Emmelie De La Cruz is one of Atlanta’s biggest branding and marketing experts. Centering her business around digital marketing and branding, Emmelie stands out in a sea full of influencers due to her entrepreneurial approach to the business of digital and social media branding.
Aside from knowing how to create content that generates traffic and a following, Emmelie takes her knowledge acquired from her days at Syracuse University to new levels, by teaching others how to make their digital presence profitable.
From speaking engagement to two books on how to brand, plan, and market yourself, Emmelie is becoming one of the biggest names in digital marketing and branding.
Why do you believe branding is so important?
Branding is the magnet of opportunity. It’s the competitive advantage you have in a crowded marketplace. It’s your signature. Without a brand, you’re anonymous, and it’s difficult to attract opportunities when no one knows that you exist. Being clear and consistent around what you can do will always keep you top of mind.
What goes into creating resources for others to learn how to build better brands?
My work in Corporate America, my experiences working one-on-one with clients, and best practices in the field, always inform the resources I create. However, listening to my audience has been by far the best idea generator. I pay attention to the questions I get asked and the comments I see on social media to try to understand the current challenge. From there, I create some sort of step-by-step offering to solve the problem for them.
What are some of the core values of your work?
Authenticity and value. Without these, my work is meaningless to myself and to others. Everything that I do needs to be authentic to who I am and be valuable to those on the receiving end.
How do you seek out clients?
Because I work full-time, my business has moved into a passive income model. By building my personal brand and communicating my expertise through speaking engagements and blogging, clients find me. The bulk of my business comes from speaking, selling books, and doing email challenges, which allow me to focus on creating and my full-time job. The best way to find clients is to be present and relevant in a way that will solve their problem.
What’s the largest project or collaboration you’ve ever done?
I was recently featured in Siempre Mujer, a national Spanish language magazine, where I was featured on a full page which was pretty exciting. I’ve also been able to work with brands like Comcast and Neutrogena, but a page in a magazine was a huge moment for me. I was also blessed to be the Latina brand spokesperson for Pantene at Proctor & Gamble’s Living Fabulosa event in NYC. It was the first time I walked a carpet and got my picture on Getty images. I was too hype for that. Aside from those moment, publishing my books Make Yourself Marketable and the Sanity and Success Journal have been by far the largest projects, but the most rewarding.
Do you think social media is becoming over saturated with personal brands? Or is there room for everyone?
It’s a bittersweet movement. There’s definitely room for everyone’s personal brand in terms of the job search and positioning yourself strategically online. What is oversaturated, however, is people using their personal brands to start selling tummy tea and extensions. While everyone has the right and an opportunity to leverage their expertise to succeed professionally, too many people are using personal brands to sell empty promises for a check. There is a fine line between influencer and personal brand, and I think we need to more integrity in those areas.
How do you suggest people stand out in markets that have lots of influencers (like hair and beauty for example?
You personality and unique voice. What helps me to stand out in a sea full of business bloggers and branding coaches is my raw, straight-forward, petty way of communicating. I will get you together and snatch your edges in one sentence, while another coach might take a softer approach. By being unapologetically yourself, you will attract the right clients, partners and opportunities.
You can follow Emmelie at @EmmelieDeLaCruz on both Twitter and Instagram, where she shares more tips for branding and influencing