Hi, I’m Aleesah Darlison. I’m an author and the owner of Greenleaf Press.
There are many ways you can use your marketing skills to promote a book. This instalment of the Greenleaf Press Newsletter, I’m going to talk about the extra special, rather unique way I launched one of my Totally Twins books.
The Totally Twins series, four books in all, was written by me, illustrated by the gorgeous Serena Geddes and published by New Frontier. It was the first series I’d ever had picked up and I absolutely loved writing in diary format.
Pre-publication, I entered one of the stories in the series into a competition. The story was shortlisted, which told me it was good enough to start submitting. Not long after that, I submitted the series proposal and one story manuscript to New Frontier.
They liked the idea and offered me a contract to publish two books. After the success of the first two books, we went on to create another two books, to there were four in total. The series sold in Australia and was also sold in France and recently in the UK.
Rewind to 2010, however, and I only had one published picture book under my belt at the time Totally Twins Book 1: Musical Mayhem came out, so I was still very new in the market. Incidentally, the Totally Twins series was picked up from the slush pile, or unsolicited manuscripts.
When the third book, Tropical Trouble, was due to be released, I wanted to do something different, something fresh, that would attract people to the launch and create buzz around the book’s release.
I was still pretty new to the writing and publishing game and had only had two book launches previously so I was very inexperienced.
What I did have up my sleeve were some great contacts – and supportive friends – at the local primary school where my children attended, Balgowlah Heights Public School in Sydney. I’d worked with the children in my oldest son’s class (he was in Year 2 at the time) to create a fun little video of my picture book, Puggle’s Problem, to enter into a CBCA Competition.
The students in the class and the parents all got behind the project. It really did help that the children loved acting. They were awesome! We didn’t win the competition, but if you’d like to see the hilarious OUT-TAKES video, you can view it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yu2d5z18fM0&t=20s
It occurred to me to make another video, this time for the launch of Tropical Trouble. It would be lots of fun, I had the support of the students, teachers and parents of my son’s class at school – everyone wanted to be involved – and I thought it would be a fantastic way to engage people in my stories.
Admittedly, it was a huge job. I had to take portions of the first book, Musical Mayhem, and convert it to a ‘screenplay’, effectively reducing a 15,000 word book to only a few thousand words that would then be narrated and acted out over a three minute film.
Then, I had to cast the twenty-five students in roles (not an easy job when everyone wanted to be the main character!), have them rehearse, bring in props, rearrange classrooms and halls for filming, find someone who could film while I directed, actually spend time doing the filming, edit the film and finally ‘release’ it at the launch.
Thankfully, one of the other mums worked at Channel 7 so had lots of experience with filming and editing – and the great thing was, she was keen to help me. Huge bonus!
Each and every one of the twenty-five students were given parts. Some more major than others, obviously.
The idea was that the film would have its ‘world premiere’ at the book launch, which would be held at Berkelouw Books in Balgowlah on a Friday afternoon after school.
I was absolutely amazed at how eagerly the students threw themselves into learning their roles and filming. There were a few nerves and jitters, amongst lots of excitement and expectation. Not a single child let me down, though. They all performed their parts with gusto.
My other idea to help create buzz, was to offer goodie bags for those attending. I contacted stores in the shopping centre where Berkelouws was located plus some other contacts I had, asking them to donate products, giveaways and promotional items for the goodie bags and also as lucky door prizes. Lots of people came on board, which was fantastic.
Serena and the graphic designer at New Frontier created some beautiful invitations, which we distributed far and wide. I also bought some island-themed outfits for us to wear on the night – grass skirts, lays, floral headbands. We really got into the spirit of the tropical theme.
Promotions focused mainly in the local area and with the use of direct marketing and some point of sale flyers – Serena’s invitations. We were also lucky enough to score a notice in the Sydney Morning Herald. Of course, everyone at the school, and especially the ‘actors’ in my son’s class and their families were all geared up for the launch too.
On the night of the launch, we ended up with about a hundred people crammed into Berkelouws amidst table loads of food, drinks, balloons and decorations, books and of course, the film screen.
And I mean crammed. We’d pretty much gone beyond buzz and entered the realm of hype. It was standing sardine room only.
It was absolutely fantastic and I would have to say the book launch was a resounding success. It was a huge effort in the months prior, but it was also lots of fun and it was a truly effective way to engage readers and their families in the series. Making the short film they got to know my characters better and came to feel that they were a part of the stories themselves.
Here’s the link if you’d like to view the short film we made:
My son, who was eight at the time is in the video. See if you can pick him. Here’s a clue: his performance will rock you!
Life, and book launches, are what you make of them. If you’re trying to create buzz, atmosphere, excitement and a POINT OF DIFFERENCE, it’s a good idea to try something new. Something that involves others and gets them excited and interested. Creating supporters, fans and ambassadors for your books does take time, care and commitment, but it’s well worth it.
Book launches happen all the time – but making them different and interesting so people actually want to come and be involved and buy your book – now that takes a special effort.
Over last few weeks I shared my experiences and some of my learning outcomes from over a decade in corporate marketing.
If you’d like to read these articles, you can find them at the Greenleaf Press Blog, The Writerly Life, at www.greenleafpress.net.
When I first started out, the 4Ps of marketing were all the rage.
Product. Place. Price. Promotion.
There have been other theories introduced in past years and some talk about moving from only 4 Ps to another P, that of relationship marketing.
Relationship marketing is all about developing relationships, obviously, with your prospects and customers. It’s about networking face to face, sure, that one’s always been important, but thanks to technology, the internet and social media, you can now network from the comfort of your own home across several different platforms – with people all across the world.
This type of marketing is critical as an author. Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay and it’s now a key part of a savvy author’s marketing tool kit.
Recently we’ve also seen the advent of a 6th P: experiential, or engagement, marketing where advertisers promote a product or brand by immersing prospects/customers in the experience. I don’t have time or space in this short newsletter to fully go into these concepts, but you can find out more about them with a quick google search.
What I want to talk about is the idea of marketing yourself as an author BEFORE you’re published.
It’s all about building an Author Platform.
Because of this, it’s also about COMMITTING to becoming an author and BELIEVING in yourself becoming an author.
When I think of building an Author Platform, it may be worthwhile to consider 5 other Ps. They are:
How you look, how you speak, how you present yourself – how others seeing you in public – this is your image. It’s incredibly important. Your personal presentation is your public persona. People judge our books by their covers. Why wouldn’t they do the same to us?
The projection of image is not just in our own physical presentation but also our promotional headshots, website images, Facebook and other social media platforms. All of these media ‘channels’ need to look good and present a consistent image.
Perhaps consider linking your image/persona/presentation with a certain item, animal, colour, character or concept from your books. In this way, you’re creating strong BRANDING and making yourself memorable, hopefully in a good way, to your audience.
I’ve often dressed in a unicorn onesie because I write a Unicorn Riders series. Chris Collin, who writes and self-publishes picture books about ‘funky’ chickens often wears a shirt with a funky chicken character on it. We remember him for that.
When you’re a children’s author, you can get away with unicorn and chicken dress up because kids love it! And it’s fun…
Just because authors and illustrators are creative, doesn’t mean that they have to be flaky, disorganised, forgetful or unprofessional. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive.
Professionalism includes things like meeting publisher deadlines, to submitting to proposals to festivals on time and adhering to the guidelines given, replying to emails in a timely manner, being punctual for meetings and treating your readers, bookers (teachers, librarians, etc) and others with courtesy and consideration at all times. It really helps you to stand out if you can have high professional standards and approach your author ‘business’ in this way.
Oh, there will be politics in many situations in life. The children’s writing and publishing industry is no exception, despite its friendly and welcoming nature. At all times try to be as diplomatic as possible. It is a small industry and news travel fast through it.
Probably my best advice here would be to steer clear of it. Treat everyone equally. And be kind to all.
People often say to me that writing is a very solitary occupation. In many ways that’s true. We spend countless hours working at our desks, perfecting words for our beloved stories.
But computers and the internet have brought the world so much closer and made social interaction much more accessible for even the most solitary author. Even in our lonely garrets we can reach out and communicate with others. There really is no excuse for not developing relationships and working on your ‘relationship’ marketing.
The people who will become important to you are your readers, and you must always treat them with respect and care. It’s crucial that you show them that they’re valued.
The other people who are crucial in your writing career are your author and illustrator colleagues. Besides your family, if you have one, your author/illustrator friends will be your greatest support and the only ones who truly understand what you’re going through.
If you’re a beginning author, either aspiring or emerging, don’t ever think that just because someone has been published two, five, fifty, one hundred times… that they don’t still feel the same trepidation as you do at completing and submitting a manuscript. That they don’t still wait for that hard-won acceptance. Just like you are. That they don’t still dread editing (I know I do!)… or that they don’t feel jitters before stepping out to perform to a crowd.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned since becoming an author, it’s that we’re all the same underneath.
And don’t forget, publishers and editors are people too. Just like us, they have likes and dislikes, families, hobbies, interests. It’s a good idea to develop positive relationships with publishing people too.
If you don’t know how to network, chat, make small talk, make someone feel included in a conversation and know how to listen, TRULY listen, then now’s the time to start practising before you hit the big time!
As an author you will be put in so many situations where you have to meet and talk to people for the first time. Whether it’s at school visits, library talks or workshops, or at industry functions. You will talk to a lot of people, see many new faces and have to learn many new names.
Make it your business to get these things right.
Learning a few pleasantries to break the ice and to be willing to listen, not just TALK about yourself, is a skill that we all need to work on.
Having said that, make sure you don’t let your ‘light hide under a bushel either’. Be proud of who you are, perhaps even practice your own personal by-line for delivery at industry functions.
Attend Toastmasters meetings to learn the art of public speaking and networking if you need to. Conquer those nerves! I attended Toastmasters to improve my confidence – and I know others who have also done this – because it truly helps.
And there’s no way I’d ever say that I’m perfect and have never stepped a wrong foot with any of this. In fact, I have made mistakes. I’ve done or said the wrong thing at times through nervousness, brashness or naivety.
But I have always managed to pick myself up and keep going, and keep trying.
I’ve embarrassed myself in front of famous, multi-published authors, being barely able to speak without stumbling over my words and sounding like a complete idiot sycophant.
I’ve blurted things out without thinking instead of biting my tongue.
I’ve been lost at how to handle criticism or negative feedback and unable to hide the storm of anger and shock that swept across my face.
We all wear our heart on our sleeves sometimes.
I’ve been crushed and hurt at things people have said and responded unkindly in turn.
No one is perfect, least of all me.
But the important thing is that we try.
One of my favourite quotes sits beside my desk, and has done for about ten years now, ever since I started this crazy publication journey. It is
If you have made mistakes… there is always another chance for you… you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.
Mary Pickford, American actress.
Don’t you just love that?
I hope that if you can take on board some of the advice I’ve shared here that your failures may be less conspicuous than mine. I know that writing out this advice has helped me to realise that I have – and still need to – continue learning every day.
If you’re in the mood to learn about Social Media Marketing, you can join me at my workshops to be held through Noosa Library Service at Noosaville Library and Cooroy Library in coming months.
They’re free to the public. Details are included in the flyer below.
This is the third and final instalment in my article, ‘My Previous Life as a Marketer’.
As I mentioned at the end of the last instalment, I’ve often felt lost in the wilderness. I’ve been downhearted many times on my journey to become an author and also struggled to see where I should be heading.
In particular, I’ve always been down on myself for studying marketing, spending over ten years working in that same field, and listening to people who told me when I saw sixteen that it was too hard to become an author and that I’d never make it.
I’ve even felt angry at myself because I saw those years as a waste.
But the longer I work in this industry the more I see how much my corporate experience helps me as an author.
In the past two decades, so much has changed about how authors approach their careers and their writing. Being an author is, and always will be, about writing amazing, entertaining and engaging stories. That must always lie at the heart of the matter.
But being an author has also become much, much more.
We must know how to use computer software, not just an old clunky typewriter.
We must know how to lay out documents, our manuscripts, in a professional and polished way. And we must know how to construct the words in those manuscripts in an alluring way, sometimes a special way, formatted to certain guidelines (I’m particularly thinking of picture books here).
We need to know how to write great opening hooks (headlines), blurbs (advertising copy), bios (sell your benefits!), that ‘story-behind-the-story’ where many of us gild the lily or wax lyrical about how the muse came and sat on our shoulder and dictated this marvellous novel that you simply knew everyone would want to read…
We’ve all heard that one before.
Is that not marketing? Yes! Of course it is. Well-rehearsed, well thought out, well-scripted marketing. We are authors after all, we can write anything to our advantage. And today, marketing is increasingly about story. And as authors, we’re in the perfect position to craft our own irresistible stories…
We must know how to set up websites, social media pages, how to take studio quality photos and upload them onto various mediums. We need to come to terms with creating book trailers (filmic advertisements).
Many top authors and illustrators know how to work an audience, they know how to speak and present themselves publicly. Some are more natural than others, but some have had to overcome incredible shyness or even terror at the thought of public speaking. They have been coached on how to conduct themselves in interviews, how to engage audiences, how to speak to children and adults. How and where they should look when they’re interviewed on TV. These things don’t just happen, you have to be taught.
Great authors don’t necessarily fall into being great presenters. I would say that most great authors have the wrong personality type to be a public presenter, and yet… they must learn to do it.
So much about being an author is marketing. And not even after you’re published. You need to market yourself before your first book comes out. In this, I mean you need to build a firm Author Platform for yourself. Publishers and others in the industry really do notice and they really do care.
As the cost of advertising and production rise and book sales come under competitive pressure from technology-based games, publishers want new ways to cut through and have their message heard. That’s why more and more of them rely on authors to help sell their books.
It’s a natural progression, especially when you think that every social media channel you set up (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube) becomes your own broadcasting channel. We’re in the perfect position to create and roll out our very own content with messages that we can control ourselves. All we need are eager people to listen to us!
We’ve moved beyond the simply 4Ps of Marketing mentioned in Newsletter 6. We are well and truly into the era of Relationship Marketing and perhaps moving beyond it to Experiences Marketing.
This makes it absolutely crucial to learn how to talk about yourself and your book in a positive way. How to make small talk, how to develop good listening skills, clear speaking skills and how to connect with readers, authors and publishers across all ages and backgrounds.
Diplomacy and alacrity are necessary attributes for any author. They also came in very handy at meetings, conferences and industry parties during my life as a marketer.
So many people are simply flummoxed about how to use Microsoft Word, one of our most basic instruments as an author. We need to practice our skills with Word and conquer it if we can.
In the corporate world I created countless clean and perfect documents that contained all sorts of elements that would then be submitted to companies. Not just to secure a small book advance, but to secure my company millions of dollars’ worth of business. My job literally depended on my Word Documents being impeccable.
Millions of dollars.
Perhaps it was the terror of having so much riding on me during those years that now gives me an eye for detail. Courage under fire, perhaps? Either way, marketing taught me how to type, design and layout a decent document. I have marketing to thank for that.
In the corporate world, I also saw how businesses worked, how customer service worked (or didn’t) and how to develop a steely confidence even when I was shaking in my shoes. This last skill has become particularly useful in front of screaming preschool audiences!
Even if you forget the marketing side of being an author, where you have to present a public persona and a public image, you will need to get your head around the business side of being an author.
This was another thing that I was entirely naïve about before I first dipped my toe into the world of writing. Little did I realise that when I received my first book contract that I was in fact becoming a small business owner too.
Every business lesson I’d been taught while working in the corporate world now holds me in good stead for what I need to do in the writing world. It was all invaluable training.
It might not have been my heart’s true desire, but it led me here and now keeps me here, helping me to grow and develop as an author.
So now I think I can finally get off my own case and stop giving myself a hard time for ‘wasting’ my earlier years.
It is what it is.
I’m here now and I’ve come prepared!
Perhaps you feel this way too.
So, from all this, what’s my advice for aspiring and emerging authors and illustrators? Bullet point list below, which I hope gives you some inspiration.
See you next week…
Presenting at a Mumpreneurs Meeting on the Northern Beaches in 2013.
This is the second part of my article, ‘My Previous Life as a Marketer’. Of course, I sat down to write this article and it kept growing and growing. I guess there’s a lot to tell. So I’ve broken this one up into three parts.
Continuing on from last week, you may remember that I’d gone for a job interview. Totally out of my depth. Thought I’d embarrassed myself by getting teary and failed.
Somehow I ended up getting the job. It was a miracle. A random act of kindness.
I still believe the Sales Director felt sorry for me, but perhaps he also saw some potential in me because I did eventually live up to his expectations and become the Marketing Assistant he needed me to be.
This man, and his wife, eventually became a close friend of mine, though he was old enough to be my father. I think he did feel kind of father-like towards me too, but I think he also recognised that despite the age gap, the years of worldly experience and his success, we were very similar. Or maybe he had been like me when he was younger.
The Managing Director, on the other hand, refused to speak to me for the first two weeks I was there. This was a small company remember, impossible to avoid each other. But I wasn’t deemed worthy.
Working in an office environment – and office politics – were entirely foreign to me. I scrambled to learn everything (you know, thrown in at the deep end, sink or swim) but it wasn’t easy. I was so unprepared for real life in a corporate environment. It was incredibly full on.
Meanwhile, the MD hired every one of his ‘old boys network’ daughters as receptionists. They were nice girls and each one became my friend while they were there… but they never lasted. Even the MD saw that but he still hired them.
We all had to start somewhere... one of my early school photos growing up in country NSW.
I'm in the second row, far right.
It became evident to me that to keep my job I’d have to learn to type properly. Touch type. Computers and preparing documents for submission were such a huge part of my work life. Another thing Uni hadn’t prepared me for.
I was still working at Franklins and, along with two friends of mine from there, we went to a weekly night TAFE course to learn to touch type. I had an old typewrite at home and would practice there and of course at work I was typing all the time so it wasn’t long before I mastered that. The TAFE course continued but all three of us girls dropped out a few weeks out. We’d learned what we needed to learn and besides, the teacher had hit – yes actually, literally, physically – hit one of my friends when she’d typed something wrong. We all decided that after that, it was time to leave…
Back at my corporate job, the MD eventually started talking to me and warming to me. He sent me along to some Photoshop and Illustrator software courses and also paid for me to undertake a financial management course. What fun that was! Not.
When his PA left and the Marketing Manager exited around the same time, that left two people standing. The MD and me.
By then, I’d improved out of sight. I had confidence, knowledge and know-how. I tried to ignore the office politics as much as possible, most of the time we all got along although there was one girl there who was the kind the be nasty behind people’s backs – particularly mine.
The MD and I worked very closely for some time and I finally started to earn his respect.
Many, many hours, we would be working together, me at my computer, him pacing beside me and stomping back and forth, leaning over me to point at a word on the computer screen, gesticulating wildly as he dictated letters and we prepared submissions, pitches, tenders, reports, prospectuses, promotional flyers and more. Through me, he was able to get those words in his head down onto paper.
I was more than just a scribe, though. I became his editor, his word bank, his thesaurus, his dictionary and pitching partner. Our minds worked together to shape the documents he needed to be successful in his role as leader of the organisation. When he couldn’t think of a word or a phrase, I typed it up for him to read on screen, or I verbalised it. If he liked it, we went with it, if he didn’t we kept trying.
Looking back and thinking about it now, I remember how exciting it was to be working with words. It certainly wasn’t like writing children’s books, but it was writing, it was pitching, and it was a connection of minds to achieve a common goal.
We worked long hours, I worked overtime many nights, but he did appreciate this and I was always paid a bonus at the end of the year.
He also took me along to meetings and major events with financial planners, for which I was also the event manager, all around Australia. He even sent me to Hong Kong to see how the company ran over there. I ate very well while I was employed in the financial services industry and really learned to love Chinese, Thai and Japanese food. Our speciality was investment in the eight Asian ‘Tigers’ after all. It was a nice perk.
Even though I left home at seventeen, I still return regularly for school visits. One year, I worked with the local library to create an anthology project that included short stories from Manning Valley students.
When I did eventually resign, however, the MD went back into no-talking mode for my last two weeks at the company.
He was never lukewarm, always hot or cold. To be honest, he was also incredibly disappointed and probably hurt that I’d decided to move on. I'd been headhunted by my old boss, offered work at a bigger company for better pay, with better conditions and more opportunities.
These are the choices we make when we’re young and we have to live with them.
Sometimes I feel regret that I did leave, but if I hadn’t made that choice I might not have ended up where I am today. Everything happens for a reason. And at the time, I believed I was making the right decision.
On my final day, the MD tried to convince me to stay, but I’d already moved on. Two weeks of silence hadn’t helped.
My Marketing Degree is a nice piece of paper to have, it’s three years of proof of hard work and study. Around that are memories of three years of hard work at Franklins so I could get that piece of paper.
While there’s very little that remains in my brain of what was learned all those years ago at Uni, that piece of paper, that qualification, got my foot in the door of my first corporate job. It was the first step on the path that led me in a number of directions that eventually saw me return to the love of my life: writing.
Next week, I’ll continue the story and talk about my Aha! moment in regards to marketing. I’ve felt lost in the wilderness a number of times, but occasionally, the light goes on and things become clear.
Animals have always been a huge part of my life.
This is the first part of a three part blog article titled ‘My Previous Life as a Marketer’. Of course, I sat down to write this piece and the story kept growing and growing. I guess there’s a lot to tell. So I’ve broken this one up into three sections. Here’s the first instalment…
I haven’t always been an author, well not in reality, perhaps in my dream life, I was.
Like many people, I hoped and dreamed and wished to become an author long before I was one. It wasn’t until I actually started doing something about it that the dream came true, but that’s another story for another day.
Before I was an author I worked for over ten years in corporate marketing.
I’d studied a Bachelor of Commerce, Majoring in Marketing, at the University of New South Wales. Moving from country NSW to Sydney when I was seventeen I had a few jobs such as a research assistant for one of the university departments then I discovered Franklins Supermarkets.
I got a job as a checkout chick in one small store in Randwick, near where I lived and went to Uni. Franklins built a big, new store right across the road but kept both stores open. Being reliable and eager for work, I was then employed in both outlets. By the time I was nineteen, I was in managerial roles. Front End Controller – working out the front of the store and managing all the people on the checkouts and customers. And Head Cashier – working in the office drawing up rosters, preparing money for the tills, reconciling the day’s takings, counting it – sometimes we made $80,000 a day and I got to play with it all! – then locking it away in the safe.
It was an interesting job. And, of course, for someone who had never had much money before it was liberating to finally be able to support myself and pay my own way through Uni.
I was working forty hours a week, attending Uni sixteen hours a week, studying hours and hours every day and hanging out with friends the rest of the time. I stayed in contact with my friends from Franklins long after I eventually left. One of my best friends today was a girl I originally started working with in the small Franklins store around twenty-five years ago. Time flies.
Looking young and fresh on my University Graduation Day.
I'm with my dad on one of the few occasions he came to Sydney in the twenty-five years I lived there.
The first six months of Uni were a huge shock to me and I almost failed all of my subjects. As I said, I’d moved from the country to the city. I knew nothing about getting by in Sydney and I had very little idea about life and how things worked because I’d led such a protected existence. I didn’t even know you had to press the STOP button on the bus so the driver knew you wanted to get off!
It was a huge shock for me to receive such terrible marks. It spurred me on to do much better, refocus and work harder. From that time on, I only ever received top marks and in the end – despite all the distractions of youth and the bright lights of the big city – I received my degree with Merit.
Once I had to go out into the big world to find a corporate job I realised that my Marketing Degree had prepared me for little of how things really worked.
My degree had taught me the theory of marketing well-established products and brands like Coca-Cola and Kelloggs.
Have you heard of the 4Ps of marketing? Product. Place. Price. Promotion.
Sounds simple right? Well… perhaps a little too simple.
There weren’t any of those jobs actually available in Sydney at the time that I started looking.
Most of the jobs were in finance. Most were marketing services.
What did I know about finance? Nothing.
What did I know about real corporate jobs? Nothing.
What did I really know about marketing after three years of study? Probably nothing much. At least, that’s what I could remember…
I guess that’s the problem of studying theory all the time and studying to pass exams. Tying it all together never really happened. Tying it all together in a realistic environment also never happened.
Or maybe I just failed to retain anything!
Sydney was my home town for twenty-five years.
When I first moved there, I didn't even know how to catch a bus!
Besides which, I didn’t even know how to dress properly to fit into the corporate world.
I went for numerous interviews, but nothing eventuated. I was always told NO or never heard back. I had no experience working in high-end corporate, even though I’d held down a full time job in Franklins for over two years.
My university degree got me the interviews, but I kept failing in the face-to-face. I was nervous, unpolished and inexperienced. It showed.
Luckily, I ended up going for a job interview at a funds management company called Thornton Management. They had about eight people on staff in Sydney, but were owned by Dresdner Bank, the second largest and lesser-known German bank. They also had offices in Hong Kong and England.
The Sales Director liked me but the Managing Director was not fussed on me at all!
Ultimately, it was the Sales Director’s call and he hired me. I think he felt sorry for me. When he asked me in my job interview who my role models were (typical interview question) I said I didn’t have any, that I’d just focused on working hard and that was pretty all I had. There were no marketers that I knew, my immediate family members wouldn’t have known what ‘marketing’ meant, none of them had been to Uni. Could I list some authors? No, I didn’t think that was appropriate. Sensing my own impending failure at yet another interview I got upset and had to hold the tears in.
If I didn’t have any role models, how would I ever be successful in ANY job?
Sitting in the massive boardroom with the biggest table I’d ever seen with stunning silk flower displays and expensive marble statues, I felt lost, alone, overwhelmed and totally out of my depth.
I’m afraid we’ll have to leave it at this for now as the story is getting rather long for one sitting… I’ll continue in next week’s newsletter. Until then, happy writing.