Thanks to twitter and it’s marvellous ways, I had the chance to get involved with a twitter chat and e – meet the lovely Pippa from Pippa Says. Pippa blogs about new music for the Huffington Post UK and I really wanted to find out more about her freelance career.

Interview Questions below;

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1. How long have you been blogging on your own blog, Pippa Says?

I’ve been blogging for nearly 5 years – I actually turn 5 this Friday! I set it up when I was 17 after doing a presentation in General Studies on “something that is unfair in society” (still the vaguest brief ever). Whilst my class went on about climate change and domestic violence, I got in a rant about how unfair it is that talented musicians never seem to get a break. My teacher asked me what I was going to do about it and I shouted out (without any thought) that I would set up a blog to offer new musicians a promotional platform. It’s evolved a lot over the last 5 years as I now write about other creative careers and have a fashion section, but music has remained a major focus.

2. When did you start blogging for the Huffington Post and how did you get into this?

I started blogging for the Huffington Post a few years ago. I met Carla Buzasi, former UK Editor-in-Chief, when she came to the University of Sheffield for a guest lecture. I was in my second year of journalism there at the time and went up to her afterwards for a chat. I explained that Pippa Says began as a blog that supported emerging artists and she suggested that I blogged on new music for the Huffington Post.

3. Is there anything particularly strange or quirky you have been involved in, purely through blogging?

I once ended up at an art gallery youth group when I was doing a photography competition with Nikon. Bloggers across Europe were given a Nikon camera and told to spend the day capturing a story in your city. I was living in Sheffield at the time and wandered around the city with my camera when I saw a group of people sitting around in the Site Gallery. I ended up talking to the group about blogging and journalism and capturing what they were doing. It was a really unexpected way to spend the day, but also very rewarding. I didn’t win the competition, but I had a very inspiring day.

4. Has blogging opened up new doors for you?

A lot of opportunities have come my way because of Pippa Says. Many of these opportunities have come because I have something to offer, but a huge part of it is that blogging has given me the confidence to knock on the door.

5. What is your favourite social media channel?

This is a tough one! I have that typical blogger problem of spending far too much time on far too many social media channels! I’d say twitter is probably my favourite. You find yourself talking to people that you don’t imagine speaking to without it. It’s also a quick way of finding information and staying in touch with people

6. What advice would you give to others who may want to get into writing for a well known news blog?

I’ve had a lot of great mentors over the last four years who all say the same thing: “know what you want and ask for it.” The worst thing that can happen is that they say no, and if that’s what they say then ask for a reason, work on that reason and ask again.

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

I honestly have absolutely no idea. I graduated from university in the summer and have been trying to find my feet in the “real world”. I’d like to spend a few years working in another country, so perhaps I’ll be elsewhere in five years. The one thing that I’m definitely certain of is that Pippa Says will still be going, there’s no getting rid of her.

8. Do you think your blog will be the same or will you change it?

My blog is so different to how it was 5 years ago. What began as a promotional platform for undiscovered artists has now evolved into a platform to promote and support young talented creatives (musicians, fashion designers, comedians etc) with the beginnings of their career, as well as inspire readers to pursue a career in the creative industry.

9. What is the one piece of equipment you couldn’t live without?

My phone – cliche, I know. I know it makes me sound like a bit of a dinosaur but I’m still amazed at what my phone can do. I’m not letting that baby go anywhere. Although, I did have a dream last night that I lost my DSLR camera in a boating accident and woke up feeling really upset this morning…

10.How many pairs of shoes do you own?

Too many.

‘Sculpture by the Sea’ is an annual art exhibition that takes place along the beautiful coastal walk from Bondi to Tamarama beach in Sydney. Started in 1997 by David Handley, Sculpture by the Sea has attracted thousands of people from all over the world to view spectacular creations made by Australian and overseas artists. The event is free and programmes are available for $10.

I was lucky enough to visit on Friday afternoon when the sun was shining and the crowds were in high spirits. Here are a few of my favourites.

 Overconsumption by Kerrie Argent

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The Chase (2013) by Elyssa Sykes-Smith

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Sisphus by George Andric (This sculpture reminds me of a giant slinky)

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Thrown by Jane Gillings (I couldn’t resist trying this on)

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Camel Country 14 by Koichi Ogino

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The Wanderer (2013) by Sean Henry

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The enormous frying pan located right in the middle of Tamarama Beach has been created by Ogilvy’s senior copywriter Andrew Hankin. Entitled ‘We’re fryin’ out here’  holds a message for one of their clients ‘SunSense’ with the aim of reminding people to be careful not to cook themselves in the sun this summer. Cool idea hey!

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I didn’t catch all of the names of the artists behind each sculpture so please feel free to leave a comment if you know who they are.

Why?

So I’m taking a little bit of advice from the expert bloggers and using a negative headline. I wonder if it will make a difference?  I will let you know!

I disliked Social Media Week Sydney for one reason and one reason only. It has made me want to work harder and maybe one day (dreaming) make a living from blogging, like the talented Darren Rowse from Problogger and Jeff Bullas.

What I actually liked about Social Media Week

Day 1

The week kicked off with an opening Keynote from Gavin Heaton @servantofchaos delivering his thoughts on the topic, Call it disruption, Call it revolution, Call it chaos.

Gavin started off with a humorous statement “ So we all know the internet is ruled by cats” and he then went on to explain how technology has become a part of human daily life and we learn faster and better by sharing knowledge with others online. I remember thinking Gavin’s content creation PANDA theory was one to remember. Purpose, Analytics, Networks, Digital, Art.

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Next up was the best session for a new POM in Aus. Australian Social Landscape by Tim O’Neill, AIMIA National President, with speakers: Melanie Ingrey from Nielsen, Eddie Cliff from Salesforce, Ben Russell of LinkedIn and Douglas Nicol from The Works.

I learnt that Australians love Instagram and some of the top hashtags are #coffee, #artistic #weirdshit and #scenic. The No.1 selfie spot in Australia is the Gold Coast and Australia is not behind the rest of the world but AU brands are behind the consumers.

 

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The last session of day one was probably my favourite because I have started to take a keen interest in the travel industry and only wish I was a travel blogger! Like my new friend @janeytravels.

The Rise of Social Tourism was moderated by Lisa Perkovic of Expedia with panellists: Paul Fischmann from 8 Hotels, Lauren Bath a professional Instagrammer, Petrhyce Donovan from Shire Tourism and Chloe Davis from Tourism Australia.

Paul Fischmann made a very good point about user generated content. “Images and stories from hotel guests themselves are a lot more powerful than company generated content. “They tell a real story and deliver a person’s experience that reflects authenticity.”

Lauren Bath is one of Australia’s most influential instagrammers and she takes amazing photographs. Check her out! Lauren gave us an insight into her daily life and what it is actually like to be on the influencer side. There was a lot of talk around demonstrating KPI’s to clients and how it is easy to monitor impressions and comments via this channel. Lauren said “An image tells the truth and presents a story”

Chloe from Tourism Australia also took us through examples of what works well for them and left us with a helpful tip “Do less and do it well”

Day 3

Poiltics of Social featuring speakers from The University of Sydney, Social Innovation Sydney, The Sound Alliance, plus Alex Greenwich MP.

I have never been great with politics and I really wish I knew more. I think this was definitely one of the most beneficial discussions to be part of.

Only 16% of young people in Australia are engaging with politics and there is a hope that social media will change this. “We need to be educating and informing through these channels rather than using them to attack and defend.” said Alex Greenwich

People should remain real. Political hashtags are always triggered by something that is happening within the community, for example the DIY rainbow project.

Day 4

Mobile Marketing Magic- with speakers from Cyberia, InMobi, Posse and Mobile Monday. They explored the role that mobile plays in bringing personal experiences to life.

According to Yellow’s 2014 Social Media Report, 7 in 10 Australians use social media, and more than 7 in 10 of these Aussies use a smartphone to access social media.

We should think of an app as part of a long term strategy and not just a one hit wonder. Be context aware and avoid spamming. Producing different messaging for consumers means it is relevant and engaging.

Looking at consumers use of digital – 90% of time is spent using apps.

Simple ideas work too! Some of the best things have actually started out on feature phones.

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I finish by sharing a few key points from a Master Class with @jeffbullas and those who attended will know what I mean when I say, consistency is key!

 

  • Having your own blog gives you a digital platform that is yours. You are building a body of work
  • Images and videos earn authority online
  • You have to start now! Done is better than perfect (Steve jobs) Start writing and work on it.
  • Boost your credibility via guest posts on other sites, slideshare, ebooks and network.
  • “The power of simple”- don’t over complicate things
  • Know your audience and engage with those who are interested in what you are saying.

 

Sessions throughout the week included Social ROI and Measurement, The Connected Brand, Influencer and Online Advocacy, The most important media channel is you and one to definitely take a look at, Deconstructing Great Content. You can catch the highlights here

Thanks to Rinsed and Evolve Social for organising a thoroughly enjoyable event.

Thanks to Zach from Canva for kindly putting together this simple graphic for Online PR Pixie. It highlights the key things to think about when developing visual content for social media.

 

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This is probably the most random blog post I have ever put together. But here goes!

As I attended Social Media Week in Sydney last week, I sat through most of the sessions thinking about food. I don’t know if anyone else can relate to this, or if it is simply becuase I have a bizarre imagination and a great love for food.

1) Niche: Whenever I hear this word I just think of quiche and instantly feel hungry!

2) Keep it fresh: Salad with beetroot and crisp cucumber on a hot summers day

3) Meaty content:  I fancy a steak with peppercorn sauce please

4) Snackable content:  Maybe an apple or a handful of nuts

5) CPL: Cheese and pickle sandwich?

6) KPI: I can’t get KFC out of my head and my stomach is rumbling

7) Credible source: I really enjoy HP sauce with my breakfast on a Saturday

8) Crowdsourcing: This one has been inspired by the social media week Gelato Messina campaign but my mouth waters when I think of sticky fudge sauce.

9) Give the campaign a boost: mmmmmm chocolate, a Boost bar is my favourite sweet treat.

10) Hungry for Success?: No I’m just wondering when we can break for lunch please.

Apologies, I just had to put my thoughts out there and I will also be bringing you the serious highlights from Social Media Week Sydney soon.

How did you start your career in digital marketing?

I majored in marketing at Monash University and then worked in stockbroking for 5 years before starting Ampervize. I don’t view stockbroking as unrelated to marketing though as it’s essentially sales, and sales is synonymous with marketing. In that job I was specialising  in ‘dot com’ stocks and was always excited to see the huge growth numbers they’d turn in, quarter upon quarter. I also ended up in charge of the firm’s email marketing where I quickly learnt what creates compelling content and how important a good headline is!

What inspired you to create your own website?

I always wanted to be the first to do something. When I stumbled across the basic idea for Ampervize, I couldn’t believe there wasn’t already something available that could calculate the best online marketing strategies for a business. I was really looking forward to being able to say “I did that first”!

 

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How does Ampervize differ to similar websites that offer helpful tips and guides?

Ampervize provides tips that are tailored specifically to your business’s own unique situation. This is something you can’t get from a page of text.

If your business needs to attract more customers, Ampervize is a great place to start. You can use it to work out the best ways for your brand to grow online and you’ll find products that will make this happen. Once you have this foundation in place, other websites can be a great resource for more general advice or finding topical articles to share with your followers.

How much research did you have to do before starting up?

In all honesty, I bit off more than I could chew by starting a business that specialises in online marketing. I didn’t have anywhere near the knowledge necessary, but knew there was an opportunity and I’m a quick learner when I’m driven. During the first few months I read countless blogs and books on digital marketing in the evenings after work, researched products across the entire industry, contacted bloggers to ask them the questions I couldn’t find answers to and even ran an online PR campaign for a friend’s band at no cost.

Which social media platform do you use the most?

Twitter. It’s the best fit for Ampervize. It’s highly social. Our content can be seen by a large audience when it’s re-tweeted or favourited. Our account can appear in the ‘Who to follow’ box from time to time. We can share content from others when we’re out of ideas. Photos are highly re-tweetable. And everything we post appears in our followers’ newsfeeds (unlike Facebook).

How social are you in your spare time (online)?

Personally I love Instagram! I post a lot of pictures of my life outside of work which is mostly surfing along the Victorian coastline down here in Australia’s South East. But now that social media is part of my job, I try not to spend too much time on it. Surfing gets me away from any means of communication with the outside world and I think it’s really healthy to have an escape like that, especially for hardworking entrepreneurs.

Where do you see Ampervize in the next 5 years?

At the moment we have four tools on offer and we’re planning to add more tools as we see fit. The next one to be released will tell you which social networks will be the most effective for your business. This feature will be free to use, even though we can’t make money from it and this actually gives you a small insight into our future direction.

You see, a big reason why Google became the largest internet company in the world, is because it offered users a whole lot of added value for free (Google Earth, Google Chrome, Google Finance, etc.) even though none of these projects were profitable. They committed large investments to these complimentary services and have been repaid handsomely through the positive effect that’s had on their core business – search engine ads. We’re taking a similar approach as we work towards creating a powerful online marketing resource center with a growing number of free tools and info.

What is your biggest achievement to date?

I would  have to say my biggest achievement to date is getting married young (we were 21 and 19) and then supporting my wife through five years of chronic illness. It’s easily the most significant challenge I’ve ever faced. Those that have been through something similar will understand the disappointment of being unable to achieve much at all during such a time. I think it’s important to recognise that pulling through it, is a big achievment in itself.

Who inspires you in the world of Marketing and PR?

Ryan Holiday (author of Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator), Derek Halpern (founder or Social Triggers) and Tim Ferriss (author of The 4-Hour Workweek)

What are your top three favourite websites to follow?

Mashable.com and TechCrunch.com are great for keeping up to date with news and info. To protect my sanity I enjoy following @Portfairypics on Twitter who post photos of my favourite coastal town in Australia.

Owner and Founder – Brook McKeon – @ampervize

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Twitter has always been a great operating system of news but in terms of driving traffic that potentially turns into customers, it falls well below leaders such as Facebook and Google +.

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Showing passion and the desire to be innovative within this space, Twitter recenlty introduced more useful tools to enable marketers and social guru’s to do their thing.

Buy It Now

Tapping into mobile commerce and consumer shopping habits, twitter has introduced a ‘buy now’ button for iPhone and Android. O-oh this could be dangerous!

With a secure payment platform created by the Irish payments company Stripe, Twitter is hoping that it’s real-time nature will work exceptionally well when it comes to selling exclusive items that are only available for a short time, tapping into consumers who impulse buy. That’s me!

Various influencers and organisations have showed interest and popular fashion brand Burberry, has signed up to be a beta partner. Musicians will also be a big part of Twitter’s new initiative making it easy for fans to click and buy their recent releases.

I can imagine fashion bloggers and key influencers will be the driver behind this one for Twitter.

#everydaymoments

Last week Twitter also introduced an interactive data tool that enables users to see where people share moments and talk about certain products, within a typical working week. The beta version enables content creators and social media marketers to play with time filters and select typical topics such as ‘sport’ and ‘coffee’, leading to more accurate brand geo targeting. My example below, highlights how useful this would be if we could actually discover the chosen brands people are talking about.

A slightly obvious one – but it’s all about Yorkshire tea up north.

Twitter’s Everyday Moments is only available for the UK but I am sure this will change very soon.

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