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.
Q&A with Camaraderie Communication founder Julia Hamilton
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.