Be yourself. Never act like someone you are not and be proud of who you are. If you don’t believe in yourself, others won’t either.
Meet Julia Makin (soon to be Julia Taine), a self confessed customer complaints guru, world wide explorer and service marketing professional. With a love of all things marketing (especially the digital space), Julia founded and operates Vent2Me, a full-service marketing agency specialising in clever marketing and customer service solutions. With a love for the written and spoken word, you will often find Julia glued to her phone, computer, eBook reader, or iPod (top favs are INXS, Bruce Springsteen and Coldplay).
Why did you want to be part of woman.com.au?
Being a young female business owner, I often felt I was overlooked because of my gender and age. I wanted to have a voice and be able to share my thoughts, opinions and skills with an audience. Woman.com.au has provided the perfect platform for this and I couldn’t be happier!
Tell us about your journey so far – how did you get to where you are today?
I have always been driven and enjoy do things my way (I am GEN Y after all). I’ve been lucky to grow up with amazing parents who always made me feel like anything is possible. It wasn’t until I completed a service marketing unit at university that I found my calling. My lecturer/tutor Carol Tan opened my eyes to the world of services marketing and I have never looked back.
Since then I have had an amazing career across the marketing spectrum working in the education, advertising, automotive the not-for-profit sectors.
I currently balance running a full service marketing agency with my day job as Marketing Manager for Garry and Warren Smith, one of Melbourne’s largest family owned car dealers.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt?
Men and women are really not that much different. I have worked in both female dominated and male dominated industries and I am constantly surprised by the similarities!
What’s your big, hairy audacious goal?
To run the world, just kidding! To be a successful business leader and see Vent2Me become a premier service marketing agency specialising in clever marketing and customer service solutions. I’d love to be the go-to person for issues relating to customer service, service marketing and complaint resolution.
What drives you?
Excellent customer service. It saddens me that so many businesses don’t understand the importance behind good customer service. Nothing makes me happier than helping business improve on customer service – whether it is through a service marketing strategy, a new and improved website or social media strategy.
What derails you?
People who don’t learn from past mistakes! I have a lot of empathy, but I get frustrated by people who whinge constantly but do nothing about it. Life is full of ups and downs; it’s how you deal with it that matters. If you aren’t happy with your job, relationship etc, do something about it. Don’t moan about it. As the famous quote says ‘a year from now you’ll wish you’d started today’. So take the leap!
What does a typical day look like?
Ok, I will admit I’m not an early morning person, so I generally don’t start my working day till 9am. I find I am most creative at night. So I generally like to get the small jobs out of the way in the morning, and then work on the bigger/juicer projects later on in the day. I love to talk, so will be glued to the phone or social media. I’m usually always in front of a computer.
I tend to always take too much on, so each day is very different. However a typical day will definitely involve the below four things:
What are your top go-to places for information and inspiration?
Woman.com.au definitely tops the list, I’m constantly inspired by the women I’ve met or read as an ambassador for the website. I also love traveling so often look at traveling websites for inspiration and information. I am a news.com.au and linkedin junkie as well. Also a bit of a book worm, I read Animal Farm once a year to keep me grounded.
What are some of the most inspiring events you’ve attended?
I recently attended a woman on the go forum through Knox City Council in conjunction with Maroondah City Council and Shire of Yarra Ranges. I’m passionate about shopping and promoting local businesses and it was fabulous to meet a group of local women doing just that!
One of the presenters, Eve John recently became an ambassador for woman.com.au, showing that networking really does work!
Any tips to effective networking at events?
Be yourself. Never act like someone you are not and be proud of who you are. If you don’t believe in yourself, others won’t either. Go to the event with the objective you want to meet like-minded people. Don’t think about it as being purely to generate sales, build the relationships first! I wrote an article recently about how to succeed at networking (I wouldn’t be a good marketer if I didn’t promote something I’d done recently!)
Who would you like to see profiled on woman.com.au?
I’d really like to see women who have succeeded in traditional male industries such as Christine Nixon, who is the former Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police.
Why do you think there aren’t enough women in top jobs?
I think it has a lot to do with traditional stereotypes that unfortunately exist within established industries such as finance and insurance. I do believe that the tide is changing and we will continue to see more women in top jobs. I must admit I am not a big fan of forced quotas. I believe women need to work as a collective to show men we can do any job they can do (possibly even better, whilst multi-tasking at the same time!)
How do you (try to) live a balanced life?
I play a lot of sport, if I didn’t play basketball twice a week and go to outdoor group fitness two times a week as well, I think I would have fallen in a heap a long time ago. I am fortunate that I have surrounded myself with enablers and I’m very lucky to have such amazing parents, brother and a lovely fiancé, Jon. Jon is not only a life partner, he is also my business partner, best friend and soul mate. Without this support base I don’t think I’d be where I am today. I’m also not adverse to a glass of cider on a Friday night or some great TV shows!
How can others connect with you?
Easily done! You can connect with me through: