MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Toni-Marie

Say hello to Toni-Marie, the Founder and Creative behind 2aT Startup

Toni Marie Aston Photo (2).jpg

Toni is a One Roof member, marketing guru and Founder of 2aT Startup. Before start up life began for Toni she spent over 8 years dedicated to lifestyle, corporate and fashion marketing. Working events, digital and traditional marketing for both small boutique businesses and large corporations.

These experiences paired with Toni's desire to one day be her own boss meant Toni was able take all the learnings and success to her own business. But it didn't stop there - Toni started 2aT with a vision to make business life easier for entrepreneurs and  small businesses and in the last few years she has completed studies in Small Business Management, helped launch over 50 start ups, grown her own team and posted more instagram stories than anyone could count! Always lending a hand to others in the office (with her beautiful Cocker Spaniel Dudley, by her side) Toni is often seen giving content tips or marketing tricks to our members. This woman not only masters brand strategy and digital marketing but has supported over 100 businesses through the sometimes mystifying process of starting your own business. Read on to see what she has to share below.

Tell us about 2aT Startup and why you started it?

Business life can be overwhelming at times which is basically why I started 2aT. I wanted to create a go-to place for anyone starting a business or looking to grow their business who was in need of some support.

We do all of this by not only designing beautiful brands, creating content that connects and innovative marketing strategies but also using our website as a resourceful platform they can go to for accessible help. Our blog educates readers on situations we face, and our socials show the behind the scenes of the business, with real-life business advice and stories, we also have great affiliates setup to connect our customers with.

I like to look at 2aT as a lot more than a digital and design agency and more so a supportive hub.

And, tell us about YOU, what do you like doing when you unplug from work?

Hrmm, when I'm not curled up with Don Draper and a glass of red, you can find me booking quick vacays to the beach, taking my dog Dudley to the park, kicking a ball or spending time with friends and family.

Oh, one thing I find that really helps me unplug is sport. I am by no means a fitness junkie, but I am so competitive and playing a social sport not only forces you to switch your brain off from the business but you still feel productive, so soccer and futsal are my go to. (go untouchables!)

Is there anything exciting you're working on that you want to share? 

So much is happening for us!

We just hired a new Digital Marketing Assistant! (yay!), we've welcomed some amazing new client! And a big highlight this week would be the launch of our workshop series.

After having the opportunity to lead some great external workshops for businesses like the League of Extraordinary women, Mercer Designer School and The Institute of Code, we have now launched our own workshops.

Starting with The Basics of SEO which is on August 15th at One Roof - we only have a couple of tickets left for that one. And then soon after our Intro into Instagram for Business will run in September. 

Super exciting for us!

If you're keen on attending we have set up a code for One Roofers that will give you a discount on your tickets, just enter ONEROOF at checkout :) Details here.

Tell us what you find beneficial when it comes to working from a co-working space such as One Roof?

So many things! 

I've trialled quite a few co-working spaces across Melbourne and each had their own perks. But the biggest perk that attracted me to One Roof was the community and support Sheree and the team provided.

A tip for anyone looking to find a co-working space would be that it shares both your vibe and values. The space you work from needs to compliment your business and provide more than a desk, so make sure you check out all they have to offer!

You mentioned SEO before. We still scratch our head at that term. Can you explain it and why it's important for small businesses?

Search Engine Optimisation. In the simplest form, it's the practices and steps web developers (or anyone running a website) take to improve their business ranking on google search results.

Basically, you can't just set up your website and assume it will rank on Google, there's a lot of things Google takes into account when deciding which websites to display.

These days, Google is all about the customer and if our websites aren't built for the user it will lower your chances of appearing on search.

Providing valuable resources like a blog is a big brownie point for Google as Google loves fresh content and so do your customers! (There's over 250 other factors Google takes into account, but I'll save that for another day, or our workshop).

Does Social Media play a part in SEO?

It depends who you ask. But I think it does, definitely. Google takes your following into account when credit checking websites and your social signals like tweets and posts that include your URL all play a part. So make sure you're on the right platforms and sharing good valuable content, regularly.

A lot of small businesses say they can't measure a return on Instagram, do you think it's a good platform for conversions?
 

Yes and no.

I like to look at Instagram and any Social Media platform for that matter as a credit check platform. So don't focus so much on getting direct sales from your content, but rather creating trust with your audience. 

It's rare that someone will buy from a business online they aren't aware of, would you?! Most customers will read reviews, check your socials or ask around first, if they aren't familiar with a brand.

So showing the faces behind the scenes, the story of the brand, together with product experiences and providing value (not just pretty pictures), are the key things that any social media content strategy should focus on.

Your audience might not be ready to buy as soon as they find you, but if you have compelling content and give them a reason to follow you, you will become top of mind for when they are ready to purchase.

And lastly, whats your business life motto?

If the plan doesn't work, change the plan. Never the goal.

WANT MORE OF TONI-MARIE?

Find her on Facebook here, follow her on Instagram here, or check out the upcoming workshop here.

 Toni and the team at One Roof.

Toni and the team at One Roof.