Based in the Central West of New South Wales, The Social Herd is a marketing and digital promotion agency developed by Alexandra MacAlpine to assist rural-based businesses and individuals with their marketing needs.
Tell us about your business and how it started?
The Social Herd is focused solely on helping rural-businesses with their print and digital marketing requirements. I work with clients all over Australia to create end-to-end marketing campaigns and one off projects which are tailored to suit the needs and goals of that particular business. For me, marketing is not a one-size-fits-all type of process; I work to develop strategies and creative content which is custom fit to suit the business I am working alongside.
It began in June 2020 when I was pregnant with my son Jimmy. I wanted to create a business which enabled me to combine my skills and experience in marketing with my passion for design and photography which I had studied at university. I also wanted the flexibility to run my own business on my own terms from home so that when Jimmy was born (in 2021) I could take the time to focus on him and learn what this new mum role was all about, but also have my own little project ticking away in the background.
What is your biggest achievement in business?
It would be taking The Social Herd from a casual sort of business on the side to my full time hustle (well... full time in part time hours as I still have Jimmy at home with me a couple of days a week). But to be able to resign from my part-time role in local government and to take The Social Herd to the next level and take on more clients this year was such an exciting moment for me. I have really enjoyed taking this next leap and look forward to continuing this forward trajectory for myself and the business.
What challenges have you faced in business?
Even though my biggest achievement was taking the leap to The Social Herd being my full time job, it was also my biggest challenge. Finding that nice balance between mum life and Social Herd life is still a work in progress for me.
We live on a property just outside of Grenfell, NSW, so there is also the support of being here for my husband Alex when he needs it too. One of the many hurdles was working out the months of the year where my Social Herd work load increases, and ensuring I don't take on any new clients in those busy periods.
It's always so hard saying no to new clients and new opportunities but at times I need to do it to ensure I don't burn out and to also ensure I am still present for Jimmy and also here to help Alex on the farm when he needs it.
What do you love about your product/service?
I love the variety that my Social Herd services bring. No two clients or projects are the same and it brings me a lot of joy creating varied content for each business.
Who or what inspires you and your creative process?
My husband Alex and our property has always played a big part in my inspiration and creative process for my own photography and writing. I love heading out with him when he is mustering. It is something we can do together as a family as Jimmy loves it too.
I will often take the drone and camera with me and capture some images of the sheep or the land as Alex moves the sheep down the laneway. Travelling and meeting clients also inspires me as I get to see more of this amazing country we call home.
What keeps you up at night?
Some of my best thoughts come at 2am in the morning! So I always take advantage of that funny little hour in the morning if I am awake.
If I have an article to write for a client or publication, sometimes when I am lying there or trying to drift back into sleep, the introduction or angle for the story will just appear. I have gotten into the process of quickly jotting it down in my phone when it does come to me, then I happily drift off to sleep again knowing I have something to work on the next day.
What are you currently reading, watching or listening to?
I am currently reading Five Bush Weddings, a debut novel by Australian writer Clare Fletcher, with The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone next on my reading list as well as flipping dreamingly through Bush Life by the Beauty in the Bush Collective, it's oh so gorgeous.
I am eagerly awaiting for the next season of Company by the Manson Podcasting Network to drop, as well as the next season of Graziher's Life on the Land. I also really enjoy The Producers.
I switch off at night by watching a tv show (currently it is Yellowstone) then heading to bed with a book.
What do you love most about where you live?
I love our seasons. I love that the Central West has four distinct seasons and that when I head outside the light is always changing due to those seasons. I feel very lucky to be living here on our property with my husband Alex and our little Jim.
The Social Herd specialises in photography and marketing for rural-based businesses.