Just do it. Stop over thinking and planning, you will figure things out along the way.
Carla Williams Johnson is a Media Marketing Specialist based in Trinidad & Tobago.
She founded Carli Communications, which offers advertising and marketing solutions to business owners who are interested in promoting themselves in the real world.
With over a decade of experience in the field with the top global advertising agencies working with global brand such as Coca Cola, Unilever and Nestle, she considers herself an advocate for business men and women who are desirous of promoting themselves by offering sound, unbiased advice, focusing mainly on
• Methods to identify ideal clients
• Online and offline approaches to boosting visibility
• The creation of marketing campaigns designed to increase revenue
She’s been called ‘The Media Guru’ and her clients are in awe of her warm, friendly personality and her ability to ‘think of innovative, out of the box ideas’ for their business.
She is also a passionate writer having contributed pieces to local, regional and international publications as well as her business blog that she has since renamed Carli Speaks. She has also been featured in articles by the Huffington Post, Thrive Global and CEO Blog Nation to name a few.
Carla also gives back to her community by mentoring and using her gifts, talents and abilities to assist where she can. She was recently asked to share her wealth of knowledge with the Malabar Secondary School through the World of Work initiative which assists students with preparing themselves for the working world and was chosen to a Personal Mentor in the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme which aims to support and celebrate young people from across the Commonwealth.
She has also volunteered with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese through the Archbishop Appeal in assisting with raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to restore the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, a local historic monument
Where did the idea for Carli Communications come from?
I was tired of seeing business men and women being ill advised by greedy sales reps looking to make a quick buck or using their lack of knowledge against them to sell them something that made no sense and had absolutely no ROI. That’s when my business was born.
I consider myself an advocate for business owners and entrepreneurs who truly need to put themselves the right way to the right people. I feel like a superhero sometimes to be honest. Like I’m saving the day (and the dollar) for people who are in danger of wasting their money. On the surface my company helps you with promoting your business but what we really do is assist you in finding the best and quickest ways to truly connect with your ideal clients by getting them to know, like and trust you so that you can make money just by serving
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
The first thing I do in the morning is meditate to clear my mind. Next I get started on my ‘to do’ list that I created the night before. This list includes everything I have to do in my business and personal life. I usually take care of the personal stuff first but when it comes to working the business I am typically what people might call a ‘night owl’ because I tend to get started from around 7pm and go until about 2am. Strangely enough I get more done and I am more energized around that time.
How do you bring ideas to life?
As a marketing person, I am so full of ideas so for me, I always get my team involved to brainstorm. We look how we can improve and execute the idea and what is doable within the given time frame. It takes a lot of work, research and co ordination but when you have a great team, it comes easy.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I absolutely LOVE advertising. I cannot get enough of the creative ideas and out of the box thinking that some out of the best international ad agencies. I’m such a geek for an original and imaginative ad campaign.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I find meditation helps me set tone for the day and quiet all the thoughts that are floating around.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Just do it. Stop over thinking and planning, you will figure things out along the way. Believe in yourself, you have the knowledge and expertise, so trust yourself and move forward. Above all, trust your gut, it never leads you astray.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
Traditional media is not dead. Social media is not the answer because while I am a strong advocate for the medium, it must work hand in hand with other forms of advertising to be effective. I believe a mix of both traditional and non traditional media (with your target market in mind) is the best way to create an effective marketing and advertising campaign
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I do a brain dump. It clears the clutter and helps me put things in order. Sometimes a great idea might pop into my head but the market isn’t ready or the timing is off. Putting ideas and on paper can put things into perspective and helps me look at ideas logically. It can also help me figure out how, when and where to promote. Once a brain dump is done, I formulate plans and figure out what is feasible then let the ideas take shape to realize what makes sense and what does not.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I logically observe what others do, especially the thought leaders in my industry. I study their strategies, how they interact with their customers and their execution techniques to understand why people purchase
I ask myself:
Can I utilize what they’re doing in my business?
Are they leaving gaps in their service that I can now capitalize on?
Can I improve a product or service I already have or do I create something new?
Maybe a collaboration in the future if we share the same clients?
I pay attention to what they’re doing and use that information to help me grow my business
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I wouldn’t call it a failure, but it was definitely a hard lesson to learn. I was doing the right things but for the wrong market. I knew I was doing everything right! Daily live streams, posting on social media, sending out emails and making numerous follow up calls, but still I had inconsistent clients.
I was extremely busy but still the returns were wavering.
Then it struck me! My foundation was weak!
I dusted myself off, took the rest of the year to plan my strategy and went back to my marketing roots
I put into action all the strategies ( I even outlined these strategies in my free downloadable ebook The Four Pillars of Building a Successful Brand which is available on my website) and less than a year later I am working with dream clients pulling in five figures a month. I’ve been asked to mentor others and have even gotten myself noticed by internationally by and invited to to guest blog and onto podcasts. My business has seen substantial growth.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Well I’m not sure if this exists but I do believe a 24 hour nursery/daycare will be a God send to a lot of working women.
Too often I hear women, mainly single mothers who cannot put in overtime or do classes to better themselves because they have children and little or no support from family or friends. I believe children are a blessing and shouldn’t be a burden or a ‘keep back’ if someone wants to improve themselves
It’s something I would love to do locally in the future
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I attended Jennifer Kem’s Seen Heard & Paid live event (virtually) and it was three days of inspiration, motivation and action. Jen is a genius and her team is incredible as they ensured that the virtual attendees were not left out of the action. We listened to the guest speakers, saw the one on ones during the break out sessions, plus we had our own virtual Q&A sessions where all of our questions were answered. I am sure I will be there in person for the next event but I will encourage any entrepreneur to invest in attending , even if it’s just virtually, it’s so worth it.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Hootsuite! This program helps me schedule posts on social media. I cannot live without it
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I would highly recommend “The Tipping Point “by Malcolm Gladwell. It is so informative and really gives a unique perspective on how things can really move from the ordinary to the extraordinary when all the right components are in place. It can also reveal who you are as a business person and who you need in your life to make you successful.
What is your favorite quote?
One of my absolute favorite Maya Angelou quotes
“I did then what I knew how to do.
Now that I know better, I do better.”
• Meditate daily and do a brain dump frequently, you mind and your business will thank you for it.
• Know who you’re really talking to. Just because persons are around you does not mean they’re your ideal client so make sure you invest your time, money and energy wisely.
• Social media is great but look for other ways to engage your target audience and get creative with it. Radio, Television, Print, Direct Marketing and Out of Home are all touch points where you can engage your ideal client.
• Trust yourself and know that you are the expert at what you do. No one can do you better than you so get out there and show the world what you’ve got.
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