Here is a transcript generated by of The Content Mix podcast interview with VeraContent’s Kyler Canastra and Andrea Aldana, on the path of a freelancer to agency owner:

Kyler Canastra 0:13
Hi, everyone, we’re back with another episode of The Content Mix. And as you already know, my name is Kyler and today I’m excited to be here with Andrea Aldana, co-founder of Expulso, a female-owned digital marketing agency in Madrid, Spain. Andrea has given herself the title of digital marketing hustler, and she has definitely worked hard to get to where she is today. Born and raised in Nicaragua, Andrea always had her eyes set on exploring the world around her. After working a few years in Managua, Andrea took a leap of faith and moved to Madrid to pursue an MBA and a master’s degree in digital business. After working in various agencies in Madrid, she decided to start her own business with her best friend from Nicaragua. Combining their passion for graphic design, content marketing, and communication, Andrea and her co-founder strive to help their clients quote, “release the magic within.” And I’m very fortunate to be able to call Andrea a dear friend of mine. So without further ado, thank you so much for joining us, Andrea.

Andrea Aldana 1:14
Hi, thanks for having me.

Kyler Canastra 1:17
Where are you tuning in from today?

Andrea Aldana 1:20
I’m actually back home in Nicaragua. So I’m visiting my family, haven’t seen them in two years.

Kyler Canastra 1:25
Yeah. Because of the pandemic, I’m sure.

Andrea Aldana 1:27
Yeah, because of the pandemic and everything.

Kyler Canastra 1:29
That’s great. And online. Right. So you can do it from there. And we’ll talk more about Expulso later on in the interview. But first, I kind of wanted to start by talking more about you. And can you introduce yourself to our audience and kind of tell us who you are, how you got involved in marketing? And kind of just a bit of a reflection on your career so far.

Andrea Aldana 1:50
Yeah. But like you did an amazing introduction. So…

Kyler Canastra 1:55
I know you well.

Andrea Aldana 1:59
So I actually started working in digital marketing six years ago, actually back here, back home. When I was in college, I did like Business Administration, and I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. So I decided to double major in marketing. So like coming out of college, I would focus specifically in marketing. So I started working in this digital agency here, which was one of the, actually the only ones that they were doing SEM and PPC campaigns for clients. And they were only mainly focused on that. So you know, I got started there. And that was kind of like my introduction to digital marketing, to content marketing, to SEO to web design and everything. So that was actually my start six years ago. And then pretty much I moved on from there, I saw that there was still like a huge gap of knowledge for me, and the strategy part and the execution part in content and SEO. So I decided to actually move to Spain, to further my education, to learn how to implement all those things in an actual company, you know, more like to expand on instead of doing it very, very small and very very specific to one area of marketing. And six years later, here I am.

Kyler Canastra 3:16
Here you are. And I’m just curious, too, because I think you know, many people I’m sure listening probably can’t tell you where Nicaragua is on the map, which is unfortunate. It’s a beautiful country that I’ve been to twice. And it’s a beautiful people and a beautiful culture. But I think it’s more common, I think, in your experience, and what I’ve known from talking to you that a lot of people that are going to leave Nicaragua usually go to the US or somewhere maybe in North America. So kind of why did you choose to go to Europe, and specifically Spain?

Andrea Aldana 3:44
So actually, my whole like high school career, my mindset was going to the US. So and actually, I was going to do my master’s degree in the US and Florida where I have like, my dad’s family lives there. So it was a lot easier for me to do that. But it was actually more when it came to the money. So I like had to pay for everything, you know, moving there. And I could have taken a student loan even in the US being from Nicaragua, and it would have been fine. But when I was given the option, that actually a family member of Hey, like, listen, Europe, it’s actually they have pretty good education, and it’s a lot cheaper than the US, and you can actually… because I’ve been to the US many times, and so you could actually get to know Europe travel around and kind of live a new experience. So that was why in my case, and it’s actually the case for a lot of Nicaraguan people. Because you know, because of money-wise and everything else, they actually decide to go to Europe, because it’s a lot cheaper to get an education there. And universities from Europe and even Spain, they’re highly recognized here in Nicaragua. So it actually makes a lot easier if you move back to Nicaragua because you studied everything in Spanish and you can actually relate it to work here. And so actually, a lot of people are starting to do that a lot more now. But usually everybody will tell you that they want to go to the US.

Kyler Canastra 4:58
Yeah, cause it’s so close. You have that influence.

Andrea Aldana 5:00
Cause it’s so close. It’s like a two hour flight to go to Miami. Like from here to Miami.

Kyler Canastra 5:05
So one thing I’m curious too now is that he said you started working in Nicaragua in a very small limited market. And then you come to Europe, which even comparing that to the North American market, you’re working with different countries, different languages, especially EMEA, you’re working in the Middle East as well. Yeah. So it’s a big, big shift. And it’s definitely diverse and your whole strategy has to be changed, you know, to really adapt to the different markets. So what are some of the biggest challenges for you in that sense when coming into EMEA. And were there any huge or major differences that you didn’t expect to encounter?

Andrea Aldana 5:36
There were big differences. Specifically, when they would do the strategy part. I think over here, a Nicaraguan, maybe in Latin America, you’re expected to do everything on your own. Because they’re kind of like testing you and see, okay, like, let’s see what you can do. Let’s see what you’re doing. And over here in Europe it’s more taken into account everybody in the team. And I think it’s more the teamwork. They’re like, Okay, how can we all do this? Like, how can you bring something to the table? And how can everybody else like bring something else to the table? I think that here, Latin America is very like, individualized, like you do this, you do that. And then you kind of come together? We’re still lacking that like, team effort. Yeah. And collaboration. And that was the biggest thing in Europe, because I expected to do everything on my own and not have any help. And people were like, no, but like, work with us, reach out to us, ask us questions. And I’m like, Okay, I will.

Kyler Canastra 6:32
Yeah, people were very kind and friendly from the beginning.

Andrea Aldana 6:37
Yeah, so that has been like one of the main, like, the main thing that I would say is that, like the teamwork, and how people expect you to collaborate with everyone, and how everyone is so open to actually working in teams. Over here in, you know, Nicaragua, and I think Latin American generally you’re so used to working on your own, that it kind of like, it’s a different mindset of like, okay, I’ll do this, and then you let me know how it goes. Instead of like having the collaboration of the team beforehand.

Kyler Canastra 7:02
I’m sure you find the collaboration to be helpful, when carrying out like a new campaign or something like that. It’s good to have a lot of input from different people.

Andrea Aldana 7:09
It is, it’s great. And it’s a lot better, like you can actually figure a couple things out before you even launch a campaign or before you start doing some type of content, that instead of doing it once you launched everything, or once you posted something. So it is a lot better.

Kyler Canastra 7:23
That’s great. Now, I also love that you call yourself a hustler. Because I know from firsthand experience, you are a hustler. Now, you came from Nicaragua to Spain, and yeah, got involved in working in different agencies, I think through internships, probably through your program, and then you decided you wanted to stay. So you had to really hustle in terms of getting, you know, the paperwork set and kind of getting your feet on the ground here. Now I was just curious to know because now we’re gonna talk a bit, in a little bit, we’re gonna talk more about your agency that you just started in the past, I think a year, year and a half. But I want to know, like how your agency experience specifically in Madrid, kind of pushed you to like become a better marketer, and fine-tune your skills and eventually kind of drive this passion of starting your own agency here.

Andrea Aldana 8:04
Yeah, so I worked like when… I actually started to work as a freelancer back in 2018. So I found two different agencies that I was working with. And me coming from Latin America and having that very, like US mindset, we’re very focused on client service and customer service. And it’s different how you go about communication with clients over here, then how you do it back in Spain. For example, in Spain, people are very much like they want to get to know you, before they get to know your services sometimes. So it’s different, you see that there’s pretty much they say, like, I just want to know if you’re a good person, and you’ll be able to actually, if the strategy doesn’t work out, or if I don’t like the content, I just want to know that you’re going to do whatever it takes to actually pull through and make this happen. And you know, make sure that we are happy and that you’re happy. So that actually, you know, that was a little bit different. Because I wasn’t so used to… I was very much used to having, you know, full communication with the customer and everything, but it was somewhat different than what they have here. Because they want to get to know your character, not your experience. Okay. So you know, that even had to like I had to step up my comfort zone to be a little bit more open to people to get to know me, instead of what I do in terms of work and why I can deliver in terms of, you know, goals and everything else and setting objectives. So that was kind of like the big difference. And also there was still like a lack of knowledge from the customer part, like the people were still not understanding the services that we were selling to them. So that actually made me go into selling things differently, actually. Not selling things different, like in the way of you know, we’re going to get this ROI or we were going to do this type of content. And these are going to be our content pillars. It’s completely different. You know, how you do it. I actually tried to tell them, why we’re doing this and how this will help in the long run or how this is going to help their company, or you know, just trying to get them to understand what we do instead of leaving it like up in the air, like, Okay, yeah, you’ll do this and then we’ll figure it out and then let us know how it goes. Yeah, that’s been kind of like, yeah.

Kyler Canastra 10:15
It’s like your point of view is kind of in Spain, it’s more about the first impression with the person rather than actually what you can provide to them, which is interesting. And I kind of wanted to know, like, does that impact like marketing in general, when you’re doing a campaign in Spain? In terms like, with any product, for example, and then you have the customer, like, do you change your approach based on that? Knowing that maybe culturally, like the Spanish market would be more receptive to something that’s a bit more personal, I guess, in a sense.

Andrea Aldana 10:39
Yeah. Specifically with the messaging, we really do have to think about how to make it a little bit more warmer and more personal, then you know, more like straight to the point. We actually do have to think about how it’s gonna affect, you know, the end consumer, and you kind of have to think about it twice, sometimes, you know, you’re so like, okay, these are the steps. And this is my process, and this is everything that I have to do. But when it comes to the Spanish market, you kind of have to think about how this is going to affect and the like, in the long run and everything that you’re going to be doing. And in the team, you know, for example, whenever we work with other companies, how the team is going to react to it, their feedback and everything else. So you do have to approach it. And we always say, Okay, we have to make it a little bit more warmer, you know, because it’s different for the Spanish market.

Kyler Canastra 11:28
Right? So you kind of started from that shift of you moving to Spain, right? You kind of started this whole new world, a whole new market and kind of saw how different things work, which kind of I’m sure, like, helped expand your skill set and kind of led you to starting your own company. Now I kind of want to know, like, What is Expulso? How did this come about? What services do you offer and kind of yeah, just tell us a bit more about this new company you started.

Andrea Aldana 11:52
Yeah, definitely. So after working with so many agencies, I saw that there was still a lack of, you know, making sure that the client, and their best interest is put into the actual strategy together. Because I think that people are always so interested in selling, and you know, when closing the client, and they sometimes forget, okay, but maybe it’s not all about selling and closing the client, but maybe explaining to them, because I’ve heard even a lot of peers of mine, they’re like, okay, but it’s fine. If he’ll just pay you for two months, it should be fine. But I’m like, No, he’ll pay me for two months, but then he’ll be worse, he’s not gonna know what to do, he’s gonna think that maybe content marketing or digital marketing, it’s not the right thing for him or the right fit, instead of me explaining to him of, hey, like, if we do this, there is a possibility, there is a chance that it might not work, and we need to give it more time, are you willing to actually… because when you work with startups and small companies, they’re gonna have a limited budget, and they’re not going to know if this is a good investment or not, you know, they’re gonna hear it from a lot of people like you need to invest in, you know, your online presence and your brand awareness and stuff. But they’re not going to really understand how long that takes, and to actually set up a strategy that works for them, too. So that was one of the main things. I was like, I want to educate the clients, but not like in the way that, hey, I do this, I do that, but in more in the business perspective, of I just want to sell you on this. And you know, many times we have said to clients, I don’t think this is the right time for you to invest on this. And that was one of my main things to actually be honest with the clients and the people that I work with. That was one of the main things because, and I understand because now that, you know, we’re on the other side, you need to keep your business alive. You know, I wanted to make a difference. And I said, You know, I want to start this because I really do want to help people. And I want to be honest with people. And I want to get rid of you know, that perspective of that narrative that, you know, I’m investing in digital marketer, investing in an agency is a waste of money, and they’re going to take all your money away. I want to get rid of that too. I want people to, to be open to collaborating with other agencies, with freelancers, with people. So that’s pretty much why I wanted to get started. And I did it with my best friend who also we kinda, we work together, but she also has her own clients, like her background is different than mine. And we actually like we can work hand in hand together, like it’s perfect, because I focus on one line, she focuses on another, like, line completely, and it’s good. So you know, that was one of the things. So like you can provide this, I can provide that, you know, we can do all of these things together, like the both of us together, we can do like a 360 marketing strategy. So I said, this is good, like we can make something different, we can do something a little different. Right. So that’s pretty much how we got started.

Kyler Canastra 14:40
So yeah, it seems like you really want to give a personalized approach to like helping startups and smaller companies get their feet off the ground and you’re not trying to sell them on something and promise them, you know, I’m gonna have this X amount of, you know, I’m gonna get this return on investment in two months or something like that. Like you really want to build an ongoing relationship and help them and I think that’s kind of give the support that they need with their limited budget, but also just trying to get their feet off the ground. So it comes from like your own experience now, Jess, if you’re listening Hi, Jess, Jess is Andrea’s co-founder. And I think her background right, her line of work is more graphic design, right? And brand imaging and stuff like that.

Andrea Aldana 15:20
Yeah, she does all the branding. Like she’s actually her career was actually communications and graphic design and digital design. And so she’s been working in communications, corporate communications and branding. And companies in Europe, also here in Nicaragua. And she also does more the content part actually, she does more of the content part of you know, letting clients know how to set the tone for the message and and everything they need to do on social media and stuff. So she does take care of that part, too.

Kyler Canastra 15:50
That’s awesome. So kind of bringing your two worlds together to offer a really well-rounded experience for your, for your clients. Now, just, you guys started, right, I think was near, in the pandemic or before the pandemic?

Andrea Aldana 16:02
It was during the pandemic, yeah.

Kyler Canastra 16:04
How do you start, like how do two people like young people, right? Cuz I think the one really good thing about this podcast is that we invite people who are like, you know, senior level marketers at big corporations, but also people like yourself, who are just starting out and kind of have this passion for marketing and can share their insights with our listeners about starting their own business. So I’m just like, interested about how that process was? And how did you find your like, clients? You’re doing this all online? So how do you guys do that? How did you get your feet off the ground? Yeah.

Andrea Aldana 16:32
So actually, during the pandemic, the agency that I was working with, you know, the biggest client that I manage for them, which is the one that they hired me for, said, like, Listen, at right now, we don’t really know what the future holds for us. So we can’t really afford your services. So you know at that point with the agency, you know, the agency was pretty, like amazing with that, because they said, Hey, we still want to keep you on board. But you know, we have the client that is lost. So is it okay, if, you know, we kinda you know, let that thing go and you kind of, like, help us out with other projects, like smaller projects. So that kind of took like time out of my day, because it was like, during the first four weeks of the pandemic, so I was like, okay, they were like, don’t worry about it, we’ll try to get you a new client as soon as we can. But you know, the workload is not going to be the same. So I was like there in the pandemic, like kind of trying to figure life out, trying to keep myself busy. So I started to like, kind of look to see if I can do freelancing jobs, either there in Spain, or, you know, any time any anywhere. And I started to kind of like, do some research to kind of go online and say, What are the best platforms for freelancers? Where can I actually get started, and working online and everything else? So through all my research, I kind of found Upwork. So I did my Upwork profile, I kind of like figured out everything that I needed to know, from blogs, videos, and stuff like that. And I kind of started applying to jobs. And in like, I think the first week, I found, I think even two clients. And that was pretty good. And I’m like, oh, there’s actually like a big demand. And I would I would take a look at the job postings. And there were so many jobs for freelancers for digital marketing, for content marketing, even full-time jobs. And I was like, there’s actually a high demand for it. So I kind of decided to like, I started off with the first client, like doing the freelancing job. And also working with the other agency. And as I got going, and you know, my friend, she was actually my co-founder, Jess, I told her like, hey, because she couldn’t really work yet because of the paperwork and everything back in Spain. I told her like, actually, like, you can set your things up as a freelancer on Upwork you can get started like, it will be a good experience. And all of a sudden I said, I see a lot of people that are looking for, like a 360 marketing strategy for people that know about branding and marketing and content and everything. And I told her, Hey, maybe we could set up our own agency, like, what if we do that? Like, would that be a good idea? And you know, we started talking about it. And we had talked about it before. But you know, life, she found another job, I found another job. So we couldn’t really like find the time. And you know, the pandemic was kind of like the perfect time, right? We were kind of like pushed to do it. Because I didn’t really know what my future was with this agency, if the client was going to come back or not. And she wasn’t really working at the time. And I’m like, let’s do this. I mean, let’s really go ahead with it and get it done. Let’s use Upwork, meanwhile, and then we’ll figure it out how we can get clients here in Spain and how we can like get started. And I said I think Upwork is a good thing, and then we’ll figure it out how it goes. So that’s kind of how we got started. I mean, it was pretty much Upwork.

Kyler Canastra 19:37
That’s crazy. Kind of just, you know, it took a pandemic for you to actually like go out and chase this dream. But you know, a silver lining right to last year is having more time and even losing that like main client kind of pushed you to like, okay, let’s see what I can do and then starting to realize, hey, like, I think we can fill this demand. And at the same time, like I’m getting a lot of interest in my services, and I’m sure if you’ve tested this, you both would do something really great. So what services do you actually offer? Like? You said it a lot about 360 marketing strategy, but what do you guys do? What’s your approach?

Andrea Aldana 20:08
Yeah. So we focus mainly on either startups, small businesses, or we even help out agencies that want to scale. So we provide everything from PPC, SEM, SEO, content marketing, branding, we even kind of set up the business plan for people that are startups that want to become part of, you know, incubators or programs for startups that have them scale. So we even help them prepare their mission statement, their values, and everything of the business that in itself, so they can actually apply to all these programs that they want to. So that is pretty much what we focus on. And you know, when we say 360, it’s because I can do like the digital part, and the SEM and PPC and SEO and kind of Jess comes in, and she does all the branding, all the messaging, all the content and everything. So we kind of provide that specific service, you know, for and we’ve even helped out agencies, we still do help out agencies that are kind of looking forward to scaling and you know, improving and getting better even like, setting up a team. And they’re like, Oh, cool. Who do we need, who do we hire? Like, how do we do that? So that’s pretty much

Kyler Canastra 21:19
You have a really comprehensive experience as well. And I know from knowing you that you and Jess have put in many, many hours working late nights. Now because you work with clients from around the globe. I think you have clients in South America, from LatAm and then you have clients here, some clients, I think, in the US. So kind of how, like what’s a typical day like for you at Expulso? So what responsibilities do you have? And how do you manage working across so many markets and time zones?

Andrea Aldana 21:46
It’s crazy. At first, it was so hard, because you know, at first you’re so excited and you want to get everything done, and you want to do everything. If a client asks you a question, you want to answer it right away, because you want to make sure that they feel supported and everything. So at first, it was crazy. Our sleeping schedule was all over the place. And the routine that we kind of had, it wasn’t really working as well, we were trying to go to the gym, be healthy, all of this and then try to get work done and stuff. So at first, it was crazy. We couldn’t really because we, it was hard, because some clients would reach out to us at 8 or 9pm, like Central European Time, and then we would even like start working there and we would go to bed at midnight, but then we will have to be up early for our Spanish clients. So at first it was kind of hard. But then we actually started, you know, organizing everything and even organizing things with the client. So we actually even set up Calendly. So we’re like, okay, we need to think about like, what are the times that are going to be booked? What are the days that we’re going to do meetings, but it pretty much it took us even a year to figure that out to see how we were going to get organized, because you know, you’re trying to keep everything afloat, you’re trying to make money, you’re trying to make sure everyone’s happy. So…

Kyler Canastra 23:04
Yeah, that’s really difficult. But also eye opening, right? You get to learn like best practices, maybe we shouldn’t do that. I mean, a lot of you know, starting a business, especially online, and the pandemic is gonna be a lot of touch and go, feeling out this work, that doesn’t work. Maybe that’s not the kind of client we want. It’s really hard to start your own business. But I think over time you start learning and kind of figuring out which projects would be best, kind of what, fixing your schedule, stuff like that. Yeah, right. Now, this is The Content Mix. So we obviously want to know more about your perspective on you know, content marketing, and also some social media marketing. So one thing that I really enjoy, and if people haven’t checked out, definitely go check out Expulso’s Instagram. But you guys have taken a really fun, I call you guys Expulso girls, but you guys have taken a really fun approach to like raising awareness about the company, but also by providing like marketing tips and stuff like that. So I kind of wondering, like, see, you’ve done this really cool social media campaign. What platforms are you using for that? Can you describe a bit more about like, what think thought process went behind it? And do you find like some channels to be more effective than others when it comes to social media?

Andrea Aldana 24:09
Yeah, so when we first got started actually doing, you know, social media content for clients, and even for ourselves. It had been a while since we had set up a content strategy for you know, startup and it’s, it’s completely different when you do it for a company, for a multinational it’s completely different, right? So when we first started even ourselves, we had to kind of like figure out, Okay, let’s take a look at what people are doing. Let’s see what all the other agencies are doing. And let’s kind of like figure out and even, you know, this past year, we’ve educated ourselves even a lot more and so much regarding content and everything. So, there were a lot of learnings through a lot of you know, blogs and videos and everything and like looking at it ourselves. We actually a lot of people would tell you and you know, one of the main things we even tell our clients, you know your content, you need to figure out how to do it, you need to make sure that the messaging goes along with who you are and what you’re trying to accomplish. And you need to always make sure that you have the same voice and everything. So we figured out, like, who’s our voice? Like, who are we? What’s our voice? What are we going to do? What’s our messaging? So we see that a lot of people are usually scared of talking about marketing or talking about something that they don’t know. And they feel very uncomfortable in doing it. So I said, you know, the point of all this is for people to understand in a very easy way, to not think that this is something that they’ll never understand. And, you know, to make sure that they feel comfortable in having this conversation about marketing. So we got started, and we said, hey, let’s do something fun, let’s do something a little bit more relatable. You know, sometimes people think like, Oh, my God, they must do so many things, they must know so much. They’re so unreachable, they’re so like, I could never get to this point of knowledge. And I said, let’s make it completely different. And to not overthink the content. You know, that was one of the main things of like, Will people like this? Will people not like this, you know, kind of stepping out of our comfort zone and saying, we should try all these things out, we should see if people like it, we should see if people enjoy it, and actually setting our personalities, you know, making sure that people know who we are. You know, whenever we meet clients, one of the things that they like is how comfortable they feel with us and how open they feel with us. I actually remember once a client that you know, “you’re the first agency that doesn’t make me feel stupid.” And that you know, one of the main things is like, okay, people need to be like, comfortable with us open to us. And we should represent that on social media, too. Yeah. So that is kind of like how we got started. And you know, we brainstorm from our day to day and I will always say like, what questions have our clients asked that, you know, that they don’t know. What’s something common that people don’t know? And that’s how we actually start the process. When we first started, we were mainly focused, you know, on Instagram and like, okay, let’s just think about Instagram, if we want to do this, we want to do that. So we’ve seen that it works best for us, you know, using Instagram and Tik Tok and LinkedIn. Actually, those are three main ones, right? Because now and I think even in the past couple years, you know, LinkedIn has become a little bit more open, and people like start talking to you a lot more, you know, and getting started conversations instead of just being interested in, you know, in a job opportunity, or they want you to apply to anything. So that has been great for us too, you know, even during the pandemic, a lot of people would reach out to us just to talk to, to see what we were doing, to see if we had any tips, any stuff like that. So that has been great for us. Those are the platforms that have worked so far when it comes to creating content, and we see that people do like it. But you know, it’s been a challenge, because sometimes we don’t really have the time to create all that content, because we have to work so much. So you know, we’re still, we’re trying to make sure that our mission still remains of putting out content there that people will easily understand and will enjoy. So we’re still kind of getting there, too.

Kyler Canastra 27:57
That’s really cool. I think it really ties into what you were mentioning in the beginning about like, when you came to Spain, you kind of learned this or kind of implemented this idea of you know, people are looking for someone that’s personable or someone that’s a good, like a person that’s wanting to help and authentic. And I think you’ve really tied that into your own social media campaign, for Expulso. But I’m sure there must be a lot of work to try to, you know, help companies with their own marketing strategy. And then while doing yours at the same time, so it must be a lot to do. But I really think it’s a fun, like approach to kind of getting your name out there, and also teaching people about really useful marketing tips. So definitely check that out for people who haven’t yet. Now, you mentioned how like, some people get things wrong when it comes to content marketing, or just in general. And you also mentioned how one of your clients said, “You’re the first person that never made me feel stupid.” So what do you think some companies get wrong when it comes to content marketing, or when they’re kind of advertising their services or trying to connect with their target audience?

Andrea Aldana 28:55
I think one of the main things is that they don’t personalize things, and it is very hard, because I’ve lived it and I know it is so hard to get to know who you’re targeting. And sometimes your buyer persona or who you’re trying to target is so broad, it does happen. But I think sometimes starting with the point of view of even when people like new ecommerce companies or startups, they’re kind of… their first mindset is “I just want to sell, sell, sell.” And, like it’s completely different nowadays that we have access to so much information to so many platforms. And there are so many companies that are trying to kind of make, you know, they have this mission that they want to make a difference in the world and stuff like that. And you feel more comfortable in the fact that you’re helping a business that has, you know, a bigger mission in the world and in life. And you know, sometimes I think companies forget that. They forget to connect with the consumer with the buyer persona. And I think there’s something that needs to keep in mind. Some things are very robotic to kind of like, they just kind of copy paste the same content strategy, We’ll do this and we’ll do that. You know, I’ve seen it in many agencies. And I know that it’s because they don’t have the time and they just want to, you know, acquire a new client, and they just want to get things going and the ball rolling, but I think they forget that sometimes, you know, you have to think about your end consumer. And once you do, things are a lot easier, because people don’t think like, oh, you’re just like another company that wants to take my money and like not something that you’re working towards. And people, they they kind of think that they don’t need to know, like, they think that the end consumer doesn’t need to know them as a company and their mission and their values. Sometimes they forget that. I actually do want to know your mission and your values and who you are and all that stuff. And still till this day, people struggle with that they’re like, but yeah, I don’t think that people need to know my mission or anything. And I’m like, “No, they do.” They need to know.

Kyler Canastra 30:45
I think, yeah, I guess a lot of people forget to like, keep things simple. And kind of, yeah, keep everything to the core of your company’s mission and kind of what you want out of it rather than over complicating yourself. And I think that, you know, happens nowadays, we have so much access to information, right that people think they read, you know, 300 articles on SEO, and they’re going to implement an SEO strategy. And they’re just missing the whole point. They get overwhelmed. It’s kind of like getting oversaturated with information. So yes, yeah, your advice is keep it simple. And remember what you’re doing this for like, what’s the purpose? What’s driving you to do this? Yeah, yeah. So I think and also kind of want to know, too, as we’re asking you these questions for advice and stuff like that, what skills do you think are most important for marketers nowadays? Especially, I feel like the whole role has definitely shifted, because of the pandemic, and the relationships and how we connect with people online is totally different than it was even a year ago. So what skills do you think marketers need today to find success?

Andrea Aldana 31:39
Their soft skills. I think, yeah, I think we all need to work on soft skills. I mean, you know, one of the main things that but not even in marketing, I think in any type of industry, you need to educate yourself all the time, like, you need to make time out of your day to actually go online and see what people are doing, what are the new updates in the different platforms that you use. Not in every platform. Just focus on the ones that you’re using at the time with your clients or for yourself. And one of the main things is working on our soft skills. People now I think they appreciate you getting to know themselves outside of the company, and you actually understanding you know, I had so many interviews during the pandemic, you know, one of the main things was like, oh, how have you managed the pandemic? Like, how are you? Like, you know, all these soft skills that most of the time we don’t think are necessary. And it is. It is completely necessary for you to keep clients. You need to understand and be empathetic from their point of view and what they’re doing, because they’re struggling the same way that you’re struggling. So I think that work in and leadership skills also, because I think that during the pandemic, a lot of people realized that we lack a lot of leadership, because many people like they were either fired because of the whole situation, or they had to quit their jobs, because they didn’t really know how the situation was going to go on. And, you know, when it comes to such a stressful situation, you need to make sure that you as a leader, make sure that you know, people understand where you’re coming from, and people understand where you want to go, and for them to be, you know, on board with everything. But you know, you need to make sure you are empathetic, you understand other people. And that is one of the main things that sometimes we think, Oh, we don’t need that, I just need to deliver results to the client.

Kyler Canastra 33:20

Andrea Aldana 33:20
And I’m like, No, you actually have to, yeah, there’s much more to it, and building, you know, you never really know what that relationship could bring, and that business relationship will bring. And we need to think about that, too. You know, probably we need to think about that first, about the person and not the company or their job role.

Kyler Canastra 33:36
Especially, yeah, that’s really important. I think empathy is something that drives marketing. People are looking for brands and for companies that they feel like understand them and their problems, and can help them, I think right now, like the demand that we have for that human connection and that connection in general is through, and we’re getting it a lot through the through the internet virtually now. So we really have to keep these things in mind that, you know, it’s very easy to treat someone as if they didn’t exist, because you’re talking to someone in a computer. And it’s very hard, you lose that like human connection. And I think what you just said is so important is that connection. Make sure you connect with the people you’re working with, and try to understand them in order to help them get…

Andrea Aldana 34:12

Kyler Canastra 34:13
Now, as I’ve said many times already, you’re a business owner. And I’m sure it’s been a lot of pressure to really produce meaningful work while satisfying your clients and trying to keep your business afloat. So for anyone that’s interested in starting their own business, especially like a digital marketing agency, like what advice would you have for them? And what’s the most meaningful aspects of your job for you?

Andrea Aldana 34:34
I think one of the main things that I always say, you always think is like, when you look at it from the outside, it’s so hard to have an agency like, it’s so many things I have to do, but it’s really not that hard. Most of the time is we set the limits, you know, in our own mind, and we think that we’re not going to be able to do something. So if you’re really passionate about something and you have the knowledge and the experience, or you think that you can actually make it work, just do it. I think that sometimes we’re so scared of the outcome or failing, or what other people gonna think, what is my family gonna think? What are my friends gonna think? And it’s really not that hard. Once you’re in that position, it’s really not that hard. And, you know, I think the second thing is, remember why you’re doing this. Like, don’t think that you’re doing this because you’re getting started. Because you want to make money. And you just want to get started with something. Like, make it because you actually do want to make a difference. And this is something that you’re really passionate about. Because if not, it’s just going to become another job. And another thing that you have to do, and you’re not going to do it with, you know, the same willingness, it’s not going to be the same. So always think about that, always think about a bigger purpose. And, you know, another main thing is that a lot of people and a lot of peers are so willing to help. And if you need, like someone’s advice or anything, just reach out to people on LinkedIn. There’s so many groups, Facebook even. There’s so many things that people are so willing to help, they’ll tell you like tips, advice, everything, you know, we’ve found so many people that are willing to, you know, help us out, to give us you know, their point of view and people that we’ve never met. And that has been great. Like, for me that has been one of the biggest things is that you can actually reach out to people, and that are highly successful even and they’ll let you know, like, “Hey, I started out like this.” So you know that networking with people that are on the same path as you, that is amazing, you know, you reach out to people and you’ll make, you know, new friendships, you meet new people, and it’s just amazing.

Kyler Canastra 36:32
Taking risk, right, it seems. It’s taking risk and kind of chasing your goals or your dreams and finding a job that really like gets you out of bed in the morning. Now, yeah, we’re going to transition to another part of the interview, which is about, speaking of getting out of bed in the morning. Some daily habits or recommendations that you have? so I think a lot of times when we have guests on the show, everyone’s really curious to know, if they have any daily habits that attribute to their success, or different like sources of inspiration. So do you in particular, have any habits that you would contribute, like attribute to your success?

Andrea Aldana 37:04
Yeah, I mean, I think one of when we first got started, we would watch so many videos, we started reading so many books, because we wanted to know from other people’s experience how they were doing it, because it was hard. Like we, you know, the first couple months, it was so easy to work 16 hours a day and work on the weekends and stuff like that. But it got to a point that we felt that we were burnt out, right. So we were like, Okay, so what do we do now? So we kind of figured out the best things that work for us, you know, we kind of do a mixture of what we’ve seen with other people’s experience, something that works the best for us is actually organizing our day. Like for example before, like we organized the day, that’s gonna start like the day before. Like, we organize everything, like at night, like everything that we’re gonna do. We try to prepare for that. Because sometimes we don’t really know you like, okay, yeah, I have a meeting, I have this and that, and it’s in your head, but you don’t really think about what are you doing. So organizing our calendar was one of the biggest things that worked for us. Because even setting like the time for lunch, or when we take a break, and we’re going to have dinner, when we’re going to be over with work, that has worked perfectly for us to organize everything with our clients to make sure that we have enough time to work on a strategy. Because on a day to day you get so many meetings and calls and messages that you kind of forget what you have to do, and then you kind of leave it for the next day. So that has been one of the biggest things, and actually setting personal time for ourselves. When you get so caught up, you know, in work, we’re so eager to like make more money and get out there and for people to know us and to do so many things, that you kind of forget that you need to take care of yourself, because you’re the one that’s running this business. And you know, for us, trying to work out and even meditate has worked amazingly for us. Because on a day to day you communicate with so many people and you know, sometimes there’s people that are going to be upset, and people are not going to really know they want to continue doing this or if they find value in what you’re doing. So you need to kind of like not take things personal as well. Because if you know that you’re doing the best that you can, and if you’re providing with the client, the best service that you can, like you should be fine. And actually have the stomach. Like for me, one of the biggest things is to have the stomach to take no for an answer too. Because, you know, there’s so many times that we apply to so many jobs that we want or that we give so many proposals. And it might not like end up like falling like actually coming into realization and you know, having that like strength of being like okay, it’s fine. Like, I’m going to continue, I’m going to go on and you know, having that stomach and having that mindset that everything’s fine or even when losing the client and you know that you’re not going to be making as much income as you were the month before, making sure that you’re okay with that because it’s kind of like part of the journey. That has been one of the biggest things to like understanding that this is just business, you know, this is how it works. And, you know, we’ll make sure that the next month will be okay and will be better and to continue that on as well. You know, it’s not easy. But if you work hard and your mindset is in the right space, you’ll be fine.

Kyler Canastra 40:11
You’ll be fine. Yeah, I think that’s great advice for our listeners, especially, you know, getting out your comfort zone, I think you’re not going to get any success if you’re not willing to be uncomfortable, and you know, learning that everything’s gonna be perfect, you’re gonna lose the client, a client’s gonna get mad, it’s not gonna be rainbows and butterflies basically the entire time and it’s really important to keep reminding yourself that and it’s like you said, like, addressing it now, right? And kind of keeping that mindset now, so that when things like this come up, you’re not disappointed or you don’t spiral. You have to like, prep yourself, you know. This is not going to be an easy road. You also you mentioned about, like, organizational skills are important to you and organizing your calendar. And you did a lot of research on starting a company. Do you have any like apps or tools or platforms or even books that you find that have been really helpful as you started your journey with Expulso?

Andrea Aldana 40:59
Yeah, I think one of the main things for me is for communication, I think that Slack has been the best one, because it’s something that people are very familiar with. And it’s easy to communicate yourself with. So if you have a team that’s more than three people or if you’re working with many freelancers too because you have a lot of agencies that work with, they outsource for a lot of you know, their services, use Slack to communicate with people. Because for me, that is, you know, the best way it’s very easy. I actually started using I think was back in 2017. And I think, Oh, this is of great value. And now that you know, the pandemic kind of changed how we work, a lot of people are using it more and more. So we need to make sure that you make communication a lot quicker, because with 20 emails, it’s kind of hard to actually know what’s going on and people get lost and things get lost in translation, too. So it’s a lot better. For me, Slack has been one of the best ones. For us, there’s many like organizational tools to organize teams and stuff. But there’s this one called Asana, we use Asana to set up our daily task and to set up our projects. That has been one of the ones that we liked the most. But there are many, many others. But for me knowing because even though we’re two people like in our agency right now, and sometimes we outsource for other types of services, you need to know what the other person is doing. Like I need to know what my partner’s doing, what she’s doing, what she’s working on. It’s good for us to kind of know the whole like picture of what’s going on and day-to-day basis with us. Yeah. And we actually we set up, we try to set up like meetings like at the end of the week, the beginning of the week and the end of the week to kind of know how where we’re at. Because sometimes we might have a client that is asking me to do many, many things about regarding digital marketing, strategy and branding. And I need to know what my partner’s doing in regards to time. How is she doing? How is she managing everything? So I think Asana is a good one. And for me, books, there’s so many books, but there’s the last one that I read is The Scientific Method of Time, because I think it kind of tells you, because sometimes we think, Oh, it’s just not the right time for us to get started. It’s not the right time for me to do this. And it talks about that, it talks about how even the science behind timing, you know that even with, even in sports, for example, in the basketball basketball game, that people that don’t perform that well, you know, in the first half, and they might perform better in the second half. So it’s kind of telling you how your mind works when it comes to timing, and how we perceive time. And you know, I think sometimes we’re just scared, you might say, Oh, it’s not the right time for us to do that. It’s not, you know, the time is not right. We postpone so many things. And we kind of need to know that. It’s okay to get started with something that we don’t really know much about. And it’s okay if we’ve done it, you know, with industries and customers that we don’t really know how we’re going to do things. But we know that we’re going to ask for help from someone and stuff. But we just do it, you know, there is such a thing as the right timing. But there is such a thing as you know, using it as an excuse. So I think has been one of the books that has been very eye opening when it comes to how our mind works in regards to time.

Kyler Canastra 44:06
That’s why it’s so important to always if you have an idea or something that you’re feeling passionate about to act on it right away. And rather than being scared of the possibilities of it failing and everything like that. Well we’ve come to the end of our interview and I just want to thank you again for joining us. But I also wanted to know if you have any final takeaways or parting advice for our listeners?

Andrea Aldana 44:27
I mean, for people that are starting up and for freelancers, as for everyone out there, possibilities are endless, you know, and to not be scared of reaching out to other people and to not be scared to kind of do whatever it is that we want to do that we’re passionate about. You know, that has been one of the main things that I wish I would have done this sooner. I say it all the time, cause it would always seem so hard in my head and I’m like, No, I probably it’s just too hard. I’m going to need a lot of help. And you know, just do it. Don’t be scared. There’s no, like, you can do everything that you want, as long as you passionate about it. And as long as you know, one of your dreams and your goals, and you’ll be fine. Yeah.

Kyler Canastra 45:06
And I’m also sure that after his interview, people will want to reach out to you. So I was wondering, what’s the best way to get in touch so that you can also kind of pay it forward? Right? You said you reached out to a lot of people in different networks. And now you can pay it forward. So are you active on LinkedIn or other platforms? What’s the best way of getting in touch?

Andrea Aldana 45:22
Yeah, get in touch with me through LinkedIn, through the Expulso marketing Instagram account. Also, we have the Tik Tok account. So get in touch with us. We’re always on top of our social media, but you can reach out to LinkedIn, LinkedIn will be like the best option. So it’s my name Andrea Aldana. So reach out to me, send me a message. You know, for people that want to know more or they want to get started or anything or working as a freelancer too in Spain. I can definitely give them a couple tips.

Kyler Canastra 45:53
Well, thank you so so much again, Andrea, for joining us today on The Content Mix. And thanks, everyone for tuning in. For more perspectives on the content marketing industry in Europe, as always, you can check out And keep tuning to the podcast for more interviews with content experts. See you next time. Bye Andrea.

Andrea Aldana 46:12
Bye. Thank you.

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