Meet Kathryn Stewart from Kat Comms. Kat is a regular attendee of Chamber events and recently decided to join our business community as a member as well.
A lovely, friendly face and welcoming personality, Kat breathes life into the written word – from corporate communications to blogs and articles, and everything in between.
We asked Kat a few quick-fire questions to meet our member.
Tell us a bit about your background – your career to date, your experience… basically, how what you have done has got you to where you are today.
Professional Writing: Academic writing and research about literature, history and psychology. In the early 2000s, between my BA and MA (Hons) in English, I wrote publicity material for TV ONE and was published daily in online/printed publications throughout New Zealand. A lot of my roles since then have involved technical writing – job adverts, training logs and tenders. My personal writing involves reviews, news articles for Bay Waka, blogs and short stories/novels.
For more than 14 years I worked in Recruitment and Sales mainly doing client account management/candidate management; recruitment sales; LinkedIn head hunting; CV searching and other candidate attraction methods (social media etc), advert writing etc.
I was the Account Manager for Canon UK’s recruitment and then when Canon EMEA moved their HQ to the UK, I spearheaded a team recruiting all the positions of employees who didn’t want to relocate from Amsterdam. My recruitment background means I can sell and talk to anyone about their job or sector because I probably recruited their role at some stage.
I have a strong UK/NZ commercial knowledge and have been back in Tauranga for five years (I grew up here) so have a large network and already know many of the businesses.
When did you start your business? How long have you been operating?
March 2019 when I walked away from a Recruitment Consultant position. I initially thought about doing recruitment on my own, but had lost the bug so thought I would channel my passion for writing and editing. Three years on, I’m going strong and it fits so perfectly around my family obligations.
Tell us about your business: What services do you offer? How can you help our business community?
Every business is different. They may just require ad-hoc writing/editing or a more regular service – I can write/edit tailored solutions. I provide a variety of business communication options to clients (blogs, sales copy, technical writing, social media content, advertising copy and other writing).
My portfolio also includes creative writing, journalistic articles/PR, ghost writing and assistance with self-publishing.
What makes your business unique?
I have strong commercial and sales skills along with creativity and a solid understanding of marketing/tone of voice etc. via different training. I really enjoy learning about new sectors and write about varied industries such as engineering, health/wellbeing, recruitment/remuneration/HR and tourism.
I’m also friends with other professional (and creative) writers in the region so if I’m not quite right for a business’s requirements I can refer them on to someone stronger in online or marketing etc. There’s enough work to go around, I’d rather collaborate with my peers.
When you first got into business, what is the one thing you wish people told you?
Make an effort with everyone you encounter, learn more about them and have a genuine interest in their lives. Don’t judge people, everyone has a cool story to tell.
In your first year of business, what challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
To diversify my clients and always have a pipeline of future work lined up. When Covid hit, my main two clients were recruitment and tourism so I pretty much had to start my business again from scratch.
And now, looking back, what have been your biggest learnings?
People buy from people, especially in Tauranga. I get more business from attending networking groups/events and letting people evaluate me as a person rather than other methods such as social media or email marketing (although these are important too).
What’s the one misconception people might have about your industry?
They think I’m a copywriter just writing blogs. The term copywriter pigeonholes people so I prefer the term writer because it encompasses much more.
What’s the one thing you want people to know about your business?
I provide writing for the whole spectrum of writing talent – from people who write well and just need me to look over their content quickly (and edit when required) right through to clients with English as a second language who asks me to write in a ‘nice Kiwi way’ or a dyslexic client who sends me voice memos to turn into articles/manuals because they can articulate exactly what they want to say verbally but struggle to write it down.
What are your goals (personal and professional) for the next six to 12 months?
At the moment, I’m focusing on building my business up again after the latest wave of Covid crap. I really want to get out to more networking events now they’re starting up again.
I would love to do further study, but there is so much I want to learn it’s hard to narrow it down to one course. I really enjoyed a Micro credential that I did via the Mind Lab on Marketing so perhaps something like that again. I don’t have the time capacity to do a MBA (but I would love to).
When you’re not at work, how do you like to spend your time?
Reading, writing, beach, travelling and family.
If you could impart one piece of advice to fellow business owners, what would it be?
Network! I feel like a salesperson for Sam Williamson, but BNI is one of the best things I could have done for my business. It also gets me away from my home office and talking to people in person once a week. Working from home can be isolating sometimes.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I’ve known about the Chamber for years and went to BA5s when I worked in recruitment. Despite being in business for three years I’m a bit ashamed that I’m only joining now, but better late than never! The recent Covid relief fund helped me financially to do that too.
Our member profiles are a great way to give the business community a taste of who you are and what you do, so when they see your face at one of our events they won’t hesitate to make that all-important introduction.