IAM762- Creative Passionate About Growing Brands Into Visual Powerhouses

Podcast Interview with Jendayi Jackson

Known as the Aesthetic Entrepreneur, Jendayi is a multi-hyphenate trailblazer & the founder of two brands dedicated to content creation for women-owned businesses. After pursuing photography as a hobby for many years, Jendayi was inspired to use her craft in a more meaningful way by officially starting Jendayi Asha Creative in 2010. Over the past 5 years, she has fine-tuned the vision for the company by helping women entrepreneurs package their purpose into compelling brands using design and photography. Most recently Jendayi launched her boldest venture yet, Honey Social – a stock imaging and strategic resource platform for women of color. No matter what avenue it's through, Jendayi's passion lies in using her creative talents to assist brands in growing their businesses into visually appealing powerhouses.

  • CEO Hack: HoneyBook to help me manage my clients, create templates and workflows
  • CEO Nugget: Start with your foundation, understand your story
  • CEO Defined: Being a visionary and a leader




Intro 0:02
Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you’ve come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you’re in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:29
Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast, I have a very special guest on the show today of Jendayi Jackson of Honey Social. Jendayi, it's awesome to have you on show.

Jendayi Jackson 0:39
Good to have good to be here either. I'm super excited to talk to you today about you know the things that I have going on in my life as a CEO.

Gresham Harkless 0:48
Yeah, absolutely super excited to have you here and you're doing so many different and awesome things that I think is an extreme value to everyone. And before I jumped in, I wanted to read a little bit more about you so everybody can get a great idea of all the awesome things that I'm talking about as well. And Known as the Aesthetic Entrepreneur, Jendayi is a multi-hyphenate trailblazer & the founder of two brands dedicated to content creation for women-owned businesses. After pursuing photography as a hobby for many years, Jendayi was inspired to use her craft in a more meaningful way by officially starting Jendayi Asha Creative in 2010. Over the past 5 years, she has fine-tuned the vision for the company by helping women entrepreneurs package their purpose into compelling brands using design and photography. Most recently Jendayi launched her boldest venture yet, Honey Social – a stock imaging and strategic resource platform for women of color. No matter what avenue it’s through, Jendayi’s passion lies in using her creative talents to assist brands in growing their businesses into visually appealing powerhouses. Jendayi, are you ready to speak to the imceo community?

Jendayi Jackson 1:52
I am ready.

Gresham Harkless 1:53
Awesome. Let's do it. So to kick everything off, I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit and hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story. When did you get started with all the awesome things you're working on?

Jendayi Jackson 2:02
Sure. Yeah. So that's a little background. To give you a peek into my story, I actually was raised as a dancer. So I begin my creative journey. As a dancer, I trained extensively for 15 years. And then I eventually graduated from Columbia University in New York with a degree in economics and dance. So I've always had a creative bone running through my body, but it's always been paired with the more analytical you know, I guess left side brain I'm unsure if it's the left side or the right side, but both sides of the brain Yes, put together. So I am you know, I was introduced to photography in high school. But I am I've ventured off that track and spent much of my early career focus on financial analyst work at companies like the Washington Post and Boeing and Sallie Mae in Essence magazine as well. But I did feel the need like when my for my dance career closed, I did feel the need to replace it with something else creative, which was that that photography piece, so that's been my outlet. Since you know, corporate America days. And I, like you said in the bio, I pursued photography in a more meaningful way and officially started to die Asha creative about, I want to say 10 years ago now. So I've been primarily doing that. And then I just recently started a new company called honey social, which I think we're gonna get into more when it comes to how I serve my clients. But yeah, that's a that's a quick backdrop of my story been married for 10 years as well have a little dog. And so yeah, just over here in Washington, DC doing a thing and, and pushing forward with our missions and our and our, our legacy, if you will.

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Gresham Harkless 3:57
Nice. I absolutely love that. And I love that legacy piece. Because I think so many times when we forget, like all the actions we're taking, are building into that, that legacy aspect. But I love how you have, you know, both of the sides of the brains that we kind of talked about, because I think so many times, especially in entrepreneurship and business, obviously you need to have kind of like the systems and everything in place. But so many times when we're trying to solve problems, which I think is at the heart of entrepreneurship, you have to have that creative minds, you have to be able to kind of thing in a different way think outside the box, so to speak. And those are a lot of times where a lot of those solutions come from.

Jendayi Jackson 4:31
Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, it's it's one of the things that makes me unique, you know, in my business is that I do have both sides and that I have spent years developing decades developing both sides individually. So yeah, for sure, you know, I wouldn't be where I am without being able to marry both to give my clients and serve people the way that I do.

Gresham Harkless 4:55
Absolutely. I love that. And so I know you touched on it a little bit and I did as well when I read your book. Can you take us through your businesses and what exactly you do to serve your clients?

Jendayi Jackson 5:03
Absolutely. So honey social, as you mentioned, is a stock imaging and education platform catering to a woman of color, I actually call my, my ideal client, a woman with a little honey, cinnamon and brown sugar in their soul. I like that little tagline I throw in there. So it's a two-prong business. So stock imaging, you know, when you're prepping your your Instagram grid, or you're trying to stay consistent on social media or whatever platform you are, are on, you oftentimes feel like you have nothing to post. So in a nutshell, that's what honey social serves to fill. That need of being able to have content at your fingertips that represents who we are as people of color. So that's the stock imaging portion then strategic resources. I think what I love most about honey, social are the the monthly strategic guides and templates that provide you with further information on how to grow your business, right? Because what's the point? And I say this all the time, like what's the point of beautiful images if you don't know what to do with them, like if you don't know how to use them purposefully. So you know, we're discussing inside of honey social inside the membership, how to increase productivity, and like how to make money with Facebook groups and planning for the end of your holiday season or everything you need to know about the hashtag. So you know, the idea is to serve the masses through honey social in a meaningful way so that you can grow your business through consistent stock imaging and then strategic resources as well. So it's kind of like, like what we've been talking about and, and what's intrinsic to who I am the creative with the business side as well. So um, so that's funny social, then I also, as you mentioned, I am the owner of Jendayi Asha creative, which special specializes in brand strategy, content creation, and visual design for brands and influencers. So we're passionate about social media marketing, creating clean, original content for women-centric brands, personal work, company branding, work, Instagram curation, website, design all those things, from soup to nuts, that help you create your story. And it's for people who are committed to growing their engagement in their business.

Gresham Harkless 7:23
Nice, I absolutely love you know, both of those businesses that you have. And it just kind of reminded me, I use this equation a lot where I say visibility plus resources equals success. And it kind of hits on what exactly you were talking about is, obviously we're trying to get our name out there and get our brand out there as accurately as possible, which is why I love everything you've been able to create. But I think just like you said, like when you have that traction going, and you have the clients coming in? Is your foundation in place? Do you have those resources that you can lean on to really scale and grow the business and serve the clients as you're able to do as well?

Jendayi Jackson 7:56
Yes, absolutely agree with that.

Gresham Harkless 7:58
Awesome, awesome, awesome. So now I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for yourself or your business or a combination of both. But what do you feel kind of session part of machining?

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Jendayi Jackson 8:08
So I think I kind of touched on it. So I'll speak on it a little bit more. So it is that marrying of the creative side with the business or the strategy side of it. So I, like you said systems and processes are important. I'm not able to serve the clients that I do without those processes. I'm really, really, really organized. Like it drives me actually insane when things aren't how to order. And so I have a very clean back end of my business that allows me to serve the clients, my clients in the way that I do. But I would say since we already touched on that, I think another unique selling proposition of mine is that I, I'm a professional, but I'm also a human being. And I feel like sometimes we lose sight of that when we're serving clients, right, we come to the table, we want to be professional, we want to be an expert, but I think that what makes us more relatable is when we're able to share the vulnerabilities and the transparent pieces of it and you know, sometimes maybe not be so expert or share when we're not so expert in certain areas. So I like to you know, when working with people turn everything into a conversation like I don't want to preach, I don't want to teach, you know, at you all the time, like let's just have like this friendly, you know, kind giving relatable conversation when we're working so that it feels like I'm your friend at you know, in the middle or beginning or at the end of our engagement together. Like it's not all about the money. It's not all about you know, showing up with my CEO hack on all the time. So I feel like you know, I or seems like I know everything, right? I don't want to, I don't want to look like that. I want to be someone that someone sees as a person in their corner who can help them and share when, you know, when I've also been down or when things didn't work out for me or you know, the things in my company that isn't working out so well, that I can share so that someone else doesn't go through the same thing. So I think that that's, that's probably my most unique selling proposition is that I just, I'm all the way down to earth with it, like I'm not, I'm not going to sell you something that I don't know, you know, I'm not, I'm not gonna be sitting in front of you with, you know, glasses on and heels. And you know, not let you know exactly who I am. From the heart. I think that that's, that's important.

Gresham Harkless 10:51
Definitely, I absolutely appreciate that. And so I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an apple book or a habit that you have. But what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Jendayi Jackson 11:03
Honey book, honey book, honey book, honey book, it is a platform, it's a customer relationship management platform that I used to, like you said, free my mind for the more for the creative stuff that I really want to do. So honey book helps me manage my clients, proposals, contracts, invoicing, brochures, all that good stuff, all of it is inside that one tool. And it literally has saved me so much time, because there's the ability to save email templates. So you're not writing the same email over and over and over again, it has a workflow process set up inside of it. So you can create workflows for your business so that when someone inquires of your services, the workflow immediately kicks in and shoots off emails and brochures, and contracts and all the kind of things that you need to do to secure a client.

Gresham Harkless 11:58
So now I want to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. So this could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice, it might be something you would tell a client or if you were to happen to a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

Jendayi Jackson 12:09
start with your foundation. So what that means is to build your blueprint for your business first. And I'm not necessarily talking about a business plan, because I know a lot of us, you know, think that that's the first thing that you should do. And that's great. But what I'm talking about when I say like brand blueprints is understanding your story, understanding your story, understanding what you sell, versus what your offerings are. And sometimes people confuse the two or think they're similar, but they're not your offerings. Are you know, what? Rather, what you sell is what are the pain points that you're trying to solve for someone and then your offerings, or what packages or services or products are going to help you to solve those pain points. So your story, what you sell your offerings, what makes you unique, I mean, you even accent and the questions that you've given me so far, who your offerings are for, like, all these things need to be laid out and crystal clear before you do anything visually for your business.

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Gresham Harkless 13:13
Awesome, awesome. Awesome. So now I want to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO and rolled out different quote-unquote, CEOs on the show. So in Jendayi, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Jendayi Jackson 13:24
Because I think it's, it's pretty, it's pretty clear that you have to be a visionary, I think you have to have some insight or some outlooks into what you want for your company and how it's going to impact others. I think we talked about impact and legacy earlier on, I think that's important so that you can know the direction of where you're trying to go. So being a visionary, I think that's one thing. Of course, being a leader, you know, being a leader, be setting, setting the example, amongst the masses, so that you can show them by action,

Gresham Harkless 14:03
such and I truly appreciate that definition and perspective. And I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do was passionate Mike, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know and of course, how best they can get ahold of you and find out about all the awesome things that you're working on.

Jendayi Jackson 14:18
Yeah, sure. So I am an open book. I love going into my email in the morning and seeing an email from someone who, who met me through a training or who saw my work somewhere and just wanted to say hello, or just wanted to have a conversation about what they're doing and what their hopes and dreams are. So I welcome that to anyone who's listening like I just want to be there. Um, you know, like I said earlier, it's not about it's not always about money. I think I saw that on someone's Instagram posts when they were asked like, how do you you know, get that effect on your photos or how do you have them so crystal clear. And she just, you know, spilled her guts and spilled all the secrets and she said it's not all about money, it's just about sharing and I feel the same way ever since seeing that I just feel like I want to lead my life in a way that I can be a resource to anyone who needs me. Of course, you know, I want to be there's a line there's always a lot of people where you know time does equal money so there's that but if anyone hearing wants to just reach out to me, feel free to do so at Hello at my business email it for honey social, specifically is and then on social media, you will be able to find me @jendayiasha that's my personal account. And then @jendayiashacreative for business. And then @honeysocialco for honey social.

Gresham Harkless 15:53
Awesome, awesome. And and to make it even easier, we will have the links and information in the show notes just so that everybody can follow up with you. But I truly appreciate you know, everything you're doing all the awesome work that you've done in the time that you provided today. I think, as you talked about, you know, the definition is being of influence and I think being having those conversations, having those connections, sharing and really giving your best self to every aspect in every interaction that you can is definitely a great way to do that. So I appreciate you for doing this today. And I hope you have a phenomenal rest today.

Outro 16:22
Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at IAMCEO.CO. I am CEO is not just a phrase, it’s a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and everywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe and leave us a five-star rating. Grab CEO gear a This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

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