My name is Lee Geldenhuys and I sell hot chocolate for a living. (Baking aids and seasonings too, but it didn’t have quite the same ring to it.) I am a self-taught digital marketer in an ocean of self-taught marketers, convinced that I must be worth my salt if I can market food and beverage products while being a terrible cook. As luck would have it, I would like to write about that.
I have been writing blog posts for brands as an in-house content creator or a freelance digital marketer since 2012. That being said, I’ve never quite gotten into the swing of writing for and as myself. I dabbled in topics centred around art, design, fashion, beauty, and the odd anecdote that only my mother and I found amusing. None of it seemed to stick.
When planning my site redesign around my career, and subsequently my supporting blog posts, ideas came flooding. Clearly, I just hadn’t found my “niche.” (Whether my addition to career blogging proves to be successful, however, only time will tell.)
So here I am again, with renewed vigour, eager to leave my days as a lapsed blogger behind. I welcome you to the new Pretty Neat Pretty Cool.
HOW DID PRETTY NEAT PRETTY COOL COME ABOUT?
Pretty Neat Pretty Cool was an in-house term at a previous job. It had a number of applications, and I became quite fond of it. My teammates kindly allowed me to co-opt the title, and my website was born.
We were a small team in the thick of startup culture. The long hours, the ramen diet, the dismal bank balance – you name it. We lived the stereotype, and I for one loved my time there. For the sake of our bills and our long-suffering parents, however, we needed to lean into the concept of the Side Hustle. My boss, a self-taught web designer who really knows her stuff, kindly helped me build a website that I could direct clients to. It served me well for many years, but personal and career growth led me to feel the need for a reboot.
WHY DIGITAL MARKETING?
I’m one of those who studied a field totally unrelated to the one I’m in now. As a wide-eyed architecture student, I fell into a digital internship which turned into a job, which turned into a career. (Although with the recent launch of the exquisite Zeitz MOCAA corporate identity by M&C Saatchi Abel, an argument can certainly be made that had I continued, I may have landed up here regardless. The likes of the Loeries do consider architecture and interior design a form of brand communication after all.)
My first full-time digital marketing position saw me in a team with no marketing budget, helping 1500 South African designers who had no marketing budgets either grow their businesses. Digital marketing was the most bang for our buck. We grew our labour of love into the largest online marketplace in South Africa. Our team spent hours Googling every element of social media marketing to see how we could effectively apply it to our business. We then spent as many hours teaching our designers how to do the same. I spent every day growing and learning. To get sentimental for a moment, it made me feel like my job had a purpose.
Digital marketing hasn’t slowed down for a second. Knowing I will never stop learning especially excites me. My skill set will never stop expanding. I can do this anytime, anywhere.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT PRETTY NEAT PRETTY COOL
My new, extremely late 2017 resolution is to refocus on my career within digital marketing. I’m looking at what I’ve learned, what I have yet to learn, and who has helped me along my way. Even at planning stages, it has enabled me to drill down into what I do and why, providing remarkable clarity as to what I enjoy about my work. That’s what I hope to share with you here.
I intend discussing my own challenges in my profession – how I have overcome them, and what I have loved doing. Additionally and most excitingly, I’ll be able to feature the people that have made this all possible. I will never claim to be an expert on the subject matter. However, the internet at large is useful in reminding me that no matter the issue I’m facing, I am not alone. I hope to contribute to that, creating a place where we can help each other. We’re all in this wild world together – maybe the obstacles won’t seem quite so daunting with some professional support.
WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?
I welcome your thoughts and invite you to leave comments, suggestions, and questions. I’m really interested in what you have to say! However, I will remove any comments that are offensive. I’d like this to be a place for us to learn from new people, fostering an engaging and respectful community. A happy place, if you will. If you have any questions related to work or collaboration opportunities, I would love to hear from you here. Otherwise, I will try to get back to any comments within a few hours.
If you would like to make sure that you don’t miss out on any posts, sign up to my mailing list in the page footer or sidebar for monthly catch ups. If you would like to take a look at what I do for a living, you can do so here. Should you like a more candid peek into my day to day life outside of work, visit my Instagram page!
Thank you for visiting – I’m so excited to have you here.