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Scott EmpringhamScott Empringham is the Owner and CEO of Empringham Media Group. For more than 21 years, his passion has been helping Fortune 50 companies to break through the clutter using digital marketing and social media to drive results in areas that matter most — customer retention and acquisition. Scott’s mission is to share his digital marketing and social media expertise to drive new business, retain current customers, and conquer the competition. He is also a member of the Orange County Chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO).

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Scott Empringham recounts the memory of shutting his office down
  • The game-changing advice Scott received from David Meltzer
  • How asking for and taking help allowed Scott to start over
  • Scott shares his eight-step marketing plan
  • Why you have to identify your ideal customer and the problem you solve
  • The people that helped Scott hone his speaking ability
  • Helping small businesses figure out where to start
  • Classic mistakes people make in the marketing process
  • Why technology is a double-edged sword

In this episode…

If your business has to shut down and you leave empty-handed, how do you pick yourself up and start over? What is the first step you have to take? Today’s guest was at his lowest point and found a way to pick himself up and rebuild. What are his secrets?

When faced with calamity, it’s hard to know where to turn. Scott Empringham decided to reach out for help which was the turning point he needed to start over. With a broad history of working in various industries around the world, Scott leverages the power of his experiences to help companies and business leaders break through the clutter and focus on the direction they should take. Scott formulated an eight-step plan using digital marketing and social media to drive results in the business areas that matter most: sales and service.

In this episode of the Rising Entrepreneurs Podcast, Jeremy Weisz sits down with Scott Empringham, Owner and CEO of Empringham Media Group, who shares how he regained his position after closing his office and leaving with just a phone. He shares how he started over, steps he took to move forward, and the value of asking for help. Scott talks about honing his speaking skills, learning valuable lessons from others, and highlights the common mistakes people make in the marketing process and how to avoid them.

Resources mentioned in this episode

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:03  

Welcome to the Rising Entrepreneurs Podcast where we feature top founders and entrepreneurs and their journey. Now let’s get started with the show.

Jeremy Weisz  0:13  

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here founder of, where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders today is no different. I am going to formally introduce Scott Empringham in a second of Empringham Media Group. And Scott, I always like to point out other episodes, people should check out of the podcast and one person in particular, Todd Taskey, who has the Second Bite Podcast, check it out. But he talked about how with agency owners, he pairs private equity with agency owners and help them sell and sometimes they make more on the second bite than they do on the first and that’s a really fascinating conversation of valuation how he thinks about selling, also had Duncan Alney has an agency in helps food and beverage companies. And so check that out. And we’ll talk about niches on this podcast. And before this episode is brought to you by Rise 25. At Rise 25, we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships and partnerships. And how do we do that we actually help you run your podcast, we’re an easy button for someone to launch and run their podcast, we do accountability strategy, and the full execution. And Scott, we know each other a little bit. You know, for me, the number one thing in my life is relationships. And I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships. And I’ve found no better way over the past decade to profile the people in companies I most admire and share with the world what they’re working on, like Scott. So if you’ve thought about podcasting, you should if you have questions, go to to learn more. And really, John Corcoran, my business partner, introduced me to Scott and the cool things he’s done. And let me just introduce Scott. He’s got a tremendous background. I have Scott Empringham. He’s founder of Empringham Media Group, and in 2018, after 20 years of building an eight figure agency and just put yourself in his shoes for a second. All right, Scott lost it all. He was off with no office, no staff, no customers, and beyond that, to make matters worse, $500,000 in debt, and he had 90 days to turn around. I mean, he had to pay that debt back. So what he did is he turned to social media, and he actually shared his story, which is great. A lot of times when we go through hard times we want to hide it. We don’t want to share with anyone. And sometimes it’s hard for people to help if you don’t share it right. He shared his story, His plan and His goal to get it all back in 90 days or less. And he actually did an ADA days, which is crazy to think about. But Scott is recognized digital marketing social media expert with over 20 years of expertise. He’s helped over 1000 entrepreneurs, small businesses and fortune 50 companies get customers with social media and AI. He’s worked with virtually every major OEM, Ford, Toyota, Cadillac, GMC, Honda, and many, many more in over 2000 dealers. He’s also worked with owners, CEOs, marketing departments of insurance companies, plastics, financial, and a lot more you can check him out. He also has, you know, he is really one that I see carries on relationships and is a giver. And he has an on demand social media certification course and a coaching program to just to help teach people because some companies can’t afford his services. Right. So you can check that out Scott, thanks for joining me.

Scott Empringham  3:43  

Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate being here.

Jeremy Weisz  3:46  

Yo Scott some people for motivation when they’re working out, listen to their favorite music, okay. I listen to people like you. And late last night I’m, I’m thinking I need to, you know, I like to do research. It’s, you know, tenant night. I’m like, I need to listen to a bunch of Scott’s interviews. And so I went and I did a workout and your story pumped me up because it’s just a story of comeback. And it’s a story of just hard times. And just take me back for a second. Take us back to your daughter. Right, your daughter’s on your lap. Just paint the picture of what’s happening.

Scott Empringham  4:30  

As I assume you’re talking about when I shut the office down. I think you’re gonna take it take me right back there. Wow, you were right right for it. So you did your homework, you really did your homework. I’m closing my office. And my attorney has just informed me that I can’t take my laptop because it’s an asset of the business now. The business is gone. The customers are gone. The employees are gone. Public faceplant on social media. And I know that I deep underwater. I don’t know how bad it is, but it’s bad. And the attorney and my daughter and my son go back to the office for the final time my office in Newport Beach. And I’m taking one final look around as I’m about to leave the office for good knowing that I’m walking out with nothing. And I’m sitting in my office, and I started to fall apart. i My stomach was in knots and I was sinking. And I just felt beneath so far beneath the waves. I didn’t know how it was going to come up. And I started to cry. And I’m looking out the window just thinking about everything that I’d lost. And my daughter walks in. And as a dad, I wanted to pull myself together not to freak her out. And she said, Daddy, are you crying? And I said, yeah, yeah, these are these are happy tears. Everything’s okay. Everything’s okay. And she sat on my lap. And she said, What are you going to do now? And I looked at, I said, we’re gonna start again. We’re gonna start again. I said, Great. And you know, kids don’t understand the gravity, and the enormity of maybe what a dad or a mom is feeling when they’re going through something like that. And I said, we’re going to start again, sweetheart. She said, Great. I’ll help you see what’s the name of your company. And I hadn’t given it any thought. And I said, it’s Empringham Media Group. And she said, Great, let’s do your first social media post. And it was exactly what God nature designed for me in that moment. And it gave me that it helped me turn a corner. I got out my phone. And it was the last piece of property I had for my business. I had free social media accounts, and it was a great reminder of what I still had. And so she said, great, what is it going to be and if you go on my Instagram account, you can see it’s like June 18, or June, I should know the date that it’s in June. It’s a very first post. And it’s something about when things fall apart, we start again, and we found a quote, and that was my very first posts for Empringham Media Group. And it’s on there today. And it was the very first step to rebuild. And you know, the optimism of a child, right? She says, Great, well, let’s go get some ice cream. I walked out, I took one final look at the office. And as she walked out, I had the foresight to just take some pictures as she’s walking out. She’s in her jammies in her Ugg boots. And she’s walking out and I still use that picture. Sometimes in my, my campaigns today, or in my videos today, to say this was the last day in my office. And it it doesn’t matter where you are, it doesn’t matter what happened. It doesn’t matter how deep, you might be underneath the waves, taking one step at a time, you can you can accomplish some amazing things. And I’m pretty good proof of that

Jeremy Weisz  8:08  

How old is she?

Scott Empringham  8:12  

this was in 2018. As by four years ago, she’s like nine or eight, eight or nine, something like that. Wow. Yeah, I’m

Jeremy Weisz  8:21  

like doing squats holding dumbbells last night. I’m like, if he got through that, I could do a couple more reps. So I appreciate that. But you know, at that point, you had built up an eight figure agency. And it we’ll get to kind of a little bit about what happened. But you got some really key advice from David Meltzer. Yeah, yeah. And can you talk about that? Yeah, he’s been on the podcast, too, is a really cool story. Great advice. So

Scott Empringham  8:57  

yeah, he gave me a great piece of advice. Now, this is just after I shut everything down. And I was feeling particularly desperate. The clock was ticking. It was one of the very first meetings I had after I’d shut everything down. No money in the bank. Half a million dollars in debt, really just starting to figure out a plan. And when I went to him, he asked me, how’s business? How are things and he didn’t know anything about my story. He probably looked at maybe my social media and saw the old company. And I decided to be perfectly honest with him. I said, I’ve lost everything, David. I lost everything. I’m starting completely from any so at that moment, that the whole interview because I was sort of interviewing him and it took a turn and a lot more honest, a lot more real. And he sat up in his chair and he leaned forward and he said, I’ve been there. Can I give you a good piece of advice? Can I share something with you? I said, Yeah, I said at that point, by the way, I’ve been humbled, and you know, there’s never a better place to start. Then by being an open vessel, you know, when you don’t know everything, and at that point, believe me, I felt like I didn’t know anything. And that’s how I was, I was open to advice. And he said, I want you to do something for me. And this changed everything for me. And he said, I’m going to share with you the concept, the concept is gratitude and service. And I said, I know they’re just words, but let’s put it into practice right now. I said, I’m familiar with obviously how important gratitude is. And I’m familiar with how important services because yeah, but we’re gonna put it into practice. He said, I want you to do me a favor, think of a meeting you have today or tomorrow. And I need you to think about how you can serve, before you go to that meeting, it could just be I want you to be in a peak state, it may be thinking about how you can serve that person, how you could bring value, how can you add value? How can you add 10 times more value than anybody ever could possibly expect. And then be willing to take $1 dollar back as offered $20 worth of value calls, like the 20 to one rule, offered $20 of value and take $1 back be be confident and be appreciative of the fact that you deserve $1 back if you can offer somebody $100 for the value of $20 with the value, but the concept is be thinking about service. He goes, What’s the next meeting you have? I just been asked to join the board of a group called Entrepreneur Organization here in Orange County. And I said, Well, I’ve got a meeting today. And there’s a meeting and it’s the board meeting. He goes, How can you serve? How can you serve massive value to everybody don’t worry about getting, because because the key is right now you’re going to be thinking about how do I get wrong energy to put out in the world, if you really want to get energy back, if you want to get wealth, if you want to get abundance, you want to track that? You have to be that. And the way to be that is go and serve, go and contribute. So he said, what could you do? I said, Well, I know it’s a brand new board. I can take my phone, my only piece of digital marketing equipment at the time. I’m going to do interviews, and I’m going to post them on social they probably want to promote their businesses, they they’re proud to be on the board. So I did interviews I got there. I lined everybody up at odd times I did interviews, and I just served and then I posted that on the channel. I didn’t do a video of myself. I didn’t post anything about myself. I didn’t do a selfie, but I did videos of everybody and they were like, wow, I really appreciate what do you do? Again? Tell me what you do. And I literally came back I thought to myself that night is that a special prayer for for David Meltzer because two out of the eight board members said, Hey, let’s talk on Monday. I think I could use your services. You know, I really could use some help with my digital marketing social media isn’t. I’d be delighted. It’s not only like in a Ford. Yes. If you could afford me. You can afford me. I’ll figure it out.

Jeremy Weisz  12:35  

Yeah, thanks for sharing that. Scott. I think, you know, I hear a lot of people ask questions. Hey, if you were to start with nothing in a laptop, what would you do? I mean, you didn’t even have a laptop, right at the time. And not only that, you know, you had to pay back this debt. Okay. So you started there? What were some of the steps you took next to? Again, it just feels insurmountable?

Scott Empringham  13:04  

Yeah, at the time. Yeah. The first step I actually took, you know, I was gonna go right to the first step I took, which is identifying my target audience, I promise I’ll get there. And I’ll make this as short as I can. The first step I took, was asking for help. And there was a point in June, early June, after after I’d shut everything down. I was in a really dark place. It was about a week after that. I was medicating myself with sleeping pills and alcohol just to try to get through the night because I was just so anxious every night with my stomach in knots thinking how I was gonna get out of this. It was like being in a box that I couldn’t see I was gonna get out. And it and now was July 4. And if all my good friends were all on trips with their families and their wives and their significant others, and somebody messaged me on WhatsApp and said, How you doing today, Scott, and they knew that I just shot my visit on it. And, and I don’t know if you’ve ever been in this place, or anybody listening has ever been in this place where somebody asks you how you’re doing? And the real answer is not good. Not good. Not good at all. Now, there’s two kinds of goods not good, the general not good, and really don’t want to bore anybody with it. But then there’s the not good, which is where you need help. Where you’re in such a dark place, when it’s probably better, that you just admit to a good friend or a colleague that you’re really not good. And I had the unique good fortune of the wisdom to tell my buddy not good. And as he was Anthony djerassi. And, gosh, you’re really you’re really asked some good questions here. And Anthony was at a party in Laguna Beach, and a holiday party. And he sensed from my whatsapp response that I was really not good. Good. And I dropped off the WhatsApp group in about 45 minutes. Although he was at a party, he left everybody and banged on my front door. And out when I opened it, he looked at me and he realized I wasn’t good. So he sat down. And we talked. And I asked for help. That was the first step. You know, and I’ll tell you the two things that really made a big difference is number one, I asked for help. And then number two, I took help, he gave me some good advice. He said, it’s not what you lost Scott. It’s what you still have, that you’re not recognizing. It’s what you still have, that you’re not noticing. It’s what you still have the you need to step up and deliver for it. He took a picture of my kids off of the desk behind me. He showed me the people that were still counting on me, he reminded me that you’ve got 2020 years of working in this industry you helped for generate a billion dollars worth of sales. What if you could do for you what you did for them, which is get customers with digital marketing, social media, and all sudden he got, I felt like Superman. He got me to look at what I still had as assets. And I started noticing all these amazing things I still had. That then helped me get back on my feet. I went for a run that afternoon after he left. And I came back down and I wrote down an eight step plan. It’s the same eight step plan I’ve been using for 20 years that I learned in Guerilla Marketing from Jay Conrad Levinson, way back in the day, you’ve probably heard of I see you nodding your head, right Jake seven sentence marketing plan. I made some tweaks to it over the years. And I wrote down my plan, my target audience, my goals, my budget, my messaging, segmenting how he’s gonna do that. I wrote down a basic plan that I teach in my workshops, I teach in my course. And I took massive action. I mean, I didn’t, I was relentless. I was absolutely relentless. When I say relentless, I just after I got that plan, I knew the only way out was through. And every single day, I just took massive, massive action. But ironically, it started with just taking asking for help. And taking help. Taking advice.

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