That’s a wrap, 2022!
Emerging from two years of lockdown, my approach to 2022 included a healthy dose of both trepidation and optimism. What would the year hold? Would entrepreneurs and marketing professionals finally be able to stop endlessly pivoting and return to strategic planning? And what ways could Young Folks make a positive impact for our clients, our team, people and the planet? These were all questions I asked myself at the beginning of the year and have continued to ask myself as we’ve leaped and bound towards the new year.
So what happened this year in the world of Young Folks? Well, quite a lot actually. In fact, sitting down to write this blog has filled me with so much pride and admiration for the incredible things our team has accomplished in 2022.
Becoming a B Corp
In February this year, Young Folks officially became a certified B Corp with an incredible score of 111.1. Side note: if you’re into numerology or angel numbers, you’ll know this is a pretty special score to achieve. Yew! Our B Corp certification signals our commitment to curbing negative impacts associated with our marketing agency – in delivery of our services, our own operations, even the clients that we partner with. And it verifies our commitment to creating more positive impact for people and the planet.
Towards Net Zero and our Climate Active certification
While Young Folks has been carbon neutral since 2019, this year we affirmed our commitment towards net zero by achieving Climate Active certification of both our organisation and our service. The certification is awarded by the Australian Government to businesses and organisations that have credibly reached a state of carbon neutrality and is the only government-sanctioned carbon neutral certification in the world.
The process is incredibly robust and time consuming and saw us undergo a greenhouse gas emissions assessment, take steps to minimise our carbon footprint, and purchase carbon credits for unavoidable emissions. Our certification means that the emissions associated with our operations and the delivery of our marketing services is completely carbon neutral making us the first agency in Australia to have both its organisation and service certified carbon neutral. Absolutely epic.
Our incredible growing team
This year, our team doubled in size with additions to our digital marketing, content marketing and operations teams.
Joining the team through our graduate program in January, Ami Joy started her Young Folks journey as a Content Marketing Assistant and has fast become an absolute content marketing queen. She’s taken to SEO, social media marketing and email marketing like a duck to water. She’s so creative and conscientious that we’ve promoted her to Content Marketing Coordinator.
Kali Cooke joined us in March as our Client Coordinator and has quickly become the master of internal operations and systems and promptly promoted to Operations Manager. She’s the mastermind behind the systems and processes that ensure our clients have a smooth ride with Young Folks. And an absolute pillar of support for our team internally.
Luke Meyer hustled his way into an internship through sheer determination and even rocking up at our front door and telling us how he could help. Yep. That’s a true story and you can read all about it in his internship experience article. Luke finished his internship with us in December and rejoins the team as a part-time Digital Marketing Assistant in 2023 while he completes his studies.
David Easton joined our team as Content Producer and has levelled up our content marketing offering with design, photography, video marketing, social media content creation, even sound and podcast production. He calls himself a Jack of all Comms, but I think he’s fast becoming a master. Side note: it’s widely accepted that David is the funniest person in the office so be sure to bring the banter if you happen to be on a call or in a meeting with David.
Sneaking in before the end of the year, Steph Le Sueur made the move from Queensland to Frankston to join the Young Folks team as Digital Marketing Assistant. Just a few weeks into the job, she’s already making a huge positive impact on the team with her marketing savvy, good energy and creative ideas.
And who could forget our wonderful work placement student Tess Kent who joined us for two weeks as part of the Monash University Linking to Business program in partnership with Frankston Council.
Finally, our strategists Taylah and Larissa stepped into management roles this year leading the digital marketing and content marketing teams respectively. They’ve both made their first foray into management with empathy, grace and determination and it’s been an absolute joy to watch them grow and flourish.
I swear I’m not crying writing this.
Launching new services
With a growing team came additional skill sets and expertise which saw us add to our capabilities and move from niche offering to full service marketing agency. This year, the expansion of our content marketing team meant we could bring back social media content creation as a service offering as well as ramping up our video marketing and design offering. Plus the expansion of our digital marketing team saw us add a range of new and niche digital advertising platforms (as alternatives to Facebook Ads) like Reddit Ads and Spotify Ads as well as advanced digital analytics to our service offering.
Moving into our own space
After on and off lockdowns, it was time to move into our own space (and one that had enough room to underpin our growth). With the support of Invest Frankston, we made the move from Mornington to Frankston which allowed us to rapidly expand into our very own studio space that had so much more room to support our growth.
Looking around as I write this article, there are nine desks in our light-filled studio with massive windows that look out at walls adorned with incredible street art. Our new space has created the opportunity for us to host clients and workshops and enjoy 1:1 meetings walking along the beach and knock offs at Hop Shop nearby. If you’re thinking ‘Frankston…ew’, I’m here to tell you it’s time to retire those out of date perceptions of Frankston and embrace this thriving and fast-gentrifying beach-side city.
Partnering with world-changing clients
In 2019 we pledged to only work with brands that are using business as a force for good. Whether they’re aligning aspects of their business model with the UN Sustainable Development Goals or the Five Capitals, our criteria for partnering with clients was that we’d be using our marketing skills to amplify the growth and impact of responsible brands. This year, we partnered with 33 incredible purpose-driven brands across ecommerce, professional services, leadership development, food and drinks, travel, education, government, regeneration, social impact, construction, technology, health and wellness. Many of our clients have experienced record growth and built marketing foundations to support their continued expansion for years to come.
Pledging never to work with fossil fuel companies
I wholeheartedly believe that marketing is a form of activism. After all, marketing is used to build awareness and influence behavioural change so why not use it as a way to campaign for the change the world needs? With that in mind, we signed declarations with Comms Declare and Clean Creatives this year pledging to never work with fossil fuel brands. This means you’ll never see our agency on the F List and we’re a go-to choice for brands seeking a full service marketing agency partner that’s truly working towards the best interests of the client and the world.
Purposeful professional development
As a marketing agency, our knowledge is our super power (and our meal ticket) so investing in our team’s professional development is essential. This year, our team lapped up copywriting and grammar training via The Good Copy – who’s courses Write Right and Stop. Grammar Time. are incredible. Our whole team participated in Regeneration Projects Business for Country program to deepen our knowledge and understanding of conducting business on Country. And we launched our own internal training program with a group session watching Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein’s Masterclass on Creativity and Advertising. And a big favourite for the team was engaging Craft Coaching and Development to support our whole team with leadership development – from DiSC assessments to LSI and learning style diagnostics, we have been deep in self reflection, building our self awareness, and enhancing our impact as leaders.
This year, we continued to give back to charities and not for profits that are driving positive change for the community and the environment with our 1 Percent To The Planet membership which sees us donate one percent of revenue (yes, that’s sales before tax) to social and environmental impact driven charities. We also continued our pro bono and volunteering work giving five percent of our time to support a charity or not for profit partner. This year, we completed some incredible work for Sydney-based children’s literacy and creative writing organisation Story Factory.
One word to describe 2022
If I had to pick one word to describe the year it would be ‘building’. We’ve been building our team and our capabilities. We’ve literally built IKEA flat packs, assembled our own desks (that was a special hell for David and Luke) and completed some DIY restorations to sustainably fit out our new studio. We’ve built new systems and processes to support our expansion. We’ve grown our community, expanded our client base and enhanced our service offering. We’ve built our skill sets and capabilities. And we’ve championed our client’s growth, each other’s growth and our own growth. Wowee. After all that building, it’s no wonder we’re ready for a restorative and fun-filled break!
As we wrap up this year I’m feeling both exhausted and energised, proud of our immense growth and achievements and so excited about the next chapter in 2023. I’m predicting our word for the next year might be something along the lines of flow or abundance. I’ll save that for another blog post – perhaps one penned while sipping a nice bevvy in the sunshine on the back deck.
Until next year.