When I first arrived in Sydney, I was desperately trying to seek PR and Social Media freelance gigs to keep me busy until I found a stable and secure job role. You would think it would be pretty straight forward within in our connected online world but I found it a lot harder than expected.  Nina Hendy is someone I have followed whist being in Australia (or you could say stalked ;-) ) as she provides fantastic advice on how to network, approach journalists and create the content people want to read.

I received an email about Nina’s new project The Freelance Collective and instantly wanted to know more. The guest post below explains why and how this community for ambitious freelances in Australia all started.

Freelancing Made Easy

Spruiking yourself as a freelancer can be difficult, not to mention expensive. Aside from that, it’s not something that comes easy to most of us.
I’ve been freelancing for more than a decade, and have a bit of experience in the delicate art of self-promotion. And it hasn’t been an easy road, let me tell you.
I started out with a decent LinkedIn profile, learning that the summary section is best used to sell your skills, while upgrading my subscription to a LinkedIn Premium account (which costs more than $700 a year) gave me the ability to see who was looking at my profile. It bought in a little work, which was great.

Upgrading my ordinary website to something more professional was the next step. While it is possible to build a site for free, it wasn’t my core strength as a journalist and wordsmith, so I made the decision to outsource this task to a website developer. It ended up costing a lot more than I thought it would, but I was thrilled with the results. It’s pretty different to what others in my field are doing, and I decided to update my red typewriter logo while I was at it.

My name and number was listed on a few sites like mUmbrella and the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance under their freelance listing section, but it only gave me the chance to list a bit of a brief blurb on what I do and my name and number, which made it pretty tough for a potential client to decide whether I was the right fit for them.

While my organic search results in Google for my name were great, I was finding it impossible to get found if someone was searching for a freelance journalist or wordsmith. So, I made some enquiries into hiring an SEO expert to help with this, who quoted close to $1000 for the work. And given I didn’t want to take a paid advert as a journalist because I didn’t think it was a good look to have to take an ad as a journalist, the SEO expert wasn’t able to give me any guarantees that they would be able to get the results I was going for.

It presented an interesting case for an entirely new approach to marketing as a freelancer, and prompted a series of video conferences with others in my network and website developers to see if the idea in my head could actually solve a massive problem for others just like me.
Why not build a place for freelancers to actually create their own profile page; tell their story in a compelling way, provide links to their social media feeds, website, and samples of their work?

A New Idea

The Freelance Collective was born, giving creative freelancers across 23 industry sectors the chance to join, and sit back and let the clients find them when they’re in the market for someone with their skills. Freelance PRs, bloggers, copywriters, photographers, website developers, journalists, editors, marketing folks and those in related fields are jumping on board, excited about the possibility of telling their story in their own words and letting the clients find them.

The other beautiful thing about The Freelance Collective is that it gives quality freelancers real visibility in a cluttered and confusing freelance market. What a freelancer ‘does’ and the service they offer can be pretty broad, after all.

Aside from that, somewhere along the line, freelancers have become a faceless economy. I believe this has come about because a client will hire a content marketing agency to create a series of blogs, for example, who will then outsource the actual writing work to a freelancer. Usually, that freelancer completes the work and sends it in to the content marketing agency, not speaking to the client at all. The problem with this is that the client forking out for an expert to write for them has absolutely no idea who actually did the work, and whether the freelance is an expert in writing about startups for example, or someone based in India who has absolutely no clue about the Australian startup scene, except for what they’ve read online.

But profile holders on The Freelance Collective are vetted to ensure they’re good quality. They also have to be based in Australia and be available for work.
We wanted to level the playing field, too, so freelancers aren’t required to add in how much they charge or where they’re based, because the best freelancer for a client based in Sydney could well be living in the back of Ballarat.

It costs $9/month to sign up to The Freelance Collective and we’ve got weekly freelance tips and advice, and a private Facebook page for profile holders to bounce around ideas, find collaborations and feel like they’re part of the freelancing community.

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Nina Hendy is the founder of The Freelance Collective – Australia’s home for creative freelance talent.

Follow Nina on Twitter @NinaHendy

 

 

By attending events in Sydney, I’m constantly learning new things as well as meeting interesting people from all different backgrounds. I attended a Zomato meet-up last week, which is where foodies within Sydney gather together to enjoy a taste experience. Yes it’s as good as it sounds! I met a lot of new faces at this event and also bumped into the lovely Laura, who runs an Instagram account called Coffee Sydney ( a page for coffee enthusiasts wanting to find out about the best coffee of Sydney.)

Laura was keen to tell me more about her coffee adventure and below is a little interview that covers why she started and how it has grown through the power of social media.

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Why did you turn to Instagram?

Living in an age where the ubiquity of technology is somewhat overwhelming, we begin to incorporate it within our everyday lives, and it becomes a part of us. Since the age of 13, I have been an avid social media user. My teenage years were spent using MSN, Bebo, and Myspace. I then moved on to Facebook, which I still use until today. More specifically, Instagram is a platform I only started using in 2012 and has been my favourite social media platform yet. It was here that Coffee Sydney was born.

Have you always been passionate about coffee?

I have been a regular coffee drinker since 2013 (I know, only two years ago I started drinking it!) and I have been in love ever since. I have known since high school that my passion and personal interest has revolved around digital technology and media, specifically social media. To have a strong presence online is pretty much a prerequisite to enter the field of social media and digital marketing, and this is a part of the reason why I started Coffee Sydney.

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Why Coffee Sydney?

Coffee Sydney aims at showcasing the best coffee, and the best places to drink it in Sydney, Australia. I noticed there was no Instagram that regularly presented hot coffee spots in Sydney, and so this was the perfect time for me to start. I Instagram images of coffees I purchase when I am out and about, and also regram other peoples images. I have been maintaining this account since late February 2015, and it has now reached a following of 6K+ users. I do classify myself as a coffee connoisseur, and I thoroughly enjoy running this account! I have now expanded to blogging at coffeesyd.wordpress.com, and have started using Facebook and Twitter.

As I enter my last semester of University, I am trying to create an online portfolio and profile for myself, to show that I can generate interest in the online community through my posts about Coffee. Coffee Sydney has allowed me to show I can create posts that interest other users, and shows that I understand the functioning of Instagram and other social media platforms. Coffee Sydney has further allowed me to understand Sydney’s coffee scene and be able to experience incredible opportunities I thought I would never experience. Being present online and obtaining an online identity has never been so advantageous, and I believe that through this we can network in ways that have never been done before.

What can we expect from Coffee Sydney?

Coffee Sydney is continually growing through social media, and there are endless opportunities arising for myself through these channels. I have seen this single-handedly through the exponential growth of my Instagram account, and now through my blog. Coffee Sydney is an idea that has helped me expand my presence online, and with two billion internet users, the digital world never sleeps and Coffee Sydney will always continue to grow.

Follow Laura Currie on twitter @lauracurrie_

This week I have constantly been captured by interesting campaigns and social media updates. I have selected a few of my faves to share with you in true weekly wrap up style. I am going to make it my mission to do this each week, promise!

Drones in Switzerland

If you live in Switzerland, you may shortly be receiving your post by drone. Swiss postal services are testing out drones for the next month to see how they perform during wide scale use. The postal drone that carries parcels, is made up of an extremely light construction and is capable of transporting loads of up to one kilo over more than 10 kilometres with a single battery charge. It could be another 5 years until the drones are put out into the market but this really is a glimpse into the future. Amazon talked about this idea back in 2014.

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Krispy Kreme Virtual Lickable Donuts

As Krispy Kreme will be bringing out Decadent Dessert treats – New York Cheesecake, Black Forest, Lemon Meringue, and Tiramisu, they have put together a virtual taste testing platform so that smart phone users can try before they buy.

The new “lickable” donuts advert means that you can virtually lick off the topping of the flavour that takes your fancy. Users will race against the clock to gain the fastest lick time and will be able to challenge their friends by sharing their times via social media. Hmmmm not sure about being seen licking my phone?

Big Facebook News

Facebook has updated it’s algorithm to favour video content. More videos will now be appearing in the news feed depending on your interests and how and when you watch videos. It’s the latest move in an ongoing battle for views between Facebook and other video services, primarily YouTube, and one that puts Facebook’s data capabilities to good use.They are also testing an option for video advertisers to pay only once their ad has been viewed for at least 10 seconds, on a ‘cost-per-view’ basis.

Small Facebook News

Facebook makes a tiny tiny tiny change to the friends logo.

Facebook’s design manager made an ever so slight changes to the Facebook ‘friends’ icon that we all see in the top right hand corner of the homepage. This was due to a chip on the ladies shoulder (excuse the pun) a dodgy hair doo and the fact that the female icon was hidden by the male. All is equal, bring her forward I say.

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Thoughts on the change?

 

 

 

Users head to Voat from Reddit

Reddit users have become fed up with the recent changes CEO Ellen Pao has made and the recent firing of talent director, Victoria Taylor. Analytics show that a new platform called Voat has seen a huge increase in traffic. Voat operates very similar to Reddit but it seems like they offer more freedom for people to voice their opinions.

David Beckham catches a ball at Wimbledon and everyone goes crazy

My favourite bit of social media goodness was only brought to my attention this morning, when the most charming and fairly good-looking man ;-) used his quick reflexes to catch a ball during a game at Wimbledon yesterday. David Beckham was spotted looking very pleased with himself and the crowd go crazy with an instant round of applause taking place. Nice one Becks.

Watch the video below:

Social media platforms can be a powerful tool to connect with audiences, build brand awareness and promote upcoming events. But they can also be unpredictable online spaces that can turn inexplicably in the space of a few days, hours, or even minutes. Topics that may have been loved or unknown yesterday can become infamous social media memes overnight, and often for the wrong reasons.

Analysing these shifts can help understand how to manage and market your own content, and hopefully avoid any major social media faux pas. Here are my top three love-to-hate trending topics on social media.

1. Coleslaw.

Yes, Coleslaw. What began as a lone blogger’s opinion on Tumblr quickly spiraled into a wave of hate for the cabbage-based cuisine. Within hours it quickly achieved a meme-like status and had spread to other social media platforms, including Twitter. While some bloggers have avidly defended the consumption of coleslaw, the majority of posts have been on the hateful end of the spectrum.

What we can learn from this meme is that social media can’t always be explained. Even the most innocent of victims, such as a humble salad accompaniment, can become the subject of strong public hatred, despite the fact they may have done nothing to encourage such a hostile response. Having a strong crisis management plan in place can help to manage negative feedback when it strikes.

2. Beyoncé’s Big News

When Beyoncé began publicising her big announcement there was a lot of speculation on what it might be. A new tour, a new album, a new baby? The bubble was burst when Beyoncé’s heavily promoted Good Morning America appearance was to tell the world she was no longer consuming animal products and has gone vegan. While it’s certainly an important decision within her personal life, hyping it up to such great heights left a lot of her fans feeling disappointed and even manipulated. If you’re using social media to publicise a big announcement or event, make sure that it actually IS a message that will interest your followers, or you might find yourself facing a Beyoncé-level of backlash.


3. RIP mX

The end of the free daily newspaper, mX. While there were some who vocalised their happiness that the paper will no longer pollute carriages and seats across public transport, many readers were outraged about the discontinuation and took to social media to air their sadness and final farewells.

In a world that is driven by mobile media, it would appear to make sense that News Corp has decided to cease publication and funnel the savings back into their paid publications. But for a lot of commuters, mX was a free tabloid perfect for flicking through on train rides home when the smartphone battery is drained from a long day of heavy usage, and will be sorely missed by its fans.

Authour: Rebecca Matthews writes for MegaphoneOz and is currently studying Media and Communications at the University of Sydney.

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When I was travelling a while back, I came across a cat cafe in Penang and it caught my attention. What a great idea! Some people can’t have their own cats because they rent a ‘pet free’ property or they travel around too much and can’t commit. The cat café craze started in Taiwan, providing a haven for coffee addicts who want to sip their latte in the company of cats. The word got out and the rest of the world caught on.

Sydney is now embracing the cat cafe culture.

I met with Veronica Morland, lawyer by day and self-professed crazy cat lady by the weekend, who has taken to the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to raise seed capital to bring her own “purrfect” cat café to inner city Sydney! Veronica launched a pop -up cafe a couple of months ago in Paddington, Sydney and it was hit with cat loving locals.

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“Sydney Cat Café” will be anything but ordinary. Even as far as cat cafes go, the model is unorthodox, allowing patrons to adopt the rescue kitties that grace its floors, couches and windowsills. It follows that a unique launch was a necessity. “We didn’t want to launch our crowd-funding campaign the usual way,” says Morland. “Rather than simply doing a media blast to spread the word, we brainstormed more guerrilla-type ideas and came up with the idea of a pop up kitten café. What better way to test the waters and introduce ourselves to the cat-loving community than to give people a taste of things to come?” The result was paws-itive all round – the event received international press and social media attention and twelve of the Maggie’s Rescue kittens were adopted by adoring patrons.”

The Sydney Cat Café is set to launch permanently in September, and will be billed as experiential – a space unlike any other. Apart from the all-important presence of felines, Veronica plans to offer complimentary WiFi and set-ups to suit all needs, from a place to plug in your laptop, a date-spot with a difference or simply a home away from home.

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Importantly, Veronica aspires to open Sydney’s first adoptable cat cafe – that’s to say that the cafe would function as a foster home for felines looking for forever homes. “If we achieved 12 adoptions in only four days at our pop up, imagine what we can do in a month, a year.”

Sydney Cat Café is now accepting pledges in return for passes to the café, tickets to special events, and a range of adorable merchandise, but don’t paws – the campaign ends on July 13 2015.

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Website: www.sydneycatcafe.com.au

You can donate to the project at Kickstarter

Photo credit: Attila Szilvasi Photography

When I heard Canva had introduced drag and drop Infographic design, I got a little bit excited and couldn’t wait to test it out. I was waiting for some new information and stats to be released, so I had inspiration for my creation. I will warn you now, playing around with layouts, design and colour can be a little addictive so make sure you have a few hours to kill before jumping onto the Canva platform.

Here is my Aussie Infographic inspired by Dave Goodfellow at Social Media Week Sydney. Plus original research carried out by Hoop.

 

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If you want to read the full article on ‘What Aussies are actually doing on Instagram’. Follow this link

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