Creative Directors / Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind With Carrie Rose, Co-Founder & Creative Director at Rise at Seven

Carrie Rose is the Co-Founder and Creative Director at Rise at Seven, a creative SEO agency based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your background and career?

Hi, I’m Carrie Rose. Born in the beautiful city of Lincoln (based around the middle of the UK – that’s nowhere near London).

I’ve worked within the digital marketing industry for 5 years in Leeds, after graduating University with a BA hons in New Media in 2014. In this time, I have run large Digital PR and award-winning content marketing campaigns for some of the world’s biggest brands.

Essentially, it’s my job to create stories and content that goes viral, driving engagement, links and traffic to my clients’ websites and helping them become more visible online and in search engines like Google organically.

I worked at one of the leading agencies in Europe immediately after graduating (Branded3 + Edit), but recently left and joined up with former search director Stephen Kenwright to launch our very own agency Rise at Seven.

2) What is your current role and what does it entail on a day to day basis?

I am now the Co-founder and Creative Director at Rise at Seven, running the digital PR, content marketing and social media offerings for our clients.

Day to day I brainstorm with my team, work on campaign ideation (which is the best part of my day), write content, plan PR launches and speak to journalists and influencers online to promote my content and stories naturally.

I am heavily involved in the new business aspect, speaking to brands and sharing how we can help them with their online marketing activity. As well as presenting amongst the industry and helping teach others best practice.

3) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

For me, every day changes! But today I woke up at 7am to the sound of the “The Lion King” soundtrack (which always gives me the energy to take on any day) and drove to my office in Sheffield for 8.30.

The first thing I did on arrival is have a team morning briefing. We ran through our tasks for the day, what we wanted to achieve by 5.30 and had a couple of biscuits before we go off on our way.

This helps me not only get an understanding of what tasks we are all working on but what our individual goals are too.

I then picked up the phone, sent a few emails and loaded up my social media channels contacting journalists and influencers with a story/campaign I am working on to get my clients featured.

The mornings are usually peak time to get in front of a journalist and sell in your story, as anything after 10am can be extremely competitive. Journalists receive on average 200 emails from PRs a day so cutting through the noise is my job to really make sure we stand out.

I then started putting a strategy together for the future months/campaigns which included working with designers to create engaging visualisations, developers to bring this to life online, wrote content for on-site pages and planned social media strategies to try reach a large but defined audience.

At lunch I went for a walk. The sun is like a charger for me. Boosts me up for the afternoon.

In the afternoon, I started with a brainstorm. After lunch, I usually have a clearer mind (walks usually help with that). This helps me be as creative as possible and really come up with ideas that I’m confident would work.

I then worked with full creative team to make this a reality.

At the end of the day, we celebrated. We even celebrate the small things. Ticked something off your to do list? We go for a drink! Landed a placement on the Daily Mail, we grab some pizza. We like to celebrate all the good things we’ve achieved in our day by celebrating just a little bit each time.

I headed home around 5.30 where I cooked dinner and sat in the garden under the evening sky. This is my wind down time. I love the outdoors and being around people and usually helps me relax my mind before I go to bed.

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4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?

For me, managing workload is the most important. They say working for an agency is one of the busiest jobs, always fast and forever changing. Imagine how I feel owning an agency.

To help manage workload I would sit with the team every morning to delegate tasks, set priorities and goals to achieve by 5.30. This would be compiled via a Google doc which every team member can access and live tick off things we’ve completed.

I think it’s important for everyone to see what everyone else is working on and be set clear achievements. Google docs help with this.

5) In between your job, life and all your other responsibilities, how do you ensure you find some sort of balance in your life?

I plan ahead. I book holidays, meals with my friends, or trips to the countryside. I allocate a set day where I will do this and I stick to it. This is important.

Not only does it help me have something to look forward to but makes sure that I take a break, see those that are important to me and make new memories.

6) What does work life balance mean to you?

A good work-life balance means I am working hard enough to enjoy the finer things in life.

7) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?

I’ve always set myself goals. Daily goals, monthly goals, yearly goals and more. Whether that’s financial salary increases, bucket list activities, or learning a new skill. I always know what I want to achieve in the year and usually when I could tick it off.

My friends always say no matter my workload, I always make sure I have time to enjoy life to the full. They’re right. I do this by pre-planning.

8) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?

I don’t usually read books, but I do read content online instead. I’m one of the biggest fans of Gary Vaynerchuck, owner of Vayner Media, and read his content on LinkedIn most mornings.

He always shares new ideas, visions, tips via short video clips and watching these has helped keep me motivated but also believe that what I am doing is the right thing, and I am good at what I do too.

9) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

Other than setting daily goals, I listen to music every morning. It motivates me, gets me out of bed, helps me think positively and build up my energy to take on any day ahead.

10) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

For me, work is my life. Not because I spend all my time doing it, but because I enjoy it. If anyone asks me about my hobbies, sadly it is working.

But that may be on social media, Instagramming my life and building up my following. It’s important to find a job that you love, and work will never feel like work. But also, don’t let it get too mixed up with your social life.

Try put your phone down and spend time outdoors and make new memories.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.