An interview with Australian Fashion Blogger founder Skye Giles for moregoldcoast.com: How did you stumble into presenting, blogging and vlogging? Since being elected as Deputy Junior Mayor of the Gold Coast Junior City Council in 2010, I’ve been passionate about leadership and public speaking. Earlier this year, I was selected as a presenter for Ocean Road TV, an accompaniment to the award-winning Ocean Road Magazine. Covering high-end locally focused events, featuring stories of local people, places and lifestyle; I thought it would be insane to keep these awesome experiences to myself. As I got so much out of meeting inspiring people and attending events I was sure others would enjoy this journey and began blogging and vlogging adventure! www.youtube.com/1PortiaLarge
How does the Gold Coast align with your lifestyle?
I feel so fortunate and proud to live on the coast. It’s been brilliant to witness this haven develop over the years. Natural beauty, practical new infrastructure and quality facilities make our home a tourism hub and the Gold Coast what is, in my opinion, one of the most desirable living locations on the planet. We are blessed to live this constantly evolving, safe community. What’s not to love? Next year I hope to team up with my camera crew, Flight Centre Australia, Gold Coast Tourism and Tourism Queensland to reveal our great states hidden gems and the unique experiences on offer.
Why do you think people take such an interest in your content?
I’m not afraid to reveal my soul and life passions online. This world is so guarded and fearful; I believe people who follow my journey appreciate my raw and honest energy. I’ve received a lot of feedback which suggests my content inspires others to venture beyond their comfort zone. My favourite follower feedback is: “My #WCW is @portialarge because she is such an inspirational fitness role model and adventurer! She is also a self-made entrepreneur and an inspiration for successful women, and her hair is perfect” – @madsters8. If I can bring a smile to another’s face, inspire action or positivity I feel I’ve found my life’s purpose.
Explain a typical day in the life?
Wake up, look out the window to check the surf while sipping on green tea, surf, practice yoga or run along the beach depending on the conditions (if the surf is good I may not do anything else that day). Then I usually hit the books and study, review my to-do list (I’m notorious for making lists), read, research, eat, sleep and repeat. I spend time online researching local events on the horizon, interesting people and topics which I feel are of interest to my viewers.
Considering you cover many different Gold Coast Events, what is your absolute favorite annual event here?
As a presenter I’ve been lucky enough to cover events such as the BMW Bruce Lynton Charity Ball, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Brisbane, Broadbeach Blues Festival, Neon Run and the International Boat Show to name a few. International presenting opportunities have also become available as I ventured overseas to cover holiday destinations and fitness retreats such as Active Escapes. My favourite annual event would have to be the Bruce Lynton Charity Ball! Frosted with delicate decorations, the RACV Royal Pines Resort was transformed into a winter wonderland. Glamorous guests gathered for a night of entertainment and to raise much needed funds for local charity. Live music, fireworks, a silent auction and bumper car rides were among the evening entertainment highlights! Meeting the passionate volunteers who made the event such a fantastic success was wonderful. I was overwhelmed by the generous donations, fantastic sense of community spirit and look forward to attending next year.
How do you balance study and presenting?
At times, presenting clashes with my events calendar so I do my best to ensure I’m prepared for my University assessment and have always prioritised my education above all else. I know there is always room for improvement in time management. It’s a goal of mine to be exceptional at balancing commitments and maximising my time.
Congratulations your Gold Coast Women in Business success! How did you become nominated for this?
I was absolutely delighted to learn my employer Rohan Parnell, nominated me for the ‘Aspiring Young Business Women’s Award’. Here is a quote from his nomination: “Whilst producing an online election campaign for Steven Ciobo, Federal Member for Moncrieff on the Gold Coast, I called upon Portia’s assistance to scout youth for the footage. Within hours Portia had taken the initiative to prepare a portfolio of suitable applicants detailed with their experience, professional images and contact details. Recognising her efficiency, dedication and flair for the industry I suggested she establish her own talent scouting agency. Portia’s business, I C TV, now serves an impressive client base, including Southern Cross Austereo and continues to expand its services. With a thirst for knowledge, excellent work ethics and deep determination to succeed, there is no doubt in my mind that Portia will conquer any goal she sets her mind to. Diving into the deep end Portia has proven herself as a successful young woman in business, welcoming new experiences, challenges and business lessons with grace and poise.” – Rohan Parnell Senior Producer at Southern Cross Austereo.
At what point did you realize that that presenting was something you wanted to develop into a career?
I’m not afraid to chat with anyone and from a young age I’ve known networking, uniting and recognising passionate people would be driving forces in determining which career path I choose. For me, my desires to present became most apparent when working casually as a Production Assistant at Southern Cross Austereo. Exposed to such an industry of power-house personalities, I was overwhelmed and inspired to continue to better myself and push my own limits in presenting.
What makes living in Queensland so special?
There’s no place like it. Growing up sailing the Whitsundays islands with my family, it was inevitable I’d have a lifelong love for Queensland. Our Great Barrier Reef, stunning native wildlife, lush rainforests, spectacular out back attractions and world class surf breaks of the Gold Coast mean there really is something for everyone here. No wonder so many travellers have the Gold Coast on their bucket list!
What makes your content so unique compared to others?
My content is diverse. I’ve thought about it and although I’d like to be targeted in my messages and themes, I don’t really fit one category. As a presenter I enjoy attending different events and chatting to people from all walks of life which is really communicated in my content. My viewers are primarily located in the USA, Australia, the UK & Canada; aged between 18-35 years. Their interests include luxury experiences, events, dining, tourism, adventure travel, surfing, fitness, culture, fashion and lifestyle.
If you had any advice for women looking to start a career as a presenter or vlogger, what would you tell them?
Your overnight success story is always a result of everything you’ve done in your life until that moment. It won’t happen overnight. However, you’ll face setbacks, negativity and performance gaps. My advice would be enjoy the journey and be patience. Often I learn simply from observing others. Some may be completely unaware I’m learning from them, yet I bow in gratitude. To other women looking for a career in presenting or vlogging, observe others, select role models but keep your own goals close to your heart. If you lack a skill necessary to your success, apply yourself until this performance gap is one of your greatest qualities. Most importantly, don’t lose sight of your own unique character. Keep your content tasteful and remember every post contributes to your online footprint.
What content is most popular on your Instagram feed?
Whether it be immersed in nature, exploring or trying something new; posts which capture me ticking an experience off my bucket list certainly generate a buzz!
How to you keep your readers engaged?
Studying social media marketing at University has been fantastic for my blogging and website development skills. I love applying some of the human behaviour studies I learn and testing them to strengthen the brands I represent and my own personal brand. Working in such a social, events based industry ensures my content is relevant and engaging.
Do you think the blogging/vlogging epidemic is catching traction here in Queensland?
Absolutely! Many well-known influencers are based in Queensland, and in particular on the Gold Coast. Today social media sharing application, Instagram, plays a significant role in shaping the success of blogging and vlogging content. Last month Queenslanders were invited to be a part of the world’s largest ‘Instameet’, a landmark social media event to capture thousands of Queensland destinations from different perspectives #thisisQueensland! This event united a diverse mix of people to collectively sell our tourism assets to the world!