Introducing the next Summer Series Interview with the amazing Alison Johnston! Alison is a seasoned marketer with a diverse background in both corporate and startup environments. After honing her skills within large corporations, she took a leap of faith in 2012 and founded Electric Alley, a company dedicated to helping small businesses and startups flourish.
I was absolutely thrilled when Alison found me on Instagram and reached out for support with building her personal brand. She was ready to take her already successful business to the next level. Even though Alison is an experienced marketer, she understood the challenges of “reading your own label” from the inside.
Our journey together began with my brand mentoring framework, which provided valuable guidance and insights. We then proceeded with a portrait photo session to capture fresh headshots that truly represented Alison and her brand.
During our final session, we wrapped up our collaboration with a comprehensive review and celebration, complete with a glass of bubbles. I couldn’t be happier to hear Alison’s feedback that she now feels more confident and ready to be more visible with intention.
What career did you have before you set up your own business, and what made you start? How your previous career influences the work you are doing in your business now?
I worked at a large multinational firm, on a consumer campaign and finally at a start-up. Working with in a start up introduced me to the innovation of the entrepreneurial world and I realised thats where I preferred working.
While at the same time working in a larger organisation gave me the grounding and structure to learn key skills to use in my career.
Finally, I loved the fun side of working on a consumer campaign, our targets were not sales but behavioural change which meant we were free to be fun and creative, working with national press and TV, as well as local campaigns. Which meant working with agencies and gave me the understanding of how I’d like to run my own.
What was your main source of motivation when you started your own business?
Motivation was to work in a way I wanted to work and offer the services I wanted to be offered when I worked inhouse.
What did you find hardest? How did you navigate the things you found especially hard — and do you still find these things hard?
In the early days it was having the confidence to put myself out there and say I can do this but better. Inhouse you have the support and structure of an organisation but working for yourself you need to be self driven.
Instead of becoming overwhelmed, I turn this energy into motivation to keep going.
If you could go back and do it all again, would you do anything differently?
Have more self-belief and put myself out there more, and most importantly ask for more.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Work out what you’re good at and get help with where you’re weakest. People try to do everything and spread themselves too thin or do things badly. I knew for example I was strongest in marketing and finding clients, however I was clueless about the finance side so I got an accountant straight away, he’s worked with me for almost 10 years now.
Another is golf analogy, don’t think about hitting the ball. Instead focus on perfecting everything else and the ball will get in the way of the swing.
What was your aha moment during our brand mentoring sessions?
There wasn’t a single aha moment, instead, it was having the ongoing support and wisdom from Petra to solidify my thinking.
What would be one word to describe how you feel after you completed our brand mentoring journey?
Do you have any pearls of wisdom for other women who have just set up their own business or are thinking about it? What’s been most useful to you along the way?
It would be working out what you’re good at and getting support where you’re lacking. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help, people love to help. And to prevent yourself becoming overwhelmed turn negative thoughts into energy to keep you moving.
If you were writing a book, what would it be about?
It would be a childrens book but I’m not going to say what it’s about in case one day I write it!
Insta link: @electricalleyuk
If you’re ready to be more visible to your ideal clients…
for more alignment, more impact, more success…
Let me help you Build your Personal Brand.
Your personal brand is the story you tell that shapes how people feel about you – which determines whether they choose to work with you. All great stories have similar elements, including yours. Whether you know it yet or not, you have a story to tell. And telling that story is what will draw the right clients to you.
There are a few key questions you can ask yourself to help uncover your personal brand story. I’d love to share them with you. Get your free copy here.