As a business owner, podcaster, influencer, creative, traveller, foodie, writer and award winning creator – pause for breath – there’s no doubt that Anita Siek is the ultimate one (wo)man brand!
The brilliant mind behind @wordfetti, @brandfetti and @anitaonchi, this leading lady is an absolute wizard at not only nailing her own professional and personal brand(s), but also helping others to craft theirs.
We chatted with the Insta expert, brand fan and self-proclaimed word nerd to gather her expert tips and advice for branding out from the crowd! Looking for the secret to building a stand out brand? We have the information you Siek…
Tell us your story!
My name is Anita. I’m a doggo lover, an ex-lawyer and the founder of Wordfetti.
We are a strategic copywriting studio dedicated to helping brands stand out through psychology, strategy and words. (To my Mum though, she thinks I write novels, poetry and haikus. Bless her cotton socks. #HiMum). As an extension of Wordfetti, I have a Podcast called Brandfetti where we chat all things content marketing, copywriting and psychology, stories behind brands that stand out in our industry today, and my personal journey.
In my spare time, I am also a Food and Travel Instablogger. And yes – I’m 100% one of those people who will embarrass the heck out of you and take photos of my food. And if we’re together? I will probably take photos of your food as well.
How did @anitaonchi come about, and what motivated you to start posting on Instagram?
I started it as predominantly a food account. I absolutely love food and travel – and because I didn’t want to spam all my friends and family with just images of the travel and food I ate (#callmeconsiderate?), I decided to start an account purely to document my food consumption journey (it’s like a visual logbook of where I’m spending my money, ha!) and it has grown organically from there.
What’s your main goal or mission? How has Instagram helped you to achieve it?
For @anitaonchi my goal is to inspire my audience to want to explore the world, experiment with different types of food, feel excited – and hopefully want to jump into their phone. More recently, I have also started to share more about myself, my journey, my learnings and my story with the goal to hopefully help and inspire others.
Instagram has provided such a simple way for me to share that, in equal parts visual and verbal. I’m able to visually capture and entice the audience through that square image, and through captions and be able to enrich that experience for them by painting that image for them in full.
Sometimes it’s pun galore, a lame Dad joke (thanks to my awkward-as-heck humour), and sometimes it’s about sharing a story, a certain thought or idea I’ve had.
What came first: @anitaonchi or Wordfetti?
Anita On Chi came first! As I started Wordfetti, a lot of my audience on @anitaonchi also came along on the journey with me with me. And as Wordfetti began to grow, this happened vice versa.
It’s given me almost a 360 degree reach with my audience. My Wordfetti audience don’t only get a taste (ha, get it?!) of behind the scenes behind what we do at Wordfetti, but also a glimpse into my personality and story through my personal brand.
What inspired you to create the Wordfetti brand?
Wordfetti actually began as a side-gig. I was working in a corporate job in State Government. However, despite being in my supposed dream job, I always felt like I had a creative bank account I never got to tap into. So I started Wordfetti to give me that opportunity to go to town with my creativity and it grew from there – through purely word of mouth. Within 10 months or so, the time came where I had to decide which route I’d go. Because if not, both my roles would suffer.
What was the biggest challenge of making your creative vision a reality?
The biggest challenge and setback was probably the noise around me. Those who thought I was a lil’ crazy working the hours I was. Those who thought I was silly to buy a house and a car then leave my corporate job. And those who think it’s strange that I was creating a brand where I knew no one in the industry.
As part of that reason, I also didn’t tell the Mother bear I left my corporate job until around 11 months later. (Disclaimer: This was done purely out of love for my Mum. Coming from a strict Asian upbringing, I knew she would worry about me. Heck I’d be worrying about me too!) So holding that back, and not letting people’s opinions come in my way was definitely a big chunk of the challenge. But in equal parts? It also fuelled me to work dang hard.
Cause boy – I had to make this work.
“Not letting people’s opinions come in my way was definitely a big chunk of the challenge. But in equal parts? It also fuelled me to work dang hard. Cause boy – I had to make this work.”
How has Instagram helped grow your business and brand?
Instagram has been a MASSIVE key in the growth of our business, Wordfetti. And that was intentional. Because instead of honing in on the website or just on blogs, I dove straight in to creating a community around me first. Instagram (as it was a content channel that not many copywriters had jumped on yet) was one of the content channels I leveraged to help me build this community.
From there, we have grown a truly close knit community. So close, that late last year I brought our community offline and threw a joint Xmas Party and 1st birthday party, to which over 90 business owners, corporates, and clients came to. That was pretty darn cool.
Yes there was (a lot of) confetti. Yes there was a pinata. And heck yes, there was cake.
Top tip for creating on point, on brand content?
Know your audience, and know them well. So that you create human-centered content, and not just content for the sake of content.
How did the brand Wordfetti evolve into the podcast Brandfetti?
We sound like a Pokemon! I like it.
Brandfetti had been brewing in my mind for a good 7-8 months before I launched it. I’m deeply passionate about helping brands – be it SME’s or organisations – to see content and copywriting differently.
As more than a tick in the box. More than just words that sound great together, or will have the Google gods paying attention. I want them to see it as a tool that blends art and science, which can collectively help a brand stand out in their industry.
A lot of people see “Brand” as simply visual, whereas a massive chunk lies in the verbal.
What do you sound like? How does your brand stand out from your competitors? What are people saying about you when you’re not in the room? What do you stand for? Once you have your brand’s verbal identity and messaging nailed, everything – be it marketing, design, social media, copy – all comes together seamlessly.
“Once you have your brand’s verbal identity and messaging nailed, everything – be it marketing, design, social media, copy – all comes together seamlessly.”
A lot of our audience weren’t yet ready to engage in a brand strategist or copywriter. So, the Podcast was an avenue for us to not only humanise our brand, but also share our knowledge and help our audience on a bigger scale.
What’s the key to creating a great podcast?
Know why you’re doing it first, and ensure it’s how your audience wants to consume your content. Because, it does take a bit of time – recording, editing, producing, coming up with content ideas. And it won’t produce any “immediate” results. To me, podcasting is about impact.
How are you and your brands changing the Instagram status quo?
@anitaonchi is about life beyond the bread and butter. Whereas @wordfetti and @brandfetti hone into everything: branding, copywriting, content marketing and consumer psychology. In saying this though, there are a number of elements that bind the brands together: creativity, curiosity, a dash of fun and being human.
In terms of how we (along with a lot of other creators and influencers today) are redefining the perception, I would say honesty and authenticity.
“It’s no longer all about a perfectly curated Instagram feed. Or conveying rainbows and unicorns all day every day. It’s about being transparent. Real. Human. Conveying content that is true to ourselves.”
It’s no longer all about a perfectly curated Instagram feed. Or conveying rainbows and unicorns all day every day. It’s about being transparent. Real. Human. Conveying content that is true to ourselves. And using the content channels we are on as a medium to spread ideas. Trigger a different way of thinking. Or inspire good, meaningful action.
A founder, a podcaster, an influencer, a creative, a traveller, a foodie, a writer – what’s your advice for juggling so many creative projects?
I don’t see it as juggling! I see it as being able to stretch and flex my creative juices everyday in different ways. It makes every day exciting. In saying this though, I think as creatives it is important for us to recharge as well. So for a full day each weekend, I like to do non-creative tasks to let the creative juice rest and recharge.
I’m talkin’ washing, taking the doggos out for a walk, maybe a dash of trashy reality TV, a little bit of cleaning – you know, the works.
What’s the biggest learning you’ve had from Instagram?
I would say the biggest learning would be the fact that Instagram shouldn’t replace in-human connection. As humans, we are wired for connection. So it’s important to see Instagram as a medium to compliment this, as opposed to it being a platform that replaces human-to-human interaction.
“As humans, we are wired for connection. So it’s important to see Instagram as a medium to compliment this, as opposed to it being a platform that replaces human-to-human interaction.”
We have to move our online Instagram relationship offline off the platform too. I guess that’s my advice: to remember that Instagram should be used to strengthen relationships, not to replace human connection.
What’s your fave Instagram feature?
Bookmark. Definitely. I give that damn feature a good run for its money. I bookmark the HECK out of everything from good-lookin’ yet easy peasy recipes (ironic I know – just cause I like to eat doesn’t mean I’m the best cook!), cute doggos, to #inspo quotes, and oh yeah… more doggos.
What’s your favourite Instagram feature for marketing your business and brand?
I would have to say voice notes on Instagram DM’s.
It’s 100% underrated but personally I see it as so, so valuable. I feel like as we live in the digital world, we’re all getting so comfortable hiding behind a screen, typing or double tapping that we forget that the value of human-to-human connection.
Of hearing someone’s voice, tone, and emotion through voice, instead of just text.
I’d definitely highly encourage any business, be it service or e-commerce based, to take a moment to see how they can go that extra mile and perhaps leave a voice note to some of their most valued and engaged audiences.
What challenges have you faced as a woman in business and the creative industries?
I feel like I’ve hit the trifecta. I’m a woman in business, a woman of colour (Asian) and also a corporate square-peg diving into a completely different industry.
Although there are no doubt challenges that come with all the above, I feel like there has been big pluses. For example, starting a brand in an industry where I actually knew no one meant I started with a blank canvas. I didn’t know my competition and I didn’t look at them.
What’s your advice for other women wanting to start their own business or grow their brand with Instagram?
Stay consistent. I think when I first started Wordfetti on Instagram, it took a good 5-6 months of creating content almost everyday for us to really start building our audience.
With so many brands and businesses out there today, it’s going to take time for your audience to see who you are, what you do, and, why you? BUT. If you stay consistent and show up, your audience and your community will start to build.
What’s next for you and Wordfetti?!
I think a big word for us for the next 12 months is “Catapult”. Catapult in the work we deliver. Catapult in our systems and processes. And catapult in our impact. I think in the next year our goal will be to see how we can bring everything together in a delicious confetti squared concoction and see how we can help, inspire and impact as many brands as we can.