We talk to Elizabeth Taylor – no, it’s not a séance… We have a real live one living in Singapore! We’ve been working with her recently and we’re well impressed with many things about her (not just her name!). Here she shares her insights on living with that famous name, starting a business here and more.
What has it been like growing up and sharing the name of someone so well known?
I only became “famous” when I got married; I was working at Universal Pictures at the time and the real Elizabeth Taylor was still alive and well. I enjoyed a few “misunderstandings”, mainly from couriers delivering parcels to the reception of the film studio wanting to say hello! My favourite mix-up was when I flew over to LA for a conference and was met at the airport by a very enthusiastic taxi driver expecting a glamorous film star and not an overworked marketing exec. He thankfully saw the funny side, welcomed me into the stretch limo and also let me have some of the carefully arranged bubbly in the back!
Where are you from and when did you move to Singapore?
I’m from the UK and we moved to Singapore three years ago, like many, with a job opportunity for my husband. At the time, we were brand new expats and so were planning on returning to the UK in two years. Needless to say, our love of Singapore, plus recent events, have meant that we are still here.
How many children do you have?
We have two: they’re 10 and 12, enjoying school at UWCSEA and loving the sunshine and Sentosa. My son has recently developed an interest in media and photography, so he’s been a useful resource for building my website and taking my BTS pics!
What was your work in the UK? How did that change moving here?
I worked in marketing for a few different film companies in the UK and moved into training when I had my children. I loved my time working at my local university and also a few business schools, teaching business and marketing to professionals wanting to skill up or move into marketing. My last role before we moved was with a training company that ran a digital marketing apprenticeship programme. This was one of my favourite roles as I got to meet people from a range of different companies including Avon, Action for Children, Northampton Rugby Club and Islington County Council. Some of my “students” still attend my online workshops now.
Tell us a bit about the business you’re involved in now.
I have set up my own company, Digital Direction, offering digital marketing training and consultancy to businesses and entrepreneurs. I’ve always wanted to build my own business to give me the flexibility of taking on contract work and being able to balance this with family life (and, many moons ago, travel).
What do you love about what you do?
I love supporting professionals to find clarity and focus for their digital marketing. There is so much information out there; it’s overwhelming and confusing trying to wade through it all to find what’s relevant. I love to help businesses find the strategies, tactics and tools that are right for them. Also, an unexpected bonus of setting up my business was the opportunity to meet and work with some amazing people. It’s been inspiring to connect with other business owners and I get incredible motivation and support from these relationships.
What’s one tip you’d give to people starting up their own business?
Ask for help. There are so many remarkable business professionals here, all who have been where you are now. You will find this support and accountability are great motivators to build and grow your business.
What about some tips for digital marketing? These are my top three digital marketing tips:
#1 Understand what you’re trying to achieve with your marketing – it’s not all about likes on Instagram!
#2 Map out your key marketing channels, and articulate how these work together to help you reach your goals.
#3 Plan your content in advance – this will help avoid the panic, and your message will be more considered and coherent.
This article first appeared in the November 2021 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
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