For many entrepreneurs and small businesses, social media can be an absolute game-changer! All it takes is one viral post and a business, or personal brand, or a musician can suddenly take off.
At Like A Voss Social Media, we’re highlighting local businesses and entrepreneurs who are killing the online game. This week’s spotlight is on Emily Fennell, a.k.a Miss Emily!
In the 1990s a 12-year-old Emily Fennell was making her way around Southern Ontario, singing at county fairs and winning competition after competition. She was literally finding her voice. While the other young vocalists were dazzling crowds with standards like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” or “I Will Always Love You,” Emily was stunning judges and audiences into silent amazement with K.D. Lang’s version of the Patsy Cline song “3 Cigarettes and an Ashtray”. That song choice and her spellbinding performance of it, says almost all you need to know about the woman who would become Miss Emily. She is never predictable and always willing to take a risk.
Her music spans genres crosses barriers, and creates bridges. Her voice soars to emotional heights and reaches down into the grittiness of the soul. Her performances are foot-stomping, heart-wrenching adventures in rhythm, blues, jazz and rock, and roll. For 15 years Miss Emily has captivated listeners across Canada, the US and the United Kingdom with her unique combination of passion and talent.
Our CEO Mandi interviewed Emily about her secret to success in business and in life. We also got some awesome insights into what they think makes social media such an effective tool in business.
A Little Bit About Being a Female Entrepreneur
1: How long have you been in the music business?
Over 20 years if we want to count when I first started performing… I’ve been a full-time musician for 16 years as of this month!
2: What made you decide to dedicate your life to being a full-time indie musician, without a “day job” (like most)?
I’m an “all in” type of person. I’m very passionate and determined. Growing up, I knew this was what I wanted to do for a living and although my family was quite supportive of that dream, I was often told by other adults that being a “full time” musician wasn’t realistic. I love proving myself and sometimes I love proving people wrong… 😉
3: What do you love most about being a female entrepreneur?
The freedom to do what I want to do when I want to do it. I am my own boss and I am the toughest person on myself in so many ways. I set very high standards for myself so although I have the freedom to choose what I’m doing from day to day, I work almost non-stop. I can’t listen casually to music on the radio even without thinking about how it might be able to influence what I do and how I might be able to learn from it.
4: What is the hardest thing you have had to overcome as a female entrepreneur? Something you did not foresee when you decided to pursue music full-time?
I grew up in a small rural setting and my class of 24 kids from Kindergarten to Grade 8 had only 6 or 7 girls (depending on who was moving in and out of the village). Feeling like an underdog in many ways (*it was the ‘80s and ‘90s and there was still quite a bit of sexism in schools then) set me up for working in a male-dominated industry. I have always worked predominantly with men and for the most part, I’ve really enjoyed that. I will say that I endured a LOT of sexual harassment in my early days as an artist and that wasn’t ideal, to say the least.
5: What is one thing about working in the music industry that people would be surprised to learn?
It’s a REAL job. Hahaha…it really is. One can be an artist or work in this industry and actually make decent money (sometimes great money!), have a family, pay a mortgage, contribute to charity… This is a job just like any other job and just like most entrepreneurial jobs, one must wear a LOT of hats to be successful. At the end of the day, I believe this is one of the greatest jobs in the world.
And Now Onto The Social Media Questions!
6: Do you have a favorite social media platform? Why?
Facebook has been incredibly beneficial to my career. I have nearly 8,000 people on my business Facebook page and there is consistently a lot of action. I post videos and photos and share events I’m playing. It has really helped me reach out to my worldwide audience as well. I tour overseas and through Facebook, my overseas supporters are able to stay connected with what I’m doing.
7: What made you decide to start using social media as a way to promote your company?
I am forever trying to ‘grow with the times’ and social media is a limitless way to reach my potential audience.
8: How has social media impacted your business? Would you say that it’s an effective marketing tool?
Social media is actually the MAIN part of my business. It supports my music career, but most of my time is actually spent connecting and networking through my social media accounts, not performing music. Social media has made ALL the difference in my growth as an artist.
9: What advice would you give to other businesses and entrepreneurs who want to use social media as a way to connect with customers?
DO IT!!! It has helped grow my career in the past couple of years to places I never dreamed of. I now dream bigger and social media is allowing me a global stage I can access if I’m willing to put the work in and network with the right people to help me not only do the online work but guide me in the right direction of how my time is best used.
A Little More About Miss Emily
I have lived in Kingston, Ontario for sixteen years but grew up in south end Prince Edward County as the eighth generation resident of my family on BOTH sides. Ha! Apparently, we don’t move around much.
My family has always been very musical but I’m the only one to pursue music full time. I have a 14-year-old daughter, a husband, and two step-children. I love to tour but I love even more being at home. It’s my happy place. 🙂
Know Any Voss Babes?
Do you know a female entrepreneur who loves social media as much as we do? Contact us today – we’d love to tell her story!