Jo Gifford is a seasoned blogger, copywriter, podcaster and graphic designer with an MA and research interest in creative thinking for small business – makes for an eclectic and colourful killer content approach.
WHAT LED YOU TO START WORKING IN DIGITAL/MEDIA PUBLISHING?
My first career was graphic design and I worked my way up to be a senior designer and business development manager in the early noughties when a lot of marketing work was starting to come online. I had a portfolio career after that and worked as a copywriter and lecturer. I really began working in the digital space when I started blogging, both for myself – I grew my own personal blog and personal brand – as well as doing a lot of online digital content work for a range of clients.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
A typical day starts with having coffee and breakfast with my family and young children, followed by the school run. I then catch up on messages from my team in Slack and in my Inbox; work on client projects in between client calls; interview/podcast requests and also creating and planning my new online digital products.
WHAT’S YOUR WORK SETUP LOOK LIKE?
We currently use Trello for project management; Slack for communicating within the team; Dropbox to share files and Zapier to link everything up. We also use Teachable as a platform to share content with clients and to create courses. I use Gsuite for my calendar, Gdrive, and email and I also use Franz which is a desktop app that has tabs open for WhatsApp, Skype, all my inboxes, LinkedIn, Facebook messenger and my Slack team so I can access everything in one place.
WHAT DO YOU TO GET INSPIRED?
I make sure that I take time off at regular moments both in the day and during the week, by intention. I teach a process called the Brilliance Ignition Process which is very much about how to harness inspiration and use it to create a difference in your work, so inspiration is a really, really important part of my daily work. I make sure that I do something new every day even if it’s a tiny thing, such as taking a different route to a meeting, trying a new coffee, listening to a new podcast or reading a new blog – I do something new every day.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF WRITING OR QUOTE?
I have so many quotes and written pieces that I really enjoy! One of my favourites is actually by one of my clients, Tara Newman (TaraNewmanCoaching.com) who says “if you are not growing, your business isn’t either” – I really enjoy how she views leadership.
WHAT’S THE MOST INTERESTING/INNOVATIVE THING YOU HAVE SEEN ON ANOTHER OUTLET OTHER THAN YOUR OWN?
I am really excited about the work of the guys over at MemberVault who are turning content creation and content consumption into a gamified experience, using tags and different ways to encourage content visitors to consume content in a way that is much more intuitive. I think this is a really interesting way to go with user experience design and content creation right now.
WHAT IS THE PASSIONATE PROBLEM YOU ARE TACKLING AT THE MOMENT?
I am currently working on how to blow up the blueprint, that is how to stay creative and how to stand out in a crowded marketplace, especially online. I encourage my clients and my audience to use creative thinking in everything they do and help them create their unique approaches, unique language and really stand out in crowded marketplaces.
ANY ADVICE FOR AMBITIOUS DIGITAL PUBLISHING AND MEDIA PROFESSIONALS JUST STARTING OUT?
I would say the most important thing to do is to invest in yourself, which can start off as small as making sure you are regularly investing in mini-courses; reading; consuming helpful podcasts and books. Then as soon as you can, invest in a course or some coaching around a subject you are lacking skills in because the sooner you start to invest in yourself, the sooner you can progress in your personal development and business development as opening yourself up to new networks and new skills will take you even further.