Five Platforms That Help Boost and Develop My Business the First Year

As some are learning to know me but witness differently, I’ve only been styling professionally for 1.5 years and operating in business for 1 year.

When thoughts started to invade my mind in 2013 while in Epidemiology class, I couldn’t help but want to take a step into the industry...but how? Where should I start? What should I start with? These questions hindered me from getting into the fashion industry. I had previously started a cosmetic brand, Maquillage Blvd, and it wasn’t as successful as I had expected it to be. I must admit, I needed more direction on my business direction, development, and marketing. I ended up frustrated and all over the place because I didn't get help from the right professionals, so I just gave it up and called it quits. Over the course of time, my imagination continued to blossom with bigger and festive ideas, and I couldn't help but to dive into it. One of my elderly patients once told me "creativity comes from untapped thoughts," and I felt it was time to unwind those thoughts that had built up in my mind when I was living in Las Vegas.

The health field has always been a centerpiece in my life, especially while caring for my sick mother, grandmother, and the mother of my mother's close friend. I didn't see myself going into any other fields when I got to college and had to decide about my future. What else would an 18-year-old person do? They naturally go to what they know and feel comfortable with, so thats what I did. After completing my Bachelors with 2 health degrees and a few study-abroad programs under my belt, I continued in the health field by attending University of Miami: Miller School of Medicine. But things were starting to come to a halt for me. I was a full-on adult with salary-based pay, a grad student with bills knocking on my door every 30 days; the strain of maintaining my happiness started to kick in. That’s when I started to get these “what ifs” that I pondered for a very long time. Thankfully for me, talking to the elderly in the health field gave me a lot of the courage and hope I needed. When I regained the confidence to start executing my ideas, I experienced a new hunger that I never knew I had. I’ve always had compassion for and a desire to help people (particularly the elderly), but not whole-heartedly, in the capacity I have my degrees. So, I dove head first into entrepreneurship, with very little knowledge about business and business management––I just absorbed what I could and asked successful business owners their downfalls to learn from them. With my becoming journey, I wanted to share the platforms I use to keep my business maintained.

1] CANVA.COM

Canva.com was introduced to me by entrepreneur/YouTuber Sunny Lenarduzzi. I noticed all her brand collateral were in sync and consistent so it was easy to identify her channel from everyone else's. After she released the sites she uses for her brand, I immediately started to use canva.com for my business. This site has provided me a clean uniformed look that keeps my media in sync. I truly appreciate the templates that are already provided for anybody to use; if I have a creative block, I can start off with one of their templates or start from scratch. Some templates require you to pay for the images, but it’s at an inexpensive cost ($2-3 is the most you'll pay). I strongly advise everyone to use this site. You can even create your resume, social media ads, flyers, avatar, magazine, business cards, eBooks––as long as you have the dimensions of your design, you can create whatever you want.

2] FIVERR


This quick snazzy site is my go-to site. A good friend of mine, Stevie White, let me know about this site in 2012 and when I visited, I saw a lot of potential. It has definitely evolved and gained recognition. If you have tight pockets and you need someone to design your logo, brand collateral, or flyer, this website is a superb starting place. They do offer other services such as marketing, voiceovers, and website building, but I have not tried these services, so I cannot give you much input about it.

3] PEOPLE PER HOUR

People Per Hour ( aka PPH) has saved me on a lot of writing content. At first, I was not so good with writing and I had numerous proofreaders and editors revising the writing I turned in for the magazine and blog posts. While trying to get to fiverr.com to find a proofreader, google had an ad for PPH and I was open to try it. I was getting tired of asking and paying friends to proofread, so I went on a venture to look for a consistent freelancer. This site allows you to put your request in on what you are looking for and freelancers will put in their proposal. I did not find a consistent proofreader on this site; it was always different ones and I wasn’t satisfied with having different styles influence my writing. However, it was a great stepping stone in understanding how to source freelancers.

4] UPWORK

I found this wonderful site by accident––accidents are not always good, but this one was great! I really can’t remember what I was looking for online but I clicked on it and I spotted hire a freelancer and I said to myself “Let’s try it out, I’m always looking for the new.” So when I signed up and took a self-tour around the site, I thought “this is taking things to the next level, compared to People Per Hour.” When you hire a freelancer, you can chose to hire them for a fixed rate or hourly; if you do hire them hourly the freelancer will need to sign into Upwork as a freelancer and open their “contract” as if they are clocking in. You can see their every movement when they are on the clock.  You can see how it looks and, once it’s done, you click on end contract to pay out your contractor. I’ve used this system with a virtual assistant, who assisted me with emails for a week and I loved it. This site is very new to me (like a month) and I’ve found it very becoming for the businesses I am putting together. What I love about this site, is that I had more control than PPH and its operated like a business for both parties.

5] INSTAGRAM

I know, you’re probably like, Instagram… what is so significant about Instagram? Everyone is on there. I am organically introverted,  trained extrovert, LOL! What I mean by that is that I had to work at talking to people first, comfortably. If I was not in the fashion industry, I would def be a different person. And being a fashion stylist, introversion does NOT FLY––at all. You need to be an extrovert if you want the vision done. One of my favorite professors at Fashion Institute of Technology sat me down and told me, “you better be lucky, you don’t have to run to the pay phone like I did––instead you have the world in the palm of your hand.” I took what she said and I have ran with it ever since. She was right: all these social media outlets are there to connect me with designer/brands, all in the palm of my hand. I have connected with some amazing individuals and opportunities via Instagram and some of them have blossomed into wonderful relationships (cordially). I truly appreciate Instagram for all it has done for me the first year in business.

Besides me always being ontop of how I look fashionably, my image as a brand is just as important. I tend to worry about the vision things before I get to the content stuff because I am very drawn to visual things and I feel people connected with me and my brand because of what they saw. Using these platforms has given me confidence and the proper path I am looking forward to ....and I hope my following feels the same way as well. I hope you find these platforms useful, personally or professionally - they have done wonders for me on both terms. Until next time, xox!

Mikara

SELF MADEMikara Reid