Welcome to Episode 71: Moving a Personal Service Business Online with Jennifer Mackey Mary
Jennifer Mackey Mary is a personal stylist for everyday women. After growing her in-person client services for years, a family move and changing priorities led her to look to taking that service business to the online space. As professional organizers expand their services to virtual services and online courses, Jennifer has a lot of great advice on how she added these online business services, and what professional organizers can consider if they are looking at expanding online.
(01:00) Introduction to Jennifer Mackey Mary
(03:30) How women can rediscover their style + how style can make your day more productive
(06:00) Jen’s business background + shifting online
(10:30) Opening yourself to people telling you the way your business could go in a new direction
(14:00) overcoming hurdles moving online
(15:00) translating a high touch service business online +mindset shifts
(18:30) the confidence to know you can move from in-person to online
(20:00) beta testing new services
(23:00) how the online experience can even be better for clients
(26:00) how Jen uses technology with her clients
(29:00) using Facebook groups and Facebook Lives
(31:00) Truly connecting with clients online
(33:00) how online client groups can help each other—“giving your fans the ball”
(36:00) wrap up + networking encouragement
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Ep 71 Jennifer Mackey Mary
You’re listening to the Pro Organizer Studio podcast with Melissa Klug and Jen Obermeier. Thank you so much for joining in our mission is to broaden the horizons of savvy business women in the organizing industry by instilling confidence and inspiring authenticity. You’ll gain new insight into strategies designed specifically for professional organizers.
So now let’s get started.
Hey pro organizers. This is Melissa Klug. This week’s podcast, I am very pleased to introduce you to someone who is a part of my network and is a great person to get to know. Her name is Jennifer Mackey Mary, and she is a stylist for everyday women. And the reason that we wanted to invite her on the podcast is because she has a lot of really, really great things to tell us about taking a service business online.
So if in the past year you have looked at your pro organizing business and thought about, hey, how can I move this online? Whether it’s virtual sessions or whether it is an online course, there are a lot of opportunities for pro organizers. And Jen went from an in-person styling service to one that is mostly online, and she’s going to tell us how she did it. And some pitfalls that she went through and lessons that she large hope you enjoy hearing what she has to say for your business.
Melissa Klug: I am with someone that I consider, not only a friend, but someone who is an excellent part of my business network. We talked about networking on this podcast a few weeks ago, and this is one of the brightest stars of my network. I would like to introduce you to my friend, Jen, how are you?
Jen Mary: I am good, my friend. Thank you for having me.
Melissa Klug: I am really excited to talk to you. I have been a guest on your podcast several, twice. Yeah. And it’s always one of my favorite things to do. And so I said immediately, I have to get you on the Pro Organizer Studio podcast because you have so much to offer this community. So, do you want to tell us what you do? And what’s so great about you.
Jen Mary: Well, yeah, I always want to tell you what’s so great about me. So I am Jennifer Mackey Mary. My business is called Everyday Style. I am a wardrobe stylist for real women. I don’t help celebrities and models. I mean, I would, if they came to me, but I really help the everyday woman who is struggling, maybe with a body that looks a little bit different than it used to, a lifestyle that looks a little bit different than it used to a budget that looks a little bit different than it used to all these priorities that have shifted.
And somewhere along the way, she kind of lost herself in her style, but she remembers when she felt and looked cute and she wants that back, but she doesn’t know where to sit. So I offer courses on things like dressing your body type, finding your best colors , creating a signature style, all that good stuff to help women really love the way they look so that they can confidently go about their day, achieving their goals, living on life.
That really matters because they’re not held back by the fact that they hate what they’re wearing and they hate how they look.
Melissa Klug: I can tell you, this is like those old fashioned commercials of like, ah, you know, I don’t just advertise for them. I’m also a client. Like what was that just for men? I can’t even remember, but I’m also glad I am a client of yours and I love your approachable way that you talk about style. I think sometimes with people like me that , are not a style expert by any stretch, like style can be sometimes an intimidating thing. And you think like, well, I have to only be able to have a budget for Gucci and Chanel.
And what I love about you is that you put together these amazing pieces that I are totally accessible to a regular woman like me and not just on the pages of InStyle. So I appreciate you very much and what you do
Jen Mary: Well I appreciate that. Yeah. I really think that style should be accessible to every woman.
Every single woman should love the way she looks. And if you are a jeans and t-shirt kind of woman buy really great jeans and t-shirts, you know, if you are a leggings and a sweatshirt woman, I mean, I keep telling women, we live in the greatest age. Ever, no woman before us has ever lived in the age of that, of athleisure.
Like, it’s amazing. It’s amazing. So there’s no excuse not to love the way you look and you don’t have to have a perfect body. You don’t have to have a huge budget. You don’t have to have a Pinterest worthy closet. Every single woman, no matter where she’s at in life can love the way she looks.
And you know how when you get up and you get dressed, it really sets the tone for your day. Great. If you get up. And my favorite productivity tip is to get dressed before you leave your bedroom in the morning. And every woman I know, especially business owners are like, I would do anything to be more productive.
And I say, get dressed before you leave your bedroom for the first time. They’re like, Oh no, not that, right? Like, what’s that a meatloaf I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that. Yeah. But that really, it sets the tone that you are productive. It sets the tone that you get things done, and then you leave your bedroom with that mindset.
So, yeah, I think, I think what you wear really matters,
Melissa Klug: my productivity tip is to make your bed before you leave your bedroom. So if you combine our productivity tips, we would have an amazing day.
Jen Mary: I do both. I actually do both and I find that it makes a huge difference in my day.
Melissa Klug: It really, it really, really does. And then also I think like in the times that we’re living in which we’re all exhausted of a living through and be talking about I definitely find the days where I make an effort where I say, okay, I am going to pretend like I’m going to work today and I’m going to put on an outfit that feels good.
And I’m going to throw some lipstick on, even if not one single person sees me. Yeah. I definitely feel differently about my day. So
Jen Mary: it’s actually, there is a scientific term. There’s a whole study that’s been done on this.
Melissa Klug: Enclothed cognition. Cause I had someone.
Jen Mary: Enclothed Cognition is exactly what it it’s, it’s what you wear matters, what you wear is sets your mindset and that is women are robbing themselves of that. Totally free mindset shift every single day. Like if you want to do something for your business, get dressed, throw in a little lipstick.
Melissa Klug: Absolutely. It makes it makes a huge difference. Well, the reason that I wanted to have you on the podcast today is really to talk about the business that you have created, but it’s not actually to get fashion tips. I want you to talk to our audience about a big shift that you made in your business.
And that was to move really from being an in-person service provider to that’s an inelegant way to phrase it. But to really, you are an online, you provide the same kinds of services, but you moved fully online. And so can you tell us a little bit about how that evolution happened in your career?
Jen Mary: Yeah, so I started my styling business in 2012 and I was a one-on-one stylist. You know, when people would ask me what I do, I’d say, have you seen this show? What not to wear? That’s exactly what I do. And everyone goes, Oh my gosh, I need that. Right. But I would go to women’s homes and I’d make them try on everything they own. We’d figure out what to keep, what to get rid of and what they needed to add, to build a perfect wardrobe.
And then we would go shopping and I would teach them how to shop for themselves. So we’d spend about six hours together. Usually it was a two-part session and turned out to be maybe a little bit longer. And I did that when I started my business, it was really, so I could just stop being a stay-at-home mom, right?
Like I just needed to get out of the house. It was something that I was good at doing. Why not? So. That’s not what happened.
What I learned was that women don’t know how to dress themselves. And I got really busy really quickly, which is a wonderful, wonderful problem to have at the time we were living outside of Washington, DC, which has some of the worst traffic in the nation. And I’m sure there are listeners right now who are on the beltway saying an amen sister.
Right? So I would see clients like three days a week, two to three clients a day, and the beltway just, it broke me. And as I got busier and busier and busier, I think every service provider hits this point where you see that. You see the train coming at you and you go, well, there aren’t more hours in the day and I cannot clone myself.
So I did what service providers do you start raising your prices first? Right. And I sort of had this formula that every time I was completely booked, like you could not get on my calendar for eight to 12 weeks. I’d take a price hike. And every time I’d think, Oh, this is going to ruin my business. Nobody’s going to pay these prices. This is crazy, no one’s going to pay. And they did. And so I would start and build and build and build. But the other thing that happens, and I know a lot of your listeners are experiencing this when you are so busy seeing clients, you don’t have time to get new clients.
So my business would go through these huge roller coasters where I would be so busy that I didn’t see my kids. I was, you know, it was so stressful and I was so tired. And then I wouldn’t be able to find new clients, so then it would totally drop off and I’d have this business panic, like, Oh my gosh, what am I going to do? So I would start getting out there and speaking, and networking and, spending more time on social media and then I’d be booked again. And then it was always this roller coaster thing.
I thought there has to be a different way. And so my journey to online, it really took a lot of steps. The first thing I did, which I’m sure a lot of your listeners are like, maybe the answer is to hire someone from my team, right. That went so badly. I am still scarred by it.
And I don’t know if it was just a bad hire if she was a bad fit or if bringing on a team. I mean, definitely the first one, but I also think bringing on a team is a lot more difficult, when you are building a business around a personality, and they didn’t want somebody else. So I kept getting busier and she wasn’t, and it just, it was a terrible experience. Then I started hosting these workshops because I thought, how can I serve more people at one time?
And I am a trainer by trade. I would do workshops every day of my life forever and ever, and ever. And I started doing one on how to create a capsule wardrobe and it was my most popular workshop. It always sold out.
And one of the workshops my sister had come to and she was sitting at a table and a girl who did not know she was, my sister said, I love this, but I wish Jennifer would just tell us what to wear. And I was like, Oh, that’s the business. Like, you know, sometimes people tell you what you need to do next and you just have to be really open to that.
So my sister shared that with me and I thought, okay, well, how can I do this? And I didn’t do any kind of like research. Is this already being done or any, is anyone else doing this? I just sort of did my own thing. And I started creating these seasonal capsule wardrobe guides, which showed women. 33 to 35 pieces, including tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear shoes, like the whole thing and how they mix and match to make like 200 outfits.
And it took off. And all of a sudden, what I had was a way to serve a lot of women, even easier than doing these day long workshops. But this, they could just get, like, here you go. This is what you do. I gave them shopping links to everything. There you, there you go. And it really, it worked out well, I would kind of put one out seasonally, so I would not see clients during that time.
Then in 2018, my family moved from DC back here to Minnesota and. I thought, okay, well, what am I going to do? I’ve got these capsule guides that work really, really well, but I still really liked seeing clients. The challenge was in DC at that time, if you ask, like who’s a stylist for real women, it was me.
There were a lot of stylists, like. Image consultants. Do you know what I mean? Like corporate image consultants, but like the woman helping stay-at-home moms, it was me and it was a big market. I moved here to a smaller market and there are a lot of real life stylists. So I thought about, do I really want to. So I thought let’s take this whole thing online. I rebranded to Everyday Style because it was really about.
Looking and feeling good every day, just in your regular daily life and helping that everyday woman. And so I built on the capsule guides. I, I have all of this knowledge from dressing women for 20 years, then I thought, okay, well, these could become classes. These could become courses. And so I started just building those out and really when I started my business is older than Canva, which is like a crazy thing, considering how much we use Canva.
My first couple of capsule guides were done in Photoshop. And then it was like, Oh, there’s this cool new tool, it’s Canva, which makes it so much easier. But my first things were done in like PowerPoint. And now there are so many great tools for doing digital classes, doing all of that stuff that make sense.
So much easier. So, this was really to design the kind of life that I wanted to live. And it, it took a lot of twists and turns, but we got here.
Melissa Klug: You certainly did! Just really quickly on Canva. Canva is my, if you’re stranded on a desert Island and you only have one piece of software to bring with you, canva, is it. It’s so amazing.
I use it for everything and everything. It’s so amazing. And the fact that like, there’s a ton of stuff, you can use it on it for free, but I was like, honestly, if they charged me a hundred, they charged me $13 a month. If they charged me a hundred dollars a month, I would still pay for it. That’s great.
Jen Mary: Just not to have so many stock photo sites. I mean, canva pictures aren’t always the best for what I need. There are, there are a lot more beautiful stock photo sites out there, but for 13 bucks a month to have so many business tools. And now that you can do the presentations and record your presentation right there.
Melissa Klug: But so, but that process from going from you had a lot of things that were kind of urging you there, but that process from going from something you knew in person. To something that you were like, kind of going out on your own and not like it was uncharted territory, but it was unchartered territory for you.
Did you have any like huge hurdles that you had to overcome, in your mindset of like, how do I make this thing into this thing? Or did that come easily for you?
Jen Mary: No, nothing comes very easily for me. I just kind of, everything is difficult, but I do it anyway. And then I’m like, Oh, wow, that sucked. Let’s do it different next time. I think for me, When I started, even when I started to sell things online in a massive way, digital courses had not really taken off yet. Like if I were to explain to myself five years ago, what I was doing, I’d be like, what? Huh? How does that work? Like, it was really even hard to visualize how that was even going to happen.
And yeah. I am a really high touch stylist. I love to be with a client. Like I get handsy with people and I’m grabbing fabric and I’m tucking things and I’m, you know, hanging up her bra strap, like all of that kind of stuff. And I thought, well, how do I translate that? That was probably my biggest thing is how do I translate my service that one-on-one high touch and I am so, so committed to customer service.
How do I make that the same for, you know, People, I’ve got, I’ve got people buying these things in Australia, New Zealand and Japan, and how are they going to get the same experience? And they get to the end of the day is they’re not, but that’s why it’s, you know, $70 instead of $500 or, you know what I mean?
That it isn’t the same. It’s a more of a DIY kind of thing. But that was probably my biggest hurdle is I don’t even know what this would look like. And then I think probably for a lot of your listeners, they’ve been pushed into figuring out what it would look like because you couldn’t for a long time, you couldn’t go into somebody’s homes and now people may not feel as comfortable doing that, but, you know, necessity is the mother of invention. Right. So you figure it out pretty quickly, right? But I think once I got over that hurdle, it was like, Oh my gosh, the world is my oyster. I can sell these things.
Somebody doesn’t have to be within a 20 mile radius of my house to love the way she looks. And that mindset shift was really empowering.
Melissa Klug: Well, and I think too, that for those of us who are in high-touch service industries, like styling or professional organizing, it definitely is a leap to think about how do I make this an online service. I will tell you, I remember the people at the very beginning. I’m like, I’m not doing it and I’m not doing virtual. That sort of thing. I’ll just wait for this all to be over. So, but what I was able to realize is not only what you realize, which is I don’t have to have someone in a 20 mile radius, but also that sometimes it’s a different experience.
And in some ways it’s a richer experience from behind your screen. And it’s maybe more accessible to people to like you are able to service more people and get more people, their style information than would normally be able to access your services, which I think is important.
Jen Mary: I agree. I started seeing clients one-on-one virtually. Even when we were still back in DC and in DC, there’s a big military presence. So my clients were always like moving around the world. And one of ’em wanted to work with me. Couldn’t make it happen. And then she moved to Japan and she sent me this email, like, what are we going to do?
And it was my first virtual client and I had those feelings of how am I going to make this work? I want to be able to serve her. Well, I want to be able to give her a really good experience. And I thought, well, I mean, it’s either try it or don’t do it. Those are my only options. Cause she’s not bringing me to Japan to help her go through her clothes and she held up a dress and I looked at the dress. I looked at her and I said that dress is going to be too tight in the hips and too big in the waist. And she said, Oh my gosh, that’s exactly what’s wrong with it. And I realized at that moment that I had, I had the chops to do it right. Like I knew my stuff well enough that I didn’t have to be in somebody’s home, touching their things, to be able to give them that same experience.
And I think a lot of times it’s just that confidence in yourself to know that you can deliver that service in a different way.
Melissa Klug: And the confidence to try things and say, I’m going to, I’m going to modify it. So if it doesn’t work this way, then maybe I’ll modify it to see how it works this way. And just that confidence to be able to steer in a different direction and say, okay, well, I think I might try it this way next time and see if that’s more effective.
And a lot of times people will ask me like, well, how do you do a virtual session? And I go, I basically, when most cases we’ll just pretend like I’m in someone’s house. I just sat behind a computer screen. Sometimes we overthink. What does that experience, what does the difference of that experience have to be?
We think so hard on like, I have to make it radically different when maybe you don’t.
Jen Mary: without a doubt, I have a pre-service questionnaire that I would send out to all my one-on-one clients and. Part of it was so that I could understand them and their needs better. And the other part of it is because I asked him hard questions and I wanted people to give some thought to before I was actually standing in their closet.
I’m sure a lot of, a lot of organizers do the same thing. And I got a lot of feedback. Like this was so helpful, you know, just answering those questions was a valuable service to them. So I went through my questionnaire and I thought, okay, what doesn’t apply anymore? Like. Do I need, you know, is there, what do I need?
Where can I park? You know, how do I find your house? Those, they don’t need to answer those questions. I’m not parking at your house in Japan, but there were a lot of the questions that still remain the same. And then there were some that I added, like, okay, if I’m not looking at in person, At this person’s closet because how someone shops their closet is really important to me, you know, do you flip from right to left or left to right.
And all those good things. So I had to add some questions, take some out, but most of them just stayed the same. And my process with clients with her clothes is pants first, always because that’s where the problems in your wardrobe always are. So virtually. I mean, I, I just put a little note on there.
We are going to go through pants first. They knew what was coming and if you can kind of just document your process, then it’s kind of a checklist you go through and you realize, again, it’s not that different. It’s not that different.
Melissa Klug: Well, and I had some misconceptions just in my own business at the beginning where I said, Oh, I won’t be able to give people that, that same , like I won’t be able to, for instance, help them put all their clothes in their bags to get ready for donation.
And that’s going to be a downside and I’m not going to be able to take their donations away for them. And that’s going to be a downside. I kept looking for all these reasons why it wouldn’t work. Which I really, I checked myself on that really soon because I I’m trying to make sure I’m modeling all these good sought behaviors, but you can sometimes come up with a ton of reasons not to do something.
Whereas you just be looking for reasons as to like, what, what is the worst thing that can happen if I try this thing out? Yeah. And the answer is like, what, like nothing. Right? So,
Jen Mary: yeah, I’m also a big believer in beta testing, anything, you know, and you can offer for easy math. Let’s say your session is normally a hundred dollars.
You can say, Hey, I’m looking for five people to beta, test this at $50. And then if you have a hundred people respond, say, okay, You know, after your first five people, you didn’t make it, here’s a coupon, you know, or we can do these sessions for 75 and kind of work your way up that way.
People are a little bit more forgiving if they know that, Hey, I’m testing this out, you know, and getting their feedback. One of the coolest things I learned from one of my first virtual clients and she and I have built this relationship, we’ve never met in person someday. I would love to, but we’re together a few times a year and I just adore her.
But the room that she likes to be in because it’s the best lit doesn’t have a good closet in it. So she has to hang her stuff, but she’s taken two high back kitchen chairs and put a broom across them and , made a little wardrobe rack out of there. I’m kind of like, after all these years, just buy yourself a cheap clothing rack.
Right. But it really, it works well for her. And I started putting that in my notes to clients like, Hey, Pull these things. If you don’t have a clothing rack, you can use to hide that kitchen chairs in a room and people have done it. And they thank me for the tips. So, you know, just being willing to learn and course correct.
If something goes terribly wrong I mean, my business is not about brain surgery. It’s about helping you find pants. So let’s put it in perspective and there’s nothing that can’t be worked through. And I think if people are afraid to try it, because how’s it going to work, you’re never going to know unless you just do it.
Melissa Klug: Right. Well, I think the other thing about being online that is like opened you up to so many possibilities is you can actually, instead of, like you said, you would have to, you know, and I know what DC traffic is. Like you would have to drive an hour and a half to someone’s house that maybe was three miles from your house.
And then you feel like, well, I need to spend four or five or six hours with this person in order to, you know, get that value out of my time when you’re online, you can see. Hey, do you want to have an hour long session with me? Cool. Let’s do an hour. Or I have some clients that have said. Hey, can we do this? And we, we have this great system with a couple of them where we will do a half an hour on a zoom.
I give them a project to go, do they go execute it two hours later, we check in again for another half an hour to give them another project actually frees you up to do able to do some creative things versus, Oh, I have driven to your house. Therefore I must be here for at least an few hours. Yes.
Jen Mary: Yep. My, my client with the kitchen chairs, she and I have this little routine where we meet at the beginning of a season.
We review what she has. We talk about what she needs. She goes and orders it. I send her the link. She goes and orders it. And then when it all arrives, we do like a 30 minute, let’s try it on. And then we make some outfits and I would never have done that in person because it’s just not worth my time. Or I would have to, I would have to charge her so much to go back to her house that it wouldn’t have been worth it to her.
Melissa Klug: So I think that’s a great, that’s a great point. I know what some of my online clients too, I find one of the things that is great about being a professional organizer is that personal relationship that you build with someone. And it’s really, you know, this work we do is actually pretty intimate and yeah.
You know, you really get to know someone. And I have actually found that behind a computer screen, you can still develop that thing. And sometimes you actually get a little bit deeper because you can just like, look at each other and be like, so instead of just sorting through clothing today or sorting through paperclips, like, Hey, how’s it going? Like, how’s your, I don’t know. I just find it to be like a little bit you know, you feel like it’s impersonal, but it’s really not. So
Jen Mary: for me, it’s a little bit more casual. And when I find myself doing what, what always cracks me up about my clients is that they start like the first 20 minutes of a session trying things on and they’ll go off camera, they’ll go behind a screen.
And like 20 minutes in, they’re like, ah, the heck with it. And they’re just, you know, I’ve seen a whole lot on the internet. We just, you know, being a stylist like I’m with someone in their underwear, basically for six hours. Yeah, we get to know each other real, real well, but a lot of times, like when they’re changing, I’m actually shopping for an item for them and I’ll have, you know, my dual monitors up and I’ll say, Oh, okay.
Now the dress you need is at Ann Taylor or, Oh, you should check out this pant at loft rather than having to go home and then. Put everything together. And a lot of times like forget, or, you know, I get busy and it takes days like it’s, it’s just kinda more casual, back and forth and I’ve really come to I’ve come to enjoy that a lot.
Melissa Klug: So you have a lot of different ways that you connect with your clients. Like you have used technology, I think really well. And some people struggle with, well, how would I put something like this together? And you do a lot of Facebook live question and answers with your people. What are some other, like, what are some of the benefits you have found of that? Or what are some other tools that you have found to connect with people.
Jen Mary: the biggest thing that I would have to say, first of all, is that when you go online, your marketing plan completely changes. Right? Okay. What I found is that people like to work with you the way they found you.
And in the early years of my business, I was on stage. I love being on stage. Like that is my happy place. I was actually at the dentist last week and I was kind of, you know, doing my visualizations and of being in my happy place. Most people don’t picture themselves on a stage with 10,000 people looking at them.
I love that. So. That’s how I built my business when I was one-on-one, but then I would speak and people like, Oh, how can I work with you? A real disconnect there, you know? So you ha I had to get good at. Social media marketing and Facebook live or Instagram live.
And I think now to talk, even though I refuse is a really great way to show your personality and build that know like trust factor so that people get some of that same thing. So that’s kind of how I took what I did on the one-on-one and made it accessible to women in Japan. So Facebook is, is definitely something that I use all the time.
I have Facebook groups. I like the camaraderie that other women get with each other in a Facebook group. And what I love is when other people are posting questions and answering questions, because they know the right answer after, you know, having been with me for so long that I’m like, Oh, you guys are doing my job for me. I love it. And it’s funny. Someone told me in my group, like they have formed this friendship outside of my group. And it actually kind of gives me goosebumps to think about, but this little group of women all around the country, they get together and they have formed a really special friendship because of being in my group.
And if you would have told me that I have the ability to bring people together. Not one-on-one, I would never have believed it never, but I just, I love kind of the, the camaraderie and the community of women. So I do use Facebook groups. I think they’re problematic in a lot of ways. And it excludes people who are not on Facebook, which is a growing number of people.
But Instagram, I understand that it’s a really visual kind of medium, but I don’t love it because I find it difficult to share things on Instagram. So, for marketing, I really like Facebook. I like Facebook groups. I do use Instagram for the technology side. All of my stuff is hosted on Thinkific. Which is a, a much more in-depth platform than most people need. I started out when I was just selling just capsule guides on send owl, which, Oh my gosh, it was so easy.
It was easy to do an affiliate program. Like it was just wonderful. It was wonderful. And then Canva, and those are really the only tools that I, that I use on the front end to connect with people. Yeah. That’s it.
Melissa Klug: And I have done some Facebook lives as an organizer with some of your groups. And I will tell you, like, you know, if you were thinking about again, the, how would this not work version?
I will tell you it’s actually really, really enjoyable to do a Facebook live with people who have organizing questions or style questions or whatever it is you’re doing. Right. And even though you can’t see their problem, you are able to give them really good advice, even on that platform, without it being something that’s unwieldy and hard to do.
And it’s easy to get out there and just like start one and be like, Hey, give me your questions. What are they?
Jen Mary: Yeah. You know, I started before Facebook live was a thing. I mean, my gosh, I sound like a dinosaur, but Facebook live was not a thing. When I started Facebook groups, I’ve been doing Facebook groups for a long time and I used to just have…I do like, I don’t know, ask me anything Mondays or whatever. And I would do just a little Q and A session just in a post. And for me talking is so much easier than writing. I would rather do that any day. You know, it’s off the cuff. I don’t overthink it. I just do it. So when that became a choice, I will talk any day of the week, any day of the week.
But I think it actually builds your confidence because like you said, You think, Oh my gosh, what if they, what if they ask me things I don’t know, or what you really figure out how much, you know, and how ingrained that information is in you? That you’re like, I could just do this in my sleep. I know my stuff.
And people get to see you and connect with you. And it’s funny when I don’t do my lives in my groups or my Q and A’s in my groups for a week or two because of holidays or whatever I always start with. I’ve missed you guys. And it’s so dumb because. I don’t see them. I mean, half the time, like two people are watching, but I miss that connection and I know that they love that connection too.
And I just, to me, that’s kind of the business sweet spot is when you build that connection with people and you get to know them as a person. And I think that’s one of the great things about a business like yours or a business like mine, is that it, it goes beyond the transactional to the relational. And I know cause you and I have shared some, some fun stories, but I know that we’ve also helped people through really hard things too.
And. That’s really, to me special and that they would allow me into those difficult times in their life, whether it is, you know, rebuilding their wardrobe after a really tough divorce or , I had a client who needed to put herself together after her husband died. Like that is, I don’t take that lightly at all at all.
And those are the kinds of things that if you’re not in someone’s house, one-on-one you have to figure out how can I do this in the best way. And the internet is an amazing thing. It really is. We get to see each other, you get to see people’s emotions and, and you can create, I would say probably 90% of the same experience easily.
Melissa Klug: Well, and that, that idea of community. So, I mean, I think we all have some feelings about Facebook you know, we might not all love Facebook all the time. I know I’m on a personal Facebook hiatus right now. It’s glorious. I totally recommend a personal social media hiatus. But what I will say is I have seen it in so many groups, so whether it’s the Inspired Organizer community, the people who were in our professional organizing course so we have that community. I have a community as a part of my organizing course that I give to people. And like, what you’re saying is, yeah, people, one, they create friendships off that space and you create that trust of, I have a safe space where I could tell these people, even if I don’t know them I can tell them my struggle, my frustration, my failings, my successes, all of those things.
It’s a very safe space for people to go. And that, that’s one thing that has been amazing to me to see in those two communities that I just don’t grow out. So, yeah.
Jen Mary: And I, you know, I think it’s really important to remember that no matter how well educated I am about my subject matter, no matter how open-minded I am, no matter how many scenarios I have seen.
I have one perspective, right. And I have one set of experiences and In our last house, I had my own closet, my own ginormous walk-in closet. So I didn’t really identify with those women who are like, I share a tiny closet with my husband. What do I do? I’m like, I don’t know. I’ll make it work. You know, like you give the best advice you can, but you’re not, you can’t speak from a place of true empathy and experience. Whereas the hundreds of women in my group who do share a tiny closet with their husbands, they can speak to that. And when you’re not the only one solving problems and when people can get different voices and different opinions. I think it is so, so empowering for both the learner and the, you know, the other people sharing their information because it makes them feel valuable as well.
And I think that is a bit of a growth mindset as a business owner that I don’t have to be the only voice. I don’t have to have all the answers, you know, being able to say, I don’t know what I would do with that one. Ladies, what do you think. And have a hundred people chime in is a beautiful thing.
Melissa Klug: That is the greatest point, because it’s so great. I was like yelling at you in the middle of it because I was so excited. That is such a wonderful point because I do think sometimes that we think we are the only person with the answers. And that has definitely happened to me in my organizing group of people where they’ve said someone has. Thrown out, Hey, how should I organize this space?
And I’m looking at it going, Oh my gosh, I don’t know, two other people in the group are like, here’s what I would do, blah, blah, blah. And I’m like, Oh my gosh, you guys are geniuses. And that happens. That happens all the time. And like, no, we don’t have to be the experts. We don’t have to say we know best. And you have to listen to us.
And this is the way crowdsourcing those answers is a lovely way to do it. I have a very expensive business coach. And sometimes she will crowdsource the answers. She’ll be like, Hey. What should we do. The best ideas they really do come from there.
Jen Mary: Well, if you’ve read PatFlynn super fans, which I recommend every single business owner read Pat Flynn, super fans.
Part of it is giving them the ball, giving your fans the ball. And that’s what that is really about as well. Not only do you not have to be the expert, but my ladies get to step up and they get to be the expert. And that feels really, really good to them. So, I mean, anything that takes the pressure off of me and also makes other people feel good to me, feels like a very good thing to do.
Melissa Klug: Where can people find you? If they want more information on what you do, if they maybe need some help help in their wardrobes, if they have listened to you today and said, I really need to listen to this woman on a podcast more, where can we find you?
Jen Mary: You can go to my website, which is youreverydaystyle.com. Otherwise, my podcast is the Everyday Style School. It’s on Apple podcasts. It’s on all the major podcast networks and you can check us out there.
Melissa Klug: And Jen talks about so many things on that podcast. I would really encourage for professional organizers, because there is so much overlap in what we do.
It’s and I’m not just saying this because she’s my friend and because I’ve been on it, but it is really a great podcast to learn more about how you can help your clients in very, very meaningful ways. So
Jen Mary: I appreciate that. Yeah. Come check us out.
Melissa Klug: Yeah. And just per our earlier podcast where we talked about networking I really would also encourage you.
Jen is legitimately one of the best people that I’ve met. We met at a networking event, and I will tell you just put yourself out there every once in a while you need a buddy in your business. And Jen and I are a really good example of how you can find someone in the most random of circumstances and they end up becoming someone that is really important to your business.
And it’s important to have a sounding board and a person you can go to. So reach out to someone today, network.
Jen Mary: Yes. Can I tell you that the night we met, I did not want to go. It was like a hundred degrees outside and I don’t like heat. I don’t do it. Well, I did not want to go. I don’t love meeting new people in, in situations like that.
I find it very, very intimidating and it’s always easier just to stay home.
Melissa Klug: Yes, always
Jen Mary: So much easier. And I walked in, you were like the first person I talked to and I, I sometimes think like, what if I had not gone? What if I had not gone to that thing? And you know, I’ve been to a lot of networking events that were just dumb and I didn’t meet anybody and everyone just tried to sell me their stuff.
That’s not what networking is friends, but you never ever know. And you know, if you are in that service, portion of your business, where you’re either feast or famine. You’ve got to make that stuff a priority to keep that pipeline full.
Melissa Klug: Absolutely because that the, you never know who you’re going to meet.
That’s the hing. I have had a lot of, a lot of business success and a lot of just good relationships in my life from that. And, and it’s not comfortable for me either. I am an extroverted introvert, so I would much rather be on my couch in my leisure not, not doing things, but I’ll tell ya. I am. I’m very glad that I met you and networking is so important.
So. Go meet someone new. So, but Jen’s mine. Sorry. Jen belongs to me. You guys can find your own people. Thank you so much for joining us today. I appreciate you very much.
Jen Mary: Thank you for having me. I appreciate you too.
Thank you so much for listening into the Pro Organizer Studio Podcast. If you’d like to get our roadmap for success as a pro organizer, head straight to www.poroadmap.com.
Thank you so much for listening into the pro organizer studio podcast. If you’d like to get our roadmap for success as a pro organizer, head straight to www.poroadmap.com.
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