As technology continues to shape our lives, so do the ways brands market to their customers. The age of digital marketing has opened up new career avenues for young entrepreneurs, and Alicia Waid is no stranger to the world of digital marketing. With her Montreal-based company Nvizion Media (a creative wordplay on envision), she set her sights on helping her clients discover their online voice and how to effectively reach a large consumer base via social media.
Alicia started her social media journey at 15 years old. She explored different platforms before settling on Instagram. She began with random photos and quickly found her focus on reviewing coffee shops around Montreal. As her popularity grew, her onlookers became curious about her style, which gave her the push to turn her page into a lifestyle account. “In University, I started freelancing for individuals and signed some small contracts.I managed my hairdresser’s page & a few local bloggers.” Upon graduating from university, she applied to startup agencies around Montreal. “I wanted to work somewhere small; somewhere my voice would be heard and somewhere I could grow within.It was only a few months later that I realized how disorganized and unprofessional a lot of these agencies were.But they all had one thing in common: their founders were young entrepreneurs.I realized that if they could do it, so could I.Once I came to that realization, I quit my summer job and started planning my social media agency the very next day.”
Being a self-employed entrepreneur isn’t always the easiest job. Alicia is devoted to maintaining a disciplined work ethic in order to strike a balance between work and home life. That discipline is exemplified by her 6:45 AM alarm. Long walks in the AM are a welcome addition along with the usual morning ritual: shower, get dressed, drink coffee. But she also makes time to write her goals for the day along with the three things she is grateful for in her 5-minute journal. “It puts me in the right headspace to start my day on a positive note.I try my best to take this time for myself; not check any emails or my Instagram DMs/notifications.” Then the real work begins: answering emails, completing tasks for the day, shooting content for her Instagram, and connecting with her clients in the afternoon.
Alicia is the type of businesswoman that does everything herself. She markets her business on her own via multiple social media platforms, posting 3 to 4 times a week. Profiles of past clients have become part of her portfolio. In order to grow her following, Alicia explains “I had no money to invest in advertising, so I built my customer base organically.I focused on posting often on Facebook and asking friends and family to share my updates so their family/friends could see.I posted often in Facebook groups around Montreal letting people know about my business and the services I offered.”
Suffering from social anxiety and self-doubt didn’t stop Alicia from stepping out of her comfort zone. Her lack of connections within the entrepreneurial community in Montreal drove her to attend many networking events. With time her confidence grew: “I’ve had the honour of speaking at a handful of events/conferences for women in business without feeling so much anxiety.It’s grown my network beyond anything I could have ever imagined, and it’s what’s led me to continue to do the work I do today as a full-time career.” Alicia has faced some difficulties (who hasn’t?), but she stresses the importance of never giving up: “you HAVE to pick yourself back up and keep going.I’m so glad I did.”
In light of the current pandemic, Alicia expresses the positives: “Many companies are realizing that moving to digital is imperative to success in this day in age.”
Alicia ditched the idea of hiring employees in favour of working on her own. Curating a list of clients with whom she shares a deeper connection is more satisfying for her. “The goal now is to expand my business online, and I’m currently working on some very exciting projects.I already offer coaching packages, but I’m also working on an e-course and a book.”
Alicia keeps her advice for any aspiring businesswoman simple: “the truth is that no time is ever the ‘perfect’ time, and if you really want to pursue your own business, the key is to just start.You can dedicate just an hour a day to working on it at first, but you’ll be so thankful you started sooner rather than later.”
If you’d like to get in touch with Alicia or access her services, check out her websitewww.nvizionmedia.com or her company’s Instagram page @nvizionmedia.
Founded in 2015, EmpowHERto is a Toronto-based nonprofit organization dedicated to helping 14-21 year-old women and girls reach their fullest potential.