Emily was working an 8-6 job in New York, dreaming of starting her own business and breaking free. Sounds familiar? While some are still in the “dreaming” phase, Emily Ryan did it. She moved to Lake Tahoe and first became a virtual assistant. Later, she started using her marketing skills to help other companies thrive. Emily now runs a business revolving around her passions: email and social media marketing, and website design. Get to know her better in this interview where we talked about all things digital marketing!
What was the one thing that determined you to start your own business? Many people would like do to that, but what was it that pushed you in the water?
I had worked in NYC in an office for many years and hated it. My dream was to work for myself, from home (and by myself!).
When I relocated out West to Lake Tahoe, I couldn’t imagine going back to work in some office. So I HAD to find a way to make money from home. There was no other option. I’ve always believed that if you have NO other choice, you will make it happen. So I hustled hard the first year to find clients. A friend of mine suggested I become a virtual assistant, so that’s how I started!
What tips would you share with people just starting their own business?
You must tell everyone you know what you’re up to. Send out a mass email to everyone you know. Post it on FB. Let people know.
My biggest client, in the beginning, was an old friend from high school, who now owned a big company. You never know who knows who. Market yourself… don’t be scared. I posted ONE post in a FB group and that’s how I got my first client. And make sure to join some business Facebook groups. They’ve been huge for me.
What fascinates you about marketing?
Results. Data. I love sending an email campaign and then seeing the numbers. I love seeing how much revenue can come in from a single email. It’s mind-blowing at times. And I love how it connects us all, social media and email.
How do you see email marketing evolving in, let’s say, five years?
Great question. There is so much innovation in the email world. From interactive content, to personalization to AUTOMATION. Everything will be automated someday.
How aware do you think marketers are about email validation?
I don’t think many people are aware and I think it’s super important. I know I’d personally love to focus on it more and so would my clients!
What is the first thing you tell someone who wants to boost their social media marketing performance?
QUALITY over quantity, always. It’s more important to post great quality content than posting every day because you have to. Images are SO, SO important. But so is your brand. Stick to your brand as much as you can. You want people to know exactly what they will get when the come to your profile.
What’s the part of your job you enjoy the most?
I love teaching people. I love teaching clients how to use various platforms, how to increase their open and click rates, how to make a great subject line, how to do Instagram Stories, etc. I love to teach someone something and they say “wow, I had no idea.” That is my fave.
And also, knowing that I am making income working from home, designing fun emails and doing social media. And working with awesome clients. That’s my favorite part of all of this.
How do you manage to set boundaries between work and your personal life?
It’s HARD. I have an office in my house. I close the doors to it so I can’t hear my kids with the babysitter. I play music and I don’t let myself leave my office from 8am – 12pm. Unless to get coffee. But laundry and dishes are always calling. It’s not easy. I also always try to physically shut my laptop after 5pm.
What do you most like to do when you aren’t working?
I love being with my kids and family more than anything, traveling, running, great coffee and Instagramming!
How can a Panda bear market itself?
Your favorite social media platform: Instagram
Most useful digital marketing management tool you know: MailChimp
Biggest social media no-no for brands: Being on too many platforms and trying to do it all! Focus on one or two!
Your favorite image creation tool: Canva
Best tactic to grow an email list: Start doing webinars or a 5-day email challenge! Great way to grow a list.
Most effective way to increase your open rates: Provide useful, fun, interesting content and a great subject line. Great content is always the answer. Don’t email just to email.
How would a panda bear grow its Facebook page? Take a super cute, hilarious photo and post it to the page daily. Then share that via email daily, linking it to the Facebook page. 🙂