A journalist whose never had to put herself in the spotlight, I built Lenny a Personal Brand website to help her gain more writing work after choosing the freelance route following one of the many print media restructures. We met at the Herald, and both worked on the wonderful Good Weekend magazine. Always thoughtful, generous and an exquisite writer, it was tricky to coax her out from behind her laptop, and coach her on the need for a strong online presence, from where she was instantly contactable, that provided a platform to show her talent and accomplishments without the distraction of a social network.
Like Lenny, I took redundancy from a role that represented stability, consistent income, super and a professional public position that I had wrapped up with my identity. The departure came as an enormous shock and I can’t deny the ructions of that change are probably still informing my decisions today. I was fortunate to have skills that enabled me to pivot into running my own business, Love Communications, although I don’t deny that for a time, my confidence was eviscerated. I’d held an extremely busy post and was a mother to 2 young boys while juggling a large work load across multiple time zones. I took taken for granted my value in that organisation, but it was only ever a figure in a spreadsheet. The disruption to the print media industry became more savage as the transition to web for news and infotainment became more assured. A smaller work force was inevitable.
These pivotal moments are what make us though, and I am immensely indebted to the SMH for the years of experience and support and the soft landing that being in a strongly unionised workforce delivered.
I’m also indebted to my own resilience. My career path has not been a direct route from A to B. It has popped across to M, N, P and O, passing quickly through F, G and H, with a quick trip around Z and is still meandering, which must be the way I have to function. Knowing this helps me understand the value of change, the value of knowing where my energy lies and the value in transferrable skills.
Similarly with Lenny Ann Low. An immensely entertaining author and journalist, with exceptional observation, humour and resilience, her choice to exit from Fairfax was informed by numerous considerations: her family, her well being, the time, freedom and opportunities a payout delivers and confidence in her resilience.
She understood that a website that showed her strengths, gave editors a flavour of her style and diversity and is an instant and simple response in any lead conversation (“I’ve written a similar piece, take a look at my website….”)
Her site shows her not only as an excellent, busy and well respected journalist with a broad clientelle, it also shows her breadth of talent with space devoted to personal projects and performances.
Of the site, she writes:
“I have been overjoyed with the web site built for me by Love Communications. Jude [has] created a thing of beauty, a handsome and relevant tool that, increasingly, is the first point of call for work opportunities and introductions. Working with Love Communications is an inspiring and rewarding experience that I always look forward to.”
Having a Personal Brand sets you apart from your peers and helps you ride the vicissitudes during times of change in your industry. It’s constantly and consistently you, no matter the curves and reroutes in your career path, your role, you employment status. It improves your discoverability online, on your platform, without social distractiosn. It shows you as confident, strong, bold, courageous and expert. It allows you to build an audience – of people who are ahead, people you want or need to connect to, and people who are open to what you have to share.