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Over the last 20 years Jason has been an accomplished tradesperson – firstly as a Mechanical Plumber, a Mechanical Fitter and then as a Diesel Fitter in hard rock and coal mines. However, during this time he was also able to indulge his hobby in social media strategies and website development.
Now, as the creator of the initial concept and co-founder of MiningLink, this ‘hobby’ is now his major focus. Through Mining Link, Jason is leading the design and creation of Australia’s largest and most comprehensive mining and resources portal. He is currently involved with the development of Mining Link’s premier product – a semi social, profile-based talent acquisition and management software for high compliance industries.
After previously spending time in physically demanding roles in the mining industry, Jason’s new hobby of stand up paddle boarding ensures that he keeps in shape and mentally healthy while sitting in the big chair all day – and is an awesome way to spend an hour in the middle of a usually hectic day to get out of the office and find some clarity.
Tell us a little bit about your idea and what made you decide to take the plunge and make it happen?
MiningLink started out as a bunch of ideas and a business directory for the resources industry. However, as we pivoted and evolved we narrowed our service offerings down to a Business Directory, Jobs Boards, News and Compliance Tools.
We have now grown our audience to an average of half a million website visitors a month, and a weekly average social reach of several million people. And while the mining and resources sector has been our initial playground, we will be following on to Civil, Construction, Plant, Health, Aviation and Aged care; some of these we are already emerging in slowly.
Can you explain your business model?
At this stage we make money through banner advertising and business listings in the directory and jobs boards. In the longer term there will also be freemium SaaS options.
What are you working on right now and what are you most excited about in the next year?
Software that will change the face of high compliance industries.
How do you make ideas happen?
I am told I am dogmatic, and I wear that badge with pride…. I am also one that ‘does’, rather than saying ‘I’m going to’ or ‘I hope to’.
What does your typical day look like?
- 5am – brekky over emails.
- check site and stats.
- reply to emails and do a little web development or maintenance.
- sneak out for an am hour or so on the SUP (stand up paddle board).
- regular work day hours, which consist of sales, CEO functions, fundraising, guiding staff and liaising with stakeholders, meetings and networking events.
- in the evenings it is back to web development and/or catch up on correspondence.
What challenges have you faced when starting or growing a business/organisation in Australia?
Lack of assistance! Everyone wants to know what you are doing, there are a lot of tyre kickers out there in the mentor space. For me, it has ended up being a case of a lot of trial and error and there has been some expensive lessons.
What is one idea you are willing to give away for free?
Do a lot of your own due diligence on suggestions that are offered. There are a lot of good people out there that are sharing good info, but there is equally a lot of people who think that they know more than they do!
What people/companies/organisations do you think are doing really cool stuff in your industry, in Australia at the moment?
Oh well, that’s very easy – We are !!!! – jobs, news, info and help with plant and profiles coming soon. Check out what over half a million people a month see at mininglink.com.au.
What about internationally?
There are too many cool projects to narrow down to one. There are so many apps that I use, and SaaS is the way of the future…
What role do you think business can play in affecting social change?
Since the internet is now so engrained into our lives, and business controls most of the internet, I would say very much. It is important as a business that as we move forward we consider not just the commercial outcomes, but also the the social consequences.
Speaking of affecting social change, is there a particular charity you’d like our readers to support?
We recently lost a family friend to cystic fibrosis so I would really like people to support Cystic Fibrosis Australia.
Are there opportunities for people to get involved with your idea (e.g. are you looking for funding, interns, marketing help)?
Yeah for sure, we are currently in our 3rd of 4 rounds of funding, and we are looking for further investors. Feel free to get in touch for more info.
We’re aiming to build a community of Australian idea makers helping each other. If you could have one question answered about startups, marketing, social media, accounting, monetisation, product development etc. What would it be?
How do you find a good mentor?
Finding a mentor is tough, what are the magic ways to find them? I would be pleased to know that other people could also read about successfully finding mentors.
What’s your favourite bar/café/restaurant?
I like to share the experiences and so I don’t usually go to the same place all the time. My exception is the Zarraffa’s drive thru.