With the growth of the Internet, more people are spending their time online, how many electronic devices can you see? The chances that customers read and see information on a laptop or mobile are very high. Think of how you consume information yourself and even how you share information with colleagues, friends, and family. Being online and being connected has transformed the way we buy things, the way we find out about events and, it can even influence the way we vote. Being readily online, at almost any time, is one of the reasons digital marketing has transformed how businesses promote and market their products and services.
If you are an entrepreneur, be aware that your customers are online, which highlights the importance of digital marketing. They are browsing the web looking for your products or services. If they can’t find them because you don’t have an online presence, you risk losing those leads to your competitors.
Digital marketing is an asset to your business’s growth and your personal brand and helps you establish an authoritative online presence, that is why I interviewed Lara Schmoisman, CEO & Founder of The Darl, marketing strategist and coach, podcaster, and international speaker, based in California but helping clients all around the world, to know what we should avoid to do and what tips she can gives us to succeed in our digital marketing strategy.
Lara, you are CEO & Founder of The Darl, Marketing Strategist and Coach, Podcaster, and International Speaker, how did you start in the media industry?
I was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At just 14 years old, I began working at a radio station as a radio DJ learning the ropes. From there, I went to school to earn a certificate in screenwriting and a BA in radio and TV production. But life after college wasn't exactly easy as I was unable to find a job.
Almost 24 years ago, life and circumstances took me to the United States to learn English - since I did not speak a word of English back then. At that time, I was sleeping on a hand-me-down mattress with coils literally sticking out of it. I was taking as many jobs as I could and sleeping little, but even so - somehow life was starting to fall into place. One thing led to another, and some doors started opening.
I worked in radio, TV, film distribution, digital, marketing, and advertising. Little by little, by working in a variety of agencies, I fell in love with the online business world. Although, after flirting and dating for a while with each medium, I came to the realization that I didn't want to settle down with any of them because each one was equally important. As I was taking a step back, new opportunities came my way, which prompted me to start The Darl.
You founded The Darl, a boutique marketing agency known for breaking the rules, when it comes to digital marketing, and creating unique and multi-beneficial collaborations for different startup companies. Tell us what services it provides and what does it make unique in the market?
During the pandemic we had to reinvent ourselves to stand out, it also made me embrace the fact that I am a Jewish-Latina woman living in Los Angeles. That makes me and the team behind The Darl unique, we are all armed with an accent, grit, and a bit of sass. Which is why we’ve made an impact in the digital marketing space by providing accessible bilingual marketing resources and learning platforms. We do this by offering simplified “how-to” resources across a variety of platforms including podcasts, free networking workshops and events meant to facilitate life-changing global introductions in the marketing space, online marketing courses, and by having active Facebook communities (both in English and in Spanish).
Based on your experience, what are the common mistakes female entrepreneurs make in digital marketing?
Some common mistakes in digital marketing I came across many entrepreneurs make are:
- Not having a backup plan before removing content from their website: sometimes entrepreneurs are low on funds, don’t have the time to update their content or think that it is not relevant, but “Content is king”. Consumers are constantly researching and shopping online and the only way they can come across your business online is through the content on your website, that is essentially the hub where most of your marketing activities take place. While Content might be king, “Consistency is queen”. It must be constantly updated to be fresh and with relevant information. So instead of just removing your old content, try updating it. Removing pages out of the blue can cause real Search Engine Optimization (SEO) issues for your website. If you need to move, rename, or delete pages, first you must have a technical SEO and URL redirect backup plan.
- Not keeping track of daily marketing issues: for example, no one is keeping track of running ads. In digital marketing, it’s key to measure the results and impact of all the strategies you are executing, to identify what worked and what you need to improve. Not knowing if you have bad online reviews or worse, they are non-existent. Having an online directory listing that are outdated, if the website doesn’t load, doesn’t have accurate information, or is not working properly on mobile. Think of digital marketing as a puzzle where everything connects with each other, when entrepreneurs don’t keep track of their daily issues, they’ll miss out on essential pieces of the puzzle causing it to be incomplete.
In the digital world, large businesses have had plenty of mistakes in the process of arriving where they are right now. There is no shame in not knowing everything. Have the courage to embrace your mistakes and the curiosity to learn from them. Success only happens after you learn how to fall, get up, and try again.
What tips could you give them to stand out from the Crowd in the digital world?
- STRATEGIZE: Select parts of the marketing ecosystem, put systems in place, and create a team and a work culture that aligns with what your brand believes.
- DESIGN: Create a framework and strategy to grow your brand to run your business more efficiently. Know what needs to be done next in order to catapult the business forward.
- IMPLEMENT: Build your business and your team, create actionable strategies, and put systems in place to keep scaling your business while maintaining a work-life balance.
Something else you would like to add.
Last year, I began hosting my own podcast Coffee N5, where I aimed to help others let go of what’s holding them back and become the person they’re meant to be. I’ve had some really amazing conversations with experts in a variety of fields, but it also made me conscious that there weren’t similar how-to podcasts in Spanish. I realized that while the Latinx community has come a long way, it is still missing out on opportunities and does not get equal support on several levels, initiatives, and business, which can be quite discouraging. Which is why I also launched Marketing Simplicado and made it my goal to provide accessible bilingual marketing resources and learning platforms to otherwise underserved Latinx communities.
Apart from this, we just launched TH!NK COLLECTIVE, where we are not afraid to get dirty, we roll-up our sleeves and go to the matters of business. In every event, we invite a different business expert from different backgrounds and fields, but they all have something in common - each one has something to teach helping others to scale in the business world.
In both projects, our mission is to make everything as simple as possible so anyone can learn something new and inspire our audience and participants to start a new adventure.