Director / Double Tap Agency
We know it, the Social Media industry is a popular and rewarding industry to be part of. The clients, the launches, the fast pace, and perhaps spoken a little less about, the long hours. In such a crowded industry one woman stands out from the crowd, and that women is the insanely talented Sammi Hardwick.
Sammi is the Founder and Director of Sydney based Doubletap Agency. A robust agency that services all types of digital needs from SEO to social media, web design and so much more.
In today’s #careerstory Sammi takes us on a journey from her time at High School, to her passion for sport, and why she decided to dive in head first and give everything a go at school and beyond. I particularly love her advice for any girl wanting to complete University overseas, Can you imagine studying in the US? Don’t imagine, it’s something that you can do!
Sammi is the type of girl you want to bundle up for a day and suck all her advice, tips and ideas from her incredible brain. She is wise beyond her years and a total #girlboss to boot. Let’s dive in.
Miss Sammi, it’s so ridiculously exciting that you can join us here at The Cool Career. Can you tell us about your upbringing, and how your experience shaped the person you are and the career that you are in today?
I grew up in the gorgeous beach town of Newport on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Growing up on the beach nurtured my love of the outdoors, sports and the ocean.
It’s fair to say that most weekends you would find me in some form of sports uniform, followed by an afternoon at the beach.
Where did you go to High School and how was that experience for you?
Pittwater High School in Mona Vale. Loved every minute of it!
My attitude to high school was be involved in everything and anything possible. I played every sport, drama (I was horrible, and have no idea why they even let me step on stage), dance team, surfing, debating, committees. I just saw it as a massive opportunity to try and test out all different areas so I could find my niche.
I didn’t find my niche, haha but I did have a bloody good time.
Ahhh love this so much. What an incredible attitude, jump in head first and give everything a go. So, did your high school play an important role in helping you choose your further education and future career?
To be honest no. I finished High School with absolutely no idea what I wanted to do next.
I sat looking over Uni booklets with family members in tears as nothing stood out to me. I couldn’t find anything that wanted to do. I was very uninspired by the information in front of me. So I packed my bags and took up an opportunity to play college softball in Oklahoma, USA.
I was limited to degree choices so enrolled in an environmental science degree only to change halfway through the year to a business degree.
Did you complete any internships or work experience placements in high school? Tell us about that experience.
No, I didn’t.
Did you go to College, University, Tafe or another equivalent? Take us through the courses that you studied and why you chose them?
I went to University. I did it in a convoluted way really.
I completed one semester at Macquarie University studying Environmental Science as a gap period before I took off to the USA for their schooling year. While I was there I switched over to an International Business Degree for the following 2years.
After the 2 years, I came home and finished my final year at Macquarie University.
It’s a strange crossover, I know. The differences between the education system here in Australia and the US mean that the timings don’t always add up. The US structure means that I couldn’t transfer straight across to a business degree when returning home so I had to the take on additional class units which saw me at Uni for 4.5yrs instead of the standard 4.
However, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
The USA college experience was one I will never forget and totally worth the extra units. Why did I choose Environmental Science? There was absolutely no reasoning behind it! Well, that’s a lie, I liked the outdoors, I like biology at school and not one other thing in the university booklet at the time sounded remotely interesting so I chose that agree based on the first year class options.
It’s fair to say I didn’t have much of a plan when finishing school.
So why did I switch to an International Business Degree? Environmental science wasn’t interesting me, I was bored. My partner at the time was a few years older and completing his business degree. One evening we got talking about one of his classes as it was about the Australian mining industry and I found myself fascinated. The next day I changed my degree. The degree touched on so many areas of business from management, marketing, accounting, and economics. Don’t get me wrong parts of the degree weren’t for me. I was hopeless at accounting, still am to this day hence why I have an accountant as I cant think of anything worse than balancing the books (haha).
The degree however totally had me hooked! Finished my time at Uni in the USA on the All American Deans Honour Role. So I think the switch was worth it.
Incredible, what a path Sammi. Tell us about your career journey so far. Who you have worked for, and explain any highlights.
Before we delve into this, I would like to disclose that even after finishing Uni I still had no idea what job I wanted.
Yes, I liked my degree but I didn’t know what area I wanted to dive into. I trolled SEEK and applied for job after job but didn’t have any experience so I couldn’t get my foot in the door anywhere.
Desperate times called for desperate measures so I posted on Facebook ‘I need a job asap, willing to intern. Who wants to hire me?’ (haha). I ended up landing the best intern job ever at Tribal Choice whose owners are some of the most intelligent if not the most intelligent humans I’ve ever encountered.
Not only were they passionate and willing to take risks but during my time with them, I worked on some amazing projects. Some highlights include SEO for multiple accounts, managing a social media/crowdfunding campaign called ‘Bring Ronaldo Home’ and introduced electronic cigarettes to the Australian market.
The experience I gained at Tribal Choice saw me get a role at Woolworths Liquor Group, working for their online wine brand WineMarket. During my time at Woolworths Liquor I moved up the corporate ladder, progressing from a Marketing Coordinator to Marketing Executive, working across brands like WineMarket, Langtons, and Dan Murphys.
While working at Woolies I literally took on every task that came my way even if I had absolutely no idea how to do it. From website SEO, fulfillment, marketing campaigns, EDMs, Social Media, managing acquisition campaigns with the likes of Amex! Whatever the task, I took it on. My next job was at my favourite denim brand OneTeaspoon. I was hired as the Marketing Manager.
Running the complete marketing funnel at One Teaspoon, along with the internal PR teams was crazy. My favourite part of the job was managing the social media process. This saw my passion for media evolve. After 2years at One Teaspoon, I left for my next adventure, running my own social media and digital marketing agency!
I actually cannot pinpoint one career highlight, to be honest, I have had so many wins over years, from job promotions to seeing campaigns go global, social media channels being ranked in the top three most engaging globally, to starting my own business with absolutely nothing by a laptop and passion for online.
Ummm incredible Sammi, loved how you got your big break from posting on Facebook. So, how did you actually start your own business?
I took a risk! In left my stable, well paying, fun job to try out the unknown. Literally over a walk with a friend one weekend my business was born and I haven’t looked back.
What is the hardest part of owning your own business?
Managing my time to make sure I still experience life around me without getting bogged down in work. I’m not one to stop, I have no off button so when the working day is done for most it isn’t for me.
I’m still sitting at my computer until all hours of the night (usually with a wine in hand) working away.
I’m up at 6am and straight into my emails and at my computer by 7am.
Today after a chat with one of my much-loved clients I decided I needed to take a stance against my obsession to work non stop. I sent an email to all of my clients stating that my working hours were now limiting to standard working times and I would not be working outside of those. In saying that, here I am at 8:30pm on a Monday working hahaha.
I’ll try again tomorrow I guess. :)
What does a day a typical business day look like for you at Double Tap?
Up at 6am, COFFEE, check email,
6:30am go to the gym/some form of exercise,
7:15am reply to emails, COFFEE!
7:30am Walk my dog Lenny while writing a to-do list,
By 8am i’m in full swing talking to clients, managing social media accounts, building websites, managing ad words campaigns, running social media advertising campaigns, optimising campaigns, running reports, more talking on the phone to clients, jumping in my car & going to meetings in which I’m talking on the phone between stops, checking more emails, quickly stuff my face with a bag of light & tangy chips (I have a terrible diet) and then back to whatever is left outstanding for the day. I end the day with a walk or beach session with my partner and our dog to help me wind down before cooking dinner and catching up on my partners day.
Then some more work, usually website builds or finding social media content (I can’t stand watching TV) before bed.
Who has been your hero, or greatest inspiration growing up and why?
I come from a family of hard workers. Both sides of my family are lead by inspiring people from my grandparents to my own parents. This quote depicts how we were brought up
“be kind, work hard, stay humble, smile often, stay loyal, keep honest, be thankful & always love”.
It’s been engrained in us! So I guess I can say, my family, they are my greatest inspiration.
What advice would you give girls who are interested in your career?
Be ready to work hard, put in long hours, make sacrifices, stay educated and relevant to the industry and know it’s not glamorous most days I don’t get out of my gym gear until bedtime.
But… the rewards totally out way any of the negatives. You get to meet amazing inspiring clients and you’ll forever be pushing your boundaries.
List the most valuable resources that you turn to constantly for inspiration?
- Favourite Websites: Social Media today – socialmediatoday.com, We are social media – wersm.com, Social Media Examiner socialmediaexaminer.com,
- Name an Instagram Account that you can’t go a day without checking: ohhhh this is a tuff one cause I always check every one of my clients accounts first thing every day. But right now I’m loving Cardi B, she has me LOLLING
- Favourite Podcast: Casefiles (I’m true crimes biggest fan). For work TedTalk always have some hidden gold.
- Favourite Netflix Series: I have never watched anything on Netflix, I’m not a tv/show type a gal.
- Favourite all time book/s: The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck. So many truth bombs in that book!
- People: My Clients – Daily I learn so much form them.
- Others: My Partner, Parents and Friends they bloody rock! I’m surrounded by good eggs!