Life is about sharing our stories. Nothing is more powerful than a person’s story. Therefore, we decided to share the stories of our colleagues for our employer branding video instead of presenting fancy buzzwords and the typical foosball table. Get to know Livia, our International Social Media Strategist from Brazil, who has an interesting take on balancing motherhood and her career at FREE NOW. Watch her story here. Read the full interview with Livia below.
Get to know Livia
What is your personal purpose and mission at FREE NOW?
For me, having a higher purpose at work that guides you through everyday to-dos is essential. As an International Social Media Strategist, my mission is to make sure that our brand impacts our local users in a way that is fun, authentic and speaks to them in a personal way. Especially in the digital world, it is easy to communicate quickly and project a brand; the key is actually to be customer-centric and that means understanding what makes people tick and anticipating what their needs are before you communicate a brand message.
As each market has local nuances, my role is to ensure that our brand tone of voice and standards remain consistent whilst accommodating the unique differences in each market. Being able to speak multiple languages means that I can understand how important communication is when localizing a campaign and helps me to offer advice to local marketers who might be considering how best to drive engagement in their market whilst remaining true to the FREE NOW brand.
In this way, global social media guidelines and best practices are essential benchmarks that guide local marketers whilst giving them room to be creative and adaptive. Working with social media managers who are based all over Europe can be complex and it’s important to me that all of my colleagues feel that they can turn to me in any situation so that we can solve any issue and celebrate every success as a team. In this way, I am lucky that I have a great team. Everyone is very supportive and is always there to have a good laugh with, so we make sure that we all challenge ourselves to get out of our comfort zone and do the right thing, whilst having fun along the way.
What have you learned so far at FREE NOW?
Enjoying the journey is one of the most useful lessons that I have learned here. Another is that the only constant in our business is change. Depending on your outlook, change can be scary and stressful or it can be a chance to grow, an opportunity to rethink what was originally thought possible and use the momentum of change as a transformational catalyst. The third major learning was that our product is perceived differently in every local market, which was really important feedback for us at the Headquarters.
Lastly, it has been a learning experience in terms of developing clear communication from Headquarters and the nine countries we operate in. Being consistent, being available to offer support and developing strong relationships with colleagues in every one of those markets is crucial.
What advice would you give to someone starting in marketing?
The importance of simply talking to people is so underrated. As a marketing professional, talking to people about their own ideas and expertise helps me to reach better-informed decisions myself. When I make a mistake at work, I am also willing to own that mistake and use it as a learning opportunity to improve future business results.
To create this dynamic flow of positive energy, you need to be a warm, people-oriented person. For me, I believe my perspective is firmly rooted in Brazilian culture. I always say- ‘I got out of Brazil but Brazil never got out of me’- which means that I believe the base for true happiness lies in the relationships you invest in and the people you surround yourself with. This motto has been proven again and again, as my friends and family were constantly my rock over the last ten years of living abroad.
How would you describe the culture at FREE NOW?
FREE NOW is a company that considers its employees ‘citizens of the world’. Our headquarters are based in Hamburg, but we are very much an international company. This is another reason that I enjoy working here, as my father was a pilot and instilled an international mindset in my sisters and me when we were growing up. With colleagues from over seventy different countries, the need to be open and to have a global mindset is key. I also believe that my colleagues here really live the people-oriented culture — from getting settled in Hamburg to even support as a working mother, my colleagues have shown nothing but warmth and compassion that normally a good friend would offer.
What are you passionate about?
My son, Nico, is definitely the most important person in my life; when I’m not at work, I devote my time to him. We enjoy hanging out at the playground close to our house and walking around the beautiful streets of our neighborhood. Work comes close behind my son as one of my top priorities; I am passionate about my work and my team and feel very often that there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done. At some point, you have to accept that you can do your very best and that there will always be more work to do. During the rare evenings that I’mfree or find a babysitter, I either catch up with friends for a beer or FaceTime with my friends and family. As they are spread from Spain to Brazil to Canada, it is no easy task, but a little coordination and planning go a long way! Even though it is remotely, hanging out with my sisters and chatting with my friends all over the world helps me to maintain bonds with people who are special to me and keep me grounded.
What makes you happy?
Appreciating the special things in life is important. My son growing up, my parents visiting and giving me advice, friends sharing the good times over a few beers… What is also special yet unexpected is how my Lifesaver Team appeared — the colleagues who started out as friends but are now family… From offering to babysit to being translators and helping me through my separation, these people have made a huge difference to me and I’m proud to call them family!