Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Allison Carter, Founder of Allison Carter Celebrates, located in Issaquah, WA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My company is called Allison Carter Celebrates, and I am a personal branding and visibility marketing coach. I help creative entrepreneurs scale and gain massive visibility and credibility through simple PR strategies while skyrocketing their sales with creative diversifying strategies. My customers are all creative, and many of them multi-passionate. I help them identify their brand builders, find their voice, create content that will resonate and get seen by the right eyeballs at the right time! In addition to my coaching, I host super fun business retreats for women-owned businesses and my large-scale event, Ultimate Product Party, a two-day creative conference for product-based businesses.
Tell us about yourself
I'm a Seattle mom of two and an idea-generating machine. My brain is constantly thinking of content and story ideas for my clients and me. Six years ago, I had a 3-year-old and a 6-month-old and was a shell of a human. I had nothing that belonged to me, and my business fell into my lap. I accidentally started a party planning business after having a conversation with my girlfriends one afternoon and had never felt more fulfilled. I worked on growing that business, understanding that the fastest way to get more visibility is to get in front of someone else's existing audience. I taught myself how to write a pitch, started sending pitches out, and started to get some major media features to boost my business' credibility and traffic. Hello, Forbes, Martha Stewart, Better Homes and Gardens, Buzzfeed, CNN, and more! Now I get to teach my clients how to be their own scrappy PR agents to gain visibility for their dream businesses!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Hosting my first-ever large-scale event, Ultimate Product Party, was the biggest accomplishment thus far as a business owner. Although getting featured in Oprah was pretty dang cool, nothing will ever compare to stepping onto that stage to see hundred plus faces staring back at me at an event my partner and I dreamed up over margaritas one night. We worked SO hard to make that event happen, spent so much money, and really didn't know what it was going to be like. To watch it all come together, hear the impact it had on businesses (we had multiple smash their goals like getting their products sold in Target!), and know that it was an experience that many would attribute as a success milestone for their business blew my mind and made me so proud.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Feeling like you're rarely able to do everything well. When you are a business owner, you are constantly juggling 87 things at once...and that's just in your business. Throw in some kids and a partner in there, and it can all go to hell real quick. I had to accept that when I'm working, I'm working, and it's a good thing for my kids to see their mom build something out of literally nothing that financially impacts our family. But when I'm a mom, I have to hold the boundary of just being with my family and not letting myself constantly be thinking about work. I can do everything, I just can't do everything at the same time.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be YOU from the jump. It is your job to show up as yourself on the internet. You should repel clients and customers just as much as you attract them. You want to curate a ride-or-die community that knows you, relates to you, and TRUSTS you. Don't hide behind your business or product. People want to know the person behind it all!
- Start pitching yourself and having a PR strategy before you think you're ready. Contributing to a guest blog, being interviewed by a publication like I am being featured in right now, or guesting on a podcast is totally doable for you at any stage. If you have tips, tricks, a framework, advice, or a unique perspective on an issue to share- pitch yourself!
- Prioritize fun. If you aren't having fun, something is wrong. Being a business owner is such a gift! The gift of freedom and flexibility is everything. And you should be having FUN. Be silly, get out into the real world and meet other like-minded entrepreneurs, play, experiment, be bold, invest, and take a break. It's not that serious. Chances are, no one's life is on the line when it comes to your business. So start thinking of what your dream life would look like and start taking steps to live it. Life is way too short not to be having any fun!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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