Speaker 1 (00:02):
This podcast is for PR pros who are looking to discover the best strategies for landing their dream retainer clients and scoring them top tier media coverage. I'm your host, Jen Berson. And I want you to have a fulfilling career in PR that totally lights you up without sacrificing your personal or family time or your sanity. Welcome to the pitching powerhouse podcast.
Speaker 2 (00:32):
Well, Hey therapy are pros. If you have ever dreamed of the digital nomad lifestyle. This episode is for you today, I'm chatting with Aaron Carey, the founder of roam generation, and we are talking all about how she is running her PR agency from a yacht. Yes, it's insane to me. I love Aaron stories so much. Uh, roam generation is a PR firm that specializes in the travel and lifestyle sector. And you're going to hear from Erin, first of all, where she is located right now, because she's on a yacht. So she can kind of be anywhere in the world, which is so incredibly cool and how she was able to discover her passion and use that to catapult her business from her boat while she pulled her kids out of school and took her husband out of his job and decided to travel the world while she runs her agency. So I love Erin story. She's been featured in Forbes sharing how she was able to do it. Um, and I can't wait for you to listen in. So stay tuned to hear my chat with Aaron Carey of Rome generation. Hi, Aaron, Carrie, thank you so much for joining us.
Speaker 3 (02:05):
Hi, Jan. Thank you for having me.
Speaker 2 (02:08):
Yeah, well I think the first question is where in the world, literally where in the world are you today?
Speaker 3 (02:15):
Well, I am sitting on a boat, uh, at anchor in Majorca Spain.
Speaker 2 (02:22):
Oh my God. Wow. That sounds so beautiful and exotic. Um, thank you.
Speaker 3 (02:31):
It sounded like, but I wouldn't tell you that I'm literally sitting in my bikini up until five minutes ago because it is really, really hot.
Speaker 2 (02:42):
Well, it sounds dreamy, um, especially after being homebound for so long, but I just love that you're kind of all over the place and your story is, is so incredible and inspiring. I just like, I've talked about your story so much, but I would love for you to share it with our audience a bit about yourself. Tell us about your PR agency, what you specialize in your very unique niche.
Speaker 3 (03:06):
Yeah, sure. Uh, so I have a PR agency called roam generation. Uh, I started my agency, uh, I've had a few phases, so I started doing, um, what I thought was marketing because, um, you know, I should back up a little bit. I had absolutely no experience when it came to PR. I literally, didn't not pay hours. I had to Google it, but, uh, I was kind of in the right place at the right time. And then when I was sailing on a boat throughout the Caribbean, I started, um, doing some freelance writing and I happened to interview, uh, the number two sailing YouTube channel in the world. And they asked me to do some marketing for them. And so at that stage that involved me writing articles about them and pitching them to the media. Uh, so before too long, I realized that I am pretty good at this and B I think this is actually code marketing.
Speaker 3 (04:00):
I mean, called PR. So it wasn't exactly PR, but it was a version of it. And the more that I kind of did for them, the, you know, my brain started ticking. Well, if I pitched a story, you know what, I don't necessarily have to write it. I don't even care whether I write it. I mean, I'm getting paid by my clients. So, you know, before I knew it, I was doing PR. And then when I started research and I was like, wow, that's, that's pretty much what I'm doing. And I really love it. So I'd come from a background where I worked for the Australian government. And while it wasn't in a PR role, I pretty much learned all of the skills in communication, interviewing people, writing reports, um, you know, making recommendations, all of those kinds of things set me up essentially to be able to do this role. However, I had no idea how to progress past having one client and had to continue to make them happy. So, uh, that's when I found your course. Um, so that was about 18 months ago now, I think, uh, yeah, just prior to that, I'd started my website and had a business name, everything. So two years to 18 months, seriously, and then 12 months has been full on agency scaling, um, staff working for me. And yeah. So that's all happened relatively quickly when you consider where it started.
Speaker 2 (05:27):
Wow. That's amazing. I think it's like, like to reiterate for the audience listening, her niche is sailing and, uh, travel hospitality, specifically boating, and she is running that business from a boat. I don't know how much more meta you can get, but that's like so inspiring. I love the, the idea of, you know, you're a mom, you have two sons, you and your husband made this decision that you were gonna take your kids on this epic journey and you're essentially supporting your family. Is that, is that right? Um, and, and teaching, you know, your kids are attending school on, on the boat. Um, and you're sailing all over while you're doing
Speaker 3 (06:16):
This. Yeah, exactly. Right. So, uh, we've also had two phases of these trips. So the first phase was a two year sabbatical and that's where I started doing the freelance writing. Um, COVID kind of put an end to that. And so we went home for 18 months and during that 18 months is when I really got my business established. And now my business supports our, um, at Dre, Matt here. So it's fully 100% remote and we have no time line or no end date because, uh, you know, we can keep going as long as my business is supporting us. And as long as it's fun, we size. So, uh, yeah, it's amazing. I still pinch myself. I still have people kind of, you know, asking questions about how I did it. And I, I honestly think like if I can do it, I know what to say.
Speaker 3 (07:04):
Anyone can do it, but so many more people than, you know, what you think can do it because, uh, you know, maybe I'm not giving myself enough credit, but I wait. I'm not like, you know, uh, from a background for a high kind of successful job, I I've always just paid an average. I think. So if I've made it well, you know, maybe I've not given myself. I want people to know that, you know, if this is possible for so many more people than we think we went, we went reached, we weren't sailors. We literally got, came up with this idea after watching a documentary so completely right.
Speaker 2 (07:46):
If I can dive into that a little bit. I mean, the first thing you said is like, I've always been average. I mean, obviously not, but maybe it's because you hadn't found your thing and you hadn't really figured out what that skill was and how to hone that skill. And now that you're in this role and you're serving the kind of clients you love and you believe in, um, and you're, you know, getting the opportunity to write those stories and pitch those unique angles for the sailing, YouTube, um, you know, experts that's when you were able to really figure out where you're in your zone of genius and shine, and now you're leaning into it. Um, and you know, I also just love what you said about, you know, if I can do this, anyone can, and we pinch ourselves, it's this dream. That's literally my purpose in life and why we put our whole profitable PR pros community.
Speaker 2 (08:44):
And all of our programs together is to help people like you and like myself to figure out that thing they love that lights them up. And you for you, I really want to, um, highlight that when you were watching that documentary and you had this feeling, instead of dismissing it, you listened to it and you paid attention to what that feeling meant for you and what it could do in your life. And you leaned into it and now you're living your dream. So I think that a lot of us, yeah, a lot of us like have these like feelings or pangs of awareness or hits of insight. And we dismiss them because it's too crazy. I mean, for me, it was, well, I'm going to leave law and go start a PR firm, even though I have no training and no experience or contacts, that's crazy, you know, but I had this feeling like that. And I love that you had a similar hit of awareness and instead of dismissing it, because it is literally outright insanity, but you did it and look where you are, and in Forbes has written about, you got to share your story about running your business in Forbes. It's incredible. It's just, I'm in all things. It's crazy, but it's crazy cause you're doing it. Yeah.
Speaker 3 (10:16):
Look, I still, I still sided my husband can't regulate. I kind of like we live on a boat. Like this is ridiculous. It's crazy if he does say that, but it's true from taking that kind of one chance that one risk, um, and you know, whilst it was a huge risk, it's paid off tenfold because I found my dream career. I would literally still be sitting probably at the same desk doing the same job that was so destroying. But, you know, I found my dream job. I've worked with amazing clients like this. Some of the clients that I have, uh, so well known in this industry, like I still pinch myself that I've even been able to get them as clients. And you know, now I'm branching out into little general travel in lifestyles. So, um, having, you know, discovery calls with insurance companies for nomad to, um, no matter insurance that, you know, huge clash that I never dreamed that I'd have to get this quickly. Um, so yeah, really taking risks pays off like the game, like enables you just do it, you won't regret it.
Speaker 2 (11:22):
Yeah. Uh that's like, I just got chills thinking about that. I mean, we really talked about this in the agency accelerator on our coaching calls with you, um, you know, really taking the skills that you've honed in the niche, the contacts you've made and finding clients that will benefit from your know-how and your industry expertise, but that are slightly related to the, um, clients that you're representing already and have bigger budgets and can, you know, really kind of grow, allow you to scale your business and bring on help and support because they're able to give you more, um, you know, monthly revenue to invest in your business. So it's like kind of realizing that your niche isn't so nice down. I mean, you were literally like I represent sailing experts that live on boats, like people that live on boats and like pretty niche, it was too narrow and the budgets were kind of limited.
Speaker 2 (12:25):
And we also found that the problem of co competition they're all competing for the same articles and yeah, so this was a great way to kind of expand and be able to grow your revenue at the same time. So, uh, I'm S I'm so happy to hear that that's working, that you're having a lot of new business opportunities that are in that direction. You're, you're looking to grow into, um, question for you. Um, what is it like working on a tiny little boat with your whole family? I mean, we've got calls and you're literally in like a cabin asleep cabin kind of angled sideways your corner. And right now I can see behind you. There's a planter that's been swinging nonstop, and I know you have your two boys. They're always jumping kind of in the background, but what is it really like?
Speaker 3 (13:25):
Look, most of the time, it's fine. It's like working from home. Um, I'm in a cabin, I've got my desk, you know, economic desk, nice chat, dual screens locks on the door. Um, fan, you know, I'm comfortable. I can sit here and work quite well somehow with, you know, if I put my earphones in, I can't hear anyone else out there. Um, but then other times, you know, it's today, it was so hot. It lack of just put makeup on. It's already melting off my face. Um, out of the days it's really Rowley. So it's uncomfortable. And you literally almost feeling Sisi cause you're sitting at your computer, um, you know, things, things arise, but most of the time it's fine. And it's like, but life in general, the, the lows are low, but the highs are high. So, you know, actually put out with a bit of worldliness and uncomfortableness because I know like, you know, tonight I might go and explore the old town of Valencia and sip sangria and then go to the beach during my lunch break type things. So I do love that I'm in control of my own time and schedule. And I think that's probably the beauty of being a business owner, but it's almost like we get to take it a step further because we don't have any other kind of, uh, obligations or expectations out here. The kids don't go to school. My husband doesn't work. It's just, we get to do pretty much whatever we want whenever we want and is amazing.
Speaker 2 (14:53):
Oh, it sounds dreamy. It sounds so dreamy. I just like I can live vicariously. Um, and literally like where what's next, like what's next on the sailing journey. Where's your next destination. And then also what's next for Rome generation PR what do you see as your next kind of phase in your business?
Speaker 3 (15:17):
Well, uh, so just in the last few months, I've tried to scale. So the first part of that I thought was to, uh, employee, some staff members, uh, the contractors, uh, and I've hired three. I've also go to via freelance writer, a social media person, um, probably slightly more than what I need at the moment, but I wanted to have staff trained up and, you know, trust them and know that they're going to get results before I landed. You know, you're always kind of one or two clients of having too many. And when, when that hits you over the edge, it's really hard to then hire somebody. I've kind of been there. I've done that have hired people, um, after I've needed them and they're not worked out. And then halfway through the, you know, the retainer I've had to swap out and get somebody else.
Speaker 3 (16:05):
And I didn't want that again. So I've got my staff in place. I've found three amazing ladies who a ride into travel. And a couple of my teacher, I met immense themselves. So they really are a great fit for our brand. And, um, now the next step is to just to get to kind of that ideal number of clients so that we've got the, you know, the right balance of revenue coming in versus expenses going out. And so that's the plan for, uh, for me for the next few months and then boat wise, uh, we, our Visa's running out in Spain. So in the not too distant future, we will be setting sail for Tunisia and it will be running my business from Africa for a few months. Oh my God.
Speaker 2 (16:50):
Wow. That's so cool. So, um, just to kind of recap, two points that I love that you made, number one is you are running your agency with like an all virtual, all remote team and they're contractors and they're all over the world and you are able to bring in the best experts to support your needs. Um, with this, this model, this agency model that, um, that we teach inside the agency accelerator. Um, so that's really cool because you can find it's, you're not bound by geography and where these people are physically located. So you're able to bring in the best people and the right people exactly when you need them. And also, um, we recently, um, on a coaching call this week, we talked about how to structure your agency for the long-term health and stability of your, your agency and what seats there are that need to be filled and how to properly fill those roles with the right people.
Speaker 2 (17:54):
So that when you have these accounts that come in, you're able to adequately staff them and provide exceptional service to your clients right out the gate versus scrambling to backfill when you have these opportunities and then, uh, kind of, you know, jumbling things around for three months while you get your sea legs, no pun intended. What kind of, I did intend that pun, but, um, yeah, so you're able right now to take that this time where you see that you're going to ramp up and scale your business, and you're building this solid infrastructure for the long-term health of your agency, so that you can go to, uh, Tunisia and run your agency from Africa and, you know, know that your business is going to be supporting the clients. Exactly.
Speaker 3 (18:48):
And I should add that every single thing that I've learned, I have learned from yeast. So if I hadn't have found your course, when I have no idea, I may have kind of fumbled my way. I definitely don't think that I would have, um, you know, become so far in such a short amount of time. Um, so yeah, credit to you, Jen, thank you for creating this course, you know, giving me like the structure and the know how, I mean, I think that's the case for me. If someone can tell me it can be done or, you know, has done it before me, I'll be like, right. If they can do it. So can I, but I want, you know, I want to say someone else has done it. And when I found you, I was like, yeah, this is the lady I'm just going to do everything she says. And that,
Speaker 2 (19:36):
Uh, tell that for my husband and my kids to just do everything I say, they're not on that bandwagon yet. Oh, I love that. I'm so glad. And, and honestly, um, you know, anyone who's listening, Erin puts in the work, she is in different time zones all over the world and she shows up to the coaching calls and she's logging in and she's putting in the work and you know, this stuff doesn't work unless you're willing to put in the work and do it. And so I'm always just so impressed by your commitment to your personal and professional growth and excellence. And, um, I'm just so happy that you found us and honored that you're a part of our community and appreciate that you, you know, jumped in headfirst and I can't even express to you how proud I am and just in awe of what you've built in such a short period of time. So thank you so much for sharing that with our audience. Um, where can people find you if they want to follow your travels and follow your agency wins?
Speaker 3 (20:42):
Yeah, of course. Um, so I, they can find my [email protected] So that's R O H a M Rome also happens to be the name of my boats. So, uh, we named the boat a few years ago and it, uh, it's kind of like, you know, full child or you say, you know, your third child because you just get this love for it. It keeps you safe, keeps you alive. So I I've always loved with Rome. So then that's how I came up with our own generation, which is similar to your business as well. Um, and then, so that's where you can find my business website. Uh, you can contact [email protected] And if you want to follow our travels, the trials and tribulations of living on a boat, um, with kids and traveling the world, you can find us on Facebook and Instagram at sailing to Rome. So sailing T O R O am.
Speaker 2 (21:40):
Awesome. And just one final question for you, what advice would you give to an aspiring PRP?
Speaker 3 (21:50):
Hmm, good question. Uh, well, you know, obviously to your course, that's a given, which of course do all of your courses. I've done them all and everything, but the pitch lab is gold and it's affordable and there's really no reason why everyone can't do that. And then, uh, I know that the agents accelerator might seem like a scary chunk of money to invest, but honestly, you're investing in your company and you will get the returns like within a few months, guaranteed. You will raise your retainer prices. Like my retainer prices when I started with you now, I think back then, it was just over a year ago, actually, it was probably close to a year ago where like a joke, they will literally five times less than when I'm sure you come charging now. So, uh, I wouldn't have had the confidence to have increased my retainers, um, without that.
Speaker 3 (22:47):
Um, but other than that, uh, like, I dunno, my motto is just, don't, don't give up. If you don't give up, you can't fail. You know, you just keep trying and you'll get there. Eventually network speak to a lot of people like the Facebook groups. I'm probably one of the most regular places in the group because I don't have colleagues that I don't have anyone else to really reach out to. So every time I've got a question, whether it's, you know, Hey, what PR Newswire should I use? Or, um, you know, does anyone have a contact at such and such magazine? Whatever. I pop it in there and it always get answers. So it's, um, really valuable. And I'm not just saying it because I'm on your podcast. It's like, you know, if Jen's not the right person, we'll then find another coach, but I'm a big believer in finding a coach and just basically do what they do. So, you know, do what they say and don't reinvent the wheel.
Speaker 2 (23:45):
Yeah. Yeah. Uh, great advice, really good advice. Keep, you know, keep at it, ask for help, you know, ask for questions, invest in the community and you'll get back tenfold what, you know, what you're putting in. So I'm so grateful for your time off the coast of Majorca. Incredible. That's a curse for me, for sure. Aaron Carey from rug veneration. Thank you so much for being on the pitching powerhouse show and we will follow your adventures to Africa. Thank you so much. See you. Thanks. Bye.