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Vanessa Bell Mumbition the Podcast

Mumbition

The Podcast By Mums & Co

Episode 89: Odette Barry's Mission to Make Visibility Accessible

Odette Barry

Founder of Odette & Co and Co Founder of Launchpad

March 26, 2024
Join us as we chat with Odette Barry, PR mentor and founder, as she delves into the world of DIY PR for small business owners. From her idyllic base in Byron Bay, Odette shares practical tips and heartfelt advice on navigating the PR landscape with authenticity and courage, plus insights on building and supporting a community via networking.

Links

Media Relations Trainingand PR Consultancy: Odette & Co (odetteandco.com.au) Launchpad Australia • Thekindest community on the internet (thelaunchpad.group)Odette ✨PR mentor + publicist (@odetteandco) • Instagramphotos and videos
Launchpad Australia |Community for Entrepreneurs ✨ (@thelaunchpad.group.au) •Instagram photos and videos

Credits 

Produced by - Lucy Kippist  Edited by - MorganBrown 
‍Interviewers - Carrie Kwan and LucyKippist 
‍Guest – Odette Barry  

Are you ready to join a movement of business owningwomen?  Join Mums & Co today. 

More from today's guest!

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    • Read the blog article
    • Coastal Entrepreneurship: How this Byron Bay woman creates impact and legacy for her clients

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Episode 89 Transcript


00:00:04:12 - 00:00:29:13

Odette

My advice to particularly female founders, is to understand them, truly know, embody and believe that it's not gross to self-promote. In fact, it is vitally necessary and can be a whole lot of good fun. So put yourself out there, be brave and have courage and be the mouthpiece for your business.

00:00:29:14 - 00:00:42:04

Lucy

We dive right into the world of PR with today's episode. Our guest is Odette Barry, who is in an industry that, you know, a lot about, Carrie given it was where your own career started. Odette also runs her own very successful podcast called Hack Your Own PR, and she does all of this from her base in the very idyllic Byron Bay. Now, I'm mentioning this because as well as sharing some really terrific tips on generating PR as a small business owner Odette also represents the 30% of regional and rural Australian women running their businesses right now in.

00:01:10:12 - 00:01:43:19

Carrie

Absolutely, Lucy. A debt is a terrific example of not only the ingenuity of the digital based PR business, but one that's based outside of metro area and how these things have actually worked together to create her success. I also liked what a debt shared with us about how the nature of PR is a little bit different for small business solo founders and what she rightly said is around the metrics shifting for our cohort when it comes to engagement and visibility.

00:01:45:16 - 00:02:02:01

Carrie

Odette, welcome to Mumbition. It's great to have you here. We love sharing stories about women in business, their journey so far. Can you tell us a little bit about your journey and a pitch about your business?

00:02:02:01 - 00:02:39:09

Odette

Yes, sure. Well, thank you so much for having me. It's a pleasure to be here among like minded folks. I am a publicist, but I'm also a PR mentor. So my whole business model for the last five years has been to teach founders and leaders how to DIY their own PR, because I moved from Melbourne to Byron Bay eight years ago, and when I moved here I fell into the most incredible business community. One of my friends referred to it as Woodstock for small business owners, and it's just like a festival of cool ideas and innovative thinkers and startup founders and, you know, you know, the power of community around business and how important it is to be in like minded communities. And one of the things that I found being a publicist, you know, our retainers of five or $10,000 a month, they're normally 3 to 6 months in length. So for small businesses, small operators, that's really expensive. And not something that everyone can afford to invest in. But when I looked around my community, I could see all these amazing humans that were doing really cool things and they couldn't afford a publicist. So what that kind of led me to, you know, I'd worked in corporate communications for Westpac and worked in the media side within Women's Fitness magazine. And so in the first couple of years of running my business, it was all agency model. And then I kind of realised that if I really wanted to serve those people that lit my soul on fire, I needed to come up with a solution that sort of made being visible in media accessible to them. So for the last five years, I've been teaching PR to founders. And, you know, there's thousands of headlines that these beautiful founders have generated for themselves over the years. And yes, a lot of fun.

00:04:08:19 - 00:04:14:13

Carrie

I see you as a real enabler and in power. Because it is that right? You just want people to be able to share their amazing business journeys, their amazing impact that they're making people that they're helping. And you're right, it's a little bit mysterious, the whole PR world, because and it probably has been demystified since everyone else is a bit of their own publisher nowadays. But there is a knack if you want to get sort of that sort of national coverage or with the top tier media, even with podcast is any now it's actually there is a knack and once you get that knack or that formula, anyone can do it.

00:04:50:15 - 00:05:18:19

Odette

Absolutely. And it's funny because it's it is very formulaic. But I also firmly believe it's not rocket science like it requires some thought and some research and some planning. But I think anyone who's smart enough to run a business can also figure out, you know, the nuts and bolts of writing an interesting and intentional pitch and really researching the ideas that they're putting forward. And that doesn't require any special, wildly clever skills. I mean, ChatGPT is such an amazing resource for supporting people to DIY their PR, I would just put it that out there that maybe that will take you 60% of the way. Please don't let Chaturvedi do your entire job for you because you'll sound like you're using the most crazy superfluous language known to mankind and in the pictures. But it certainly does get you off a blank page for those people that be, you know, it's quite intimidating looking at a blank page and trying to come up with everything from scratch.

00:05:58:14 - 00:06:02:19

Carrie

I'm really interested, you know, because I can hear that energy in your voice right now. But what do you love about your business right now?

00:06:05:15 - 00:06:27:19

Odette

It's a good question. I mean, a lot of things I, I think probably the thing that I, I really enjoy the most is that I just get to talk to amazing humans all the time. And I'm an extrovert. I thrive on the energy of connection and hearing wonderful stories. But I think empowering other people to grow their businesses, like that's really that's at the heart of it. It's the storytelling piece. It's finding out digging under other people's businesses and hearing why they do and how they do what they do, but then also giving them that roadmap towards, you know, getting a feature on Sunrise or Daily Mail or the project and seeing the transformative impact that that kind of coverage has for small businesses.

00:07:01:05 - 00:07:07:02

Carrie

It's like their success is your success. Yeah.

00:07:07:02 - 00:07:32:08

Odette

Totally. It’s actually quite funny, because in the PR landscape this is not the most flattering description, but we it's often referred to as a kind of like junkie's, like they're chasing the next high and they like, you know, they just want to get the next hit, the next media coverage for their clients. And then, woooo , I feel so excited and celebrating and it's so exhilarating when you land the story for your client. But I feel like the highs and lows are really exhausting in PR, It's really quite a stressful industry, whereas when business owners are doing that for themselves, they don't have that same level of pressure and tension because they're not paying a publicist $5,000 a month. They're, you know, investing their time, which is obviously a very expensive resource in your business. But it's also something you do have on your side in the early stages. So when they win the coverage that it's very grounded but still equally exhilarating. But for me, it's so deeply rewarding and not in that wild roller coaster. It's like this really grounded pride and happiness and just seeing what that's going to do for their businesses. It's just really special.

00:08:26:20 - 00:08:58:20

Carrie

I just wanted to extend a bit at the moment. I'm really fascinated by what metrics matter at the moment when we're trying to define what success is for a small business, what success is for us. I'm trying to apply that in a PR sense and in the you know, back in the days it would be something like, well, the equivalent if you got a media piece of coverage, you’d be thinking, okay, the equivalent of that in advertising spend is like $1,000. So you then put in multiply towards it. But I don't think that's the thinking anymore in terms of how do you know media coverage is successful.

00:09:08:00 - 00:09:33:06

Odette

Yeah, well, I feel like that's advertising equivalent value has always been a flawed metric, you know, from day diet, it's never been a good way to measure. And I do think PR has simple and complex ways to measure itself simply doesn't move the dial. Like do you get website traffic, social media engagement, do you get sales? Like there's a couple of really easy metrics, but also not all things can be measured in that way because also we know that PR is the game of changing the way people think and feel about us. So how do you measure that? You can do consumer sentiment analysis. It's like benchmarking studies before and after a PR campaign. Most small businesses are not going to do that. You know, we don't have the time or resources for that. But, you know, I think what we see is that most transactions move faster when you're activating PR So your return on ad spend drops with digital ads, you know that the pipeline lead activity is a lot quicker. So there's different metrics you can look at. But the biggest one, maintaining, changing the way people think and feel about us is like nigh on impossible to measure. But, you know, one of the one of the backyard measurement statistics, which I find so many of my clients will reflect on to me is, I was at my kid's soccer game and like all the parents were talking about, you know, how they saw me in the Sydney Morning Herald or, you know, and it's like it's sometimes it's those silly little conversations that you kind of have, those mirror moments in seeing the efficacy of your PR work.

00:11:02:19 - 00:11:03:20

Carrie

So I'm wondering, do you like to network? What are the reasons you do it? If you do? And can you share some of the ways that you might do this digitally?

00:11:14:05 - 00:11:42:19

Odette

Yeah, absolutely. Well, I think it's a hard yes on that one for me. So I work alone at home because I basically talk nonstop in my work and for me to be in a coworking office space is actually - I am a nightmare for anyone else to be around. So I actually have to be really intentional about stacking my week to have those connection points. So on Mondays I go for a walk with the former chief financial officer of Adidas. On Tuesdays I go for a walk with my Co Founder of Launch Pad Australia, where we talk about the media and business opportunities. On Wednesday I go for a walk with a climate consultant, so I very intentionally stack my week with movement and a business friend so that I have those opportunities. But also thanks to beautiful Chris who I go for a walk with on Tuesday, we've also co-founded a business community in Australia for exactly that reason to create those opportunities to network. So we have events in Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Byron Bay, both in-person and online, and it's all very intensely designed around that need for us to, as business owners have those like minded humans that understand where we're at in the journey, but also to educate on all of the essential things that we need, we need to know.

So yes, I thoroughly enjoy networking, but I also do understand why a lot of people struggle with it, because it is really hard to show up in a space where you don't know someone. It's much easier when you've got a wing woman who you can show up with and have that person that you can be awkward with together. But I also think that when you show up alone, you fast track that connection process with strangers because you don't have that buddy to like place safe with. Whereas when you're on your own, you just are forced into the conversation. So it's strangers.

00:13:37:22 - 00:13:58:22

Carrie

so many so many things running through my head. When you were just talking about the intricacies of networking and do you do it alone or go with someone else like your wing woman? And it's interesting because I would probably say a lot of people think that I'm extroverted and, you know, I love to network and I do.

But what you said is it is actually a lot easier when I have someone that I know at least one person, you know, in a sea of 100 or so of 200. And it just made me think, why is that? Why is that? And then you also flipped it in terms of you're more effective when you actually do it alone.

00:14:20:04 - 00:14:29:07

Odette

Yeah. And it's nice to have that safety, to have that person to arrive in there and not have that sense of loneliness when you walk into a space. But honestly, the loneliness is the catalyst for conversation, right.

00:14:34:08 - 00:14:50:07

Carrie

Yeah, it is. And I'm actually just thinking. It's just that. It's just that I care. I'm grounded. We're good. And now we dividing, you know, it's like now, now we go and meet people. Like it's, just that entering the room, it's that little bit of safety that you have before you.

00:14:50:07 - 00:14:54:15

Odette

I think if we can work on the courage muscle of showing up alone and knowing that, you know, every conversation is an opportunity, I actually have been like really sitting with this idea around like adult friendships a lot lately because I moved to Byron from Melbourne, and in the few years prior to moving to Byron Bay, I'd gone through a really big life shift and I had stopped drinking alcohol and a lot of my social life was built around boozy events. The work events were boozy, the social events were boozy. So it kind of put me on a different level of what I wanted to do. And it really wasn't until I moved to Byron that I realised actually, even as an extrovert, you have to refine this friend making muscle and you actually have to really get comfortable with putting yourself in uncomfortable situations, and you actually have to get comfortable with initiating conversations and welcoming people into your life and inviting them and, you know, inviting someone for a coffee catch up. You have to be okay with them saying no. You have to also be okay with having a coffee, catch up with someone, and maybe the spark isn't there. The energy felt quite right. So I feel like over the last eight years I have wholeheartedly built like that muscle to the point where I'm like, I don't really have much time left for more friends, but come on in, come on in.

00:16:30:13 - 00:16:33:23

Carrie

That's a great, great reminder. And I think there are some intricacies there that, you know, there are definitely some stigma around networking. We're trying to normalize that networking is, you know, it's the best tool that you have in your small business arsenal in some ways, and that allows you just to share your story, which is, you know, the business that we're in and connect with others.

00:17:32:07 - 00:17:42:18

Carrie

So I wanted to flip our conversation a little bit to more on the relationship to this concept of risk. How would you describe your relationship to risk?

00:17:45:15 - 00:18:05:03

Odette

When you sent these questions, I kind of sat with that for a while because I would say that I've got a reasonably high risk tolerance. But then I sat with that and I was like, yeah, but my husband works full time, and we could totally survive on his salary if things went completely bust. So when I can make risky or courageous decisions in my business, and decide to change my business model as I did five years ago, you know, to someone that didn't have that fall back comfort in my, you know, household finance, that would have been extremely risky. And of course, it was. But it totally paid off. But it also I could make that risky decision because of coming from a reasonably safe space. So I was like, maybe my tolerance for risk is actually quite appalling and I make quite calculated decisions based on what we can actually handle, if that makes sense.

00:18:55:03 - 00:19:19:02

Carrie

You know, the concept of risk is to be aware of it and have concepts to mitigate any of those or controls to mitigate that particular risk. So and I you know, again, I feel like women are some of the most courageous business owning women in our community as some of the most courageous women. And they'll say that they're risk adverse, but yet they're stepping into the unknown and they may not have their target market sorted out or they may not have their, you know, all the pieces of the puzzle of running a business. And I just find that a fascinating perspective because they are they are the biggest risk takers, even they may not perceive them. And as also with the level of having a family or caring responsibilities, I think we often have to blend those two risks together.

00:19:49:04 - 00:20:14:04

Odette

totally. Yeah. But also I feel like a lot of people, I find don't acknowledge their privilege of having a partner who supports them in their business or, you know, like I have a lot of friends that are single mums and their experience in business is entirely different, being the sole breadwinner for their family unit.

And I just have so much admiration and respect for how they do what they do and the way they show up for themselves and for their children. And you know, there's never been a time that my business hasn't been, you know, really supportive for our family. But I also know that I've been able to make quite bold decisions that perhaps someone who couldn't be exposed to the fallout of those decisions, you know, that the fallout would be absolutely unbelievable.

00:20:45:20 - 00:21:02:04

Carrie

And on the just on that too, I think about 12 sorry, 7% of business owning women in Australia are actually single, single parents. And I must admit many of the ones that I know, they're really efficient. They're actually really they've actually thought through things and then when they decide they're very decisive.

00:21:12:01 - 00:21:44:07

Odette

A friend of mine, quite embarrassingly admitted she would always hire mums with young children because they were a lot more efficient and capable than anyone else in the workforce. They would work hard for the time they were there. And at the time I was just absolutely horrified that she would dare say that. But also I can see it and you see that how hard women with children work because they just know they've only got those concentrated periods of time.

00:21:44:07 - 00:21:45:21

Carrie

Absolutely. We've recently been very engrossed in a thought leadership piece that came out. It's called the Micro Reminder Report. It was commissioned by NRMA Insurance, who we are supported by at, Mums and CO.

Whilst we celebrate the optimism and bravery in starting something new and our main assurance is there to help and things don't go to plan. So there's this sort of there's this, you know, whilst we talk about risk and, and how to do risk the business owning journey, one of the key findings of that report was that a lot of women don't have access to specialist teams. They're sole traders, they don't have a lot of employees, They don't have, you know, teams of PR and marketing and teams of legal advice or tech support. What role has expert advice played in your business?

00:22:38:10 - 00:23:22:18

Odette

Everything. Absolutely everything. You know. It’s funny, I, I had some conversations with someone the other day and they were like, I just I don't want to be too obstructive and ask for too much advice from you. And this is a friend that I go for a run with quite regularly. And I was giving her some guidance in her business and I just like reminded her that at no point could anyone ever exhaust me of the advice that I feel indebted to give other people because of the level of kindness and sharp, strategic guidance I’ve been, you know, really lucky to receive throughout my business from financial guidance to HR. You know, guidance through to marketing strategies and all of these some paid for some contra trades, and some from my beautiful community. These women that I walk with every week, you know, every second Friday I made up for coffee with a group of women – I hate saying this out loud, but our group is called the Byron Business Babes, and we refer to ourselves as the babes, because no one wants to actually say that out loud. But we've been meeting for seven years now every second Friday, and these are women who are further ahead their journey than me. They are global brands, national brands. They are so solopreneur as people of different paths and the level of advice and guidance that I've been able to tap from this network has been transformative - from my mental health through to the business ecosystem. And I think just having that friendship has I would have shut doors many moons ago if it was not for expert advice in my community.

00:24:47:17 - 00:25:20:13

Carrie

Love it. So find your BBB’s or find your Mums and Co community because that that's exactly the goal. I think from the networking that we've done, you end up finding a group that you can actually share advice, share the highs, share the lows and everything in between with so amazing. And on that, I would love to ask you, in the spirit of women supporting women, are there any of the Mumbitious that you would like to give a shout out to?

So Mumbition is, those that are unapologetically blending motherhood and ambition. Are you just an amazing woman that you'd like to say hello to?

00:25:27:22 - 00:25:53:03

Odette

Ah well, I mean, it's very hard to pick - Chris Edwards, my co-founder with Launch Pad. You know, she's a you know, a media publisher of 15 years success that's been, you know, seven figure profitable business for many moons who kindly invited me to come into the fold and Co-Found Launch Pad Australia.

She has been a pillar of strength for me and a mirror to really see myself and see where I let myself down and also where I can, you know, pull myself up. And yeah, she's a very, very special human to me.

00:26:10:10 - 00:26:17:06

Carrie

Gorgeous. And do you want to tell us a little bit about Launchpad Australia? Give us a 30 second elevator pitch.

00:26:17:06 - 00:26:31:07

Odette

Yeah, well, you know, like you community has been transformative for me in business. It took me 18 months of running my business before I found my people. And I know so many businesses run out of a cash flow, mental strength, and resilience or just head butt legal issues in those first 18 months. So I want to give people what I've had the pleasure of having from a community perspective. So we're online masterclasses, regular digital meets up and collaboration and in-person events, but a bit of IRL, human connection.

00:26:58:21 - 00:27:00:11

Carrie

Amazing. It's been amazing having you. Thank you so much for sharing your journey today with our mission listeners.

00:27:07:02 - 00:27:09:09

Odette

Thanks so much for having me.

00:27:10:00 - 00:27:22:00

Carrie

Thanks so much for joining us today on Mumbition, the podcast by Mums and Co. If you'd like to connect with a dish, you can find her on our member directory on the member platform.

And if you haven't already, join the thousands of business owning women just like you. Join us at mum's and co.com.au. We have membership tiers to suit women at all stages of business and motherhood.

00:27:37:09 - 00:27:41:12

Unknown

And if you enjoyed today's podcasts, please rate and review us. Lucy and I love reading your reviews and your feedback. It also means that more women in business can be supported and they can tap into these ambitious stories to inspire and inform them.

00:27:54:03 - 00:27:56:17

Child question

What’s the best thing about living in Byron Bay.

00:27:56:17 - 00:28:13:07

Odette

Well, I would have to say it's blending nature medicine with business ambition. So I go to the ocean, dip my toes in the sea, and then I get to tap away on my computer all day.