Through her company Ringlet Studio, Elise Crawford helps women entrepreneurs expand their business through digital marketing. Over the last five years she has worked with many businesses in Washington, D.C. and around the world to create stunning brands, digital campaigns, websites and social media campaigns. Elise also cultivates community through the resource branch of Ringlet Studio, Ringlet Market, which is an educational workshop and platform for creative entrepreneurs in the D.C. area. Read our interview with the lovely Elise below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
Before beginning Ringlet, I worked at a startup that was a PR firm based in New York, NY. The firm worked solely with women business owners and I absolutely fell in love with the feeling of empowering women to follow their dreams. After graduating from my Masters in Communications at Johns Hopkins, I knew I wanted to work for myself. My dad is an entrepreneur and I always craved the adventure of starting my own business. A few months after graduation and taking time to brainstorm, I launched Ringlet Studio with the support of my family and fiance.
Tell us about your business.
I started Ringlet Studio because I saw a desire within women business owners to take their businesses to the next level but they didn’t quite know how. Our goal is to help your business “grow up”. Many of our clients have had their business for a year or two and they are doing a great job. However, they’re looking to bring in more clients or sales through exposure. That’s where Ringlet Studio comes in. Our teams develops a marketing plans for our clients that help expand their influence online. We create experiences for our client’s audiences.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
The Simple Solution Training: http://ringletstudio.com/simplesolutiontraining
“5 Days to Simplifying Your Marketing Systems and Saying Hello to New Clients” – A video series for women entrepreneurs who are looking for growth and want to make an impact.
- B.A. in Philosophy, Catholic University of America, 2013
- M.A. in Communications, Concentrations in Digital Media and Public Relations, 2015
Where is your business based?
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
Before I even started Ringlet, I knew that I needed to surround myself with mentors and people who had accomplished goals that I hoped to one-day meet. This has allowed me to create my business vision and have it evolve over time. One of the first things I did was develop a rough business plan. I really do mean it was rough! There wasn’t a ton of formality but it did help to get all of my thoughts and ideas on paper. I then created a website and put myself out there!
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Business is all about relationships. People buy from people. The most effective way of getting new clients has been investing in getting to really know my ideal clients. I have interviewed tons of people to really understand what business owners need from marketing. I also have taken time to just meet with fellow women entrepreneurs in D.C. to network and learn about their businesses, their hopes and dreams. I’ve gotten plugged into several networking groups in D.C. which has also been helpful. It’s all about recommendations. Although I’m working to expand my online presence, a lot Ringlet Studio clients have come from word-of-mouth recommendations.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
My biggest challenge was exactly what I find my client’s biggest challenge is: to get visible online! I had a great website in place but I wasn’t getting enough traffic to generate interest. I then realized how important content marketing truly is to actually gaining clients. I started writing a blog, posting more intentionally on social media and hired an intern to help me get things rolling! Having a business coach was also incredibly helpful in narrowing my niche, helping me develop my platform and get my first few clients.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I never stop moving. I don’t let a stumble in the road block my path. Instead, I used it as an opportunity to learn. While owning Ringlet Studio, I’ve had to constantly develop a growth mindset. I often struggle with having a “fixed mindset” which is a mindset that says “things are the way they are”. Either things works or they don’t. I have what it takes or I don’t. But in a growth mindset, I’ve learned to grow through my shortcomings and difficulties. I let challenge excite me. I still get discouraged at times, but I’ve learned to pick myself up a lot quicker and get back to work.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
My fiancé, my family and my friends are a huge support system for me. Usually when I’m having a tough time, I give myself grace to rest and step back from the situation. This allows me to gain clarity and look at difficult times with a new perspective. It’s so important to be working for something bigger than yourself. At Ringlet Studio, I’m motivated by my desire to empower women to reach their full potential. During difficult times, that mission has allowed me to push through.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
At Ringlet Market we talk about the fact that every business brings something different to the table because every entrepreneur is unique and unrepeatable. I have a passion for being life-giving. By helping my clients gain clients or sales online, I empower them. As I work with my clients and help their businesses blossom, I see them come to life. Through our working together, they become energized and renewed in their sense of purpose. Ringlet Studio isn’t just about gaining exposure for our clients. It’s about enabling entrepreneurs to become the best business owners they can be.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Hmmm this is a tough one! My father is also an entrepreneur – he opened his own law firm 25 years ago. When I began my business, he told me to not be afraid of selling myself. I hated this advice at the time! The idea of “selling” can be so icky. But, I have come to realize that selling isn’t about manipulating others. Business is about developing meaningful relationships with others and offering your gifts and talents to helping others the best you can.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Stop being so hard on yourself. Give yourself time to grow into the businesswoman you’re meant to become. Nothing happens overnight!
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
I love Sprout Social! I use it to track all of my client’s social media platforms, growth and leads.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
Personally, I loved reading Joanna and Chip Gaines book, “The Magnolia Story“! I’m such a huge fan! It was such a heartwarming book to read. “The Big Leap” by Gay Hendricks has also been a breakthrough book for me, personally and in business.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
Any account managers out there looking to work in digital marketing?! As Ringlet Studio grows, I need more help managing client’s needs, scheduling social media, and working on Ringlet Studio, not just in it.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
Every quarter my fiancé and I sit down and write out our personal and professional goals for the next few months. Then each Sunday we talk about our goals for the upcoming week and the small goals we have to make our big dreams happen. This has been incredibly helpful to both of us! My big goal for Ringlet Studio until the end of the year is to create a more streamlined process of digital marketing including growing my email list. I also want to work on developing Ringlet Market, the content and resource branch of Ringlet Studio. I want to impact as many women as possible!