Q&A with Camille Socquet-Clerc: Marketing Queen turned Impact Entrepreneur & Diversity Ambassador
Camille Socquet-Clerc is one impressive individual indeed. Originally from France, Camille has extensive experience working as a Marketing, Communications and eCommerce Manager within global brands including Michael Hill, Alpha Digital, Mountain Designs and L’Occitane (just to name a few). We can’t help but be in awe of her career.
But in 2019, her career took a new turn. She did that thing that all founders dream (and fear) doing…. Taking the leap and leaving full-time employee life behind her to focus on her passion project, Bloom – an early-stage impact investing platform that helps people invest in cleantech and clean energy projects.
We were thrilled to chat to her about her career journey from Marketing Queen to the Founder of an impact investing startup!
These are incredible professional accolades, but tell us, who is Camille the person?
I was born in the French Alps and spent my childhood skiing and being out in nature. As a result, I love being outdoors! I spend as much time as possible hiking, surfing, swimming… But I also love learning and problem solving, which means my work has always had a lot of meaning to me. I am passionate about my work. And as a person, I guess I am a very sensitive person, who loves to connect with people on a deeper level.
What is something that not many people know about you?
I absolutely love dancing. I am that person that will dance until the music stops.
What are you currently watching/reading/listening to?
I am passionate about impact investing so one of my favourite podcasts is ‘Good Future‘. I am also a fan of Guy Raz (NPR journalist) so I highly recommend ‘How I Built This‘ or ‘Ted Radio Hour‘. I purposefully don’t have Netflix to make sure I spend as little time as possible watching TV, but my guilty pleasure is ‘Adventure Time’ – an American fantasy animated series. It’s incredibly witty and cute and only last 10min per episode – perfect after a long day of work.
Who is your professional inspiration?
I admire other female founders who have done really well in the green-tech field such as Katherine McConnell, Founder & CEO of Brighte. In general, my inspiration comes from entrepreneurs who have been bold in their vision and who are driven by making a positive impact.
What’s on repeat with your work playlist right now?
I don’t work with music – I need deep focus to do my work. In the past I actually suffered in noisy open-plan office environments! However I listen to music everyday when I run in the morning – I love the ‘Discover Weekly’ playlist on Spotify, always new things to discover and energising music to raise my energy levels and motivation.
What’s your most recommended Business/Marketing resource?
I love everything Harvard Business Review (podcast, magazine, website) – because it is nuanced and backed by research most of the time.
I recommend the book ‘Talking to Humans‘ (a practical guide to the qualitative side of customer development) by Frank Rimalovski and Giff Constable. This is one of the best resources I have come across to build my startup. Talking to your customers is so simple YET so few people truly do it. To me this is a skill and resource that should underpins any other business or marketing strategy.
You have built an impressive career for yourself in a range of well known companies. What advice do you have for early-in-career professionals and uni graduates?
My first tip is to never look at your job description as something that is set in stone. Always ask why and always find ways to go above and beyond for the greater success of the business you are working in. This is the best way to learn, progress and be given opportunities.
My second tip is to invest in your development (events, books…) and your relationship with your manager. Make her/his life easy and your learning and development will automatically accelerate. I also intuitively tried to get exposure to new technologies and industries that were experiencing growth (like eCommerce or clean technologies). The more growth exists in an industry, the faster you can potentially evolve in your career.
Finally, give yourself permission to try different things, nothing is permanent, nothing is a failure if you learn. In my first years, I learnt a lot about what I didn’t like and didn’t want to do. And that led me to my dream career. The only way to find your path is to try different roles, company structures and industries (hint: it’s probably very unique to you and not necessarily what you thought you would like when you studied, don’t be afraid to change industries).
How did you start your career in Digital Marketing? How did these opportunities come about?
I started working in Digital Marketing when social media and eCommerce started to become very important for businesses. I did two 6 month internships in France (one in a very well known agency and one for the beauty brand L’Occitane en Provence). Each and every role I got in my career has been through a normal application process OR via talking to people who worked in the company I wanted to work from. I took pride in applying for only a handful of roles, but made sure I sent an outstanding application to get noticed. For one eCommerce role, I created a 50 page business plan to lay out what changes and strategies I would implement if I got the role and it worked.
You are originally from France, how did you find navigating the international market and working in Brisbane?
It was very hard at first. I started from scratch, with a broken english and no connections. I attended every possible event to network and learn and tried to volunteer as much as possible. Luckily, Women in Digital started roughly at the same time I arrived in Brisbane. I attended every event I could and Holly Hunt (née Tattersall) was an incredible support and inspiration to grow my career and establish a network here in Australia.
After building a very impressive career in Digital Marketing & Communications, what inspired you to become a tech Founder and entrepreneur?
In 2018, after reading the heartbreaking UN IPCC report on Climate Change (essentially learning that we only had 10 years left to avoid an irreversible climate disaster), I decided to leave my career in Marketing and eCommerce and put my skills to the service of climate action.
I then joined EnergyLab, Australia’s leading cleantech startup accelerator where I got inspired to create my own company to make an impact. Hours and hours spent amongst clean energy innovators, I learned that we have all the technical solutions to stop climate change at our fingertips…but an enormous climate funding gap is keeping us away from reaching a net-0 carbon economy and a safer future.
Realising the scale and speed at which we needed to act to avoid irreversible damage to our climate, I became passionate about one of the most powerful weapons our generation can use to fight climate change: finance. I quickly realised however that most people don’t have access to climate impact investments so I created Bloom out of the frustration of not being able to invest my own savings into clean energy and cleantech. This is how Bloom, my fintech startup was born.
What advice do you have for younger women in digital?
Raise your ambition and be bold. Keep in mind that fear and doubt never really goes completely away – you just learn to feel it and do it anyway. Another critical advice is to get a mentor (if not several) – it will take you much further than you can imagine.
What is next for you?
Launching our App later this year! For now people can sign up to our waitlist here.
A huge thank you to Camille for sharing her insights and inspirational career story. We are so impressed with all you have achieved throughout your career so far and appreciate your time chatting with us. Be sure to connect with Camille on LinkedIn and check out Bloom!