Small Business Spotlight for Joanne Bartolome 

From corporate marketing  to now owning Empathie Creative (formally known as YEG Marketing)

Entrepreneurship is so much better with friends by your side! If you’ve ever been curious about how the small businesses in your community have gotten to where they are today, you are in the right place. In this series, you’ll get to meet your fellow YEG Entrepreneurs and hear their stories of launching a business, overcoming obstacles, and building a career they love.

Today, I’m sitting down with Joanne Bartolome of Empathie Creative.  Pour a cup of coffee and join us as we learn more about her business journey.

Hi everyone! I’m Joanne Bartolome, Owner of Empathie Creative and Your Social Planner

I’m a digital marketer, storyteller, introverted brand strategist helping businesses across the world.

My passion is sharing people’s stories online in a fun and innovative way, especially through short form video content such as TikTok

Q. Tell us more about you! We’d love to know about your business today and the story of how you got there.

Honestly, I started the business because I really saw the need for it in the city. I believe in our ability to better understand and appreciate one another by expressing openness and compassion, and by focusing on the collective vs. individualistic good. And, I wanted to really showcase this with clients to show that we can collectively lift eachother up through social mledia.

Q. Let’s dive more into the specifics of your business. What products/services do you offer? What do you do for your clients that sets you apart?

Empathie Creative (Formally known as YEG Marketing) is an Edmonton based marketing company, creatively inspiring entrepreneurs and founders across the world. We work with you to understand your business and create a custom strategy to elevate your business both online and offline. From there, we work to build your brand design and execute your ideas on social media to create an organic following to elevate your visibility. It’s all about telling your story – in a unique and innovative way. 

Q. What inspired or influenced you to create your business?

I look at people in a different way, and I was tired of the way marketing was always done. We’re always told to find your “ideal client”. That ideal client is usually between __ age and ___ age, drinks coffee.. the list goes on. For me, It’s really about thinking people as people. How do they think? How do they feel? What do they do? What do they say? It’s from really understanding the community that you’re able to create authentic community online, that has the most impact.

Q. What are you most proud of in your work?

It’s really hard to pin-point one specific part of what I do. I work with a lot of entrepreneurs being a digital advisor with Alberta Women Entrepreneurs, and also get a chance to speak to marketing students on a daily basis through different programs. If I had to choose, it would be when I finally was aligned with my vision. My vision is that women of colour are empowered, enabled, and encouraged to achieve their courageous goals – whatever that may be. So when I have a student reach out saying “You gave me the courage to jump into my passion” may it be a “non-traditional” route of university, it really makes me feel inspired to continue to do my work.

Q. What is one challenge you’ve overcome as a business owner, and what did you learn from it that you can share with others?

I struggle with imposter syndrome, to this day, and I find it’s very prominent among  business owners. It affects our decision to price ourselves accordingly, ask for what we need, set boundaries and remember to take care of ourselves. 

One story in particular is when I sacrificed my own happiness because I was chasing money. The reality? We need to give ourselves more credit as business owners, and my biggest lesson is that you are just as important. And you matter most. 

Q. What is your favorite part of what you do?

The people that I meet make my day. When I used to work my 9-5 job, I didn’t get a chance to meet this many amazing business owners. It showed me that theres so much talent in our city that needs to be spotlighted. That, and working in marketing allows me to flex a creative muscle through video and that’s always fun to do.  

Q. What is one thing you do to set yourself up for success every week?

For me, I always write down the one thing that I have to get done this week. It usually is a large task that we feel is big , but it keeps me focused so that I don’t stray away and get distracted.

Q. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

The  best advice is that it is not selfish to let people know what you need or want. That setting boundaries are not selfish, and that your time is just as valuable. Everyone can wait, and as entrepreneurs, it can become overwhelming being torn in a bunch of directions. Remember that you matter most and that was the best advice given to me that I hold true to this day.

Q. Where can people find you to learn more? (Leave your email, website, social media handles, etc.!)

@joannejbart or @weareempathie!

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