Women in Business Series: This series is dedicated to shining the spotlight on women in business who inspire us everyday.
Jemma is the Director of social media and digital consultancy, Dak & Co which specialises in supporting businesses with their social media management, strategy and all other digital marketing needs. She is the woman behind award-winning lifestyle blog A Stylish Moment, and knows just how important it is for a brand to develop a strong social media and online presence.
Through Dak & Co, Jemma helps creative entrepreneurs and business owners make an impact by working with them to develop unique, creative and shareable content that can elevate and highlight their brand story. We caught up with Jemma about what it’s like running her own show and how she’s gotten there so far.
Talk us through a typical working day for you right now
For me, no day is EVER the same (which I love). Regardless of what my day has in-store, I always ensure that I stick to the same morning routine:
6.00am: Wake up & check emails/socials from overnight (bad habit I know, but that’s what happens when you work in the world of digital!)
6.30am - a gym session or an at home HIIT session with my partner.
7.45am: Walk the dogs for an hour or so - this gets me outside and is generally where I’ll do my planning for the day ahead and get my head around what I have coming up.
Then - the day starts!
Some days it may involve me being in the office all day working on client strategies or social media content calendars, and other days I could be working on a photoshoot, or travelling to client offices for workshops and consultations.
In the evenings, I’ll either be at home working/watching Netflix or at an event or networking function.
Tell us a bit about your background and what you were doing before you started your biz.
When I finished high school in 2010, I had NO idea what I wanted to do.
My grades weren’t as good as I would have hoped, but they were enough to get me into University where I studied a Double Degree in Public Relations and Arts at the University of Canberra.
At the time, I hadn’t much of a clue what PR was, and social media certainly wasn’t on the radar. However, I LOVED my time at University and absolutely thrived throughout my 4 years of studying the degree.
Whilst I was studying I was lucky enough to be able to travel over to Italy and partake in a Fashion & Events PR course in Florence, and it was here where I learnt about this phenomenon called “blogging” and social media.
When I came back to Australia, I started my own blog A Stylish Moment (which to this day is still part of what I do) and started building a following and using social media and digital assets to grow online and build my profile.
When I finished University, I worked full-time in the PR and communications industry for both private and public organisations, and got a real feel for the industry and quickly learnt what I loved most - social media & digital marketing!
Through my experience of building my own blog and online profile, I decided to launch my own business so that I could help other businesses do the same, hence the birth of Dak & Co!
What have been the most rewarding and challenging aspects of running a business?
For me, running my own business certainly wasn’t on the cards in my early life. I don’t have a business background, but I do come from a family of exceptionally hard workers.
I’ve learnt ALOT over the years from working for myself, and have had some really rewarding moments, and some really challenging aspects as well.
For me, by far the most rewarding aspects are when I see my clients get real results through the work that we do together. When I get messages from current and past clients about their progress, it seriously lights me up inside!
I think the most challenging aspect for me at the beginning was quickly learning that you don’t get a paycheck every fortnight and that there will be some weeks where you are unsure of where the next payment or client will come from.
I am also not a numbers girl, so the financial side of things from a business perspective aren’t from strong points, so I quickly learnt the importance of outsourcing this so that I could concentrate on other aspects of my business.
What are your strongest attributes that make you a successful business owner?
I work seriously hard for every client that I work for - as I am extremely passionate about what I do, and when a client jumps onboard to work with me; I feel as though I am seriously part of their business and I give it my all.
I’m really driven as well, and truly believe that I am in the right place with my business and am working in the right industry. Oh, and I’m super organised too - I have to do lists for to do lists! It’s the only way in which I can wear all the hats that I do!
What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace/industry?
Try and get as much experience as you can in the industry - do internships (and don’t expect to be paid or do the fun stuff when you first start out!)
Be prepared to work your BUTT off! Getting anywhere in any industry isn’t meant to be easy, and you have to be prepared to put in the hard yards…for a long time.
Make sure you’re passionate about what you do. When your passionate, it truly shows in the work that you produce.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes - in fact, welcome them with open arms! Making mistakes will not only help you grow, but if we don’t make mistakes, we lose countless opportunities to gain valuable knowledge and learn lessons.
Where now? What does the road ahead look like for you and your business?
Well, I recently moved the business into a new office space - which I am SUPER excited about. I’d been running the business from my home office for 3 years, and it was finally time to move into a proper space.
We also recently launched the Dak & Co Social Circle, which is a consulting based service for small business owners, to help them get affordable and ongoing social media assistance. I’d love for this to continue to grow.
I want to slowly grow my team, but also want to keep the business small & boutique, so that we can continue to provide the best work and personalised service for our clients.
What’s your go-to playlist to get you through the tough days?
80’s or 90’s Pop on Spotify!
Beverage of choice?
Vodka Lime & Soda or a soy chai latte (no coffee for me!)