Founder and Editor in Chief of State of Digital Publishing. My vision is to provide digital publishing and media professionals a platform to collaborate and...Read more
Journalist, Founder & Creative Director of Legology.
WHAT LED YOU TO START WORKING IN DIGITAL/MEDIA PUBLISHING?
I’m a journalist by trade – until recently I’d spent some 25 years writing about beauty and health for print, latterly with a weekly beauty column in the Telegraph newspaper for 14 years – and that naturally led to a relationship with digital. I’ve always been fascinated by the digital world. I started blogging a decade ago and now, as the owner of my own beauty business – a leg care brand called Legology – I spend more time than ever working to evolve our website and at our digital marketing programmes. I particularly enjoy the social side, I’m an Instagram addict – it’s a great way for an expert to have a voice and build an on-brand interactive profile for a business.
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WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
6 am start. Coffee. Emails. Dog walk. Instagram. If it’s an office day I’ll spend the day at my desk, and once a week our digital marketing director comes in to work with me on our schedule, including designing newsletters, working on new ideas for social campaigns – we are very focused on Facebook ads currently – and creating evergreen content for our site. Our aim is to make the Legology site a destination for leg health and beauty, and we publish an e-mag twice a month on the site with posts on beauty generally, which complements my previous career as a beauty writer and brings our subscribers extra content beyond leg care. The blog content is managed by a small and savvy editorial team, and the site itself is managed by an independent consultant who has worked with me from the beginning to create it, so he knows the brand (and my impossible demands) well. On a less typical day I might be out with our PR meeting the press ( always a joy because I still have many friends who are writing for blogs and print), seeing suppliers, our contract manufacturers or meeting with colleagues at the British Beauty Council, which I co-founded to give our industry an inclusive voice at government level.
WHAT’S YOUR WORK SETUP LIKE?
I use a mac book pro and an iPhone 6S. I go nowhere without the pair of them. Aside from social – Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook – my go-to apps on iPhone are Over, Hyperlapse, Pixelmator, Lumyer, MailChimp, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Medium (for reading and contributing to), Gold radio, banking apps, all the London parking and travel apps, and of course Netflix.
WHAT DO YOU DO OR GO TO GET INSPIRED?
Wait patiently with my eyes open – inspiration comes from every actual and virtual corner of life, although I find London and its cultural history particularly motivating.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF WRITING OR QUOTE?
I believe in the philosophy of perspective: when you weigh up the things that are troubling you against challenging experiences you have previously had in life, it inevitably diminishes them.
WHAT’S THE PASSIONATE PROBLEM YOU ARE TACKLING AT THE MOMENT?
I have a scale up business, where do I start?! Cash flow is always a killer because so much of it is out of your control despite invoice forecasting and so on. Personally, though, I’m passionately committed to developing the best leg care brand in the world.
IS THERE A PRODUCT, SOLUTION, OR TOOL THAT YOU THINK IS A GOOD MATCH FOR YOUR DIGITAL PUBLISHING EFFORTS?
Yes. A system which enables MailChimp, WordPress and Pixelmator for time-poor business owners who did not have digital media as part of their school curriculum – there are many of us! I’m self-taught and learn on the hoof from what I can pick up, yet it can still be a great frustration when I can’t render my digital ideas in a professional way. I particularly struggle with MailChimp which does not feel intuitive to me in a way that lets me flexibly create newsletters that reflect the perfection of print, because that’s what I’m used to and that’s what our market expects. So a mailer software programme that supports people with a creative eye but without advanced technical skills would be a dream.
ANY ADVICE FOR AMBITIOUS DIGITAL PUBLISHING AND MEDIA PROFESSIONALS JUST STARTING OUT?
To identify the digital support network that works best for your company and keep refining it until you have a deck of buttons in front of you to elevate your business. Be focused on your digital output but put boundaries in that makes digital work for you rather than the other way around.