Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind With Audrey Neale, Digital Marketing Manager at Wisr

Audrey Neale is the Digital Marketing Manager at Wisr, Australia’s first neo-lender and fintech pioneer in the rapidly growing Australian consumer finance market.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your background and career?

I grew up in Canada and have always been passionate about writing and creativity. When I was younger I loved writing stories and making short films, so it’s no surprise that I ended up in marketing.

I have an agency background and started my career off as a Copywriter/Social Media Strategist at an advertising agency.

I moved to Sydney in 2016 for a Digital Marketing Specialist role at a consulting firm. I also studied digital marketing at General Assembly Sydney during this time which I highly recommend to anyone starting out.

2) What is your current role and what does it entail on a day to day basis?

I’m currently Digital Marketing Manager at Wisr, a purpose-led fintech that is committed to financial wellness for all Australians.

It’s a really exciting role for me because the company is in growth mode and there’s a lot happening which I can be involved in and help shape.

Every day is different, but some constants are around content creation, copywriting, and helping to optimise conversion points throughout our customer journey.

We recently launched an app which helps Aussies pay down their debt, so it’s a pretty cool product to create ideas around.

3) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

Waking up early and starting the day off on a good note is really important to me. I like listening to a podcast while I’m getting ready (usually The Tim Ferriss Show or Masters of Scale) or an audiobook to start waking up my mind.

Once I’m at work and fully caffeinated, we’ll start the day with a quick standup meeting. This is a good way to see what everyone is working on, share any blockers, and offer to help out if anyone needs a hand.

The rest of the day is usually a mix of focused writing, table tennis, meetings, posting on our #creative-culture Slack channel, more writing, and more table tennis.

4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?

I use the notepad on my phone all the time. It might be my favourite app. I write down heaps of ideas while I’m on the train and even start writing blog posts while I’m walking around and not thinking too hard about it. You never know when lightning will strike.

It sounds obvious, but actioning work is the most important thing to me. You can do all the research and planning in the world, but if you don’t action anything, then it doesn’t do you much good.

If something is unclear, take your best stab, and use that as a starting point. For the writers out there, I call it the vomit draft! Try to not waste time staring at a blank page or overthink things.

I try to prioritise time-sensitive things and then do tasks that I enjoy if I’m starting to lose focus. If I have a deadline but find myself blanking or getting sidetracked, I’ll try to accomplish something that’s easy or fun for me, like an Instagram post.

That little buzz of accomplishment will give me the kick I need to keep going.

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5) In between your job, life and all your other responsibilities, how do you ensure you find some sort of balance in your life?

I’m lucky to work at a company that is committed to financial wellness and also emphasises staff wellness.

I’m encouraged to work reasonable hours, we have a run club at lunch, and there’s even a nutritionist on the team who lets me pick her brain which is pretty cool.

Other things that balance me out:

  • Going for long walks and listening to music
  • Getting out of the city
  • Always having a trip or “big thing” to look forward to
  • Disconnecting from tech for at least an hour every night

6) What does work life balance mean to you?

I’ve realised that balance is something that is unique to everyone. You need to find a way to manage your time in a way that makes you feel like your best self.

For some that’s working out every day and meditating every morning, for others it’s going for a walk once a week and enjoying a burger every Friday.

There’s nothing wrong with either. Live by your own rules and don’t try to do what you think you ‘should’ be doing, because that’s not sustainable.

For me, balance means doing great work, seeing friends as much as possible, doing something creative once a week (I love going to galleries and gigs!), and trying to exercise once a week if I can.

7) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?

Recently, I’ve been using my down time to “skill-up” in a way that’s actually enjoyable. I like listening to podcasts or audiobooks while I get ready for work and that usually leads into my commute.

Hanging out with friends and having an active social life also keeps me sane.

8) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?

Top 3 books on advertising/copywriting:

In general, reading and educating myself on topics outside of work (ie. politics, film, culture, psychology) has been beneficial. I also love Esquire, GQ, The New Yorker and Frankie Magazine. Some awesome writing there.

On my reading list:

9) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

I enjoy the dopamine hit that comes with ticking off to-do lists, but I try to discover something interesting every day, if I can. I have a knack for finding weird, cool and creative things on the internet to inspire me.

Speaking of cool things on the internet, I really recommend the Fanbloodytastic newsletter.

I like the idea of filling my brain with as many ideas as possible. I think the right ones will bubble up to the surface and inspire you down the track when you least expect it.

10) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

I have some general work advice for people starting out. Please never leave a meeting without speaking! I see this happen far too often.

Be confident that you’re in the meeting for a reason. You definitely don’t need to dominate or go crazy, but I think it’s important to always participate in discussion and try to give value, even if it’s just agreeing with someone.

Also, never bring your phone into a meeting or play around on your computer while someone is presenting.

It’s so important to be present and give someone your full attention. I guarantee you will form a stronger relationship with that person and also achieve a better outcome.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.