Emma Tessler is the founder of Ninety Five Media, a digital marketing agency established in 2015 at the cusp of Social Media’s rise in the marketing world. Emma knew next to nothing about social media or digital marketing at the time, but was determined to learn everything about the industry. Flash forward to today, and she is a leading digital marketing strategist, has worked with over 50 brands, and is running a rapidly growing multi-six figure business.
Can you tell our readers about your background?
Growing up in suburbia, an hour outside of Manhattan, NY, I had a typical childhood. One filled with a lot of outdoor games, extracurricular activities, and opportunities to explore who I was. I was surrounded by a lot of typical career paths but was always interested in the creative arts.
In high school, I was introduced to the world of Interior Design by happenstance and decided at age 16 that this would be the career I’d pursue. I eventually attended the Fashion Institute of Technology and received a BFA in Interior Design, which I went on to use at a commercial Design firm in Manhattan for several years.
How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took?
While working at a college internship, my mentor handed me her instagram account and asked me to figure out how to grow it and sign new clients from the platform. This was 2015 when most brands didn’t see the potential in social media for client acquisition. However, being 20 at the time, I could see that this was the future of marketing – and this excited me more than anything.
Over the next few years and after college graduation, I began working a full time job as an interior designer in Manhattan. While I loved this job, I knew I needed to pursue digital marketing. So I spent the next 4 years working nights and weekends to build Ninety Five Media into what it is today. It was through a lot of 100 hour weeks, skipping plans with friends, and teaching myself new skills that I started this brand!
I wish I could say that my first steps were registering my LLC, trademarks, etc (they should have been!) but I began simply by serving others and helping them see results from our work. This was most important to me. All of the legal things were taken care of afterwards.
What services does your brand offer?
We focus on serving our clients mainly with Social Media Management. This means we fully take over our clients social channels to create cohesivity, integrate creative strategy, and yield massive results for their brands. Oftentimes, our clients come to use entirely overwhelmed with their digital marketing, ready to give up. This happens because you didn’t go into business to do your marketing! We come in and allow our clients to get back to doing what they love.
We also offer Strategic Partnerships where we essentially become a brand’s Marketing Director. Here, we assist mainly with high level strategy in order to help the brand scale through strategic digital marketing efforts. Our team is obsessed with using our signature Ninety Five Media Method to help our clients begin to think about their marketing from a new lens and see better results than ever before.
What has been the most effective way of marketing your business?
Tapping into my own network is where many of our clients have come from. I think there’s a stigma many women face that makes them not want to feel “salesy”, so in turn, they end up not sharing the incredible skills they have. I was determined to not fall into this box.
By not being afraid of hearing the word “no”, I had the confidence to pitch myself and our brand to many dream clients who we still work with today. This has been the #1 way we’ve grown – simply by telling other brands about our services and how we can help them scale.
What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
Our biggest challenges have been scaling our brand internally. I had no idea how many systems and operations we would need in order to scale to the size we are today (9 team members and counting) in order to serve our clients. However, it’s challenges like this that truly help us up level our mindset and our services to meet the next level of growth. We’ve been able to overcome these challenges by outsourcing our systemization to experts in their fields and being supported by others who know more than we do! I’m a firm believer in doing the things you’re amazing at and asking for support in all other areas.
How do you differentiate your business from the competition?
We differentiate ourselves through our methods and client experience. I believe that a huge trend in 2022 is refocusing on a white glove client experience and this has always been a front line priority for us. When clients are happy, they are able to sell your services for you – who doesn’t want that?
In terms of our methods, we use our proprietary Ninety Five Media Method to guide our work with our clients and it helps us stay ahead of the game, as well as set us apart from our competition which may not have their process as refined or streamlined. Our clients love this method as they’re able to track and see direct results from it.
What is your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?
I mentor many new entrepreneurs and my number one piece of advice is to hire before you think you’re ready. If you go into business for yourself, you’re doing it (at least in part) because of the freedom. But what often ends up happening is that entrepreneurs work more than they ever did at their 9-5 jobs!
Instead of making that your reality, hire a Virtual Assistant to help you with backend tasks that you don’t directly need to be involved with early on. This will free up time for you to market your brand, build connections, and bring in more work! In the end, outsourcing and investing in your business will help you scale 10x faster.
How can our readers connect with you?
The best place to connect is on Instagram! Our handle is @ninety.five.media and this is where we post most frequently. If you’re interested in working with us, for digital marketing management or strategy, feel free to fill out an inquiry form on our website at ninetyfivemedia.co! I look forward to connecting with you soon!