Since completing a double degree of Journalism and Creative Communication, Lucy Ahern has found her feet at Australian Fashion Labels taking care of marketing and social media.
What kick-started the change from journalism to marketing? How smooth was the transition?
I interned at Australian Fashion Labels at the end of the last year of my degree, was asked to help out over Christmas and ended up staying on in a customer care position. Then a few months down the track I moved into a social media and copy writing position, and then moved on up from there as my experience grew! Because it was quite gradual, it was pretty smooth! But there’s always a learning curve, no matter how much experience you have in a particular area or company.
Walk us through a regular day at your job.
It’s social media from the get go. It sounds a little predictable but I do the whole ‘roll over and post’ thing. So checking on Instagram first, then Facebook and Twitter. I try to make it to the gym, and then try and gather my life together before I rush into work. When I get into work I grab a coffee—especially if Kindling Coffee is hanging around outside—check on all the socials again, then start on emails for the day. If it’s a Monday I’m looking at the metrics from the week before, followed by back-to-back meetings with the rest of the digital team to analyse and plan. Any other day it’s communicating with influencers, our offices in LA, Melbourne or China, planning our social strategy for the week ahead or contributing to our blog (blog.fashionbunker.com). So generally pretty packed!
I try and take my time on the walk to and from work to zone out a bit, mainly with Buzzfeed articles and questionable Spotify choices.
How do you see social media evolving in the next decade?
We’ve already seen a ridiculous amount of change just in the last few years. The evolving roles of influencers, especially the growth of micro-influencers, has had a real impact on how platforms function and monetise. The greater integration of advertising across the major platforms is having a huge effect on metrics like organic reach, which I think could be increasingly problematic for businesses as the years go on.
Every time I think we’re at saturation point with the number of platforms, something else comes along—I’m looking at you, Instagram Stories—but I’m guessing it will just keep snowballing. I think live media and perhaps also virtual reality will become more prevalent in the next decade, and the age of influencers will either die out or will have to evolve itself in order to keep up.
New platforms, apps and functions always keep us on our toes so as a team and as a company we’re always continuously evolving too.
With the rapidly growing popularity of Aus Fashion Labels, has your role gotten easier or more challenging?
It’s always amazing to see the kind of PR that comes in. The fact that C/MEO COLLECTIVE has collaborated with Solange Knowles for a capsule collection still blows my mind a little bit. But I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s easier or more challenging. I think my experience with the labels and social platforms has grown as AFL has which means I’m better equipped to adapt to changes to the environment and our company. The workload has increased but so have my responsibilities and the scope of my role, so I’m happy to put in the hours.
What has been the best piece of advice given to you throughout your career?
To take a break, even if I definitely don’t follow it sometimes. The longer I’m in this position and this industry the more I see the importance of at least a little bit of down time. Sometimes it means putting in more hours the day before but if it means more Netflix time on the weekend then it’s worth it.
If you could make your own social media platform, what would it involve?
I feel like it’s all been done! I think the focus at the moment is really on live media so maybe something involving that. If it can also involve filters and stickers you’ve totally got me hooked so I’d push for that too.
What is your favourite marketing campaign by another company and why?
The Old Spice guy. Hands down. Always. I would say because of the horse or the diamonds but also A+ scripting.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I’ll be 30. Jesus Christ. My career has definitely gone in a much different direction than I anticipated since I finished uni, so who really knows at this point! I’d really like to focus more on my writing even if it’s a bit more of a side hustle. I guess it’s all about increasing my skill set and focusing on where I know my strengths are or probably actually working out exactly what they are.
Mainly I’m just going to try and take the next few years as they come. As I’ve mentioned, the industry and those who work in it are continually having to adapt just to keep up. It’s hard to predict next week let alone the next five years. Also a sneaky bit of travel wouldn’t go astray.