Named on Yahoo’s Influencers to Inspire list, Alexandra Nicole Nolan (www.instagram.com/alexandra.nicole) is a mom and entrepreneur from Memphis, Tennessee with a Masters in Business from the University of Memphis, International Business Studies from Bournemouth University in England, and is currently pursuing her PhD in Business.
Alexandra has been featured in the New York Weekly Times, Hollywood Digest, CEO Medium, and is a published guest columnist and women empowerment speaker. Alexandra spends her days living the dream of being a self made entrepreneur as a full time national brand influencer and brand developer.
In 2007 Alexandra Nicole Nolan was working for a Fortune 100 company, quickly climbing the corporate ladder, and making a name for herself as a competent business woman but deep down, her passion for creating had different plans.
One thing I have learned while interviewing Alexandra, is that her sheer determination guides her to persevering with any activity she sets her sites on, so achieving success in the corporate world and entrepreneur realm alike is no surprise.
In this interview, you will learn a little bit more about Alexandra Nicole’s story and how she is helping other aspiring entrepreneurs reach their work life dreams.
Did you specifically set out to become an influencer?
Ten years ago, if you told me I was going to be working from home as a full time, national brand influencer, I would have laughed. Not that being an influencer is funny business, I just had no intention on growing a personal brand, let alone know where to start! In 2012 I resigned from my corporate position and started a women’s clothing store called The Ivory Closet.
I was finally achieving one of my lifelong dreams, however being a 26 year old girl with hardly any money saved, other than to launch the store, I needed to find a way to market my business.
I began a blog called The Ivory Closet Blog and started posting pictures of myself styling the outfits in my shop in hopes to gain exposure. Fast forward 7 years, with a name change to City Chic Living (www.citychicliving.com) and brands reaching out to market on my site, my blog had developed into a full time, separate business.
I had officially come to a fork in the road where I was strapped for time and needed to choose a solid direction for more work life balance. I decided to sell my clothing store and focus solely on my blog. And here we are!
What advice do you have for other aspiring entrepreneurs who are on the fence about going all in?
Being nervous is normal. Removing yourself from familiarity and into uncharted waters will evoke a feeling of fear in anyone, but it’s the excitement of creating something for yourself and your family that will pull you through.
You are going to have ups and downs through the process but it is important to get it in your head from the very beginning that “Failure is not an option.” Tell yourself this over and over until you build the confidence that success will be the only outcome.
What is the very first thing you should do when getting started as an entrepreneur?
The obvious would be to know what you are good at and have a clear direction based on that. Many people choose a business based on an idea tat seems fun but may not be something they are talented in. For example, you may want to start a makeup line but you are not a makeup artist and have never applied makeup to a client before in your life.
Do not choose a business that merely sounds fun, know your strengths and start to build your ideas from there. Be strategic in your thinking. Is there a lot of competition in the industry you are considering? Do you have an innovative idea? If you have a pretty common idea, how can you step it up to make it different and innovative? These are all things you should be asking yourself.
Brand building, what’s the secret to a successful brand?
There are many factors to consider from the more detailed such as, does your brand tell as story or can people relate to your brand, to the basic factors such as, is the url available and is it easily remembered? You really have to put yourself in the shoes of your customer here.
On one hand, you want to build a brand that is true to yourself but if your customer can’t identify with your business, you have missed the mark. Before settling in on a brand name, look, and feel, as someone who you trust, to you to give their honest opinion on your ideas.
What is next for Alexandra Nicole Nolan?
I have just launched a new course in my online academy, The Confident Boss (www.theconfidentboss.com) called The Business of Blogging. In this course, I focus on laying the foundation and strategy framework so that the student can quickly launch their very own successful blogging business.
With topics such as building your brand, creating your blog site and digital presence, defining your audience, growing your platforms, pitching to brands, pricing for profit, and more, this course is designed to help aspiring influencers achieve blogging success. I have also started curating a book to help digital entrepreneurs with exclusive strategies and industry secrets.
Want to keep up with Alexandra Nicole Nolan and all of her business ventures or simply have a question for her on your own business ideas? Be sure to follow her blog and Instagram!