Alicia Williams

2 Ways to Boost Your Instagram Engagement, from the Expert
August 19 - Sarah Ashlock

FIRST THOUGHT: First Impressions

Whether you hate or love-watch The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, you know that each new season includes a ceremonial gift of what’s called the “first impression rose.” It’s basically IRL swiping. It’s given to the person who made - you guessed it - the best first impression. Most of these rose recipients are booted well before the season finale.

Now, I’m not saying this is a legit study of human nature, but it’s got me wondering: How right are our first impressions? If you’ve chosen Mr. Wrongs your whole life, maybe you need to hold onto that rose until you actually get to know the person and, ahem, maybe do a thorough background check.


First impressions aren’t always about love. Your first day on the job is full of them, and sometimes you’re right, but sometimes you’re dead wrong. Jenny in the communications department seemed so sweet. Yeah, well, slithering snakes seem sweet until they bite you, am I right? I digress. It takes people a blink of the eye to size you up, and the same goes for your biz. It only takes people 10 seconds to form an impression of a brand, so use those 10 seconds wisely. (AKA don’t spam me!)

WOMAN TO WATCH: Alicia Williams, Founder & CEO of Aliste Marketing

If you’re in Boston and looking for a brand revamp, consider Alicia Williams. She started her own company at 21, and is now the head of a specialized marketing firm called Aliste Marketing.

Alicia grew her business from a desk in her 12x12 laundry room during the economic recession. She’s since expanded and convinced her brother to join the team. Aliste Marketing’s track record is clear: Emails are opened 34 percent more and traffic is increased by 200 percent. Analytics are important, especially when you’re handing over the image of the business you’ve built.

Alicia’s marketing prowess has been used by a medical staffing company, a luxury resort and even a butcher shop. Aliste’s main focus is on digital marketing, brand identity, paid advertising and SEO. The company also does placement, which means they place marketing direct hires.

It’s easy to see the positives of owning your own company, and for Alicia, those are being able to fine-tune her approach and create jobs for other people in the industry. But, as she says, it’s easy to only look forward and not sit and savor the success now. One of the more challenging aspects of being your own brand is comparing yourself to others. Alicia combats this by remembering the advice that we’re all the same, regardless of title.

There are a few ways you can improve engagement with your customers and clients. Alicia suggests you ask yourself “Why?” before getting started. That little query can save you tons of (wo)man power, including time and money. She shares the example of a gardening client: Sure, the client wants to improve their Instagram presence - but in order to do that, they needed to determine their why.

Another tip? Plan your social media presence ahead of time. As Alicia says, those beautiful grids don’t happen willy nilly; they’re organized days or weeks in advance. Don’t wait until the moment when you have time to build your brand. Alicia built her brand at a vulnerable time in her life, but it’s certainly paid off.


Alicia said:

"I felt empowered to start an outsourced marketing team during a recession. … Adapting to the constantly changing market and economy has allowed me to overcome the effects of a recession and build a business I'm passionate about sharing.”

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