Kym Illman is an Australian entrepreneur, best-selling author and photographer.
Born in Adelaide, South Australia, Kym is the son of a former state cricketer and small business owner, Brian Illman. His mother Betty was also a successful small business owner so it was no surprise that Kym went into business for himself in his 20s. His passion for finding overlooked opportunities and wowing customers have seen him develop into one of Australia’s best known entrepreneurs.
In his early years, Kym travelled around Australia with roles as a mobile DJ, radio announcer in Darwin and audio engineer at Channel Nine. In 1988 he struck out on his own and founded audio advertising company, Messages On Hold.
Kym’s dedication to customer service and his famous ambush marketing tactics turned Messages On Hold into an international success. With offices in Australia and Singapore, it now services clients in 22 countries.
In 2014, Kym released his book ‘The Future IS Customer Service.’ In 2015, drawing from his decades of customer service experience, Kym founded Canity – an online customer service training platform. Kym channelled his knowledge into engaging, animated micro-learning videos, to provide time-poor business owners with a flexible, affordable way to train their staff.
Today Kym divides his time between his position as Managing Director of The Message Group and his many passions, in particular photography. In 2015, Kym and his wife, Tonya, released African wildlife photography book, ‘Africa On Safari’, with a German-language edition later published by National Geographic.
In 2017, Kym turned his attention to Formula 1 photography. He is one of just a few dozen “permanently accredited” F1 photographers, and is the only Australian. His unique take on covering the sport photographically resulted in him becoming the number 1 F1 photographer on Instagram in just over 16 months.
With engagement rates from 6-11% (2-3% is regarded as good), "likes" averaging more than 5,000 per post and posts reaching up to 800,000 unique individuals a week, Kym continues to add new followers at an astounding rate. No doubt his ability to post exceptional images and interesting captions up to 15 times a day over the four days of an F1 race has been a hit with followers.
A father of two, Kym’s also a devoted community leader, highly regarded for his promotion of WA coastal town, Lancelin. He also runs the popular tourism website, www.lancelin.com.au, and in 2014 he published the photo book, ‘Lancelin: Western Australia’s Coastal Gem’.
Married to: Tonya Illman