Kara Duffy

Why You Should Reach Out To Everybody You Know With Kara Duffy

Last Updated on September 24, 2020

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Tell Us About Yourself And Your Background!

While working in footwear and apparel for 20 years, I was always creating mini businesses and projects on the side. One of those businesses was a non-profit, Hello Possibility Inc. where we coached people with ideas for new nonprofits how to bring them to life. I was able to see how using my skills and experience gained while working at large international corporations was truly valuable to people just starting out in business. I could transform their experience as business owners and help them skip so many unnecessary steps on the path to success.

Tell Us About Your Company! How Did You Start It? Why Did You Start It?

I decided to start my coaching business after I saw the immediate need for business owners to level up their businesses, whether it was financially and or structurally. After several years of successful business coaching, I saw a gap for female empowerment coaching for those who were entrepreneurs (new or seasoned) or those yearning to be entrepreneurs. I began the Powerful Ladies as a place where women from all walks of life come together to level up, learn new skills, and have a support system along their journey. It is very empowering to see women who leave their 9-5 job to persue their once idea and succeed!

How Did You Get Your First Several Customers Or Users? How Many Users Or Customers Do You Have Now?

The first customers were all direct outreach – for all the companies I’ve ever started. I called the people I knew who I thought would be a good fit. That gave me the opportunity to talk to them about the products and services, get their direct feedback and pitch them if it made sense. Direct outreach is still the foundational way to get sales. We can’t hide behind a sell to strangers model i.e. social media for 100% of our business. I’d challenge you can’t for even 1/2 of your key sales.

How Does Your Company Grow And Acquire New Customers?

I follow the following tiers of acquiring new customers. 1. Direct, 2. Referrals 3. Networking & Meeting my ideal customers and clients in their spaces, 4. Social Media, 5. PR
We do a lot of grassroots marketing and PR strategies. Often business owners today confuse chasing followers with chasing sales. It’s more important for my team and I to spend time connecting with our ideal customers who want our services and will buy them than chasing random strangers. One on one or small group conversations are still the most effective conversion tool because then you can hear directly how you can help. We’re here to be of service, so knowing exactly how we can help allows us to grow.

What Actionable Tips And Tricks Do You Have For New Founders Who Are Looking To Get Their First Thousand Users Or Dollars?

What I tell all of my business coaching clients is that you MUST send out an introductory email to everyone you know. Literally everyone you have an email address for. In the email introduce your new business, say why you’re excited about it, highlight key benefits and then ask them to take one of three actions – 1) become a customer such as schedule a call or buy now, 2) refer people or share this email with people they know who are a fit and 3) follow you – either on social or join your official newsletter.
Everyone fights this because they don’t want to “bother” people. It’s not bothering anyone. It’s giving the people who know you directly an opportunity to support you, buy from you and/or get to brag about you to the people in their life. Start with who you know.

What Is Something You’ve Learned That Would Not Be Obvious To Somebody Who Hasn’t Worked In Your Space Before?

Spend time crafting your product – and yes, services are products, too! Go through the entire product development process: Idea, Benefits, Customer, Design, Build, Test, Adjust, Launch, Evaluate, Refine. Typically what’s causing weak sales is not a flaw in sales or marketing but something that was missed or skipped in the product creation process.

What’s The Craziest Thing That’s Happened To You (Good Or Bad) On Your Founder Journey?

I wouldn’t say anything crazy has happened. I do shoot for big goals all the time. I enjoy having goals that seem too big or too ridiculous or not possible as part of the game. It makes it more fun and reminds you that a) it’s good to be a bit ridiculous and b) anything is possible. Everytime one of those goals is achieved – whether a new celebrity on the Powerful Ladies Podcast or a dream client or you name it, it doesn’t occur as crazy. To me it’s the universe saying it’s happy to play along with those who are willing to play big.

What Are Your Favorite Books?

1. Untamed by Glenen Doyal
Why: I love memoires and I love stories of possibilities and leaning in on who you are meant to be. It’s why I created Powerful Ladies and why I’m a business coach. There’s so much power in being you as an individual and there’s so much opportunity for your business when you lean in on what makes you unique.

2. Ghost of Gold Mountain by Gordan H. Chang
Why: My dad passed this book to me. We regularly trade books for our shared interested in history, cultures and business. It shared the story of Chinese workers in America who built the intercontinental railroad. It’s a good reminder that we can all make it through hardships and that everyone’s journey is unique as much as everyone is a contribution whether we feel it or not.

3. From Nothing by Ian Pribyl
Why: Being someone who regularly makes things from nothing – new businesses, products, strategies, fun, etc. I picked up this book to see another leader’s perspective in how they create from nothing. It’s a skill that is often missing but critical for both individuals and people – especially in today’s constantly evolving and changing marketplace. Seeing possibilities and knowing where to start and how to make them happen is a competitive advantage that I’m able to offer as a Business Coach & Consultant and am passing on to my clients.

4. The Magic of Tiny Business by Sharon Rowe
Why: I’m a big believer in creating businesses for the size you need or want, not what external forces say you need. We should be shifting the conversation from building empires to building what’s sustainable for you and your business. Everyone doesn’t need to be the next millionaire to be a successful entrepreneur or business owner. I picked this one up to learn see what Sharon says on this topic and if there’s something within her point of view that would add value to my own perspective and tools I can provide my clients.

Anything You’d Like To Plug?

The launch of Thrive Collective, a female online community as part of the Powerful Ladies Universe. This online community benefits include twice-weekly group coaching calls, monthly themes to teach each member a thorough new skillset (i.e. Social Media Mastery in 4 weeks), and 1:1 access to me and my team. This allows anyone that doesn’t have access to private coaching to still level up their lives with a wonderful support system of super talented women.

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