Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Salina Yeung, Founder of theinacademy, located in Miami, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
theinacademy is the online education platform for entrepreneurs to learn how to win eyeballs, trust, and clients using the power of LinkedIn!
Tell us about yourself
Picture me, a corporate marketing and sales leader who just landed her dream job: Account Director of Marketing Solutions at LinkedIn, traveling Asia & Europe to train enterprises on effectively using LinkedIn for their businesses. I loved the freedom, but in the back of my mind, I knew I wasn't fully in control. I was still working 9-5, fulfilling someone else's goals. Then COVID hit, traveling was no longer a safe option. I was devastated. My dream job was no longer the same, and I was 5764 miles away from my family, and being with them was SO important to me. So, I quit. I was heartbroken 💔 but knew this was the RIGHT thing to do. I was looking for other ways to create opportunities and decided to publish a blog, LinkedIn-Pro, that shared everything there is to know about LinkedIn.
After a few publications, everything blew up (in a good way) 💥!!
Old clients started messaging me, wanting to work together. It attracted new people wanting to learn all things LinkedIn. Launched The Complete LinkedIn Personal Brand Mastery Course. My original goal was to hopefully have 3 paying students, but 25 showed up. It was a huge success! I zeroed in on coaching & education on all things LinkedIn & rebranded to theinacademy.
My mission was to empower entrepreneurs to go from "unknown" to highly visible online by building a powerful (and profitable) personal brand. I knew first-hand how to create magnetic content and build demand for one's business, turning LinkedIn connections into customers! Everything happens for a REASON. That life-changing decision led me to where I'm today.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Being invited as one of the LinkedIn Learning Instructors and sharing my expertise in content marketing.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest part is that I can never switch off. 👩🏻💻 While I'm having dinner with friends, showering, in bed, exercising... Not being able to disconnect from my business completely is ONE of the toughest things that can kill your personal relationships. This is WHY you must set your priorities before you do anything else. Because no amount of physical activity, meditation, vacation, bubble bath, or breath-work can help you to stop thinking about your business - truly switch things off. (For sure, they help, but...) So understand those relationships and do everything in your ability to prioritize them. And be transparent with those you LOVE 💙
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Personal branding is more important than ever. Because people buy from people, I bet you can easily name 10 household names than brands.
You see Neil Patel, Alex Hormozi, and Codie Sanchez, but all of them focused on ONE THING - building a strong personal brand. They are no longer chasing prospects or spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on ads or outbound efforts. Instead, they focus on building personal brand and creating content daily. Money follows.
- Be laser-focused on solving a problem for your ideal customers. Most people aren't truly obsessed with the skills and knowledge they've professionalized; they tend to build an offering based on what they see is popular and build a business around this. What they don't realize is in 1-2 years, they will get replaced and find themselves competing with other SMB owners offering the same product at lower prices. So, focus on Transformation > Information. Then, differentiate yourself (aka avoid "un-copyable" products).
- Finally, to build a successful business, people first need to know you exist. So translate your obsession by providing undeniable value thru creating content to build demand for your business. The more you create, the more powerful you become. Take time to study marketing psychology and persuasion. Create your own blue ocean from there.
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.
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