I’m lucky enough to meet a lot of inspirational business people who are doing cool stuff!
You’ve probably heard of Perth Happenings. You either follow their Instagram, or have looked for stuff to do on their site – maybe even advertised your event there! But do you know the lovely face behind the brand?
Let’s get to know Pieta Sharpe a bit better, and in the process we’ll find out how Perth Happenings was born!
Tell us a bit about yourself and Perth Happenings!
I’m Pieta, 37 year old solo Mum of two sensational young men. I’m passionate about community building, people in general and creating a beautiful life for my family and those around me. I have spent way too much money at uni, am on the board of my old high school and I’m an ambassador for Youth Focus which I am so proud of.
Perth Happenings was created when we saw a gap in the ‘market’ per se. There are so many large scale event websites and social media that don’t really create a space or give any air time to smaller, local community events.
When building Perth Happenings we felt it was important to develop community pages to create that point of difference.
So we have 8 – North, south, east, west, central, freo, hills and out of town. You can head to that local community page and see events in the area, local blogs, local businesses and really get a feel for what is in your community or conversely try a NEW community.
Perth is very spread out and we tend to stay in our comfort zones and not travel out of our space. Having community pages means that if you feel like a weekend in the Hills and you live in Freo you can check it out and plan ahead.
We offer free online listings to almost any event in Perth and will often select random community events to provide free promotion and upgrades to. We also offer 50% off silver and gold packages to Not for Profit and local community organisations.
We will never be focussed on the large scale events and the multinational organisations and that means we won’t attract the bigger bucks but that is a-ok for us. Our audience are supportive of our dream of building an online community to keep the people of Perth engaged with each other and we showcase many events that others really don’t!
We have a TV show in the pipeline too so keep your eyes out for that!
Tell us about your journey, how did you get to this point?
I have a background in psychology, education and community services alongside currently completing my Master of Marketing and Innovation. All of my education is based on people – learning about them, engaging with them – I just love people.
Motivating and inspiring them and just helping us to be the best humans in the best society that we possibly can!
I feel Perth Happenings has allowed me to develop a platform to make a difference and I am looking forward to developing that.
What music/song have you got on high rotation right now?
I went to Falls Festival as a reviewer (terrible aspect of my business!) and I absolutely fell in love with Glass Animals and fell back in love with Peking Duck.
The two songs I don’t seem to be sick of are Life Itself (Glass Animals) and Let you down (Peking Duck).
I think I play them seven to ten times a day.
How do you stay motivated?
This may sound cliché but knowing my 13 and 10 year old sons are watching and learning from me at all times keeps me motivated. I want to show them you can achieve any dream you can think up be it in business, health or fitness either with a partner or be ok on your own.
I regularly go to F45 sessions and hope the dream of doing burpees and unassisted pullups is a reality soon too!
What/who inspires you?
Besides my boys, my group of friends inspires me every day. They are just some of the most amazing people you could meet.
Additionally, knowing that as an ambassador for Youth Focus, I may inspire and motivate a young person one day – that keeps me focussed on the prize.
If I can use my story to help others believe in themselves then there is no greater reason to do what I do.
How do you deal with impostor syndrome?
It’s a funny one this imposter syndrome theory.
I think with regards to Perth Happenings I don’t really have it. I have worked super hard to strategize and get to where we are. I have put in lots of love and time and am proud of my achievements. I think often we see those who say – yep I deserve this and I AM awesome as being conceited, so I wonder if we all actually do it because we feel we should or because we’re afraid of the ramifications of praising ourselves.
What’s your favorite place/way to relax?
I love the beach. I adore just sitting there or walking and collecting shells.
I also enjoy music – listening, dancing, singing very badly, and yoga, F45 – plus I love just talking and engaging with my boys. It is simple but true.
If you hadn’t started your business what do you think you’d be doing right now?
Still working in Not for Profit organisations wondering how I can make more of a difference and be a little frustrated.
What’s been your most successful Social Media platform for your business? Do you think you’d be in the same place if it wasn’t for Social Media?
We are an online business so digital marketing strategy and social media are paramount for us. One important component of building the business has been that I have been very true to my audience.
Starting Perth Happenings our growth was slow because community isn’t as sexy as big bands and fancy restaurants. However once we got the momentum we’ve had a steady climb.
Constant reviewing and making changes has resulted in lowering our bounce rate of our website by providing more blogs and other events on the pages.
I altered our strategy in October and have seen a 72% increase in website traffic to date since November which I am of course VERY proud of.
I researched into my secondary market (24-34 year old women) and looked at what we could offer on our Facebook that would attract them and encourage engagement.
Knowing your audience is key!
Have you hit any huge problems that made you re-think your whole career? How did you get around it? What was your approach to solving the issue?
I rethought my whole career when working with underprivileged children and realising how under resourced and often poorly funded not for profit community groups are.
I couldn’t handle working with these kids and seeing that really what they, and their families needed was community engagement and feeling they were a part of something. Bigger picture, I am hoping to provide an online community as a conduit to that feeling real life connection.
What is the hardest thing about your work?
Relationship building. We have struggled to get the local councils on board with what we are trying to do which is frustrating and challenging considering they are the perfect partner for collaboration.
Finding the right people with the same vision is harder that I anticipated from a corporate level.
Otherwise it would be all the movie premieres and concerts I get to go to… tough!
How do you manage it all with such a busy schedule?
That is something I am working on!
I am focusing this year on quality. I want quality relationships with businesses and people I can trust and WANT to work with. I say yes to much too much and need to reign that in.
What’s next for you?
The Perth Happenings Youtube channel development and the Perth Happenings TV show.
Both coming soon to a screen near you!
How do we find and follow your cool story?