I am a huge fan of your blog and I wanted to know if you had any advice on post-graduation entry level job hunting tips? I am having such a hard time with job hunting and the rejection letters or no response. Do you have any advice? Thank you!
Thank you love! I’m so glad that you’re enjoying it. Job hunting was what I dreaded most about graduating college. Luckily for me I was able to land a job within a month, but I had prepared myself to be job hunting for a year. So many of my friends weren’t able to find jobs in their field after graduation so believe that what you’re going through is perfectly normal. Entry level jobs can be difficult because they either pay you too little or have you doing things you hate that no one else would want to, but we have to start somewhere. I began on Indeed.com, which ended up being the actual resource for finding my current job. Also, be sure and utilize your LinkedIn. I did a blog post with Alexia Clincy recently about how to get the most out of it. Emmelie De La Cruz also has a dozen helpful posts on job hunting, resume building + how to attract the job you want. Don’t get discouraged. The right opportunity will present itself exactly when it’s supposed to!
You are literally blogging goals. I recently graduated college with a bachelors of science in business administration. I’ve been reading your posts for almost a year now. One of my goals is to start up my own blog and someday reach your level of success with readers. What tips would you give beginners like myself with the hopes of starting up a blog? What are some things you wish you knew as a beginner?
You are too kind! I’m still so far from where I plan to take things. Congratulations on graduating, that’s a huge milestone. The top three tips I would give anyone aspiring to create a blog is 1) know exactly who you’re talking to when you create content 2) have something valuable to add and 3) be prepared to do a lot of work for free. Blogging is something you really have to have a passion for and you will feel burnt out quickly if you feel like you don’t have an audience who’s listening. When you add something valuable to people’s lives, they come back to listen time after time. Also, know that you will do A LOT of work on your own time and dime before you ever bring back in a penny. If it’s something you love, it won’t feel so much like work but more so like something you love. Think long and hard about what you want to create before committing to it.
I was curious about your dads passing and how you cope. I hope that’s not crossing any boundaries and I completely understand if you don’t want to talk about it. My dad died when I was 11. He died of a crack overdose. I actually saw him flat-line in the hospital. I have my days where I struggle sometimes but for the most part I try and just remember the good times.
I had an incredible relationship with my dad and he was such a good father to me and my sister. Luckily, he was very active in our lives and we got to spend a lot of time with him while he was here. He died suddenly when I was 19, so for us the hardest part was not having any time to prepare for him to no longer be around. The regret of wishing we’d spent more time with him on his weekends instead of friends birthday parties, etc. We were upset that he’d known that he’d been sick but didn’t tell us. His death initially effected me so heavily that I was physically ill, running a fever for three days and contracting strep throat. After his funeral, which was so terrible my sister and I actually ended up laughing while crying, I had a little come-to-Jesus moment. I remember it being a pivotal point in my life. I was in college, excited about my future and had just ended an overdue relationship with my high school sweetheart. I told myself my dad was gone. He had been given a certain amount of time on earth and the decisions he made determined how his life was going to go. I was in the same position, with a limited amount of time and I was going to make sure I did it the way I wanted to, while making him proud – and I’ve done just that. I miss my dad every day, but I can’t spend those days dwelling on the inevitable. This is my life and I have to make the most of it so I don’t leave my children feeling that way. We can’t be here forever and me being upset with him for leaving wouldn’t serve me.
I just recently received my first credit card (Yes I am 27 years old and I just got my first credit card lol) and I wanted to know if you had any advice on how to use it to build credit as far as paying it off. My limit is $300 considering I do not have a credit history (except a car note). I am realizing that credit is extremely important to have and I want to be smart about it. I currently have a 581 credit score which is not horrible but it is not great as well. I would like to rent a condo or a nice luxury apartment next year and having great credit is important.
Now keep in mind here, I am not a finance or credit expert lol but I do know what’s worked for me. I got my first credit card at 21, which I handled really well because I was warned so many times about credit card debt. I even ran it all the way up ($750 limit at the time) and paid it off in it’s entirety instead of paying the minimum, which did my credit well. I paid my first car off, which was also helpful. I currently have three credit cards, my original one, my travel points one and a Best Buy one that I use for all of my blog electronics I have to buy. I keep all of my credit cards below 30% of their limit, but I pay off the original one in it’s entirety every month so that it’s always at $0. Having multiple lines of credit helped (several credit cards, good rental history, car note) but only take on what you know you can financially handle without the credit, which is essentially borrowed money. They really want to know that you can be trusted with all of this monthly and won’t go crazy blowing it. If you can prove that, your score will sky rocket.
Besides the recent merch you decided to sell, what other ways is your blog making extra money for you? Also, will you be releasing more details about you taking on clients interested in building their brands?
My blog + brand is almost neck and neck with my salary because it allows multiple streams of income. The merchandise wasn’t put up to generate revenue. It was more so that women who enjoy the B Werd could have something to take with them once they close their browser. It also allowed me a more seamless way of teaching what I know, instead of attempting to reply to email after email. I’ve made money from my merchandise, learning tools like the Brand Beginnings werkbook + Secure The Brand notepad, ads, sponsored posts, brand partnerships (look at me on this Sephora + Naturally Curly campaign), affiliate links and most recently, from coaching women who want to grow their blogs, brands and businesses. I have consistent money coming in weekly in between paychecks. Brand development wasn’t a service I necessarily meant to offer, but I’m about to wrap up my 11th branding client and feel incredibly confident in the direction I’m lending them. I’m working on building a scheduling tool on the site to serve you all better and make the process seamless. That should be up within the next two weeks but if you’re interested, feel free to send me an email and we can get started.
My 10 year high school reunion is coming up (uggggh) August 18th and I wanted to know if you had any dress or pantsuit ideas. You have such great style and not only am I excited to see my old high school buddies, but I want to slay as well lol… Oh yea, my budget is $75.
My ten year reunion is next year, yikes! Lol but show up and show out. ASOS actually has 50% off of dresses and jumpsuits as of now. Here are some really cute options under $75 appropriate for a high school reunion –
Any reading suggestions? More specifically by African American authors? I like to support my people!
I’m going to Vegas for a few days in July and want a few comfy outfits to pack. I have pool parties two days I’m there, then site seeing, casual dinners, etc. so I’m thinking all I’ll need is some cover-ups, cute rompers and a few swimsuits.
I love Vegas because you can get away with some really daring outfits. Here are some cute options that should all fit into a carry-on. Have fun!
Whew, a lot of questions this week! I’m finally home for a weekend and I’m so looking forward to cleaning up, cleaning out my closet and handling some business that I’ve been putting off. I’m also back in the gym and eating completely clean, so I’ll share my meals for next week with you all once I decide on them. Send any #CoffeeTalk questions my way via email or drop them down below in the comments. Enjoy your weekend!
You’ve had this burning urge to do more but have yet to narrow down exactly what it is that you should be doing. You’ve been imagining the ideas that you have come to fruition month after month but haven’t taken the first step to get the ball rolling. What are you waiting on? I guarantee you that getting started was the most difficult part of my brand and business. Once I decided to move forward, everything else naturally fell into place and began to build organically. Now I’m not saying it was easy just because I started, but it was much easier than sitting around knowing I wasn’t maximizing my full potential. We don’t know where to start, we don’t have time to start, we start and then second guess ourselves ending up back at square one. In the time it’s going to take you to read this blog post, you could’ve already purchased a domain name or created a YouTube page. Staying where you are will never end in progress. Take a single step forward towards what it is you want to do and let the rest follow.
2) You Don’t Know Your Audience
You’re throwing out bait, yet no one is biting. If you’re pitching to a room full of people and not a single person is interested in what you’re offering, you’re in the wrong room. You will attract the ideal client by acting as if you’re always talking to your ideal client. Think strategically about what you’re trying to accomplish and build communities around that. My audience is likely an educated millennial woman of color between the age of 18 and 35 who either works corporate or are striving to build independent businesses. If those aren’t all facts, it’s something my reader is striving to achieve. I know exactly who I’m talking to. If your product is providing tutoring services to students for standardized testing, then your audience are the parents of students who take standardized tests, not necessarily your Facebook friends from high school. Don’t talk into an empty room.
3) Your “Why” is Wrong
People who do things for the wrong reasons often don’t make it too far. Money is exciting, believe me… I know. But doing something you dread for cash will get old sooner than later. When it comes to longevity, the reason “why” you’re doing what you do should be genuine and built around something you’re either exceptionally good at, passionate about or preferably both. Passion will forever outlive the lifespan of a dollar bill.
4) You Don’t Believe in What You’re Doing
How you perceive yourself tells others how to perceive you. The reason why the term “fake it tie you make it” is so popular is because people believe what you believe about yourself. If you’re timid about your product, your expertise or your beliefs, your credibility dwindles. You don’t have to be an expert, you just have to be you. You have to trust what you’re doing and saying before anyone else will.
5) No One Knows What you Offer
You’re all over the place. When you’re marketing to what you believe to be your target audience, no one knows what you offer. One day it’s thrift store finds and the next it’s a hair tutorial. When people visit your social media channels they can’t decipher what your services are or what you’re passionate about. They don’t know if you plan parties, or just like to party. They can’t tell that you’re an expert in web design if all of your photos are selfies. Be upfront about what it is that you do and design your social media channels around portraying just that so your brand is clear.
If you’re having trouble determining the details of your brand or mapping the direction you’d wish it would go, I’ve created a Brand Beginnings Werkbook to walk you right through that. Within the upcoming weeks, I will be taking on one-on-one clients in need of brand development + blogging direction. I’m really excited to watch all of your ideas come to life!
Most of you all who follow me on Instagram know that I totaled my car a couple of weekends ago. I had never been in a car wreck and I certainly had no intentions of making that happen. I’d purchased my car while I was still in college and paid her off in only three years, so I had been without a car note for the last two which was amazing. Once I’d paid her off, I began paying myself the car note money I was used to spending every month instead of treating it as $420 worth of extra cash. I had absolutely no plans of getting a car note any time soon and was planning on driving Shalaquandrial (Sha Sha for short) until the wheels fell off… or at least another two years.
Nonetheless, I wrecked my car and was going to have to buy another one – no way around it. My immediate worry was having to squeeze a car note into my monthly expenses, which wasn’t the biggest deal but was indeed an adjustment since I had gone so long without one. My second worry was that I wasn’t prepared to purchase another car. I like to control everything and in this situation, I didn’t wake up one morning and say “I’m going to go get a new BMW”. I felt forced, and I was but it had to be done. The following week I had to do what I had to do. I found a car that I loved and had it purchased within a few hours on a Tuesday evening. Simple as that.
Although I had no financial plans to buy a new car, I was prepared when it happened out of the blue. I was financially prepared to pay a car note on a car that I had been wanting and prepared to put down as much as I needed to in order to get my note where I wanted it to be. In the years that had passed I had taken such good care of my expenses that my credit score was also ready for a purchase that large and worked in my favor. Jay Z said it best, “in anticipation for precipitation, stack chips for a rainy day”. Even with all of the chaos of my insurance company, being carless for almost two weeks and being out of town twice within that time, I could breathe easily knowing the least of my worries was how I was going to pay for anything.
The fact of the matter is, we don’t always anticipate having to buy a new car, being laid off from our jobs or needing $5000 in the next week to cover last minute tuition – but these things occur and when they happen, we need to be able to handle them without drowning ourselves in worry. What can you do today to ensure that you’re prepared for the unexpected should it happen? I can’t stress the importance of thinking ahead even when everything in your life is going right.
In case of emergency, here’s what I make sure I always have on hand – 1) four months of my salary tucked away in my savings 2) my credit cards below 30% of their limit and 3) an alternative source of income outside of my paychecks. P.S., my Secure The Brand notepad is the perfect way to balance a 9-5 + a side hustle. My dad would always say “if you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready” and it’s proven to be true. Happy Monday babes! Make the best of it.