Social Media can change the course of your career.  More than fun with filters, Instagram and other platforms have changed the landscape for interaction between products and people.  And there’s a lot of people out there on social media…  Adweek ran the numbers and there’s 320 Million users on Twitter,  400 Million users on Instagram and 1.5 Billion users on Facebook.  Yea.  A lot.

Rather you’re building a personal brand, business value, or a channel to tell a story – if you want to get noticed in this sea of connectivity – you might need some help.  Fortunately for us, people like Alisha Johns of Lish Creative exist.  Alisha has built a business on being a go-to creative director to help brands build a bright and impactful impression.  We sat down to learn more about Alisha, her flourishing career, and what’s next…

So you’re from Pittsburg? What do you like most about Pittsburgh that LA doesn’t provide?
Pittsburgh will always be home for me. We have seen such an amazing revitalization in our city, especially in the arts scene, which has given me the opportunity to find colorful wall art! There are also a lot of great food options popping up around the city, and who doesn’t love food! As for LA, the weather can’t be beat! I also love all the diverse areas of the city and it seems like the perfect place to run a business.

Lish Creative

Photo By: Lish Creative

How long has LISH Creative been rockin’ ‘n’ rollin’? How’d it start?
I started as a freelance writer back in 2012 – it was something that I always did on the side. It wasn’t until I started using Instagram as a portfolio (as a way to differentiate myself when applying to creative jobs in the advertising industry) that I discovered my love for styling and creating visual content. At the time, I never thought I could incorporate it as one of my freelance services. I kept at it for fun, producing content on nights and weekends, but when brands started contacting me asking me to style their products, that’s really when it hit me. I realized the need for a full suite of social media services and developed a way to package up all of the knowledge that I had learned through my years working in the industry. LISH creative is really a full-service social media agency that addresses every possible need a brand could have. I was able to leave my full-time job in the advertising industry to work my business full time in January of this year.

What was the deciding factor to leave your 9-5 and go into business for yourself? Was it a lot of small things leading up and or a big decision / change?
The thought of giving up a steady paycheck was definitely scary! But I felt like I had hit a wall. I was starting to feel really burnt out, and had to turn down a few projects because of my day-job. That was really the tipping point for me. I sat down and determined how many clients & projects I would need to get by (income wise) in my first year. When I had my first few months of 2016 covered, I felt more comfortable taking that leap. Reaching out to a few new clients and building that foundation before leaving was key.

Lish Creative

Photo By: Lish Creative

What’s been your shining moment thus far? What’s been the biggest challenge?
The biggest highlight is the added flexibility. I’m no longer restrained by working 9am-6pm and have been able to travel to California more, which I’ve been extremely happy about. It was one of my main motivators, actually.

My biggest challenge has been setting time aside for the necessary behind the scenes work. Yes, I was a business major, but no, I do not like accounting!

Is there anything you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
That’s a great question! I value the learning experience and I feel the mistakes I’ve made since starting have only made me a more confident entrepreneur. Any new venture has inherent risk and unpredictability, but I’ve realized since starting that the best way to conduct business is to focus on the tasks at hand and how I can deliver for my clients. Social media is a particularly vulnerable industry but I love what I’m doing and that’s what keeps me motivated.

Lish Creative

Photo By: Lish Creative

Is there any advice that you practice daily and or a motto you live by?
Social media-wise every single image that you post should be a direct reflection of your work and your brand. And for me – that centers around spreading joy and positivity through color.

Any influencers you particularly like? And or shout-outs you’d like to give?
I’m so amazed by all the incredibly talented people I’ve met and interacted with along the way. There is a lot of great work being done so it’s hard to narrow it down, but I can not get enough of @StudioDIY, @VioletTinder, @Splendid_Rags, @MattCrump, and @sarahhearts.

If you could have coffee with any 5 people, who would they be?
Roger Federer, Gary Vaynerchuk, Brene Brown, Jennifer Lawrence, and Sheryl Sandberg

If you weren’t doing LISH Creative, what would you do?
Definitely selling colorful snow cones on a beach somewhere…! But seriously, I’m so thankful to be my own boss, and I think if it wasn’t in social media, I’d find another creative outlet where I could still be an entrepreneur.

What’s next for LISH / Alisha!
I’m starting to incorporate more video content in my daily work and will be accepting more retainer clients in the coming months! So for now, snow cones will have to wait ☺!


For more inspiration check out Alisha on Instagram @alishylishy | and her website for the intersection of colorful and smart content