It has taken the best part of a year and a lot of bribes, threats and emotional blackmail from upper management to make me sit down and write about myself. I’ve devoted an enormous amount of time to frowning at a blank page, and the road behind me is strewn with many awkward early drafts.
If you’re considering outsourcing some of your social media and content marketing, you can probably relate to this process.
Because instead of writing about myself, I would much rather spend my time doing my actual job; talking to our brilliant clients from their outposts across regional Australia, working out the best content marketing tactics to support their business strategies, and bringing those plans to life.
But I’ve spent a lot of time trying to coax clients into sharing more about themselves, so I’ll try to follow my own advice and explain how I now get away with an amazing scam, where people pay me to talk about the most incredible places in the world.
I grew up on Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast. Mine was an idyllic Australian childhood in a pretty quiet little coastal suburb. I followed the typical migration pattern in my twenties, heading off to one of the big cities (Melbourne, for the love of good food and second-hand bookshops), and later moved to Hong Kong for a few years.
Like so many young Aussies, it wasn’t until I spent time overseas that I realised how much we take for granted. Over an expat Christmas dinner in Hong Kong, an English friend asked me to tell her again about what it was like to grow up in a place called ‘The Sunshine Coast’.
I told our incredulous friends about the treehouse that Dad built for us in the mango tree, the cricket pitch in the back yard and how we spent nine months of the year in the sand and saltwater of Kings Beach. Summer days could get so hot that you could fry an egg on the bitumen. The humidity was heavy, but it could also carry the fragrance of the star jasmine into the house, and fill the rooms of our old Queenslander in such a way that we could almost forgive it for keeping us up at night. The relief we felt when a summer storm finally broke, especially after a dry spell.
Easter holidays heralded the annual road trip up the Queensland coast to our extended family’s farm near Rocky, or for a week of camping at Emu Park. We’d take day trips to the Keppel Islands for fishing and snorkelling. We were free range kids sustained by leftover Easter eggs, fresh fruit from roadside stalls, and oysters cleaved straight off the rocks.
They felt like ordinary days to us, but when I shared these memories with friends from all over the world I started to understand how extraordinary it really is to live and explore in Australia.
There’s no zealot like a convert, so it’s no surprise that I became so passionate about sharing the incredible bounty of regional Australian tourism to anyone who stands still long enough.
With nearly ten years of experience in tourism and hospitality and five years of writing experience behind me, in 2016 I began working with Bridestowe Lavender Estate in Northern Tasmania. This is where I first met and worked with the WOOF Media team, and together we developed the strategy and execution of the farm’s extremely successful social media, ecommerce and digital marketing. During my time with Bridestowe, I also worked on a range of projects to develop the retail and agritourism experience including traditional marketing, new product development (FMCG) and new experience development of tours and workshops.
From my time spent client-side, my experience of working with the WOOF Media team was fantastic. They were different to other agencies because they genuinely understood small regional businesses. They didn’t blink if campaign plans took a sudden u-turn because of the peaks and troughs of visitor numbers, an outstandingly good or unexpectedly short season, or any other curveballs that can arise from being a regional or remote business. There was always a solution, an insightful sounding board, or another path to take.
It is an absolute privilege to be a part of such a talented team and to work with a wide range of very special clients. As WOOF Media’s Content Manager, I’m always conscious of making sure I’m offering a client service that shows we’re an agency who can listen, adapt and offer solutions that balance creativity and pragmatism. This is what I loved most when I was on the other side of the desk, and why I wanted to work with WOOF. They just get it. They’re the kind of people you can have a beer with, or rely on to get a plan in place.
So now I’m part of the fold and spend my days this is how I came to run the most amazing scam in employment history. A lot of the time, I love my job so much that I feel like I’m getting away with something. Some of the best days of my life have been at work. From photographing the sunset over the expansive lavender fields of Northern Tasmania, to swimming with humpback whales in Hervey Bay or discovering the otherworldly beauty of outback landscapes and finishing with a beer at the William Creek Hotel.