To Top

Meet Jillian James

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jillian James.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jillian. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My mom always said that she knew I’d work for myself. She would tell me stories of when I was a child and would find items around the house, set them out on the table with price tags, and tell her to come shop in my store. Even at the young age of five, I would be the leader in school, having the other students line up and follow me, or whatever my idea was for the day, I ensured they went along with my vision. When I was three, she told me about the time she was flipping through the channels and I asked her to stop on the NCAA Cheerleading competition. She figured, as most children, after a few minutes I would get bored with the show and want to change the channel again or find something else to do. Needless to say, I watched the entire show and wanted to cheer since then. While in elementary school, I gathered my friends together to practice cheers I made up during recess and then presented this to the junior high cheerleading coach. She loved what I had done and from then on allowed us to perform at the school pep rallies. This was only the beginning of my leadership journey.

In 2006, I faithfully watched the television show, ‘Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?’ and I was inspired by planners Donnie Brown and David Tutera, This sparked my idea to start my own small business as a wedding and event planner, Exclusive Events by Jade. I began to advertise on social media sites such as MySpace and even created my own website. I designed business cards and marketed specials on various other websites. I studied wedding planning and quickly began gaining a few clients. I took pictures with my own camera and asked the photographer to use some of theirs for my future advertising. However, business was not going as I expected. I was not booking clients on a regular basis and found myself taking on whatever came my way. I realized I was not happy in doing business this way, and those Bridezillas were a little too much to handle. Within the net two years, I changed my market to focus on only business events. This went well for a while, as I founded Divas Care, an event planning company that focused on planning events for companies that focused on empowering, encouraging, and educating women in all areas of life.

Fast forward to almost ten years later, I was still running my businesses but was still not finding myself consistent in gaining the clients that I wanted. I decided to go back to school and got my degree in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management. I realized that I jumped right into my businesses without the proper foundations. I did not lay out my goals, my business plan, my ideal target market. I was educated, I had great ideas and a vision but still did not take the basic steps in order to be successful. I partnered with an organization called MomPreneurs on Fire. The founders followed me on social media and loved my energy and how I marketed myself. This opened doors for me to begin showing other women in business on how to create their own business brands. I began hosting online courses in this area and their members saw immediate results in their own success. When the organization decided to close, I realized I had found my craft. This led to me starting ImBossLady. From then on, I focused on startup entrepreneurs who were also facing the same struggles that I had when starting a business. My clients had an idea, a vision, and needed that extra guidance on how to make it come to life. As an entrepreneur, you are your brand, and my business helps them to tap into their true self to create a brand their customers will never forget.

Has it been a smooth road?
Being a startup entrepreneur can be very challenging. Believe me, I have been there. You have your great idea to launch a product or service, you have your business plan, and you may already have customers. However, have you truly created a brand that will attract your target market? Does anyone, besides your family and friends, even know your business exists? This was my biggest struggle. Before all of the changes in social media and having an online presence, my followers were mainly my family and friends. So, unless someone was hosting a party, celebrating a birthday or anniversary, or happen to be getting married, I was not getting much business.

Entrepreneurship is a growing trend and we have to work twice as hard to be noticed in a huge market of other large named companies who provide some of the same services. The biggest struggle is being able to be recognized as an expert in the industry. A lot of people go into business for themselves thinking that it is an easy way to earn a substantial income and quickly. It took me all of ten years to get to where I am today, and I am still growing. I had to earn the trust of my clients. I had to be transparent. When it comes to working with an entrepreneur, people want to work with people. They want to know the real you. Your failures just as well as your gains. Being in business is not pretty, it comes with many downfalls. However, once I realized what these obstacles were, I created a plan on how to overcome them and worked twice as hard. With technology constantly growing it seems as there are a variety of branding and social media consultants to choose from, and I had to find a specific niche audience, market to them effectively, and create a brand they would love.

What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of as a company? What sets you apart from others?
My purpose is to help entrepreneurs find the niche in their industry in order to create a brand that consumers will recognize. It starts at the beginning by defining what a brand is and then following step by step instructions on not only creating a brand but how to create a strategy and put it in action in order to reach their customers.

As an entrepreneurial branding consultant, I am on a mission to guide my clients into implementing a strategy with a realistic action plan for their business. I believe that they have an effective plan laid out and may need extra guidance, leadership, feedback, and accountability to create a successful strategy. By following the steps in my coaching sessions they discover:
~How to brand their business like a boss without breaking the bank.
~The secret to creating an effective branding plan.
~Simple (but powerful) techniques to put their plan into action.

My experience and education in entrepreneurship and small business management has given me a direct insight into building and growing a successful company.
My previous clients have:
~Discovered their authenticity in their industry.
~Increased their brand awareness.
~Created successful business strategies that really work.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Dallas has so many opportunities for everyone no matter what the market they are inspiring to get into. The consumers in the city are willing to support all types of small businesses and the DFW thrives on entrepreneurial growth.

The biggest issue with our city is that many people have the idea that they have to be in competition with each other in a negative light. We should be collaborating as small business owners on how we can grow together and make each other better. The city is so big, Everyone can win at whatever their vision is for business and there is no need for some of the hate for others. Instead of the negative energy get with the other business, and learn from them. Study their strategies and previous plans, and implement that into your own business. As well, don’t discourage the next business which has monetized from your similarities in business. Take that as a compliment that someone is watching and you are a trendsetter in your industry.

Contact Info:

Suggest a story: VoyageDallas is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in