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Quick chat with Leigh Livingstone (2023 Summit)

You’ve worked in content and the media for many years. What do you love about what you do?

Storytelling is at the heart of everything I love about what I do. Listening to people tell their stories, and being able to share stories with others, is one of the most wonderful things in this life. It’s all about connection and expanding our own view of the world.

What have been the highlights of your career so far?

There have been many, but interviewing Hugh Jackman will always remain a highlight. He is so personable and generous with his time and I was chuffed that he loved my home office wallpaper (which is a giant purple mural of typewriter keys!) – there’s a reason he’s known as the nicest guy in showbiz. Launching a cinema podcast right before the pandemic hit was a challenge, but also one of the most rewarding things I’ve achieved. It felt like we were doing our part to keep the candle burning for the arts and leading the charge within the burgeoning local podcast industry.

You are a big proponent of accuracy and editing skills – what do you enjoy about this type of work?

How methodical it is. Something within me finds such satisfaction from knocking a magazine or online feature into shape – both technically and visually. There’s a sense of achievement in seeing the neatly laid out, well-written finished product. Being a bit pedantic is a common personality trait among editors – and it’s a good thing!

Storytelling is at the heart of everything I love about what I do. It’s all about connection and expanding our own view of the world.

What skills do you think are the most important for freelancers to acquire?

Endurance is a big one. Being a freelancer is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time to build up a network of clients, get your business off the ground and settle into a routine. Technical skills change all the time, depending on your area of expertise, so being able to keep up with industry standards (through courses, networking events and occasional in-house stints) is also important.

Why do you think the Summit is important for freelancers?

The Summit is a great place to update knowledge and find solidarity with others in the same boat as you. It speaks to my previous answer about staying on top of what’s relevant and, importantly, connecting with fellow freelancers who will motivate and inspire you (or commiserate about how tough it can sometimes be).

The conference theme is all about futureproofing your career. What steps are you taking to futureproof your agency?

Upskilling is the big focus for me this year.

The Summit is a great place to update knowledge and find solidarity with others in the same boat as you… connecting with fellow freelancers who will motivate and inspire you.

What are your thoughts on AI / ChatGPT?

I don’t think the issue is as black and white as it’s being made out to be. AI/ChatGPT is being seen as a threat to jobs, but as with any new technology we need to figure out how it fits. I believe it can be a tool to help writers do their job, not replace them. But there are definite ethical considerations that need to be factored into the equation. It may seem optimistic, but I believe once the dust settles clients will realise that quality beats quantity and a bot can’t connect with their audience like a skilled writer can. 

Do you think the future is exciting for freelancers, and if so, why?

I do! Even more so since we’ve emerged from the last couple of years which forced businesses to see the value in freelancers who can adapt to anything.

AI/ChatGPT is being seen as a threat to jobs, but I believe it can be a tool to help writers do their job, not replace them. Quality beats quantity, and a bot can’t connect with their audience like a skilled writer can.

What are you most looking forward to about the Summit? (a particular speaker / session, meeting colleagues, or drinks on the destroyer!)

I’m so excited to meet colleagues from all corners of the industry, and swap tips and tricks for bettering ourselves and our businesses. I’m also really interested in the panel on escaping the low-pay cycle – we could all do with a bit of confidence in asking for our worth. Drinks on the destroyer don’t sound half bad either!


Leigh will be a panel moderator on day 2 of the Summit. The panel is: The business of freelancing.


Find out more about Leigh Livingstone on her profile page.

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