For Shaunda Head, impending foreclosure and a car repossession led to a professional wake-up call.
“I knew it was time to shift my approach and begin completely showing up as myself,” she recalls. “Once I did that, the shift in results practically happened overnight.” Head had freelanced for years. When she shifted to more strategic consulting, however, she realized just how much she really knew – and how that knowledge could help other women entrepreneurs.
“Starting my own business began as a means to express myself through creative projects without all of the boundaries (and politics!) of the corporate structure,” she says. “Freelancing was cool. But eventually, I felt the need to work in my own business full-time, because I wanted the freedom to be as creative as possible. I also recognized that a lot of my friends were not privy to the information that I had grown accustomed to over the years. Black women just were not in these rooms having these conversations! I wanted to be a resource to anyone who wanted to build a brand and didn’t know how.”
Head’s advice for anyone considering a leap into personal entrepreneurship is simple: Find your voice, focus on your clients, and keep analysis paralysis on the sidelines where it belongs.
How Finding Your Voice Helps Your Finances
Helping other women entrepreneurs find their voice wasn’t in Head’s sights at first, but knowing the ropes from years of making money as a freelancer had taught her a lot about the online business industry.
“I started my entrepreneurial journey as a freelance graphic designer back in 2001 while still in college, and didn’t pivot to brand and marketing strategy until 2019. Now I specialize in helping women clarify their brand voice, using it to build a brand that aligns with the fullest expression of themselves.”
“It was later that I realized I’d accumulated more than just design knowledge. I was regularly helping my clients strategize their business models and brainstorming how they could show up as more of themselves in order to find their dream clients.”
Head says that this is more of an “unlearning” process for aspiring freelancers and entrepreneurs because of how we’re taught to operate in our day jobs.
“Taking on the personality, recommendations, and characteristics of others is something that actually helps us in our 9-to-5 careers – but not when we’re running our own businesses. As business owners, we often need to unlearn a lot of things in order to actually move forward, be seen, and find our people.
“I started to build a framework that would help clients find their differentiators so that they could easily brand and market themselves to stand out in their industry. That means we start by concentrating on voice… which is exactly what I did when I took my business to the next level.”
Head was pleased to discover that the process she had invested in and taken herself through to transform her own business delivered similar results for her clients, too.
“My hail mary was to trust my instincts and pivot into how I really wanted to work [with people]. I leaned heavily into myself and put my full personality out there… in all of my marketing, copy, and branding. I wanted to alleviate the additional stress that came with having to pretend to be a certain way and chase clients in the process. I wanted the right clients to resonate with me, who I was, and the work that I was doing.”
Help Your Clients Help Themselves
Head offers her audience a free Brand Prototype Quiz to help them get a running start and see how their own pivot toward a more “personal” personal brand would play out.
“We love sending new readers to the quiz because it gives them an inside look at what brand strategy even is, as well as what it would look like for their particular brand prototype. People love it because it’s really dialed in, and the results include a free brand guide, color palettes, social strategy, and story ideas. It’s everything that you’d need access to if you wanted to pivot your brand into something completely YOU that also works for your audience.”
On the offers side, Head’s company offers both self-guided courses and higher-touch VIP days and retainer packages. She says that the best part of the job is seeing clients succeed with the tools and support given to them.
“In my business, we help implement the strategies that we create with our clients. It’s been so refreshing to cook up all of these offers and opportunities for clients to shine as themselves, and then watch them take those out into the marketplace and completely steal the show.”
Head notes that her process helps clients get into action regarding various money making strategies.
“I’ve had clients start closing 100% of their sales calls, blast through standard industry conversion rates, secure coveted speaking gigs, launch podcasts, and rebrand their entire business into something so unique it could only belong to them.”
Advice for Up-and-Coming Entrepreneurs
Head notes that resisting the urge to get everything perfect is key.
“I would say to just start. Sometimes that’s the biggest obstacle. So often we want to do all the research and get all of our ducks in a row before we make even one move. I call that “getting ready to get ready.” What ends up happening is we stay getting ready for months – even years.”
“You will never feel ready. It will feel like it’s too soon but also with a taste of “I have to do this right now or I’ll scream!” But neither of those feels like, “Yes, this is the perfect time, let’s do this.”
”Resisting the urge to have everything be perfect is key for success,” says Shaunda Head.
If you’re looking to take your business up a notch in the coming year – or even just dip your toes into entrepreneurship – finding your voice can help you attract more dream clients and repel customers who aren’t a fit and will drain your energy.
“If you can just understand and trust that you don’t need anything but your voice, you’ll transition into that CEO life much easier.”