Marissa Cox is an Editor, Photographer, Content Creator, & Founder of Rue Rodier.
WHAT LED YOU TO START WORKING IN DIGITAL/MEDIA PUBLISHING?
I have a background in publishing (Random House & Hodder & Stoughton), journalism, and copywriting. Before I moved to Paris, I was editing an East London-based arts, culture, and fashion website called Art Wednesday which was my first foray into the digital realm. When I moved to Paris I decided to start my own blog. The change of cities was certainly the catalyst and I was already using Instagram when I arrived in Paris, but I started taking it seriously when I moved — posting more beautiful Paris photos, etc. and deliberately creating content. Eventually, I started garnering followers, met other like-minded creatives, photographers, and bloggers through the app and became more involved professionally with the digital world. I worked in digital marketing part-time before taking the plunge to work full time for myself 15 months ago.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
It really varies, depending on whether I have a project or campaign that I need to shoot. But it generally begins with going through my emails, getting back to proposals, planning for the day and week ahead, then meeting my photography intern to shoot some photos, perhaps going to a meeting, and often I have an event in the evening for a new product launch.
WHAT DOES YOUR WORK SETUP LOOK LIKE? (YOUR APPS, PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS, ETC.)
I work on an Apple Mac and have an iPhone 6s, but I’m honestly a little behind on productivity tools. I refer to an online calendar, I also prefer pen and paper — I make a list every morning in my notebook of what I need to do that day. I do however use Hootsuite and have dabbled with Planoly.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO GET INSPIRED?
I go to exhibitions — I have a huge passion for art and design, as well as ballet performances. I love going to the cinema and I read a lot of entrepreneurial and although I hate the term — ‘self-help’ books, so Big Magic, Lean In and anything by Brené Brown. I also devour magazines — my current favorites are Porter and Holiday for fashion, culture and interviews, Milk magazine, Apartamento for interior inspiration, and CN Traveler for travel, obviously. And I listen to a lot of podcasts, such as NPR’s How I Built This, Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations, and Garance Doré’s Pardon My French, amongst others.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF WRITING OR QUOTE?
That’s a tough one, but Oscar Wilde’s “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars,” springs to mind.
WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING/INNOVATIVE THING YOU HAVE SEEN ON ANOTHER OUTLET OTHER THAN YOUR OWN?
Oh, I’ve seen plenty! The New York Times’ recent interactive ‘Follower Factory’ feature. Into the Gloss did an amazing move from content to commerce. In terms of content creators, I admire the likes of Margaret Zhang and Shini Park.
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM THAT YOU’RE PASSIONATELY TACKLING AT THE MOMENT?
Putting more emphasis on my blog/platform and pushing my creative boundaries. I’ve been really hit (as I know everyone else has) by Instagram’s new algorithm. Much of my work is finding me on my Instagram and I’m very adamant about not being labeled as an ‘Instagrammer’. So I’m working on ways to enhance my content creation, creative abilities, and put my energy into new and different areas of work. I would like to write more for other publications for example, whether this is the subjects that I approach for my blog, or as a voice for social media.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR AMBITIOUS DIGITAL PUBLISHING AND MEDIA PROFESSIONALS WHO ARE JUST STARTING OUT?
I would say, as the market is so saturated today, you need to have a clear vision of what you want to do and create, what it is that will make you different and who you want your audience to be. Also be prepared to learn a lot of new skills! I’m constantly learning, which is great but it can seem like an uphill struggle. Certainly, this kind of work isn’t for the faint-hearted. It takes a lot of grit and determination. You have to be prepared to work almost 24/7 and be aware that it won’t be stable income. But it has certainly been incredibly rewarding so far!