Krystal Covington Show Notes
Krystal Covington is CEO & Founder of Women of Denver, a social enterprise association that helps professional women develop their business skills, build confidence, and earn their worth as business leaders. The organization launched in 2014, and has hundreds of active members.
Krystal has presented a TEDx Talk, contributes to Forbes, and has been featured in numerous media outlets, including the Denver Business Journal.
Most passionate about
- Today, I’m most passionate about the membership organization that I lead that is called Women of Denver. When I started it, I called it, for quite a while, a passion project because I didn’t want to call it ‘work’.
- I moved to Denver, Colorado and was inspired to create a network for myself because I was lonely, I needed connections, and I wanted it to be the right kind of people. People that were passionate, career driven, open, and looking to create authentic and close relationships.
- It’s interesting because I’m shy and like to be on my own, but even people that like to be alone need connections.
- I was able to build that and pretty fast, I felt there was a need for that among other people and it started to get bigger and bigger until I turned it into a full fledged organization with membership dues, meetings, and a mission and we have been growing it since and lately we launched our magazine…
- The future is very bright and I see so much more, like the magazine and an app that we are going to launch.
Who are the community’s members?
- The people that we attract to Women of Denver are women that want to make an impact, help others, and care about making a difference in the world and the community.
Krystal’s best advice about approaching customers
- I think the most important thing is continue to keep your customers in the loop of everything you are doing, everything that you plan, and everything you ask them.
- Test out new things and don’t be afraid to fail. I failed a few times. Your customers can tell you what they want and you should pay attention to what they say and also what they do and how they act.
- When I started, I did a prelaunch. First, I asked people, and then I told them that I created what you said you want, are you with me? And I asked them to buy a full year membership to let me know that they were with me, and they did. I had a goal to how many people I need to sign in order to decide to open it up.
- And I keep asking before any new move or thing that I want to start or change, before I started to invest in that idea.
Biggest failure with a customer
- I had a couple of failures that I can share. With Women of Denver in the very early days, I had an expectation that we need a lot of events right away, and we had 4-5 events in a month but we didn’t have a large number of members, so people got disappointed and didn’t get what they wanted out of the events, and the number of members was going down then, because it looked like we weren’t successful. So, I lowered the number of events, and people that came saw more people and the numbers of members started to grow. And it happened because I thought people wanted something they didn’t really want, and I didn’t understand. As soon as I figured it out, I was able to redirect.
- Earlier, I had an eBay business and I went bankrupt. It was the very early days of eBay; there was these popup stores, and I had a business for wigs, mainly for people that lost their hair because of cancer or disease, and also many other people, as well as celebs, bought the wigs and were very happy with them. I bought the wigs in China and had pretty good margins, but I didn’t realize that things were changing and that prices were going down and people started to buy directly from China. We had to sell the wigs in a loss, my business crashed, and we went bankrupt.
Biggest success due to the right customer approach
- I think that the moment I realized that I’m doing something right was the moment that I decided to stop making so many discounts. Prices went up and the people came to us and were willing to pay were the people that got the value. And then the membership numbers started to grow, and it just felt right.
Recommendation of a tool for customer focus, marketing, or sales:
- We are very simple when it comes to tools. What helped us to gain more good customers – and I know it’s under fire right now, but for us what’s working is Facebook Ads and Instagram Apps.
- Another thing that is really helpful, since setting meetings with me is a complicated issue; I use a product called Calendly, I embed it at our site so people can schedule a meeting with me.
- And the last thing I really think you need is a tool for keeping in touch, like an email list or Facebook bots. People want to feel they are part of something and it’s important to continue the relationships with them.
A person who impact Krystal’s “customer approach and focus” that led to success
- Most of the people that helped me were from my close circle. Women that set with me, answered my questions and gave me the blueprint of how they succeeded and told me how to do certain things that will help me to succeed as well.
- I was also inspired by Daymond John’s book, The Power Of Broke. He talks about how you are able to expand your creativity when you are forced to work with fewer resources – money. So, some times it’s a benefit.
Was there a moment when Krystal felt she stopped chasing after customers and started to attract them?
- It was when I decided to stop over discounting and stop going to events trying to know people and convince them to come to our community. The point when you feel you don’t have to go after people any more and they just come by themselves due to word of mouth is a true joy.
Krystal’s key success factor?
- The first thing that came to my mind is my partner. Having someone that cares and is always there to keep me on track was the most important thing for me. Entrepreneurship is hard, and you have so much responsibility for your venture and for your customers.
Since we believe that the best way for entrepreneurs to get a fast, big, and sustainable success is by leading your (new) market category, and the entire entrepreneurial journey reminds me of mountaineering, or conquering the mountain; I want to ask you if there is a mountain you dream of climbing or a mountain you have already climbed?
- I live in Denver, Colorado and we are among many mountains and I always was kind of nervous about mountains. I used to climb send dunes, but not mountains. And I have yet to climb a mountain here. So this summer, there is an organization that I’m a part of, they are going to venture out and do a fourteener (a mountain peak with an elevation of at least 14,000 feet); it is my goal to go with them either this year or next year.
The best way to connect with Krystal
Krystal on social media:
- Calendly – since setting meetings with me is a complicated issue; I use a product called Calendly, I embed it at our site so people can schedule a meeting with me.
- Connexa – A service for managing community members that allows you to have their information versus a Facebook group where you do not have access to personal information
- The Power of Broke by Daymond John
More resources for Entrepreneurs
- Don’t Miss – Customer Focus Strategy & Execution: Market Analysis for Fundraising
- Hayut Yogev’s Latest post: The three free, most practical steps to researching and locating your market
- Former interview: REACH OR MISS – the truth about the chances of an entrepreneur to succeed