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Interview with Iona Bain

by | Jul 2, 2020 | Interviews,

Iona Bain

Iona Bain

Founder of Young Money Blog
Key Topics:Personal finance, Budgeting, Saving, Investing, Pensions, Property, Young Economics, Self-employment, Freelance
Location:London, UK
Bio:

Iona Bain is the founder of Young Money Blog and Britain's go-to voice on millennial money. Iona appears frequently on TV and radio, most recently becoming Radio 1's resident Money Hacker, and writes regularly for the Financial Times. She was named IPSE's Freelancer of the Year in 2018 and was shortlisted for the prestigious Georgina Henry Award at the UK Press Awards in 2020. She is currently writing her second book, Own It, following the success of her first book published in 2016 and will be relaunching Young Money as the definitive post-Corona money site for millennials this year.

How did you get to become an expert in your key topics?

I launched the Young Money Blog a few years after I graduated. It was during the last recession and was clueless about my finances. I didn’t do a degree in economics or finance, but I learned the hard way about money management by attempting to make a living as a musician during a recession! My experiences, which included the theft of a piggybank containing all my earnings, led me to realise there was little information, advice and sympathetic commentary on young personal finance at that time. I decided it was down to me to start a blog, and 9 years later, here I am. I have also worked extensively in the financial media, both as a full-timer and freelancer. My roles have ranged from news reporting and radio production to PR. I spent two years learning about the financial industry from working at the Financial Times at one of their specialist trade publications. I now get to know a lot about money and the financial industry by coming into close contact with various organisations, from debt charities to pension funds. I am also the youngest-ever governor of the Pensions Policy Institute.

What topic areas are you most passionate about?

  • Getting young people to save and invest more
  • Public policy that can help the younger generations manage their money better
  • Financial education
  • Fintech, but strictly consumer-facing and not the really geeky behind-the-scenes stuff

How would you describe your offline influence?

My offline influence is considerable. In normal times I speak at events across the country, ranging from major industry summits and annual conferences to consumer/corporate workshops with clients including Royal Bank of Scotland and Skipton Building Society. My speaking roles include hosting conferences and events, chairing and taking part in panels and making presentations. I started the Young Money Agency in 2016 with my father, the semi-retired business journalist Simon Bain, to offer content to corporate clients and help subsidise the non-profit Young Money Blog. We have provided in-depth guides, blogs, videos/scripts, interviews, thought leadership papers and consultancy to a range of clients, including Baillie Gifford, Moneybox and Schroders, to name just a few. I have undertaken a range of influencer partnerships and media campaigns in recent times with clients including the Post Office, Lloyds Bank and Scottish Investment Trust. I am a regular contributor to the Financial Times and its FT Money podcast, as well as Radio 1’s resident Money Hacker, providing advice to thousands of young people on Sunday evenings. I am also quoted extensively as a millennial money expert in print, online and broadcast media: recent appearances include Vogue, VICE UK and The One Show. I appear regularly on TV and radio, and am arguably the best-known young money expert on the airwaves. Appearances have ranged from Newsnight and Woman’s Hour to BBC News, where I crop up as a talking head on business news items frequently.

If a brand wanted to work with you, which activities would you be most interested in collaborating on?

I can collaborate with brands on all kinds of content, including:

  • video interviews
  • white papers and commissioned research
  • speaking opportunities, as a host, panelist or presenter
  • webinars
  • written content
  • media campaigns, including radio days, press releases and broadcast interviews

What’s your best source of information for getting ahead of a story?

I talk to my readers and peer group regularly, keep in touch with their news sources, scan social media regularly and speak to the financial industry through my contacts to establish what’s going on.

 

Which non-paid activities would you be keen to take part in if the opportunity raised your profile or delivered value to your audience? 

  • Co-Create long form content (blogs, white papers, ebooks, research)
  • Provide a quote for content or news article
  • Share / create a social post
  • Speak at or attend an event
  • Participate in online chat (e.g. Twitter chat, Crowdchat, Google Hangout)
  • Write a product review
  • Participate in online chat (e.g. Twitter chat, Crowdchat, Google Hangout)
  • Create video content

What are your passions outside of work?

I love music, as it was my previous career. I used to be a singer-songwriter who played with various bands and I was in a semi-professional singing group called Independent Musicians Collective until very recently (but had to give it up as I got too busy in my day job!) But I still act as understudy, write arrangements for them and help organise the group. I also play piano and cello. I am a member of the amateur Fulham Symphony Orchestra in my local area. Outside of music, I swim, do yoga, listen to podcasts and read loads. I really enjoy going to see certain films, plays and gigs, and I’ve got a thing for ballet (the last one I saw was The Red Shoes, which I love).

What businesses/organisations are you affiliated to?

I am independent and freelance.

What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?

Email: youngmoneyagency@gmail.com or ring 07761 770 656 and leave a message. Please don’t get in touch with press releases – these contact details are for potential commissions, partnerships or projects only.

 


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