Interview with Organizer Nikki Boyd on YouTube, Virtual Organizing, + more

Interview with Organizer Nikki Boyd on YouTube, Virtual Organizing, + more

 
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Nikki Boyd is the creator of the popular lifestyle brand At Home With Nikki on YouTube. She also offers professional organizing services in the Charleston, SC area and all over the world via "virtual organizing".

My interview with her covered all kinds of topics, including how she got started on YouTube, things she's learned from her audience, and how she found out that being a professional organizer was a real business.

Enjoy the full transcript below the video!

Jen:

Hey, Nikki. I'm so happy to have you here. So, Nikki has a wonderful wonderful YouTube channel that she has been doing for about five years, and we're gonna talk to her all about that because I know you guys have questions! I'm sure you have questions about it because that's probably how most of you know her… but Nikki also has some new projects going on this year, including that she started offering one-on-one organizing services in her local area, as well as virtual organizing, which is a really cool thing that I know a lot of people want to know about. So we're going to chat with her about that. So, Nikki, I would love for you to tell us a little bit about how you started your channel and how you got into this whole organizing thing and then we'll go from there.

 

Nikki:

Sure! So first of all HI to everyone! Well how I started was just on a whim. I was living in the UK, my husband was in the Air Force, and so while traveling with him, I've always had to change jobs here and there, and wherever we went I started fresh. And so when he retired and he moved back to Charleston, South Carolina, he was like, “it's time to follow your dreams.” I thought, okay my dream is to be a housewife, sit at home and watch TV all day.

 

Jen:

Yeah -- “How can I make money doing that?” (laughs)

 

Nikki:

I know, right? (laughs) But you know it only lasts so long, and then you get bored. At least I did. So I was like, okay what do I want to do? and I remember when I was in the UK I went to a crafting party, and the lady that hosted it said that sometimes she made YouTube videos showing her crafts. So I didn't think anything of it at the time. I really didn't know too much about YouTube, but when I got back to Charleston I thought, let me try this. So one day I got a little camera, I did not even know how to work the video feature on the camera, and I recorded how to put together a teacup lamp.

 

Jen:

That was your first video?

 

Nikki:

Very first video. So for a couple weeks I didn’t show anyone but my mom, but eventually I posted it and that's how it started. I just kept posting and posting -- then I started getting noticed and more viewers. Of course it took a while, but I just stayed consistent and whoa!  

 

Jen:

That is so awesome. So is that first video still up on your channel?
 

Nikki:

Unfortunately yes. (laughs)
 

Jen:

So we can go back and see your progression?

Nikki:

Oh my goodness yes it’s very cringe-worthy, but yes, I did not take it down. It is there for everyone to enjoy and it is a treat, I tell you.
 

Jen:

That is so funny. So you started with craft stuff and then moved on to organizing videos?

 

Nikki:

No, it was basically just organizing my home and that's how I got the name of my channel “At Home With Nikki.” So I was basically just filming things I was doing around my home. If I was organizing a closet, I filmed organizing a closet. Whatever I was doing at home, I filmed.

 

Jen:

That is so awesome. You said it grew kind of slowly at first, and then it really started to take off, right?
 

Nikki:

Yes, yes. It took about two years of me constantly posting content on a weekly basis, and then another YouTuber ran across my video and she had a larger following. She shouted me out and from that I hit my first big boost. Many of you may know her channel, OrganizedClutterBug.
 

Jen:

That is so cool. So now you have a team working with you behind the scenes to create your content. I would imagine that takes the bulk of your time, just figuring out what to do next?
 

Nikki:

I have the most amazing team. I have to say that, first of all, because when I knew that I was transitioning to being a professional organizer, I knew that AtHomeWithNikki would still be one unit. I was going to incorporate my YouTube channel and all of my blogging and everything that I do into one business. I didn't want two separate entities.  So bringing on a team, they knew that this is going to be one crazy job because not only do they help me handle the professional organizing side, they also help me handle the social media, YouTube, working with brands, and all kinds of things. So never a dull moment around here. (laughs)


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Jen:

So I have a question for you. When you started doing organizing videos, were your viewers somewhat aware that there were professional organizers who do that one-on-one with people? Was that in your awareness that that was also a career that you could do?
 

Nikki:

No, no. Not at all. The more I got into YouTube, the more my content drifted towards the organizing. Then I did learn that people do this as a profession, and it was really a big thing, but starting out, I had no clue.

 

Jen:

Okay, so, oh my gosh. I have so many questions. So you told me on the phone a couple months ago that you had no idea there were so many professional organizers who followed your channel, right?
 

Nikki:

No, not until I came to you. By the way, I am a Super Jen fan! You are awesome. I have to say this, I'm going to be honest. When I knew I was starting the business, I was doing all my research and the first thing I hit was NAPO. I hit NAPO, and I'm looking, and I’m like okay -- so then I hit Jen, and I’m like, what!! It was just like I was HOME -- and I was so energized with my business and I felt motivated! So I am a huge Jen fan. You do no wrong in my eyes, Jen.
 

Jen:

That is making my week! Thank you so much. That is so sweet. Well and when you joined my group, I had people who got all excited -- like “Nikki?! I follow every one of your videos!” and you said to me... It was surprising to you that a lot of the girls who are my girls, they're your girls, too. They said that you're one of the biggest inspirations for looking up how to organize different areas.
 

Nikki:

It really blew me away -- because when I first joined the group and made a post, and then I saw all these comments, all my friends out there, I was like, "I didn’t know you were all organizers, too!” So it was really amazing.
 

How did you become a professional organizer?

Jen:

Yeah that is awesome. So here's one of my big questions: At what point did you know that you really wanted to start working with people one-on-one? Especially because you've gotten to this point with your YouTube channel where that is your full time job and that obviously is gonna take a lot of your time. But what was the process, was it a conversation with a specific person or with your husband or when did you say, I really want to expand At Home With Nikki?

 

Nikki:

Well actually, in the process of doing my videos, you wouldn't believe the amount of friends out there that I have connected with. Just the letters and everything, the communication and how much I helped them with this or that. One lady, it just blew me away… She told me she was literally in her bed for two years. She couldn't get out of her bed because her husband had passed away. She had three kids, and my videos got her out of her bed. And for the first time she organized her refrigerator and showed me pictures of how she prepared her kids lunch, and she hadn't done that in two years. I'm like “Wow!” and it just... I just have a huge passion for it. I just grew into it, and I knew at some point with YouTube that I was ready to take it to another level. I felt like I was reaching tons of friends worldwide, but I wasn't really doing a lot in my own community. I felt like I wanted to do something at home.

"I'm an entrepreneur at heart, and I knew that this was the way to go. And that's the thing about this business, too. It's one thing to love organization and doing that, but to be in business is a whole different baby. So you really have to have a passion for business along with having a passion for organizing."
 

Jen:

So that was when I crossed paths with you, when you said you were busy launching your services. So tell me about what that looks like for you. How do you manage everything that you do in a day? You have a subscription service as well, and I know your team helps you with a lot of this, but what does your week look like or how do you fit all this together? And again, I think it's really an amazing direction that you are taking this because I've met a lot of organizers who also want to start a YouTube channel or they want to do more on their blog... so I would love to hear how you make this work.
 

Nikki:

Yeah. Well, I knew going into this what was key for me was to keep the ability to stay creative. Keep the ability to do what I love, because I don't want to do anything that I don't love anymore. I just want to do what I love and what I'm passionate about.

So, I do have a wonderful team, which was a struggle for me in the beginning because I was a one-man show for so long, it was scary. For one, having the responsibility of hiring someone is a big undertaking, and then also just letting go of that control, because I have control issues. So I’m growing my team. So with my business now what I do is we have blocks of time for certain things, and so I know that I can do 12 virtual organization sessions a week. We know that we can have 24 clients on the books at one time. We know that Nikki cannot do more than 24 clients on the books at one time. And so we have those blocks of time set for new appointments, we have lots of times set for going out meeting with clients, and they have to fit into those times or we can't service because I have to produce content.

So, Mondays are blocked out for just strictly recording video, and I do have someone editing the video, but it's important for me to film because I need to stay connected with my viewers and I don't want to get all business. I want to stay connected and so I want that camera shaking; I want them to know that yeah, Nikki is behind the camera because it's going all over the place! So it's important for me to still film. Sometimes my team helps me with film, but 90% of the time it's me, and so I do have to help with the editing part, but we have it structured. It's like a well-oiled machine, but it's very structured as far as the time. And they are so wonderful because they allow me to be creative. Like when I have an appointment, the only thing that I have to do is have them tell me “okay it's time”. I pull the file, sit down, and I can spend that time with that client and really focus on that client without having all of the “okay -- send an invoice, and do all this” and all the crazy stuff behind the scenes. I'm not having to deal with that, so it helps me really be able to help and focus with my client.

 

Jen:

Okay, so you believe in focusing on your strengths and letting other people help you with your stuff right, that’s something we talked about, yeah?

 

Nikki:

Yeah, they know it, and they know me well.

 

How do you do virtual organizing?

Jen:

So here's the million dollar question: We all want to know a little bit more about virtual organizing, because that is something that some people experimented with or they've seen that other people offer it. They would love to know a little bit more, and I think each organizer probably does this a little bit differently but how… You mentioned to me and I hope you don't mind me saying this.. you said at first you were like, I'm not really sure if this is gonna work out that great, but then you started getting into it with people, and you were like, okay I see how I can help people, even remotely. So tell us how it works for you. How do you get them to send pictures, video? Tell us about your process.

 

Nikki:

So what happens is they typically contact us and then my assistant speaks with them and she does all the marketing. She sells the packages and then we talk afterwards. So after she meets with them, they send her pictures, and then I look at the pictures and (we use Trello by the way... that's what we use to communicate here in the office) I'll put the pictures in Trello, and I can see the client’s information and then I basically say, hey this is a three session package, or this is a six session package, or whatever it is. They do all the invoicing and scheduling, and then I meet with the client. Now when I meet with them... at first I really was like, I don't know about this, because it's the computer -- and I'm not touching anything. They're doing all the work -- how is this gonna work? But I love it. I love it.

 

Jen:

Tell us more. Why do you love it?

 

Nikki:

Well, I love it for the fact that I didn't think that I could really help the client not being there, and that concerned me, because I was not going to take anyone's money if I truly was not helping them. And so I quickly learned that I can help them virtually -- and we hustle! And they tell my assistant all the time, “oh she’s so good with that camera! I can't get away with anything,” because I catch it all!

 

Jen:

So do they always organize while you're on the phone?

 

Nikki:

Oh yes! We're doing it together. We're going through all the files, we’re going through all the papers. They position the phone so I'm right there, and I'm pushing them along -- “oh you don’t need that. Let’s move it along, come on.” And we're seeing the progress after. Now, one thing that was key for me, even though it was virtual, I still wanted some type of connection with them that was more tangible. So what I do is all their labels. If we're organizing a filing cabinet, we create the labels here, and send them to the client so that they don't have to do that work.

 

Jen:

That's nice -- that's really nice.

 

Nikki:

Yeah, and so I feel like that's a way to connect with them instead of just all virtual. They feel like I'm really more connected to the session that way.

 

Jen:

So obviously a lot of people you're working with have gotten to know you through your videos. So they have this special connection -- or it feels like that probably to them already because they're like, “I finally have the opportunity to work with somebody who already inspires me.” So do you think that that's part of what makes it work so well? That they really want to do well for you, and with you, and keep up their results and their progress?

 

Nikki:

I do. I think so far with I would say 90% of my clients, I already feel a connection when I meet them because they know me from YouTube, or we’ve been in chit chat over the years or some connection. So they know a lot about me. I may not know as much about them, but they know about me. So the time that we need to get to know each other is very minimal because we have a little bit of a connection there. That does work really well, and that's important especially with being virtual. Because when you're virtual, you can tend to be a little cold because you're not there, so establishing that rapport is so important.

 

Jen:

So when you launched your virtual organizing services, did you announce it on YouTube or did you send out an email? How did people know that they can now actually work with you if they want to?

 

Nikki:

I added some features on the website, because my website just focused on my blog and YouTube, and things like that, so I had to tweak it a bit to fit the organizing side of it. So when I did that, they started noticing the changes in the website. I did put it in my newsletter (I send out a newsletter every Friday). I think I mentioned it on maybe one or two videos, but then we started getting a great response, so we don't really market it as much. We do put it in the newsletter and that brings us comfortable business. So we haven't done too much marketing. We need to do more probably, but right now we're at a good pace, and I don't want to get slammed. I want my customer service to stay on point and things like that. But I'm still learning, Jen, I really am. I don’t know as much about this business. I feel like a newborn baby when it comes to the whole professional organizing business. I'm going to take it a little bit slow!

 

Jen:

That is really really cool. So do you have team members that would ever work with you? (Forgive me if I don't know what direction you ended up going with this.) Do you have team members that work with people in your area one-on-one, like face to face, or are you just focusing on virtual?

 

Nikki:

Yes we do. I would say probably about 20% of our clients are face to face, maybe even less. We have not started marketing in the area. I think I did one Facebook marketing ad in my area, but other than that I haven’t. I did have some word of mouth, but we do go as a team. I mean we do it as a team. But I do want to grow in that area, but not too much because that takes more time for me to leave the office to go to sessions. So it's harder, but I do still want to go a bit more in the community.

 

Jen:

Yeah, and with your virtual organizing sessions, do you do one hour at a time or does it depend on the client? What is your usual session time?

 

Nikki:

I do two hours. I found that two hours is enough time to get a lot done without overwhelming the client. After two hours, they're spent.

 

Jen:

Well, the benefit… and I want to share this because I know a lot of people ask “how can I take on more clients when I have a limitation?” You know, hours of the day limitation, physical limitation, some kind of injury, or pregnancy, or anything like that. The huge benefit of virtual organizing is that you do not have to be there hauling their stuff out, and that is one of the hardest parts about being a professional organizer. It is a very physical job. I think it's very emotionally heavy for your client, and physically heavy for you because you're like boom boom boom, you're having to just keep going. So I'm curious, have you run across any people who are requesting virtual organizing whom you don't think it's a good fit for?

 

Nikki:

Yes actually. I can say this... my first client was probably my most challenging client that I ever had. I didn't think that they were a fit for me, but I was learning, and I was excited to do my first client. But they weren’t virtual, they were in the community. I quickly learned that they had something going on that was beyond what I could handle. So we have a screening process tightened up so that we can make sure that we service people that we know we can help.

But back to what you said about organizers being able to do this profession if they're pregnant or if they have those limitations. Virtual is perfect -- and a lot of times I noticed that when someone contacts me, it's not that they can't do it physically, it's just they need that push. They need that friend. Someone saying, “Come on, let's do this. You don't need that. Why do you have 30 files when you only use 2?” They need that, you know? So that's what the main thing is... that's why virtual really works, because they need that friend pushing them along, and you can do that over the computer.

 

Jen:

Yeah that's so awesome. So do you have people who want to do maintenance with you where they want to just do a virtual session once a month for a long time? Or are you finding some people want to work all together more like your traditional clients?

 

Nikki:

I haven’t dabbled in the maintenance yet. We don't promote that, but we should. But right now we'll go room by room, so they'll buy a package and we'll get through that package and then they'll go to another one. So that's how it's been mainly going at this point.

 

Jen:

Okay I'm not catching all the questions in the chat, but I do see one question I want to ask. Di asks, “how do you do the consultation with a virtual organizing client? “

 

Nikki:

So what we do is I'll do a 30-minute consult, and so I'll get online with them and they take me through the space so that I can see the space. It's enough time for me to see the space, know what we have to do so I can get back with them if they need to pick up anything for the session... But first thing, I'm all about decluttering, so you know 99.9% of the time, the first thing we need to do is get in there and declutter, because we need to get rid of everything and then we talk about what we need to bring in.

 

Jen:

Really cool. Okay, good. I hope that answered Di’s question. Also, have you had people that have also asked you to do some styling as well or help them style their spaces?

 

Nikki:

Yes, absolutely. And that was also new to me because I wasn't thinking about that when I started the business. I was thinking pure organization, and then everyone's asking for the styling portion of it because they're seeing that I share that on YouTube, so they wanted the combination of both. And so I do now incorporate that. We have our styling service that we kind of tacked on to the organization part of it, and really we have been getting a lot of feedback on that -- a lot of people are signing up for that also.

 

Jen:

That is so awesome! And to those watching, that should not be a surprise because Nikki is well known for her gorgeous style. She's like the last one to be aware of this, but she's wonderful with that!

 

Nikki:

Oh, thank you.

 

Jen:

Oh my gosh... it's like somebody in the group said earlier today... Everything you touch just turns to gold -- it's all so cool to watch. So let me jump back to the YouTube for a second if that's okay. What tips would you give for an organizer or a professional organizer who wanted to start doing some videos online? I've been telling people if you don't love to write, don't start a blog. If you don't love to do video, don't do video. But if you think you might want to do it, I think it’s a great idea to get on camera just a little bit. You're a perfect example of the fact that it's a great way for people to get to know you. You don’t have to make your video blog the focus of your entire business, but just a way for them to show off a little bit of their aesthetic, show a few little projects, talk to the camera and just be real.

So what tips would you give those people out there -- because I have so many ladies out there who feel so perfectionistic about everything they do, and they're just like, if I can't do it professionally, I can't do it. I'm sure you have some tips to help them get started.

 

Nikki:

Yeah I have to raise my hand because I am and I was a perfectionist for years... Only I learned that there's no such thing as perfection. But the great thing about it is you can record your video, you don't have to show it to anyone, you can practice ten times before you put it out there and see if it's a fit for you. You don't have to post anything live, but you can see how you feel about it. You can look at your project before you even post it live, or let a friend see it. But you know that because we are all professional organizers, we could really help so many people by just sharing the smallest thing. And you're passionate about it. All of us here, we're passionate about what we do, so get on there, just be passionate and be natural. Show what you love like you're talking to your girlfriend or your mom, and just do it--  try it one time. Just put yourself out there and have no fear with it. Be fearless.

 

Jen:

Be fearless! That's such good advice. It’s so hard I guess, but you know I try to tell people just to keep doing the things that scare them a little bit, and that is how you grow. You don’t have to do live video.

 

Nikki:

I had the biggest fear of Facebook Live, but I've been trying to just challenge myself to do it and do it and do it. But it's true, just keep challenging.

 

Jen:

Well I can definitely relate to that, because when I started doing Facebook Live, I would have never thought anybody would ever listen to me. I had no clue.

Okay so here's a couple of other things people are saying -- Adele said she just started her YouTube channel this week, and she has three videos and she is so excited. We're excited for you Adele! That’s awesome. And Sonia says, “Do it scared.”

 

Nikki:

I love that! Yeah.

 

Jen:

Yeah that is really great advice. Alright, so if anybody else has any questions please go ahead and submit them. If I missed yours already, I apologize, but we do want to answer a few questions while we're on tonight. But Nikki, can you tell us a little bit about your subscription service, and then tell us what you see coming next for you... because I was watching one of your videos today, and I see you're repeating some things seasonally, and I'm curious where you continue to get new ideas for things that you want to keep putting out there.

 

Nikki:

Yes well, you have stumps and with everything, even with your business, you go through those times of plateau and you feel like “Where am I going next?” And YouTube is like that also. So I always try to share what is going on in my life. That's the easiest road to go. Whatever it is you're doing, that is what you share. Sometime viewers will comment “Why aren’t you showing more organizing videos right now?” or whatever, and I'm like, well I’m really not doing a lot of organizing right now. But you know my clients tend to follow what's going on in my life, so that's why you'll tend to see repeats of certain things, because I may have done my closet three years ago, and I'm going back and I'm changing it up and I'll share that.

 

Jen:

That's so smart though, and I'm sure that's another reason why people feel like they know you: they know your home, and they've seen it evolve.

 

Nikki:

They have, and me too. Watch the first video you will definitely see a lot of growth. (laughs)

 

Jen:

That's so awesome! Alright let me see what questions are here. Layne wants to know, “how do you charge for virtual organizing?” I know you have your packages listed on your website so people can see that if they would like to. And she also asks, “do you buy supplies for your clients, or do you send the supplies list and let them purchase it?”

 

Nikki:

Well, both ways... If it's the labels, I supply that. If it's anything like bins and baskets I give them the list. My assistant creates their shopping list, she sends it to them, she follows up with them to make sure that they're prepared for the next session and all of that. So while I'm in sessions, we take measurements inside cabinets to make sure that when we choose the bins we have the proper sizes and things like that. So I'm kind of taking the load off them as far as having to shop and figure out what type of organizational solution to get.

 

Jen:

Okay perfect -- okay Sarah must know “Do you include any kind of to-do lists or homework in between the sessions for the client?”

 

Nikki:

Yes -- and my team gets on me, because a lot of times I'll finish the session and I'm all hyped after the session, and I move on to the next thing -- so now we have this thing where I stay in my office for 15 minutes after the session. I don't even open the door after the session and I write up the homework.

 

Jen:

You mean your team locks you in there.

 

Nikki:

They lock me in my office and make me do the homework. (laughs)

 

Jen:

They would have to do that to me, too. (laughs)

 

Nikki:

So you know, I take that time, and then it's fresh on my brain so I make sure that I'm getting everything in Trello and then my assistant follows up with the client to make sure that they're trucking along, that they're ready for the next session. That really truly helps us because if a client doesn't follow up, it makes the next session difficult, or we're not as far ahead as we should be. And they're paying for it, so we want them to get the most out of it.

 

Jen:

Sure definitely, definitely. Do you think your virtual clients are more or less on top of their things they need to do than your regular clients or do you see a difference between them?

 

Nikki:

I don't see a huge difference. I do feel that when I do follow up they're pretty good or they're hiding it pretty well.

 

Jen:

Yeah, because you can’t see anything behind their camera.

 

Nikki:

Yeah they could put it in another room, because I can't walk through the entire house, but yeah.

 

Jen:

They're very smart!

 

Nikki:

Yeah, but I do tell them at the end of the session “Okay don't stop yet, take this bag to the car and do this or that,” so that we can really have success with it.

 

Jen:

Definitely. Okay a couple of people want to know how you found your team, and are they contractors, are they subcontractors, or are they your employees?

 

Nikki:

No, they're my employees, and that is something that I was trying to figure out at first. I even signed up for your Build Your Team course on subcontractors to see what I wanted to go with because I just wanted to get information. It was great by the way. It really helped with my decision of which way to go. And I knew with me having the YouTube and the business, I needed a family and a team. So I knew I had to have employees and that's a whole other baby. But finding my team, I knew that for me, you don't have to have all of this job history and all this.. you just need to be creative, dedicated, a hard worker, and flexible. So I was lucky to find that in everyone that I have. So I found one place that I went for the video editing was to my local tech school because they have a filming Department. So I searched there, and that's a great resource as far as getting students that are like third, fourth year, and kind of ready to move into the workforce. But they're still in school, so it really works. Also I knew my administrative assistant already because our husbands work together. So we connected and it’s been awesome. She is a rock star.

 

Jen:

I saw pictures on your Instagram in the past few months of your entry for your office. Do you work out of your house or you have a separate office where people can come in?

 

Nikki:

Yes, that's where I'm now. This is my actual office where we all work from, and then sometimes I work from home because that's where my content is and that's where different things are. I do most of my virtual sessions here at the office, but I'm going to start doing them at home because I don't want everyone to feel like they have to be quiet because I'm in a session.

 

Jen:

Okay. Let me see what other questions I have here. Okay this is a good one. Sara asks, “Do you require your virtual clients that have certain technology or specific camera or software platforms?”

 

Nikki:

So my assistant kind of talks with the client beforehand, but we tend to use mobile phones. You can Facetime on iPhone, and if they have an Android we use Google Hangouts, and those have been the two things I've really used. I haven't used anything else because they can't move around. With the phone, they can position me where I need to be throughout the session without it taking too long and all of that. Facetime has been the most common.

 

Jen:

So when they walk you through their house very first time, they're just showing you on the phone, and they're talking you through everything? That’s brilliant.

 

Nikki:

Yeah, and so they take me around the room and I ask --  well take me in the closet -- and can I see in the drawer? I’m real nosy!
 

Jen:

That's so funny... yeah I'm the same, never shy. I'm like, you're fine with me opening all of these drawers and doors, right? They're like, oh yeah we're already at that point. (laughs)

Okay questions.. here's one from Erica. She says “I can tell from your videos that you live in the most beautiful, cleanest white house ever. Do you market your services to kid-free households mainly or do you market to the homes with children as well?” I know your children are grown, right?

 

Nikki:

Yes, and my house is not immaculate. It was immaculate when I took the picture, okay... (laughs) But no, I market to everyone. Definitely my demographic is women -- that's just my demographic. It's funny, because a guy came in, and he was coming for my business to try to market on  the radio and he was like “what do you do?” and I said “I'm a professional organizer.” He is like “what?” I said “I’m a professional organizer” and he said “what is that?” And I said “you know, I go in homes and I help you organize your space” and he was like “why would anybody pay for that?”

 

Jen:

Men do not get it. I think they just don’t understand, and that is fine... That is totally fine.

 

Nikki:

Yeah, so I know that women are my demographic, and yes I do kid-friendly homes and empty nesters, everyone.

 

Jen:

Okay awesome. Alright let's see... I’m trying to see a question that we haven't asked. Adele asked, “Have you done a video on your YouTube where you explain your consultation process?”

 

Nikki:

No I don't. Now I have a second YouTube channel, AtWorkWithNikki. So that is something I do want to do on that channel. My team and I are in the works of my starting vlogging once a week at work so that I can answer questions about the professional organizing business and so that I could take them through so they can see my struggles, my successes, and just give  a realistic picture of my day. So we are working on that.

 

Jen:

Okay fun! So yes Adele, look for that. Layne says that she wants to be you. She said this is her dream.

 

Nikki:

Is that your Layne?

 

Jen:

That's my Layne.

 

Nikki:

Your Layne -- tell her she is absolutely gorgeous and I want to be as successful as she is!

 

Jen:

She is OUR dream right? Yeah I know! A couple of other people in here want to know how many team members you currently have?

 

Nikki:

I have five. Jennifer is the administrative marketing manager. She is basically the supervisor and manages the office, and she's my everything. She's big with the subscription box. She makes sure all of that goes well and allows me to just stay with the creative part of it. Then I have Whitney, who is my organizing assistant. She handles the follow up with all of the clients, and she goes out on sessions with me. She's amazing. I have Hazel, she is my graphic artist so she does all of our graphics such as the inserts in the box and anything that deals with that.

 

Jen:

That's a huge part of the whole thing is just graphics, right?

 

Nikki:

Yes, yes it is, and I do sell printables on my website so she does all of the printables, and you know all of those things. And then Brianna, she does all of my editing for my filming, so I don't have to deal with that. So that works wonderfully and she does some other things like customer support and stuff like that. And then my husband Mike, he does all of my bookkeeping.

 

Jen:

I was wondering if he played a role in that. My new husband is gonna start doing my bookkeeping, too. I said, “Babe, you need to be hired by the company. It will be good for taxes.” (laughs)

 

Nikki:

Yes!

 

Jen:

And that's right up his alley, he loves the math. He doesn't understand the organizing thing, although I have to give him credit because I called him a hoarder at least once on my past Facebook Lives, and I have to publicly apologize for that because after us getting married and moving in and dealing with his house, he has taken off on his own and I have not had to nag him. He has really done all of his work all on his own. And I even told him at dinner tonight, “I really have to give you kudos because I underestimated how much more organized you are than me in some ways.” I mean, he really has thought methodically about so many things. But I did ask him recently like, “can you just take over like all the math stuff?”

 

Nikki:

Yes, because that’s a huge part of it. As an entrepreneur, if you cover all those things that you have to handle as a business owner it’s overwhelming, especially for the professional organizer. If you think about just the organizing part of it, that's a task in itself.

 

Jen:

It's huge. That's part of why I started Pro Organizer Studio, because I know there are a ton of women out there who have this dream of starting their business, but the web design part, the graphic design part, the marketing part, all of that is a totally different skill set than helping people. Like you're talking about, you want to help people, and you're so good at it, and your one-on-one with people is where you shine, that's your strength. But you really need some help to make it all work together, so that's why we're here, too.

 

Nikki:

That is a 100% true. I know what my limitations are, too. Even with my rebranding, it's everywhere. I rebranded my website, and we have this beautiful site and everything, and that's good and beautiful -- but I don't know how to manage a website. I am not behind the scenes with that, so I knew that was something that I wouldn’t frustrate myself by trying to take that on. I knew if I was going to invest in rebranding, I needed to be able to invest in having someone help me with it.

 

Jen:

Perfect, okay. We do have a question too about your subscription box. How did you decide to do it and what does it entail?

 

Nikki:

Well I had wanted to do this for a while, but I couldn't find the right partner to help me execute it. I didn't want the traditional subscription box with a bunch of samples and things like that. I really wanted to be able to connect with my viewer friends and I could have full control. Control freak again! (laughs) So I think it was about a two year process, but I found the perfect partners and it's going great. I send it out bi-monthly, and it's things that I love. I choose everything in the box and it's something I'm very passionate about. The great thing about it is Jennifer handles all the logistics, so that I can really just create the box. She makes the magic happen.

 

Jen:

That is so amazing -- so how long have you been doing that part?

 

Nikki:

This June, so this week my third box goes out.

 

Jen:

Oh wow. So was that something you just kind of launched through your email list and told people about?

 

Nikki:

Well, on my YouTube channel, and on my newsletter. It was a perfect fit, because over the years, I've been showing so much in my life and all these tidbits that I've used... from my dish cloth that I love and the products that I love. So now I'm able to put them in the subscription box and share them. And it was important to do it internationally, because a lot of my viewers on YouTube are international. And it’s funny, I do have some virtual organizer clients who are overseas.

 

Jen:

Oh wow, how fun is that! It’s amazing to see the impact. That's cool! So the response of the subscription box has been pretty good so far?

 

Nikki:

Oh yes. It has been a growing process, because it's all new to me with the shipping and all of those things, but we're now on the third box and everything is kind of smooth sailing, cross my fingers, it's smooth sailing now. But yeah, it was definitely something that was a new baby for me.

 

Jen:

Wow well congratulations on that new baby, you’ve had a lot of new babies this year. (Laughs)

 

Nikki:

Thank you! And you know we were talking today, and my team was laughing. I had proposed something else and they were like “oh we knew something new was coming. We knew, with you, something was coming.” I was like “yeah, I never want to stay stagnant. I'm always looking for the next thing.”

 

Jen:

You must be like me, where your brain never quite stops thinking of new stuff or how to change things a little bit.. that's a blessing and a curse I guess?! Okay, here's a question Erica says, “Before you ever did a session one-on-one with a client, did you ever take any classes or hire a professional organizer?”

 

Nikki:

No, I just went in raw. (laughs)

 

Jen:

That's exactly what I told you to do, right. Yeah you’re good at this. You know what you’re doing.

 

Nikki:

I’m a good student. So no, I didn't. But I felt like after the years of sharing and teaching online with YouTube, I felt really confident. Because I’ve helped so many people (technically virtually). It just hasn't been one-on-one, but it's just natural for me, you know?

 

Jen:

Yeah, absolutely. I see that. Okay let's see... somebody said in the comments, “editing is so time consuming. That will probably be the first team member I hire.” Editing video, yes. Okay Azanique says, “Nikki, I love your video on how you clean your office weekly with your team -- what are your suggestions for starting a similar system when working with people who are very disorganized?”

 

Nikki:

Okay -- yeah well what we do is we take the last 15 minutes of the day, and we clean as a team because technically that's like (with it being actually four of us in the office) an hour’s worth of cleaning in 15 minutes. So that's how we look at it. But if she is talking about with her business, I think that when you have a team, that team building and having people around you that are willing to just do it all, do what it takes to get the job done and they're not kind of set in their own mode because that's what we're about -- getting the job done, and we set up those systems so that we get the job done. And if you're talking about clients, you know, what if I have someone who is just extremely disorganized? My first thing is just to clear the things that are just clutter. Because a lot of times, they just have so many things that are just in the way, so they can't think. Then from that point, I try to teach them how to not hold on to things. You know, why do you get mail? For homework, I have them go online and get it all done electronically so you don't have to look at that anymore. So just give them simple tools so that they clear the clutter out of their lives.

 

Jen:

Yeah, definitely. Okay Priscilla asks “What is your best tip for somebody that wants to start on this pro organizing business”?

 

Nikki:

I would say just start, and I'm probably the worst one. I don't know. I'm probably not the best, but I am just ruthless when it comes to that. If there is something I want to do, I'm gonna do it and I'm gonna get out there and I'm going to learn. I'm going to watch YouTube videos about it. I'm going to find Jen and I'm just going to learn from people who know what they are doing. Because you can think about things for years -- and you can write all kind of notes and you can plan for years.

 

Jen:

So true--  like for years you’re stuck and you're like “I haven't figured it all out yet, so I can't start.” That's why I started wanting to talk to people like this, you know.

 

Nikki:

Yes, just get out there and just do it. And the great thing about our profession is, you don't have to have a building, you don't have to have all of these things. You can start from home, get business cards. You don’t even have to have YouTube.

 

Jen:

You don't have to have them.

 

Nikki:

No. YouTube is free, you don't need a good camera. Use your phone. Just make sure the lighting and the sound is good, but you don't need big equipment to start. That is where you can start with your marketing, you know? You have a home, your home is your place that's where you can start with your portfolio, in your own home. If you look at my website, it is my home, because literally I don’t have that portfolio of a lot of clients where I can take pictures and have that on my website. So using friends and home, that's what you do. Use your resources.

 

Jen:

Yeah I know, you're so right. I hear that from people a lot. They're saying, “Well I'm scared to put pictures of just my house before and afters out there,” and I'm like, why? Nobody has to know that, first of all, and second of all, you have got to start somewhere. If you even have one area of your house that you're like “this is cute, I can make good photos of this.” That's a great place to start with a video or with some pictures. And you're the perfect person to point to. You just said your whole house has basically been your portfolio, but you're showing your thought process in every single video that you’ve made, and that's where the magic happens. And obviously people feel your personality.

 

Nikki:

Yeah, and if you don't feel confident doing it at your home, go to your girlfriend’s house. If she has a closet that needs organizing, then say “hey, let's organize your closet and take the pictures of the before”. Use your resources, you know?

 

Jen:

Yeah absolutely, I feel the same way. Okay let’s see, Erica asked “how many years you've made YouTube videos?” I said five, but was I right?

 

Nikki:

You’re right, five years.

 

Jen:

Lisa wants to know “What types of things are in your subscription box?”

 

Nikki:

So in my subscription box, I try to theme it out every month -- so one month it may be “the little black dress”, and I just put black and white items. Or I had a tea theme, and it had tea cups and you know, things for you to make yourself feel special and just sit down and have tea.

 

Jen:

Ooh, I love that.

 

Nikki:

So I love for it to be things that you can really use and that you can't typically buy at the store. So something special for you.

 

Jen:

That is really cool. I love that because it sounds like no matter what the theme is, it’s just about a little bit of self-care and making one little spot in your house a little more beautiful, because it really does lift your spirits, and I'm sure that's what you want people to feel when they get that every month, it's very very special. That would make a great gift for your clients ladies!

 

Nikki:

There you go!

 

Jen:

I will recommend. That would be awesome. Okay let’s see. Dina asks, “How has it been as an African-American woman in this industry?”

 

Nikki:

Great! Great! I guess on YouTube, well now there's more, but when I started, I don't remember too many African-American women doing the same concept that I was doing as far as showing the home and organizing. But then quickly I noticed that there were a lot more -- maybe I didn't find them right off. I'm not really sure, but no. I don't see any difference, any struggles or anything in my clients. They're from every walk of life, so yeah.

 

Jen:

Yeah I definitely have noticed that. I've heard my clients say you know, it doesn't really matter how long somebody has been an organizer or where they came from or what their background was. It's all about who you connect with you know? And so I think that's another reason why this is such an awesome opportunity if this is something that you love to do.

 

Nikki:

Yeah that's true, that's true.

 

Jen:

And it's all about relationship building.

 

Nikki:

Relationships, and helping people. So if you connect with someone no matter what color or where they're from, some of the women that I have met here, a lot of them are from India and you know, we just we connect, and you know they may be from England, but we connect, you know? And we all have a thing in common -- we’re mothers, we’re women, we love our home. We all that have in common.

 

Jen:

That is really really cool -- that was really awesome, and you've gotten more chances than any of us probably to connect with all kinds of people who are reaching out to you and saying “I need a little bit more help than just watching a video. I need a little bit more encouragement.” And like you said, pushing them where it's needed and encouragement where that's called for. So it's just awesome to hear you talking about that. Thank you for sharing.

Okay let me do a few more questions and then we'll wrap it up. This one is so funny, because I was wondering if there was a “Nikki Boyd Method”! Okay Omega asks, “do you have any opinions on the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the Konmari method?”

 

Nikki:

You know, I do agree with it, and I think that having those things that you love is important and just clearing those other things out... You know, if you don't love it, don't keep it. The problem is I love a lot! There's a lot of things I love, so it’s hard. But you know with me… I like to have a lot of my home decor be white things, which helps me because I have so many things going through my mind. I'm a very just go-go-go person, so I need that neutral color around me to calm me. I need that peacefulness. And a lot of people think you don't have color in your house… but that makes me feel great. It makes me feel like I’m in heaven.

 

Jen:

I'm the exact same way -- I have to have neutral, because my brain is not in neutral.

 

Nikki:

Yeah, it’s very colorful! But what I do for myself is, because I’m a person that I know I love dishes, and I love things “of clutter”, so I give myself limitations. I'll say “Okay I have this cabinet that I can fill up with all the tea cups, but I can't go beyond that.” So I do appreciate that method, but I think that you should have what you love in the quantities that you feel happy with, but just give yourself reasonable limitations.

 

Jen:

So do you find that you have sort of any particular... what's the word, I guess everybody has their own sort of “method” that they bring together from their life experience as an organizer. I tell people this all the time, it's ok to be a little bit more minimalist, or a little bit more color-coded and people come from different backgrounds. So do you try to teach your clients your way of thinking, or do you try to go by their personality and adjust based on what works for them?

 

Nikki:

No, I feel that you have to go by their personality because what works for me is not gonna work for you. But that's the beautiful thing about what we do; the ability to go in, assess, and look at someone's situation, and give them tips that are going to work for them. You know, I use the binder system for my files, but that’s not going to work for everyone. They may need hanging files, or they may not even need that type of filing system. So, no, I never try to go in and make everybody do what I do. That is not my goal at all. And that keeps my job creative because it keeps me on my toes. I'm always figuring out ways to find functionality for my clients. So that is a fun part of my job; figuring out how to make their life simple.

 

Jen:

Do you think it surprises any of your clients that you are a little tougher with them than you come across in your videos or do you think that they kind of expect that?

 

Nikki:

I think a few of them were a little surprised, because they did comment to Jennifer, “Oh yeah -- she's tough,” but for the most part I make it fun. We do laugh and I'm like “Girl, don't show me another purse. Do NOT show me another purse.” (laughs) So I try to keep it fun, but I’m all about let’s get your stuff out of the house.

 

Jen:

Yeah, absolutely. Okay that is awesome. So Erica said, “as Nikki always says, your stuff that is no longer her want can be another person's blessing.” So your little mantras have definitely taken hold in their minds!

Misty asked “What has been your biggest challenge since starting, and what has been your greatest reward?”

 

Nikki:

My biggest challenge has been letting go of control. I will be honest. Like I said, I was a one-man show, so really I have an awesome team, but just having that trust and letting go. I feel like in the beginning I had a team, but I was still doing everything, because I felt like “only Nikki could do it” and that's not the case. I have great people around me. I have very smart people around me, and they can handle it. So releasing that control has been a big one for me, and I'm not all the way there, but I am doing so much better with it. That has been my biggest challenge.

The success, I would say, is just being able to manage everything and be a benefit to my clients. That's the thing that is the most important to me; being able to not start this business and forget about my YouTube family and all of my friends out there. That's so important for me. I think someone had even mentioned that to me, “We thought when you started your business, that your videos would kind of go to the side.” No, I am so passionate about them and also about my work. So being able to keep all that together has been my biggest accomplishment.

 

Jen:

That is so awesome and so inspiring. I know I speak for a lot of the girls who are watching this now and also those who will watch this on the replay. I want to just read this comment, Melody said “Nikki, you are one of the first women I started watching organization videos with on YouTube. I absolutely love your channel and your morning cleaning routine has changed my life as far as having a clean home,” and this is a professional organizer talking to you saying this to you! You have inspired her and changed her life on a personal level. And then there are so many of my girls out there saying the exact same thing, and I know there are a lot of people watching this on the replay who are going to be making even more comments along those same lines. So just from all of us, and from me, thank you so much for sharing your story and about your business.

 

Nikki:

Aw, thank you.

 

Jen:

It's incredible, and it's so neat that you like you said, we just started that very first video and you're like here goes nothing, right? And to come along on this journey and to know that you have impacted so many people who are now more organized in their own lives and more stylish in their own lives. And I haven't even asked you to comment on the fact that organizing videos on YouTube are so addictive. People love it!

 

Nikki:

Or even watching someone clean, it's like you could just sit and watch it all day. (laughs)

 

Jen:

I know. What do you think that's about? I mean because obviously that's how a lot of the PO Studio girls found you; because they already loved organizing -- but I guess that they were looking for those types of things.

 

Nikki:

I think it's refreshing to see something coming together, and see it put together. I think it's just refreshing. And the fact that you're not having to do it. You're watching someone do the work, but you're getting to see the end result. I think that's a lot of it. And then the desire to want to be organized; we all want our homes to be clean and organized, so we use it as motivation. You know, you're watching a lady clean her house and you’re like hey, let me get up and clean my kitchen. It's motivation, you know?

 

Jen:

Yeah, well that's incredible, and it's so cool that you have played a role in so many of their journeys without even knowing it. So, thank you so much for coming onto Pro Organizer Studio and for sharing your story and your tips.

 

Nikki:

I'm so honored. I’m like fanning out, I'm here with Jen. Thank YOU for having me here.

 

Jen:

Well, I hope we can do this in person one day because hello, South Carolina girls in the house! Any time you want to have lunch with me, you just let me know.

 

Nikki:

Yes, we will, for sure.

 

Jen:

Okay, good. That sounds amazing. Well, thank you guys! Thank you all so much who watched this and thank you Nikki for being here. If you guys are watching this and you don't follow Nikki yet, you need to go on YouTube. Her channel is AtHomeWithNikki. She has tons of videos for you to binge on or just listen to as you're driving in the car. I find a lot of people really like that, to use them like podcasts. Nikki has her website www.athomewithnikki.com where you can see all of her services and all the many things that she has going on. It’s incredible to check out. Like she said, she does a newsletter every week which I'm sure is full of valuable content and the latest updates. So, I know she would like for you to subscribe to that, and if you guys watch this and didn't know me and didn't know anything about what Pro Organizer Studio is, we are a business and design resource for professional organizers and if you didn't know that getting paid to organize other people was a thing, now you know! Nikki is an incredible inspiration. We also have lots of resources available for you at proorganizerstudio.com.

Thank you, again, and we look forward to sharing many more interviews in the future. Nikki was a fabulous fabulous first person to come on to our channel and share with us. We look forward to talking to you all soon. Thank you again, Nikki!

 

Nikki:

Bye! Thanks everyone.

 

Jen:

Good night, good night everybody, thank you.


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4 free Facebook groups for professional organizers (& why we have closed ours)

4 free Facebook groups for professional organizers (& why we have closed ours)