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Meet the Team: Think Bespoke’s Copywriter & Storyteller

by Thought Starters

Have you met Anne? She’s a copywriter and storyteller and works in collaboration with myself and Think Bespoke’s clients, helping individuals and organisations craft their stories to improve their personal and organisational branding on LinkedIn and their website blogs. Anne shares my passion for words and storytelling and enjoys the personal and creative process of helping clients take a 360 degree view of their experiences, review and reflect on their achievements and values and tell their own unique career story.

I’ve loved welcoming Anne into our unique mode of working here at Think Bespoke because she’s embraced my desire to help clients tell their stories on LinkedIn. We’ve built our services on showing clients how to leverage LinkedIn. And this all starts with showcasing your personal brand via your LinkedIn profile.

We believe being able to tell the story of your unique skills and experience, while also celebrating who you are, what you believe and why you do what you do is a powerful combination. So in the spirit of sharing our story here at Think Bespoke, here’s more information about Anne’s career history and why she does what she does.

What was your first job?

My first ever job was as a darkroom assistant with my uncle’s radiography practice in Adelaide at the age of 16. At the time, I was aiming for a career as a radiographer, which now seems ridiculous as it requires excellent skills in physics and maths, neither of which I have! I distinctly remember the pressure of having to process and deliver films urgently when women were having mammograms. I’ll also never forget the pungent smell of chemicals from the equipment in that tiny enclosed room!

My first ever professional job was as a weekend radio producer with 5DN. I LOVED it. It involved research, writing, some technical behind the scenes work, answering phone calls from lovely listeners and working with radio personalities. There was an element of fame while being ‘in the background’. I only heard my voice on air twice while I was there, but I like to think I helped create some fantastic and entertaining programs.

How has your career path changed since then?

I’ve always been attracted to roles that had elements of challenge and communication. I’ve also been guided by my gut and able to use my ability to make great connections on many occasions – many of my jobs have come about from ‘who you know’. After working in Publicity at DJs for five years I got a tip off from a journo friend about a PR consultancy job, where I was able to hone my skills in working with the media. After five years there and completely over the demands of the publicity world, I talked my way into a marketing communications role at a credit union – I had no marketing experience, but they gave me the job because I said ‘I love to write!’ After five years at the credit union I started my business part time – that was 16 years ago – and eventually went full time with word and web when my son was 18 months old. My first clients were all connected with the credit union in some way – suppliers and colleagues. Almost six years ago my family and I moved to Melbourne, and it has been an excellent move for us personally and professionally.

What led you to do what you do now?

My job in radio led me to where I am today. I met someone who was working in publicity at David Jones Adelaide and encouraged me to apply for a job there. Those were the days when David Jones was something really special. I remember walking in to the building and feeling overawed by the atmosphere, the gold and marble, the mirrors and the gentle sounds of a grand piano. Working at DJs gave me an insight into what I could do with my writing in a professional setting and I loved being creative.

I am also thankful that I had experience working with the not for profit field in my PR role, with Sids & Kids and Red Nose Day. This began my interest in working with NFPs, which I still have a passion for today. I’m fortunate to be able to work with many charities across Australia, telling their stories.

Why do you do what you do?

I’ve loved to write all my life. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing or reading. To me writing is like breathing. It’s something I need to do as well as want to do. I am discovering as I grow ‘wiser’ that the more challenging the writing is, the better. I don’t think we should ever stand still. Some days I’m happy to write something easy, but I also want to tell hard stories about serious issues and people who are rising above adversity and fascinating stories about why people do what they do. We all have stories to tell and that’s what I love most about my ‘job’.

What do you like about working with Think Bespoke’s clients?

I love the challenge of storytelling in a career context. There is a real buzz in taking basic information and bringing it to life, so that clients can achieve their career goals, work with people and industries where they can add value and do great things. I think Karen’s approach to LinkedIn is absolutely spot on and I’m really enjoying learning from her experience.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

With my heart on my sleeve I’d like to say I wish the world would slow down and we could all be more thoughtful and check in on each other more. The faster the world moves, the more connected we can be, the less connected we seem to be.

What words of wisdom do you live by?

My dad has always said to me ‘keep your options open’ – very wise words that always stick with me, for career and life in general. My own words of wisdom are ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t know.’ I believe we always ought to ask questions and seek opportunities – not sit and wonder or think ‘I could have, I should have.’

Karen Hollenbach

Karen Hollenbach

As the Founding Director of Think Bespoke I help individuals and organisations unlock their potential with LinkedIn. Sign up to my E-insights for LinkedIn tips.

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