Jessica Bowker

TrueType Communications Pty Ltd

Hello! I’m Jesse, a communications and marketing consultant in Perth who loves writing, running, being a mum of boys, owning a small business and volunteering for causes close to my heart.

For many years I worked in corporate affairs, mainly in the Australian resources sector where I managed communications for some of the world's biggest resources projects, and as a PR consultant in Canada. In 2015 I decided to follow my heart and start my own business.

I grew up around small business and watched my parents start successful businesses and turn struggling ones around. From insurance to manufacturing, hospitality and automotive services, they gave everything a go, always backed each other and showed me what was possible beyond a typical corporate career.

Founding TrueType Communications has been one of the best decisions I’ve made as it allows me to work more flexibly and has led to exciting new work and collaboration opportunities with clients, creatives and other consultants.

Consulting is such a privilege as it allows me to be around passionate and enterprising people who have brilliant ideas, and the courage to take them forward to create successful commercial and social ventures. I am humbled every time a client asks for my advice or engages me to deliver a project - be it to develop their communications and marketing strategy, manage a media campaign, create content or advise them on a sensitive internal or external issue.

Most of my clients are small to medium businesses, and from time to time I work with large corporates which creates a really enjoyable and stimulating mix of work. The beauty of consulting is that I work across many sectors from resources to construction, property, professional services and education & training – I absolutely love the challenge and variety this offers.

Longer-term, I’m committed to working with more non-profits and social enterprises and am actively building my knowledge of the sector by volunteering as a Beacon Foundation mentor for young women in high school. I also provide pro bono communications and marketing support to the Board of Lupus WA.

Outside of work running is my meditation and the beach is my happy place, so you’ll find me pacing along the coast most mornings. In my spare time, I love to write and am working on some personal creative writing projects that make my heart sing.

my core skills

Communications Strategy

Brand Positioning & Narrative

Writing & Content Creation

Media Relations & Social Media

Internal/Change Communications

Q & A

Whats the best thing to happen to you in your career to date?

Stepping out on my own to start TrueType as I now have a stimulating creative outlet and a business which provides the flexibility and independence that I thrive on.

Consulting has opened the door to exciting work and collaboration opportunities, pushed me out of my comfort zone, given me a chance to reconnect with my professional network, learn new skills and make wonderful friends.

What does a typical work week look like for you?:

I prefer to work on a project basis, so my workload varies week to week, but I try keep some structure to my days.

I work flexibly from a home office so I prioritise client work during school hours. I typically set mornings aside for meetings and afternoons for writing and doing work. If I don’t have any morning meetings, I usually head down to the beach for a run as it’s a great way to clear my mind and my best ideas come to me when I'm running!

As a small business owner I’m hands on with everything, so I do my own invoicing and admin, and try to set aside time each week to work on my business as well.

Describe your working environment in a few sentences..

I mainly work from my home office which is a light and bright creative space that I love being in. I also work from client offices and cafes when I’m meeting with them or my creative and consulting partners.

The collaborative aspect of my work is super enjoyable and means I don’t feel isolated working from home.

What sets you apart from other freelancers in your industry?

I’ve worked both client-side and in consultancies over the years, in Australia and overseas, so I have a very strong understanding of what clients need and expect from a consultant. I also know what it takes to be a trusted advisor who understands a client’s business direction and can confidently deliver strategic communications that align with it.

Working flexibly means I’m conscientious with my time and my clients benefit because I work efficiently and within their budgets. I’ve learnt how important it is to only work with clients if the fit feels right for both of us, and to only commit to work that I know I can deliver.

What are the tools of your trade?

I couldn’t do without my phone, laptop, printer, pen and notebook. My website gives prospective clients and creative partners an understanding of my experience, services and approach. I use LinkedIn to stay in touch with my professional network and tap into relevant industry news and best practice. Instagram is great for connecting with creatives and other freelancers.

As a small business I don’t have a large budget for professional development, so I’m always looking for cost-effective ways to build knowledge and keep abreast of trends and developments in my field. I love podcasts for this reason and listen avidly, mostly to business and marketing ones, as well as shows that are relevant to my clients.

I use different apps for scanning, videos, photography and creating graphics for social media.

Do you collaborate with others? If yes, how does that works?

Yes, collaboration is win-win for everyone and I absolutely love it!

Some of the most interesting, challenging and rewarding work I’ve done has been in collaboration with my well-established network of consulting and creative partners which includes web developers, graphic designers, photographers, videographers, brand strategists, crisis managers, media trainers, government relations specialists, marketing and digital experts. By working together, we're able to offer clients the services found in larger agencies minus the heavy price tags and lock-in contracts.

When I bring collaborators together for a client, I take the lead on strategy, project management and client communications. I think it’s really important for clients and collaborators to get to know each other, so I encourage them to work together directly and not always through me if it’s more efficient and practical to do so. From an overall account management perspective, I keep across the project to ensure deliverables and expectations are being met, and I also handle invoicing arrangements. On the flip side, I also collaborate on projects led by my consulting partners, and always enjoy being part of their teams.

Whats been the biggest freelancing lesson to date?

I’ve learnt to be very honest and upfront with clients about how I work and to set clear expectations from the outset. Clients really appreciate this approach and it sets a positive tone for our working relationship.

When I first started TrueType I met lots of prospective clients for coffee and freely gave away a good deal of my time and advice in the process, which didn’t always result in new work or leads. I’m big on being generous and sharing knowledge with others, but now that I’m more established, I’m more discerning with people and who I invest my time with.

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