Elsa Barnard

Who I am.

A girl from the platteland, a wife to a handyman, a mother of two beautiful girls and a lover of anything marketing and design.

Miaraka Marketing

2018 – today

With my extensive marketing experience, Miaraka Marketing was born in 2018. I started off by focusing mainly on social media marketing as a service, but with my knowledge and ability to as well as having experience about digital marketing, it’s difficult to not get involved with other items if you have a passion for marketing.

What does Miaraka mean? The simultaneous performance of an action to form harmony. Is that what marketing should be like?


2007 – 2018

Sherpa is a brand and communications company who is very strong on brand and internal communications.

When I started at Sherpa I was the only designer and web developer in the company. It enabled me to bring my graphic design, web design, development skills and experience to the table. This also helped in effectively handling bulk mail communications / electronic newsletters / internal communications which I designed, coded and sent out to clients.

Corporate ID and logo designs was also a big part of my job.

Soon I realised that the company needed some form of structure between all the creativeness of a design agency to make sure that billing happens right and on time.

The CEO captivated my potential, appointed me as a director of the company and later I bought in as a shareholder.

As the company grew, and Sherpa was able to employ more designers and developers, who then helped me to focus on another important role of an agency: Studio / Traffic Management.

My role in the company changed over time to include the following steps:
  1. Be client facing and taking the brief;
  2. Putting quotes together;
  3. Briefing studio;
  4. Managing the traffic in studio to make sure the job gets delivered on time and that we stick to a deadline as far as possible;
  5. Client relationship management – being the middleman between studio and the client; and
  6. Financials – billing the client, sending statements, following up on payments.
Digital marketing is a fast changing environment, therefore other tasks included:
  1. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – With understanding how websites are built, it was easy to catch onto the basics of SEO. Implementation, strategy, monthly reporting and recommendations.
  2. Social Media Marketing – I soon realised that there is lots of potential when it comes to social media marketing and management. From putting the strategy together to scheduling, advertising, monthly reporting and recommendations with wonderful results. Sherpa employed more team members to help grow this portfolio.
  3. Email Branding – Rocketseed and Mimecast mainly assist us in this regard.


2005 – 2007

Balltron was a network marketing company with various products offered to get the network actively involved in growing and building their residual income.

At the time I started working at Balltron, their whole design team had left the company, so I was the only creative. I offered support to their software developers covering all design elements needed for their systems.

The in-house software developers developed Balltron’s own bulk mail system, which I used to compose bulk newsletters, communications, invitations and notifications.

Regular events, in a form of a road show throughout South Africa, were held to reward achievers in the network and to inform new comers about Balltron and its product offerings. This also included an annual conference which was spread over a few days. I had to travel to these events to ensure that the presentations were ready for last minute changes and that everything ran smoothly for the duration.

Quite a lot of planning went in preparing for such events, i.e. guests’ name tags, making sure that everything is being packed and couriered to the correct venues, DVD duplications, label design and printing, unpacking at the events, etc.


2003 – 2005

IPIC is a property investment and management company who also offers courses and newsletters to their followers about property investments. At the time I started working there, newsletters were sent out by MS Word merges.

I implemented HTML newsletters, managed the database, did the coding of newsletters, and sent them out. Being the only team member with training in HTML coding, I also developed a couple of websites which hosted articles and newsletters for their blog and simplified the booking of their courses.