This month we joined Lisa Teh in her creative hub to uncover how she launched her career and how she keeps it thriving.
What do you do and who do you do it with?
I’m lucky enough to love what I do! I’m the Editor of Couturing.com, a fashion, beauty and lifestyle online media portal. I manage that with our amazing editorial team. I’m also the co-Director of Tailor Group, a Melbourne based, end-to-end Digital Marketing company. We have an incredible team of creatives who help us create and execute digital marketing initiatives for our clients. Our business also manages Food Porn, an online media platform which focuses on food and has over 2 million followers on Facebook. I have just written a book entitled Australian Style with my business partner Thom Whilton. This features interviews with key Australian fashion personalities, and focuses on their time in the industry, their thoughts on the current fashion climate, and what they believe is in store for the future of fashion in Australia.
When did you start this adventure?
Thom and myself started Couturing in 2010. We both originally started with our own blogs, mine focused on the business side of fashion and Thom’s focused predominantly on creating editorials. We met at an event and instantly hit it off. We found we shared the same frustrations with blogging and the same goals for what we wanted to achieve with a digital platform. We decided to combine our efforts and start Couturing.com, a digital platform which would focus on fashion, beauty and lifestyle. Two years ago, we decided to try and work on Couturing full time. From there, we soon found that brands who were engaging us to create content stories for Couturing, wanted us to create content for their own channels, and so Tailor Group was born.
What was your number one fear preventing you from diving in and have you overcome it?
Starting your own business and leaving the security of regular, full time employment was the biggest challenge about deciding to pursue Couturing and Tailor Group as my fulltime job. However, Thom and I were both so passionate about giving it a go, that we didn’t give ourselves a plan B. We just said we have to do anything to make it work!
It was a real hustle at the start, but what has made the decision easier is the amazing team we have around us. They are all so talented, driven to learn and constantly grow. It makes our job easier knowing we have them around to support us. We also work with amazing clients who love what they do. After coming from an industry where people don’t really enjoy their jobs, being surrounded by people who are passionate about what they do is something that is really important to me.
I’ve met a lot of people over the years who are stuck in corporate jobs that they don’t like and start something on the side. They eventually get to a point where they need to decide whether to try and give their side business a go fulltime. I always say, worst case scenario, they can always go back to their corporate job if their side business doesn’t work out. If they agree, then what this means is that they are currently living their worst-case scenario! I believe if you are lucky enough to be passionate about something, then why not give it a go!
3 tips to building a successful on-line empire and a team of creatives, from Lisa Teh.
My top 3 tips for building a successful online empire and a team of creatives is:
1. Make sure you have the right people around you.
People who believe in your vision for whatever you are trying to achieve. You also want people who will work hard, are hungry to learn and who love what they do! If you have the right team, you can do anything!
2. Talk to your staff.
It sounds silly but make the time to find out if they are happy, what they liking/not liking about their job, what they want to learn. I’ve had some great and not so great managers over the years, and the ones who I felt cared about my development were ones I learnt the most from. I’ve really tried to implement this into my managerial style.
3. Don’t have an ego.
If something isn’t working, change it up. Don’t feel like you need to stick with something that isn’t working. Also, be open to feedback and constructive criticism. The minute you stop learning and wanting to improve and constantly be better is the minute you should stop what you are doing!
What are the most relevant skills and expertise you need to succeed in your role?
People often ask me what skills do they need to do what I do and while obviously general knowledge about social media and digital marketing in general helps, I believe those are things you can teach. What I believe are the most important qualities to have to do what I do, or work in digital marketing, or any field really, are things you can’t really teach, like a hunger to learn, to be a team player, to take initiative and ownership of what you are doing. If you are passionate, wanting to constantly be challenged and driven about what you do, I believe you can be successful in any role!