I started churning out copy the moment they taught me how. As a kid, I loved writing above all else (ok, maybe not more than my Barbie dolls) and by the time I hit my teens, I scored myself a lifestyle column in my local newspaper, with which I achieved Town Dork status. When we relocated to Tauranga so I could finish high school at Mount College, I moved on up to a late teen lifestyle column in the Bay of Plenty Times. Big city, bigger dork!
At 18 I went into full-time employment - with an office and desk and everything, as a creative writer for Radioworks. It was my job to whiz mundane details together with carefully selected sound effects to produce effective advertising for local businesses. I got to know Tauranga and the wider Bay of Plenty by the businesses that operated in it, and loved helping them say what they were trying to say; when they weren't quite sure how to say it - all in an über cheesy radio voice.
I even got to go live on air once, talking about paying for car parking with your mobile phone. It was legitimately the biggest adrenalin rush of my young life. Say no to drugs, kids!
After a couple of years I joined Sun Media and thought I'd well and truly won the lottery. I got to call myself a reporter, hunting down stories of local import, getting the opportunity to interview some of the most interesting people in the Bay and again, helping businesses reach their audience through editorial content.
People invited me into their homes, their businesses, told me their stories and shared their lives with me. Then I got to work towards a deadline (my fave!) and see stacks upon stacks of my stories get delivered to thousands of families around the city. Happy days.
But then I had to go on and move to London, didn't I.
Oh, hey, don't worry about me! Turns out it was one of the most amazing decisions I've ever made. I got to be part of the legend of Skimlinks; an online marketing technology startup that became part of the 'Silicon Roundabout' revolution. We were essentially marketing something that had never been done before to the likes of Hearst Magazines and Amazon.com - and they were into it! That's a testament to how awesome the technology was and is, with the company still going strong today.
My time with Skimlinks was career-changing and life-changing, working with huge names in online publishing and online retail, and helping the two work together. I had the opportunity to travel often to America and eventually relocated there. It's true what the say - I absolutely lost a little chunk of my heart in San Francisco. <SOB>
But it was with Skimlinks that I had my first real foray into marketing, delving into all things online - social media, user generated content, marketing research, community management, SEO, SEM, website content, blogging, affiliate marketing; it was a baptism by fire. This was also my era of ill-advised social media hyper-activity, under the pseudonym 'The TechNobody'. Yes, it was as cringe as you might imagine.
Eventually I decided it was time to move home to Tauranga, and found the city, nay, the country, was lagging somewhat in all things Internet.
I meshed my knowledge of the Bay of Plenty area with my international online marketing experience and started consulting for a range of businesses, like online handbag retailer EverMe and Grace Hospital.
In 2012, I moved to Japan with my now-fiancé, so he could play rugby and I could eat sushi. But we weren't done there. Next we moved to France, so he he could play rugby and I could eat cheese. And also have a baby.
After that, it was northern England, so he could play rugby, and I could ponder how it was possible the sky could achieve such a uniform shade of grey.
We decided earlier this year to finally return to the mighty Bay of Plenty, so he could play rugby, so the kiddo could learn how to walk in jandals, and so I could return to work, offering marketing consulting to businesses around the Bay once again. Aww.
Here are some bullet points and exclamation marks in case that's your thing:
- I have a special interest in online retail, and optimising website content for conversions!
- I take a level-headed approach to social media for businesses; I don't believe every brand needs to be on every platform, and the most engaging content always starts with you and your staff!
- I believe that it's not always necessary to put huge bucks into marketing, and can create a plan to focus on your main objectives and work from the top down to achieve them, no matter what budget you've got to work with - equal opportunity marketing, people!
- I'm currently completing marketing papers towards a Bachelor of Communications with Massey University, essentially going back and filling in the gaps I missed when I jumped into work at 18. My passion for marketing has reached fever pitch, and I'm about as keen as it gets to dig in with local businesses!
If you'd like to have a chat, give me a call on (022) 111 4009 or email email@example.com.