My humble little business has reached a significant milestone this month – Mastermind Consulting is now five years old. Yes, it’s been that long, and there’s reason to celebrate as the journey has been exhilarating, to say the least.
From as early as I can remember, I held grand career aspirations – at high school I wanted to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Australia (not just a lawyer). For a while I had my heart set on being Australia’s first female Prime Minister and then when I started my career in the world of Financial Services at BT Funds Management and Macquarie Bank, success was defined by seniority of roles. I scored a spot in a prestigious graduate program having received first class honours at university, and even after shifting from financial services to the wine industry, the marketing director role was firmly a career aspiration.
Like many women on steep career trajectories, my world changed radically when I fell pregnant with my first child (and much sooner than I expected once we started trying!). Then at four months pregnant, I was made redundant deciding not to make the move to Melbourne with the Foster’s marketing team. I LOVED my brands, and successfully moving my career from finance to the wine industry had taken so long to achieve, so leaving the corporate world behind not an option i’d ever really considered. With no idea about what the future held, I ventured into the world of motherhood.
Owning my own business was never on my radar but the demand was there to help wineries with marketing and offer strategic advice (which i love doing most). I’ve never been good at not working, so with the support of my family I began to work part-time (often while my newborn daughter was sleeping) and before you knew it, in 2008 Mastermind Consulting was born.
The vision for Mastermind Consulting was simple – to help wineries connect with their customers through innovative marketing. It’s been a real privilege to be able to work with so many brands on campaigns that have ranged from new product development, strategy development, innovation, web launches and more recently helping with strategy, training and execution to help demystify social media and make plans that connect with consumers.
SOME PROUD ACHIEVEMENTS:
Like any business, we’ve evolved and changed over time, and I have a great team of partners (many of whom are also mums) who help me push the boundaries and create great work for our clients.
There’s still the daily challenge of juggling young children (I have a three-year-old at home and a daughter in Kindergarten with school hours to contend with) while running a business part time. I love being around for the children whilst they are young, but time is my constant enemy and I am the first to admit it’s often a juggle and some days i just run on adrenalin and minimal sleep.
But it won’t be like this forever and nothing has been as rewarding as being able to nurture my two little people, and help them make their mark on the world as confident individuals, while being able to do what I love professionally with brands that I am so passionate about.
Importantly, the world of social media has certainly kept me in touch, and on many occasions sane, when toddler tantrums or parenting challenges seem harder to deal with than any multi-million-dollar negotiation. You may be reading this via a twitter link, or a facebook post and not realise how much I have appreciated your conversations over the past few years. Social media has allowed me to make great friends and interact with amazing people. Don’t ever believe that social media connections are not real or valid because they’re as meaningful as you make them and i’ve got some fabulous friends as a result!
A SHOUT OUT OF THANKS
There are too many people who have contributed to Mastermind’s amazing journey to name you all, but a few deserve special mention on such a milestone.
It’s been a privilege to have worked with so many great clients either on projects or longer term: De Bortoli, McWilliam’s, Taylor’s, Australian Vintage, Best’s Great Western, Scarborough Wine Co, ARIA Sydney, CHISWICK, Jonah’s Restaurant and Boutique Hotel, Wine Communicators of Australia, Plantagenet Wines, Wild Oats, Zema Estate, Belaroma Coffee, Brown Hill Estate, Casella Wines and many more beautiful brands that I’ve come to know through initiatives like Chardonnay Day and Rosé Revolution. Thanks for your patience and allowing me to work on your business as if it were my own.
To my Family – Kate and James – you’ve changed my world and given me perspective on what’s important in life – a lesson that I could never have learnt without you.
I could not do this without my Mum and mother-in-law, who both step in to help on so many occasions when I have work travel or commitments. And to my rock and husband Mark Barry – this could not happen without you. You’re an amazing man with great patience, allowing me to pursue my dreams. Thank you!
SO WHAT’S THE MORAL TO THE STORY?
There is a moral to this story (in my usual long-winded way) and it’s not to be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Life’s what you make of it and it’s doesn’t always follow the path you plotted out years ago.
Success may look different to how you traditionally define it. This could mean challenging conventional work models, changing your own definition of success and pursuing your dreams to do a job that you love, every day. I didn’t make it as Australia’s first female prime minister but I’m just as happy growing the Mastermind business, doing what I love with people and brands that i love and I respect.
Here’s to the next chapters in the Mastermind story.
Trish x x x
I spend a lot of time on facebook and some posts can be annoying and irrelevant! There may not be a dislike button, but there are ways for your fans to tell you that they don’t like your content and this feedback can impact on your future page performance.
You may not have even have noticed it, but at the top right hand side of a post on the facebook news stream there’s a small button that a user can click to “hide” or “report story or spam”.
If a user clicks this button, then it’s considered by facebook as negative feedback, which makes the post less likely to show up in others news feeds as well as making it less likely for future posts to reach that user. Once you signal you dislike the post you can also opt to hide all stories from that page on your page, or even unlike the page altogether (probably the worst kind of feedback) as seen below.
Social Fresh reported the breakdown of negative feedback actions and how often Facebook users take each action as follows:
According to Edgerank Checker – the typical facebook post receives 0.03% negative feedback with the highest feedback coming from travel and leisure, food and beverage and health and medical industries.
It’s important to recognize that not everyone will like the content you produce, and it’s often the posts that have the higher engagement that will also have the highest negative feedback. The amount of negative feedback that you receive depends on a number of factors – audience size, industry type, whether you’re running a promotion or not, and frequency of your posts just to name a few.
The increased uses of memes (you know those cartoons that are regularly appearing in your news feed) are certainly driving up the negative feedback in many pages so if you are using these sorts of images, worth checking how your fans are impacted.
So how do you monitor negative feedback?
Keeping an eye on the negative feedback for your page is important as impacts the edgerank of your page and the ability for your content to be shown on the news stream of your fans. Yet for many page administrators, they don’t even realize that this is a key metric to measure and it’s more difficult to find to report on.
To view how much negative feedback you are receiving on your page you need to be a page administrator. Once you’ve clicked on the insights panel on the top of the admin section you need to have a look at the Insights home page and scroll down the page to the Page posts area that list your posts.
On the 4th column of the table you’ll see a field called engaged users and you can click on each of the posts to see how many people have engaged as well as seeing what negative actions have resulted.
If you click on each of the posts you’ll be able to see how many people gave the post negative feedback as below.
You can also download your analytics into excel and see daily post feedback and track this on a daily basis.
This sort of analytics does not track sentiment but is a good guide to see what sort of posts are preferred by the fans on your page. Often when you see posts that are not relevant many ignore them, so if people take the time to hide and give you the feedback, you need to take note and learn from it.
How can you avoid negative feedback?
Some negative feedback is unavoidable but can be minimized.
Have you just discovered what Facebook Edgerank is all about but not sure what the implications are? Here are 8 simple tips to help increase your engagement on your facebook page and have your content seen by a larger group of people:
A word on the paid promoted posts….
There’s been lots of controversy over the fact that you can also pay to promote your posts on the page by paid facebook advertising. Yes this is frustrating, but remember advertising on facebook is how they make money! On occasion this can work and be effective, but use it as part of your overall content plan and not too often as some of this advertising can generate negative feedback for your page if the content is not relevant.
I’ve also found that I get greater interaction posting directly onto facebook rather than using third party automated apps like Hootsuite. It’s not confirmed that these third party apps are blocked or penalized by facebook in the edgerank scores (it’s often quoted as the case), but personally I’ve found better rates by posting directly.
One of the most common pieces of feedback I receive from facebook training sessions is that participants had no idea that only a small percentage of their fans are seeing their posts. It’s one of the most valuable pieces of information that they take away and for many, it changes the way they produce their content and think about their facebook interactions.
Prior to being immersed in the world of facebook, many business owners assume that their posts are seen by their entire fan or friend base, only to be horrified at the actual statistics. What would your guess be about how much content is seen by your fans? 100%, 50%, 60%?
So you’ll be stunned to discover that in many cases, only about 10% of fans will see your content….
Why? Comscore reports that 40% of all the time on facebook is in the newsfeed and only 12% is spent on profile and brand pages. To give some context, in the USA alone, people spend more time on the facebook newsfeed than the six major news sites (ABC, NSNBC, Yahoo! News, CNN, New York Times and the Huffington post) combined*. So given how much content is generated (by facebook brand pages or by your friends) there needs to be a way for facebook to filter the information.
This is where the facebook edgerank comes in.
WHAT IS EDGERANK?
Edgerank is an algorithm used by facebook to determine where and what posts appear on each individual users news feed in order to give users the most relevant content.
Each piece of activity on facebook is defined as an ‘edge’ and can potentially create a newsfeed story. This includes all likes, comments, photos, tags, comments, RSVPs – any public activity that is undertaken. Facebook looks at these ‘edges’ and utilises the information to filter the newsfeed and show the posts that they determine are the most relevant to the users.
I’m no mathematician or expert on equations, so what you need to know without all the technical details is that there are a number of variables that make up this algorithm to determine the rank:
This is measured by the relationship between users. The more you are connected and interact with them, the higher your affinity score and more likelihood that you’ll be shown the content.
Similarly, if you’ve liked and interacted with content on the page before, or you always like photos, there’s a greater likelihood that you’ll see the content being posted on the page. Remember that this is a one-way relationship, so if you’re actively posting on others pages and interacting, it does not mean that they will have a high affinity with your page.
Different types of content carry different weights. Photos, videos, links and status updates carry different weights. Generally photos and videos have shown to have higher weightings, although in recent times I’ve seen short text based posts also drive good reach and engagement.
If a user on your page comments on your page, or interacts positively, it’s given a higher weighting than if a user simply likes. This is why you’ll see many brands asking people to comment on the posts or encouraging sharing as it drives up a higher edgerank score than simply liking
The amount of time from when the post was made – old news is no longer relevant if no one interacts with it. If you’re posting content at 10am, and most of your fans are not online till after 5pm, it’s unlikely the majority of your fan base will see the content when they log-on later in the day. The vast majority of engagement will happen within minutes of a post being published.
Since September 2012, the edgerank is also impacted by negative feedback that you receive on your page. But more about that in another post.
BATMAN COMES TO THE RESCUE TO EXPLAIN
If you’re a batman fan, this simple infographic by Mike Maghsoudi from Post Rocket helps to explain simply how the concept works in plain English.
WHY IS YOUR EDGERANK SO IMPORTANT??
In essence, your edgerank determines the reach of your content. If you’re a page Administrator it’s something you need to be aware of because it’s fundamental to your success on facebook.
Trialling different types of content and working out what resonates most with your community is important to keeping them engaged and keeping people coming back for further interaction. It’s reported that brands that are leveraging the power of the News Feed reach +40% of their fans per post!
How can you determine your edgerank?
Facebook does not share a lot of information about the actual edgerank scores so in most instances you need to test out and monitor your content to work out what’s best for your brand.
A service called Edge rank checker can help to give you some insights into your page performance. Although in many cases if you have a small page, simply looking at some of the interactions on your page through the facebook analytics can give you a good guide.
If you’re the administrator of a page you can go to the bottom of the post and see how many people saw it, and then delve in deeper in the insights section for further information.
As one of Australia’s oldest wine regions, Mudgee makes for a fabulous getaway destination for the whole family. The first grapes were planted in 1858 and since then, the area has grown to become NSW’s third-largest wine region. Despite it being only a three-and-a-half-hour drive north west of Sydney (same distance as driving to Orange) with more than 35 cellar doors and fabulous foodie havens at its doorstep, Mudgee just doesn’t have the reputation among Sydney food and wine lovers as a favoured destination. But that’s about to change – here’s why you need to book a weekend escape.
We’ve already been to Mudgee on three occasions, but this trip was en route to Dubbo, so it was short and sweet but jam-packed full of winery stops. With our children coming along for the ride, there was a limit to the number of wineries we could visit, but that didn’t deter us. We discovered super destinations for the whole family to enjoy.
Wineries aside, there are plenty of great food stops to discover – little cafés, restaurants and wine bars scattered through town and, if you’re after lunch, many of the winery cellar doors serve great food on weekends.
Our foodie highlight was the Mudgee Fine Foods Farmers Market. Specialist food producers abound with delicious local produce and local musicians providing entertainment while the bustling crowd stocks up on their weekly groceries.
The Butcher Shop Café on Church Street, which actually is a former butchers shop, served fantastic food in the theme of the old-school butcher with a fabulous atmosphere to boot. Highly recommended! There are also lots of local coffee shops like Eltons Brasserie and Market Street Café serving tip-top breakfasts.
Now to Mudgee’s wineries:
This has to be one of the best cellar doors I’ve visited in Australia – a big call I know, but it will always remain memorable given how welcome our whole family was made to feel (see Top Cellar Door blog for more details).
This is an exceptionally well-designed facility, overlooking the beautiful vineyards on Apple Tree Flat, with beautifully crafted wines from Orange and Mudgee on offer, and incredibly hospitable staff who make you feel like staying forever.
There are so many highlights within Logan’s range of wines – the Hannah Rosé, Logan Vintage “M” Cuvée, Weemala Riesling and Weemala Shiraz Viognier. If you’re up for a splurge, splash out on the 2010 Ridge of Tears Orange Shiraz – not only does it taste great, it has a very cool label that will get people talking!
My tip? Put Logan Wines at the top of your list when you’re visiting Mudgee.
The team members at Lowe Wines are making a name for themselves for their organic and biodynamic wines, but it’s the charismatic owner David Lowe and talented winemaker Liam Heslop that we stopped by to visit. They make a dynamic duo with a real passion for wine and a clear vision of their winemaking philosophy. The cellar door is situated in the actual winery so visiting at vintage time is always a highlight for us (the kids were enthralled by the forklifts, tractors and fermenting grapes).
On weekends they offer delicious food tasting plates, which were perfect to enjoy while sitting back and taking in the afternoon while sampling the lovely wines. The kids wandered through the vegetable garden and had loads of fun running around picking apples from the trees to give to the Easter bunny.
Wines to try? The 2012 Organic Headstone Primitivo Rosé is dry, savoury and one of the only Primitivo-based rosés I’ve tried. Delicious any time of year and such a great match with the food platters being served. We’re also a fan of the 2012 Tinja Riesling and were given a sneak preview of the 2012 Lowe Riesling, which we can’t wait to buy when it becomes available.
Wines to put down and savour include the 2009 Block 8 Organic Shiraz – luckily from our son’s birth year, so was easy to justify buying a six-pack to cellar for when he turns 21.
I follow Josh Clementson from Skimstone on twitter and was excited to stop by and try his wines. We were definitely not disappointed. The wines are approachable and make fabulous food matches. There is a quaint little tasting room with beautiful views out to the vineyards. Keep an eye out for this upcoming brand and be sure to stop by if you’re in Mudgee – they are just across the road from Logan Wines.
Wines we loved include the Barbera, and the Tre-Onde (60% Sangiovese, 20% Barbera and 20% Cabernet).
This winery has created a bit of buzz lately, with lots of show success and its winemaker Jacob Stein winning the 2012 Gourmet Traveller Wine Young Winemaker of the Year Award. However, it was the vintage motorcycle museum that attracted us most! Great to see wineries offering varied attractions (as well as wines of course!) to bring in customers.
The Rieslings were definitely the stand-out and the Moscato makes the perfect start to a summer afternoon with friends. My husband was sold on the vintage port, so there was a wine here for everyone to enjoy.
Walk into this charismatic winery and immediately sense the Italian heritage. Di Lusso Estate boasts Italian varietals, authentic pizza served to match wines and a great space for the children to run around or play a game of boules.
Somewhere to stay
Our accommodation at Colonial Court Villas was the perfect place for a family to stay – three large bedrooms, impeccably clean and centrally located. Don’t need a space that large? They also have two- and one-bedroom villas.
Going with a group of friends or keen to give the kids a taste of country life? It’s worth checking out the Mudgee Getaway Cottages. The kids loved being able to interact with the animals and collect the eggs from the chickens in the morning.
Mudgee is definitely a town worth exploring with lots of interesting events throughout the year. Check out http://www.mudgeewine.com.au for a calendar listing.
Been to Mudgee and got somewhere else we should explore on our next trip? Love to hear about it in the comments below.