For over a decade, I’ve worked in the field of marketing, advertising, and communication. As a Media Marketing Specialist based in Trinidad & Tobago, I spent my early career working, building the dreams of others before I finally found the strength to build my own dreams….one brick at a time.
I remember when I first knew I was going to be in advertising. Honestly, I was one of the few people who got excited whenever a commercial came on or be super excited while flipping through a magazine and seeing a creative ad, only because I just loved to see innovative ways of utilizing media. I always found it weird that others would not be as excited as I was, but I guess that’s what made me unique.
I knew I had to get into advertising, and I immediately ran to my Gateway computer with dial-up internet service (…..yes I know I’m aging myself a bit here)where I surfed the web to research the top agencies and to see if any were based in locally, and what a pleasant surprised when I saw there were quite a few. I’m not ashamed to say that I called each and every one of them, speaking to the creative directors telling them about my love, my passion, and my desire to be in advertising. All were welcoming, none had vacancies, but it didn’t deter me. I kept calling, writing, and sending emails, and I was finally accepted to work in the media department at the top ad agency lending support to the Coca Cola brand. That was just the start for me, and before long, I was working on international brands and flexing my creative muscles, earning these brands billions of dollars in sales.
Before long, my colleagues would say I should open my own business because I was so talented with such great ideas. They saw that I had a unique understanding of the advertising and marketing worlds and the ability to understand the media through creative thinking.
I’m not gonna lie, a voice inside me said, ‘You could do it’ but fear is such a powerful thing. Getting a salary is better than not knowing where my next paycheck was going to come from. By that time, I had a young daughter; I thought it would be irresponsible of me to even think about going off on my own……but honestly, it all came down to fear of the unknown…….What if I don’t make it? Where would my next paycheck come from? What if I fail? Those were the questions buzzing around in my head.
Fast forward 16years later, I was working an 8-4 job and was unhappy with where I was to the point of being physically ill and under-appreciated at my job. I had since graduated to a managerial position, but I was just so miserable, particularly by the way I was treated.
One morning I was called in by the Human Resources Manager, who informed me that my job was now redundant. So here I am after sacrificing to stay in a job I hated, I’m being told that I was no longer needed. But you know what…….it was the BEST news ever!! I felt as if a weight was lifted off my shoulders, and was happier than I had ever been in a long time.
I felt like this was my time to shine on my own. My life changed when I finally decided to trust my instincts and listen to the small but determined voice within that constantly said, “You could do it, don’t worry, you’ll be alright.” After years of corporate entities building their successes on my brainpower, I decided it was time to become my own entity.
I arrived at my next phase in life, a young single mother with no job, no plan of action, no money, and no clue what to do. I was a bit scared, but a lot determined that I needed to get focused. I fell back on what I was good at and what had always made the companies I worked forsuccessful. I started to meet people, expand my horizons, and make valuable connections.
Sometimes I made no money at all, sometimes I made just enough to cover my bills, and there were days I cried long tears and almost lost it because I knew I was working hard; but I got back to my marketing roots – my strongest technical skill – and started helping others grow their businesses but this time as my own boss.
It all paid off in 2017 when I landed my first major contract, then after that, I began getting calls for interviews about my work and was even featured in local and international publications. The highlight of my career was being named one of the Top 99 “Limit Breaking Female Founders” – a list compiled by the world-renown media house Huffington Post and Thrive Global.
Could you imagine, in just a few months, I went from not having a job to being recognized on such a global scale? That’s the reward of using your innate gifts, talents, and abilities. I let go of all the fear, self-doubt, and less-than-stellar results of her first year as an entrepreneur and rose to the occasion, and trusted in the Universe’s plan.
I know my dad would be super proud of me because actually, the name Carli in Carli Communications was in homage to him. It’s the name he affectionately called me. Being a businessman himself, he taught me the value of hard work and dedication. Now, I’m a warrior princess!! I consider myself an advocate for business owners and entrepreneurs who truly need to put themselves out there the right way to the right audience without losing themselves in the process; because I know my clients may feel confused, tired, or stressed out because they are at a loss for how to invest in their business to see the returns they wish for.
Consider me a superhero, here to save the day and the dollar of the people who need it. On the surface, my company helps with promoting a brand but what I really do is assist in finding the best and quickest ways to truly connect with clients, which will ultimately mean an increase in sales. I guarantee clarity, confidence, and creativity for all my people by offering advice on ways to promote both online and offline.
I don’t think I will ever stop doing what I’m doing. My clients love me. My children look up to me, and honestly, I love being helping people reach their goals. If you are thinking about building your own brand, then, by all means, this is the time to do it. I wish I had listened to my gut sooner because there is truly nothing more rewarding than doing what you love every single day.
If you need a little nudge to help you get going, please feel free to follow me on social media ( Facebook and Instagram.) or, better yet, let’s hop on a free consultation. Don’t worry; your friendly neighborhood marketer has got you.
Carla Williams Johnson is a Media Marketing Specialist based in Trinidad & Tobago. She founded Carli Communications, which offers advertising and marketing advice to entrepreneurs and business owners
who are interested in building a business in the ‘real world’. She considers herself an advocate for businessmen and women who were desirous of promoting themselves by offering sound, unbiased advice, focusing mainly on methods to identify ideal clients, online and offline approaches to boosting visibility, and the creation of practical marketing campaigns designed to increase revenue.