I thought I’d leave you with some brilliant links that I’ve used to help me scout opportunities (from placements to volunteering to apprenticeships to networking events) –

Hope this post has helped and please do contact me if you have any questions (or even leave a comment)

Peace&Love.

Ya girl, Paula Melissa x

Hello, My Name is Paula and I’m Addicted to My Phone!!

Addicted. Addiction.

They are such ‘hard’ words but I’ve come to believe that in order to overcome – or at least begin to overcome – them you have to admit that they actual exist. So that’s my first step: I have a slight addiction to my phone and more specifically social media, messaging and generally scrolling.

You guys, I am not even exaggerating. The other day I caught myself scrolling through my emails, constantly refreshing my emails. Like… that’s not normal.

I always told myself that I did not have a problem with my phone, social media and all that stuff. But recently God has really been speaking to me about. More clearly that you can imagine. So clearly that the idea of it being a coincidence could not even cross my mind.

I would go on Twitter and see tweets. I would go my Bible app and see verses. I’d go on Facebook and see posts. I’d speak to someone and they’d be like, “yeah I’m just on a social media fast, you know. It can be so addictive!” and my brain would just spontaneously combust, while I smiled and nodded in agreement.

This post is not to say that social media or my phone is bad. No. It’s to say the love of those things above God is bad. For me, it’s the constant longing to know what other people are doing, where they are going, who they are with and how much fun they seem to be having. It is the constant need to look like I got my ‘stuff’ together. It is the constant need to ‘update’ people with my life, people who probably do not care that much.

So here’s to spending more time away from my phone. Here’s to ignoring the inner longing to ‘quickly’ scroll on instagram and see how many likes my pic got. Here’s to growing my relationships with God, my family and friends instead of having people online like me lol!

Oh and I’ve just released that this is my first post of the year, so Happy (ever-so-slightly belated) New Year, my loves! I hope 2017 will be a great year for you, full of lessons and blessings!

2017, looking good 😉

Peace&Love.

Ya girl, Paula Melissa x

My 20th Birthday/Merry Christmas/ Happy New Year x

 

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The ‘sparkle’ of being away at university, with the independence and the fun and the excitement, finally wore off.

It’s been a while and I would love to come back with a fantastically elaborate reason behind why I suddenly fell off the side of the blogging cliff, but alas I simply do not have one. I got confused and busy but mainly confused. I was confused about what I am supposed to do, both generally and specifically. I’d love to come back here and tell you all that I’ve now got it all planned out but that is simply not the case. If anything, I think I am only now accepting that it is okay to be a little confused, a little unsure about things but I just cannot stop all together.

While I’ve been on my little hiatus, I learnt a lot. I have learnt about who I am as a person. About what makes me smile and laugh and what makes me cry and irritated. Ironically, some things (and some people) make me do both.

Today, the 20th of December 2016, is my 20th birthday.

I have officially been on this earth for two decades. Mad. Thank You, God for bringing me through life to this point.

I love having my birthday so close to the end of the year because it forces me to reflect on the many many many blessings I have experienced over the year. Two of my favourite phrases (and indeed favourite Instagram captions;)) are “blessings on blessings on blessings” and “too blessed to be stressed”. They are both super cheesy but they remind me of the importance of gratitude for both the little and big things in life.

As I enter 2017, I really want to enter focusing on appreciating God. This year has been a tough one. The ‘sparkle’ of being away at university, with the independence and the fun and the excitement, finally wore off. It took me a year, but I began to feel so dreadful and ridiculously homesick.

The last month particularly, I did not want to be there. I love my uni, I love my course, I love the people around me but I did not want to be there. At all. And every day I stayed in Sheffield, was another day I grew more and more sad. I don’t think I can even fully explain what has been happening over the last few months, because I do not fully understand it myself.

I am so grateful to God for the friends that really prayed for me at this time because even I was struggling to pray for myself.

I have learnt so much about the world but also about myself.

I don’t want to make this too long, even though I have so much to say. Please do watch this video where I outline 20 things I learnt before I turned 20 (and subscribe while you’re there;)! It will be such a blessing to me if everything I went through and learnt from, could help at least one person. Believe me, it is better to learn from someone else’s mistakes than go and make them yourself.

So as I leave you now, I just want to wish you a Merry Christmas, full of love and light. I want to wish you a happy new year, full of wisdom and prosperity.

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Peace&Love.

-PM xx

GATHERING OF QUEENS – WHY WE MUST REFER TO OURSELVES AS QUEENS

There is nothing better than being surrounded by beautiful (inside and out), strong, empowered women – all supporting and motivating each other.

– This is what is known as a Gathering of Queens.

Photography by MLM Visuals (manlikemike.com)

Photography by MLM (manlikemike.com)

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Gorgeous ladies; photography by Leonie

My uni’s African Affairs Network organised a social event they called ‘the Gathering of Queens’. I was instantly hooked and promised myself I would attend, if not for the fact that my friends were on the committee, for the name!

MLM Visuals, top is IGWE by Ifeanyi

MLM, top: KWENU by Ifeanyi

I am ALL for referring to myself as a Queen (big Q, always!) not because I believe I am the best or whatever prideful connotations you may or may not associate with the word. I love referring to myself as a Queen because it promotes the idea of seeing your self-worth and self-value. Too often nowadays, it is way too common for young girls and women to search for their worth. Why? Why should you search for your worth, when you were fearfully and wonderfully made?

Queening; photo by Leonie (AAN)

Queening; Leonie (AAN)

MLM Visuals

MLM, choker: ASOS

There is something incredibly precious and profound in knowing how valuable you are. But not only knowing it, actually displaying it. You were hand-crafted, delicately constructed and inside that porcelain mind of yours is something to offer this world. It is time we start viewing ourselves this way, instead of looking to other people and other things for that validation God gave us from birth.

MLM Visuals

MLM, headband: Primark

What do you need to do to become a Queen?

1 – Realise that you ARE one! Stop looking for someone else to tell you you’re a Queen; tell yourself.

2 – A Queen does not concern herself with trivial matters. She is not bothered by what people say about her. She is much too busy ruling and slaying. This is the mindset you need to have.

3 – Work, work, work, work, work, work! You can’t be a Queen without a kingdom or legacy. You can not sit there and expect things to be handed to you – Queens go out there and get things done!

4 – Surround yourself with a squad of Queens – that’s like-minded women, goal-oriented women. Women who will help grow you not tear you down before you even start.

MLM Visuals, Shoes: River Island

MLM, Shoes: River Island

This post is just here to remind you that you’re a queen, especially if you’d previously forgotten. But also, to remind you of your responsibilities, duties if you like, as a Queen to the world.

MLM Visuals, bag:

MLM Visuals; details of this bag are coming soon

Dear young Queen, please do not forget your worth. Please do not sell yourself short. Respect yourself, respect that beautiful mind, soul and body. Enrich yourself with positivity and arm yourself with knowledge. Feed yourself with love and wisdom, and be ready to share it with everyone you meet.

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

DREAM NATION – I HAVE A DREAM 2016 CONFERENCE – & VLOG

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Dream Nation are all about empowering and education young creatives and business men and women. I have known about Dream Nation for a few years and have always wanted to attend one of their events. I am so glad that I have finally been able to attend one!

I also want to say a huge thank you to Tobi, one of the founders and editor-in-chief of Dream Nation, who encouraged me to vlog the night. Please do check out the vlog at the bottom of this post.

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I have the worst writing ever lol but of course, I took notes

It was an absolute privilege to attend the annual I Have A Dream conference! The evening was full of speakers and performances from some of the most inspiring, creative people I’ve ever met. The goal of the evening was to teach the attendees how to move from being an ordinary dreamer to a practical dreamer.

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Nissy Tee and I in full blown conversation

The night was hosted brilliantly by presenter and YouTuber, Nissy Tee who is an absolute sweetheart. It was lovely meeting someone who I’m subscribed to on YouTube and watch the videos of. I also met another YouTube (who I also happened to be a Subscriber of!) Adessy, who was so so lovely too. Small world!

Lorraine Wright teaching us about how to handle our finances

Lorraine Wright teaching us about how to handle our finances

The line up of speakers and panelists was absoluely crazy this year. From Pip Jamieson, founder of the creatives networking site, the Dots to Lorraine Wright, who has basically done it all in both the corporate and creative worlds.

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As well as these words of wisdom, the night opened with a powerful spoken word piece by Jolade and were blessed with by the soulful vocals of Barbella!

Barbella enchanting us with her soothing vocals

The only downside I can think of was that the event started about 45 minutes later than it was supposed to. This was a little problematic for me, living on the other side of London. I did have to leave early just to make sure I could get home, which was heartbreaking. But I am so grateful to my friend, Leonie who completed the vlog and continued taking pictures for me. The real MVPs.

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This event was a great opportunity to catch up with some of my friends that I had not seen since the end of uni! And also, a chance to network and make new, creative friends!

Photo creds - Leonie

Photo creds – Leonie

Thank you, Dream Nation, for arming me with knowledge and inspiring me to go out and make my dreams happen!

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

Top 10 Videos of Mine

It may or may not be slightly obnoxious to create a list of my top ten videos of my channel but I don’t mind! Sometimes a little public display of self-love is needed. A little pat on the back.

Sometimes a little public display of self-love is needed.

So here are my favourite videos of mine that I have filmed, edited and uploaded to my channel, and why! Click HERE to check out my channel and subscribe while you’re there.

10. A Level Results & Encouragement

I love how much positive feedback I got on this video. Even though this is one of my oldest videos, it is still relevant every year as kids get their A Level results.

9. Baequalities

Love love love this video because it incorporates two of my favourite things – bae and pancakes lol!

8. Harmonising Challenge (ft. Pamela)

This was SO much fun to film. We love singing and doing this challenge was our way of singing on the channel, outside of my singing channel. And I must say, we can actually sing… no matter how dreadful this was lol!

7. Who/What Inspires/Motivates You?

I loved being able to get a bunch of my friends on my channel discussing what inspires them. Having motivated friends constantly pushes me to motivate myself, work hard and reach my highest potential.

6. Blogger Event #JET2SUNCHESTER VLOG

This is one of my favourite vlogs that I have ever filmed and edited! This was my first bloggers event and this is when I began to feel like a real blogger. It was a fantastic day and I made some blogger friends that I still adore till this day!

5. I’m on BBC News VLOG (ft. Bolu)

This is one of my all time favourites because it was such a surreal day! I really enjoyed going on BBC News for the Queen’s birthday. This was my first taste at Live TV and broadcast journalism and I absolutely loved it!

4. Bean Boozled Challenge (ft. Pamela)

This HAD to be on this list because this video was hilarious!! I love filming with my sister. Warning – this video features us gagging and spittaking a lot!

3. The Flatmate Tag (ft. Will)

This made it to the top three because this video was so much fun to both film and edit! It features my flatmate (from my first year of university) and friend, Will, who’s an absolute legend! He’s been one of the most supportive people of my YT channel.

2. Growing Up British Nigerian (ft. ManLikeMike)

Honestly, this video will never not be funny! It was a really spontaneous video – we literally didn’t plan it. Sharing some of our childhood memories and reminiscing was really nice. Michael is literally hilarious.

1. Most Likely To (+ Girl Chat) (ft. Ayo, Bolu and Grace)

Of course this video is my number one! These girls are honestly some of the best people I know. It is such a blessing when you find like-minded people, who are passionate, love Jesus and work hard.


I am so proud of my channel and I am so so so grateful to everyone who has ever supported me. You can look forward to bigger and better content as I continue to have fun with it all.

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

Bronze, Lime Green #OOTD

I never ever saw myself or called myself a fashion or beauty blogger but here I am posting three fashion outfit posts in a month.

I have no regrets.

Not sure why I'm scolding, but let's just call it my model look ;)

Not sure why I’m scolding, but let’s just call it my model look 😉

I am clearly drawing inspiration from colour, with my other fashion-y post being titled Sky Blue and White.

https://paulapacesetter.com/2016/07/30/sky-blue-and-white-ootd/

This lime green pixie-cut jacket has been in my wardrobe for yearssss and it is one of my absolute faves, mainly because it can dress up any outfit. My mother got it for me from an online store called Missi London.

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The classic “oopss, I dropped something” pose 😉

I am also loving these cropped fitted striped trousers. As a tall girl, it can be hard to find trousers that fit well length-wise as well as on my waist – these do the job!

These black open-toed wedges are also my favourites because they are unbelievably comfy. I guess this whole outfit is a combination of all my faves.

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Typical young person, always on her phone (typical blogger too!)

Also, let us not overlook the attention to detail I considered when throwing ensemble together for church last Sunday. My necklace, a pressie from a friend from H&M, is the closest thing to a choker I own. I still believe I am not cool enough to buy one!

My cute little headband was an absolute steal from Primark. As you guys know, I did the big (mini) chop two months ago, so I was surprised but glad to see how much my hair has grown when blow dried. This headband has been a lifesaver – making me still feel cute and feminine even with short hair.
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And of course I MUST mention my face-of-the-day. My face was BEAT and I was so so so in love with my make-up that day! I loved the bronzy (this is the bronze element of the title) almost-90s-looking style I went for – Shiny eye shadow on my lids, glowing highlighter on my cheekbones, cupid’s bow and the bridge of my nose and brown glossy lips. I am truly a 90s baby.

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Shoutout Sleek highlighter for giving me the GLOW OF LIFE

 

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The behind the scenes of getting that perfectttt selfie;)

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx