Today’s Curated5 career interview is with Lisa Ng, freelancer as well as Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day – a fellow lifestyle blog for smart women. Lisa is originally from Toronto, Canada and currently based in Los Angeles, California.
1. What does a typical day as freelance Digital Content & Social Media Strategist as well as full-time blogger look like for you?
Depending on which client I am currently working with, I get up and immediately check my email along with any social media feeds I might be managing. Because I live on the West Coast, it’s really easy to feel like you’re falling behind when you wake-up.
I try to reply to anything urgent, meet any deadlines that day and start crafting any blog posts or photo shoots that need to go up that week. My work life is a mix of freelance work, writing editorial for my lifestyle website – This Beautiful Day, creating branded content for sponsors and working on any pitches to find my next project or more sponsored work.
2. Did you always know you wanted to work in digital and how did you go about getting to where you are now?
Working in digital definitely was an accident!
Before my digital career, I was a full-time special event and wedding DJ – running my own company called hello DJ! I DJ’d for a good 5-6 years and while doing that, I started a companion lifestyle blog to compliment my DJ company. Well after a while, blogging took off and I got tired of DJ-ing all my weekends away, that I crafted an exit strategy for myself. My plan was to transition out of DJ-ing and to become a freelance magazine writer.
Well, that didn’t work out either.
I found it difficult to find work as a freelance magazine writer because I had no contacts in the industry. So I continued blogging and after about a year, I landed my first sponsored post and everything just grew organically from there. I definitely credit my work as a blogger in helping me launch my career in digital content and social media strategy. From there, I found freelance work with Sid Lee – an advertising agency in Montreal and honed my skills from that point on. Most of my clients find me now through word-of-mouth or from networking.
3. A lot of Curated5 readers are #girlbosses or ones in the making. What tips do you have on building a thriving business?
Be picky about who you choose to surround yourself with – you want people around that inspire you and respect your hustle and ambition. Honestly, we all have so little time these days – so the people I choose to make time for are the ones that matter.
Don’t be afraid to try something. If it doesn’t work, try something else. Just make sure you’re well-researched and taking calculated risks before you jump off the deep-end. But DO make the jump!
One thing leads to another. So if you’re not trying or putting yourself out there in the universe or hustling hard, things are not going to come to you. You have to ask for them. You have to push for them. You have to create something that people want to say yes to. And when you do something, do it at 150%. Above and beyond gets you noticed, no one wants to see or support you half-ass something.
4. You’re an early adopter when it comes to blogging and have been doing it full-time for many years. What are the key ingredients of a successful blog and how important is networking IRL as well as on social media?
The key ingredients to a successful blog are:
- Write content that people actually want to read
- Write what you are passionate about because passion shines through. No one can doubt my passion for food and travel and that comes through in my writing
- Post consistently and if you want to really knock it out of the park – post daily. You can’t have a successful blog if you don’t do the work
- Do NOT wait until the perfect conditions come along to start. Just START.
- Be nice. Be easy to work with (don’t be a pushover) and be professional. Treat this like a job and it will become one.
I think networking IRL is pretty important. I did A LOT of it when I was first starting out to meet other bloggers and PR people face-to-face. I think being on the ground does help and I think those early networking events was what worked to establish myself in the industry.
I find it a bit tough to network on social media because I’m already on it for work all day. It’s a great way to learn more about someone, but I try to get out from behind the screen because it’s nice not to be staring into a computer all day. However, that’s not to say I haven’t met incredible people that I only know online and have yet to meet!
5. Being originally from Toronto, you are a Canadian expat living in Los Angeles. How would you compare both cities in terms of career opportunities for female young professionals?
Toronto has some pretty incredible digital jobs in my sector and there’s a thriving online and blogging community. In LA, everything is a bit more spread out and it’s harder to get out to events because of it. I do find that more of the jobs in LA are obviously entertainment related, but there are some amazing digital agencies who have West Coast offices out here as well.
Lisa has a Honours BA degree in Political Science & Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto – Woodsworth College. You can find out more about her on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (@helloLisaNg).
Stay tuned for more Curated5 career interviews coming soon.