Kisha Smiley is the owner of Held In High Esteem, an inspirational and lifestyle brand created to empower and uplift women. Held In High Esteem means being proud of who you are, living fearlessly, and loving the skin you’re in.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I wanted to create a positive platform for women in today’s generation. I wanted to be a voice to those who may feel too timid to speak up regarding the issues women face in today’s society as well.
Tell us about your business.
I am a blogger and self-published author. I also have an apparel line of t-shirts with positive affirmations.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
I have an online shop through my website, after the initial purchase has been placed, all customers will receive 15% off their next purchase.
I have a Master’s degree in Social Work. I am also a Licensed Masters Social Worker. I have counseled youth and adults for about 5 years now.
Where is your business based?
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
I began with reading materials and “How To’s” for blogging and starting a website. I observed other bloggers and entrepreneurs to see how they operated their businesses.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
- Social media.
- Word of mouth, being social with others and just putting it out there about what I do.
- Finding opportunities and shameless plugs that will direct people to my site.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
- Growing a following.
- Turning followers into customers.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I’m still working on them, but I continue to push out email campaigns and post frequent content that’s relatable to my followers. I try to find collaboration opportunities.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I live by two mottos: “Push Through,” and “Your goals don’t care how you feel.” Basically, no matter what, I have to keep going, even when I’m not in the mood to put in the work.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I post original content versus doing the same things everyone else is doing. I try to be different and unique instead of riding the “trending” wave.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
My grandma once told me “You can only do as good as your best.” What she said has always stuck with me. At the end of the day I have to remember that I’ve done my best, even if the situation didn’t work out as I had hoped.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
You have to be your biggest supporter, keep going even if no one is supporting you. The entrepreneur journey can also be stressful and difficult so I would encourage everyone to surround themselves with other entrepreneurs.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
- Stock photos set the tone for my blog posts.
- Squarespace because it’s resourceful in building a great site.
- Canva allows me to create what I want professionally, yet within budget.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
The last book I read was called “Faithing It” by Cora Jakes. It was about keeping your faith strong through those rough moments in life. My new book, “The Push Through Journal: A Guide To Finding Joy After Failures” has also been helpful to me while transitioning through a challenging time in my life.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I am currently learning the importance of planning out content in advance. I’m also learning the necessity behind brand building.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
- To promote/market my book.
- Attend more networking events in my area.
- Collaborate, collaborate, and collaborate.
- Launch a podcast.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
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