Spotlight Interview: Social Media Expert and Founder Ehren Muhammad!
1. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! Please tell us a bit about yourself and what you do currently…
EMPro, Ltd is the digital marketing and branding agency I created and currently operate. I have been an entrepreneur all my life and my work always centered on the creative arts and marketing. So I wanted to create to a company that helped the members of my professional community, small business owners. Most of our early clients were musicians and record labels, from there we have gone on to serve franchises, authors, tech firms, and dozens of start-ups. I’m the Project Manager and Chief Branding Consultant for the agency, thus I oversee most projects leading teams of graphic designers, web developers, social media specialist and digital marketing analyst.
2. What inspired you to start your own business?
I was a club promoter in college and met a lot of business owners; from club owners to insurance agents. Artists always asked for me to be their manager. So my artists I helped him start his record label and publishing firm along the way I learned everything about marketing music. I was like, “this social media, SEO, and influencer marketing stuff is amazing”, but very few brands were talking about it and small business owners didn’t know these tools needed to be used. So I figured that was my opportunity to help not only musicians but all small business owners.
3. What has been your biggest achievement so far?
It’s all about helping other business owners; and small businesses empower local economies. Recently we helped produce a Shop Small event for Small Business Saturday with American Express. On November 25, 2017 the event was held in the Albany Park and Mayfair communities on Chicago’s Northside. We had organized dozens of the small businesses in the area to create a traveling tour where community visitors would get a “Passport to Savings” and travel with Santa Claus to visit every business. Every business had an exclusive deal that was good just for that day. It really got a lot of attention for the communities and increase sales.
4. What do you have planned for this year?
We will be offering a lot more services for clients; content is king and business owners don’t have the time to create, draft, test, then execute effective content and run their business. So we will offer unlimited graphic design and social media management service packages. Our team is made up of award winning graphic designers and certified social media specialist. Our whole purpose is for the client to get a return on investment from every campaign. I want to see more small businesses winning on social and the content marketing arena. EMPro, Ltd is going to be the leader at helping them do it.
5. Who are the top 3 celebrities/artists you’d love to work with? And why?
(1) Kanye West – I love my hometown of Chicago, and I’d love to work with Kanye West to help improve and build our city to its fullest potential. Kanye and I are literally from the same area and generation so I see a great opportunity there.
(2) Daymond John – I have a great deal of respect for Daymond because he did what many entrepreneurs hope to do; create and build something a successful brand with their friends then build from there. But more importantly, he’s now mentoring and helping others and I’m all about giving back.
(3) Richard Branson – He’s living the dream bigger and better than most. He created a record label that gave many artists their break when no one else would have, he then transitioned that brand into a mega successful retail outlet, airline, and mobile phone service provider that’s just crazy and all before Google and Amazon mind you. The man’s passion and vision are second to none. Just to hold a mastermind session with this guy would be nuts.
6. Take a moment to close your eyes. Where do ideally you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Traveling. I see myself doing a lot of speaking engagements and exchanging knowledge in everything from TED talks, SBA conferences, etc I love to learn and share while learning from others at the same time.
7. If you could get the perfect help from an online tax return service, what would they do for you?
I have worked with online tax services before and the most important thing they could have done would be the following:
(1) Inform me of what type of documents that they needed before our first meeting, this would make answering any questions so much easier.
(2) After the interview taken some time to go over my answers and documents then return for a follow up with options and opportunities.
The purpose of my company is to leverage our digital marketing and branding expertise for small business owners; so when I work with other professionals that advise other businesses, I expect the same dedicated service that EMPro provides. This is what the perfect tax service will offer me and my team, and that is a business that I would recommend to my network.
8. Can you give our readers 2 key tips for staying creative?
It is funny that I wrote about this on LinkedIn earlier this year.
(1) Listen to criticism but do not let it control you, nor diminish your passion and ambition. Take critiques as they are, opinions. Then analyze yourself and evolve; based on your findings and what you know needs to change not for others but for you.
(2) Do what you love to do today and every day, consistently and faithfully. People make music for a living, people make a living drawing everything, and people make a living climbing mountains. Do what you love to do, but work your butt off doing it the best that could ever do anything. You have to invest and push yourself.
9. If you were stuck on a desert island and could only bring 3 things what would they be?
(1) Holy Quran
10. How do you describe yourself in 5 words?
More than meets the eye.