Durham entrepreneur aims to help other women of color brand their business

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Durham entrepreneur with her own branding company has her mind set on helping other women of color succeed.

As many people, especially women, are leaving their jobs amid the pandemic, Kiara Lyles of Natural Boss Creative is offering helpful tips for those looking to switch careers or finally start something of their own.

"It takes nothing to just do it," said Lyles. "You only fail if you don't do it."

Self-taught through what she likes to call YouTube University, Lyles launched Natural Boss Creative as an undergraduate student at North Carolina A&T, helping other young, budding entrepreneurs create business cards and flyers.

By junior year, she was taking on more seasoned business owners, offering solid services but with little know-how on messaging.

"She didn't have a website, she didn't have branding so for her to sell out and sell out the way she did--that was the moment for me where I was like I can really do this- I can really help people with their businesses," said Lyles of one of her early clients.

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Lyles has targeted her business toward other women of color and women-owned service-based businesses.

"Me as a woman of color myself, I have seen kind of the disadvantages that women have whether it comes to coming up against men or as women of color just coming up against anyone who isn't," she said. "Being able to set them up for success, it brings me a different type of joy."

Lyles noticed near the onset of the pandemic that many clients were eager to invest in themselves.

"They were wanting to get their branding in order so they could charge more so they could leave their jobs eventually," Lyles said.

If that sounds like you, Lyles has some advice to get you started with branding.

"I would say first and foremost is being yourself," she said. "If they can't trust you, if they feel like you're putting on some facade for them, then they aren't going to want to work with you."

Lyles also warns against focusing on what other people in your industry are doing--you could lose your momentum.

"Your journey is your own," she said. "It's very easy to get caught up in other people's successes."

Lastly, know your target audience.

"I always tell my clients that marketing to everyone is marketing to no one," she said.

Lyles has worked with more than 100 clients since launching Natural Boss Creative in 2018 and is currently taking on about two every month.
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