Interview with Chloe Kiln from Work.Life
I caught up with Online Community Executive Chloe Kiln, who works at Work.Life (London).
I first got in contact with Chloe when I was looking for industry input for a client article. She provided some great content for the piece I was working on, so I thought she’d be a great candidate for an interview on Digital Drum…
So how did you end up working in community management and social, specifically?
My journey into marketing is a ‘twisty and turny’ one. I studied Psychology at university, and whilst being very different, looking back it’s definitely given me some complimentary skills.
Post-uni, I had the typical “I have no idea what I want to do with my life” moment, so set off to follow my passion (obsession) for food, and look for a job in the FMCG industry.
After a six-month stint at my cousin’s insurance firm (I was living at home and wanted to experience London working life before committing to moving), I pursued my food dream; hunting down a marketing internship at a food start-up.
The food start-up then offered me a full-time position. It was just the two co-founders and I, so I was given the Marketing Manager title, which, in a very young start-up (with no marketing budget), meant my role heavily involved looking after social media and events.
Fast forward 3 years… I’m now in my second marketing role here at Work.Life, and couldn’t be happier.
You're about a year into your current role now - have you personally seen much change social media over that year?
There have been lots of changes, but the biggest one that stands out would be that of social media algorithms; particularly Facebook’s.
You might have noticed (slightly) less memes, dog videos and advertising on your feed lately, and that’s because Facebook have tried to make the content from your actual connections appear first. Great for people wanting to keep up with their long-lost pals… not so great for marketing.
Now they say if you don’t put any money behind your Facebook content, there’s no point in posting it. It means you have to treat your content slightly differently. Don’t just put posts up for the sake of it; instead, invest time in creating some really useful content – blog posts, videos, whatever works best for you - and put some money behind them to get that content into the hands and eyes of the right people.
Do you think it’s difficult for Work.Life to stand out in an industry where many of your main competitors also have nice branding, websites and workspaces on offer?
It’s a crowded market, but if you stick to your core values and attract the kind of people who care about those too, then you’ll still succeed.
We’re for businesses who care about people; whether that’s your CEO choosing Work.Life because they want their team to have all the amazing social and wellness perks, or a freelancer that’s chosen to join Work.Life instead of sitting alone at their kitchen table because they know how beneficial it’ll be for their happiness and productivity.
Of course, it’s difficult going up against companies with thousands of spaces and hundreds of thousands of marketing budget, but… we can provide a genuinely unique offering. Our purposefully smaller spaces naturally facilitate a stronger community culture; strengthened even further by our membership teams and the relationships they have with our members.
They know everyone’s (and their dog’s) name who walk through the door, and genuinely care about them and their business’s success.
I believe that true competitors are the people offering the exact same service as you, which, although I might be biased, I believe no one is. There’s competition of course, but that’s what keeps you working hard and creatively.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
‘Start-up life’ brings a lot of variety with it, which I love. As part of a three-strong marketing team, I get to dabble in many a project. One day, I could be helping with hoarding design for a new space, the next - creating a social media campaign, and the day after.. perhaps a brainstorm session in the park to talk about an exciting new project (I may have just come back from said creative park-session as I write this!).
Secondly, it’s a pretty boring one, but I love seeing things that I’ve worked on come to life and start to generate results. To see I’ve brought in x amount of tour bookings or x amount of website visits from something I’ve solely created makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.
Lastly, what advice would you give to someone who wants to start their first marketing role?
I’d recommend getting any kind of experience as soon as you can; whether that’s a full-time role or an internship. Get onto YouTube, and learn as many tips and tricks as you can - that’s where I learned how to use the mystery that is Facebook Ads Manager (if you’re reading this Facebook, please make the lives of novices easier!).
If you’re in an industry that you don’t want to be in, don’t panic. Your degree doesn’t have to define your career. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase ‘hire for fit, train for skill’, and this is especially true for young companies. Be hungry to learn, get any kind of experience you can, and smash that interview with all that personality.
Oh, and… read books, listen to podcasts, and sign up to every digital marketing newsletter on the planet.