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

Brook

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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I have been desperate to put this post live and after finding out Stephanie was in the Australian Financial Review on Friday, I think she truly demonstrates her passion and motivation to make a unique jewellery business a success.

1. When did you start www.stephanie-said.com ?

A. I started it in August 2013.

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2. Can you tell me a bit about yourself and the business?

A. I trained in fashion and textile design,  though jewellery making and design has always been something that is a part of my life and I kept this up whilst working in the fashion industry, making pieces for myself or friends only. Today I continue to work in the fashion industry as well as run my own jewellery business.

3. Did you always want your own business or was this a new idea?

A. It was always an idea but jewellery making has been a purely selfish joy of mine, I don’t want to turn it into work. However, since deciding to start a business with my jewellery I have loved the process of creating more and more.

4.  What three tips would you give to those who want to start their own business or project?

A. Research and planning are key, but most importantly follow your heart! (three in one?!)

5. What do you enjoy the most about running Stephanie Said?

A. It’s a pretty lovely feeling when someone really likes one of my pieces, it brings so much satisfaction when I have created something they hold dear to them.

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6. Which social media platform do you use the most?

A. Instagram !

7.  Is there anything you dislike about the world of digital?

A. Only that it takes time away from my making.

8. Do you have any geeky habits?

A. Too many… pressing flowers in all my books may be the geekiest of them all.

9.  What is your own personal favourite piece of jewellery?

A. My very first earrings that were given to me by my grandmother when I was three years old, I still wear them today. Also, a mexican made pendant I received on my 21st birthday from a dear friend. These pieces remind me so much of the loves in my life, jewellery is so important in that way

10. Has anyone famous or popular been spotted wearing your jewellery?

A. Not yet! any takers!?

Back in 2013, I was given the chance to report on behalf of Nokia at Social Media Week in Mumbai. This year I’m in Sydney and Social Media Week is taking place from September 22 – 26, 2014.

The central theme for SMW 2014 is “The Future of Now” and the sessions at SMW Sydney will cover this from perspectives designed to engage Australian marketers, consumers, businesses, government, students and educators. The event program brings the theme to life through three core streams of conversation – Innovation, Culture and Advertising and Marketing, with keynote and panel events taking place at The Beresford Hotel and exclusive Master Classes taking place at The University of Sydney.

The Innovation stream of SMW Sydney events will feature keynote and panel sessions presented by brands, agencies and experts and that discuss important developments in the local industry. This includes sessions on Consumer Wearables, Mobile Marketing, The Future of Publishing, The Consumer Journey and “The Connected Brand”.

The Society & Culture stream of SMW Sydney keynote and panel events will feature sessions presented by publishers, personalities, brands, and agencies that discuss popular trends in the local industry. This includes sessions on Social Tourism, YouTube & The Rise of the Micro-Celebrity, The Politics of Social, Creating a Movement for Social Good, “Socially Evolving the Music Industry”, and “The Lightside & the Darkside to Online Trolls”.

The Marketing & Advertising stream of SMW Sydney keynote and panel events will feature sessions presented by brands, agencies and marketing leaders that discuss key issues in the local industry. This includes sessions on Social ROI and Measurement, Crisis Management, “Has Social changed TV forever”, Dissecting Great Content, Real-time Engagement, The Future of Publishing, and “the power of visual storytelling”. To see the full schedule of SMW Sydney events, click here.

Key speakers on the day include:

  • Helen Crossley, Facebook
  • Naomi Shepherd, Facebook
  • Daina Middleton, Twitter (replacing John Heywood)
  • Angus Keene, Twitter
  • Tim O’Neill, AIMIA
  • Monique Perry, Neilsen
  • Eddie Cliff, Salesforce
  • Ben Russell, LinkedIn
  • Douglas Nicol, The Works
  • Lisa Perkovic, Expedia
  • Paul Fischmann, 1888 Hotel
  • Lauren Bath, Instagrammer
  • Petrhyce Donovan, Sutherland Shire
  • Chloe Davis, Tourism Australia
  • Joanne Jacobs, Freelance Digital Strategist

 

I’m pretty excited about attending some of the sessions and look forward to hearing from Darren Rowse (Pro Blogger), who was also an insightful speaker at the Mumbrella 360 event earlier this year.

Q 1: What is Bobs Buckets?

A: Bobs Buckets is a new unique tie dye fashion start-up located in Sydney. We specialise in providing a range of high quality, hand painted tie dye items including bucket hats, beanies, socks, hair ties, tees, tote bags, jumpers and bandannas.

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Q 2: How did you come up with the idea for Bobs Buckets?

A: Travelling around the US going to music festivals I found a lot of awesome tie dye stalls, one of them had bucket hats and I instantly bought one and wore it for the rest of my trip. People loved it but the only problem was that the colours ran and covered me in a liquid rainbow whenever it rained. I decided one day that I could make and sell them better than a lot of other stores so I ordered plain bucket hats and used colourfast dyes that wouldn’t run. Bobs Buckets have been expanding ever since.

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Picture above: A range of sunburst tie dye buckets and tees. Photo by Amelia Stevens

Q 3: What makes Bobs Buckets different to other tie dye?

A: I personally hand paint every piece using brushes compared to the ordinary method of spraying dye onto fabric using bottles of paint. This enables us to create more original designs and doesn’t limit us to standard tie dye patterns.

This makes every Bobs Bucket item individual. Not only unique but also personalised too. Any member of the family can rock one from Grandpa’s favourite fishing hat to your favourite wiggling Labrador!

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Above: Lovely labradors Buffy and Sophie, modelling their new buckets!

We also use all natural, UV activated paints sourced from http://www.tiedye.com.au/ in Byron Bay that are super colourfast. These paints ensure that all of our items are as colourful as possible and are guaranteed not to run!

We’re always expanding our range to eventually enable our customers to buy entire tie dye wardrobes! We’re open to suggestions too that might score you a free piece of gear! We often customise items to any requests, including colour, design and style. We’ve even spray painted designs over the top of our tie dye creations for added effect.

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Picture above: A range of Bobs Buckets purple ocean and rainbow spiral packages, $50 at bobsbuckets.com.au

Q 4: How have you been getting the word out about your unique products?

A: Selling online at www.bobsbuckets.com.au as well as at local Sydney markets like Glebe, Rouse Hill Boutique Markets and the Rock n Roll and Alternative markets as well as live music events. We have some festivals lined up for later this year and other surprise events, so stay tuned via our Facebook page.

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Picture above: Mrs Bobs Buckets presenting the Bucket stall at Rouse Hill Boutique Markets

A lot of our Marketing and PR involves self promotion, wearing our clothing out to music events, clubs and parties and giving out promotional freebies, stickers and hair ties. We love going out and partying and people always seem to be impressed with the bright colours and unique looks! It makes promotions more enjoyable when half of our work involves having fun and meeting new people! Reaching out to social influencers and Instagrammers has been an important turning point for getting the word out to a wider audience too. Often these are people we meet out too and it helps when the people promoting you’re brand are genuinely excited about what you’re doing. We’re really starting to see the effects this is having on building our own social following and media presence.

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Picture Above: House Music pioneer Giorgio Moroder pictured having a boogie in a customised Bobs Bucket, front of stage earlier this year at the Sydney Opera House!

Live music events have also helped us to get some amazing exposure and awesome memories with some of our favourite DJ’s and producers getting in on some Bobs Buckets action. Like legends Dub FX and Giorgio Moroder, both rocking their Bobs Buckets hats!

Dub FX

Picture Above: Dub FX giving an ice cold raised eyebrow wearing Bobs Buckets! He was a massive legend!

Q 5: What does the future hold for Bobs Buckets?

A: We plan to over run the galaxy with tie dye and awesome new gear step by step. Adding tie dye leggings, yoga pants and knee high socks to the range, as well as some amazing printed psychedelic buckets available very soon. At the moment we’re booking market stalls for smaller music events, exclusive parties and locking in as many opportunities to spread the word as we can. Hopefully expanding to festivals like Splendour and Blues fest in the next year or two. As well as continuing our involvement with local university groups and events. Recently we gave a big bundle of rainbows to SubSki Ski club to give away as prizes on their annual New Zealand trip during the winter uni holidays. We’re always looking for new events and opportunities to help expand our brand and improve our promotions. If anyone is interested feel free to shoot us an email at bobsbuckets@gmail.com. You can also follow us on Instagram @bobsbucketsboutique.

Hope to see you on the dancefloor!

Bob

Nic and Bob

Pictures above: Mr and Mrs Bobs Buckets at the Vivid Dance Mini Launch party

 

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