James Watling


Innovative, creative and highly committed media professional with ten years experience in business development and account handling within the publishing sector.

I have a proven track record of conceptualising, developing and launching progressive media brands in both print and digital formats that generate excellent revenue growth and exceed profitability forecasts. I excel in taking innovations and creative solutions to market and derive great satisfaction in exceeding client expectations and driving new business projects.

Key Skills

  • Accomplished account executive with international experience in new business development roles
  • Proven ability in composing and delivering high-impact pitches
  • Creative thinker with analytical, decision-making and problem solving skills
  • Expert negotiator and client handler, with a commitment to building strong business relationships
  • Experience in launching new intellectual properties and media brands
  • High level of expertise in all aspects of media planning, strategy and marketing
  • CEO level in start-up media ventures
  • In-depth understanding of budget setting, operating margins and profit forecasting

Professional Experience

TRACE Agency

Founder & CEO
September 2014 - Present, APAC Region

Founded TRACE Agency as a direct response to clients demanding content driven digital marketing solutions for SEO purposes in the luxury lifestyle, hospitality and wellness markets.

TRACE Agency has since expanded to include over thirty networked technical managers and account directors handling SEO, PPC and CRO accounts on a global scale for some of the most recognised names in the luxury hospitality, lifestyle and wellness sector.

I continue to lead TRACE Agency in the capacity of CEO across the APAC region specialising in strategising for and empowering emerging luxury brands.

New Business Development Consultant

May 2014 - September 2014, Australia & Singapore

Privately commissioned freelance consultant for internationally expanding digital lifestyle publications. Engaged in client-side consultation and content creation on projects spanning multiple territories.

Luxury In Print

Associate Publisher / New Business Development
April 2013 - May 2014, Indonesia

Developed and implemented business strategies that increased brand awareness, market share value and advertising revenue, resulting in an increase in profitability of 55% during my tenure. Constantly drove new business for three international print and online titles - The Yak, KuBan and The Bud - as well as securing increased spend from existing clients.

Diversified business operations into the digital sector for the lead publications whilst leveraging new advertising spend directly into the websites and mobile apps. Published the newest print and digital lifestyle title for the group.

Co-launched the design studio arm of the business and was responsible for coordinating with the creative team on branding and corporate identification work for clients. Successfully pitched campaigns and drove new business for the studio from within the hospitality and consumer product sectors.

FRESH Multimedia

Founder / Managing Director / Publisher
November 2009 - January 2013, Indonesia

Founded and launched the annual luxury print and digital publication threesixtyguides. Oversaw all facets of the start-up media publishing business including branding, business development, client handling, marketing and promotion, talent sourcing, employee management and accounting.

Expanded threesixtyguides’ reach to a global audience by pioneering the title as the first advertising-driven mobile app for high-end visitors to Bali. Generated advertising income that grew on average by a minimum of 45% per annum through an increase in direct sales and the incorporation of new digital revenue streams. threesixtyguides generated one of the largest shares in the audience for the luxury travel market to Bali and established strong client relationships with some of the biggest brand names in international hospitality and lifestyle, including W Hotels, Havaianas, Oakley and Moët Hennessy.

From 2010 onwards, FRESH Multimedia was engaged to produce privately commissioned projects for major international clients (see below). In 2013 the handover sale of the threesixtyguides brand to a private buyer was successfully completed.


July 2006 - July 2009, Indonesia

Led the leading lifestyle title for three years from Staff Writer to Editor-In-Chief. Created and executed a strong online presence for the brand. Commissioned, monitored and developed a higher standard of editorial submissions from contributors to the magazine and its digital platforms. Responsible for online marketing promotions and key partnerships with corporate sponsors, advertisers and associates.

Directly supervised 25 staff members including contributors, sales and marketing division, distribution and the art department. Consistently surpassed monthly advertising revenue targets after repositioning the title and re-launching the brand to appeal to a more affluent readership. Oversaw an annual production budget in excess of USD 500,000.

In addition to leading the flagship title of Indomultimedia, I also relaunched, composed, edited and marketed the 2008 and 2009 Dining Guide series.

Projects & Commissions

Ate Media Pte Ltd

Contributing Editor / Jury Member
March 2008 - January 2012, Singapore

Member of the jury for the selection of restaurants featured in the launch edition of The Miele Guide and subsequent editions. Responsibilities included the editing of shortlist candidates for Indonesia, Singapore and selections for other Asia Pacific regions.

Sarong Inspirations

Associate Publisher / Writer
February 2010 - September 2012, Indonesia

Conceptualised, wrote, edited and consulted on design and marketing of a 300+ page recipe book entitled Sarong Inspirations for a private client. Responsible for securing the financing for the project, planning the revenue streams of the title through distribution agreements and direct sales to an international audience throughout Asia and Australia.

W Hotels Worldwide

Associate Publisher
June 2011 - September 2011 Indonesia

Compiled and edited the official W Retreat & Spa Bali VIP Insider Guide for the premier launch of one of Asia’s top resort properties. Consulted with the in-house design team to compliment the W brand with a bespoke and cutting-edge publication for the corporate W management, property owners and guests.


University Of Brighton

Business & Marketing
September 1999 - May 2001 Brighton, United Kingdom


I’m a professionally trained chef by trade with a passion for travel and media that has enabled me to travel the world. I enjoy a busy social life as well as personal interests in music, film, literature and politics. I enjoy surfing in my spare time and nurture a longstanding passion for all things tech and gadget related.