Jack Oughton

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Meet your mentor!

Jack is the lonely life force inhabiting the body of a white male in his late 20s. A musician, writer and digital artist from the UK - he edits a food and drink website at tastingbritain.co.uk, keeps an esoteric personal blog at kkva.blog, and is on musical hiatus, previously releasing music and designing sounds under the alias of Xij.


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Q&A with Jack

+ Who are you?

I'm Jack. Who are you?

+ What's your current job?

I'm a copywriter, journalist and communications specialist.

When I say 'communications', I refer to two things:

-Visual communication - your brand, the feeling you aim to create in your listeners - the way you describe yourself with images and words

-Strategic communication - the people you reach out to (audience, influencers, industry etc.), and the way that you reach out to them (the medium you choose, the words you use etc.).

+ What do you specialise in?

I currently specialise in early to mid stage tech clients because there's lots of fun, breakthrough stuff happening there right now. As a journalist, I cover a mix of food and drink, consumer tech and pop culture. On the rare occasion, I also find work as a photographer, shooting portraits and events.

Like you, I'm a musician. I studied music production and practised sound design - creating VST/AU presets and audio sample packs. Releasing a strange combination of tracks with zero continuity between genres, I built up a modest following, but left them hanging when I went into hiatus because I wanted to pursue journalism (…not a process I handled very well).

I have a YouTube partnership - with content mainly linked to my music and sound design, but again - that's been on hiatus for a few years. I have also busked and played in various bands since the early 2000s, and taught music.

Put another way, I can help you approach communications and media from the musician's perspective.

+ What's your experience?

I have been in this industry since about 2007. I started out in ecommerce; blackhat SEO and things that make a writer question what he is doing with his talents. Soon after I got my first journalistic job at FHM, which later opened many doors, including the opportunity to write about music for various people and publications - and then review books and restaurants, something I'd wanted to do for a long time.

Sometime after that, I was given the opportunity to move into copywriting - this got me deeply involved with the use of content for marketing, branding and communications.

Since then, and being freelance for most of my career, I've worked with everyone from multibillion dollar blue chips, to tiny sole traders (…the sole traders are usually more fun). And yes, I have worked with a few musicians, including Tommy Darker, before he launched Whiise.

+ What are your greatest achievements?

To paraphrase Emerson "to have laughed often and much".

What can you share your experience on? I What can you help with?

-The way you brand yourself and your music. That is to say, the way you describe yourself, your vision and your work (in words and images).

-The way you go about communicating this brand with your audience, and the ways you go about finding and approaching your audience.

-Where to find press/bloggers/influencers. What they are like, what they are looking for - and what you might expect from them. How to cultivate them, instead of annoy them.

+ Perhaps suggest some questions mentee's can ask you!

-How can I get clear on who I am as a musician, and what my message is? And then how do I present that image to the world? Put another way, what should I be communicating to my audience and am I communicating this?

-What words, images and style can I use to better convey my message and get people interested in me?

-How do I get people to join my mailing list? How do I get people to read my emails and messaging?

-Where do I find press and bloggers? How do I get them to write about me?

-How do I actually set up my lead capture and mailing list? What can I do with it? What should I do with it? How can I use this list to motivate my fans to do what I want them to?

-What kind of approaches and messaging can I use for unusual cases - such as album campaigns, individual shows, tours (etc.).