Nicole Rousseau isn’t afraid to admit it: she loves millennials. After starting her Big Apple career in marketing, she moved into corporate training and leadership development, specializing in working with recent grads. Before long, her trainees were referring to her as “Queen of the Millennials.” The nickname stuck.
“I love millennials and helping other generations work with them.” ~ Nicole Rousseau, Queen of the Millennials
“I ran a millennial talent program at HSBC, and I immediately loved the values of the millennials,” explains Nicole. “I created a graduate program for them, I assessed and hired them, I was their manager, created their curriculum, and coached them diligently for 30 hours per month. I also became an educator on millennials for the company, as the new hires were such a contrast to Gen X and Boomers.”
Striking out on her own
A fellow coach helped Nicole see the untapped opportunity for millennial coaching and training in New York City and beyond. Her peer felt unequipped to advise parents who were seeking advice about how to support their millennial sons and daughters entering the workforce. But Nicole had the perfect background to guide young professionals, their parents and their employers. She says:
Nicole’s resume includes a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Smith College, an MBA from New York University and a coaching certificate from Columbia University. She also has a wealth of real-world experience in corporate environments, schools and working one-on-one with private clients. Her diverse background lines up nicely with her target audience.
She notes, “My audience includes a wide group from millennials seeking leadership development or career transition coaching, to parents or managers of millennials, to corporations and organizations that need help navigating the multiple generations in the workforce.”
Building a personal brand online
To launch Queen of the Millennials online, Nicole turned to GoDaddy. She bought her domain, queenofthemillennials.com, and started using the new GoCentral Website Builder. It only took her about 30 minutes to create her new website — a modern, mobile-friendly site that reflects her energetic personality.
Nicole continues to add new content to her site. “I’m just getting started,” she says. “I need help, but GoDaddy put me on the map and made my dreams into reality. I would like to find a social media company to help me produce my content in a studio and send it out.”
She also uses professional email and a SmartLine virtual phone number. She also plans to add eCommerce capability so clients can buy coaching packages from her directly. She admits, “As a startup, you have to do it all. I have been happy with GoDaddy being patient with my calls over the years on everything.”
Finding new business
Nicole’s business philosophy is to listen to the marketplace — her potential customers — and fill their needs by tapping into her own expertise. The best part? She really loves the work, which makes it a lot easier to sell her services.
“My business model has been to offer a free consultation and then sell coaching packages,” explains Nicole. “I want to start developing videos or public speaking sessions on the issues that all families, students, managers and workers are dealing with in this cross-generation environment. That will give them a sense of how I can help, and maybe they would be ready to engage.”
With video, Nicole hopes to convey some of her top strengths, including her presence as a teacher and coach. She also prides herself in being open, non-judgmental and patient — qualities that appeal to potential clients.
Sharing tips for aspiring entrepreneurs
Nicole has some advice for others who are contemplating entrepreneurship. “Save some money and go for it,” she says. “I waited a long time to break away and do something for myself. I was just too afraid.” Nicole had been laid off multiple times in her career, and it made her realize how much she wanted to break out on her own and have the freedom to really express herself with her work.
“The best job security is being able to be strong on your own with a marketable product or service,” she says.
Since starting her own business, Nicole has learned that she needs to continue evolving her business practices to find the best model for attracting new clients. Without a doubt, that model requires a website and social media. And it’s important to be creative and keep trying new things.
Eyeing a bright future
Nicole has always been future-focused and open to learning, so it stands to reason that she’ll be able to learn and grow with her millennial mentees. She has lots of goals for Queen of the Millennials.
In addition to providing one-on-one coaching, she’d like to do more work with groups and companies. She also wants to push out free video content to her target audience to drive business leads and bring in some ad revenue on the side.
Looking five or ten years down the road, Nicole hopes to be running a large practice that employs other coaches and practitioners. She’d like to travel to events to speak, present research and sell products. “Somewhere in there, I’d like to be writing articles, speaking in videos, leading retreats and writing a book or two,” she adds. She’d also like to find a way to give back to the community — possibly by creating something for public schools.
Queen of the Millennials — both personal and professional
Currently, Nicole feels like her business life is blended with her personal life, and she likes it that way. “I love my work and my clients. And trainees and students become my friends,” she says. “My work is personal and it feels good to give to others.”
When she’s not actively building her business, Nicole likes to spend time at the park with her rescue dog, a playful guy who needs a lot of walks and playtime. “It feels good to bond and to be silent and connected my pup,” she says. “He’s a lot of fun and my biggest fan.”
Based on her energy and enthusiasm, it’s clear that she has lots of human fans, too. She has a knack for working with people — young adults in particular. And she’s modeling the way for how to build a meaningful career.
When coaching young clients on how to build their own personal brand, Nicole says it’s important to know who you are, what you do well, and whether there’s a market for it. “Your brand will change as you grow as a person,” she notes. “Life is about learning about yourself and what you are good at.”
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Also published on Medium.