Ep.7 – Animal Incursions for Schools: Snakes & Crocodiles on Your Board of Directors!

Animal incursions in Victoria—when the wild animals come to you.

Jess & I got a bit tied up recording Ep.7 of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast!

Think Snakes, Crocodiles, Barking Owls, Dingos, Lizards and lots more.

We sat down for a chat with wildlife conservationist, Xavier Morello. Xavier is the founder of wildlife education company, WildlifeXposure

Animal incursions in Melbourne, Geelong and regional Victoria with Xavier Morello.
It’s one big happy family at the home of WildlifeXposure in Torquay. Pictured above: Madeline, Xavier and kids Jacques and Luca plus Khan & Cinda the wild dingos!

Xavier and his family run their award-winning business from Torquay on the Surf Coast in Victoria, Australia.

Animal Incursions In The Name of Wildlife Education

Yes, WildlifeXposure is a leader in animal incursions. That means they come to you.

In 9 years, they’ve become one of the most successful wildlife education companies in Victoria.

Trips include action-packed mobile displays and presentations. Xavier’s fascination with wild animals has made it possible.

Each program covers a range of study topics from pre-school through to level 10 and VCE.

WildlifeXposure is more than just a mobile zoo that brings animals direct to you. We are a family business that offers a boutique, immersive wildlife experience

Xavier Morello

Programs can be tailored to meet specific requirements too, like programs for aged-care providers.

Check out WildlifeXposure’s full list of services if you’d like to learn more.

And find out how Xavier and his family are doing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ep.7 Now Live!

We’re happy to announce Ep.7 of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast is now live with your hosts Ben & Jess.

Thanks to Jasper the Black-headed python and his mates for making us feel warm and cosy!

Check it out and let us know what you think.

Ben Hucker is the founder and host of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast. He’s a former financial markets guy who packed in the city and moved to the Surf Coast in Victoria, Australia. Tune in for a weekly episode of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast. Each episode is packed full of hints and tips on creativity, health, business, mindset and a good dose of inspiration. All this with creatives entrepreneurs on the Surf Coast in Victoria, Australia.

Ep.6 – Photography for Female Business Owners: Lady Photographer For Lady Entrepreneurs

High-quality photography for Female business owners is a booming industry.

In Ep.6 of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast, we sit down for a chat with a lady photographer leading the charge in this hyper-competitive industry.

Her name is Leslie Carvitto and she is the founder of LeslieCarvitto.com and @LunaRising.

Leslie is a Californian who moved to Hawaii after graduating from college. A short stint in Public Relations after graduating was enough for Leslie to realise it wasn’t for.

She now calls Torquay home after a brief stint in Melbourne with her loving partner.

Photography for Female Business Owners - Leslie Carvitto
Leslie Carvitto, leading the charge and specialising in photography for Female business owners

Leslie and her partner moved to Torquay after driving here every other weekend (and some weekdays) to surf.

The surf coast was where their heart lay. 

Photography for Female Business Owners on the Surf Coast in Victoria

Leslie loves connecting with lots of business owners and creatives. She couldn’t believe how quickly she was creating a community of like-minded people pre-Corona. 

And being a social a butterfly, Leslie cannot wait for Iso to be over! 

Leslie is now a photographer and digital marketer for female-owned businesses. Plus, conscious creatives and makers. 

Deep down, Leslie describes herself, “as a multi-passionate creative.” And her path to working for herself has been a long and windy one that’s for sure. 

“I can speak to entrepreneurship as it relates to well-being and personal growth (starting your own business is a wild ride hey!?), what it’s like to start your business over in a new country, and why your path doesn’t have to be linear.”

Leslie is a big advocate of self-development too and she has a strong fascination with creativity.

Tune in to hear why keeping it safe as a PR consultant just wasn’t the right deal for Leslie.

Plus, much, much more.

Here’s Ep.6 of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast with your hosts Ben & Jess.

Be sure to leave us a rating on iTunes or wherever you get your favourite podcasts!

P.S. Check out Leslie’s creative passion project called “Creator’s Corner”. The site includes interviews with creatives and entrepreneurs using their artistic gifts to encourage, uplift and inspire.

Ben Hucker is the founder and host of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast. He’s a former financial markets guy who packed in the city and moved to the Surf Coast in Victoria. Tune in for a weekly episode of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast. Each episode is packed full of hints and tips on creativity, health, business, mindset and a good dose of inspiration. All this with creatives entrepreneurs on the Surf Coast in Victoria, Australia.

Ep.5 – A Blacksmith in Victoria: The Alchemist Who Turns Iron Into Art

Have you ever met a blacksmith in Victoria before?

Your local ‘smithy’ is a rare breed these days that’s for sure. But call off the search. We found a blacksmith in Victoria by the name of Dave Graham.

Dave is the founder of a blacksmithing business called Simply Forged Custom Ironworks. The shop is located at the Ashmore Arts Centre in Torquay, Victoria.  

We sit down for a chat with Dave in Ep.5 of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast. Dave was a carpenter in a previous life. But after 20 years in the job, and the same old routine on the construction site, Dave decided to pack it in and follow his passion for sculpture. 

Find out how Dave made the transition from a chippy with 20 years of experience under his belt to a blacksmith with 6 years of part-time training.

Dave now uses traditional methods combined with a keen eye for detail to create ironworks that are unique, high quality and custom-made.

Specialising in heritage restoration and sculpture, Dave approaches each project with enormous care and the end result in mind.

He’s A Master Blacksmith in Victoria!

Dave’s unique practice explores the potential of contemporary blacksmithing.

He evaluates and extends the possibilities of forging hot steel in a constant attempt to shift objects from a, “purely utilitarian beginning to a wholly re-imagined future state.”

Dave takes inspiration for his work from organic shapes, the ocean and the beach. He’s been refining his craft as a blackmsith for more than 20 years now.

His secret is engaging multiple mentors and many sources of inspiration.

He’s now been a resident artist at Ashmore Arts for 5 years.

Find out what makes him tick and how he made the big leap from construction to blacksmithing.

Here’s Ep.5 of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast with your hosts Ben & Jess.

Ben Hucker is the founder and host of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast. He’s a former financial markets guy who packed in the city and moved to the Surf Coast in Victoria. Tune in for a weekly episode of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast. Each episode is packed full of hints and tips on creativity, health, business, mindset and a good dose of inspiration. All this with creatives entrepreneurs on the Surf Coast in Victoria, Australia.

Ep.4 – Mum Retreats: The Silver Lining After A Personal Tragedy

Mum retreats are hard to come by that’s for sure.

Are you a stressed out Mumma who needs a break? Or maybe your wifey or partner needs a break.

Either way, make sure you tune into Ep.4 of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast.

We sit down with the founder of Mum retreats specialist, Alison Smith from muMEcations.

A big thanks to Ali for taking the time to share her story. We’re pumped to announce her recorded interview is now live!

Mum retreats queen Alison Smith from muMEcations.
The founder of Mumecations, Alison Smith (left) with the co-host of the Surf Coast Creatives, Jess Mellington (right).

Ali began her business two years ago after a personal tragedy took her on a solo journey to Indonesia.

An 8-day trip was enough for Ali to take a breath and get some much-needed inspiration.

Mum Retreats Are Go!

Ali had an epiphany after making the journey back to Melbourne from her holiday.

She decided she was going to mix her passion for taking care of mums with her passion for travel.

The ultimate Mum retreats and the muMEcations business was born.

Our favourite quote from Ali and her number one piece of advice for mumpreneurs, “Just Do it!” 

We can’t wait to share this heartfelt, fun and inspiring story with you. Ali manages part-time work, two kids and a growing travel business all at once. 

Tune in to hear how she does it without losing her mind.

She has some really practical advice for marketing and securing government grant funding as well.

Let us know what you think and leave us a rating if you’re listening on iTunes.

Oh, it’s Jess’s first podcast interview too so be nice to her!

P.S. Don’t forget to check out all the podcast show notes and transcription as well.

Ben Hucker is the founder and host of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast. He’s a former financial markets guy who packed in the city and moved to the Surf Coast in Victoria. Tune in for a weekly episode of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast. Each episode is packed full of hints and tips on creativity, health, business, mindset and a good dose of inspiration. All this with creatives entrepreneurs on the Surf Coast in Victoria, Australia.

Ep.3 – Custom Van Conversion Wizards: From Jumping Out of Planes to Van Conversions

Ep.3 with custom van conversion specialists, Built for Advanture, is now live!

Have you ever jumped out of an aeroplane at 14,000 feet? 

Imagine doing it 2,500 times!

That’s exactly what Jesse Jeffrey did before he switched to the relative safety of doing custom van conversions in Torquay. 

After living in Melbourne for 15 years, Jesse and his partner Sam made a big lifestyle change.

The duo upped sticks and moved down the coast to Torquay with their 2-year-old son in tow! 

Jesse became a skydiving instructor in Torquay while Sam continued working in the city.

Living and working on the Surf Coast with easy access to the Great Ocean Road, yep, this was their dream! 

Sam & Jesse - the founders of custom van conversion specilaists, Built For Advanture
Sam (left) & Jesse (right) – the founders of custom van conversion specilaists, Built For Advanture.

Custom Van Conversions on the Surf Coast

After moving to Torquay, a six month trip around Australia in a self-made camper van was enough to convince Jesse & Sam that van life was their thing. 

Trips to the US and Europe visiting family and friends also solidified the idea of adventure.

And after getting so many questions about the first van they built, it was time to ‘hang their shingle’ and do custom van conversions for clients.

15 years as a cabinet maker and carpenter made it a no brainer for Jesse to start converting vans full time for clients.

And Sam’s time as an office worker gave them the necessary tech and admin skills.

Built for Advanture was born! 

Ep.3 Now Live

We’re so excited to bring you Ep.3 of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast with your hosts Ben & Jess.

Hear how Jesse & Sam made the leap from hobbyists to a busy business.

Let us know what you think and be sure to subscribe to the podcast too.

P.S. Head on over to Jesse & Sam’s website at Built For Advanture to check out some of their fine work. A transcript of the episode is available here too along with chapter markers and relevant links.

Ben Hucker is the founder and host of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast. He’s a former financial markets guy who packed in the city and moved to the Surf Coast in Victoria. Tune in for a weekly episode of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast. Each episode is packed full of hints and tips on creativity, health, business, mindset and a good dose of inspiration with creatives entrepreneurs on the Surf Coast.

Ep.2 – From Sports Photography to a Craft Brewery: A Californian Up Sticks to the Land of Oz

From elite sports photography to part-owner of a craft brewery in Torquay, Australia?

Yes!

We’re pumped to announce Jeff Crow as our guest for Ep.2 of the Surf Coast Creatives Podcast.

Jeff ran his very own sports photography agency for more than 25 years. An agency, by the way, appointed as Official Photographer to the Sydney 2000 Olympic & Paralympic Games. 

Just the Tip of Sports Photography Iceberg

In addition to the Olympics, Jeff has represented many sports and brands inlcuding:

  • Swimming Australia, Cycling Australia,
  • Subaru Rally Team Australia, Volleyball Australia,
  • Golf Australia,
  • MX Nationals
  • Crusty Demons,
  • Nitro Circus Live,
  • Yachting Australia,
  • National Basketball League,
  • Super-X,
  • Melbourne Storm,
  • Australian Open Tennis,
  • Sail Melbourne

And many more…

I think you get the hint. He’s good!

Jeff Crow, from sport photography to part-owner Bell's Beach Brewing Co in Torquay, Australia.
We sit down with one of Australia’s leading sports photographers turned publican, Jeff Crow.

But sports photography is now mostly gone—with the exception of the odd assignment here and there. Jeff now part-owns the Bells Beach Brewing company and pours his energy into that project.

Jeff believes beer-drinking tastes demand bigger flavours and more variety. We agree.

They are still producing beer in the current climate too. They even deliver beer to your door. It’s a new innovation with ZERO CONTACT.

The Trifecta!

Yep, a podcast about beer, sports photography and business! Host Ben Hucker’s three favourite subjects. Of course, there’s lots of hints and tips and a good dose of inspiration mixed in.

That makes this podcast a ripper given the collective wisdom Jeff has to pass on!

Tune in right to the end to hear Jeff’s advice on what should be driving you as a creative entrepreneur. Not what shouldn’t be driving you.

It’s a gold nugget of wisdom that’s for sure.

Subscribe to the Podcast

Grab this podcast on the following networks:

iTunes,

Spotify,

Stitcher,

Google Podcasts,

And, a lot more channels. The main ones to remember are iTunes and Spotify though if you want to tune in for our weekly episode.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our email list as well if you haven’t already.

And come say hello on social media on Facebook & Instagram so we can get to know you.

If you’re a creative entrepreneur operating from the Surf Coast in Victoria and would like to be a guest on the podcast, then head to the contact page on our website and fill in your details.

Enjoy!

Ben Hucker is the founder and host of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast. He’s a former financial markets guy who packed in the city and decided he wanted to live on the Surf Coast in Victoria. Tune in for a weekly episode of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast. Each episode is packed full of hints and tips on creativity, health, business, mindset and a good dose of inspiration with creatives entrepreneurs on the Surf Coast.

Ep.1 – Custom Made Timber Bed Wizards: A Chippy & A Designer Gone Wild

Custom made timber bed specialists are hard to come by in Victoria. So today it was quite a spinout to sit down and speak to the King & Queen of this artisanal craft—Al & Imogen Roberts from Al + Imo Handmade.

Al & Imo are our good friends from Freshwater Creek on the Surf Coast and it’s safe to safe they are living the dream!

Custom made timber bed wizards - Al and Imo from Al + Imo
Custom timber bed maestros: Al and Imogen Roberts from Al + Imo.

Of course, they have to deal with a good dose of daily life challenges like everyone else but they do it with grace and purpose. This is the true spirit of the Surf Coast Creatives tribe.

To Be No.1 in Custom Made Timber Beds

Al is a former chippy and Imo is a former designer. The husband & wife duo switched track a few years ago to follow their dream of becoming the best custom made timber bed specialists in Victoria.

And if Google rankings and a full order book for the next six months are anything to go by, then they are numero uno.

So the benchmark has been set! We’re pumped to bring you the first episode of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast with Al & Imo from Al & Imo Handmade.

The episode is now ready for consumption!

Subscribe to the Podcast

iTunes,

Spotify,

Stitcher,

Google Podcasts,

And, a lot more networks. The main channels to remember are iTunes and Spotify though if you want to tune in for our weekly episode.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our email list as well if you haven’t already.

And come say hello on social media on Facebook & Instagram so we can get to know you.

If you’re a creative entrepreneur operating from the Surf Coast in Victoria and would like to be a guest on the podcast, then head to the contact page on our website and fill in your details.

Or maybe you know someone who’d make for an awesome guest!? Let us know if you do.

That’s it in a nutshell guys! Our favourite quote from Al & Imo was a short quote from Imo:

“Sometimes you just have to back yourself” – Imogen Roberts

We couldn’t agree more.

More Info on Custom Made Timber Beds

You can check out all the show notes and get a transcription of our interview with Al & Imo on the official podcast page for the Surf Coast Creatives. It’s packed full of gold nuggets and is well worth checking if custom made products are your domain.

We’ll talk to you again on Thursday, May 21 when Ep.2 of the Surf Coast Creatives Podcast gets published. We sit down for a chat with one of the founders of the Bells Beach Brewing Company, Jeff Crowe.

We can’t wait to bring you that episode and many more in 2020!

Chat to you soon 🙂

P.S. Here’s to the crazy ones!

Ben Hucker is the founder and host of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast. He’s a former financial markets guy who packed in the city and decided he wanted to live on the Surf Coast in Victoria. Tune in for a weekly episode of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast. Each episode is packed full of hints and tips on creativity, health, business, mindset and a good dose of inspiration with creatives entrepreneurs on the Surf Coast.

How to Find Your Next Blog Topic in Less Than 5 Minutes

We get it, you’re staring at a blank page and you’re wondering how to find your next blog topic without losing your mind!

And with COVID-19 taking its toll on the world and millions of people stuck at home there’s never been a better time to reach out to your audience with some hints and tips or words of wisdom.

But why even bother?

Well, your customers will always remember the time when you helped them out during the Corona pandemic.

That’s worth remembering. 

And Google searches are WAY UP. Total searches went from 3.5 billion per day to almost 6 billion when Corona went crazy. Digital marketing, and content especially, just got way more important.

People are hungry for new information, resources, and new beginnings.

But what to write about if you’re a creative entrepreneur, freelancer or side hustler trying to stay afloat?

Well, here’s a quick 3-step method to find your next blog topic in less than 5 minutes:

Example 1: The 5-minute Blog Content Cure

  1. First, head to Amazon and look up some books related to your product or service. We’ll use content marketing in this example.
How to find your next blog topic
  1. Find a book you like or has a good rating and hit “Look Inside” to examine the table of contents.
How to find your next blog topic
  1. Use the table of contents as inspiration for the kinds of content you can create and share with your audience. Here we see Chapter 15 of EPIC Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi titled, “Managing the Content Creation Process.” 
How to find your next blog topic

And we’re off to the races. My next blog article for marketing managers and business owners could be something like:

  • “Manage Your Content Creation Process in Less Than 10 Minutes A Day,” or
  • “5 Ways to Manage Your Content Creation Process Without Losing Your Mind, or
  • “3 Tools You Can Use Right NOW to Manage Your Content.”

You know this post will be relevant because it was inspired by something important enough to be its own chapter of a published book on the same topic. A book in this case by a world-leading authority in content marketing—Joe Pulizzi

Imagine writing your post and sharing it with people TODAY and getting an email back saying, “thank you” and it was just the thing they needed to help them with ideas for their next blog article! 

Even better, people might even look forward to receiving your next email.

Example 2: How to Find Your Next Blog Topic

  1. Remember, head to Amazon and type in a subject that relates to your product or service. We’ll use Software-as-a-Service this time (SaaS):
How to find your next blog topic
  1. Click on a book you like or has a good rating and click “Look Inside”
Blueprints for Saas
Blue
  1. Navigate down to the table of contents and find a suitable topic:
How to find your next blog topic

If you’re an IT sales guru or consultant, you could start drafting a blog article along the lines of:

  • “3 Ways to Structure Your SaaS Sales Team”
  • “7 Reasons Why You Need A Sales Team for Your SaaS Business”
  • “How to Structure Your Sales Team for SaaS in 7 Steps”

Example 3: How to Find Your Next Blog topic

For those selling products to consumers—in this case, gardening plants and products:

  1. Search on Amazon for “urban gardening” since it’s all the rage right now with city dwellers, especially in the wake of Corona:
How to find your next blog topic
  1. Find a book you like and click “Look Inside”:
Best books on Urban Gardening
  1. Navigate to the table of contents and find a topic you’re interested in:
How to find your next blog topic

This is perfect for the local gardening expert to share an article on:

  • “7 Reasons Why You Need a Raised Garden Bed in the City”
  • “12 Pros of Having A Raised Garden Bed in the City”
  • “Don’t Make A Raised Garden Bed on Your Roof Until You’ve Read This”

As you can see, finding your next blog article is simple. It takes less than 5 minutes to get online and do some snooping around on Amazon and come up with a topic. 

The list of topics is endless to say the least. You can quite easily do this search once a week and there’s your content strategy nailed in one hit.

But How Long Should it Be?

As long as it needs to be is the short answer. But honestly, it’s the old maxim of not what you say but how you say it. If you’re a brilliant writer and you can enrapture people for 2,500 words then go for it. Just don’t go over 2,500 as traffic starts to drop significantly. 

And don’t write less than 600 words. This seems to be the only universal law among the marketing gods. Stats show less than 600 is not worth the effort unless you’re Donald Trump.

This post is about 800 words so I’m taking a gamble on a short and clean post that you’re hopefully still reading. If not, then where are you!?

Best of luck and let me know your results after publishing and sharing your blog post on social media. 

P.S. Share this article with a friend or family member who might find it useful too!

See ya.

Ben Hucker is the founder and host of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast. He’s a former financial markets guy who packed in the city and decided he wanted to live on the Surf Coast in Victoria. Tune in for a weekly episode of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast. Each episode is packed full of hints and tips on creativity, health, business, mindset and a good dose of inspiration with creatives entrepreneurs on the Surf Coast.