I have developed the ability to read people. And I mean really read people. It comes from a combination of being deeply in touch with myself and my own emotional life, and practicing empathy. Studying it even. I also study other people in great detail, I have done so for as long as I’ve walked the earth. I observe behaviour and language and culture and trends, absorbing as much information as I can from each and every interaction I have. This is then complimented with an intuitive, unexplainable something that I see as a kind of superpower. It’s a deep trust, an unshakeable knowing and it has played an enormous role in my personal development and therefore my work. They are one and the same. I am not made of the stuff that “working 9 to 5 for a living” lends itself to, instead I try to weave my experiences together to create a rich existence overall, one that gives me some sense of freedom and allows me to give back but is also financially and emotionally rewarding.
After a 5 year education with Hammer Live Brands (The King James Group), working with major players like Brandhouse, Nike, Red Bull, ghd, and Rapid Blue (TV production), I began consulting in a Marketing capacity, at the time that Social Media started taking off as a “necessary evil” for brands. I had gained a great deal of experience in customer service from the hospitality industry, consumer psychology through market research, storytelling through advertising, and brand building through experiential activations. The skill set I had acquired lent itself to Social Media perfectly but as Social Media cannot stand alone, and because my knowledge and personal interests extend beyond, I have been able to consult to a number of businesses in a broader Marketing capacity, with Social Media as a core focus.
My biggest client to date has been the V&A Waterfront, where I worked in the Marketing Department for five years, developing and nurturing a strong, highly engaged community, while consulting across the business and to hundreds of tenants. I have also worked with Cape Quarter, on four core brands from The Foschini Group; on both FMCG and luxury brands; in retail and hospitality through a number of smaller boutiques and restaurants; and with bigger entities like Kauai and Spar. When considering future clients, I look to my keen interests in retail, property, art, film, fitness, music, fashion, street culture, hospitality, travel and tourism.
With several years of experience in the digital world behind me, and seeing gaping holes in the system, I have started shifting my focus to helping brands and businesses excel in Building Authentic Relationships. One of the most obvious ways to do this is through auditing past work and setting up effective Social Media management for the future (but all the while bearing in mind the importance of having synergy between the online experience and the real life experience for a consumer), to build a brand in a credible, lasting way. A campaign is not enough. An event is not enough. Boosting a post is not enough. A poster is not enough. A discount is certainly not enough and neither is a press release. It’s about taking the whole field into account while playing a long, steady game.