Five Minute Focus On: Aidan Coughlan, Far From Avocados
Tell us about Far From Avocados (FFA)
We’re calling ourselves a creative content marketing agency, which is a term we completely invented – but sums up what we do quite nicely! I’m a former journalist, and my partner and co-founder Amy is a marketer, so we combine those two things to create brilliant content for brands – blogs and videos and podcasts that audiences will genuinely love. The focus is on creating value all the time; we give back to the audience, instead of pushing brand messages in their faces. Brands have been doing that for far too long, and consumers are highly resistant to it at this point. The only solution, as far as we see it, is to give them something they’ll actually want to read, watch and share – rather than tricking them into doing so!
What’s your role in FFA?
I’m the founder and MD! My day-to-day job involves pretty much everything from developing new business to editing blog posts, working with freelancers, and educating people in the business about content marketing and the insanely positive effect it can have for them.
Tell us something about FFA we might not know
Not only are Amy and I the founders of a new business, but we’re also parents of four-month-old baby Arthur! Now let’s be honest, he’s probably going to oust me from FFA in a boardroom heist in about 30 years’ time, but hey – right now, he’s the driving force behind everything we do, and the best thing in our world!
What’s next for FFA?
Well we’ve signed on some really interesting clients in our first month of operations, which is a tremendous start – and so, we’re currently looking to make our first full-time hire in order to help us keep up with the workload. If you think you know someone suitable, here’s the link!
What is the meaning behind the name, Far From Avocados?
Whenever someone in Ireland gets ideas ‘above their station’, or breaks from tradition in some way – such as eating fancy foods – they’re swiftly brought back to earth by being told: “‘Tis far from avocados you were reared!” In my last role, I was group editor of the Lovin Group, which publishes Lovin Dublin – so I lost count of the number of times I had those words directed at me! Between that, and the fact that we pride ourselves on doing things differently and breaking from tradition, it seemed a perfect fit!
What do you like about being a Glandore Member?
I’m relatively new, but the initial and immediate impact it’s had has been tremendous – I enjoy being around like-minded people, in an environment where wellness is prioritised. And I love the city-centre location – right across the road from my gym, FFS, meaning I’ve no excuses to slack off!
When the sun is shining in Ireland, what is your favourite thing to do?
Nothing beats a walk in Marlay Park with Amy and Arthur – we live right beside it, and if we wake up and the sun is shining, we’ll always get a stroll and a coffee in before I head into the office!
What do you think is the future of work?
For the first time ever, the eight-hour working day is up for debate – and I think that’s a great thing, as we’re finally starting to measure jobs on output and not hours worked. Personally, I’m working five-hour days at the moment on the basis that I’ll always be replying to emails and taking calls in the evening. That may sound absolutely insane to some people, and it goes against what you normally read about the startup ‘grind’… but I honestly get more done in those five hours than I would in eight, and I keep my motivation high at all times. I’m not saying it will work for everyone, or it will always be sustainable even for me. But it’s a break from the traditional, one-size-fits-all approach that forces people to spend as much time procrastinating as they do working at their best and creating true value. We’ve talked about work-life balance for a long time… but now, we’re really starting to put some of those thoughts into action.
Finally, Friday nights in or Friday nights out?
Well, considering we have Arthur at home, so I’ll let you guess the answer to this one! Mind you, I’ll never say no to a quick drink outside The Barge on a sunny Friday evening.