Emmylou MacCarthy, also known as Emmylou Loves by her Instagram following, is a picture of joy. But don’t let her sweet as a button exterior fool you – this is one lady on a mission!
Emmylou is the Founder of Dot Com Social, a TV show giving a BTS look into some of the biggest accounts on social media. As well as this, she’s a dedicated mum, serious fashionista, hilarious lady boss and perhaps the most lovable person on the internet (no exaggeration!). In fact, Emmylou’s Instagram fanbase is so in love with her, that she threw a party to celebrate them!
Whether she’s talking you through her delicious dinner recipes (yes, grocery shop to table), newest outfits (even when she walks out of the house with the tag still on), or general life as a mum to kidlets (which she admits can be challenging) – Emmylou puts it all out there for you to tune into. You can’t help but get swept up in her infectious giggles or to completely adore her no BS approach to motherhood and life. We caught up with Emmylou to chat all things business, socials and building your inner confidence.
“As soon as I became qualified to be a Beauty Therapist at 18, I began putting posters around my local IGA and started my own home beauty business. Then I realised that I didn’t quite understand the different processes that you need to know when running your own thing! So after a few years back in the workforce, I went out again and launched my own business. I’d rent out rooms in salons which was good for me because I could work with a team while still having the freedom of having my own business. That’s where I learned my business skills and opened one salon in Geelong, then another in Melbourne CDB. I had those for quite a few years.
Dot Com Social didn’t come until after I’d had children. I had been doing a fair bit of social media management and was getting into TV presenting.
That’s when I had a thought – the more that people are connecting through their phones, the more they’re yearning for human connection. So I wanted to explore that dual viewing of the fact that we’re on our phones but we’re connecting at the same time.
My passion is TV presenting. And although I love social media and I love social media management, it’s not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. So that’s where Dot Com Social was born. To begin with, it was a place where I could have this live, interactive show where people would come, bring their products and flat lays – and collaborate in real time. At the first event, everyone involved were actually able to see their real online collaborations happening in front of them! Then from there is went to a pilot for a TV series. Now it’s a full blown show!”
“I would have to say, start small guys. I put my 15K party together in two weeks, but that’s because I have quite a bit of experience in events and I’ve got a very strong, highly engaged fan base. I don’t have a huge number of followers on Instagram, but if you look at the engagement, that is really strong for the number of people following me.
Emmylou MacCarthy and one of her many fans at her 15K Party | Photo Credit: APL PHOTOGRAPHY
I’ve had quite a few people saying that they want to do it, too. But it’s so much harder than it looks online. My advice would be that you should be completely realistic with yourself about where your connections and your collaborations lie. I had really strong relationships with the people who I did collaborate with for the party.
With the first Dot Com Social event, I didn’t know anyone. I had to put myself out there, get a lot of ‘no’s.’ I had maybe 1200 followers, so I had to really think about what I was marketing and how I was going to get people in. There’s more of a risk when you don’t have those connections.
And the Dot Com Social event was developed over a 12 week period. Whereas the 15K party happened over two weeks. This was purely because the connections were already there.
For the 15K party, I’d already put the poll out and asked the question – do you want to have a party? So when I got the response from 500 people back, I halved it and thought ‘okay, let’s just say 250 of them actually want to come.’ Whereas the first time, with Dot Com Social, there was no poll, there was no fan base. So I think it’s more about being realistic about where you’re at, and how strong your relationships are with whoever you’re going to work with to pull off that event.”
“I actually got to ask my fans what they loved about the Emmylou Loves as a platform recently. The thing that came back was that they could relate to me.
My tribe, there’s so many different types of people. There’s professional bloggers, high profiles, news anchors, celebrities, but then there are also people who are suffering depression, have just come from a prenatal depressive state, there’s mums on there, there’s hardworking small businesses… There’s every single type of person following the Emmylou Loves account.
“And I think the reason why they’re on there is because I can relate to all of them. Because I really do try to show every aspect of my life – not just the glamourous me at an event. They’ve seen the hard work that I’ve put in to even get invited to that event! They’ve seen the knockbacks. They’ve seen that I don’t actually make any money on there as well. They see that I struggle financially. And I’m really careful not to share that as ‘poor me,’ because that’s not what it is. I’m super grateful for all of the opportunities that I have, so never do I look to my fanbase to stroke my ego or to prop me up. I look at them to just share my story. I’m never wanting anything from them. And I think that’s really important and why they feel really free to be on there. They never feel obligated to buy or to do anything. What they feel is inspired. And that’s what drives me.
I need my tribe to feel inspired, because that inspires me back and I’m super grateful for that.
I think it really shows, in how I talk to them. And even when I’m talking to someone about, if you want to go into business talk, my target market… It’s like I’m describing my best friend. They’re smart, they’re loyal, they’re really funny, they get humour, they allow me to swear, they allow me to be who I am, I’m allowed to cry, it doesn’t matter. They’re really good people on there and because I really believe in who is following me on Instagram, then that belief comes back to me tenfold.”
“I think it’s going well, it’s so hard to put a dream out there. For two years I’ve been hashtagging that. It might not happen for me and I have to be okay with putting that dream out there and falling hard, in front of twenty thousand people!
But the opportunities it has given me have been insane… To begin with, it was to drive me to get a career in media. And now it’s really happening!
I have to keep my eye on that bigger prize – that if it doesn’t happen, then what’s the next thing? Where do we move those goal posts to? I do think it’s going to happen, and it’s looking really tangible at the moment. But you just never know. I’ve been let down by media more than anything else in my life and I’m prepared to take it if it doesn’t happen. But I’m also completely happy to embrace it if it does (giggles) and celebrate with everybody as well!”
“Yes, it’s just part of who I am! I know that body confidence is more of the type of confidence you can see – in how I dress, how I hold myself, what I talk about, but really I’m just a massive advocate for confidence in general.
That’s why I’ve never gone down that route of supporting just women, or empowering just women. I’m really strong on saying that I empower everyone. I think humans should support humans. I think we need to make sure that we’re embracing everybody from all walks of life.
Confidence in your body is one thing, but that needs to translate into confidence in your relationships, in your workplace, in who you are as a person. And that also entails being honest and being completely true to yourself.
If you are selfish, and you’re not being kind because you’re going through your own stuff, it’s really important to see that.
Confidence comes in a few different ways – It’s looking at yourself objectively. I have to do it all the time, especially being a mum. I have to look at myself and say, you’re being super selfish right now. When my kids are coming second, that needs to be reigned back – I need to focus on this. Sometimes it might happen with my friends. I might go out for coffee and think, geez all I did was talk about myself, that’s horrible. So I’ll call them and say, I am so sorry, I just rambled on! And, you know, it’s okay to be sorry. It’s okay to be wrong. It’s just not okay if you never want to realise it and take responsibility for it. That takes confidence – that takes courage. It’s about being confident in all aspects of your life.”
“(Giggles) I watch Sex and the City or Entourage in my jarmies, on the couch, with my blanky – I’m shocking!
No, I don’t rest a lot, my mind is always going but you’d be surprised how often I find time for that couch time (laughs). On down days, I will try to scroll and support others that are on my account. But especially now while things are getting busy, I push out the content, I do everything in one take. Then I try not to spend time scrolling through that because I’ve got a family life. If you see me cooking dinner, it’s because I’m cooking that dinner for my family, and you have to be present when you eat it!”
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