Founder Stories: Aunia Kahn On Building Rise Visible
In today’s Founder Story, we feature Aunia Kahn, CEO of Rise Visible!
Read on for lessons she has learned from launching and marketing her business.
1. Please introduce your business and share your role.
Thank you for asking, I am the CEO of Rise Visible a website design, SEO, and digital marketing agency.
2. How did you prepare for, and go about your launch?
My venture into entrepreneurship was driven by necessity rather than careful planning. Despite having a background in website development, marketing, and graphic design, I had originally pursued these skills as personal creative outlets rather than professional pursuits.
My initial career path was geared towards becoming a therapist, but life took an unexpected turn when illness disrupted my schooling. In response, I embraced my existing skills, inadvertently embarking on a 25-year career journey that I wouldn’t change for anything.
While my desire to help people in a therapeutic manner remained, I later launched the project known as “Create For Healing”. This initiative offers art and writing classes designed to address challenging topics such as anxiety, medical trauma, depression, and abuse.
3. Since launching, what types of marketing campaigns and designs have worked best to attract and retain customers?
Over the course of the last 25 years, self-promotion has seldom been a focal point for us, as a significant 95% of our clientele has been acquired through referrals. Naturally, as a marketing agency, we actively maintain a visible presence in the industry.
This includes regular contributions such as weekly blogs aimed at empowering businesses, consistent engagement on social media platforms, and the distribution of weekly newsletters. Additionally, our involvement with the local Chamber of Commerce and occasional guest blogging on select platforms further contribute to our industry presence.
These ongoing efforts serve to sustain our relevance and visibility within our field. However, our primary source of pride lies in the substantial client base we have cultivated over time. This client base affords us the luxury of not heavily relying on marketing efforts for client acquisition. Instead, our marketing initiatives serve as a means to perpetuate and enhance our already-established standing in the industry.
4. What have been the most influential brands for your business? Whose branding and marketing do you aspire to and why?
As a company, we have consistently charted our unique path and have never sought to emulate any other brand. In terms of marketing, we draw inspiration from a diverse range of sources, including large multimillion-dollar corporations and small, family-owned businesses. We believe there is valuable knowledge to be gleaned from every corner of the industry, regardless of the entity’s proficiency in marketing. Marketing, in essence, is a study of psychology and can be discerned in nearly every facet of our endeavors.
5. What are your favorite marketing platforms/tools?
Our choice of marketing platforms and tools depends on the specific task at hand. When it comes to website development, we have a preference for working with WordPress due to its versatility and user-friendly interface.
For SEO optimization, we rely on a combination of tools, with SEMrush being a key component of our toolkit, complemented by other resources to ensure comprehensive optimization. Social media platforms also play a crucial role in our marketing strategy, as they provide valuable avenues for engagement and outreach to our target audience.
6. Looking ahead, what are you most excited about?
What truly excites me about my business is the tremendous opportunity for growth and expansion within our newfound community. Our recent move to Boise, Idaho, has opened up a wealth of possibilities for us as we embark on this new chapter.
As we settle into this vibrant community, we’re committed to learning and understanding its unique dynamics. This involves not only studying the local market, but also actively engaging with our neighbors, customers, and fellow businesses. We’re passionate about becoming an integral part of the Boise community, contributing to its growth, and forging meaningful connections.
7. Who or what inspires and motivates you?
As someone living with multiple rare diseases, my very existence serves as a daily wellspring of inspiration. The fact that I am alive today defies all odds and continuously fuels my motivation.
Furthermore, the profound impact of good-hearted individuals, the sense of community, and the invaluable connections forged in both my personal and professional life are nothing short of empowering and inspirational. These elements serve as constant reminders of the resilience of the human spirit and the boundless potential for positive change.
8. What are some lessons you’ve learned along the way that you would share with entrepreneurs hoping to launch or who have just launched?
The most profound lesson I’ve learned is the importance of not placing all your resources in a single basket. It’s crucial to consistently diversify your income streams to ensure financial security and stability. Moreover, a significant takeaway has been the significance of giving back to the community. Finding a way for your company or passion to contribute positively to the community is not just a lesson; it’s a commitment.
This journey has underscored the vital roles that connections, reciprocity, and community play in our lives. They are not just important; they are the very fabric of our personal and professional growth, reminding us of the power of collaboration, shared goals, and collective support.
9. What do you believe are the qualities of a good entrepreneur? And what makes a team successful?
The best qualities of an entrepreneur are tenacity, openness, and vulnerability. Tenacity means resilience, perseverance, and resourcefulness. Openness involves adaptability, innovation, and collaboration. Vulnerability entails authenticity, learning from mistakes, and empathy. These qualities are what I believe enable entrepreneurs to navigate challenges, embrace change, and build authentic connections.