What was this about?
SheKnows Someone was a SheSays event designed to help you get all of those nagging questions off your chest, and to take some advice from people who’ve already tackled similar issues - and who’ve done it in heels.
Who did we talk to?
Vicki Maguire, joint CCO at Grey
Caroline Pay, joint CCO at Grey
Anna Carpen, Creative Partner at 18 Feet and Rising
Jo Wallace, Creative Director at JWT
Lisa Turner Wray, Creative at Mother
Jo Lucy-Ruming, Managing Director at Major Players
Bronwyn Sweeney - Senior Copywriter and Creative at Mullen Lowe
SHEKNOWS SOMEONE SUMMARY
So much went on at this event and while I’d love to give you a play by play, it’d be pretty much impossible (not to mention really really long). So I’ve pulled out 6 key questions and answers discussed by our kickass panel. Happy reading!
How can I leverage a contact without being a creep?
In the words of Vicki, ‘suck up’. Women have an innate quality to connect and talk with one another (without staring at your boobs for the entirety of it). The long and short of it is that you’re in a shared industry. You will (presumably) have interests and areas of overlap and you can use those similarities as an entry point. Just go for it. It’s not creepy. It can be quite flattering to hear people want your advice. People are willing to help you out!
How do you PR yourself and give yourself more credibility?
A few key things came up here:
- Be authentic. Make authentic connections. Those people will remember you, and recommend you when they connect with you.
- Say yes. Yes to the panel. Yes to the project. But don’t burn yourself out.
- Your work will be your PR.
- Invest in young talent. It may seem backwards, but help people just starting out in the industry - you never know who you’ll meet again.
- Look outside advertising and follow your passions.
Fear of failure can be really daunting. How do you deal with it?
Again, this is a hot topic. No one wants to fail. No one likes to fail. So what can we do about it?
- It’s not failure. It’s a lesson.
- Get comfortable f***king up.
- You’ll learn more from mistakes than you do from the wins, and eventually you’ll realise that even the confident people out there are scared.
- Be resilient - everyone fails.
- Stop trying to be clever.
- Find the place that helps you feel confident enough to ramble. Especially if you’re a junior. Someone will see the gold.
What should I look for in a mentor?
Some people forget the mentor-mentee relationship is a two-way thing. Caroline recommends finding someone who’s great at your weaknesses: ‘to succeed, you need a challenge, not a compliment’. Similarly, Jo recommends seeking a mentor until you find that ‘spark’ - it’s amazing how much both parties can get from mentoring. And Bronwyn recommends walking out of your comfort zone: a copywriter doesn’t need to be paired with a copywriter mentor. Ultimately, if you find your opposite, it will make you stronger. And don't forget to ‘keep it fun’, says Anna. Make it a fun, human experience. It’ll make them want to know you more, which will help you more.
How can I deal with a creative ‘breakup’?
Breakups are tough, whether they’re romantic or creative. The thing to remember is, it’s all a learning experience. As Lisa mentioned, sometimes it’s important to part ways in order to allow each other to grow. And yes, you may go solo for a while, but it won’t be the end of the world. You’ll always be able to find more partners; they’re out there!
Not to sound cliche, but, it happens to the best of us - even Caroline has had her fair share of creative breakups - but she’s learned from them.
The consensus? Be honest when you need a change. People can grow apart, and life can take you in different directions. But as long as you put the work in, it’ll work out in the end.
How do I get a job?
- Ultimately, this is a people business. Get to know the people.
- Nurture your other interests. It’s important to look outside your day job. It might give birth to an awesome project (Good Girls Eat Dinner, anyone?).
- Show your book to everyone. If you have work that you want people to shout about, shout about it yourself! If you want journalists to cover your projects, email them. The worst thing that might happen is you don’t hear back. That’s when you email another one.