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#BoldBossTribe :: Taylor Kloss

Bold & Pop : #BoldBossTribe :: Taylor Kloss Founder of TK Creative Consulting

Taylor Kloss | Creative TK Consulting

Tell us your bold boss story!

Bold & Pop : #BoldBossTribe :: Taylor Kloss Founder of TK Creative Consulting
Bold & Pop : #BoldBossTribe :: Taylor Kloss Founder of TK Creative Consulting

Truth be told, I never really envisioned myself as a business owner, the opportunity more just landed on my lap. It all started the day I decided to quit my 6-year marketing job to travel the US on a 3-month cross-country road trip with my now-husband. It was the trip of a lifetime and something I will forever cherish. Throughout our 3-month journey, I met so many amazing small business owners and realized there was a major need to help small businesses with marketing... something I had never experienced before since I was more focused on entertainment marketing vs. small businesses. 

Once home, I connected with small businesses locally and saw they also had the same marketing needs as the owners I met along our trip.  Ding Ding! The opportunity to start my marketing business suddenly became crystal clear.  Once I saw the opportunity to help small businesses it was easy for me to make the next move and launch my business... I mean, what did I have to lose!  

We're all about bold boss moments, tell us about one of yours!

Over the last 3 years, I've been lucky enough to hire a team of unbelievably talented young women. From interns to assistants to project managers each person has added something special to the Creative TK Brand. A big bold boss moment for me was learning that their experience working for my brand was getting them into full-time dream jobs!!! This realization makes me feel so proud that through my business efforts I have been able to provide real opportunities for amazing people.

Bold & Pop : #BoldBossTribe :: Taylor Kloss Founder of TK Creative Consulting
Bold & Pop : #BoldBossTribe :: Taylor Kloss Founder of TK Creative Consulting

What advice or words of encouragement do you have for the Bold Boss Tribe?

Be authentic and true to what you believe. When I first started Creative TK I got feedback telling me my brand was too playful and wouldn't be taken seriously. Unfortunately, this was advice I took and over the next year I truly struggled to find my voice and feel confident about my business. Once I realized people loved my style and liked hearing from me, I decided to stick to what I know and show my personality. Needless to say, my brand had a major makeover! 

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P.S. Have you joined our free #BoldBossTribe Facebook Group yet? Come on over and join us!

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Why Your Competitors’ Prices Shouldn’t Freak You Out

Bold & Pop : Why Your Competitors’ Prices Shouldn’t Freak You Out

Over the last few weeks I've noticed a lot of buzz on our networks of people frustrated by their competitors' prices. Mostly the conversations have discussed how tough it can be to compete in a crowded industry when some are charging a fraction of your fees. And the truth is.. I can totally see where the frustration comes from because it's something that bothered me earlier in my career.

When I first got started in the social media industry the concept of using Facebook and Twitter to market your business was new (yes Instagram and Pinterest didn't even exist then). So proving it was important was the first step of the struggle and then explaining to someone that they should pay you for said services became the second. Their logic? College kids and young professionals knew how to use the platforms, surely they could just hire interns or pay next to nothing for those services, right? Several years later even though the industry has changed quite a bit, a lot of people are still using that logic. It's not just the social media industry either. This issue pops up in both service and product based businesses. Some of it comes from a lack of understanding of the work involved, but a lot of it comes from the fact that there are still a lot of people who are willing to work for free or very little. 

So why is this? Cue supply and demand. When there's a market for something people will come a running. Isn't that bad for business though? And wouldn't it be great if some could see the value in their work and raise their prices just a bit to even out the playing field? Well yes, but there's a lot more to this issue. So today we're talking about some of the factors involved and why the issue shouldn't freak you out.

Different Level of Services or Experience

Remember my earlier example about hiring interns or paying low rates for young professionals? Well, the truth is we all have varying levels of experience and we all have to start somewhere! That being said, I wouldn't expect someone just starting out to have the same prices as someone who has been in the industry for a decade. While they may have some really effective new strategies and ideas, someone who is just getting going is probably pricing their services to reflect that. Not only because they don't have a ton of experience but also because they're trying to attract their first batch of clients to build their portfolio. 

When people hire you, they are paying not only for your ability to do a service but even more so your experience in the field. Two people could be doing a similar service but when faced with bumps or twists in the road, a veteran may have a better idea of how to handle a situation. So when you hire someone with more experience you're tapping into all of their past experiences in hopes that their successes will benefit your brand. That being said, generally speaking the longer you're in an industry the more skilled you become and as a result the easier it is to justify premium pricing.

Not only will your competitors' levels of experience vary, but the level of services being offered will too. Chances are, while someone may be offering the same services they might not be providing the same level or same amount of time that you are. For example, the social media services we provide include an audit, full platform strategy, weekly content calendars, posting, custom graphic creation, product photography/photo sourcing, community management, active networking and follower strategy, Facebook ad management, influencer marketing and more! Holy mouthful. A lot of people offering social media management may market their services similarly but how much time are they really dedicating to each task? Who knows! What we do know though is how much work we put into each account and our expertise level which we have reflected in our prices.

Different Parts of Your Business Journey

Another factor that may affect your competitors' prices is where they're at in their business journey. Similar to the levels of experience, branching out on your own is a whole different ballgame. When we started our own business, even though we were seasoned professionals we decided to take on projects at lower rates for a couple of different reasons:

  • We were building up our portfolio: As I mentioned, when Mallory and I ventured out on our own we had both been in the industry for several years, but when we started our own biz we were starting from a fresh slate. So we rolled our sleeves up and took on a number of projects at lower rates so that we could quickly build our portfolio.

  • We were still getting a handle on our business processes: While our skills and experiences certainly overlapped, we built all of our business processes from scratch. While we were super excited to customize our procedures based on our experience, the way things pan out in your head vs how they actually happen can vary. By lowering our prices at the beginning, we were able to fine-tune everything at a faster rate.

While this system worked out really well for us and allowed us to get our prices back up to where they should have been for our experience levels, it wouldn't have been sustainable in the long-run. In fact, when we actually did the math after taxes on some of the projects we realized we were working for pennies (literally). My point is, you just don't know where others are in their journey. Maybe they're just starting out or maybe they are side-hustling. There are so many factors that come into play that can affect their pricing.

Different Markets and Target Audiences

But what about those people who have similar levels of experience and have been in business for several years and are still charging a lot less?! The reality is, in the world of business there is always going to be someone who will offer products or services for a price less than yours. This happens in everyyy industry and the fact is we all have different audiences. While this may seem mildly annoying on the surface and feel like it's also devaluing your work -- in the wide scheme of things it won't.

Consider this, you can buy a basic t-shirt at Walmart or at Nordstrom. At Walmart you might spend $5 whereas for a similar shirt at Nordstrom you could spend $50. There may be many factors for the pricing difference, but at the end of the day each store is serving different markets and that's okay! It turns out Walmart and Nordstrom have both found success and part of that is because they've each found their niche and figured out a business model that works for them.

This is similar in that some businesses will always offer low-cost services no matter the level of success they find. At the end of the day it is up to you to figure out where your business fits into the industry and how you can best serve your target audience. So now that we've talked about some of the reasons why you shouldn't let the issue get you down I'm going to leave you with some final tips on what you should focus on:

  • Knowing Your Worth: When it comes to the pricing conversation "knowing your worth" comes up a lot. Which I 100% agree is a valid and super important fact. Based on my reasoning from above though I don't necessarily think the topic always goes hand-and-hand with this conversation. While it can certainly be an issue the reality is it is just one of many factors. That being said, take the time to understand your worth! Do an audit of your skills, experience level and evaluate the amount of time it takes you to do your work. By looking at all of these factors you can better understand if your business pricing is sustainable and if you are being compensated fairly. Not sure where to start? Competitive pricing research can certainly be helpful as well, just make sure you're taking a look at a wide range of businesses and try and find those who align with your experience level and target market.

  • Showing Your Value: Beyond knowing your worth, part of your job is to show your worth. In an oversaturated market, one of your most powerful marketing tactics is to showcase your expertise and show potential clients and customers why they should work with you. Invest your time in providing valuable content that will appeal to your target audience and show that, heck yes you don't just understand the topics but you know them front to back. Share valuable blog posts, highlight the quality of your products and the work that goes into each, or showcase your successes as examples! This is your chance to communicate why your biz stands out amongst the masses so make it count.

I hope you've found this post helpful and I've given you a little push to stop worrying about what other businesses are doing! While the biz world is crowded, there's more than enough room for all of us to succeed and that's because we all have different ideal clients! So instead of worrying about what other businesses are doing.. free up your time and spots on your client roster to work on your biz to attract your ideal clients. By focusing your energy inward you will be able to spend more time attracting your target market who will not only want to work with you because of your expertise but who won't question your pricing because they'll understand your services are worth every penny. 

P.S. Exciting news! We launched the free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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5 Tips to Succeed at Working from Home Without Losing Your Mind

Bold & Pop : 5 Tips to Succeed at Working from Home Without Losing Your Mind

Working from home has some awesome perks and is definitely one of my favorite things about starting Bold & Pop. I think it's a serious win whenever you can trade your commute in for a walk from your bed to your workspace -- anytime I can skip a crowded subway ride, count me in. While there's a ton of really awesome things about working from home, there are those times when it's 4 o'clock and you realize the only person you've encountered throughout the day has been the mailman or the times when you find yourself having full on conversations with your dog. Times where you realize 1.) holy moly I need to leave my apartment and 2.) I might officially be losing my mind. I feel ya. So today we're chatting about some tips to be successful at working from home and keeping your mind, because you need that!

Stick to a Routine

Something that has really helped me while working at home is sticking to a routine. Contrary to what a lot of people think, working from home doesn't always mean you're working in your PJs from you bed. Although, hey I definitely have my days where I take advantage of that perk 😉. The majority of the time though I stick to my morning routine to stay on track. That means getting up each morning at the same time, showering, getting dressed, and taking my trusty assistant Scooter the weenie dog on a walk. Who, btw is also a fan of sprinkled donuts as seen below. While I'd love to sleep late every day (I'm a total night owl) I know that sticking to my routine keeps me accountable and ready for a day of making sh*t happen!

Bold & Pop : 5 Tips to Succeed at Working from Home Without Losing Your Mind
Bold & Pop : 5 Tips to Succeed at Working from Home Without Losing Your Mind

Set Office Hours

One of the perks of working for yourself is setting your own hours and having a little flexibility when you need it. Which is life-changing coming from a traditional 9-5! While my schedule may vary day-to-day based on calls, meetings or projects, I do my best to stick to specific office hours of 9-5:30. Along with sticking to a routine, having standard office hours helps me plan out my days better. Not only is a schedule important for me, but it also sets designated times my clients know they can contact me.

This schedule also goes for cutting out distractions. Another thing I hear a lot from people is, "it must be great working from home because you can clean the apartment or take care of other errands" Yeah aboutttt that. There definitely isn't any cleaning going on during my Bold & Pop hours. In fact, my boyfriend will sometimes give me a hard time about leaving my dishes from lunch in the sink until I'm done working for the day. Truth be told though, I mean serious business during my office hours and know I'm most efficient when I stick to them. Being totally honest, sometimes the toughest part about sticking to office hours is actually shutting things down. Even though as biz owners we're always working on progress and getting ahead though, it's also important to give ourselves some rest! Another important part about those business hours!

Bold & Pop : 5 Tips to Succeed at Working from Home Without Losing Your Mind

Set up Regular Calls with Team Members or Join an Accountability Group 

I'm a little spoiled getting to work with Mallory because we talk pretty regularly throughout the day, but I know that's not the case for everyone! Sometimes you can go full days without having much interaction with other people and that can be a struggle. Mallory and I both have dogs and I know we're both definitely guilty of talking to them, but sometimes you just need some human connection! If you work with a team, I suggest setting up regular calls to check-in about projects and also because sometimes just talking things out on the phone will lead to awesome ideas you may not have thought of otherwise.

For those who are solopreneurs, if you don't work with anyone else I suggest joining an accountability group or mastermind. Having a group you meet or talk with on a regular basis can be a great opportunity to bounce ideas off of each other and also have some engagement with other people! 

Take Care of Yourself!

This one is SO important and one Mallory and I have been more focused on this year. This may sound super simple but make sure you're taking care of yourself! We spend most of our days sitting in front of a computer so it's so important to get up regularly and walk around. Get those legs a-moving! I'm also a big fan of afternoon workouts or afternoon walks around the neighborhood. Just something to break up the day and make sure I'm getting in a little exercise.

Another thing? Stay hydrated! I'll be honest, recently I realized how bad I had gotten about drinking water throughout the day. So I made a change and started making sure I started my day with a hot lemon water and refilled my water bottle throughout the day. I realized that if I had a glass in front of me I was pretty good about drinking it, it was just the action of actually getting that first cup filled up that was the struggle. I'm a big fan of flavored waters too - lemon water, cucumber mint, citrus, or fruity. I'm all about that life and realized I was twice as likely to succeed at staying hydrated throughout the day when I had something delicious to drink.

Try and Get Out Once in Awhile

And last but not least, try and get out once in a while! This may sound out of place since we're talking about working from home but I truly believe it's essential to your work strategy. A couple times a month I try and work outside of my home office just for a change of scenery. This can be at a local cafe, park or coworking space. We're big fans of coworking spaces! Both Mallory and I try and meet up with some of our other friends who work from home or freelance locally each month. You can find me checking out different spaces around New York City at WeWork, which does require a monthly membership fee. And you can find Mallory at one of her favorites in Raleigh, NC called The Frontier -- extra bonus with hers, it's free! I really love coworking spaces because I always feel so inspired while I'm there -- even if I go solo. For me, being around other entrepreneurs and go-getters is so inspiring and always gets my creativity wheels turning.

So there you have it! 5 tips for being successful at working from home. Have some other awesome tips? Share in the comments below!

P.S. Exciting news! We launched the free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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