How to never run out of idea

Writer’s block is every writer’s worst nightmare. And it always seems to strike when there’s an important deadline looming. Don’t wait for the last moment to find inspiration. Instead, take a few minutes every day to fill up your ‘ideas bank’. 

You can find inspiration anywhere. You just have to keep your eyes and ears open. Here are some of my tried-and-tested ways to get your writing ideas flowing again.

Books, movies and magazines

Great writers spend as much time reading publications and watching television as they do writing. Seeing how other writers have created flow, rhythm and voice can inspire you to create your own pieces of work. Also, push yourself to read topics or genres you normally wouldn’t. And take time out to devour a series on Netflix in one go. Analysing and appreciating character development, dialogue and camera work will help you improve your skills in these areas making the art of writing easier.

Travel and history

Whether you travel to a new country or across the other side of your city, being in a new place has the ability to make you see the world differently. Learning about a new culture or ancient history also forces you to re-evaluate your own values and beliefs. Reimagining the world and showing the world for what it is, are a writer’s key roles. It’s hard to do this when you’re not being challenged and are comfortable in your surroundings.

Nature and getting outdoors

Most writers spend hours sitting in front of a screen. It sucks. That’s why forcing yourself to get out of your chair and into the sunshine is so important. You can literally walk off your writer’s block as your subconscious will continue to problem solve and link ideas together while you’re enjoying the birds and greenery. Nature has been known to inspire the most famous of writers, too. Who can say they haven’t been inspired by a sunset, cute puppy or the intricacies of a modern city?

Writing groups and forums

Nothing beats a good chat with someone who gets you and what you do. While writing groups and forums are a great way to stay in touch with fellow writers, they also act as the modern ‘water cooler’ – a space where people come to share tips, ask questions and provide resources. When you’re stuck for ideas, spend time looking at what topics others are sharing and their reactions. Writing groups and forums can be helpful for finding the next big trends.

Overheard conversations and people watching

There’s nothing more entertaining or inspiring than humanity. Set yourself up in a busy café or train station and spend time watching people. You’ll overhear insightful conversations and see a whirlwind of different outfits and personal styles. We tend to spend most of our time with people who have similar ways of working, dressing and talking to us. When you place yourself in a common space you are reminded how different and unique we all are.

Mixing up your routine and trying something new

Routines are great for getting work done. But often they stifle creativity. Take a break from your usual to-do list, scheduled meetings and favourite lunch spot. In fact, don’t plan your day at all. Instead, makes things up as you go. You’ll be surprised what interesting opportunities are presented to you when you’re looking for them. 

P.S. Collect all your ideas in one central place for easy access. Sorry writers, little scrappy bits of paper and Post-it notes spread throughout your bag and desk drawer don’t count. 

 Follow Rachel Kurzyp on Twitter and check out her website here. 

Content marketing masterclass: Building your audience with a successful strategy

Subscribe to the Brand Storytelling podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeartRadio or an RSS feed of your choice – leave a review and tell us what you think about the show! 

On the Brand Storytelling podcast this week, the PR Warrior, Trevor Young gives a masterclass in content marketing, how to build content around your audience and previews the upcoming Content Marketing World Conference in Cleveland. 

Trevor talks about the growth of the content marketing industry, the challenges faced by marketers in an increasingly loud environment and the platforms and channels that can make your voice heard. 

Trevor will be speaking on September 2nd at his Digitalks event – How to build reputation and trust through content marketing.  

Here’s a preview on Trevor’s thoughts on…….

Why content is so important……..”The amount of noise and the clutter out there, the changes in consumer behavior, how advertising’s less effective than ever before, people are blocking it, we’ve got ad blockers, we fast-forward through the ads. Just literally reaching people is really difficult. On the other hand, people, their attentions spans, one report puts it as less than a goldfish, which is not great for, or not necessarily not great, but it is challenging therefore for marketers and communicators to reach people who have less than a goldfish attention span.

The old way we used to interrupt people with a message about our brand and our product and our service and interrupt them, that no longer works. We know that. It’s probably been ineffective for quite some time now. The brands that are doing things really well, is they’re attracting people to them and inspiring them and empowering them with knowledge and information. They’re humanising their brand through social media and they are building, I’ll use the word communities of advocates and supporters, and content plays a critical role in that I believe.”

What is the key to a successful content strategy…….“It’ll always go back to audience. That’s the one thing I like about the whole content marketing arena. The whole notion of content marketing is putting your audience first. While brands said we talk about our customers and we put them first, no they don’t really. Not with their communication.

This whole notion of audience first, what’s of interest and relevance to them? What will inspire them, entertain them? What are their knowledge gaps or their information gaps that we might be able to help them with through the provision of timely and relevant content? That side of thing’s really good, and then, of course, you’ve got to work at what format do they want it in? Where are they hanging out online? You’ve got to marry those numbers of things together. That takes insight.”

How content marketing works with influencers……..“Coming from a PR background which is my background, dealing with influences and building relationships with influences has always been about that. I guess on one hand I look at the Firebrand talent side of things. I’ve been blogging and on Twitter for a long time and LinkedIn. I suppose I’ve built a bit of an audience that talks to the marketing and PR world. I’ve built a relationship with Firebrand talent over some time.

They’ve got a fantastic blog which I write for every few months. That reaches an audience that I want to reach and therefore I’ll go and speak with their events. They’ll let me hold workshops in their boardroom and they’ll promote them for me. There’s a good relationship there, whereas today we’re talking a lot about influence in marketing which tends to be a very transactional thing where you’ve got an Instagram celebrity, and I’m using air quotes, who might have fifty thousand followers and you can buy them to produce some content on your behalf. That to me is a little bit more transactional.”

About Trevor Young

As the PR warrior, Trevor assists companies and individuals in developing and implementing platforms to build brand personas. He is the author of mircoDOMINATION: How to leverage social media and content marketing to build a mini-business empire around your personal brand and hosts the podcast, Reputation Revolution

Links / Credits

Opening audio: Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi – “The Force is strong in my family” 

Opening audio: Documentary – The Story of Content: Rise of the New Marketing

Opening audio: Kevin Spacey Closing Keynote Highlights – Content Marketing World 2014

Opening audio: INBOUND Bold Talks: Joe Pulizzi “Two Little Things that Made All the Difference”

Trevor’s keynote: How to build reputation and trust through content marketing – September 2nd

Too many social media channels? Here’s how to tie them together

An average social media user has a presence on five different platforms. Around 2.1 billion people or 30% of Earth’s population, are active on social media. The staggering growth of platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram has prompted brands to create accounts on as many channels as they can. 

But how do you avoid repetitive messages and disconnected experiences with so many accounts to manage? 

Integrate within social media marketing

Most companies use around three social media channels and there could be multiple handles for each channel. To give the audience a cohesive brand experience, marketers should leverage each channel’s strengths and audience characteristics. 

The funnel AIDA

Remember the famous purchase funnel in marketing? Applied here, it means working out the stage of the buyer’s journey and matching it with your social media content. 

Audience demographics

Plenty of research is available about the demographics of key social networking sites. Brands who want to target multiple customer segments can devise strategies accordingly. 

For instance, Pinterest is often used by women and higher-educated women; Twitter caters to urban population; Snapchat attracts millennials and younger users; LinkedIn is popular among educated, high-income users.  

Source: Statista
Source: Statista

Channel characteristics

When creating and promoting content, marketers need to think about tapping unique strengths of various social media channels. 

For example, regarding content discovery, hashtags are effectively utilised in Twitter and Instagram. 

Sharing the same piece of content
Keep in mind the requirements on different channels regarding length and format. Remember to vary the message even though you are sharing the same piece across different channels. No one wants to engage with a brand that sounds like a robot.

Share different content / content format
This is slightly more obvious than the point above. Apart from the common uses such as YouTube for videos, Instagram for images, think about the nature of the content. For instance, users expect company news/updates on Facebook and Twitter more; curation usually happens on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Branding aspects

One of the reasons brands don’t achieve ROI on social media is because they don’t deliver a cohesive brand experience. Although different channels have different audience demographics, if users feel your brand personalities/values are fragmented, they won’t see you as genuine. 

Some simple tips include:

  • Having similar look and feel, using similar handles across channels.
  • Using a social media scheduling tool/analysis platform to have a complete picture of all channels you use.

Integrate with other marketing channels

Social media is only one channel in your overall marketing communications. Thus, avoid becoming too obsessed with the trends and forgetting about other channels which might attract higher engagement. 

A few things you can do to tie social media with other marketing efforts: 

  • Give your audience the option to choose which social media channel to use for following you in your email newsletter and website.
  • Utilise SEO-focused keywords for social media posts.
  • Implement share buttons and shareable quotes on your blog.

What big brands can learn from entrepreneurs

Subscribe to the Brand Storytelling podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, TuneIn or an RSS feed of your choiceleave a review and tell us what you think about the show! 

On the Brand Storytelling podcast this week, we are joined by Jonathan Chan from Foundr Magazine, an inspirational resource and guide for the next generation of young entrepreneurs. 

Jonathan talks with Rakhal about how Foundr got started, what drives individuals such as Gary Vaynerchuck, Arianna Huffington and Richard Branson to be successful and why brands should always be rewarding their audiences with quality content. 

5 Lessons from Jonathan Chan & Foundr

1. Let your content act as a guide or a mentor to its audience. 

2. Every piece of content your brand publishers should add value. 

3. You don’t know until you start the conversation. 

4. Start humanising your brand – establish your brand and yourself as trustworthy. 

5. Reward your audience before you reward yourself.  

Here’s a sneak preview of the show:

Rakhal Ebeli: For our listeners who perhaps don’t know much about Gary V. who of course is a prolific content creator. Author of Jab Jab Jab Right Hook and so many other publications. What would you say is the best way to sum him up?

Jonathan Chan: To sum him up as a person, he is manic. He is a hustler to the very bone. Someone that refuses to do anything but be productive every waking moment of his day. With his philosophy and with his teachings I have to say he is the latest in the line of brand storytellers in the same vain of Seth Godin, for example. I think doing good content has always been valuable. It has always been something that is recognized. Gary is the person who is taking that philosophy and putting it for our generation. For the social media generation.

Rakhal: So from those lessons that Gary V. is imparting upon the younger generation and entrepreneurs out there, what can big brands take out of those messages?

Jonathan: How are you serving your audience? I think a lot of big brands tend to … and edit this out if it’s a bit too risque but I like to call it, a lot of big brands like to market bait. They like to do marketing or do brand storytelling that makes them feel good instead of helping their audience. You see this a lot with, I don’t want to give out any specific examples, but you see a lot of brands they’ll put out ads or they’ll do pieces of content and it’s so self-congratulatory. It’s almost condescending. It’s like, look at me.

How funny am I for saying this joke? Or how witty am I, how in touch with this generation am I? A lot of it is market baiting. Its self-pleasure. It’s to pat themselves on the back. People can immediately, one hundred percent always pick that out. As soon as you feel, come off as pretentious, as condescending, people will pick that up from a mile away. From a hundred yards away. They’ll look at that and be like, “yeah, I’m not into that”.

Anything with Gary Vanderchuck’s philosophy is always make sure you’re rewarding your audience and not yourself first.

Rakhal: It’s a huge lesson but one that’s a big risk I imagine for brands to take isn’t it? Because they have a particular persona and often its about building trust and it’s on a bedrock of foundation that’s being built over generations or years and years. To leap away from that and to show some humanization almost of their brand can be a real challenge.

How do brands best attack that without potentially letting themselves or their audience down?

Jonathan: If I was going to give an actionable step? Use his generated content. People love user generated content. Whether it’s getting people to give video testimonials about you and cutting it together or I think hungry jacks did a recent ad with their coffee, I think? Just social proof. Showing that regular people are enjoying your stuff and that they are regular people. That’s always a great way to do it if you wanted a really actionable tip.

As an overall strategy? To get more in touch with your audience I would say fire your marketing. No, gosh, don’t do that. Hire me instead! No, start positioning it. Start getting more outside people to look at what you produce with fresh eyes. Something that I’m very guilty of and I think everyone’s guilty of is that when they work on something when they pour a lot of blood, sweat, and tears and hard work into something they create a silo around themselves.

They think this is perfect, this is amazing and don’t let anyone else see it or it goes through a really awkward process of checking and that creativity that’s sparked with whatever you had turns out really wasn’t there. Being okay with letting go of projects that just didn’t turn out right. Don’t do the whole cost fallacy thing where you spend a hundred thousand dollars producing an ad and then later you look at it and it’s not that good. Just because you spent a hundred thousand dollars on it doesn’t mean you should let it go to air if it’s actually damaging your brand.

About Jonathan Chan & Foundr

Jonathan is a content crafter and marketer at Foundr magazine where he and the team have created content to guide young entrepreneurs to be successful. 

Foundr has interviewed the likes of Richard Branson, Gary Vaynerchuk and Arianna Huffington to tell their stories and share advice how to build a successful brand. 

The team at Foundr
The team at Foundr


You’re Afraid to Fail Because of Other People’s Opinions – Gary Vaynerchuk

Richard Branson: Advice for Entrepreneurs – big think

Arianna Huffington: How to succeed? Get more sleep – TED Talks

Gary Vaynerchuk – Website

Photo credit: World Travel & Tourism Council via Visual hunt / CC BY

11 ways to build a dedicated audience for your blog

Whether you’re just starting out or have been blogging for a while, you may be wondering where all the readers are. Writers are often told to just write great content and the readers will come. But writing great content on a regular basis isn’t enough to build a dedicated audience. You need to market your content as well. 

Many bloggers get the technical aspects of their blog content marketing right, including their website layout, clever use of headings, having a call-to-action and share buttons. But that won’t draw readers to your blog it will only help them stay once they’re there. 

Marketing is about people. And if you want people to read your content you need to get out from behind the keyboard and start making good, old-fashioned relationships. Here are 11 ways you can increase your blog’s online following simply by acting like a real, genuine human being.

1.  Let your immediate network know about your content and encourage them to share it with at least three people they think would benefit from reading it.

2. Actively participate in online communities and don’t be afraid to start conversations, offer advice and share your work when it’s relevant.

3. Join forces with another blogger or a peer in your industry and share each other’s work within your own networks.

4. Regularly comment on other people’s blogs with the purpose of striking up a conversation with the blogger and their community.

5. Participate in Twitter chats and other live online events and remember to share your area of expertise when you introduce yourself.

6. Write guest posts for a range of blogs, focusing specifically on sectors that complement your own like graphic design, SEO writers, digital marketers and so on.


7. Offer free training online, at a seminar or university and give every participant a 10% discount on your products or services.

8. Seek out speaking events in your industry and ask happy listeners to give you a shout-out on their social media.

9. Encourage readers to send in their questions and dedicate an hour a week to answering them and sharing the answers on your blog for your wider community.

10. Send blog posts to your favourite influencers and ask them to read the post and give you a testimonial if they like your content.

11. Thank your readers for reading your blog and sharing it with their networks by giving them a special gift of their choice.

Follow Rachel Kurzyp on Twitter and check out her website here.

How content marketing drives a PR strategy

Subscribe to the Brand Storytelling podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, TunIn or an RSS feed of your choice – leave a review and tell us what you think about the show! 

On the Brand Storytelling podcast this week, we are joined by Bec Derrington from SourceBottle, a resource that connects journalists with expert sources.

We talk to Bec about her work at SourceBottle and Influencer HUB, how it has become the tinder for journalists, her earlier days in the PR world and finding that perfect blend of public relations and content marketing to execute a brand strategy. 

5 Lessons from Bec Derrington 

1.  Know when it’s the right time to push and pull with your strategy. 

2. When catering to a broad audience, drip feed your content and resist going for a big brand push. 

3. Branded content is starting to drop its stigma with journalists choosing to work more with brands. 

4. By 2020, PR will be all about influencers and everyone having access to being a publisher.

5. Smart branded content is the go-to resource for engaging stories. 

Here’s a sneak preview of the show: 

Rakhal Ebeli: Well, it’s interesting. That’s a very fascinating way of looking at it, and you’re not necessarily incorrect in my view either because to me, push would be a campaign based piece of content or promotional activity. You might have a product or service that you’re looking to push onto the market. Pulling is more about using content brand storytelling to bring that audience into the conversation. From a PR perspective, how do brands know when’s the right time to push and when’s the right time to pull?

Bec Derrington: From a PR perspective? Look, I think … I’ve been reading a really fascinating book recently called How Brands Grow, I think. It’s really actually turned my whole appreciation of mass marketing and very specific targeting marketing on its head. The reason I’m saying that is because it’s really impacted on what I see are key drivers in growing market share. I think there’s a really important synergy in both approaches, and I actually think both approaches should pretty much be always on.

One of the things with influence marketing that I believe, and Influencer Hub, what it really embraces is sort of a movement away from just little bursts of pushing and promotion to more of an ongoing sort of regularly sending out content, being very much top of mind all the time in terms of where your market sits because the long tail of that market can be overlooked if you’re being too specific and too targeted in your marketing. Sometimes they really dispute that whole 80/20 principle, that Pareto principle, and say it’s actually very rarely that strong a divide between your biggest consumers and the rest. I sort of think it’s important to have a very steady, ongoing approach to marketing and promotion and PR. Having a very steady drip of content going out all the time so you can stay top of mind and rather than having little pushes all the time, having a very steady and consistent approach where you’re trying to cater to a very broad market.

Rakhal: I love the word broad because you’re really opening the funnel there with that content or communication of whatever kind it is. That really does rely on there being a dip in the water of non-branded, non-campaign centric conversation as opposed to brand-centric, push, push, push.

About Bec Derrington

Bec is the founder of SourceBottle which connects journalists and bloggers with expert sources and established thought-leaders. 

She is also the founder and CEO of Influencer HUB that builds influencer communities for brands and building brand advocacy. 


Rio 2016: An Olympic-Size Public Relations Disaster
Influencer HUB
The Secret Weapon of Content Marketing Is Public Relations
PR and Content Marketing: The Inevitable Marriage
Content Marketing and the Devolution of Public Relations
How To Use Content Marketing For Public Relations
Basic Bananas: Bec Derrington Interview


Content marketing inspiration for the Olympic season

This year’s Olympics is forecast to be the most watched online ever, and also the second “social media Olympics” (after the London 2012 Games marked the exponential growth of this channel).

A total of 7 million Tweets have been sent out since the lead-up to the Opening Ceremony. The stakes are high and brands are eager to jump in. Not sure how to start, or need inspiration? 


Content hub

Back during the London Olympics, Innocent – the fruit drinks company – made the most out of its official smooth and juice status for the Games.

In its dedicated section for the event, Innocent produced the right mix of light-hearted, humorous and informative content, including the Games history.


Source: Innocent Drinks
Source: Innocent Drinks

But that’s not to say you have to have direct ties with the Olympics to create content. In fact, the Rio Olympics is the “first live sporting event that has actually sanctioned the production of content from non-sponsors.”


Interactive content and games

This year, Canada’s CBC has produced a series of interactive content to educate and inspire a younger audience. For marketers, the takeaway here is to think about the different content formats that can result in high engagement.

Highly eye-catching elements also help; the CBC’s site seems to have it all: infographics, videos, cartoons etc. If you want to support your home country, showing medal stats is a good idea.


Source: Kids CBC
Source: Kids CBC


Competition and giveaway

Despite criticism for similar campaigns in the past, McDonald’s implemented a “Win when USA Wins Gold” in the 2012 Olympics.

Having learned the lesson, the fast food chain wanted to reward healthy eating while celebrating the Olympics spirit.

If you want to create some buzz around this idea, you can pick a sport (or medal colour) and offer special deals and discounts when your country wins. This can work if your business is somehow relevant to a particular sport, or you want to control your promotional spending.



Consumer products brand P&G has launched the “Thank You, Mom” campaign, following its success with the 2012 “Proud Sponsors of Moms” campaign.

Experts have praised the brand for having the best recurring Olympics strategy, as well as the ability to “newsjack” while plucking heartstrings.

With video as the content format, P&G took a horizontal approach (spanning across time), not vertical like Innocent or Kids CBC above (spanning across formats and topics for one season only).

If you want to create emotional content, keep in mind that “the smartest will hitch to the stories of athletes” or real people.


Partnering with content producers

NBC has a big budget to get BuzzFeed to produce special 2016 Olympics features, which will be shared all over social media. But don’t be discouraged, the takeaways are:

  • Tailor content to specific platforms/channels as demographics vary. NBC’s 2016 Olympics strategy has become much more versatile to attract a wider audience.
  • Focus on “snackable” content if you want to target a millennial audience.

  • Consider branded content or native advertising: are there mutual benefits between you and a publisher?

A word of caution

Be careful on social media during the official blackout period, which ends on August 24. There are certain Olympics’ trademarked words or phrases to avoid, among other activities.

The new publishing trends for Hearst-Bauer Media

Subscribe to the Brand Storytelling podcast on iTunes, Soundcloud, Sticher and TuneIn – Leave a review and tell us what you think about the show! 

On the Brand Storytelling podcast this week, we celebrate Australia’s premier journalism and storytelling festival, Storyology. GM of Hearst-Bauer Media, Marina Go joins Rakhal Ebeli to talk about her career path, the trends in video content and the future of the Walkley foundation and the journalism industry.

5 lessons from Marina Go

1. It’s about the quality of your content, not where you are publishing from.

2. Millennials are driving how we think about engagement. How we interact with our audiences. 

3. Content for one channel may not be suited to another. Brands need to innovate each to space to their audience. 

4. What is a journalist now? What is their role? Despite the decline in print journalism, new avenues and opportunities continue to present themselves to the industry.

5. Our perception of what makes a story is changing with the technology we use. 

Here’s a sneak preview of the show:

Rakhal Ebeli: Is that a big part of why digital is just going from strength to strength because in traditional print it’s very hard to do that hand hold across to engagement or indeed some kind of purchase decision?

Marina Go: Absolutely and it’s the reason why print and digital need to work very well hand in hand. We certainly integrated our brands very well at Bauer but it’s the reason. In fact, digital enables that extra part of the funnel I guess for us with our consumers. I think of digital as a real positive add-on to where we print years ago. If we get this right it doesn’t have to be a direct competitor. It can actually be complimentary. There are still some publishers I know that think of it as competitive media but that is not that way at all.

Rakhal: Is a big part of this push about engaging millennials given the fact that they are across so many different platforms?

Marina: Absolutely. Millennials are really driving the way we need to think about how we engage, where we engage because they are across everything. One of the challenges, of course, is that you still have limited resources and many more platforms with which to create content for engagement and every single platform has a slightly different way of engaging. The video content or the story that we might create for Snapchat will invariably be quite different to something that we might do for a video for Facebook. I think we have just had to think very strategically now about our resourcing and it is. Millennials are constantly challenging us but it also means that we are remaining innovative. If millennials are in your sight as they are with our audience, Bauer has a very strong millennial audience, then it does help the innovation across the rest of the business I think. You read the pointy end of it.

Rakhal: Taking off your Bauer hat and just speaking from an editorial perspective and a journalism perspective given your strong background, I know you’ve worked in the industry for three decades so you’ve had significant experience across this conversation and now with the commercialization of content it’s really quite poignant, where do you see the line being drawn between editorial and branded content? Is there now a very distinctive line or is it still a grey area not necessarily specific to Bauer but just in general?

Marina: I think it really depends on the category and the segment because it depends on the expectation of the customer. Ultimately the customer will make a decision as to where the line is and I think depending on who that person is the line will be different. By the example I give of that I’ve worked in publishing across women’s lifestyle, fashion, but also business, property news. I was a CEO of private media for some time. I’ve worked across these categories and there is less tolerance for grey in the business and news community and there is far more acceptance in terms of branded content being content within the fashion and lifestyle community. That was always the case. Even before the internet, even before native content was a thing I think with the digital community, in the magazine world a hundred years ago, which is really when I began so I’m very old, a hundred years ago when magazines began, we were already creating content with our commercial partners that was more accessible to our audience. It was more like an editorial than it was like ads. Our audience has accepted that. In fact not only accepted it but actually loved it. We could tell that they loved it because the engagement rate was high, very very high.

It really depends on the category. I think it’s hard to make a blanket statement about where the line is because, as I said, it depends on the category. It has to be quite clear I think. When it is, and I tend to think it is, when it’s more about large risk factors that affect your life like finances and that kind of thing, I think the line has to be much clearer. When it’s about entertainment, and engagement, and love, and passion, which is what fashion and lifestyle is, I think as long as the quality of the content is well produced and the brands are well produced and they are brands that our consumers are happy to have come into their lives to be pushed content to, I think it’s comfortable for them for the line to be grey.

Another example of that which a lot of men, in particular, find quite surprising, our magazines, fashion magazines sell much better when there are lots of ads in them. It seems really hard to comprehend when there’s this kind of blocking technology on websites but to be honest with you, the people who love ads and expect that to be part of the content are less likely to block and much more accepting of anything that feels a little bit greyer to other categories. Sorry.

About Marina Go 

Marina is the GM of Hearst-Bauer Media where she oversees multiple publications including Australian Geographic, Belle and Cosmopolitan

Show links

The story behind the Panama Papers leak

The Panama Papers – Secrets of the Super Rich

Report: Panama papers firm offered guide on evading US taxes

Elle launches interactive ‘click-to-buy’ video series

How to become a digital nomad

Combining work and travel has always been a dream of mine. And now thanks to the internet, the changing nature of work and affordable travel options I have been able to make my dream a reality. Over the last seven years, I have successfully lived, travelled and worked across six continents. 

Being a digital nomad is no longer restricted to writers, teachers and flight attendants, either. Anyone can work overseas. You just need to be willing to do the work, be flexible, adapt quickly, and occasionally go without good coffee and Wi-Fi.  

Do you dream of being a digital nomad? Here are my tips to help you get started.


Build a global network

We’re more globally connected than ever before. Yet for the majority of us, our professional contacts are still tied to where we currently live or work. Having a global professional network is one of the easiest ways to find work while you travel. When you’re heading to a new city or region ask your contacts to connect you with relevant people: those in your sector and those who would be interested in your services.



Offer to take your new acquaintances out for coffee and while you’re there explain succinctly what you do, what work you’re looking for and the types of people you’re trying to meet. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to meet people and find opportunities. Don’t forget to nurture your new relationships once you’re back home.


Seek out locally-based projects

While many people enjoy working remotely from exotic locations, there’s a lot to gain from working with local organisations. Locally-based projects help you to immerse yourself in the culture as you’ll often be required to have a working knowledge of the language, use local transport, and learn new norms and customs. And as an added bonus, your local organisation will often provide additional support while you settle into your new home. Find locally-based projects through your global networks or look out for advertisements in local newspapers, websites and community groups. Staying in one location for a longer amount of time will often help you secure more meaningful work. 


Create an online service

If you don’t want to be restricted to one location you need to create an online-based service. Building an online presence and shop front has never been easier. However, if you’re still paper-based and rely heavily on phone calls, you’re going to need to adapt your back-end processes too. To ensure your global clients can contact you whenever they want, consider creating a more detailed online contact form that lets your clients know about your timings and availability. Also, update your service page to include specific details about what you offer so they don’t need to call you for more basic information. Guarantee your client has a smooth and coherent customer experience by moving your payment system, documents, and communication channels online.  You’ll also save money on your business running costs.  



Plan your schedule in advance

It’s fun to fantasise jet-setting off to the Caribbean at a moment’s notice. But it’s just that; a fantasy. In reality, you need to be extremely organised and plan your schedule months in advance. Planning ahead not only allows you to save money on flights and accommodation, and other travel-related expenses, it also helps you build in extra time to complete your work. Time zone differences, Wi-Fi issues, flight cancellations, travel-related illnesses and public holidays can all affect your ability to complete daily tasks. Being organised, having processes, and confidently meeting and setting deadlines are all necessary skill-sets if you want to be able to balance work and travel. Before you set off, do your research to avoid any unexpected issues. 

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How Cricket Australia uses content to engage its audience

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Fan engagement has never been more important with codes, leagues and teams now competing outside of conventional television for attention. With more than 77% of sports fans using a second screen as a companion, brands are building new applications and content systems to enhance the gameday experience. 

These screens are the secondary source for what is happening. Live tweeting, statistics and live scores from other games, forums, blogs and instant analysis give fans a deeper connection they’ve never been afforded before. 

Leagues and codes are now tasked with building content and media hubs that can capture that attention and enhance the gameday experience.  

On the Brand Storytelling podcast this week, we talk about the new world of sports analytics and how leagues are engaging audiences through new interactive content. Audiences are now operating two screens when consuming their favourite sport with apps, live scores and statistics being the focal points. 

Finn Bradshaw, Head of Digital at Cricket Australia joins Rakhal to outline how he is building new mediums and channels to engage a fan base that is consuming more content and data than ever before. 

5 Lessons From Finn Bradshaw: 

1. Mentioning a brand every 10 seconds benefits no one……save the person they paid to do it.

2. Know your fans and work with them to find the content they want. 

3. Set high expectations for your content!  

4. For fans, you need to enhance the experience on and off the pitch to create the most engagement. 

5. Be really clear on what you’re trying to achieve and how you’re going to measure it. 

Here’s a sneak preview of the show:

Rakhal Ebeli: One of the things that you mentioned were various platforms in which your publishing and the one that stands out for me is the really awesome Cricket Australia app. That came about I guess a few years back from memory and I subscribed to it. I must confess I loved it over the summer. Not sure my wife loves it as much as I do because you definitely get to consume a lot of cricket, the BBL and so on over those hot months but how has it performed for you and where next for the cricket oz app?

Finn Bradshaw: Yeah that’s probably one of the areas I’m proudest of. Previously Vodaphone had done the cricket app and it was called the Vodaphone cricket app and it was rated, you know, no one connected it with Cricket Australia so that relationship ended before it started. We built this from the ground up. We released version 2.0 this year which I think I’m really happy with the design finally. We actually won a global award.

The most important thing is the engagement keeps going up, right? Yeah, you know with an app you’re always in the battle to sort of get in that top 6 apps that most people use. Now we don’t expect that to be over the winter months but over the summer we absolutely want to be one of those 6 apps and I think we’re close to 2 million people engaged over the last 12 months.

Rakhal: Is that primarily, I was going to say, Australia?

Finn: It’s like 98 percent Australian. We’re actually available in the app store around the world but a lot of our videos are jail blocked outside of Australia so that sort of proposition of the app is around getting people the content as quickly as possible. If you’re a user in India you’re not getting really the best experience.

Rakhal: I noticed recently that the AFL Live app has also just put out an advertising campaign where there’s a bunch of girls sitting in the stands. They’re watching a footy game and one of them is literally looking at the app and she says, “Oh this play is going to miss the key for goal.” Where are we at with fan engagement with these things?

Finn: It seems that we’re … That match engagement piece is something that people have spoken about with me from the moment I started here and for us as a business really we want to invest our money in somewhere that’s going to have a tangible difference so will that technology either change someone from deciding not to buy a ticket to buying a ticket or, at the ground, will it significantly improve their experience of the game?

This summer we’re doing a piece of research around basically what are the paying points for people so I actually think probably where technology will have a greater impact for people will be things like if I want to get home by 11, because I want to get the kids in bed by 11, what time do I need to leave the stadium? Or what train should I catch to the stadium that’s going to get me closest to the gate that I need to go into? Or I don’t want to buy the type of food that’s being sold here.

About Cricket Australia

The one stop shop for cricketing fans including history, statistics, live scores, video and more. 

Connect with Finn Bradshaw

Twitter: @finn_bradshaw


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