As a part of the Morning Lazziness series about empowering women who are encouraging and doing incredible things with their ideas in society, I had the pleasure of interviewing Alina Krupenina and Daria Neretina.
DAli was founded by two strong complementary personalities with an international background to deliver your growth.
DAli combines Alina’s fundamental knowledge and experience in positioning and promoting products in Multinationals and Dasha’s creative media solutions. DAli creates and implements a 360 degrees marketing strategy covering SMM, PR, Personal Brand Development, distribution.
Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Alina, Self-made businesswoman, marketer
Raised by a single mom in a little Russian town, Alina was awarded a scholarship to Moscow’s Top University.
Alina pursued her career as a professional marketer after graduation as a master of economic sociology. She successfully did marketing for 13 years in Cushman & Wakefield, Ferrero, and Nestle.
After 13 years in marketing in Russia Alina followed her dream to study in the USA, at UCLA, and establish a career in the U.S.
In 2020, Alina started the DAli agency to help entrepreneurs market themselves.
Daria, Entrepreneur, marketer
Being an artistic soul herself, Daria has always wanted to help creative workers to promote themselves. A decade in the wedding industry led her to the first start-up in 2015: online wedding magazine WedVibes. During the next 5 years, she worked with hundreds of talents and created campaigns for dream brands, such as Tiffany&Co., Dorchester Collection, JoMalone, etc. Finally, she decided to guide independent creative freelancers on a new level – as a mentor, marketer, and business coach.
After selling her business, she moved to Los Angeles, received a certificate in Digital Marketing, and started the DAli Agency to consult freelancers on how to grow and monetize their services.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Alina – I always followed the game rules.
Moved to Moscow to study at the Top Russian University, and graduated with a Master’s degree. Joined the leading commercial real estate company, Cushman & Wakefield. At the age of 23 was a team leader. At the age of 27 attended advanced leadership training in Nestle HQ in Switzerland. At the age of 32 led a team of 16 as the head of shopper marketing in the #3 chocolate worldwide producer Ferrero. At the same age, I made a decision to make my dream come true – to study in the USA at UCLA to discover new horizons.
I exited the game. Two years ago I started a new life chapter from scratch in the US. That wasn’t easy – to pave the way from scratch in the new country. I’m proud that I used that time wisely. Graduated from UCLA and founded the Dali agency with a partner when Covid hit. In 2.5 years we helped dozens of small businesses to do smart marketing and grow. More is coming. With the right people, everything is possible. Now we took our leadership at a Fundraiser for the refugees from Ukraine, organized by the City of West Hollywood on Sunday, May 22, at Plimmer Park.
What do you specialize in and why should someone choose you over your competitors in your field?
DAli Agency is a full-service digital marketing agency based in Los Angeles.
We empower female entrepreneurs and talents to build and grow a successful business with digital marketing.
Our international experience with Tiffany&Co., Jo Malone & Nestle is the best combination for your success!
We have built our business from scratch. Launched at Covid-19, two foreign girls in the new country without any powerful connections and rich parents. All we had were our experience, brains, and a strong motivation & will to establish ourselves and help many other businesses to unlock the power of digital marketing and become known by the clients. Today we are a boutique agency and provide customized consumer-based solutions to inspire more clients to buy more often.
25+ years of joint marketing & PR experience
UCLA Alumni #1 Public University in the U.S.
Over 50 000 audiences worldwide
+30% sales via social media marketing campaigns
150+ clients successfully implemented marketing strategies
PR campaigns with publication in the leading media
What are the three things that mostly helped your online business succeed?
1. Aspiration for growth and our mission to encourage females to build and monetize their talents & expertise
2. Hard work, consistency in trying and experimenting.
3. Research of newest trends, hot innovations, and features, data, analysis, insight generation & fast implementation
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
We were incredibly lucky to meet talented and hard-working clients, we grew together achieving great results. We would point out the very first client who gave us a credit.
We started our agency right before the pandemic hit. And during the first months of quarantine struggled to find their first clients as many lost their businesses. My partner and I love the ‘give first’ rule – we never ask for a job. Instead, we come up with a marketing idea for a potential client and show the way how we can deliver that. And the very first ‘give first’ presentation experience went well. Michael was very open and grateful for the job we did for his company, for the research, analysis, and well-shaped ideas. Even though he also was pretty uncertain about his business perspectives during COVID, he gave us a chance and signed a first in the Dali agency history contract. We are still very grateful for that experience and keep very warm connections.
What’s your piece of advice for readers who want to achieve wealth and success in life?
- Be optimistic – always give a chance to yourself
- Be a ‘doer’ – deliver, test, analyze and keep trying
- Know what you want and what your success looks like. Always link the action with your long-term goal and re-assure if it brings you there.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
Your toughest competitor is YOU. Focus on understanding yourself and your own weaknesses, and talents. Guaranteed, you’ll win every time.
The quality of our relationship with our business is responsible for how profitable the business is. All relationships consist of thoughts and feelings and it’s the same with your business. It reflects back what you put into it. If you are putting in stress and frustration, you’ll likely get negative results because how you feel determines what you do
Be comfortable when you feel uncomfortable. To become a successful business owner you need to become a person you’ve never been before.
Trust your team. It’s key to keep your eye on the prize. Focus on the final product and don’t get nitpicky about the process.
Sometimes opportunities will present themselves in ways that may not seem immediately gratifying. Don’t ignore them.
What’s your piece of advice for people who want to quit their 9-5 job and start a business?
We once heard a phrase that got stuck in our heads. Keep doing your job during the weekdays to maintain your everyday life. Use your weekends to build your dream life. That means you need to walk the extra mile to become a successful entrepreneur. But once you start getting your first small wins – it’s all worth it.
Secondly, tell everyone about your new dream! Keep posting every day and remind everybody of yourself. You will be surprised who can become your first client or help you on this journey.
What would you tell yourself ten to twenty years ago that you wish you knew then?
Daria: Listen to people, don’t just wait to talk. There is a huge difference. Also, you will get so many insights about human behavior just from that habit.
Alina: Where there is a will there’s the way. Always give a chance to change your life. Break the rule but don’t break the law – if you really want something you can get it. While you can be gifted or you can work it out.
Lastly, what do you think this world needs the most?
Compassion and empathy. This one is an easy one, but it’s important to try and understand others and what we are all going through every day. As Billy Connoly said: “Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes”.
Where do you see yourself and your business in five years?
Ted Talk presenters, Forbes contributors, and Leaders of the Digital Marketing Industry who help female entrepreneurs build their dreams from scratch. We also have a goal of our own educational platform where small businesses can find affordable tools to grow their business and educate themselves in marketing. Because the secret sauce of success is: that your product/service should be as good as your marketing is.
What’s your business model? How does your online business make money?
– Educate our clients on how to implement marketing and sales techniques to their business by themselves.
– Create marketing strategies and pitch decks for businesses for investors, partners, and even start-up accelerator programs. We help them explain what their product does, its benefits, and why people need it.
– Classic subscription model when we create owned and paid media for brands to help them build a strong reputation among the target audience and become THE one product out of many.