Today we’re speaking with Julia Hamilton, founder of Camaraderie Communication in Sydney. A veteran communicator, Julia decided to make the leap to her own business in January of 2021. Read on to learn her story.
This interview has been gently edited for length and clarity.
GoDaddy: Tell us how your business got started
Julia Hamilton: I’ve been working in communications for 12 years (!) – not the IT, telcomm kind but the writing kind, where you sit in front of a laptop all day, crafting words to share stories. I’ve been doing this with all sorts of brands, forever.
After a forced break from work (parental leave) and seeing so many of my clever friends starting up and succeeding with their businesses, I decided it’s time. I’m slowly starting to see businesses show some interest.
GD: How did COVID-19 affect your business and how did you respond to the challenges?
JH: If anything, the shift to working virtually only helped boost business. Everyone is starting to realise more and more the power of putting time, energy and resources into internal communication.
GD: Has there ever been a time when you thought a project/your business might fail?
JH: Yes! All the time! The fear of having no clients. But this fear only pushes me harder to get my name ‘out’ there.
GD: You have some big-name clients — PWC, NSW Government, TEDx — tell us about how you landed those projects.
JH: Through previous roles in big organisations and by building trusted relationships over time. It always pays off to keep in touch.
GD: Have you received any awards or honors?
JH: In my previous roles but not officially through Camaraderie – yet!
GD: What online tools do you use for your business?
It took me a few goes to buy my domain: there are so many writers out there, and so many names taken. Every comms-related name I could think of was snapped up. Ahhh.
I remember going back to my ‘why’: To help organisations build a stronger sense of community for their employees. Which helped. But even that name, ‘Camaraderie,’ was taken.
So I selected one of GoDaddy’s suggestions instead: CamaraderieComms.com.
I chose to go with .com rather than .com.au just so I could be open to working for clients outside of Australia eventually, and not wanting to limit myself. That name was going for less than $10 for a two-year registration, which I added to my shopping cart.
GD: What difference have these tools made to your business?
JH: They’ve made everything come across as more professional.
GD: Do you have any advice for someone who’s just starting a business in your field?
JH: Just START, on something.
Spend 30 minutes a day so that you get to the end of a week and suddenly realise: Aha! I’ve moved forward.
Tell a few trusted friends/colleagues/family about your plans so that they hold you accountable. Mamamia’s Lady Start Up course is a really worthwhile, helpful community, if this is an option for you. It’s like having your own fan base!
GD: Are there any mistakes you made that other entrepreneurs should try to avoid?
JH: Don’t try to get too clever with names and concepts. Keep it simple. And always test ideas with your ‘customer’ — we can get so swept up working away in our own bubble!
GD: Any other closing words of wisdom?
JH: Always think back to your ‘why.’ What’s the problem you’re trying to solve for people and why is it important? This has helped me every time I’ve felt a bit stuck or stagnant.