Introduce yourself and tell us about Carli Communications?
I am Carla Williams Johnson, the founder of Carli Communications and I help business owners and entrepreneurs increase their visibility through creative uses of the media. Honestly, I was tired of seeing businessmen and women being ill-advised by greedy coaches and consultants looking to make a quick buck. These ‘so-called’ gurus would use the client’s lack of knowledge against them to sell them a product or service that made no sense and gave absolutely no returns on investment. That’s when my business was born.
I feel like a superhero sometimes, to be honest. Like I’m saving the day (and the dollar) of people who are in danger of wasting their money. On the surface, I help clients with promoting their business, but what I do is assist my people with finding the best and quickest ways to truly connect with their ideal clients so that they can serve them and, of course, make some money in the process.
What are your responsibilities at Carli communications?
My main responsibility is to set the direction and the pace for not just my own company but for my clients as well. I need to ensure the quality of the work that comes out of my company and make sure to keep everyone motivated and excited to keep moving towards my vision.
I love seeing the big picture and watching all the pieces fall into place; knowing that it can all come together EXACTLY the way it looks in my mind.
What sacrifices have you made to become an entrepreneur?
Owning your business requires a lot of hard work and sacrifice. Late nights and early mornings with no sleep; Juggling more than one portfolio until I can get on my feet; saying yes to clients who I knew were not in alignment with my values but I either needed the money or the experience.
I’ve had to sacrifice time with family and friends to build my dream and (even though I am not proud of it) I sacrificed my self-care so I wouldn’t eat properly or even on time to get stuff done. So while you will have to give up somethings I implore you to don’t be like me. Please schedule self-care as your life depended on it because it does. Do yourself a favor and take a break every once in a while.
How are you marketing Carli Communications?
Well, what works well for me is that 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.
I also firmly believe in a marketing mix of both online and offline to grow a brand. So in addition to social media and online advertising, I’ve been utilizing public relations and sponsorship opportunities to grow my brand which has been working pretty well.
The one thing that has not really worked for me is cold calling and I always advise my clients against SMS marketing.
What have been your most satisfying moments in business?
I love the reaction of my clients when they’ve achieved something they didn’t think was possible for them. Sometimes it’s the look of clarity in their face and that ‘Ahh hah’ moment when they understand what they need to do for their business.
I’ve received so many emails, messages, phone calls with clients who literally squealed with excitement because I was able to get them published or because I help them reach their 7 figure or 8 figure goals in record time.
It really makes me feel good that I can help others build the profitable brand they’ve always envisioned because I know the people that I work with have the knowledge, expertise, passion, and desire in what they do and would like to share it with the world, but, they just need a little nudge on HOW to get it out there the right way to touch the lives of others……. that’s where I come in.
Honestly, I fulfill my dreams, helping others fulfill theirs. I love that I can truly support people who need it. My vision is to help as many business owners as possible promote themselves in the right way to the right people and to make their lives better.
Tell us about a time where you had to take a risk in your business?
Almost daily to be honest because that’s the nature business and of marketing. The thing is the more you are in business is the more you learn to take calculated risks that have a greater chance of working in your favor.
I remember when I had only just started, I and a few other entrepreneurs were contacted by my then coach to work with her on a major project that was supposed to ‘take my business to the next level’. This was someone I trusted because she wasn’t just a coach, she was a friend…or so I thought. She was there when I was going through my stress in my job and wanted to leave, she was who I called when I needed to vent or cry or whatever…so when she presented this life-changing opportunity, I didn’t hesitate to say yes.
It wasn’t long before the cracks started to show. She was no leader and did not practice what she preached. She mobilized a team to do her work while not sharing the responsibility. She exploited us all for our expertise and refused to listen to advice or feedback. We were treated more like bad employees. Worse yet, she expected all of us to put working on her project above all (mind you we weren’t being paid), while she went off to build her second and third business ventures.
I was crushed, the realization that this person I admired was not who she said she was. I did not want to admit it but I was sold a dream and was being taken advantage of.
At the time I was pretty upset but now looking back I tend to laugh and ponder on lessons learned from it which is to always follow my instincts.
As you grow opportunities will arise, but you will know what to say yes to once based on if it’s aligned with your business goals and your own values.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Don’t be too hard on yourself, we all make mistakes from time to time. We’re only human. We may get caught up with someone who wronged us or a business opportunity that just didn’t work in our favor. Sometimes life gets in the way, and your business suffers because of it.
I can tell you, I too have been caught playing ‘catch up’ a time or two, but don’t be too hard on yourself. Take it all in stride and understand that life happens, and it’s how you handle it that makes the difference.
· Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them.
· Allow yourself time to recuperate from a stressful situation
· Allow yourself to feel what you need to feel when you need to feel it
Then jump right back in and keep moving forward.
You’re not alone, and we are all dealing with our own slices of life, so lean on someone who can help pick you up and don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go according to plan, remember you are right where you need to be.
Carli Communications slogan: We Make It Simple
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