Anum Rubec of the well-known SummerxSkin (a personal style and beauty blog), and Marketing & Conference Manager for Dx3, agreed to let me pick her brain about her work and blog life. She responded to a previous tweet about my coffee date with Valerie, and I reached out to her on Twitter, remembering that I saw her on Ten Thousand Coffees.
We planned to meet at King & Portland’s bustling Portland Variety mid-afternoon.
Portland Variety, the sister of Le Gourmand, was a warm, buzzing, and intimate café and restaurant
Anum worked as a community manager for a couple of years, creating accounts and managing the content and reach for several clients. She was lucky to work in social media at a time when it was still new and had the opportunity to build a process and try different tools to see which ones work best.
Eventually she started to see structural changes and moved on to another role in marketing and operations.
You learn from each experience, whether it’s a good or bad one.
Before her major role in social media, she worked in retail marketing. Anum was the in-store marketing, promotions, and merchandiser for a major fashion retailer’s GTA locations. She enjoyed working there, but found it frustrating to constantly reach out to the head office in Europe to implement changes, even when they were minor.
Having good communication is the key to success. Had it not been for the lack of correspondence between the Toronto and Europe team, Anum would have found more of a reason to stay and grow within the company.
Prior to this Anum was a freelance writer, but didn’t enjoy community news as much as she thought. She has had her work published in Mississauga News, Flare, NOW Magazine and others. During her down time she helps with her mom’s daycare, designing newsletters and other creative. Her journey into graphic design started back in grade 10 when she landed her first gig to create promotional club flyers and admission tickets
Blog Life: SummerxSkin
Anum wanted to have a creative outlet where she could share her outfits, makeup tutorials and general lifestyle-related things. She never thought that her blog would actually become successful or even profitable. For her it was more of a hobby. The more she blogged, the more PR and brands noticed. In the last three years she has finally started to figure out a balance that works and manages expectations a lot better.
Some suggestions she had for managing a blog outside of work:
- Make a Content Calendar
- You will know what things you have coming up so you can make time during the evenings or weekends to get them done
- Use Hootsuite or Tweetdeck
- These tools are great for scheduling and posting tweets, managing multiple accounts, seeing different feeds, and interacting with online communities
She adds that it’s really important for her to work full-time at a place that encourages her blog life. She is fortunate to be able to attend events and create connections that are beneficial for both SummerxSkin and her work.
She Can Do It All: Marketing Conference Manager at Dx3
Anum does a little bit of everything. Dx3 is a technology, digital marketing and retail event for brand marketers, retailers and agencies. Being Canada’s largest event in this space, the tradeshow portion is filled with innovative features and exhibitors. The other side is the conference with 40+ sessions where brands and retailers get to talk about their successful campaigns and strategies. More than 4,000 people attend this two-day event.
Dx3 takes an entire year to plan.
Anum’s role initially started in operations, where she was in constant communication with exhibitors and sponsors, collecting their profiles, logos, order forms.
She is now in charge of all the design and creative that goes out including the website, decks, event guides, brochures, signage and more. Anum works to ensure everything is presented well and all exhibitors, sponsors and speakers are showcased accurately.
Anum also assists with speaker management, working with the VP to curate content and recruit speakers to present at Dx3.
What comes after being a community manager?
Anum realized the natural route was diving deeper into marketing and operations, where she started to learn about strategic planning for marketing and sales enablement.
Social media will just be part of your job – whether it is content creation or active engagement.
Often people question the value of social media, “what’s the ROI, what are these followers doing for me”, and it is definitely hard to answer those questions. You have to find out what the brand is struggling with and work backwards to figure out how the social and marketing strategy can assist.
…try out different tactics, and eventually you will find one that works, and that’s marketing…Every industry is different and every person is different. You have to help them find the right path.
Anum’s last piece of advice was to have some sort of portfolio, and update it regularly. It’s easy now to set up a PowerPoint deck and showcase all your work. It gives the employer a visual consensus of all your skills and qualifications.
Anum had such a great mentality towards everything and didn’t sugar coat what life’s really like behind her accolades. Her positive vibe was contagious. She was open, warm, and an inspiring go-getter.