Katrina Rohman, founder of Real Girls Wobble, a forum for women to share their natural ‘wobbles’ in life, whether they’re work-related or daily life happenstances that make us feel as though we’ve somehow diverted from our path to success.
Katrina talks about her own real-life wobbles and how she overcomes it in our candid interview on ‘how to market yourself successfully’.
A little bit about your blog, what are your hopes for it?
I am Katrina, and I write a blog called Real Girls Wobble. When I first started, I could not decide on a name. Which got me thinking, everyone has moments, sometimes daily, where you need to think through an action or a decision. These can be a small thing such as what to have for dinner, and change your mind a few times before picking, or larger ones that will have more of an impact on your life. I have always called these wobbles and in my experience, women are more likely to do this. We second guess our skills and abilities, but deep down we know we can do it. Plus, I am a curvy girl, so it became a double entendre.
I would love to inspire my readers with products, places to go and encourage them by sharing ideas, skills, experiences and a bit of real life. Blogging is my hobby, it has allowed me to be creative, outgoing, daring and occasionally unconventional. I have always enjoyed reading and writing, and have thoroughly enjoyed all the opportunities it has brought me so far. I really hope this continues…
How do you think your career in marketing has helped you create your blog?
Massively! I do not think I would be doing it without my background. I left school at 16 after I completed my GCSE’s and did a ‘birdy’ course in college, designed at getting you able to work in an office – which sounds so out of touch now. It covered word processing, using English for business and how to prepare presentations.
Luckily, I soon found myself working in Radio, in an administration role, but was able to learn various sides of the business before moving across to be sales and marketing support. I was there for 9 years, so I did learn a lot, but when I decided to move on I had a run of bad luck and was made redundant 3 times in 2 years. This really knocked my confidence and self-esteem, though you never would have guessed it from the outside. There was funding at the time and I was able to boost my experience with professional qualifications.
I have since moved into the hospitality and events industry – which I love. My whole days is focused on driving people to book (hotel rooms, conferences, weddings, dining in the restaurant, etc) whether that be through the company website, social media, email campaigns, networking or other outreach programs.
What inspired you to start an online forum?
My career is what started me off. Whenever I would be at a networking event or talking with other business owners, the question of ‘how do I market my business?’ would always come up. Most people know the traditional methods and that when you are online your social media can make a difference. I would end up giving pointers on how to improve some areas, but I would always say are you writing a blog or publishing news articles? I decided I needed to practise what I preach and put myself out there.
What has been your most recent ‘real life wobble’?
I changed my job in November. I loved working for the company, it had a great product, great focus and the friends I made there were incredible. It was a dream job… apart from the salary. Me and my partner Michael have been together for nearly 6 years and we have been saving for our house deposit for a long time. When the new company approached me, I knew it would take off so many financial pressures, and I would have more time to focus on my writing. I just didn’t want to leave friends and the work I was so passionate about. I was so scared that I would be making a massive mistake, and surely job satisfaction was more important than the cash, right?
I did make the decision to leave. I have only been in the new position for a few weeks and only time will tell if I made the right decision. So far, it is enjoyable and I am sure as I get to know the business and my colleagues a little better, I will grow to love it just as much. Time will tell…
Name one thing that helps you when you’re wobbling?
This is a tough question, I think I do something different all the time and depending on what the wobble is. Michael is very logical and he can see the bigger picture. I tend to only burden him with the ‘important’ things, as he is not so great with the emotional connection to a problem. Day to day wobbles could see me hitting the gym and thinking things through as I run on the treadmill, or heading online to speak to fellow bloggers, picking up the phone to a friend or as simple as writing it down. I can be quite reactive, so as I have got older I have learnt to step back rather than go with my initial reaction. And if that all fails, I’ll head to the bar!
Do you have any marketing tips for aspiring bloggers?
It is important to write for your audience and use keywords, most searched terms, etc as this is what is going to get you a larger reach, but the most important thing to do is write for yourself. Yes, the views follow and the stats are great, especially when they are going up, but unless you enjoy what you do and are passionate about what you are writing about it is not going to work long term. Concentrate on the content and getting your personality onto the page, the rest will follow.
I do have a marketing series on my blog, which is ideal for aspiring and established bloggers. Even if you have been blogging for a while or in the marketing industry it is always good to refocus and refresh. Some of the topics covered so far include ‘how to successfully promote your business online’, and tips on ‘how to make time to write your blog’.
The one I am most proud of is ‘what to include in your business portfolio’. I get approached by bloggers on a daily basis for the brand I work for, and so many of them have a great product but do not put themselves across in a way that will make want to work with them. Tell people who you are, what you do but most importantly why that company NEEDS to work with you. It is hard, and there’s no exact science to it, but it has to be clear why there is a mutual benefit.
What is the best advice you’ve received from a forum?
I have to be honest, I am usually the voice of reason in a forum. I am the person who is giving the advice rather than receiving it. (I am terrible at listening to my own advice even when I should.) If someone is in a flap, I am usually the one to bring them around and see reality.
The biggest bit of advice that has always stuck with me is, ‘do not shit on people on your way up, because you’ll only get covered in it on your way down’. I have seen it so many times, people trying to get ahead in their career and being mean or insincere. This is not just in the workplace these days, it is also being done online. It sets such a bad president, and you will end up looking like a fool in the end. I am not perfect, I do have quirks – like we all do – (I think I am funnier than I actually am!) but I do try to be helpful where I can. I try not to get embroiled in bitchy conversations and I try to be thoughtful and considerate of other people’s feelings.
The support you receive from other bloggers is phenomenal. They know how much time and effort you have put in, and are always on hand to pick you up if you are down. It is also a great opportunity to mix with brilliant people you would never have the opportunity to meet in your day to day life.
Are there any fempreneurs that you admire and why?
A few months ago, I watched an old clip of Reece Wetherspoon giving a speech at Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards in 2015. It really touched a nerve and I do not think I will ever forget her saying;
“(on receiving a script)… I get to that part where the girl turns to the guy, and she says, “What do we do now?!” Do you know any woman in any crisis situation who has absolutely no idea what to do? I mean, don’t they tell people in crisis, even children, “If you’re in trouble, talk to a woman.” It’s ridiculous that a woman wouldn’t know what to do.”
It’s so true! I look for this quality in the people I admire. I am really drawn to people who decide to quit their career to start a new path, who stand up for what they believe in or be the voice for someone who can not use their own. The biggest thing I admire is passion and sense of fun, without taking yourself too seriously.
Some of my favourite female bloggers include; Millennial Mother – Kelly shares her experiences of being a mum whilst being a proud feminist and ethical campaigner, The Happy Days Travels – Shireen always posts amazing pictures of her adventures, Winged x Doll – Maisie is so much cooler than me and the fashion industry was made for her, Hisdoryan – Claire shares my passion for history and I love her tagline ‘because it’s okay to live in the past’, Ruth in Revolt – her enthusiasm for life will jump out at you immediately, a truly positive force to be reckoned with, The Little Cardiff Blog – Gemma will make you feel very hungry, very quickly, and Life of a Welsh Girl – Katie is a fashion, food and travel vlogger who’s weekly series Cuppa and a Catch Up is highly entertaining.
What’s the plan for Real Girls Wobble in the next year?
2019 is looking very exciting. The direction of my blog did waiver, but I think I have it back on track now. There are some personal blogs, where I will talk about my current thoughts and feelings, and then articles on my lifestyle including events I attend, some travel, beauty products I am using, etc.
I will be imparting my business knowledge too. There is already a marketing series that I will continue to top up. The wedding series will also be launched early 2019. I have worked in weddings, again for such a long time, I am hoping to give people some insider guidance when they plan their big day.
I also have a fascination with my hometown, Cardiff, and will tell stories about some of the buildings, the different people, the cultures they have influenced the city as well as some of the amazing places eat, drink and to visit that are not on the tourist trail. This will be extended outwards, as I am really passionate about getting more people to visit Wales.
I think it is going to be a busy year…