Small Biz Celebrity: Kay McHenry

kay-mchenry

Tell me a little about you and your background.

Well, I certainly didn’t start out with a plan to become a Divorce Concierge or Career Coach, because those careers simply did not exist when I was starting out. I did, however, always have the desire to help others in some way. I actually have a degree in Communications, with a major in advertising & public relations and a minor in psychology.

My first jobs were in the advertising industry up in New York City. Yes, I actually did work on Madison Avenue. I did that throughout my twenties. When I married, I decided to go into sales and got my real estate license.  I was pretty good, too, becoming Rookie of the Year with Weichert Realtors.

A relocation, due to my spouse’s career, forced me to re-invent myself; I entered the Career Services field. I found great satisfaction in helping people through job loss and into their next careers. At this point, I received my Career Coach Certification and decided to build a non-profit organization, The First Impression Career Closet, that provided interview and workplace clothing to women transitioning out of welfare into work. I also decided to start my own business, First impression Career Coaching.

When my marriage fell apart, I continued with career coaching, but I had such a burning desire to help women experiencing divorce that I was compelled to start the business I run today. I have been able to expand the reach of the work I do through several publishing opportunities. I share parts of my story in Journey to Joy and Pathways to Vibrant Health and Well-Being, anthologies published by Powerful You! Publishing. I have also self-published The Divorce Concierge is at Your Service, which outlines the system I use to take my clients ‘from fear to fearless’ as they travel through the life transitions of divorce and job loss. 

Tell me how you came to be an entrepreneur or small business owner. 

The business that I run now, Women on the Mend Empowerment Services, was formed after I had gone through a long and adversarial divorce several years ago. It was difficult for me to find the resources and support I needed that would have made this life transition less traumatic. So I designed a system that would provide my clients with resources, strategies, resource management and support – everything I wished I had during my divorce.

How did you know it was time to get a website online and what were you looking for in a designer?

When people are going through a life crisis, such as a divorce or job loss, they immediately seek out information to help them create a game plan. I need to be where the people are searching for information – and that is on the internet.

My website helps build a sense of familiarity and trust with prospective clients, even though we have not met in person. I can offer my services and books through a website and that makes it easy for folks to make that investment in their future.

I needed a web designer who was down-to-earth and who could explain technical processes in a way I could understand. I don’t always need to understand how something was accomplished. I just wanted it done! My website needed to look the way I had envisioned and function as I needed, plus I needed to be able to do simple tasks such as adding text, events and blog posts on my own. It was also important that I be able to continue my relationship with my web designer after the initial website was designed, so that I had a resource for questions, concerns, revisions and updates.

What is your favorite or the most rewarding thing about having an online presence?

People can find me through a web search at any hour of the night or day. They will know a bit about me before they decide to purchase my books or services. And I can’t deny that I get a kick out of turning on my computer and finding orders for my books and services waiting for me.

What is your least favorite or the most challenging thing about having an online presence?

Staying up-to-date and relevant with new content can be daunting. I schedule Facebook and blog posts several months in advance so that I always have some activity going on. I overlap those scheduled posts with informational articles and messages pertaining to my business and any events I have.

What is your email marketing tool of choice, and why?

I have found that VerticalResponse works best for me.

Kay McHenry is an author, speaker and coach who specializes in developing innovative programs that take her clients from fear to fearless. When faced with life on her own after a twenty-year marriage that ended in a contentious divorce, Kay not only started her own business, Women on the Mend Empowerment Services, but decided to speak and write about her own personal experiences to motivate others to embrace their life transitions and design a life they love. Find her on Facebook right here.