With Alicia Williams
“Everyone puts their pants on the same way regardless of title”. Going into new meetings and meeting with investors or VC advisors or Presidents of companies, it is important to get into headspace of who they are and not forget you are just as decorated and talented.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Alicia Williams, Founder and CEO of Aliste Marketing, is an award winning entrepreneur and author whose out of the box creative strategies have helped businesses expand their market reach by effectively using Social Media. As an accomplished public speaker, she has enlightened and entertained audiences at local and national conferences as well as on regional radio programs. Recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Women of Family Business Award Recipient, recognition as one of The Worcester Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty, and the honor of being the Spotlight Entrepreneur for Capital One Spark.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I am a creative person and I wanted to influence how people view things and how they could also incorporate services or products into their lives. I always looked at other companies and their branding always stood out to me.
I recognized marketing tactics at a very young age and knew that it was something that I was passionate about. I always had an eye for good branding, it is a blessing and a curse. I can’t look at anything without diving deeper into why a company utilized specific colors, wording or imagery on their social pages- my goal is to figure out what story they are telling. Creating a brand experience is in my blood, from my first fundraising event I hosted I was coordinating the candy bar to match the foundations colors, creating invitations that mimicked their mission and pushed the boundaries of guerilla marketing to grab the attention of my prospective guests.
A graduate of Curry College in Milton, MA, I majored in Communications with concentrations in Public Relations and Theatre- I wanted to be the star of the show and then quickly realized you need to be able to sing in order to hit it big on broadway- so marketing was my next stage that I took to.
I graduated a semester early and decided to attempt starting my own business- in the height of a recession when everyone was telling me “Don’t Do It!” With nightly networking events filling my calendar and projects piled on my 12×12 desk situated in my laundry room- I got to working!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this career?
I think most recently it’s been apparent that everything happens for a reason and that there’s no wrong place and wrong time.
We have built out an entire ecosystem that came from connections and introductions to people.
It is amazing to have this power team where we can operate in collaboration to provide our clients with exceptional service and results.
It is truly funny where life takes you, and why it is so important to value and nurture the connections that you have because they can take you to incredible heights.
Can you share a story about the funniest marketing mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Not proofreading something. Not sharing with others. Take the time and have someone else read it because words are so impactful. I have made mistakes along my career where I sent out something that was less than perfect, but it is a learning curve and when you are so close to something, you see what you want to see. I now make it part of my process to always have a second set of eyes on everything.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
We are an ecosystem of collective talented minds that focus on one specific area rather than a jack of all trade we try to find the best person who can manage themselves.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
We are working on an exciting project now thats in stealth mode. It is challenging us to market something that isn’t real and really leverage virtual reality and some newer marketing concepts.
Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Is there a takeaway or lessons that others can learn from that?
My tipping point was getting a few large clients that truly challenged me. This allowed me to really be confident in how much we are worth and the value that we provide to others.
What advice would you give to other marketers to thrive and avoid burnout?
I am still figuring that out. Work life balance later.
How do you define “Marketing”? Can you explain what you mean?
“Marketing is something that elicits a measurable response.”
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Family and ecosystem that you surround yourself with. Family is there to help/calm. Ecosystem is there to pick up pieces when I can’t. Two very key pieces.
Can you share a few examples of marketing tools or marketing technology that you think can dramatically empower small business owners?
It is important to have a good project management system and good CRM to nurture leads.
What are your “5 Non Intuitive Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses”?
1 — Write out who your buyers are.
2 — Ask your network for feedback on your products and services. Don’t be afraid of what that feedback is.
3 — Hire an outsider to tell you what’s going on that’s wrong because you are too close to it. And be open to critique and opportunities for improvement.
4 — Measure everything and understand what that means to your bottom line. Metrics are everything.
5 — Read — read things that are going on in the news, your industry and your competitors. Never stop being curious.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
To practice empathy. I don’t think it’s something that you can teach. It is something that people take on by looking at other people through example. Empathy would go a really long way.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Everyone puts their pants on the same way regardless of title”
Going into new meetings and meeting with investors or VC advisors or Presidents of companies, it is important to get into headspace of who they are and not forget you are just as decorated and talented.