Why I left Politics to Freelance

In October 2008, I was bawling my eyes out on the way back from the Best Bum final in Paris. After spending 10 days in Europe with amazing new friends I didn’t want to go back to my old life.

So instead of going back to real estate, which was this space that I had been working in for five years, I decided to enroll myself into university. I was 24-years-old.

Like every other person in my communications degree studying journalism, I wanted to be a host on Getaway but little did I know I would end up somewhere completely different.

I was offered a job six months out from finishing university to work in politics as a media officer. At the time I thought that would look pretty impressive on my resume.

My last day at Parliament House in 2015
I took a selfie stick to work this day so that I could get a photograph to mark my last day working in Parliament House in 2015.

Even though I never dreamed of working in Politics, I spent six years working for politicians. I worked incredibly hard, traveling between my home base on the Gold Coast and Parliament House in Canberra on sitting weeks.

I spent roughly 22 weeks of each year in Parliament itself. When I was there, I basically wrote a million speeches and watched the chamber like a hawk. We worked some big hours from 7:00 in the morning to about 10:00 or 11:00 at night most days.

As a result of my own experience flying in and out for work (FIFO), I have gained so much respect for people who do FIFO. It’s really tough, you do miss out on some important milestones and celebrations with your loved-ones.

After four years, I decided my time in Federal Politics was at an end. I wanted to be more permanently based at home. 

This brought me to the next stage of my political career, working for the Queensland Parliament which lasted about two years. 

It was Christmas time last year where I just really … just had the burning desire to get out and do something for myself. So many people would always say to me, you know, you’re very good at what you do, if anyone can run a business it is you.

From my experience, most politicians aren’t really very open to doing anything super creative. Everything that you do in public relations and politics has to kind of fit within a box, which normally comes with shell media releases.

I wanted to be able to break out of the conservative political communications world and show my creative talent and skill to others who would appreciate it.

There was only so much that I could as a media advisor in the political space. I had some great ideas, particularly around how social media could be utilised to connect authentically with voters but by and large, Pollies don’t feel comfortable sharing their personal lives. 

They know that everything they say and do can be scrutinized so they are in a space where they don’t usually feel comfortable sharing that side of themselves. 

I want to work with people who can. I want to work with people who are very sure about who they are, and they have a very strong brand awareness and need help looking super awesome online and in the media.

It’s essentially what I did for six years.

With a plethora of platforms to get your message across, like YouTube, podcasts, blogs. were not just working with the traditional press, TV and radio media channels anymore.

There are several ways to get your message across and I just love helping people plan a tailored media management strategy.

In fact, I am just a huge fan of plans full stop. With a super creative mind and an understanding of small business, I get a real buzz out of combining all of my experience and knowledge within my own consultancy.

If I love what I do, I will never work a day in my life!

The entrepreneurial rollercoaster sure has its ups and downs but I’ll take freedom over security any day of the week.

At least for now!

Advertisements

How FitAzFK Cashed in on Social Media Success – WITH TIPS

Originally published as FITAZFK ENTREPRENEURS HIT THE GYM TO CASH IN ON SOCIAL MEDIA SUCCESS at Business News Australia.

AFTER repaying the initial start-up costs of their e-commerce business within the first two days of trading, the founders of FitazFK are muscling their way into the Brisbane Gym market.FitAz-25.jpg

The latest venture for founders Georgio Batsinilas (pictured right) and Aaron McAllister (left) is a 650 square metre gym facility in Brisbane’s inner-city suburb of Kangaroo Point is set to become one of the most prominent gyms in Brisbane.

“Leveraging off our success with the online FitazFK market, we’ve been working on creating the ultimate gym experience at our new FitazFk gym,” says co-founder Batsinilas.

The fit-founders, with an Instagram following of more than 700,000, are confident their latest move will pay off with 250 people piling onto the waiting list within their first two weeks of advertising.

“We’ve got around 300 people on a pre-registration list now which we are working through, and we’ve signed up our first 100 founding members already,” says Batsinilas.

The odds of success are in the duo’s favour if previous records are anything to go by having sold more than 50,000 fitness and nutrition guides online and transforming over 38,500 bodies.

“Initially, FitazFK repaid its capital investment within two days and the growth since then has allowed us to not only invest in the gym but also into Ryan Greasley Fitness which paid for itself in just 10 hours of going live,” says Batsinilas.
Frame00051
A major factor in the Brisbane boys success story has come from the unique username @FitazFk which grew to 50,000 followers in just four months and a savvy social media marketing strategy.

“If you want to be successful in social media marketing you really need to live it and breathe it.”

“I became obsessed! I read lots of books, attended seminars and even joined mastermind groups who really understand the power of social media and we share our knowledge.”

“In the process, I also learned a lot from my fiancé, Thessy. She is literally the QUEEN of social media! Her skill to understand the psychographics of her customers is next level.”

“If we only cared about likes and based our success of followers we would probably not make much money but would have double the engagement and double the followers.”

In addition to attracting the right followers, Batsinilas says it is important to build honest and loyal relationships with key influencers.

“We are in the golden age of influencer marketing – it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.”

While preparations are underway for the gym to be up and running by the end of October, the entrepreneurs are also planning a trip to China to take their manufacturing side of the business to the next level.

Georgio Batsinilas’ 7 Tips for social media success:

1. Spend time learning what other successful brands are doing

2. Our social media page is kept to a theme. My theme is built around people coming to our page for aspiration in the fitness space – we want to inspire our customers to be their best version of themselves!

3. I always post clear images and always make sure I credit everyone I feature

4. Network! This is something a lot of people miss. Instagram is more than just posting an image. It’s about interacting with other brands/pages. You have to collaborate with other pages that are likeminded to yours to gain new followers and get exposure

5. I wanted to be different and I made sure I was. I created a username people wanted to repeat. I had a page called Fitaz_health which took me a year to grow to 4k. I created a new page called FitazFK and grew 50k in 4 months

6. I also made sure I knew every algorithm that was out there at the time and that it was most influential. If Instagram were favouring pages that received heaps of interaction from big pages, I would negotiate with these “bigger accounts” so they would like my posts. Tip – today, Instagram is favouring stories, get onto this asap, in a month it will be something different.

7. Respond to EVERYONE in comments, DMs, mentions – the lot. You are never too big, and no one is ever too small. That’s what is going to differentiate you from being just another brand. You’re becoming the customer’s friend.

When you Party with Kase Media

What do you get when you mix champagne, two content marketing gurus, a stylist, a make-up artist and five other kick ass female entrepreneurs?

GREAT video content – and some fabulous friends!

I am one of the lucky few to experience the first ever Kase Media Party first hand and let me tell you, it was the best $150 I have spent in my business since I started freelancing seven months ago.

I have been REALLY struggling with being myself – especially on camera. After too many years wearing a suit and corporate mask I have been struggling with the concept of letting my own personality shine through in my business.

I don’t have to fit in a predetermined box anymore. It’s one of the perks of being your own boss – if people don’t like what they see, that’s ok. I know that in the long run, my vibe will attract my tribe!

Storm and Kristine have encouraged me to embrace what makes me unique. As a result of working with them for one day, I have come back inspired to make some big changes to how I portray myself online.

For starters, I rewrote the landing page on my website. I used to talk about what I do, but now I’m telling my audience who I am, what I’ve done and what I am still yet to achieve.

Words can only do so much on their own so I will be working with the girls in the near future to create more video content which will help complete strangers get a better gist of the personality behind the brand.

Kase Media Team
With Storm and Kristine from Kase Media @Kasemedia

As a result of being immersed in a full day training with Kase Media, I produced this quick little video. The girls asked a range of weird and wacky questions which at the time I thought was quite random. They then supplied the footage to me and I did my thing on iMovie and I ended up creating the video below.

I shared this video as soon as I got back from the workshop and I’ve had some great engagement!

Who would have thought toilet humour would be so relatable?

It’s now safe to say, Storm and Kristine have created a monster.

I can’t wait to produce my next clip!

Today I started filming a travel guide on doing New Zealand on $1000 budget, watch this space!