With an abiding passion for marketing, life and love Natalia Padgen is grabbing hold of life with gusto and turning her business dreams into reality.
We caught up with Natalia and found out what inspires her to make a successful small business.
Tell us a little about yourself, what’s the day to day life like for a small business owner of Across The Verge and who makes up the team?
I am a very passionate person. I’m inspired by concepts, people, art and objectives and am motivated by the people around me. There’s something about marketing, brands and the consumer psyche that gets me really excited.
As a small business owner my day to day life is vary varied – I wear all the hats. One minute I could be working on high level strategy for a client, the next I could copywriting for another, planning an event, consulting or writing a creative brief for one of my team members.
Then there’s the business side of things – I have my own marketing strategy to look after and of course what I call ‘the administration of life’: all those tiny things that no one really wants to do but are the nuts and bolts that keeps the wheels of business, and everyday life turning.
What (or who) inspires you, that encourages you to reach out and make things happen?
I’m inspired by people and the human condition – what makes them tick and motivates them to act and react in certain ways. It’s what drives me to explore new areas in my line of work, push boundaries and grow.
A wonderful woman that has inspired me is Pat Mackle, the MD of Avant Card Freecard Media. She grew her business from a one woman show into a national company with turnover in the millions, while still maintaining a unique business culture that promotes individuality, creativity and warmth among colleagues. She didn’t work to fit in with the corporate world; she made them work to fit in with her. I love and admire that about her and hope that Across The Verge can grow and evolve while still maintaining our own unique culture in a similar way.
Most of all I am inspired by my amazing husband Ashley. Everything I do is ultimately so that we can enjoy our life together. It’s because of him that my heart beats. He is my best friend, my mentor, my sounding board, my soul mate. I hope that everyone is as lucky as I am to find a partner that compliments them in the best possible way like I have.
What do you enjoy most about the running Across The Verge?
I love the creative process of breaking down a client’s marketing goals and mapping out a road to reach them. There are so many wonderful people and businesses to work with. I’m constantly meeting interesting people, learning new things and stretching my ideas and perceptions in new ways in order to produce the best results.
It’s also hugely satisfying to see the client’s reaction when they are happy with the work, and their business benefits from it. That is the ultimate reward.
What’s been the hardest part or experience you’re had since starting the business?
I think the ‘chicken and egg’ situation has been the hardest issue for me and many small business owners can probably relate. There came a point where my business needed an injection of funds in order to grow but I wasn’t in the financial place in order to do it and didn’t really want to take out a loan. I had to look at alternate ways to increase revenue and streamline processes to free up my time to focus on stimulating further growth.
What’s been the best thing for the business that you just stumbled upon?
Without question – thesourcebottle.com.au
I have connected with so many amazing people and businesses from that website and e-newsletter that have led to great exposure and business opportunities.
What do you think has been the most successful promotional activities you’ve explored to getting the word out about Across the Verge?
I joined forces with mwwah.com.au as their resident marketing specialist. Mwwah is an amazing on-line network of 5000 ‘multi-taskers who work alot and achieve heaps’. Many of them own businesses and look to the site as a trusted source of information.
My role sees me providing an article on a different aspect of marketing per month to assist the audience with their own journey. I’m also available for questions and advice. This venture has given me great exposure to a wonderful network of women, many of whom now follow me on Facebook and some of whom have become my clients.
Making strong connections with businesses that have loyal followings and offering them something of value – a service, a discount, tips, advice, something free. These businesses have then promoted Across The Verge and what we have to offer via their social media portals, websites and other avenues too. It’s all about tapping into the right target markets.
What do you think has been a really important regular activity with your social media that’s helped you grow?
Our daily marketing tips have been a really successful activity. I think followers appreciate that we are offering something valuable without asking for anything in return and as a result the word has spread that it is worthwhile ‘liking’ the Across The Verge Facebook page.
The page is all about empowering people to make good marketing decisions. It is not about the hard sell. I’ve had people tell me they like to come to our page with their morning coffee and browse around to get inspired...I love it!
What are the hopes and plans for Across the Verge this year?
This year we are looking to grow a bit more. We’ve already experienced a huge amount of growth in terms of client base. Now we need to catch up by hiring staff and putting some new systems in place.
We’re also going to launch a new-look website that encourages interactivity. We’ve also been increasing in the amount of work we’ve been doing in the areas of PR and social media so we might look at expanding our range of services in these areas.
What would be your top 5 tips you’d give to someone starting out?
1. Have a vision
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