Australian-born Brooke Mason is so much more than just a photographer. Unafraid and not intimidated by change and breaking the rules, she is everything the creative industry aspires to be. Brooke prides herself on running a creative agency with a single mission: to help women succeed. Already this year, Brooke Mason Creative became a Certified Woman Owned Business.
Since being in Los Angeles, Brooke has immersed herself in the entertainment world and has photographer known artists and actors for magazines like Glamor, InStyle, and Angeleno.
We sit down with Brooke to find out a little more about how she got to where she is today, what inspires her, and what she wants to do in the future.
What inspired you to become a photographer?
I was inspired by wanting to capture my environment, the way I saw things as an artist. I started at a very young age, so at the time, it wasn’t deep thoughts of a career. In fact, my parents are professional business people and being an artist was not a career path that they supported. It was just a passion that I never gave up on and the point I was making money and didn’t need to do other things, I realised, “Hey, this is my career!”.
How did you transition from being a photographer to owning a creative agency?
As a photographer I wasn’t just capturing images. I was hired to art direct, manage projects, castings and aligning with brands. It was 15 years of background that lead to this, however I did study communication at University.
My most memorable work experience was with one of the largest advertising agencies in Sydney, Australia. I was in awe of the complexities of how it ran. I naturally hung out with the creative department more than any other, however my 15 years years of directing on set as a photographer has given me the confidence to work as a team, art direct and have a project come to life. That’s the most exciting part of my job, seeing a seed of an idea come to fruition.
What does it take to be an entrepreneur?
Dedication! A lot of this is probably a natural inclination and I find people asking me if I’m scared about not having a regular paycheck or knowing how much is going to come in. Yes, it can be daunting, however, you have to be a risk taker and most entrepreneurs thrive on that. I like the pressure it brings, I thrive on the deadline and after some time you learn to overcome your own self doubts, fears and strive for your best. There is nothing else like it. I will say, I do work much longer hours and days than most of my friends who aren’t, but the reward for me is much higher.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced on your journey so far?
There are two main challenges that I faced in the past and continue to face from time to time.
One – not knowing when the phone will ring. You can be sailing high on a bunch of jobs
and then all of a sudden it’s quiet. It’s really hard not to have a freak-out.
Two – being a younger female is a male driven business world. As much as I’d like to say this doesn’t exist anymore and as fortunate as I am to live in such an open minded town, this is still very relevant and we as women are still not seen as; intelligent, capable and successful to our male peers.
What is your ultimate goal?
I believe in striving and moving forward with continual growth. I don’t have an ultimate goal,
but I am looking forward to growing my team and bringing in bigger projects for 2019. I already feel blessed with so much we have done this past year.
What motivates you in business?
I’m motivated by creating beautiful masterpieces, even if that’s just a stunning website, it’s awesome!
What are you most passionate about?
When it comes to life; Art, aesthetics and beauty. When it’s my work; I love to see people happy, pleasing our clients is my number one driving factor.
Do you have a secret to your success?
Focusing on being the best at what you do and being honest with yourself – if it’s not your
forte, being okay with finding someone else for that task. There is no ego in my business, we all collaborate and if there’s a better idea we run with that. “Ego’s” gets in peoples way, it stiffens your creativity, your success and your opportunities.
What are your proudest achievements?
It’s always one you haven’t had yet!
What differentiates you from your business peers?
Everyone has their unique talents and I adore some of the other creative agencies who do similar work to us. I guess the main difference I see is my background is heavily in art directing and visual curation so we are heavily focused on branding and the end result. We are small, so clients get to talk with all of us and we are all very engaged in every project that happens.
Do you have a motto that you stand by?
Being authentic. I make an effort to keep strong ethics, stay honest and be as real as I can.
What are the most important qualities that have been most beneficial on your journey?
Working hard is by far the most important thing when you have your own business. Sometimes you have to say no to fabulous social events, but keeping clients happy and delivering work on time is crucial.
What is the best advice you could give to someone starting out as an entrepreneur?
It’s important to have big goals and dreams so I wouldn’t want to ever squash those for somebody starting out. Be prepared to put in the work, turn down party offers from friends, stay up late into the evening fulfilling your dreams and up early to conquer the day.
What are the biggest challenges that you have faced as a female in the business world?
Not being taken seriously. I find the main challenge as a woman in this male-centric world is
that men think we may not be as capable or as intelligent. It’s a fine balance to prove yourself without doing it in a way that is forceful and contrived. It’s important to not give up and let prejudices get in your way.
Who do you most admire and why?
I’m inspired by strong powerful women! It wasn’t until leaving Australia and crossing over
into the workforce that I really saw a difference in culture. Though I adore the US and everything it has to offer when it comes to women in the workforce, Australia definitely has superior viewpoints on women. When I see these amazing women here breaking glass ceilings and succeeding, I am in true admiration.
How many employees do you have?
My team ranges depending on the projects we are doing and how many hands we need. But, on a regular basis, we are a small group of eight. On larger projects, we sometimes have upwards of 15 people.
If you had to choose another job, what would it be and why?
I have always been impressed with Doctors and how much knowledge they have. If I was to do school again, knowing what I know now, I might consider going to medical school and doing dermatology or some sort of surgery.
How do you spend your spare time?
I adore going hiking, being in nature, fishing and exploring new terrain. I’m also always up for trying anything new. I like a good movie as much as an adventure.
Do you have a favorite movie?
I adore movies from the 90’s! A few of my old time favorites are The Professional, Casino, Practical Magic and Federico Fellini’s films for the visuals.
Tell us a little about yourself?
These days, I’m a combination of an Aussie at heart and an American day to day. I’m proud to have grown up with my roots firmly planted in Australia, you can’t have an inflated ego living there and it keeps me grounded. My family also helps with that!
When I first lived in NYC, I was in awe of what an incredible country this is, a driven country with goals of exceeding your expectations. I’m proud to be both American and Australian now.
How would you describe your style?
I adore fashion and I like to stay up to date with trends, but only if they align with my taste. I’d say I’m a combination of 70’s glam, with a hint of menswear, I’m all about duality, I love femininity mixed with the strength of a tailored jacket. I’m certainly not afraid to choose bold colors, unusual shapes and design.
Keep up with Brooke’s beautiful photographs and busy life on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/brookemasonphoto/?hl=en).
How Michelangelo Azzariti Grew to Become Italy’s Most Inspiring Artist
A lot of people wonder how great people come into being. More often than not, these people come from normal or even disadvantaged backgrounds but have an X factor and inner motivation that uplifts them to success. This is the case with Michelangelo Azzariti, one of the most sought-after photographers in Italy.
Michelangelo Azzariti was just a normal guy whose life after graduating from college began by wiping tables and serving drinks in a couple of bars and hotels back home in Alta Badia, Italy. During this period, he also worked as a communication assistant and social management personnel.
He Decided To Pursue His Passion
Michelangelo loved to travel and also had a dream that he will be able to travel the world and make lots of money while at it. While on his numerous trips on various parts of the globe, he took the opportunity to capture great moments, places and people with his camera. This is when he discovered that he was a good photographer. Sooner than later, his love for traveling and photography intersected. This is how his formidable career as a travel influencer kick-started.
Created His First Instagram Account
Michelangelo Azzariti created his first Instagram account in 2013 in an attempt to market his photography services. He started publishing the photos he had snapped on some of his travel expeditions during a time when Instagram had not gained much traction as a marketing platform. These photos include landscapes, hotels, and cities among other interesting things and places. He improved his skills over time and also acquired new and superior equipment that helped him grow his careers in photography, and also a travel influencer.
His big break
As his Instagram account grew thanks to his exceptional work, the lucrative Italian tourism and fashion industry began taking notice of him. His fortunes changed when Giulia Gaudino the famous Italian fashion blogger showed her interest in his work. He took photos of Giulia and her boyfriend Frank Gallucci or their trip to the UNESCO world heritage site which garnered over 30,000 likes on her Instagram account.
Michelangelo Azzariti Current Success
5 years down the line, his travel photography business is thriving more than ever. Currently, Michelangelo Azzariti is one of the most sought-after photographers in Italy by established fashion bloggers, hotels, travel companies and businesses alike. He boasts an active following of more than over 58,000 followers on Instagram, which is the major platform that he uses for travel blogging.
More recently, he has franchised to YouTube where he runs a thriving YouTube channel and is also set to start contributing to popular established websites on the topics of online marketing and travel marketing. His success online has enabled him to collaborate with scores of luxury hotels and travel websites. Most of his clients are often more than ready to fully cater for his travel and accommodation expenses making his dream to travel the world while making money come true.
His Success Didn’t Come Easy Though
In an interview, Michelangelo admits that one of the questions he’s commonly asked by people is how did he manage to grow such as a huge following. Others ask, how he does get to be hosted on a hotel for free or even get paid to travel. Another popular question is, how does he manage to get those huge advertisement deals.
He responds to these questions by saying that, it was not easy to achieve this. His success has been as a result of hard work, perseverance, and dedication to his dream and career. He spent hours on end behind his PC carrying out research on the travel niche. Not forgetting time taken to hone his skills as a photographer, learning photo editing skills and also ways to market his craft.
What Makes His Photography Stand Out
What makes his photography stand out is the fact that he adds an empathic component to it. When this is coupled up with the strong aesthetic sense that is characterized by shots taken in unique places and from suggestive corners, he is able to treat his audience with a different perspective of the world. What more has contributed to his success besides his top-notch photography skills is a mix of luck and the fact that he took time to learn marketing strategies and skills that have enabled him to secure well-paying clients.
Building an Engaged Following with Joey Ruben
As massive portions (sometimes even 100%) of today’s businesses’ revenue comes from social media, learning how to please the Instagram algorithm is one of the most important things you can do as an entrepreneur. I was able to interview Joey Ruben, a social media entrepreneur who has been able to master rapidly building audiences on Instagram, on what kind of strategies he’s learned in his experience growing dozens of accounts (some over 1 million followers).
What are those trying to grow an audience doing wrong?
Joey: “Posting isn’t everything. Although posting good content is important, it isn’t enough to grow. You need to foster and nurture an engaged follower base in order for Instagram to organically promote your account through recommendations and explore page. I focus on 5 things when trying to build a highly-engaged following:
1. Direct Messages
I try to respond to nearly every direct message I get. Along with showing people you care, Instagram will rank your posts higher in the feed of those accounts who direct messaged you. You’ll also gain additional insight on what you can be doing better with your page through the suggestions people make and questions they ask.
Half a billion Instagram users watch stories daily, so if you aren’t publishing content on your story you are missing out on a large viewership. I’ve found that by posting your followers will tend to engage better with your feed content as well.
3. Responding to Comments
Show your followers you care by responding to comments! They took some time out of their day to leave a comment on your page, it’s only right that you spend some time to reply.
4. Going Live
Instagram lives are ranked higher than stories, so it is easy to get additional engagement from your followers by occasionally going live. Instagram live is also a powerful tool for garnering page feedback from your followers or redirecting them to engage with a post.
5. Engaging with Followers
Follow your followers! You can create superfans by engaging with your followers’ content. Scratch their back and they’ll scratch yours.”
How can I quickly boost engagement?
Joey: “If you’re looking to authentically increase your account’s engagement overnight, you should pay attention to what kind of content top pages are posting. Repost high-engaging, proven content to your page and you will notice a difference. You can also boost feed engagement by adding niche-related hashtags to your posts. Another tactic to get more engagement on your posts is by adding posts to your stories. You can also gain extra organic impressions on your account by posting content that is shareable, this is usually content that is funny or provokes some sort of strong emotional response in the viewer that they may want a friend to experience. There are lots of quick cheat codes to getting better engagement on your posts. They are constantly evolving so the best thing I can recommend is for you to model after what top-performing pages in your niche are doing.”
What kind of tools do you use to run your pages?
Joey: “There are a few different tools I use to free up time when managing my pages. Before publishing video content, I often use the app Vont to add text or edit the video. When I make commentary-based based photo posts, I’ll add a comment to the photo with Twitter, then screenshot and crop it to a square. This is what you see most large Instagram theme pages do. I use IGBlade to track my growth over time. I also use the in-app analytics tool to monitor my pages’ performance as well as to gather insight into what kind of people follow me. There are a number of tools out there to streamline various tasks like content creation, scheduled publishing, analytics and more. I recommend anyone who runs multiple pages to look into using some of these tools.”
How can readers connect with you?
Joey: “Instagram: @jo.ey”
Why Socialblerr Should Be Your First Choice When Trying to Grow an Instagram
Branded The number one Instagram Agency On The Planet, Socialblerr specializes in helping people grow their personal as well as business brands by leveraging the power of network and influence. The type of businesses that Socialblerr help to grow is small to medium-sized. People who come to Socialblerr for their services enjoy the privilege of having customers brought directly to them. In addition, Socialblerr is the go-to agency for models, musicians, celebrities and fortune 500 companies that need not only to grow their brand but also increase their audience size.
It Takes Two Flints to Make a Fire
Socialblerr’s success can be attributed to two main groups of people – the clients, and the management team that works behind the scenes. Together, these two groups of people have contributed to the immense growth and trustworthiness that Socialblerr is proudly known for. The management team is professionally trained and motivated to work with genuine marketing strategies as well as other models such as artificial intelligence social media development. By doing this, the client is assured that their Instagram gets the needed exposure to create empires and maintain a long-lasting legacy.
Austin Godsey talks about his team-mates at Socialblerr as a group of experienced, dedicated, and passionate professionals always ready to come to their clients’ rescue. By personally managing their clients’ accounts, they are able to give almost 100% human influence to the work while leaving the rest to the advanced artificial intelligence systems. The job description of these systems is to lay the groundwork for bringing in organic traffic and ensuring that their full attention is gained.
Target Specific Services
Real Connections: At Socialblerr, Austin Godsey and team makes brand new connections every single day. Clients receive new followers and influencers on a regular basis to grow their business or personal brands.
Market Research: The Socialblerr team conducts detailed research on behalf of the client. The research is target specific and relays results that are geared towards driving business and new leads on a daily basis.
Engagement: When the market research is done, the Socialblerr team begins to engage with the market they just found. Engagement consists of likes and comments on your content. Unlike other agencies, at Socialblerr, you reserve the right to choose the comments that will be used, and to which type of audience they will be directed to.
Measure Our Results: Austin Godsey says that they are constantly measuring their own results and performance while conducting tests on the strategies adopted by the agency. They do this to enable clients to achieve the very best of results consistently.
What to Expect on Socialblerr
In a bid to cater for clients across all budget levels, Socialblerr offers four different sized packages. These vary from $47 a month up to $1,997 a month. The packages are labeled bronze, gold, and platinum as they progress upwards. The services within each package are tailored to suit what clients are looking for when they want to grow their Instagram.
Once you sign up for the platinum package, you gain access to Socialblerr Academy which opens an opportunity into advanced Instagram marketing and giveaway campaigns for massive follower growth. You also benefit from round the clock support that translates to more organic video and story views. Socialblerr experts know that you need specific targeting of marketing strategies, that is why they have sowed in gender-specific and high influencer targeting in the same package. Apart from that, there is an exclusive opportunity to consult with the CEO and CMO. If you are just starting out on Instagram and need a little help with how to go ahead, the platinum package comes with access to over 20 training videos and Instagram growth hacks. There is actually no better way to get more organic views and followers on your Instagram than by signing up for the Socialblerr Platinum Package.
Conclusively, What better way is there to grow your Instagram? There surely isn’t. To sum it all up, Austin Godsey says that they save their clients countless hours by that they would have otherwise spent trying to gain followers. Through Socialblerr millions of Instagrammers like you have had leads delivered directly to their DMs and increasing their overall page traffic.
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