Directors / Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind With Tammy Collins, Marketing Director of New Media Moguls

Tammy Collins is the Founder and Marketing Director of New Media Moguls, a digital marketing and content agency offering services such as content, design, strategy, social media marketing and more.

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

I began my career in media as a 20 year old, wide eyed journalist wanna be. I was SO excited (and rightly so it turned out) to be the receptionist for now defunct Magazine company Emap magazines.

I started freelance writing for a few of the titles and after a few months was very excited to become the Editorial Coordinator for Smash Hits Magazines.

I had my very own spread, Dear Tammy where the kids would write in and ask for advice on their crush, or for what hairstyle they should opt for. A responsibility I took very seriously, obviously. I also wrote the Horoscopes, damn budget cuts!

I soon moved on to become the Celebrity Editor, and stayed with Emap for 5 years in which time I interviewed Usher, Destiny’s Child, 50 Cent, P!nk, Christina Aguilera, Chingy (who!?) and anyone else who released anything pop related in that time!

Since then I have worked in a number of varied roles. From Advertising Manager at eBay, to trafficked leaderboards and skyscrapers onto Facebook (before they released their self serve ad platform), designed homepage takeovers in my time at Playstation Magazine, developed and delivered digital training to a bleary eyed radio sales team during my time at KIISFM.

I created campaign strategies for Braintree, Woolworths, BMW and countless other brands during my time at Fairfax and most recently in my role at Nine, brought ad campaigns to life for the Today Show.

The ever varied list goes on, but to cut a somewhat long story short, I have been lucky enough to have experience from campaign ideation to execution in print, digital, radio and TV which position me perfectly to run my own marketing agency.

I started New Media Moguls when my daughter was 11 weeks old. Given I was due to return to the ever shrinking ranks of Fairfax, I thought I would create a backup plan in case I needed it!

I could not believe the demand for the services I was offering so when Nine went through the office with their redundancy broom one last time, I decided to have a crack at it full time, and I haven’t looked back.

I have positioned my business as ‘The plug-in marketing team’ for small – medium business, but have even found large corporations needing my assistance when their dedicated marketing team were at capacity.

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

Okay, so typical isn’t really a thing for me, but this is what my Friday looks looked like:

  • 4:30am: Quietly crept into the lounge room, made a tea and sit down to the emails I didn’t have time to get to yesterday
  • 6:00am: Daughter wakes up so I’m on mum duty
  • 8:00am: Drop daughter at daycare and walk to the office
  • 9:00am: Arrive, make tea, write my day’s to do list.
  • 9:15 – 10am: Do a stocktake of a digital workbook I am creating for an upcoming keynote address.
  • 10:00 – 10:45am: Have a WIP meeting for a current Site Build.
  • 11:00am: Crack on with completing the workbook
  • 12:00pm: It’s Friday and it’s 29 degrees in Sydney. Pub lunch with the office and my dog Monte who is very lucky that Newtown is so pup friendly
  • 1:30pm: A supplier meeting to discuss gaps in workflow
  • 2:30 – 5:30pm: Back to the digital workbook. It’s due Monday.
  • 6pm: Hometime and back on to Mum duty
  • 9pm: Bub is in bed, I do a quick stocktake of the days emails to make sure nothing vital is missed.

But doing days like this, means I can have days like last Monday, where I took my daughter to the zoo. It really is a balancing act.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Absolutely. And currently, it’s a must. My daughter has only been offered two days in day care and we rely on grandparents to do the remaining days, which means that if they can’t make it one day, I need to work in between naps and well into the evening and early mornings.

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

A few. Firstly, I have always created to do lists and mentally arrange my To-dos into:

  • Urgent and important
  • Urgent but not important
  • Not urgent but important
  • Not urgent and not important (these generally get done when my mind is spent and I wouldn’t be of any value doing anything else)

I try not to schedule creative meetings, discussions or work for after 2pm because by then I have pretty much spent my mental resources and any ideas I come up with will be lackluster.

Make notes, notes and more notes. My Evernote is exploding with thoughts and ideas that have popped into my mind at 2am or while I’m on a call. Evernote allows me to go back to what I call my ‘mind’s gold’ at a more reasonable or convenient hour.

During busy times, it is my mind’s savoir as taking everything out of my head allows me to stop obsessing over what I may have forgotten or need to do.

If it’s not in my calendar, it may as well not exist.

5) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

To me, work life balance means doing what you need to do to keep both functioning well, regardless of start and finish times. For instance, it’s currently 6pm on a Saturday and I’m in the office because I had a few extra hours at home this week that I need to make up for.

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

Not letting my inbox or other digital notifications rule my day. If I am working on something, I try to stay focused on that. I urge clients and family to ring me if something needs my urgent attention. I am very honest and reliable. If I say I am going to do something, I do it and I do it right.

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

I’m going to list three of the four books above my desk. They’re there because I found them either inspiring or helpful or both.

  1. Hegarty on Advertising:Turning Intelligence into Magic by John Hegarty is one of my favourite reads.
  2. Creativity Formula by Amantha Imber is a great book for tips and tricks in drawing creativity from groups of people.
  3. Ideas – Original Perspectives On Life and Business From Leading Thinkers

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

Have a plan at the beginning of the day (a to do list). Just as with most situations, without a plan, you’ll likely end up somewhere you didn’t expect or want to be. I also feel that a quick brain download on a Sunday night outlining what you need to achieve that week and roughly when, really helps you feel more in control.

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

I suppose I try to listen to my mind and body. I won’t be any good to clients or my family if I become run down or stressed, so I indulge in me moment when I can, even if it’s just stopping for breakfast on the way to work. I also urge any managers to really respect the members in the teams and if you’ve hired right, the hours they put in shouldn’t matter. It’s the output that counts.

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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.