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Meet Heidi Nazarudin of Marque Media in Santa Monica

Today we’d like to introduce you to Heidi Nazarudin.

Heidi, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am an award-winning influencer and CEO at a fast-growing digital agency. I have a degree in Computer Science, was a former investment banker and because of the fact that I started to post about my fashion choices as a professional woman, started to gain a following on Instagram (this was eight years ago). And became what is now known an influnencer. In early 2017, right after I got on the cover of Marie Claire Malaysia and also had landed several high profile brand ambassadorships / long term collaborations for Amex, Uber and Revlon to name some, I had a bit of a mental crisis.

On the outside – things looked spectacular – lots of “followers” , lots of brand deals – and more free stuff than what any woman could need or want – but I realized I don’t find any joy in talking or telling my followers what to buy day in and day out or to talk about myself/and what I was doing constantly.

So I just stopped posting on Instagram.

My followers started to DM and email me – a lot of people thought I got into an accident or worse. And I really didn’t have an answer for a couple of months. And then when I started to clean up my DMs, I realized a lot of people were asking me to help/consult on their social media presence.

At first, I took just one client as an experiment, but that one client bloomed into five… and now 2.5 years later, we have worked on hundreds of projects, with almost 50 clients under retainer and a team of 50 people.

Has it been a smooth road?
Ugh, there was so much drama and I certainly made a lot of mistakes. I think my top 3 mistakes are:

– Hiring purely for skillset and not for values. And now I’ve learnt, you can train someone to have the right skillset – but values? That is something that has to be checked from Day 1 of working together.

– I also learn to be very selective when we work with clients. In the first year, we had quite a few clients. I finally realized I had to let go because it was not the right fit. No amount of money is worth clients that makes your anxiety level go up. Now we are working on a “We are not a right fit” article to put up on our website to repel those clients from Day 1. The ones that think they can call you at 3 pm on a weekend “just to talk” or who wants amazing results but are not willing to invest the time or money etc.

-This year it’s all about fine-tuning our processes as we gear up to get to 500 clients on retainer. It’s different when we are 1 person team, a ten-person team and now at 35 person. Everything has to be much more streamlined and automated and we are really working on that to ensure the team is still performing at the level they were when we were much smaller.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Marque Media – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am most proud of my team. My co-founder Melissa Jones and I work our asses off, but we wouldn’t be here without our core team of people, quite a few of whom have been with us from Day 1.

As a digital agency specializing in branding, social media management and SEO, we do amazing work at an amazing value for our clients. Because everyone works virtually, we are able to pass a lot of cost-savings to our clients.

With Marque – you can have an advantage of a full-team of senior digital marketers and creatives for the cost of less than one full-time staff. And as we grow, that is the key differentiator that sets us apart.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love Santa Monica – I am blessed as I live on the beach and as a non-driver, it’s super important that I can get to almost anywhere I want within walking distance … or I can Uber easily anywhere I want. I also recently became a plant-based eater and I am amazed at how easy it is to switch to plant-based eating/veganism here… with so many great options. And of course – no one can beat the weather here.

If I had one thing that bothers me – it’s how there is a lot of homelessness. It’s very visible and it saddens me that as wealthy as the city is, we can’t do more. Providing food and shelter does help and I know a lot of non-profits and government bodies are helping – but I am wondering if we can’t do more to prevent it? Is this a culmination of increasing mental health issues? I have a lot of questions and definitely want to be part of the solution.

Contact Info:

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Image Credit:
All images should be credited to @theambitionista : )

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