As a Mompreneur, Influencer, and Agent Consultant, Christine helps organizations to be more effective towards the Millennial audience with effective branding. I caught up with Christine as we discussed starting a new business, key tips to personal branding, creating content that is king, and the power of the millennial audience.
As a brand and agency consultant, what is the key to success when it comes to running your successful business?
CC: “I find the key to success is to not be afraid of using the wheel. Not everything calls for a reinvention. I’m a Donald Draper kind of marketer. I love bringing retro practices back because these young whippersnappers nowadays want to be the first to market themselves in a disruptive, groundbreaking way. I still believe two things: content is king, and no one will purchase a product or service that someone else hasn’t endorsed. Content is still king, and I find testimonials and referrals from colleagues in my industry do far better of a job showcasing my expertise and skills I ever could. With just one testimonial, I can post it on Twitter and LinkedIn, add an image to it for Facebook and Instagram, put it on my testimonial website page, and include it in a newsletter.”
How did you get started in branding?
CC: “My career in marketing started in 2006, when I was the director of marketing for a retailer in Baltimore. I enjoyed providing leadership to and advising the CEO, director of operations, and other stakeholders on effective communication strategies and messages so much, I decided to open a retail marketing firm.”
What’s the most important advice you were given when you were starting out in business?
CC: “Never stop learning. It’s very important for me to continuously read articles, whitepapers and research materials from other professionals, from doctors to qualitative consumer marketing agencies. I always try to stay abreast of trends and maintain a caliber of knowledge that shows I’m a credible expert.”
Tell a typical day in your life!
CC: “No two days are alike for me! I have two children, a full time job and I’m a writer- I would love a typical day.”
Has a mistake ever led you to success?
CC: “Yes, starting my retail marketing firm wasn’t a mistake, but doing so in the middle of a recession was. It was a very difficult time, as clients couldn’t always afford to pay for my services. I started branding myself as a thought leader, contributing articles to publications, blogs, you name it. Over the years that branding led to writing for Forbes and TIME, headlining workshops, seminars and panels, instructing, educating and inspiring organizations on successful marketing to black millennials and millennial mom consumers. I’ve also trained organizations on launching more effective and cost-efficient events and content to reach a millennial audience. This includes finding the right influencers for their brand.”
What’s the first thing you do every morning to start your day on the right foot?
CC: “I don’t get up immediately. I lay in the bed for at least five minutes, so that I’m not jolting my body out of bed. Those few deep breath, calming moments make the world of difference.”
At what point in your life did you lean about your field of work? What called you to it?
CC: “I didn’t learn about my field of work until I started doing it, which is not uncommon. I didn’t grow up wanting to be an expert in marketing to millennial moms and black consumers, but I always had a passion for children. It may sound trite but Malcolm X once said, “The mother is the first teacher of the child. The message she gives that child, that child gives to the world.” I feel by giving working mothers positive, insightful content, I’m doing my part to reduce their stress, raise loving children and thus- change the world.”
Which of your traits are you most proud of?
CC: “I’m proud to be an introvert. As an introvert, I express my creativity and insight, know that what I am doing has meaning, helps people, and leads to personal growth. I know the work I do aligns with my values, principles and beliefs.”
What does the world need more of? Less of?
The world needs more optimistic black women, and less judgement of their confidence.”
About Christine Michel Carter
Back in 2007, Christine Michel Carter owned a marketing firm with one simple mission: to help brands and the media understand “generation Y” (now known as millennial) spending power and black consumer behavior. Fast forward to today, and not much has changed. Christine still does this for brands via private consultations and at conferences as a speaker and panelist, but now she’s also teaching brands how to find the right macro, micro and nano influencers on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest for their brand.
As a writer, speaker and consultant Christine works with advertising agencies, research firms and companies to ensure they’re at the forefront of the minds of Black female and millennial mom consumers. This includes everything from delivering consumer insights and brand marketing content to helping HR and diversity teams attract and retain these hardworking professionals.
She has been featured in, and guest contributed to several global digital publications, including TIME, The New York Times, Harper’s BAZAAR, Health, Ebony, Women’s Health and has been called “the exec inspiring millennial moms,” a “mom on the move” and “the voice of millennial moms.” An advocate for Black women, Christine has also helped Senator Kamala Harris promote the Maternal Care Access and Reducing Emergencies (CARE) Act and supported the Congressional Caucus on Black Women & Girls.
Christine also regularly contributes to Forbes covering millennial moms in the workplace, diverse professionals and under 30 professionals and has interviewed a number of celebrity moms, including Tamera Mowry, Kristin Cavallari, and La La Anthony. Christine has also partnered with brands such as 23andMe, AARP, ALDI, Brahmin, Chicco, Goodwill, Orgain, Hungryroot, OtterBox, Suja Juice and Therapedic as a social media influencer.