Don’t lower your price, increase your value.
Jessa Black is the CEO & Creative Director of LIVALTO, a creative agency that specializes in brand building, creating beautiful Instagram pages, curating brand influencers, and designing ad campaigns for vegan, cannabis, and female-led companies. With nearly a decade of experience in the design and advertising industry, Jessa has worked with a variety of brands across the US, including Winn-Dixie, MTV’s Spencer Pratt, & Syneron Candela.
After holding several corporate roles that lacked a creative-edge, Jessa ventured out to build LIVALTO and partner with other freelancers to offer a wide-range of services. Her company focuses on gaining exposure for clients on Instagram through authentic engagement and bold content. LIVALTO focuses on the user’s experience and implements that into their web, print, and social media designs.
Jessa recently moved to San Diego from Brooklyn, NY – with a brief pitstop in Jacksonville, FL. In her free time, you can catch her chasing palm trees, strolling around downtown, or at the nearest coffee shop (that serves Matcha) working on her newest passion project.
Where did the idea for LIVALTO come from?
I was a recent grad, and struggled to find a position that allowed me to express myself and that really put creativity at the forefront. LIVALTO, a portmanteau for “Living All Together” was originally planned to be a social network for connecting community members in unconventional ways. During the concept process, I felt there was a larger, more-creative mission to achieve. I wanted to actually build brands out of people’s passions and uniquely market them right to their core audiences on social media.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My days are pre-planned out as far as my project workload and I start at around 9. I tend to schedule any long phone calls on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, and face-to-face meetings for Thursdays. This helps me manage the time I need to spend in front of the computer working on actual projects.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Getting to know the business/brand is what really brings ideas to life. I love to meet clients in their place of business and take in the entire experience. If it’s a brand I’ll get samples, and carry them with me around town in case a photo opportunity arises.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One trend that excites me is influencer marketing and being up close and personal with the faces of my favorite brands.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
For social media, I like to build strategies 30-90 days in advance with my clients. This way I’m able to pre-schedule everything all at once and leaves me some time for in real life captures.
What advice would you give your younger self?
To my younger self, I would say to not let any negativity affect you. I would suggest to my self to find a more positive friend circle, and pick up as many hobbies as possible to keep busy!
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I believe that work can be play as well, so when people talk about life/work balance, I don’t agree.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Engage with the brands you’re interested in working with.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Adding value to my packages has really helped grow my business, rather than lowering my prices to secure a client, I’ll add in 1-2 things from a larger package to accommodate.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One failure I’ve made is to be lenient on payments. I love what I do so much that sometimes I let hours slip through the cracks and underestimate my worth. I’ve learned this lesson too many times, so I streamlined the financial structures, rates and packages which allowed me to overcome that obstacle.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I’m really into boxes and subscription boxes. If you’re struggling to find what to do with your passion, turn it into a box of some kind. I recently helped a friend build a baby gift box company focused around sea turtles, because her passion was saving the sea turtles. Anything is possible these days!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently spent $100 on a lifestyle photo shoot for my personal instagram, which was a first to me. I was able to try something outside of my comfort zone, understand how my clients feel when I throw them behind a camera, and also get some solid content!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Google Docs/Sheets/Slides has been such a great tool for my business. Having real-time interaction with my clients and employees all in one place is a blessing.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“100 Unknown Women Who Built Cities, Sparked Revolutions, and Massively Crushed it“. I think it’s important to know who paved the way for us. The women in this book are such an inspiration and really motivate you to take chances and be bold.
What is your favorite quote?
“The only way to support a revolution is to make your own.” ― Sophia Amoruso
• Your business ideas may change a few times before coming full circle
• Pre-plan your social media strategies
• Organizing your week by phone calls, meetings, photo shoots, etc helps you find a day of the week to focus on passion projects.
• Don’t lower your price, increase your value
• Check out 100 Unknown Women Who Built Cities, Sparked Revolutions, and Massively Crushed it – for some female inspiration.
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