Tuesdays with Corey interview with Emma Loggins
Named one of Atlanta’s top tech talents to watch, Geek Girl Emma Loggins is the founder and editor of the popular lifestyle site FanBolt, where she updates daily the latest happenings in the television and film industry, the world of technology, must-visit travel destinations – and really any that you’d be a fan of and geek out over! The site, which Emma also designed and developed by herself, currently receives an average of 300,000 hits per month and has given away over $200,000 in movie and television related contests since it first launched nearly two decades ago. She has conducted thousands of celebrity interviews with talent such as Jennifer Lawrence, Ryan Reynolds, Joss Whedon, Betty White, John Travolta, William Shatner, Harrison Ford, Aaron Paul, Johan Hill, and so many more!
As a result of interviewing so many celebrities over the years, Emma is now a big fan of public speaking. She has spoken at over 50 events ranging from 5 to over 2,500 attendees, and she continues to seek out more speaking opportunities on everything from web usability, user interface design, web development, social media, web community building, blogging, and more.
In 2004, Emma was asked to be the official blogger for the FOX television series The O.C., and in 2005, she was interviewed by People Magazine for having one of the best television show websites. She was also a contributing writer on geek culture for several years with CNN.com.
Emma Loggins has done on-camera host and media personality work for a number of conventions where she has interviewed cast members of The Walking Dead, Lost, Breaking Bad, Gotham, Game of Thrones, American Horror Story and more.
Emma is also the founder and editor in chief of Women’s Business Daily, a site targeted at millennial female entrepreneurs who are chasing their dream and making it happen. Women’s Business Daily compliments their mission by providing daily content to motivate, inspire and educate them on their journey as well as help them achieve the ideal work/life balance!
Over the years, Emma has also worked as an influencer with a number of brands across all her social media profiles in addition to her websites. Some of these brands include Target, Warner Brothers, Universal Pictures, AMC, NARS, Coffee-mate, Coca Cola, Visit Scotland, Ireland Tourism, Toyota, Nissan, and more!
Designer + Developer + Social Media
Aside from the world of entertainment, Emma’s main company is a digital marketing agency, Excite Creative Studios. She has been designing websites since 1998. From small local businesses in Atlanta all the way up to campaigns with Warner Brothers for television series such as Supernatural, The Big Bang Theory, and The Vampire Diaries, Loggins has worked with 100’s of businesses to design and optimize their web presence and also their social media marketing.
The Background AKA The Wonder Years
Emma was Valedictorian of her high school’s graduating class, and she went on to graduate with her Bachelor’s Degree in Multimedia and Web Design (with a 4.0 GPA) from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 2006 where she won “Best in Show” at the school’s graduating portfolio show. However, Emma wasn’t quite done with furthering her education just yet, and in 2009 she received her Masters of Fine Arts Degree in Web Design/New Media from The Academy of Art in San Francisco.
Intro: Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Atlanta, Georgia, it's time for Atlanta Business Radio, spotlighting the city's best businesses and the people who lead them.
Stone Payton: Welcome to this very special edition of Atlanta Business Radio. It's time for Tuesdays with Corey. And today's episode is brought to you in part by ARC, American Reprographics Corporation. If you print with it, print on it, or simply want it printed, head on over to arcinatlanta.com. or better yet, reach out and ask for Mindy Godwin. Tell her Corey and Stone sent you. Her direct line is 770-394-2465. And now, here's your host, Corey Rieck.
Corey Rieck: Thank you, Stone. Today, we are pleased to have another great guest on the Tuesdays with Corey Show. High energy only begins to describe today's guest, Emma Loggins. She's the Director of Strategy and Founder of Excite Creative Studios, and Founder and Editor-in-Chief of FanBolt. It's a great pleasure, Emma, to have you on the show today. Welcome.
Emma Loggins: Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Corey Rieck: Emma, please introduce yourself, and your history, and your work experience to the listenership here of the show.
Emma Loggins: Well, I do a handful of things. I'll give you-
Corey Rieck: That's an understatement.
Emma Loggins: It is an understatement. I started doing web design in '98. I was in eighth grade, started my first business, which later evolved into Excite Creative Studios. And over the years since then, got my bachelors and masters degree in Web Design and Media, and launched a handful of personal projects over the years to which have developed into their own companies and own brands. In 2016, I launched Women's Business Daily, which is a website that is targeted at female entrepreneurs and career-driven women who are looking for education and information on how to start their own businesses, how to further their careers, and how to maintain the work-life balance, and the importance of self-care.
In 2002, my other brand, FanBolt, I launched. And that is a geek news site, geek lifestyle site. It focuses on film, television, and travel tech, kind of anything nerdy that you would geek out over. And with that site, I really got my ... it started my my experience with learning digital marketing. I had a number of sites that I had launched off of that site for various television shows. One of that being for The OC. And it was the early days of Google. I love to figure out how things work. So, I was able-
Corey Rieck: Gee, that doesn't run in your family at all?
Emma Loggins: Not at all. But I was able to figure out SEO in the earlier days, much harder to do so now. But my site for the OC actually ranked above the official site for the television series. And Warner Brothers reached out in 2004, asked me to run a site that they were starting for the show. And really early days of social media and blogging, and kind of got to experience that as a contractor with Warner Brothers. And since then, graduated in 2009 with my masters, and I've just been running these three brands ever since.
Corey Rieck: You've had a lot of really cool experiences with FanBolt. You've done a lot of traveling. You've interviewed a lot of famous people. Tell us about that experience?
Emma Loggins: FanBolt has been incredible. I have-
Corey Rieck: It seems so.
Emma Loggins: Yeah, yeah. It's a lot of fun and really ties into everything that I do on the digital marketing side. It's been one of my greatest marketing pieces for getting clients. But with that site specifically, I wanted an outlet to kind of celebrate the things that I geeked out over. And when I launched that site, geek culture wasn't super mainstream and cool like it is today with Marvel, and DC, and The Walking Dead, and all of those shows and movies.
Corey Rieck: So, you were really kind of ahead of your time with that?
Emma Loggins: I mean, it had a diehard fan base of those genres even then but weren't as accepted as they are today. But yeah, I've gotten to meet and interview so many celebrities that have been a part of films and TV shows that I idolize. I've gotten to travel to other countries to visit filming locations and interview directors, and photographers, and cinematography experts, and just all of these different people in and around the industries that I really love.
Corey Rieck: Who are the three coolest movie star, movie-related people that you interviewed and why?
Emma Loggins: That's tough. Honestly, I've not had a bad experience with anyone I've interviewed, which I-
Corey Rieck: That's good.
Emma Loggins: Extremely lucky because you always worry going into an interview that it's not gonna go well. And then, suddenly, the movie that you've loved for the last 30 years is no longer going to be your favorite movie. Betty White was one of my all time favorite interviews. She is just as sassy, and intelligent, and witty, and as amazing of a human being as you would expect her to be. John Travolta was actually one that I did relatively recently, and I was a huge fan of Grease growing up. Phenomenon is still one of my favorite films, Pulp Fiction. So, many great movies that I love.
Corey Rieck: So, you're leaving one movie out of John Travolta?
Emma Loggins: Well, he's done some not some not-so-great movies as well.
Corey Rieck: Saturday Night Fever out.
Emma Loggins: Oh, Saturday Night Fever. Yes, absolutely.
Corey Rieck: In 1977, when that movie came out, John Travolta was the coolest guy in the face of the earth. There's not even a close second. And I watched that movie. I watched the special on it the other night about what went into making the movie. And I think the movie was made for just about a million dollars. And they were really worried about what they spent, and it came out, and it was a success. And, gee, do we release it as an R-rated movie or PG? And I think it was R. And I remember, that was probably the first sale I ever made because I talked my way into the theater, and I was 12.
Emma Loggins: Nice.
Corey Rieck: And I remember thinking, that guy is so cool.
Emma Loggins: It wasn't an interview. It was a 30-minute conversation with them. It was everything I could have hoped for. And he's a brilliant actor and a truly kind human being. So, it was a great experience.
Corey Rieck: He seems like a great guy. I don't have the experience that you do with him, but I'm a great admirer of his movies. And he's made some that weren't great, but I mean-
Emma Loggins: All actors do.
Corey Rieck: And I think that he did Saturday Night Fever, and then Grease came out shortly after that, if I'm not mistaken.
Emma Loggins: Right, right.
Corey Rieck: And he was riding a pretty high wave there.
Emma Loggins: He was, he was.
Corey Rieck: So, how has your work with FanBolt, how has that evolved over the years?
Emma Loggins: Well, still doing everything that I did with it in the beginning, doing film reviews.
Corey Rieck: Does is it become easier with social media and all of the advancements there to do that?
Emma Loggins: Yes and no. When FanBolt first started, it had a very thriving message board community, which was before MySpace. And MySpace and Facebook kind of changed the game with message board culture to where those conversations were taking place on social media instead of on message boards. And I think that we've seen a bit of a shift in more recent years with people kind of almost having a little bit of burnout on social media and wanting to find communities that are more focused on specific topics that they're passionate about, and it's seen a little bit of message board culture come back in regards to that. But it's been both a blessing and a curse, social media has, in being able to promote.
Corey Rieck: So, I have to ask this, knowing your father, as I've known him for the past 20 plus years, how is it that you were able to grow up and not be a CPA? How did you do that?
Emma Loggins: I think he tried. I worked for him one summer when I was in high school, working on processing tax returns and doing a number of things there at the business. And I told him at the end of that period that I knew one thing for certain and that I didn't want to go down the road in accounting. I-
Corey Rieck: And so, where did you stay after that?
Emma Loggins: Both my parents have always been incredibly supportive with the fact that I wanted to go to art school, and I was starting businesses, and I couldn't have done it without their support. So, I'm very thankful that they were supportive of me going to art school.
Corey Rieck: Well, your dad is certainly a fan of yours. There's zero question about that. You had some other experiences growing up. You are born and raised in the Atlanta area, right?
Emma Loggins: I am.
Corey Rieck: That's-
Emma Loggins: Rare.
Corey Rieck: Yes. And you had a lot of experience with ice skating.
Emma Loggins: I did, I did.
Corey Rieck: Tell us about that.
Emma Loggins: I started skating when, I think I was seven.
Corey Rieck: Because I know you didn't get your athletic ability from your dad.
Emma Loggins: Well, you know what? I still. It's funny that sometimes, if you put me in heels, high heels, I can't walk. But you put me on a tiny blade and on ice and I can skate. It's a very odd thing. But yeah, I started skating when I was seven. And I did something. At the time, it was called precision skating. Today, it's called synchronized skating. And it's roughly 16 or so girls on the ice kind of Rockette style. And it's not an Olympic sport yet because not enough countries have teams to send to the Olympics with it, but I think that that's probably going to change in the future.
Corey Rieck: You had a lot of success with that, though.
Emma Loggins: I loved it, yeah, yeah. That was my sport as a kid.
Corey Rieck: What did you learn from that?
Emma Loggins: I learned a lot from that. I think teamwork being the major, major thing that I learned from that. Working with 16 other girls in the ice and having to coordinate and count and be at a certain place at a certain time. It was a really good experience for just experiencing what it's like to work with a team.
Corey Rieck: Yeah. So, you graduated from high school, what? What year?
Emma Loggins: 2002.
Corey Rieck: Because it feels like I need a break hearing about all the stuff you've done, and you're very, very young yet. I mean, you're just sort of getting started. How did you get the idea to get involved in web design? Was there a jumping off point?
Emma Loggins: I don't remember the catalyst. I remember that I was in my my dad's office, and there was a book, I think, on FrontPage.
Corey Rieck: Because you've done something wrong.
Emma Loggins: [00:11:02] No, I don't think so. I don't remember it, so we'll say no. But there was a book on FrontPage, which I'm embarrassed to admit now, but a lot of people in the late '90s dabbled in FrontPage. And-
Corey Rieck: I have no idea what you just said.
Emma Loggins: It is-
Corey Rieck: Is that a newspaper?
Emma Loggins: No, no. It was a website coding program that you could use. And now, no one uses those those types of things anymore. But I kind of got into it. And I've always had a knack and an interest in building businesses. And I would sit down, I'd sit down at a table with like an Office Depot catalog, get myself a budget, and have to outfit my office. And that was fun to me as a middle schooler or as an elementary school kid.
Corey Rieck: You are definitely your father's daughter.
Emma Loggins: So, I've just always loved building brands and building businesses. And being able to to build websites allows me to build a digital presence for multiple types of brands. So, it's building businesses over and over, which was really satisfying and exciting to me.
Corey Rieck: What are some of the main things that you would need to have for a client to help them build their business, to build their brand? What are three things that you would need from a client to do that the right way?
Emma Loggins: To do it the right way, content is king. Having good content that you can work with to SEO and further optimize, that's the most important thing. Content that reads well for the reader, but also reads well for Google. High-quality images, that's another one that can be a struggle. If you took it on your cell phone, it probably shouldn't go on your website, unless you have a really great camera, and that's better than mine, but those are two of the main things. And then, I think, also, an understanding that quality is more important than quantity when it comes to any sort of social media marketing. If you don't have something that's quality that you can push out, don't push it out.
Corey Rieck: Yeah. What's your insight, given all of your experience and success with social media, what is your insight as to how many times people should post? Let's just say a business owner, how many times a week should they post on various media outlets?
Emma Loggins: Again, I would say quality is key. If you don't have something that's worth putting out, don't put it out just because you feel like you should do so many posts a week. That being said, I try to do on Facebook Monday, Wednesday, Friday. And-
Corey Rieck: Is there a reason for that? I mean, your target audience, are they looking at Facebook more on those days or?
Emma Loggins: Yeah. So, I use a scheduling program for myself and for all of my clients that identifies the best time to post on whatever platform you're posting on. So, the people that are currently following you and in your target audience, when they're most likely to be online and see your content. And I trust that and that works out well.
Corey Rieck: How did you know to use that tool? That seems like it would be very useful.
Emma Loggins: Yeah. It's a lot of trial and error. There's a lot of programs and different services in the social media space, and not all of them are good. So, it's just trial and error over the years, seeing which ones work well for you, and making sure to look at your analytics every month, and know what works, what doesn't work, and what can be improved upon.
Corey Rieck: With your current company, what gives you the most satisfaction?
Emma Loggins: See, this is going to be the part where I do sound like my father. It's looking at the analytics and looking at the numbers month to month and seeing the growth. That to me, knowing that, seeing a ranking on Google move up from 10 to first place or seeing traffic improve by 50% or 100%. And just seeing the numbers that actually show success and what the ROI is.
Corey Rieck: Do you have a lot of automation that you built in for your clients to help readily get these numbers, or are you building manual reports to explain to your client base what's happening?
Emma Loggins: The reports are automatic. I pull those every single month from the software that we use. And then, I go through, and I kind of translate those reports into terms that are a little bit more understandable and relatable for-
Corey Rieck: I'm sure your clients really appreciate that.
Emma Loggins: Yeah, yeah.
Corey Rieck: You're dumbing it down, in other words. You're putting it in English.
Emma Loggins: Exactly. I want to be sure that they understand.
Corey Rieck: When you take on a client, do you have an intake process? What's your process for figuring out what your steps are to help them?
Emma Loggins: Usually, an initial phone call just to kind of get a high-level overview of what they're looking to do. And I'll follow up with that with a kind of a questionnaire that goes into a little bit more detail specific to their projects, what they're looking to accomplish. And then, it's a very strategic approach, creating a blueprint for how we're going to accomplish what they're looking to do, and what that looks like in terms of supporting their other marketing efforts as well.
Emma Loggins: One of the unique things with Excite is that most of the clients we work with, we work with them in multiple areas. So, we'll do their website, we'll do their social media, we do their email marketing. And having one agency that you can call to be able to handle all of those different components also means that we have an awareness of what else you're doing, how to make sure that each of those components work together.
Corey Rieck: So, it sounds like you're a full-service digital marketing shop.
Emma Loggins: Right.
Corey Rieck: That's fair, right?
Emma Loggins: Right.
Corey Rieck: And so, you could help folks with by parceling out. I'm sure you could probably do the email marketing, you could probably to the social media, you could help with website matters. Do you ever get a client that says, "Hey, Emma, I really just need help on my website. I need my website to generate more. Can you just help me with that?" Would you take a client-
Emma Loggins: Absolutely.
Corey Rieck: ... that asked you for that?
Emma Loggins: Absolutely. We have a lot of a la carte type clients as well.
Corey Rieck: And then, when you take on a client that has specific needs for a website, for website better performance, whatever you want to call it, how do you get started with them? I mean, are you tracking how many hits the website is getting? Are you tracking how many meetings are generated? Walk us through that.
Emma Loggins: Sure. Well, if it's a redesign project, and it's not a brand-new website for a company, what we'll do is we'll go in, and we'll evaluate their current website, put it through a couple of our programs to see what is the Google page Speed Score? How that can be improved? What is their current SEO standing? What is the current rankings there? What is their current traffic? Really being able to look at all of the data and the analytics for both the content and the technical side to establish a baseline, and then set realistic goals for what we can accomplish with a redesign.
Corey Rieck: Yeah, that sounds realistic. Do you have a certain kind of client that you're looking for?
Emma Loggins: Honestly, our client base is kind of all over the map. We have a lot of kind of small mom and pop shops, a lot of startup type companies. Of course, working with film and television companies and personal trainers, lawyers. It's kind of all over the map. The best fit for us, though, are clients that are truly passionate about their businesses and are excited about what we bring to the table and how we work.
Corey Rieck: Is your approach with people, knowing that there is a huge differential in your expertise and kind of what your client understands? Take me for example. I understand like sort of next to nothing about all the things you just discussed. I know they're important, but I also know it's important to sort of leave it to somebody that that's what they do. What is your expectation of involvement for the clients that you take on?
Emma Loggins: It's different from client to client. Sometimes, we have clients that say, "We fully trust you, and we fully trust everything you're going to put out. Run with it. We don't want to work with it. We don't want to be bothered with it."
Corey Rieck: Yeah, that doesn't surprise me.
Emma Loggins: So we have a few clients like that, and that works out great. And then, we have other clients that definitely want to be more hands on, and involved, and improve everything that goes out. We're very flexible to be able to work with our clients in whatever way best fits them and their business.
Corey Rieck: In looking at all of the options media-wise - and LinkedIn and Facebook - and for business owners, for entrepreneurs, do you give them perspective on, "Hey, if you're trying to promote professional services, here are the places you should go to." Do you have perspective and thoughts on that?
Emma Loggins: Yeah, absolutely. Facebook and LinkedIn, I think, are a given no matter what industry you're in. Twitter, I would also argue, if you have the bandwidth to do that one as well. Instagram is a great one, but if you're not in an industry that is creative or visual, that can be a little bit more of a struggle to keep up with. So, it's usually Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn that I recommend to business owners. And if they're looking to reach consumers or they have a product, then Instagram as well.
Corey Rieck: Yeah. Staying on top of it, if you're busy, and you're working in your business during the during go time, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 or 6:00 p.m., it seems like it could be very much a challenge to stay on top of it. So, I would guess that you probably would offer that to businesses, to business owners that didn't have the time to do that, right?
Emma Loggins: Exactly. Do what you're an expert at. I can't write legal contracts. I'm going to go to a lawyer for that. A lawyer that doesn't want to do social media, doesn't know how to do it, they'll come to me. So, it's definitely using your time as wisely as you can.
Corey Rieck: Do you have a particular segment of client that you like working with that you're focused on at the moment?
Emma Loggins: For me-
Corey Rieck: I know you want business owners to feel strongly about what they do. Obviously, that's key.
Emma Loggins: Absolutely. I named my business Excite Creative for a reason. I'm very excited about what I do. I love it.
Corey Rieck: We never would've picked up on that.
Emma Loggins: I'm very passionate about it. So, those are the business owners that I love working with the most. But I will say that working with female entrepreneurs is something that just really personally motivates me. And it's something that-
Corey Rieck: Why is that, Emma?
Emma Loggins: I think it's just the stories, and the transparency, and just the honesty that that gets shared, and the stories that get told. It's just something that I really love hearing, and I really love hearing how they started their business, and the struggles they had, and the challenges they overcame. And it's incredibly inspiring. And those stories are the reason why I started Women's Business Daily is I wanted to be able to kind of capture that all in one location and have a place that people could go to for that type of inspiration and motivation.
Corey Rieck: It's funny. We have sort of similar shared experiences there. The whole genesis of the Tuesdays with Corey Show started by me wanting to really talk about all the contributions that ladies are making to their communities, their industries, their organizations. And I realized that growing up, my mom was a business owner in the '60s before women were supposed to do that. And my sister was an excellent high school athlete and is in our high school athletics Hall of Fame at a time when girls were supposed to be cheerleaders and take Home Ec classes. And I realized that early on that I was very, very positively affected, and it didn't occur to me ever that my experience was unique. But obviously, it was. And so, I find myself, even now, I hear some folks will sometimes say, "Well, hey, she's a great lawyer for a female." And it always struck me as odd because don't you just want a good one?
Emma Loggins: Yeah, I just want a good lawyer. Yeah.
Corey Rieck: Don't you want somebody that's going to get ... I mean, do I really care if I'm going to an endodontist to get a root canal if it's a woman, as long as the pain goes away? I don't. So, that's always struck me as odd. And so, we started the show to talk about all of the great contributions that female business owners like yourselves are making to the community. So, it's been an easy and natural transition for me, for sure.
Emma Loggins: Awesome, awesome. Yeah. I still remember when, I believe, I was 16. I was working at the-
Corey Rieck: Was that last week?
Emma Loggins: I'll take it. I was working at the local ice skating rink. And I was making minimum wage, $5.15 an hour. And my boyfriend was making $5.95, and we had the same job, and we started the same day, and I was like, "What the heck? Like why?" And that was kind of my first-
Corey Rieck: Wow!
Emma Loggins: ... experience with that, and at an age when I didn't really understand the bigger picture of it, and it's just something that I've always kind of felt very passionate about talking about and creating conversation around these topics because they need to be talked about.
Corey Rieck: Yeah. I think I don't begrudge anybody anything that they make - male, female or what have you. Like I said before, I think it's unique. You just want a good one of whatever, whether it's a web designer, or a dentist, store, CPA or whatever. And you’ve got to like, know, and trust them.
Emma Loggins: Absolutely.
Corey Rieck: I mean, it's one thing I've learned in my 55 years of existence is if I don't like someone, I just can't get to know him. And if I don't know him, I certainly can't use their services or put him in front of my clients for sure.
Emma Loggins: Right, absolutely.
Corey Rieck: So, how long? You skated competitively for a while.
Emma Loggins: 13 years.
Corey Rieck: Was there a reason you didn't go further with it?
Emma Loggins: It was a challenge.
Corey Rieck: It was a huge time commitment, I would imagine.
Emma Loggins: It was a huge time commitment. And we didn't really have a rink for a large part of those years near the house. I grew up and lived in Jonesboro, and we were-
Corey Rieck: So, where did you go skate to practice?
Emma Loggins: Stone Mountain for a while, until the rink closed there in '96 in preparation for the Olympics. And then, it was-
Corey Rieck: So, that was what? 45 minutes away from where you grew up roughly?
Emma Loggins: Yeah, yeah And then, it was Marietta, and then Duluth. And there were some times where our team, our precision skating team was based out of Stone Mountain, and when that closed, we didn't have a home. And then all the other rinks had their teams, and those teams got priority. So, we would have situations where we were driving to South Carolina or to Huntsville to skate at 5:00 a.m. in the morning. And bless my parents for doing it and keeping up with it. And I loved it for so long. And then, I got a little burnt out on it towards the end. It was a huge time commitment. And I also had the realization that I started at seven, I didn't start at four, I wasn't going to the Olympics. So, it was just kind of changing my priorities.
Corey Rieck: Was there an aha moment about that when you realized maybe your time is better spent doing something different?
Emma Loggins: I don't know if there was an aha moment. There definitely was moments where I would fall, and it would hurt more. And so, I'd be like, "All right. Well-"
Corey Rieck: So, maybe that's part of getting older.
Emma Loggins: Yeah. Yeah, definitely.
Corey Rieck: Well, I think that, you probably learned a lot of lessons about discipline. How many hours a week were you practicing for your team?
Emma Loggins: It was usually ... oh, gosh, probably six, five to six.
Corey Rieck: Okay.
Emma Loggins: Yeah.
Corey Rieck: So, that's pretty much a day.
Emma Loggins: Yeah, pretty much.
Corey Rieck: So, what took up your time when you decided to walk away from the ice skating part of your life? How did you fill that time?
Emma Loggins: When I fully walked away from it, I was in college. So, it was roughly around the time I started FanBolt and doing a lot of web design, building brands, building sub sites for FanBolt. So, I really threw myself into that because I loved building things, and I was able to do so much of that with that brand.
Corey Rieck: So, this FanBolt business, from where I sit, you've really parlayed that into a lot of trips, a lot of very, very unique experiences. I mean, I see your dad a good bit. And he says, "Well, I went over here, and she's over in Europe for this thing." And how did that happen? I mean, I know you're really good at what you do, but how does somebody that starts a company like that, how do they get access to those things?
Emma Loggins: Well, a lot of that is through what's called influencer marketing. And in addition to the social media profiles that my company has, my own social media profiles kind of attract companies that are looking to do influencer marketing. So, I'll have a company come to me and say, "We really like your content. We like your audience. We want to do something organic with you where we can promote our brand, or our services, or our location to your audience." So, for example, I worked with Scotland to go over there and highlight Harry Potter filming locations. I worked with Ireland to highlight Star Wars and Game of Thrones locations. I worked with Kia to promote the release of the Stinger. And I was able to drive a Stinger for a year. So, it all kind of falls under the influencer marketing where their brands are specifically looking to be able to reach my audience and my demographic.
Corey Rieck: You, also, list a lot of experience public speaking. How did you get into that, and how do you like that, and how does that fit into your businesses that you have?
Emma Loggins: Well, when I first got started with it, I was speaking at high schools kind of talking about my journey of creating my own businesses and kind of paving my own way to do what I was really passionate about in life. And I love doing that. I love being able to talk to high schoolers and inspire them to follow their dreams. But then, also, talking in a number of industry events about social media, web design, the importance of the digital presence that you have for your business. Also, moderating panels with different celebrities in promotion of the movies and TV shows they have coming out. So, it's kind of all over the map. I used to hate it. I honestly used to hate it. And now, I really love it.
Corey Rieck: Gee, I've never heard that before. Well, it can be a very, very good generator. It can be very, very effective for business development, whether you're speaking on your own or on a panel.
Emma Loggins: Absolutely, absolutely.
Corey Rieck: Do you have certain social media outlets like LinkedIn or Facebook that you prefer that you believe are easier to work with than others? I mean, for me, there's LinkedIn, there's Facebook, there's Instagram, there's Twitter. And I know they each have their own set of metrics that you follow if you're hitting a specific group, but is one of those easier for you to work with given your experience than others?
Emma Loggins: I think Facebook is probably the easiest to work with. They have-
Corey Rieck: Why do you say that?
Emma Loggins: They have a really robust advertising platform. I can target for a better price than I would be able to target on LinkedIn because LinkedIn can kind of offer some of the same functionality in terms of who you're able to target, but I can target business owners that live in a certain area, that match a certain demographic that are interested in certain TV shows, or technologies, or industries, or whatever it may be. I can pinpoint that and get a lower cost per click or a lower cost per customer than I can on any of the other platforms.
Corey Rieck: Have you had the most success there then?
Emma Loggins: For my business, yes. I would say for me, with the social media influencer work that I've done with FanBolt, Instagram has been the most successful.
Corey Rieck: What's important for you when someone is making a referral to your organization for your Excite business?
Emma Loggins: I think, it's just having someone ... 99% of our business is referrals. That is how we get the majority of our clients. So, it's just being able to work, like I said before, with companies that are really passionate and have realistic expectations for what their budget is. That's the best thing.
Corey Rieck: Clients don't have realistic expectations? Really. This just in.
Emma Loggins: This just in.
Corey Rieck: What do you think separates you from others that do what you do?
Emma Loggins: I think there are a number of things. One being a full-service creative agency, kind of being able to handle multiple parts of a project, and know how each of those pieces support the other. And another one is how accessible I am. All my clients on my cell phone number and text me, call me after hours sometimes. And there's-
Corey Rieck: You don't need to sleep. You're only 18 years old.
Emma Loggins: Exactly. But no, I mean, I understand it as an entrepreneur myself, being able to get a hold of people that you work with or team members gives you peace of mind. And that's something I want my clients to have. So, if they have questions after hours, I will respond to them as soon as I can. And I think also it's the level of excitement and investment that I have in my clients. No one cares as much about your business as you do, but the project that you're hiring my company for, that is my business. So, I care as much about that project being successful as you do. And I think that that level of investment and that level of excitement that we bring to the projects, to our clients' projects really sets us apart from our competition.
Corey Rieck: How has your business with Excite Creative Studios evolved?
Emma Loggins: It's evolved in service offerings over the years. It's that technology has changed.
Corey Rieck: [So, you're offering more services than you were initially?
Emma Loggins: Yeah, absolutely. In the beginning, it was just websites. And then, the social media happened. We started offering social media. My experience with both FanBolt and Women's Business Daily gave me a lot of experience in education with content marketing and SEO. And those are why those two sites are successful. That's why I generate as much traffic as I do from those sites. I know how to do what I've done on my own brands, and I can do it on my clients brands as well. So, SEO is a huge part of what we do as well. Email marketing, all of those components have come online over the years.
Corey Rieck: So, you're probably in a position where you could give clients a white paper or a summary of, "Hey, here's what I did for FanBolt. Here are the issues I needed to accomplish, the metrics I needed to hit, and here are those numbers. And here's what I did for Excite Creative Studio." So, I mean, that, to me, it gives you infinite credibility-
Emma Loggins: Absolutely.
Corey Rieck: ... because you've done it not only once, but you've done it twice. And you have ongoing business and ongoing concerns with both companies, right?
Emma Loggins: Absolutely, absolutely. Both FanBolt and Women's Business Daily are two of our biggest portfolio pieces that we can say, "Look, we look at what we've done with these brands. This is what we can do for you."
Corey Rieck: What do you think about ... where does video fit into all this? Because I hear there's chatter about, "Well, you need to be out on YouTube. You need to be putting out videos. People don't look at other information anymore." And I don't actually know if that's true or not, but I'm just wondering for myself, how important is video to content marketing and putting information out there?
Emma Loggins: It's super important. I mean-
Corey Rieck: Why though?
Emma Loggins: As technology progresses, our attention spans decline more and more. And so, video, and visuals, and content of a certain link fits in well to that. I'll give you an example. One of my law firms that I work with, we recently took their most successful blog post, and translated each of those into videos, and then put those videos into the blog post. And now, each of those pages are performing considerably higher traffic than they were before. We don't know the magic sauce that Google looks at with its algorithm and how much everything plays into it, but we do know that certain things do affect it. And video marketing and having video on your site definitely makes an improvement in your rankings.
Corey Rieck: Going back to the ... so, the thing that you did for your law firm, did that require them to make videos, or did you make the video animation or something on your own? Did that require them to shoot a video to talk about the blog?
Emma Loggins: Yes. And so, I have a contractor that I work with that came in, set up everything, had all the equipment. And then, the lawyer would just speak to the camera relaying the information that was in the blog post. And then, I would, then, edit that video, put up the opening and the closing title cards on it. And then, we would upload it to their YouTube, and then embed it on their site.
Corey Rieck: Yeah. From what I can gather, it seems that you're hitting a whole bunch more people. You have the ability to engage and nurture a bigger audience than by just putting out a blog and posting it on Facebook or LinkedIn. Is that-
Emma Loggins: Absolutely.
Corey Rieck: Is that accurate?
Emma Loggins: Absolutely. I mean, the more places that you can spread your marketing materials, the higher the likelihood that someone is going to stumble across you and your brand and be interested in working with you. So, it's just being able to get your content out there in as many places as you can.
Corey Rieck: How does all this fit together - the blogging, the email marketing, the posting, the videos, the website's? I know there's no special cocktail, but surely in that tremendous mental horsepower that you have, I can see the gears turning. How does all that stuff fit together?
Emma Loggins: Content is king. That's one of the things that Google looks at when they look at your site is how often your site is updated. And being able to have a new blog as frequently as you can, be able to push that out on social media, be able to have video content created from that, to show that you're continually being active and adding content to your site means that it's more up to date. And when Google's looking at you and a site that's a competitor, if your site's more up to date and has better content, that's going to rank you above your competitor.
Corey Rieck: How often should somebody update their website?
Emma Loggins: Again, I always go back to the quality over quantity.
Corey Rieck: I mean, just once a week?
Emma Loggins: Once a week is great if you can do it. At least, once a month. I'll have clients that'll come to me that haven't updated it in years. And that's a big no, no. You need to be doing it more frequently than that. I would say, at least, once a month. If you can do once a week or twice a month, that's great. And you should absolutely do that.
Corey Rieck: What do you do with your time when you're not driving the success of FanBolt or Excite?
Emma Loggins: Well, I'm a bit of a workaholic. So-
Corey Rieck: I wonder where you get that from?
Emma Loggins: I spend a lot of my free time on FanBolt and Women's Business Daily. But also, so many of the things that I do in and around those brands are things that I truly love. I go to media screenings several times a week to see movies before they come out, so I can write reviews on them for FanBolt. It's work, but it's fun work.
Corey Rieck: What's the coolest movie you've seen recently?
Emma Loggins: Recently. Well, didn't do well at the box office this last weekend, but Dr. Sleep was amazing. And it filmed here in Georgia, the sequel to The Shining. Really, really great film.
Corey Rieck: I’ll take your word.
Emma Loggins: It did not do well, but it's a really great film.
Corey Rieck: With Woman's Business Daily, what kind of business owner? Is there a specific kind of business owner that you're looking for there?
Emma Loggins: Honestly, it is being able to speak to millennial entrepreneurs that are looking to get started, how to get started, where to get started, what do they need to know that they don't know. But then, also, speaking to women that have built companies, and sold them, and had success with them, and being able to convey that information to those that are just starting out, and also being able to showcase companies that are just starting out to people that have been around for a while. So, it's all over the map with that.
Corey Rieck: So, it seems like there is a wide span of experience that would be of interest to you.
Emma Loggins: Absolutely.
Corey Rieck: Ranking from somebody that's just getting started all the way to somebody that's bought and sold companies and maybe has something to offer somebody as a new female business owner thinking about getting into owning her business. Is that right?
Emma Loggins: Absolutely.
Corey Rieck: What gives you the most satisfaction with Women's Business Daily?
Emma Loggins: I do these in addition to the content, the regular article content we put out on that site. We do a number of features on business owners. And that, to me, gives me the most enjoyment and just excitement about what I do as being able to hear their stories and also learn from them, situations that they've been in that I've not been in, and I wouldn't have thought about how I would have handled them or what I would have done. And it's being able to share that knowledge, and learn from one another, and support one another. That is the most fulfilling for me.
Corey Rieck:Yeah. And pick everybody up as opposed to..
Emma Loggins: Absolutely.
Corey Rieck: That's great.
Emma Loggins: Absolutely. Celebrate what everyone is doing versus pulling it apart.
Corey Rieck: If someone was to engage your services, from where they sit, what are the most important questions they need to ask you? Because along those lines, a lot of people that do what you do often take advantage of people that don't understand what they're doing. So, how do you avoid that? How have you had so much success? You must have avoided it for the most part.
Emma Loggins: Yeah. I mean, like I said before, 99% of my business is referrals. So, it's someone that's had a good experience with us telling their friends, telling their neighbors about working with us. And that really speaks for itself. But what I would say, if you're looking at working with a digital marketing agency or with a web designer is look at their reviews online. You don't go and buy an expensive piece of technology from Amazon without reading the reviews. You wouldn't hire a digital marketing agency without looking at their reviews. That really speaks for itself. And we'll kind of give you the confidence that you need to make a decision.
Corey Rieck: Is there a certain number of reviews that a business needs to be looked at as legitimate?
Emma Loggins: I don't think so. I think if you don't see the number of reviews that you would want to see with a company-.
Corey Rieck: What do you think somebody should look for? 50? 100?
Emma Loggins: Well, for small businesses, that's not going to be realistic to have as many reviews. I think it's just looking at what individuals that have worked with them have said. With the reviews they do have, is there anything negative? If there is anything negative, how has that been addressed? How's the company been proactive in that? Sometimes, negative reviews speak more so than positive reviews. So-
Corey Rieck: How so?
Emma Loggins: Because it shows a company making something right. That being said, Excite does not have any negative reviews. So, I have not crossed that bridge yet. But it's something that, for me, when I look at reviews for service providers or for products, I'm more interested in reading the negative reviews and seeing how the company or brand responds to that, because it shows how much they care and how much they want to make things right if something does go wrong.
Corey Rieck: So, another one of your accomplishments that I've always been impressed with is you were the valedictorian of your class. And I know you're very bright, but did you decide before you went into high school that, "Hey, I need to be the valedictorian of my class"? How did that happen?
Emma Loggins: No, I really never thought about it and didn't think about it until I was told that I was the valedictorian. Everything that I've approached, I've always approached with, "I'm gonna give it nothing less than my best." And every single test I got back with a 95, I was like, "I want to make this one hundred. Like, what can I do moving forward to make sure that I can do the best that I can on everything?" And it's how I've approached everything in life and that was just a repercussion of my tenacity.
Corey Rieck: So, it sounds like you don't have a problem leaving it all out on the floor, as we used to say, in the old country. I mean, you're going to give your best and put forth your best effort. I mean, that's a tremendous accomplishment. How many folks were in your graduating class?
Emma Loggins: 220 something.
Corey Rieck: And you were number one by yourself.
Emma Loggins: I was number one.
Corey Rieck: Stone, that's something you and I didn't have to worry about, I don't think, did we? Well, congratulations. That's a-
Emma Loggins: Thank you.
Corey Rieck: That's a huge that's a huge accomplishment. You were referred on the show by somebody that we have a great deal of respect for. And you've achieved a certain level of excellence. And I know we talked a little bit about what separates you, but I think, knowing you, the things that the separate you for me is that you've gotten your hands dirty doing the work. So, you know what a client needs to do. That, I think gives you great credibility. I think I like working with people that have been great athletes in the past. And it doesn't matter what it was, if it was track, or skating, or wrestling, or whatever, because I think in order to do what you did, there's a certain amount of blocking and tackling that has to happen every single day. Otherwise, you don't get the success that you get.
And I think, also, being able to perform in a solo environment, like being the valedictorian of your class, I think that shows a certain level of discipline and tenacity. And so, those are three things that really speak to me in terms of what you've done. I mean, I know you've done other things. I think the other thing that's cool is all of this influencer work that you have done for people, because of the results you're able to drive, I think that also speaks volumes as well. I should be a paid commercial sponsor for your show.
Emma Loggins: Yeah, you should. Yeah, absolutely, you should be. Let's talk.
Corey Rieck: What do you think you're going to do going forward? I mean, you're young. You've obviously experienced a great deal of success. You've recently gotten married.
Emma Loggins: I have, I have.
Corey Rieck: And so, what do you do with your free time? I know you work a lot, but when you shut it off, what do you do?
Emma Loggins:When I shut it off-
Corey Rieck: Because you did make the comment initially about work-life balance.
Emma Loggins: Yeah, yeah. Again, I've made a career out of things that I'm truly passionate about, and some of my career is my hobby. So, I think, for me, when I'm not working, traveling. I want to see as much of the world as I possibly can see.
Corey Rieck: Well, you've seen a lot of it now.
Emma Loggins: I have seen a lot of.
Corey Rieck: What's the coolest place you've been to?
Emma Loggins: That's hard.
Corey Rieck: Well, pick two.
Emma Loggins: Pick two. I love Scotland. I had such an incredible-
Corey Rieck: Why?
Emma Loggins: Well, I was traveling with an individual that really tested my endurance for a trip. Some things went wrong with our car on that trip, and she was a fellow influencer. And it just it ended up being this crazy, awesome adventure that should have not ended well but ended really well. We got to see a lot of cool places. We got stranded on the Isle of Skye. It was so much fun. That and all of Italy. I would move to Italy in a heartbeat if I could.
Corey Rieck: I don't think ... I'm not sure. I'm sure your dad and mom would have something to say about it.
Emma Loggins: They would not be a fan of that. Yeah.
Corey Rieck: Yeah. So, what's next?
Emma Loggins: Continuing to grow my businesses, launching more businesses. Women's Business Daily had some really cool stuff that's happening early next year. We're rebranding and relaunching.
Corey Rieck: Such as?
Emma Loggins: Rebranding and relaunching that, bringing in some additional contributors there, and really building out the community of female entrepreneurs on that site to be able to mentor and offer advice to those getting started.
Corey Rieck: Do you have get-togethers for Women's Business Daily? Do you have any meetups or anything like that? How else are you driving the brand there? I know you're doing a ton of work there, but are there other things that you're doing that we need to know about?
Emma Loggins: Not doing events currently. Although, I am in talks about having retreats and kind of bringing some of what we're doing in the digital space into the physical space. So, I am working with a company on that. And hopefully, we'll have more to say about that in early 2020.
Corey Rieck: What do you mean bringing it into the physical space? Digital versus physical?
Emma Loggins: Bringing in some of the same contributors that we have, writing content and offering advice on the site, bringing those individuals in to a weekend retreat to be able to do workshops, and do really focus sessions on working with entrepreneurs, and what they need to know, and how they can better building grow their businesses.
Corey Rieck: Is there a percentage of time that you spend on Excite Creative Studios versus FanBolt? Is it 50/50? Generally, if you looked at the course of the last 365 days, what would the breakdown be?
Emma Loggins: They're both full-time jobs. It changes from day to day. And honestly, that's what I love most about what I do is that I can be flexible enough to where I'm coding all day on a website one day. And then, the next day, I'm on a film set, you know, interviewing an actor. I can make my schedule what it needs to be. And, like I said before, I know it qualifies as work, but it doesn't feel like work.
Corey Rieck: Is there a part of it that you enjoy more than other parts? I mean, you mentioned coding and you mentioned ... did you enjoy that?
Emma Loggins: Absolutely. I enjoy-
Corey Rieck: You really are a mutant.
Emma Loggins: I love understanding how and why things work and making things work. So, that, to me, is where I get the most satisfaction and excitement with what I do.
Corey Rieck: How are you giving back to your community that you're living in now?
Emma Loggins: That was really my goal when I started a Women's Business Daily is I wanted to be able to help other people that were starting out that maybe didn't have the resources that I had or the network that I had. So much of me launching my business, I mentioned my parents being extremely supportive, but having my dad, a CPA, be able to really say, "Okay, you need that, you need this, you need that," those are not things that I would have known had he not told me. So, being able to kind of-
Corey Rieck: And he's not shy about telling people. I know that.
Emma Loggins: No, no, not at all. So, I think it's just being able to give back and be able to let other people learn from my experiences and, also, showcase others that have had success, and be able to just share that knowledge with as many entrepreneurs as I can.
Corey Rieck: Yeah, you mentioned the word experiences. I'm assuming that that involves both good and not-so-good experiences. And to me, it seems like you are in a very strong position having been at this for quite a while, where you can say to somebody that's thinking about what you're doing, "Do this, don't do that in. And here's why you don't do that." I think there's a lot of mojo and a lot of power in that. And just my two cents worth.
Emma Loggins: No, absolutely. And I speak about FanBolt and Women's Business Daily as two brands that were side projects that were successful. I have had side projects that were not successful. And I honestly learned more from those experiences than I have from the success that I've had. So, I mean, learning from the things that don't work is just as important and valuable as what does work.
Corey Rieck: Well, this is great. So, Emma, you've had all of this success at a still relatively young age. What advice would you give your younger self?
Emma Loggins: I think I would go back and say, don't be afraid of taking risk. Always, I'm a planner. I prepare. I try to make sure that I'm approaching everything the right way. And there's some times when you're doing something new where you just need to think outside the box and you just need to trust your gut. Sometimes, it'll work. Sometimes, it won't. But like I said before, if it doesn't work, you'll learn more in those experiences than you will from the ones that do.
Corey Rieck: If there were a young lady that was thinking about taking the path that you've taken, what advice would you have for her?
Emma Loggins: I would say just do it. The time is going to pass regardless. A year from now, you could either be a year into building your business, or you could still be talking about doing it. So, just do it as one thing. Secondly, I would say, especially for the youth today, growing up with social media being such an integral part of their life, be careful what you put out there. Everything I've ever put on social media has been to support Emma Loggins as a brand. I brand myself as a geek girl. I love the film, television, travel, tech, all of these things. And that is all of the content that I put out there on my own social media. It supports that narrative and supports that brand. So, just being strategic with thinking of yourself as a brand, and how you want to present yourself to the world, just to be conscious of that with social media.
Corey Rieck: So, Emma, you've had great success with FanBolt, great success with Excite Creative Studios. If the listenership wanted to get a hold of you, how would they do that?
Emma Loggins: Well, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Emma Loggins on each of those accounts. You can find me online at fanbolt.com, excite.com. Email address, Emma@ ... or excise me, excitecs.com And email address, email@example.com. Phone. I don't want to give out my mobile, Corey? That's only for clients.
Corey Rieck: All right. Emma, you've been a tremendous guest.
Emma Loggins: Thank you, thank you.
Corey Rieck: And continued success. And just, you've been a great guest today. And thanks so much for being on the show. Continued success.
Emma Loggins: Thank you. I appreciate it.