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How to kill it as a #ladyboss in Adelaide :: Guest blog By Jenny Hassam


Seven years ago I moved to Adelaide from London.

To be honest I don’t think my Adelaidean hubby thought I’d last living more than a couple of months here due to his perceived view of my resilience levels and my closeness to my family and friends back home. However, I managed to tough it out, not miss my hometown too much and assimilated into my life as an adopted Adelady!

I fitted in so well that within a couple of months I knew that the best meeting spot when shopping was the ‘Malls Balls’, and I could be heard, in random hipster coffee bars, frequently discussing with my new Adelaide posse how driving more than half an hour was completely ridiculous!

It also didn’t take me long (and a few fines and warnings) to get accustomed with Adelaide road rules to stop jaywalking, speeding and parking in permit zones. These were not rules I played by in my home town, but I learnt quickly!

Doing business here was a necessity for me from day one. When I landed, my newly married self was already up the duff (I also have impatience issues!). Probably in hindsight it wasn’t such a great idea to be preggo when moving to a new continent because finding a ‘proper’ job was off the cards.


So initially we stayed with the in-laws and I worked my three Adelaide contacts, hustling, borrowing the car, making people have coffee with me, and trying to find out how this town worked. I got two contract roles to start with, at BAE Systems and with PR Agency PPR, so I registered for an ABN and off I went into self-employment.

Fast track to 2016 and I am running a successful PR agency Rhetoric Communications, with two staff and working with ten retainer clients in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. No day is ever the same with our busy team working across media campaign launches to content creation, creative brainstorming sessions to social media strategizing.

So in a city where a common phrase is “you need to be in the clique” to get ahead, here are my tips to put that idea in the bin, and fast track your success as a newbie business owner:

Tip #1 – niche, niche baby

When I first started out I was just working as a marketing consultant and I didn’t really know what my offering was or what the business outcomes would be for clients hiring me. This technique didn’t work for long and I took contracts that just weren’t right for me. That’s when I decided to set up Rhetoric, focus on PR and media relations and become the go-to agency for start ups and entrepreneurs, with a clear focus on gaining them credibility and social-proof and catapulting them into the limelight! Being clear on what outcomes you can get clients is a must in selling what you do.

Tip #2 – Invest the moolah $$

As a business owner you are your biggest asset! Keep up to date in your industry, learn about sales, finance, HR, marketing, go to conferences and keep learning!

Also, invest in branding and good quality photography of yourself. Create a brand that attracts and ensure that your website is a lead-generation tool so you get awesome people coming to you, rather than doing those dreaded cold-calls! As a born and bred tight-arse this was quite hard for me to do initially, but there is no way I could have grown my business without putting back into the business.

For the best selection of photographers, videographers, graphic designers and creatives in Adelaide check out the Facebook group Freelance Creatives of Adelaide run by my mates Denis Smith and Sam Collins. They also have loads of interesting events shared through the page and run networking events too.


Tip #3 – Get co-working NOW!

I’ve worked out of Majoran, The Hub and our offices are now based out of Sass Place. Some of my biz besties and clients have come from these awesome and relatively new little hubs. Find one that fits with you, talk to people and keep your ear to the ground and hustle! Join up to their mailing lists so you can see what training and networking events are happening. Also, join Meetup Adelaide for other business events going on.

Tip #4 – Use free stuff

Here are our favourites:

:: For design we used and
:: For email lists we use MailChimp
:: For my website we use WordPress
:: For track website visits we use SimilarWeb
:: For media opportunities we use Sourcebottle
:: For chilling out I just downloaded Buddify recently (find it on AppStore, it’s awesome!!)

Tip #5 – Find some inspiration queens

I’ve been lucky enough to make some great friends who are also creating empires and being really cutting edge digitally. Here are a couple of my fave biz ladeez killing it right now all running highly successful local, national and global businesses from Adelaide:

Kath at
Sarah at
Jo at
Kelly Jamieson at EdibleBlooms

These are just a couple of resources to jump on and get used to. I won’t lie, it took a lot of bloody hard work and sleepless nights, but now we have people approaching us daily to do business. I hope that I am a true representation that Adelaide is a land of opportunity, so get those dreams cracking!


Jen is Head Honcho at Rhetoric Communications, a PR Agency focusing on tech, startups and entrepreneurs. She built her marketing and communications career in creative agencies and publishing houses in London, the US and Europe. As a mum of Charlotte, Matilda and Oscar she splits her time between her growing agency and her growing family and loves Adelaide and their little beachside home in Semaphore with her Adelaiden hubby, Nick.


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Adelady Guest

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