Making Your Side Gig Your Full-Time Gig
A FRANK Interview With Constance Ejuma
I worked with Constance Ejuma in the digital-media world for about a year before I found out that besides being an amazing SEO professional, she was also a talented actress and producer. An example of perseverance and dedication, she’s now the director of SEO at Penske Media (brands include Variety, WWD and Robb Report) and co-founder and producer at Nursing Tybalt Productions.
Recently, Constance produced and starred in the award-winning film, “Ben and Ara.” She’s great at both of her jobs and is successfully making her side gig her main one. So, of course, I interviewed her so that you can get the scoop on how she does it and draw some inspiration.
You have two very different careers. How does a working actress end up working for tech companies doing something as technical as SEO?
You are quite good at both of your jobs. How do you do it? Are there sacrifices?
Managing careers in both acting and SEO has always been a balancing act. It hasn't always been easy doing both at the same time, but I've been fortunate in that neither career path has ever been terribly disruptive of the other. Of course, my goal is to work in the creative world full-time but until then, I just have to continue managing my time in such a way that I juggle the two. And to be honest, time is probably the biggest sacrifice. I don't casually use up my vacation days, and when I do, it's always related to my acting career in one way or another, whether it be booking a speaking role on a TV show or going to a film festival. I can't say I've taken a non-business related "vacation" in years.
Do you ever feel that the skills from one help with the other? How so?
My experience in digital marketing has certainly helped with managing my presence online, whether it be growing my social media following or optimizing my personal website. I've also spearheaded marketing efforts for film and TV projects I've been involved in.
For people with side hustles, and aspirations that are different than their current jobs, what is your advice?
Don't give up and figure out where you need to make sacrifices in order to get to your ultimate goal.
Do you eventually want to focus just on acting and producing? What sort of projects are you most interested in?
Yes, acting and producing are my end goal, so yes, I do want to focus on those things exclusively in the future. I'd like to be a voice for people who are often not seen or heard, so I'm interested in producing stories that are not necessarily mainstream.