Date: 26th June 2020
Natalie Eminae set up OCOCO Media in 2012 at the age of 23. Today, she runs the social media marketing agency from their Gateshead office and works with clients nationally and internationally. When she’s not at the office or working from home, you’ll find her running, enjoying a movie or eating good food. As part of the Digital Knowledge Exchange ‘Zoom Webinars’ Season Two, Natalie will be presenting a masterclass on Instagram for business.
What is your business motto?
The phrase “if it was easy, everyone would do it!” definitely keeps me motivated on a daily basis! It gets said a lot in my office, and I love it because it acknowledges that sometimes, working hard is tough, but builds a sense of camaraderie around the opportunities we have.
How do you make contacts that are useful for business?
Being helpful and interested in those around you is key to any successful business I think, so networking, whether at physical events, or right now, digitally and via social media, is important. Don’t worry about selling, all too often I see business owners get caught up in the idea that networking is only valuable if they’re speaking to their ideal customers, and this just isn’t the case.
When I first started OCOCO Media in 2012, I went to EVERY networking event I could find, to grow and develop my contacts. From there, nurturing those connections, staying in touch, even digitally, goes a long way. Eight years later, I’m lucky to have a fantastic network of business contacts, but I’m always working hard to maintain those connections and make new ones.
What makes your business different?
Clients come to us looking for an extension of their marketing departments, so we’re very lucky to get to work with them closely and be part of their business journey. We care deeply. I’m proud to have a team that work their little socks off for clients, and always strive to get bigger and better results!
It’s bit cheesy but as we’re a niche social media specialist team, our skills and insights, combined with the fact that we really care about the very best possible results, set us apart from the rest.
What essential item(s) do you always have with you?
I am glued to my mobile phone, it’s in my hand for at least 12 hours every day. Aside from that, you can always find me with one good pen, a Sharpie, and a notebook! You never know when you need to make a note, and as much as I love my phone for all things digital, sometimes to develop an idea or a campaign, you’ve just got to be able to sketch it out the old-fashioned way!
Do you dress up or dress down for business?
I run a creative office, so if I’m not client-facing for any particular day, black jeans and trainers. If I’ve got meetings, I’m always suited and booted. There’s great power in clothes, and a lot of our clients are automotive so suits and ties are de rigueur. Matching that level of business dress helps build rapport and demonstrates that we understand their industry and what is required for them.
Which person has inspired you the most in your career and in what way?
I’m a big fan of Gary Vee! He’s a digital sector icon, and very committed to sharing knowledge and insight with the world around him. His business journey is fascinating, he’s a natural-born marketer, but his perspective on always having time and being kind to yourself runs deeper than business. He resonates on a human level and isn’t afraid to show himself as 3D with all the limitations that we all have. In a world where social media can be an edited highlight reel, that perspective is invaluable.
What is your proudest achievement in business?
I’m really lucky that I’ve been able to achieve some great things – my team currently hold the Citroën Excellence Award for best national social media marketing for a car dealership, and we’ve retained that for two years now. I’m always proud to see results for a client and know that we’ve delivered exceptional campaigns. I think my biggest moment personally was speaking at an international conference for the automotive sector a number of years ago. It was a formal institute meeting, and I was relatively new to public speaking, but I was on the schedule right before the Global Head of Marketing from a luxury car brand. It was just that type of event. I remember vividly having my mic pack put on and staring at the exit door thinking “I could just run out now and no-one could stop me”… I was so nervous, but I stepped out onto the stage, and began a presentation I’d refined and worked countless times over the weeks prior. The feedback was incredible, and I was so glad I didn’t try to make an escape! Sometimes the scariest things are the most amazing, you’ve got to step outside your comfort zone.
What’s your company’s greatest asset?
Without a doubt, our people. My team are incredible and I’m very lucky to have that level of support for the business and our clients. Sometimes I can travel for weeks at a time for work and being on the road but knowing that the office is running, clients are being completely looked after, and everyone is going above and beyond is something I don’t take for granted.
If you hadn’t gone down your chosen career path, what would you be doing
I set up OCOCO Media when I was 23, so I’ve grown up with the brand. If I wasn’t doing this, I know for certain my career would have involved writing and creativity! Preferably on a tropical island.
Give us one tip for a successful business
In a small business world, there are so many times when it really comes down to how dedicated you are, so pick a business based on something that you love doing, because it gives you the fundamental drive to be able to keep going. It’s a total cliché, but the harder you work, the luckier you’ll get!
At what time of the day are you most creative and inspired?
I’m not a morning person, so I’m most creative early afternoon! I’m a firm believer that inspiration can hit any time, and sometimes, it requires actively clearing your mind, and possibly your diary.
How do you relax away from work?
We live on the edge of Northumberland so walking our dogs (Oscar the Labrador and Luna the pomsky) is one of my favourite ways to unwind. Live music, good food and a glass of red wine always make me very happy too!
When do you take your coffee break?
I don’t even have a lunch break! But I love a 4pm coffee catch up with my connections, teams, and clients on a regular basis. It’s important to take time out to maintain your network and relationships with those around you.
Why should businesses attend your webinar?
Instagram *can* be scary! It’s a highly visual, fast-moving network and it has evolved a lot since launch, so there’s a lot to stay on top of. My webinar will cover the importance of putting a strategy in place, and break that down into actionable steps so attendees can leave with a roadmap of what they need to do to get where they want to go.
If you’d like some direction or to shift your Insta game to the next level, then you should tune in. Now you know a little bit more about me, I’d love to meet you and help your business!
Natalie’s webinar ‘Instagram for Business Masterclass’ is taking place on Thursday 2nd July at 10am.