Spread The Word with Compass Studio
Compass Studio is a boutique PR & Marketing agency that specialises in conscious brands in a bid to ‘do good work, for brands that do good.’
Compass Studio represents some of Australia’s most reputable brands in the impact-led space. Natalie is the Co Founder and Director of Compass Studio who speaks regularly as an authority on the topic of purpose in the brand space. Before founding Compass Studio, Natalie spent a decade in publishing and partnerships developing a deep understanding of the Australia media landscape and understanding the power marketers have to change the world. Through a love of community, nature and a passion for purpose-driven business, with her partner Luke she's created a unique agency-model that has gained fast momentum in the local market.
KP Retail spoke with Natalie to learn more about how they approach the digital marketing space.
What inspired you to launch Compass Studio?
Prior to launching Compass, as media and PR professionals working in mainstream publishing and advertising, my husband Luke and I found ourselves increasingly disheartened by the hollowness of our corporate client portfolio. To cut a long story short (you can read a bit more here). We were starving for purpose and eager for our expertise to be able to be applied to something that mattered beyond just the bottom line. We weren’t scientists, we weren't doctors, but what we were was marketers with the power to swap consumer mindsets and buying behaviours….and in this notion, we believed we could change the world. Thus purpose became the foundational building block of our entire business. It dictated the work we sought and accepted, the people we hired, the campaigns we aligned with. It helped us know when to say ‘no’ to just as much as it helped us know when to yell ‘yes!’ Compass was and always will be entirely shaped by the partners, community and causes it was created to serve.
What excites your clients most about your brand?
PR, organic and paid social are the key pillars of our offering and we really come into our own in the space through offering conscious brands the ability to spread the word and amplify their efforts via a like minded team of passionate people. We help world-better brands be better.
What are your 'can't do without' apps that help you run your business day to day?
Xero, I never thought I would learn to love Xero but visibility across all numbers and the ability to generate quick, comparable reports is invaluable. As a mentor once said to me, ‘your financial literacy as a business owner is as essential as being able to read and write.’
GSuite, having started as a remote business, we were set up on the cloud from the very start. It ensures easy set-ups for new team members – and most importantly, complete accessibility and connectivity from anywhere. Who knew how important this would be in 2020?!
Asana, a relatively new software for us but within weeks we have been able to better project share, track and monitor. It’s allowed us to gain visibility over the whole business workflow and to-do list which enables us to better support and help out where we are most needed. And nothing feels better than ticking off your task list!
Clockify, another new one for us but it’s allowed us to be smarter about what work we take on and how the team’s resources are allocated. Rather than seeing it as time-tracking, we are seeing it as empowering us with boundaries and parameters to capacity and it’s been a game changer for us!
Receiptbank, for anyone who struggles with keeping receipts, Receiptbank will change your life. Just snap a photo of it and it goes straight to your bookkeeper.
Instagram or Facebook for marketing campaigns?
Both! They serve very different purposes and generate completely different results. We considered paid campaigns as we do organic campaigns, it’s about storytelling. And storytelling is about far more than just the conversion. You should be using storytelling to share your brand story, why you exist as a company and why your products or services matter. This helps build trust with your audience and allows them to connect with you on a personal level, which increases the chances of conversion. No matter the platform, people buy things from people they know, like and trust.
Where is your dream space for the brand?
As a service based business, we exist outside of the need for a physical space. But our little light-filled, leafy studio in Manly Beach NSW is pretty dreamy.
What have been your highlights since launching Compass Studio?
Last year we became a BCorp, making us Australia’s youngest agency to ever do this. As we represent many brands in the BCorp space, this was a big goal for us from inception so it was really rewarding to get certified. Also, the application process of becoming a BCorp by default makes you a better business as it’s a credible third-party tool that a company can use to measure its impact and learn what it takes to build a better business - better for your team, community, and the environment.
Do you have any advice for others looking to start their business?
Just do it. There will never be the perfect time. We had just found out we were pregnant with our first baby a couple months after we had both quit our jobs to start Compass Studio, and we just had to make learning how to run a business and raise a human for the first time, work. Do what you can, until you can do better - and then do better.
What business lessons would you like to share?
You can make some decisions based on heart, and even some on gut - but the best ones are made via data. Starting a business is the easy bit; it’s wild, liberating and you have a beautiful blank canvas. But keeping a business going and growing is hard. As much as the metrics bore me to death, it’s the only way in which we can truly ensure the continuance of the business and its future impact. If you personally can’t find the willpower to wrap around your head around the metrics, do it for your people - you owe it to them to build something solid, robust and sustaining.
Apart from grant funding, what other gold nuggets should businesses take advantage of?
It makes sense for me to say it, but PR! Learn how to talk about your business, product or offering in a macro sense. Or if you don’t have capacity or the skills to do it, seek out a professional in your space. If you limit your brand to your own networks, you are capping it at your own efforts, which isn’t sustainable. PR helps not only build your brand credibility and boost your bottom line, it’s also gold for SEO and also helps you reach markets that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.
What are you currently looking forward to for the brand in the rest of 2020?
The release of our first eBook this month! It’s focussed on Better Business and is a practical guide for marketers to connect with conscious audiences. And best yet, it’s free! Head on over compass-studio.com to register to be the first to receive.
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