Victoria has been with RBK from day one, back when it was a two man band operating out of lounge rooms. Her marketing work has been a key part of our business growth and as we’ve grown, it’s been so good to watch WLKR Digital grow too. We had a chat about how she started and where she is now.
How did you get into digital marketing?
I started in an Arts degree at Melbourne Uni and quickly realised that my commerce elective units were the best part of my course. I made the switch to a Commerce degree, majoring in Marketing and Management simply because those were the areas I enjoyed most. Whilst at uni, I landed a couple of great internships. I started in a public relations position with a local fashion label where I learnt that the PR path definitely wasn’t the one I wanted to go down. Then I got a social media internship with Streetsmith, right when Instagram started to explode. My interest was sparked and I absolutely loved doing what I was doing. From here, my freelancing grew organically as I had people approaching me through the Streetsmith network wanting me to manage their socials. At this stage, social media agencies didn’t exist so I really got into it at the right time. After graduating uni (it took me 6 years to get there because I was working so much), I did a quick part-time stint in another marketing agency and after six months was able to go out on my own. Victoria Walker Social Media grew into WLKR digital after my services expanded from purely social management, to covering the full digital marketing spectrum with photography, videography, blog writing, web design… the list goes on.
What has been the biggest challenge starting a business as a young woman?
When I started my business I was 20… and I looked more like 16. There’s no doubt that this played against me, particularly being female (the reality is, a lot of older males simply didn’t, and some still don’t, take me seriously). I had to learn to present like the confident person I am and get a strong backbone. Start-up business owners are still heavily represented by males- for a myriad of reasons- and I’m incredibly proud to be a woman flying my entrepreneurial flag.
What was a hard accounting lesson to learn?
Cash flow is really hard! Invoicing correctly and then making sure clients pay those invoices on time is still something I haven’t nailed but I’ve certainly come a long way. Knowing when to employ is also a hard one because taking that step seems so daunting, particularly when you aren’t properly across the financials of your business. That’s all changed though!
How did RBK help you with that lesson?
Getting me onto the right software programs changed everything. I’m Xero’s #1 fangirl. It allows me to do a quick check on my phone app to see how much I’m owed, what’s been paid and what’s in the bank at any given time. It automates invoicing and reminders. Practice Ignition was another game-changer for me because sending out proposals became significantly faster, and it requires direct debit or credit card details for the deal to go ahead. This takes the cash flow problem nearly out of the equation for me because I’m guaranteed those payments come through every month without fail. Besides these programs, having Jason’s general advice and support has been absolutely invaluable to both my business and my sanity. Having someone on your side who genuinely understands what you’re going through, because he’s a small business owner himself, makes Jase one of the most important arms of WLKR digital. The fact we’re mates too is just a bonus 😉
What’s a piece of advice you’d give to people starting up their own venture?
Firstly, back yourself. If you know you’re good at what you do then have the confidence to make risky decisions (within reason) and say no to clients who don’t value your service. Secondly, get great systems and processes into place from day one. These will grow as you do but getting on top of what you can will make things so much easier in the long run. Everything that’s stored in your brain to do with the running of your business should also be recorded somewhere else. Thirdly… it’s hard! There are often times I question whether I should’ve just looked at work with an agency. It’s much easier to snap out of it and remind yourself why you do what you do when supportive people surround you. My partner, my family and friends are genuinely amazing and they deserve as much of the credit as I do for everything I’ve achieved so far.
Why is digital marketing so important for businesses to partake in?
Where do I start? It’s 2018 and if you don’t have a digital strategy in place… then what are you doing mate? Look up some stats. Around 80% of the Australian population is active on social media. 62% of customers will stop considering a small business if they can’t find information about it online. There are 61411 Google searches per second worldwide. If you aren’t on social media, if you don’t have a really good website, if your copywriting and branding is dated, then you are losing business. It’s as simple as that.
Finally, what are some of your favourite Instagram accounts at the moment?
I’m a sucker for a good food account and @georgeats nails it. @sundaylane and @olympiacreative have their styling and palette down pat. Always some inspiration to find there. I also love a good stalk of @emmahawkins; she’s funny, smart and lives in my dream house.