I’m always curious about how businesses and brands came to be. When did the first spark of inspiration happen? Was it part of a natural progression or did an event ignite the fire?
Once the fire was ignited, how did the flame continue to burn? What fuelled the fire?
As it’s holiday time, I’ve just read Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere, so I have fires on the brain, but also an awareness that little sparks are the first step to fuelling bigger fires.
So, here’s how Amped Up Marketing & Communications Pty Ltd came to be.
In mid-2016 I registered an Australian Business Number (ABN) for a contract role at a small publishing company. I’d worked as both a Journalist and Account Manager at various levels in the magazine publishing industry across 16 years both in Australia and in Canada – with clients from around the globe.
It was a wonderful time, starting my career as a Travel Journalist translating trips on The Ghan and in Canada’s first ice hotel into stories for the Harvey World Travel magazine and various online platforms including Yahoo Travel. After a solo travel stint in South East Asia, I transitioned across to the business side of media, managing advertising campaigns for global clients including Toyota, Revlon and Invesco at magazine titles including marie claire, Better Homes & Gardens and Who as well as a Canadian financial industry masthead.
I decided to leave the magazine publishing industry as it was no longer serving me or many of my clients in October 2016. With an ABN in my hot little hand, I started to think about what business owners wanted and needed to promote themselves. At that time, I felt I could best serve small business owners with the skills I’d learnt both in the magazine world and working closely with so many Marketing teams at global companies. I made my first foray into the world of business.
For 2 years I helped small business clients better market and promote their businesses. I’ve always loved working with small business owners and start-ups as you see that fire in the owner’s belly, and it’s so rewarding to see transformation happen at a grassroots level.
There’s also something incredible about creating change on a bigger scale, so I also worked part time in consulting roles as Communications Manager at Sydney Trains and with Avanade at Ausgrid.
After some time off with my son (born in January, 2019), I thought very consciously it was now time to ramp up. The seeds were planted for Amped Up Marketing & Communications, launched in July, 2020. I wanted to take that spark I saw in other businesses, and ignite it – by amping it up.
I continued to work with small business clients, including a personalised sock startup, coaching businesses, an energy healer and air conditioning company, putting them in the spotlight, but remained hidden myself. I had always proudly wheeled out big brands, but I wasn’t sure how to create my own. It’s so much harder than creating and promoting brands for others!
A burning desire to brand
I went through several designers to create the agency’s logo, but I couldn’t stop there. I became very aware that without a great brand and website to match, I would continue to play small and ride the feast or famine freelancing rollercoaster.
I’ve seen clients struggle in the same way and with great branding, they can position themselves better and really own what they stand for. Branding is powerful and in 2021 I wanted to play a bigger game.
2021 – the year to Rise
My word for the year was ‘Rise’.
I wanted Amped Up Marketing & Communications to attract larger clients and make a real impact. I wanted to transform businesses and create change.
It’s amazing to look back at the year, and see the highs and lows, swings and roundabouts, for both the agency and its clients! Here’s a timeline of the Amped Up Marketing & Communications journey this year.
Jan – Even though I had big goals, I was invisible. I didn’t have a clear brand. I held the first strategy day for my little team to carve out next steps.
Feb to March – I participated in a mentoring program to focus on myself and the business, rather than feeling tempted to sit in the background while working on client campaigns.
I needed to face hard truths.
Without owning my own story I wasn’t playing the big game I wanted to.
I thought talking openly about the depression I’d faced leading me to a Psych ward only 7 years before was a terrible idea at first, along with my more recent thyroid cancer diagnosis. How was it related to my career? I had never spoken about it in a professional context.
I took the advice of mentors and bravely shared my story – on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and via my email list.
Amazingly it has had the opposite effect:
Clients, contacts and even old colleagues and bosses came out in support – they all had their stories too. My goal of amping up businesses was even more powerful when I could own my own struggles. It helped me to really hone my purpose. I wanted the business owners and teams I worked with to feel seen and heard – by finding their voice.
April & May
I had a logo I loved, but it was time to create a visual identity I was proud of.
After owning my story, articulating my values and figuring out my purpose – I found the mojo I’d been missing. I was no longer hiding in shame.
I launched a new website for the agency I was super proud of.
I worked with Stylist Samantha Theron and Photographer Simona Janek to capture my personal brand.
June and July
I committed to posting on LinkedIn 5 times per week plus on Instagram.
Continued to share different aspects of my story.
Business started to really pick up!
Clients I wanted to work with started approaching me!
August, September & October
I had my best months in business 3 months in a row!
Despite the pandemic I became so busy. I was working crazy hours, had to hire an assistant .. and turn away work!
November & December
I’m now super aligned with my purpose – to help others feel seen and heard by finding their voice.
I’ve also owned what led to the depression many years before. I finally spoke publicly about the abusive relationship I left, and the ongoing effects. For me falling flat on my back and rising again has created the biggest fire of my life. From that flicker of drive from the hospital bed in 2014, to where things are now at the end of 2021, it’s the same. Little sparks have become a raging fire.
Amped Up Marketing & Communications is about transformation – harnessing that flicker, seeing the sparks fly and helping brands to really get the fire burning.
Thank you Celeste Ng for the parallels.
What’s next? Firing things up
My word for 2022 is Think Big, ok, it’s actually 2 words, but I’ve learnt rules are a guide only.
The fire in my own belly is burning and those little sparks back in 2016 are lighting me up in ways I couldn’t have imagined back then.
Amped Up Marketing & Communications is not taking much of a break over the holidays, but we’re taking the downtime we need to keep the fires burning.
We’re continuing to work with trailblazing entrepreneurs and start-ups, as well as larger companies, on a number of rebrands, messaging strategies and SEO campaigns. We also have a big project in store for 2022 – for women who are rebuilding and relaunching after domestic violence relationships.
If you have a fire in your belly and want to see sparks fly in 2022, get in touch. Let’s help you ignite a bigger fire via branding, content and PR – so your audience can’t help but pay attention.
Join us in thinking big in 2022.
Getting started? Working out how to kick off your marketing? Read this first.