Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in marketing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Derek Jacobson, Founder of Emerald Consulting, located in Minneapolis, MN, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Emerald Consulting is a digital marketing agency that focuses on e-commerce SEO, content strategy, and digital growth. We drive more organic leads and online sales for our clients through SEO and content marketing tailored to their ideal target customers. We also manage a portfolio of digital assets that focus on affiliate marketing. Our main clients consist of small to mid-size e-commerce businesses in the high-end/luxury markets.

Tell us about yourself

I grew up in the Twin Cities and graduated from the University of Saint Thomas with a double major in Marketing Management and Entrepreneurship. I've had an entrepreneurial mindset from a young age, where I sold candy out of my locker in middle school, mowed lawns during the summers, and was always on the lookout for new money-making ventures.

I first got started in the SEO industry while running a landscaping business in college. While researching ways to get more business leads, I came across SEO which piqued my interest. Ever since then, I've been obsessed with SEO and digital marketing.

After college I worked for several fortune 500 companies where I honed my SEO skillset and began freelancing on the side. I spent two years freelancing outside of my full-time job until I had built up a big enough client base to quit my job and start my own business. The motivation for my business is to achieve financial independence and live life on my terms, and be beholden to anyone.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is building a sustainable business that I'm passionate about and that has allowed me to live the lifestyle I've always wanted. I'm proud of building something that has helped hundreds of other companies grow their business and reach their digital goals.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Work/life balance. When you're a new business owner, your business is on your mind 24/7. It's important to create boundaries for your business and personal life.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Find something you're truly passionate about and figure out a way to make a profit doing it. Starting a business can be difficult, but it's much easier if you're doing something you love.
  2. Focus on fixing one problem for a very specific person/business instead of trying to do everything for everyone. The more focused you are on a single issue, the easier it will be to get started.
  3. Identify one platform (Google ads, LinkedIn, Upwork, etc.) that will provide the best leads for your business and master that before moving on to other lead generation platforms. Focusing on too many sources for lead generation early on can spread you too thin.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.