Local Business Marketing | #GetChatty

Hi I’m Arthur and I’m a marketer in Melbourne. I consult small businesses, local businesses, organisation, artists and creative professionals about their marketing strategies (social media, digital and events). During late 2020, I started this new series to help encouraging Melbournians & Sydney-siders to support their small to medium operations, at this stage I’m offering this project to businesses located in Windsor, Prahran, South Yarra, South Melbourne and Greater Melbourne, (also greater Sydney where I love and lived most of my life). This is a self-volunteering project and there will be no cost for businesses that’d like to take part, if you’re interested to take part please reach out to me here or DM me via my social media!

Chatty: Welcome to Get Chatty about your local business again. And today I have my friend Veronica with me. Hi Veronica, how are you?
Veronica: Hi Arthur, I’m really well thank you. How have you been?
Chatty: Not too bad, not too bad. Do you mind introducing yourself a little bit to our audiences.

Veronica: Certainly, my name Veronica, I’m establishing myself as a professional proof reader with Stephan-Miller Proofreading. Nice, simple. I’m going to be looking at mostly proofreading fiction for indie authors but I also want to do things such as pamphlets for small businesses to help with them and I’m also looking at doing website proofreading.
Chatty: That’s fantastic. Because many people are probably going to start small businesses or designing a website so I think that that would be an opportunity.

Chatty: So how did you meet Arthur the Chatty Curator?
Veronica: I met Arthur through a Zoom networking event. It was a lot of fun.
Chatty: It was a lot of fun. So what prompted you to start the business?
Veronica: Well I have multiple chronic illnesses which means i’m effectively disabled. And i’m not able to work outside the home because travelling is very exhausting and i’m never sure if i’m going to be available. So employer’s don’t want someone who’s unreliable for, for whatever reason which is understandable.
Veronica: And in January this year I started proofreading for an indie company as a volunteer fan. There’s a group of us we’re the just in time readers, and we just pick up the last little things that, because when you go through, a proof-reader editor doesn’t get all the mistakes, we are human. We look to getting 80 to 90% of the errors so that the original team looks at it, the editor looks at it and then it comes down to us fans. We pick up the last little errors so there’s a comma in the wrong spot, there’s and auto incorrect thrown in there and then I realised I could get paid to do this. So i’ve been proofreading for longer than I knew what that word was.
Chatty: I think it’s wonderful because many, many people I think when we get to a point that there are a lot of things out of our control, it’s the best to take control and just start your own business. And also it’s so true because with all of those fantastic apps out there to proofread they don’t really know what you’re really looking for. So something that maybe the computer might say, it is a correct sentence, but it would be better, it could be too long, it could be the wrong type of word or the incorrect tone or something like that and that actually needs a human to look through that so.
Veronica: Thank you.

Chatty: So now this one is the, the heavier question. how does the recession and covid19 and the lockdown affected your launch of the business?
Veronica: Well, because i’m in a start-up mode a lot of the grants things available are specifically aimed at businesses affected by covid, so i’m of course not eligible and I find it’s very difficult to, to search for government grants and other start-up packages that could help me to get established. Because obviously if you’re not established you’re not affected by covid technically. So that’s been difficult.
Veronica: And also the Australian Tax Office, I changed my name and the last time I did tax return I was still married and lived in another state so I had to send all my paperwork into the ATO and that normally take a quite a few weeks to process but I did it during the end of tax year or beginning of this tax year so everyone’s putting in their tax returns and of course they have job keeper to process on top. So it’s, i’m still waiting. Once that’s processed I can get an ABN and I can actually start my business but I can’t do anything until the ATO sends back my forms and of course through government offices, so there’s no point trying to hurry them.
Chatty: It’s, you know, I mean there are many small businesses I think they really want to look into content when they like website content and such as coming out of this lockdown so there’s actually, you know, we should see it as an opportunity, so you know, good on you too so that’s it’s tricky, it’s tricky this time.

Chatty: What do you enjoy the most about your line of work?
Veronica: I’m a bibliophile, i’m a book lover and I love reading, i’ve been reading since I was 4 years old. I read everything literally like we’ll be in the car and i’ll see a sign…I read everything. So I love that it’s something I love doing that I can get paid for that. I love picking up the small error that other people miss knowing that, you know I picked up that comma to fill in that place or that there’s auto-incorrect because some, some of the words that autocorrect put in that you know can be absolutely hilarious changing the tone of the sentence-And I like reading auto-incorrect and knowing that when I pick up those errors it means that when the reader goes through it they’re reading this story, you can immerse in the story, and they’re not going to get sidetracked, oh that’s the wrong word or that’s a spelling mistake so I can just have a smooth reading experience and i’ve helped with that.
Chatty: Well I mean in that case I really hope that my emails has been up to scratch that…
Veronica: I haven’t sent you back with red circles for anything. You’ll find I actually did that to my brother which was very rude. In my defense I was 18, I was off at uni and my 15 year old brother wrote me a letter and I sent it back with corrections in red! And I got it, I got a message from my mother saying if I ever did that again he would refuse to write me another letter! So i’ve been proofreading a long time.
Chatty: It is, well I think obviously you are doing what’s natural to you.

Chatty: In a parallel universe where you are doing a completely different line of work, what do you think you would be doing?
Veronica: I actually also enjoy teaching and, and helping people and something that’s a dream of mine I might be able to do this in the future, but it involves money is I would love to have a charity to teach with people, anyone could come, no restrictions, could come and learn how to do handcrafts so whether that’s sowing or patchwork quilts which I love, crochet, knitting, needlework were people could come and have lessons, beginner lessons and learn how to these handcrafts themselves and take home something they’ve made.
Chatty: I think that would be fantastic! Because I, I mean don’t know about you but I think that this little, this big lockdown, not a little, this huge lockdown kind of like giving us an opportunity to look a little bit like prioritise different things. Because I, I admit that I made my money on, like social media and online stuff so sometimes that things might come and go very quickly, but then just because of that doesn’t mean that there’s all these lovely work of like craftwork, working with your hands or even surrounded by people who enjoy the same thing or similar thing and have a little community – it’s very important.
How do people be able to find you if they’re interested in watching, working with you?
Veronica: Well my surname is very distinctive Stephan-Miller with a hyphen. I’m on Veronica Stephan-Miller at Linkedin I also have a profile at Facebook I set up specifically for the proofreading, there’s not much activity from me at the moment. I’m moving house soon. But once I get settled to start posting the different things there as well so the best way to find me at the moment is through social media.
Chatty: Thank you so much for taking part in this interview. I wish you the best of luck and of course please let me know that when you’re, when your business is launching and your website and things like that. I would love to keep sharing that to this community.
Veronica: Definitely Arthur. Thank you, thank you for having me today it was lovely.

Veronica can be contacted via:
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/veronica-stephan-miller-6310b2b2
Facebook: facebook.com/veronica.stephanmiller

If you are / know of any Melbourne based businesses, artists or organisations that may interested to take part, please make sure to read this post then request a meeting with me!

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