Creating a positive online media presence as a startup brand or entrepreneur can be difficult. As a seasoned digital marketer, Emmelie De La Cruz teaches entrepreneurs how to successfully brand themselves and their businesses for greater success. Known for her 30-day challenges that show aspirants how to grow businesses and brands, she created and published a top selling resource Make Yourself Marketable to help individuals better market themselves for success. As people transition from traditional corporate America jobs, it’s important to strategize methods to capture consumers and build a following.
How did you become skilled in online digital branding?
It’s what I do full time. I developed my skill set in Corporate America and through experience in the online space over the last 7 years.
What tips would you offer new or seasoned entrepreneurs when it comes to captivating their target audiences?
Your target audience chooses you. You don’t choose it. What does that mean? We often try to decide on our target market in this business plan that we develop. What we forget is that we need to love the people that love us. For example, I tried for a long time to help job seekers develop their brands. I created products and wrote blog posts but they just didn’t come. My business didn’t become profitable until I started created the products that my audience needed and not the ones that I wanted to create.
What is one thing you wish all entrepreneurs knew before they got started?
Your website needs to be as functional as it is beautiful. Does your website capture leads, does it drive conversions, does it lead to sales or does it just look cute? Your website needs to have more components than visual appeal.
What are your personal top three branding and marketing strategies that you use to generate income for your business?
Package your expertise. Every piece of your online presence and offline interactions is part of your personal brand. Don’t neglect one or the other. That’s why I wrote “Make Yourself Marketable,” because people forget about all of the places that you are marketing yourself outside of Instagram. You are always promoting yourself even if not deliberately. Your LinkedIn, your outfit, the way you compose emails, every part of you that people experience is your brand.
Market your expertise not what you’ve learned. Too many people out here building brands on the expertise of other people. I am an expert in the thing that I do full-time: digital and content marketing. I’m not teaching people things that I’ve learned from someone else’s course or that I read on the internet. I teach what I do and what I’ve done.
Don’t sacrifice authenticity for appropriateness. Trying to be appropriate and what you think people want to see causes you to deliver a watered down version of who you are. Don’t censor yourself for the sake of appealing to people. Be who you are at home, with your friends, your family and significant other. Your personality should shine through every post and every interaction. That way, you can attract the right people to your brand.
Originally published here on rollingout.com December 2016