Lorraine Murphy has created something remarkable: Australia’s first influencer talent agency, now with a reach of eight million people a month.
Murphy’s business The Remarkables Group started in May 2012, after she’d long toyed with the idea of creating a platform that could connect influential bloggers with brands.
She gave up a successful and happy career in PR to take a chance on the platform, realising that a great idea wouldn’t wait around forever.
“I remember brushing my teeth one evening while my then-boyfriend (now husband) was in the shower chatting to me, and I just turned around with my mouth full toothpaste and said to him: ‘I’m going to do it – I’m starting this business!’,” she tells Women’s Agenda. “It was the first time I’d actually voiced it, even to myself.”
After spending months identifying some of Australia’s best bloggers and educating brands on how they could work with bloggers, she turned over $1.2 million in her first full financial year and secured clients like Telstra, CBA and Toyota.
Murphy’s gone on to win and be nominated for a huge range of industry awards, and become a much sought-after speaker and mentor on marketing. A finalist in the 2015 Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards, she’s also just been named on the BRW Fast Starters List for 2015.
Now managing a number of staff and a network of 26 influencers, it was the lessons she learnt while managing herself that really established her leadership career. Especially regarding the fine art of self-leadership, and motivating herself to achieve big goals.
Below she shares her leadership story, and why she believes risk-taking is key to a great career.
Born? Dublin, Ireland
Childhood? Dublin, Ireland
What are your leadership qualifications? Self-taught!
High school career ambition? To be a vet, but then I realised I couldn’t stand chemistry and plumped for a career in PR.
And your first, ever job? Working on the deli counter of the local supermarket when I was 14 – baking baguettes and slicing cold meats at 7am on Saturdays and Sundays.
Today, who and what do you lead? I started The Remarkables Group in May 2012, which is the first dedicated talent agency for bloggers in Australia. I lead our team of five and also speak on the topic of entrepreneurship and act as a mentor to some rising female stars in the marketing industry.
The decision to start the business is the best I ever made – I actually look back at the person I was before that decision and I kind of don’t recognise her!
How do you stay informed on a daily basis? I actively avoid mainstream media as I find much of it to be quite fear-based – we got rid of our TV four years ago. I get my news online from my social channels and email newsletters from business, trade and other titles – e.g: Fortune, Women’s Agenda and Mumbrella.
And manage your wellbeing? I meditate for 15 minutes every morning and have a long journalling session every Sunday afternoon. I do a gym class four times a week and have a couple of walks as well.
What is the first thing you do in the morning? Have a cup of hot water with lemon and ginger.
Can you describe an average work day for you? I get into the office at 7.15am or so and try to get my three key tasks done for the day before our daily team huddle at 8.52am. From there, I tackle lower priority items on my list and will normally have two to three meetings or catch-ups with the team, clients or my wider network. At 4.30pm I write my list for the next day and pack up my desk, and I’m en route to the gym for 4.50pm.
What’s your leadership ‘superpower’? I make decisions quickly and have learned to acknowledge when I make a bad one, and act on that quickly.
What, if anything, do you believe needs to change in order to better support women at work – particularly in your industry? Personally, I haven’t experienced any challenges as a result of being a woman at work and in business. My observation from myself and women I work with is that our self-confidence can be lower than that of men. I find that women need a lot more encouragement to take risks or push themselves, whereas men seem to have an inbuilt certainty of their abilities – sometimes an over-optimistic one!
Advice to your 18-year-old self? Take lots of risks – they pay off. Don’t get distracted with longterm relationships, plenty of time for that. Seek out those doing what you want to do and model yourself on them.