In partnership with Hostplus, we sat down with Veronica Moore, co-founder of Melbourne creative agency Miss Bossy Boots, to find out what she wishes she'd known at the start of her career.
In an era when content is king and the creative industry is under more pressure than ever to deliver more for less, Veronica Moore understands better than most the personal and professional demands of driving business success in the Australian creative industry.
Having started her working life dabbling in the hospitality and modelling realms, Veronica first embarked on her path of self-employment as a Myotherapist.
"Working for myself was inherent, it was in my blood. Both of my parents worked for themselves and I was drawn to that sense of making something happen for yourself."
Through her husband Garry – an established freelance photographer at the time – Veronica became aware of how difficult some artists found it to promote themselves. Comfortable herself with sales (a gift she says was apparent from a young age when she sold cakes for a local market) Veronica offered to represent Gary as his agent and began pitching his portfolio to advertising agencies. And so Miss Bossy Boots was born.
Today, Veronica heads a close-knit team of permanent staff, creatives and freelancers. Thanks to its diverse portfolio of clients (they offer products from doughnuts to motor vehicles) the agency has grown, mostly, organically.
Experience has given Moore a greater understating of freelance culture. And with that, she has become more selective with who she recruits.
“Over the years I have seen many talented people, however “raw talent” is only the first step to surviving in this industry. I have learned to trust my instincts and experience in who I select to represent. A great folio is just the beginning. The ability to collaborate with me as their agent, and then with the diverse range of people present on a job is an essential element.”
“This capacity to collaborate is not usually evident when you first meet people. I have learned through experience and instinct to gauge this in people.”
Moore’s advice to freelancers is: “Learn that working with an agent is a two-way street. If you sit back expecting them to do all the work, you will be limiting your success greatly.”
Moore understands the challenges that come with being contactable around the clock.
“There were times when I would find the work all-consuming. It's a very demanding business, and even more so in the past 10 years with the advance of digital media, with an increasingly tight turnaround expected for jobs. It's easy to find yourself wanting to respond instantly and deliver quickly, even when you are off duty.”
“This idea that you must always “be on the job” can very quickly lead to loss of concentration, lack of efficiency and eventual “burn out”. I have learned that to remain productive, I need time to switch off from the rigours of work life, like turning off my phone and iPad. This ability to “switch off” enables me to be far more productive when I do “switch on”.”
This article is presented in partnership with Hostplus, which has your super covered no matter your role and how it changes through your career.