Having grown up on a farm, Lavinia Wehr noticed people in agriculture weren't the most social media-savvy.
She had found her niche.
Ms Wehr was 22 when she started AGSOCIAL, a social media and PR agency specialising in agricultural businesses.
Since its inception in 2018 the agency has helped many A-list clients, such as Lawson Grains, GrainGrowers Australia, Primary Sales Australia and Western Ag.
"Starting a business at 22 is very lonely, especially in this space of digital marketing and agriculture," Ms Wehr said.
"We are the only company that has combined the two on this scale, so there weren't many people I could look up to and ask for support from because no one walked this path before."
Ms Wehr, now 27, grew up on a farm outside of Esperance, WA, and started her journey from her apartment by cold-emailing agriculture businesses she found on field day programs.
"For every 100 people I emailed I'd get maybe two responses, but it was a start," Ms Wehr said.
"The beginning was tough and there were times I wanted to quit.
"I was two years in, my mental health was terrible, I was in a bad space and I applied for a job.
"But a month later, I landed a great client and that gave me the confidence to go, 'You know what, keep going, you've got this'."
We are agricultural women and most of our team have actual lived experiences.- Lavinia Wehr, 27, founder of AGSOCIAL
One challenge she faced early on was convincing farmers they needed a presence on social media.
"Everyone was still looking at traditional media and thinking that was the only way they could get in front of their audiences," Ms Wehr said.
"Then, over the last 18 months since COVID hit, social media has become more relevant than ever for agricultural businesses to get information and awareness out to growers and farmers nationwide.
"So since the pandemic, the business has grown from strength to strength."
Farming in the digital age
Before the internet and PR agencies like AGSOCIAL, rural businesses could only reach customers in their immediate area, Melbourne Business School's Centre for Business Analytics director, Yalcin Akcay, said.
"Now these regional entrepreneurs can access a much broader audience through the internet, so now that hurdle is almost eliminated," Mr Akcay said.
"Also, if you needed some specific skills or talent that may not be available in your region, that was a huge limitation for you in the past.
"But now, say you are in regional Victoria operating a small business, you might employ people in India, Europe or China to do certain things because there are lots of platforms where you can acquire talent very easily.
"This is a huge hurdle removed from those businesses."
A unique perspective
Ms Wehr said her agriculture background and that of her employees give AGSOCIAL an edge over other PR agencies.
"We are agricultural women and most of our team have actual lived experiences," she said.
"We are farmers; we have been on farms our entire life and are amongst the industry daily, providing the best content for our clients.
"We are agricultural professionals as much as we are communications professionals, and that gives us a unique perspective."
Expansion is front of mind for Ms Wehr as she looks to recruit more staff to meet the impending demand.
"I'd love to see the business grow and take a step forward into the future of digital marketing," she said.
"The way I see it, the sky's the limit."
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