An Interview With Ali Rittenhouse
THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT ALI
Ali Rittenhouse has risen to become a recognizable name in the online business space specifically when it comes to understanding the tweets and posts of running an online business.
With over two thousand followers on Facebook and thirty-seven hundred followers on Twitter, Ali Rittenhouse’s name and brand is synonymous with technology know-how and expert ease. Did I mention she was one of the FIRST small businesses to offer an iPhone app?
Ali's story begins as a young woman walking a tough road. She was a high school and college dropout. A mother at 19. Divorced at 25. And living back home.
Determined to make a future for herself and her daughter, Ali enrolled at a local community college. It was there she discovered the possibilities of online business. From there, the journey has seen her become one of the first entrepreneurs to cater to the technology side of online business specifically aimed at advising women on how to leverage it.
Not only did Ali create a better life for herself and her daughter, she achieved it by helping others do the same thing for themselves.
On a personal note, Ali entered my life one late January evening in 2013.
Back before I made my big leap into running my own business, I started a blog with my best friend from back home as a way to cope with living 2,000 miles apart. We took a blogging course together and came across unfamiliar words like Wordpress and email marketing. It was all very overwhelming.
Clicks after clicks trying to become a quick study in all this technology lead me to Ali Rittenhouse. Though I can’t recall where I found her (most likely a blogger’s post) I remember looking at what she offered as a godsend. I remember looking at her $67 monthly membership fee and thinking back then “wow, that’s a lot of cash. I better take this seriously”.
I watched her step by step video on how to set up my Mailchimp account and my first email list. What may seem trivial to some, was a monumental confidence boost in my book. “Yay! I’m for reals! I have an email list!”
Nevermind, there were STILL more lessons to learn.
Deep down, I was crushing hard on how well Ali’s online presence looked so put together. There was something about her. She was authentic and so sure of herself. I’ve been following Ali since that cold January evening.
Many moons later we’ve come full circle.
Here I am, launching a new feature on my blog, hoping I’ve interested you enough to sign up for my email list (courtesy of Mailchimp of course) and appreciating the opportunity I had to interview a woman and fellow online business owner I deeply respect.
So without further ado, please enjoy our interview and discover that “something” about Ali, too.
So, Miss Ali. Lay it on us! Run us through what your typical day is like complete with interruptions.
Every day has something different scheduled for it so each day of the week varies. One thing that is consistent is waking up, driving my daughter to school, coming home and moving my body and MAYBE a shower. Maybe. Then I begin my work day around 9 a.m. where I do take short breaks about every hour to move my body whether it is dancing to a song or walking to fill my water cup. Done by 4 p.m. to begin dinner with the family and probably take on my other job as taxi driver to my teen daughter and her friends. I’m generally in bed around 10 p.m. every night to get my full 8 hours before starting the next day. Full sleep is important to keep my mind strong!
My scheduling is to accommodate my need for variation to stay productive. Monday’s are my uber productive, don’t schedule any call days. Tuesdays are my private client coaching call days. Wednesday’s is my media day where I do my weekly radio show segment, sometimes weekly local lifestyle television show as their Digital Diva. Thursdays is all about new business and my live weekly web show that I host on YouTube. Then we have Friday’s to tie up the week and to do whatever I want.
Do you have an assistant? A VA or an online business manager?
I actually just hired a new gal about 6 weeks ago after struggling with a few. The struggle was REAL. But I believe in my new gal and her abilities for my business!
Who answers your emails for you?
I ANSWER the emails for ME! I am very personal still in my business, I do have a support email but most all emails come to me. And I like it that way. Maybe it has to do with living in a small town but personalization is important to me. Unfortunately, that also means that sometimes people don’t hear back from me right away… I don’t have a problem handing things over though when it is something that someone else can handle!
Do you do your own social media?
Everything is searched and written by moi. I have fully delegated out scheduling it and making the imagery for my FB Page and Twitter. I run all of my Facebook Ads.
In your own words what does your company do? Who does it serve or help? How do you make their lives better or more awesomer?
I help women entrepreneurs take their passion and create their online marketing roadmap for their business journey by using online marketing technology. I know that sounds scary to most so me and my team of super-hero business women help them to implement it. Have a product you want to launch? We will help you get from your starting point to your destination, navigating you along the way, and well, basically we eat, sleep, and shower for you while we get you to launch. Things like that make us awesome! It’s a very unique, personalized touch.
How long have you been in business?
Over 9 years now! I’ve gone a lot of places and seen a lot of things…
Holy moly! That's a long time! What's your most favorite part of your business?
VIDEO! I feel like I come alive on camera and become an extrovert. Whether it is in my office or live television, I LOVE it! Believe it or not, in groups of people, I am such an introvert!
What is your least favorite thing to do?
Writing copy. I have a love // hate relationship with it.
As a known and trusted expert, we gotta ask: Who or what are you using to stay so organized with juggling clients, projects, marketing and just running your business?
My daily breakdown of what each day is, really helps keep my mind and days together. Google and Dropbox do a lot for me too! I can access my emails, calendar and documents from anywhere!
Quick give us a snapshot picture of what apps are most used on your smartphone?
Runkeeper, Instagram, Waze, MY own App ;), The Weather Channel
What fun new projects or interests are you currently involved with now?
I have something exciting planned for January 1 but we cannot announce that yet! Hint :: A community for the new generation of women entrepreneurs. I also just put together the relaunch of The ONE Program and my mastermind group for 2015 and we are accepting applications.
You have such a fun and feminine, personable brand! Everything seems to just flow and is just so YOU. For business owners who are struggling to discover their “vibe” can you share with us how long it took you to get your brand to where it is today?
Let me just tell you — it took me a few years to really NAIL it! I even receiving a cease and desist on the branding I had for one of my programs. Before I hit it, I was trying to hard. Trying to hard to be something that I wasn’t to be like the cool kids. I actually had to stop listening to what others “thought” my brand was about in order make it happen. On a past vlog, I showed my original logo that I still have on my business plan binder! It took trial and error and listening to my own voice and having the confidence to believe in it!
When you first launched Geek Labs (a tech help and how tos for female entrepreneurs membership) it changed the way women got themselves up and running online in no time. Walk us through what that was like for you? What inspired you to create and launch it? What fears did you have about putting your program out there? How long did it take? Did you run into any snafus? What about its successes?
It was a process that took me probably about 18 months to fully have the confidence to stop talking about it and complete it. Once I got it up and out there - it was on like donkey kong! Oh the snafus! Let me just tell you - in all my programs, one thing I’ve learned is that you are never going to be without snafus. As I mentioned, I had to stop using the name I had branded so much with after receiving a ceast and desist. Mainly because she was a web designer and my program taught people how to create their own. I know I searched and didn’t see anything but clearly, not well enough. It was a hard lesson learned…
Fast forward today and now you offer another hyper-focused help and how-to signature program centered around being the “ONE”. From your One Mastermind to your One VIP days to your Online Training One Program. Tell us about your “one” philosophy and how it serves women entrepreneurs to do and be better business owners.
The ONE came one day last year when I had an insane moment right before a launch. The new name that I had created after needing to rebrand the program didn’t seem to fit for entrepreneurs. I posted in my Facebook groups for help and a copywriter asked me to describe my program, over and over I had been telling people that it was the ONE program their business needed to put their self out there on the internet! Everything kept going back to the ONE. I wanted to create an area that brought in trainings that would truly help a business owner. I felt that it was especially true with my Mastermind. I’ve gone through those 5-figure Mastermind programs where the minute you start the coach is telling you to hire this person or to change that page. I wanted to provide my client’s with the structure of a coaching program helping them up their online marketing game while also getting the work done for them! It is still evolving as we are in the first year but it is the first of it’s kind and my current client’s are in love with it!
How did you find the inspiration for your One philosophy? How long did it take from inspiration to concrete idea to the launching of your new offerings?
See answer above! It was 24 hours from creation to launch of The ONE Program. I already had the content and flow but the name didn’t fit. Once The ONE came out, it was easy to implement it because I understood what The ONE meant for my clients. It meant that they had ONE resource to turn to when they needed help.
You touched upon your desire to create a mastermind that directly served the business owner to build their momentum. Tell us more about your program. Are you accepting applications now? What can people expect if they get accepted into your mastermind?
We have just opened up the application process for my revolutionary Mastermind Program for Women Entrepreneurs. Since the problem with most Mastermind programs is that the coach is always telling you that you need to hire someone else to get things done like writing sales pages, setting up launches, or even pitching the Huffington Post. With The ONE Mastermind Program you not only receiving one on one coaching paired with a group mastermind but you also receive a dedicated team that is here to support your business needs. Applications are now open, apply to join this one-of-a-kind experience. mastermind.alirittenhouse.com
Knowing everything that you know now what advice would you tell your “just starting out” self? What software/ piece of technology/ or service (like a copywriter) would you tell your “just starting out” self to get help with right now?
Build connections first. As your website is getting set up, as you are writing your copy or idealizing with yourself — build connections. You will need people who understand and get what your vision is because many people will not. Also, do email marketing! Whether you have a website up or not, you need to be gathering email addresses that you are keeping in touch with so when you officially launch, you have people there! And consistency really is key. Start off with strong blogging or vlogging and don’t stop.