With two decades of experience in the Hollywood film industry, she’s worked with brands like MGM, Paramount, Disney, Real Housewives, and Subaru. Emmy brings big-screen storytelling strategies to help artists and visionaries to elevate their online presence and create a bigger impact using the power of video. At the heart of her work is her love for storytelling. She believes that it’s through stories, we can educate, inspire, and change the world.
Where did the idea for Emmy Wu Media come from?
I’ve always loved visual storytelling and the idea that we could move and inspire people with the right imagery and sound which led me to building a career in the film industry for 2 decades. But when I decided to move to Portland OR, I realized that I could either try to find a media job or start my own creative venture. I was fascinated by the idea of online courses and programs where we could reach people from around the globe, so with my camera and storytelling skills from years in the trenches, I decided I would teach entrepreneurs how to use videos to grow their business. With a passion in my heart and an idea to share my knowledge, my business with born.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I believe it’s so important to build your work days based on your natural rhythms. I’m a morning person so I love starting my days early with a workout and setting the day’s intentions. I’ll begin work afterwards, typically focusing on the most creative or mentally-intensive work when I’m most alert.
Around lunchtime is when I’ll break and typically have my first meal. I’ve noticed fasting in the mornings also helps me to stay alert and focused. After lunch, I’ll do my less intensive work and have an alarm set for 3pm where I relax and do less structured, but very important tasks like following up with clients and leads. My work day typically ends around this time as well, so I’ll make sure I’m clear on my upcoming tasks for the next day so I’m already prepared for what’s to come. I’m usually in bed by 10pm so I can get a full night’s sleep before rising early.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I naturally love structure, so I’ll brainstorm key steps/milestones in my notebook, then create a Trello board with the project’s main phases. However, big dreams won’t always have tangible next steps so I make sure I’m not tied to the Trello board either. Many times, my next steps come as intuitive hits, like “reach out to that person”, so it’s about blending your intuition with tactical action so there’s some structure, but it’s really fun and creative to implement as well.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Shorter taking over social media! As a video storyteller, I’ve always known that videos are the most powerful way to build know like and trust, but new shorter trends on platforms like Tik Tok or Instagram Reels really reveals the consumer interest in this medium. While there will always be a place for longer form storytelling, I love new trends like this because they teach me what the market is interested in right now, and gives me ideas to leverage them into our client’s and our own campaigns.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Hands down being organized has helped me to not only be more productive, but avoid time-consuming mistakes or waste time on tasks that don’t actually move the business forward. I map out my goals and tasks each quarter, and break down my weekly tasks based on those bigger goals.
What advice would you give your younger self?
The only thing between you and your biggest dreams is YOU. Don’t be afraid of judgement or falling on your face because it’s all part of the journey. What you DO with those moments will define you and make you stronger. You have so much support around you, you just have to believe in it yourself.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
It’s a hard pill to swallow but too many entrepreneurs focus on building a funnel before they’ve even really sold the darn thing. You can’t sell something while you’re asleep until you sell it while you’re awake. Spend your time putting your message out there and building community and you’ll save yourself months of heartache and frustration for why your funnel isn’t converting.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Reinvent yourself often. Instead of trying to fit yourself into a perfectly branded box, give yourself creative freedom to try different messages, and be really creative in your expression. Icons do it. Fashion brands do it every season. It’s good and healthy to evolve and allow your audience to witness that.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Having a video content strategy planned for each quarter has definitely helped me to stay consistent with content that helps to grow my audience while keeping my current community engaged. People tend to struggle with consistency, but it’s about having a plan in place and committing to it.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I had a launch go sideways because I really didn’t focus on list-building before I launched my program again. Lesson learned with only 3 new people registered during a 5-day challenge! I’m sure I had a cry over it at the time, but entrepreneurship is always about improving, so for all my launches going forward, I made sure I had pre-launch videos in place to warm up new leads, and began to use paid ads for rapid list-growth. This has become so integrated into my process that it’s part of the work we do for clients and what I teach my students!
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Membership sites are a great way to turn your passion into a money making opportunity. Find something you love and want to explore with others. Create a membership and charge a recurring fee for it. You don’t need to be the expert. You will be bringing people together to explore something that everyone is passionate about!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
In my business, a software subscription to 17hats hands down. It allows me to quickly and easily create project proposals, invoices, contracts, with robust automation features so the admin of my business keeps moving forward without needing my attention all the time. Anything that streamlines my workflow and saves me time is a good investment.
Personally, investing in massages is a must. They help release tension in my body from sitting at a desk and feels so therapeutic and luxurious. What I gain is well worth the investment.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I love Kartra: an all in one marketing software that allows you to send emails, set up automations (for funnels), create sales and landing pages, sell your products, read analytics, and includes membership sites for your online courses.
Initially, I was reluctant to invest in it, but once I calculated the costs of all the other software I was using, plus the fact that we had to integrate each part in order to get them working together, the time I saved is a huge win. Like I mentioned before, any time a software is able to streamline our workflow and save time, that is a worthwhile investment!
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Essentialism by Greg McKeown is a book I often recommend because it illustrates the value and importance of cutting out the fat and focusing on what works. Sometimes in entrepreneurship, we develop shiny object syndrome and end up building a business with a million moving parts, but none of them fit together. This book shows you how to do less, while doing better.
What is your favorite quote?
Be the change you want to see in the world – Mahatma Gandhi
- Focusing on the RIGHT things in your business allows you to do less, and do it better.
- Structure allows you to have freedom and creativity because you know what to focus on and helps you to stay consistent.
- Challenges help you grow so don’t be afraid to face them head on.
- Tech tools and automations are huge time savers that help you look pro and polished.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.