In the first of a new short series, we invite key ‘wonder women’ within our industry to share their super hero insights on their road to success, whether it’s creating new media, building a blogging empire or going global with a business, we grab 60 seconds to ask….
WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
I am Julia Hope and I am the owner and Editor of a digital magazine – Totally Horse & Pony Magazine, launched at the end of 2016.
HOW/WHY DID YOU START YOUR BUSINESS?
My background is marketing and publishing, latterly Editor-in-Chief for three niche motoring titles. Over my 30-ish year career I have worked in many industries, but have never really been greatly enthused by them – cars, financial services, even the excitement of retail marketing weren’t truly “boat floaters” for me. My real passion lies with horses, and always has. I ride for pleasure and we keep four horses at home – a retired one-eyed racehorse (my hack!), a beautiful and talented event horse for my daughter, a hunting pony and a cheeky mini-Shetland called Trigger. These animals are what light up my day, and I made the decision that my next project was going to be doing something around a subject I am passionate about. It made sense then to bring together my skills in creating great quality magazines with my passion for horses. I saw that there was a gap in the market for a title aimed at teens and young adult leisure riders and so decided to launch my own!
WHAT QUALIFICATIONS/EXPERIENCE DO YOU NEED TO BE GOOD AT THIS JOB?
Whilst I have a degree, I don’t think you need specific qualifications to do this, although an ability to write well is definitely an advantage. You need to be connected with your audience and understand what they are interested in and deliver that in the form of good quality, credible editorial content. Creativity and a good imagination for ideas is helpful, along with a knowledge of digital and general product marketing along with a whiff of commercial acumen. I think these are the key ingredients for success in this job.
WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FOUND BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS?
Getting a clear strategic direction certainly helps and sticking to it! Its so easy to get tangled in day to day smaller tasks without being clear about the pathway ahead and how what you are working on today fits into that direction. I have also found it can be a lonely place setting up a business, especially one on a shoestring budget, and that finding people out there who can give you great advice and support helps tremendously whether that’s those lovely bloggers who write columns for the website, to the techy guys who know how to do incomprehensible things like coding and web development, to my business mentors who through their words of wisdom help make sense of it all. It all helps to give you the boost and motivation to carry on!
NAME TWO THINGS YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT IN YOUR JOB?
(PHONE & COMPUTER ASIDE)
- A passion for horses and knowledge of the associated equestrian lifestyle and industry
- Chocolate (obviously!)
WHAT IS YOUR SPECIAL WONDER WOMAN SKILL?
A tricky question this as I’ve never considered myself as a Wonder Woman! A bit of a cliché, but I suppose honesty, integrity and a sense of humour never go amiss.
WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU WOULD HAVE GIVEN YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
Be confident in your own abilities. Identify exactly what it is you want and don’t get sidetracked! You can do it – just believe it!
Read more inspiring Wonder Woman stories in our other blogs!