We ask the tough questions of Donna Blackwood, Manage My Marketing
You’ve got a free half hour during your work day. What do you do?
I should say practice mindfulness, but I usually whip up a great quote/graphic and schedule it to my socials.
When did you know you wanted to start your own business?
In my 20’s I was a temp and contractor in executive administration, database design and staff training. So, I guess I’ve always called my own shots. I worked a few permanent positions to gain experience in particular industries, like tertiary education, finance and NFPs.
In 1997 I was part of an MBO of a business and ventured into an industrial components business that brought out a whole range of skills, including technical.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learnt this year?
2020 is uncharted territory for all of us. Personally, I’ve seen the need and value of my local community which translated into my business values. I shop local, support local and hope that in return my community reaches out to me for digital marketing support.
What’s the best bit of feedback you’ve ever had?
Stick to your own style, you communicate tech so well that you took all the angst out of the project and I felt relaxed and confident about you managing the project.
What’s your proudest moment?
Being invited to be a guest speaker on SEO at RMIT for final year students. And, personally, it would have to be doing the Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race and winning on handicap (more important than who crossed the line first with the biggest boat).
What’s your number one way to wind down?
Reading a brilliant book, Pilates or listening to music whilst cooking and drinking wine. Is that four?
What’s your favourite film and album?
The Breakfast Club, great soundtrack also. “We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are simply better at hiding it, that’s all.”
What’s the smartest bit of marketing you’ve ever done?
Wrote an SEO Fundamentals Guide for Small Business and used it for lead generation.
What’s the one resource you’d never be without?
Peers and collaborators.
What’s the most obscure business request you’ve ever had?
A client asked if I could stop their competitor from using the same keywords as them as they were stealing their traffic. 😉
What or who has the most grounding influence on you?
My partner Mark. And IT Project Manager, so he gets what I do and is logical which always brings me back to asking the right questions about a situation or technical problem.
What’s the biggest challenge you face at work?
Too many hats. Not enough time to juggle everything I want to do each day. Relinquishing control and delegating has been a challenge I have overcome.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?
Back myself. There’s new players coming on the scene daily and you can feel that you can get lost in the crowd. Having confidence in who I am and what my skills are is important. Go with the quiet achiever, not the slick presentation. And, stick to your skills and core business and outsource anything you aren’t good at, don’t like doing or don’t have time for.
Where and when do you have your best ideas?
When I’m winding down at night I have ideas pop into my head and I grab my phone, open Skype where I have chat threads by topic and I write notes, and web links to follow up the next day. Then I can sleep peacefully.
What would be your advice to aspiring soloists?
You can’t build a house on a rickety structure. So, formulate the structure of your business, document it, systemise it and get everyone using it as you grow. Rinse Repeat.
What website do you visit every day?
Google My Business and Facebook.
What talent do you most wish you possessed?
To play the guitar while I sing.
What would your mum say is your greatest strength? And weakness?
My mum would say I’m determined, this could also be a weakness because I don’t give up, maybe when I should.
What’s one thing about you few people know?
Not a lot people don’t know about me. I’m an open book. But I’m shyer than I look.
What is the one regret you do not want to have in this lifetime?
To leave this earth not having made a difference in people’s lives.
What inspires you most about your work?
It might sound cliché, but I love happy clients whose lives I have made easier through supporting and educating them along the way on a digital project.
What do you wear to work?
I left corporate so I didn’t have to wear a suit/skirts etc. I am extremely comfortable in jeans, boots and t-shirts. What I wear doesn’t affect how good I am at my craft.
What do you love most about running your own business?
Flexibility – Autonomy – Building businesses.
And now comes the plug!
What is your business name?
What do you do? Who for? And how does it benefit them?
My focus is on small to medium sized businesses who are looking to build a professional online presence and increase leads and conversions. Being able to offer everything from hosting to web design, online marketing, social media & SEO, provides a big picture view of the business’s marketing status and needs and developing a strategy that incorporates all platforms with the goal of aligning with the business’s strategic direction. And most importantly we focus on the ROI of all marketing activities. The difference we offer, is working with a dedicated person and forming a close working relationship where a deeper understanding of your business is developed, unlike a larger agency.
And where can we find out more about Donna Blackwood, Manage My Marketing?
- Flying Solo Directory
- LinkedIn Personal
- LinkedIn Business
- Google My Business
Want your turn in the spotlight?
Spotlight profiles are exclusively for selected Flying Solo Business Class members.
Already a Business Class member? Simply log in, head to your account area where you’ll find the link to the guidelines under the ‘Spotlight’ heading.
Not yet a Business Class member? Find out more about the best value offering in town.