This week on Feature Friday we welcome Jenny Hale as our guest. Jenny comes to us from her personal website where she helps clients with military backgrounds learn how to market their businesses. We’ll let Jenny tell you the rest…
What is your business?
I am a marketing and social media consultant that coaches military community entrepreneurs. I help military spouse and veteran business owners become successful in their marketing strategies.
My goal is to bridge the gap between the military community understanding how to market to civilians and vice versa. I offer one-on-one and corporate training and coaching, as well as content, public relations, and social media management packages.
What did you do before you started your own business? If you are still employed full-time, please share what you do in your day job.
I started my first business at the age of 19. I went to college full time and spent my weekends as a successful photography freelancer. I caught the entrepreneur bug and began consulting soon after to teach others how to become successful marketing their businesses too.
I currently work as a marketing director for a military program full-time and LOVE it. Every day I teach others how to leverage marketing tactics at installations around the world.
Who were some influencers in your decision to be an entrepreneur?
I come from an entrepreneurial family. My father owns an engineering consulting company and I knew that it was in my blood too from a young age.
My father taught me how to have thick skin (which you need as a business owner!) and how to pursue your passion while turning it into a profit. My best lessons were from my dad and I translate those lessons to the military community I serve.
How did you prepare to take the leap both financially and in your business? Please reference what you saved, if you learned new skills, if you moved, etc.
I did not worry about a financial investment in my business, as there is very little overhead. However, the financial aspect is time. Before you start a business, you need to understand the amount of time it takes. Marketing (done right!) requires a strategy, content, and an ever-evolving plan to keep up with modern technology.
Be prepared and understand the commitment it takes to become successful.
If you quit your job, were you already making money on the side before you decided to quit your job? Tell us about that. If you are still working full-time, what would make you leave your job?
I love working full-time! I find my work challenging and I enjoy being a part of the office I work with. I have learned to find a balance between pursuing all my passions.
I also LOVE to work and I split my time well between my side hustle and my full-time responsibilities. Who says you can’t have it all? I’m lucky that I love my career (all of them!) as much as I do!
Related – Kara from Bravely
What was your worst day so far as an entrepreneur and what was your best day? What happened on those days?
I learned at a young age that the best way to avoid having the worst day is to prepare for the possibility of the worst day happening before it does. Then, you can only have the best of days!
To do this, have a solid contract, insurance in place, the legal paperwork prepared, and expectation management discussions.
The best day I’ve ever had is a client telling me that they have to expand to full time staff instead of part time because their business grew so quickly. Those kind of success stories are the reason I do what I do.
What is one small “trick” or piece of advice that you have learned about reaching customers or making sales? Please be specific and provide something actionable for us.
The best way to get sales is by word-of-mouth and trust.
To do that, you need to stop spending all your time selling and spend time networking and building relationships. This is true across all platforms and in-person. People buy from people they love and relate to, so be that person for them!
Give us two truths and a lie about yourself so we can get to know you better personally!
1. I used to live paycheck to paycheck until I found my career niche.
2. I used to be a runway model.
3. I have a ton of student loan debt.
#3 is the lie. Between scholarships, savings, and my businesses, I was able to graduate with a Master’s degree from a private university debt free!
Being an entrepreneur has brought me financial security for life!
Thanks to Jenny for sharing her story and also a big thanks for the work she does helping our military personnel with their businesses!
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