Ep#23 :: The pro’s and con’s of using your name for your business

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Welcome to episode #23 of the Dreams for Breakfast podcast!

In this episode I dive into some of the pro’s and cons to answer the question:

Should I use my name for my blog and business?

There is a growing trend right now where people are choosing to become known by their full name AKA creating a personal brand.

This makes total sense, because in the digital age transparency is everything.

Especially with platforms like Instagram where if your audience knows it’s just you - then why go by a different name?

Using your name helps build genuine relationships with people because it’s an easy way to infuse authenticity into how you show up online.

That said, naming your business is probably one of the biggest decisions you’ll make.

And if you’re looking to turn your passion project into a profitable business, this may be the pivotal question you need to answer before moving forward.

So, in today I’m going to take you through some of the pro’s and cons, that will help you get clarity and take action!


Listen to the full episode:


Before we dive in, it’s important to note there is no right answer - there is only the right answer for you and your business.

First up: there are two important questions you need to consider as part of this decision:

What is the big vision for your business?

While you don’t need to have the whole plan mapped out for your business, you should at least have some idea of the vision for the business you are trying to create.

For example, if you’re a wellness blogger and you know that your vision is to continue working for yourself, that’s a pretty big indicator that choosing your personal name may be a good fit.

On the flip side if you plan to join forces with a fellow blogger to create a partnership or program that extends beyond yourselves - then this is an indicator that you’ll probably want to choose a name for your brand that fits your vision.

This is exactly what Jen Hansard and Jadah Sellner did, who started their Simple Green Smoothies empire together back in 2012.

There are always exceptions to this rule, but knowing the answer to this question is a good place to start.

The second question you want to consider is:

What is the lifestyle you desire that your business needs to support?

Hands down, the BEST thing about going into business for yourself is that you get to create something that matches the lifestyle you desire the most.

So, if you know your vision is to run a location independent business and create digital products and online programs, then you could totally run this using your name.

But if you want to create physical and digital products, then you’ll probably want to choose a brand name that encapsulates the vision you’re creating

This is exactly what Aileen Xu did who is the blogger behind Lavendaire. She runs a business with both her Artist of Life Workbooks (physical products) and her online courses (digital products).

Ok, so let’s start with the pro’s of naming your business after yourself.

  1. Using your name helps build trust.

Here’s the thing: - people do business with people! And when you use your name it already implies a level of trust because your clients are speaking and interacting with you directly.

Building your know, like and trust factor is the most essential part of creating a Love Brand - AKA a brand that creates loyalty beyond reason.

Way back in the day, Author, Self-Love Teacher and Podcaster Melissa Ambrosini used to have a blog called Path to Wellness. This was perfect for her when she was starting out as a blogger and Health Coach but as her business vision evolved and she became a published author, it was clear she needed to be front and centre of her business.

Which brings me to my next point….

2. Puts you at the centre of your business.

Using your name puts you at the centre of your business. For some people this is an easy decision but if you’re an introvert like me; or hate the thought of being front and centre of attention all the time, this may feel a bit uncomfortable.

Especially in the beginning because it requires you being super visible in your business.

While I don’t recommend going with a brand name so you can avoid having yourself front and centre of your business {that’s a topic for a whole other episode!} it's definitely a point of consideration if you want to become known as a thought-leader and the go-to expert in your niche.

Using your name helps to build your expert status. And over time this will lend itself to things like being a published author, or a thought leader who regularly is asked for their opinion and contribute to discussions in your industry.

3. It allows your business to evolve.

While your business may change and evolve over the years - the one constant is you and using your name can be a way for you to seamlessly evolve your business.

For example, did you know Gala Darling got her start in the online world as a fashion blogger!?

Yet, over the years, she’s evolved from teaching about blogging; self love and fitness, to her focus now which is money, abundance and mindset.

While her business focus has changed and completely pivoted, using her own name made it easy for her to seamlessly transition into different seasons of her business.

This makes total sense because as humans we evolve, grow and change and if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to be limited by a brand name you may outgrow one day in the future, then using your name may be the perfect fit for you.

Ok, moving right along to the cons….

  1. It can limit your future growth.

Using your name may limit your future growth because your brand becomes solely about what you do and create.

When you use your own name for your business, it can send the message you’re a one person show, but it’s not always the case. Think about Marie Forleo, she is most definitely not a one woman show and is backed by a team she lovingly refers to as Team Forleo.

But if you know down the track you want to create products and services that extend well beyond your name, then that’s your answer.

While it’s definitely possible to transition to a brand name down the track, you’ll want to consider that people will have already come to know you by your name; so it may be more challenging to get the new brand name to stick.

Either way - you shouldn’t let this stop you because as Marie Forelo says - everything is figuroutable!

2. Your name could change.

If you get married (or divorced!) your name could change which may cause headaches down the track.

But it can definitely be done gracefully - Jess Lively was known as Jess Constable before she got married.

But after she and her husband ended their relationship, she publicly acknowledged that despite the relationship ending she was going to keep her married name!

3. Your name may not be unique and /or hard to spell or pronounce.

If you’re a Jane Smith of the world then yes, it may be challenging for you to establish a unique brand and even more challenging to find an appropriate domain name!

So in this case {or if your name is hard to spell or pronounce} and you’re keen to use your name, you could think to incorporate part of your name and then relate it back to what you do.

For example Sarah Holloway AKA Spoonful of Sarah created a playful take on her name, giving it the healthy foodie element to it, which also makes it unique and catchy.

So to wrap things up, in the digital age which is largely powered by small and micro-businesses, there’s a growing trend of cultivating a personal brand which you are front and centre of.

There is no right or wrong answer, but hopefully these pro’s and cons will give you the clarity you need so you can move forward and get busy launching your brand to the world!

I’d love to know your biggest takeaway - find me on Instagram and let me know: which option for naming your business resonates with you the most?

Until next time, keep being your awesome self!

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Ep#22 :: How to build a brand that matters and spark a love story with your audience

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Are you creating amazing content, showing up online and seemingly doing all the things, but struggling to get your brand noticed by the right people?

You’re definitely not alone!

With more and more people launching their businesses and vying for our attention it can feel overwhelming and sometimes disheartening when you know you have so much to offer.

But here’s the thing: 

The shift that’s taken place in the digital age is that marketing is no longer about the products you make and the services you sell - it’s about uncovering the ‘why’ behind what you’re doing in the first place.

In today’s podcast episode I’m sharing a simple framework that will help you crystalize your messaging to use across all of your online channels and ensure you’re connecting with the right people, so you can create a brand cuts through the noise and builds a loyal tribe of fans who can’t wait to work with you!

Listen to the full episode:


Before we dive in, let’s get super clear about what exactly a brand is.

A brand is simply an expression of how you show up in the world.

It includes the visuals you use in all of your communications; the tone of voice you use to speak to your audience, as well as the values you live and breathe by each day in your business.

But here’s the thing: People fall in love with brands because of the emotional connection they make with them - and by doing this - they create loyalty beyond reason.

Think about the brands you love: you don’t even question if there are any other options - you just instinctively want to buy from them and you probably love them so much you’ll talk about them on social media and become advocates for their brand in the process.

Clever branding is all about cultivating an emotional connection with your audience and is what separates a good brand from a magnetic brand AKA a Love Brand.

And when there are two equally attractive options on the table, your brand will be what sets you apart.

So, a brand can either be focused on an individual person - which is where you’ll often hear the term “personal brand” or it could be an entity that comprises one or many people who are all working together towards a common vision.

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For example:

Collective Hub is an Australian online platform, print magazine and community of trailblazing entrepreneurs, led by Lisa Messenger. Collective Hub is the overarching brand or entity which has various people who work for the brand where they are all united by their mission to ignite human potential.

Founder, Lisa Messenger also has her own personal brand where she still aligns with the Collective Hub brand, but through her personal brand, she gives more insight into her day to day life; her driving values and what goes on behind the scenes to build the Collective Hub community.

For personal brands the various was you show up in your business are all elements of your overall brand experience including:

  • your personal style;

  • how you deliver your message to your audience;

  • how you interact and engage with people ; and

  • what you stand for.

This is why it’s super important to get clear on how you want to show up in your business from the get-go.

The truth is: a confused mind never buys. The more clarity you create around your messaging and the more consistent you are in how you show up across all of your channels, the more effortless it will become for you to build trust with your dream clients.

Here’s the most important thing you need to know:

A brand is most definitely not your logo!

Your brand is also not static - it’s a living, breathing thing that constantly evolves as a story you intentionally craft each day.

In the digital age, you have the opportunity to cultivate your brand on a daily basis through the social media posts you share, the blog posts you write; the podcasts and videos you create which all form your overall online presence.

When it comes to cultivating an online brand: authenticity isn’t optional. It’s essential.

To quote Seth Godin: “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic”

To wrap things up I want to leave you with a super simple framework you can use to get clarity on your brand to make sure it’s sparking a love story with your audience.

Vision.

This is where you’re answering the question for your audience: who are you and why should I care?

You’ll want to consider things like:

  • What are your unique strengths that you’re able to tap into and be of service to others?

  • Why do you do what you do?

  • What led you to where you are today?

  • What is it that motivates you to create the change you want to see in the world?

  • What are the core philosophies that drive your everyday business decisions?

  • Why will other people care about this? How will they feel like they are connected / part of this mission?

Voice.

This is where your job is to get super clear on what you do and who you do it for.

Here’s the thing: when you know who you’re talking to and how you can help them it makes it sooo much easier to craft your messaging in way they will pay attention to.

Rather than trying to be everything to everyone {I’ve been there and it doesn’t work, trust me!}, instead: laser in on the specific person who you can solve a problem for and design all of your copy, content and offerings with this person in mind.

Take a moment and consider:

  • What is the problem you can solve for people?

  • Who do want to solve this problem for?

  • What do they need?

  • What are they looking for?

  • How can you help them more than anyone else can?

Visuals.

What’s your visual vibe?

How you position your brand in the minds of your audience, by way of imagery, fonts and colors - will determine who pays attention.

In other words: your vibe attracts your tribe!

This is all about the personality of your brand and how you make your dream clients feel.

Take a moment and consider:

  • What are 3-5 words that best describe the vibe of your brand?

  • What would a visual representation of your brand look like using images, colors and fonts?

  • If your brand was a person, how would you describe them?

  • How do you want your audience to feel each time they come into contact with your brand?

I’d love to know your biggest takeaway - let me know what you’re excited to implement!

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Branding 101: How to Get Clarity on your Messaging and Make your Brand Memorable.

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When the online world is incredibly crowded with more and more brands launching their businesses to the world all vying for our attention - is it even possible to get your brand noticed by the right people?!

100% yes!

Which is why now, more than ever, it's so important  to have a strong brand presence that encapsulates everything you stand for.

While it can feel overwhelming and sometimes disheartening trying to get your brand noticed by the right people, the truth is, once you have clarity on what your brand stands for; who you’re trying to attract and start speaking directly to your people - it becomes quite effortless to build a loyal tribe.

But first let’s get super clear about what exactly a brand is.

A brand is simply an expression of how you show up in the world.

It includes the visuals you use in all of your communications; the tone of voice you use to speak to your audience, as well as the values you live and breathe by each day in your business.

Clever branding is what separates a good brand from a magnetic brand. And when there are two equally attractive options on the table, your brand will be what sets you apart.

A brand can either be focused on an individual person - which is where you’ll often hear the term “personal brand” or it could be an entity that comprises one or many people who are all working together towards a common vision.

For example:

Collective Hub is an Australian online platform, print magazine and community of trailblazing entrepreneurs, led by Lisa Messenger. Collective Hub is the overarching brand or entity which has various people who work for the brand where they are all united by their mission to ignite human potential

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Founder, Lisa Messenger also has her own personal brand where she still aligns with the Collective Hub brand, but through her personal brand, she gives more insight into her day to day life; her driving values and what goes on behind the scenes to build the Collective Hub community.

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For personal brands the various was you show up in your business are all elements of your overall brand experience including:

  1. Your personal style - what you wear to events, meetings and show up online;

  2. How you deliver your message to your audience;

  3. How you interact and engage with people ; and

  4. What you stand for - the values that drive your everyday decisions.

This is why it’s super important to get clear on how you want to show up in your business from the get-go.

The truth is: a confused mind never buys.

The more clarity you create around your messaging and the more consistent you are in how you show up across all of your channels, the more effortless it will become for you to build trust with your dream clients.

Here’s the most important thing you need to know:

Your brand it is not static and it is most definitely not your logo! Your brand is a living, breathing thing that constantly evolves as a story you intentionally craft each day.

When it comes to cultivating an online brand: authenticity isn’t optional. It’s essential.

To quote Seth Godin: “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic”

Seth-Godin-Stories-Magic-Quote.jpg

Through social media; your website and your overall online presence, you have the opportunity to craft your brand story through every post; every caption, every image, video and podcast episode.

So to wrap things up I want to leave you with a super simple framework you can use to get clarity on your brand and make sure it’s memorable.

Vision.

This is where you’re answering the question for your audience: who are you and why should I care?

You’ll want to consider things like:

  • What are your unique strengths that you’re able to tap into and be of service to others?

  • Why do you do what you do?

  • What led you to where you are today?

  • What is it that motivates you to create the change you want to see in the world?

  • What are the core philosophies that drive your everyday business decisions?

  • Why will other people care about this? How will they feel like they are connected / part of this mission?

Voice.

This is where your job is to get super clear on what you do and who you do it for.

Here’s the thing: when you know who you’re talking to and how you can help them it makes it sooo much easier to craft your messaging in way they will pay attention to.

Rather than trying to be everything to everyone {I’ve been there and it doesn’t work, trust me!},instead: laser in on the specific person who you can solve a problem for and design all of your copy, content and offerings with this person in mind.

Take a moment and consider:

  • What is the problem you can solve for people?

  • Who do want to solve this problem for?

  • What do they need?

  • What are they looking for?

  • How can you help them more than anyone else can?

Visuals.

What’s your visual vibe?

How you position your brand in the minds of your audience, by way of imagery, fonts and colors - will determine who pays attention.

In other words: your vibe attracts your tribe!

This is all about the personality of your brand and how you make your dream clients feel.

Take a moment and consider:

  • What are 3-5 words that best describe the vibe of your brand?

  • What would a visual representation of your brand look like using images, colors and fonts?

  • If your brand was a person, how would you describe them?

  • How do you want your audience to feel each time they come into contact with your brand?

Let me know if you found this framework helpful! If you want to take it up a notch be sure to sign up for my 3 Day Brand Challenge to create a cohesive brand that’s an authentic reflection of YOU.


If you’re ready to take the next step towards the big goals you've set to build your online presence - I can help! Take a look at my services which are all designed to empower you building a purpose-fueled brand, so you can confidently share your message and have it seen and heard by the right people. 

5 Takeaways from General Assembly's Business of Blogging event

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Last Wednesday evening I had the pleasure of moderating the Business of Blogging panel at General Assembly, San Francisco alongside three amazing women: Elise Armitage from What The Fab; Emily from Jet Setting Fashionista and Aimee Rancer, from the Ohio Transplant.

During the panel, we talked about everything from taking your blog from side-project to going pro; how to approach and work with brands; coming up with content ideas regularly; building your community; engagement and the pesky algorithm and how to beat it - and so much more!

There was a ton of incredible wisdom shared over the course of the night from these super inspiring women - whose combined years of blogging experience is over 30 years{!!} - so, today I thought I’d share my top 5 takeaways with you…

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{L to R: Emily, The Jet Setting Fashionista; Elise Armitage, What the Fab; Aimee Rancer, The Ohio Transplant; me!}

  1. Write / share / create what you’re passionate about.

The number one theme that kept coming up throughout the evening was to focus on and choose to blog about what you’re passionate about. As the panel was focused on the “business” of blogging - AKA how to make money - the clear message from everyone was: ‘don’t get into blogging just to make money cause it ain’t going to work’.

Making money from blogging is not something that will happen overnight - it can often take years of consistent blogging to make an income even comparable to a full time job - and even then it still may not be as much.

Elise shared that she was blogging for six years over on What the Fab before she was in a position with her blog to even consider leaving her full time Event Marketing job at Google. Whereas, Aimee, despite blogging consistently for over six years, currently works full time at Pinterest {by choice} and the money she earns from her blog she treats as an added bonus.

While Elise and Aimee have very different goals with their blogs, the one thing they have in common and that has kept them invested in building their online presence over so many years, is that they love what they write about and they love sharing it with their readers.

In short, if your goal is to ultimately make money from your blog: write and share about what you’re passionate about {and won’t get bored of over the long term!}

2. Be your own permission slip: Ask for what you want.

Here’s the awesome thing about blogging: there are no rules. You get to make it up as you go along and have the opportunity to create and invent whatever you like! It was this creative freedom that drew me to blogging way back in 2009.

While there are no rules, it also means that instead of waiting for someone to ask you / invite you to step up in a big way - you need to give yourself this permission and ask for what you want.

If you want to work with brands - don’t just wait for them to approach you! If you have an idea for brand partnership, put together a pitch and propose it to them.

Bottom line: You don’t get what you don’t ask for. All of the women on the panel agreed that when working with brands it was a mix of pitching themselves as well as the brands approaching them.

This is also goes for other monetization strategies you’re considering for your blog. The truth is your blog doesn’t need to be a certain size or have a specific number of followers to make money. How successful you are at monetizing your blog comes down to the value you can offer your audience and how creative you are in your approach - and the options are endless!


Psst… My eBook The Brand Plan gives you the exact formula for making your brand memorable. Get it free when you sign up for my newsletter below!


3. Network!

While meeting like minded people online is all kinds of awesome; meeting them in real life takes things to the next level.

All of the ladies were in unison on this and agreed it’s what helps to fuel the growth of your blog.

Why?

Because while online is brilliant - nothing beats in-person connections with people. Once you meet in real life, your relationship is in many ways solidified, taking your know, like and trust factor up a notch.

In-person makes it easy bounce to ideas, collaborate on new projects, and given your new level of trust, it’s easy to then open your existing networks to each other, helping you grow even further.

You know that saying: “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? This couldn’t be more true in the business of blogging.

4. Build your inner circle tribe.

Before the panel officially started, I was chatting to Emily and Elise and asked them how they knew each other. While they couldn’t pinpoint the exact event they met, they both agreed it had been some kind of industry event where they formed their friendship and stayed in contact, having regular lunch meet-ups and attending events together in the months and years that followed.

During the panel, while we were discussing things like rates of pay and negotiation with brands, everyone was in agreement that it’s these kinds of inner circle relationships that help you make sense of things and help empower you to make bold moves.

Key takeaway: find your inner circle tribe and love them hard - these women will become your greatest allies and the best kinds of friends - who get you and your crazy ideas when no one else in your world will!

5. Be authentic.

I know, I know - the phrase “be authentic” is bandied around so often these days it's hard to really understand what the heck it means.

But know this: you don’t build an audience - an engaged audience at that - without bringing a level of realness and vulnerability that allows people to relate and feel like they know you. In the online space, it’s this authenticity that helps people build trust with you.

This is much easier and quicker to do in real life {see point three}; but online, given the amount of noise and clutter people are faced with each day, to be able to cut through and create any kind of impact, you need to be doing / creating / sharing things that are you unique to you and your experiences {hint: this is your secret sauce that no one else can copy or replicate}.

Case in point: when we all got seated for the panel, Aimee brought the bottle of beer she was drinking with her and continued to drink it throughout the evening. She even made reference to it when this whole authenticity topic came up and said “I’ll always be real and do what I’d normally do, which is drink beer!”

Bottom line: there’s no shortcut or big secret to being authentic, just do YOU.

Over to you: tell me which of these resonated with you most and what you’ll be taking with you to grow your online brand?


Ready to take your blogging game to the next level? Come along to my next Blog Bootcamp Workshop at General Assembly, San Francisco on 1 May. Grab your tix here.


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10 Effective Opt-In Ideas to Skyrocket Your Email List

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If your goal is to grow your newsletter list this year, so you can turn your passion into a profitable online business, then this post is for you.

As much as I love social media {as I’m sure you do too!} and think it’s a fun way to find your tribe, engage with your audience and hang out with like minded people, there is a limit to how far you can take the relationship with your audience.

Why?

Because social media is like a giant, overcrowded cocktail party where everyone is vying for your attention. And the kicker? I don’t believe it’s the most effective way to build relationships with your dream clients.

Here’s the thing: while you’re busy building your tribe on social media, the reality is you’re building it on someone else's domain. I liken it to building a house on someone else’s land, which is not a great long term strategy.

And let’s be real: people are not scrolling through their Instagram to be sold to - they are there to be entertained!

They are looking for light relief in their busy day; a quick pick-me-up or an inspiration hit. Sure, it’s a great way to raise awareness for your brand and let people know about what you do, but it’s not the place to be doing hard sells.

The other thing to watch out for with social media is putting all of your eggs in one marketing basket. With social media platforms changing their algorithms on the daily and who can forget the Instagram outage a while back - the reality is that relying solely on social media to market your business can end up being a costly mistake.

Which is why I recommend diversifying your marketing efforts.

Enter your email list…Unlike social media, you own this data and the right to communicate to your tribe on your terms! This is where people have expressed intent on getting to know you and learning how you can provide a specific solution for a problem they’re facing.

Getting someone on your newsletter list is like the beginning of a very beautiful relationship...

When you focus your time and energy into building your newsletter list and nurturing your people, there’s unlimited potential for you to grow a profitable business.

Before we dive in, let’s get super clear on what makes a compelling opt-in because it’s important to note that all opt-ins are NOT created equal.

Way back when I was blogging and first got interested in this whole ‘build your newsletter list’ thing, I made the massive mistake of creating an opt-in that was so generic that anyone and everyone signed up to my list, just to get the freebie!

While I was able to build my list super fast, the problem was that none of these people had the slightest bit of interest in working with me or buying any of my products.

Later down the track, after I’d realized my mistake, I ended up ditching the majority of the list and decided to start from scratch.

I learned this lesson the hard way, so I want you to avoid making the same mistake!

In a nutshell, if your goal is to ultimately start promoting your products or services to your list - avoid creating any kind of generic opt-in that {may be fun or beautifully designed}, and doesn’t leave your audience with a taste of how you can help them solve the problem they’re facing.


Psst… My eBook The Brand Plan gives you the exact formula for making your brand memorable. Get it free when you sign up for my newsletter below!


What makes a create a compelling opt-in?

  1. It speaks directly to your dream clients and solves a specific problem they have. Start doing some research on what pain points your dream clients are facing and may be looking for a solution to their problem. Your goal is to create a lead magnet that addresses a specific concern they have and is created and written in a way that when they see it, they’ll sign up without hesitation.

  2. Ensuring it's a precursor to your paid product / service. This is a super important consideration when planning your lead magnet and skipping over this risks reaching your revenue goals. I suggest working backwards:

    • Map out all of your paid product and service offerings; and then:

    • Consider what an effective lead-in to these products may be i.e what is going to whet your dream client's appetite and get them excited about working with you on a deeper level?

  3. Positions you as an expert in your niche. This is a no brainer, but yes you should be able to clearly demonstrate your knowledge, firmly positioning you as a subject matter expert in your chosen niche.

The ideas for creating lead magnets are endless. This is an opportunity for you to get creative and start really getting into the hearts and minds of your dream clients and position yourself as the go-to expert in your niche.

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10 ideas for your next Opt-in:

  1. Worksheet / Workbook. These are easy to create and help your audience dive deeper into one of your core teaching areas, getting them to reflect on where they’re at and identify where their gaps are. The trick is designing one that leaves your audience wanting more, as well as showcasing how you can help them achieve the transformation they’re looking for.

  2. Checklists. These are quick and easy to create, and also add value to your dream clients by helping them identify gaps and providing them with a roadmap and clear path forward as to what their next steps needs to be. Examples include: Shopping lists for recipes; preparation lists eg.10 things to do before hiring a VA; Website launch checklist - check off these items before launching your first website.

  3. Email / Social Media Challenges. Challenges are a fun way to motivate and drive engagement with your audience, getting them to take action. They can help drive interest in your paid products - like an eCourse, as this provides them with a taste of what it’s like to work with you and the value you can offer. A good length for a challenge is 5-7 days - you don’t want it to be too long as people lose interest really quickly. The goal is to keep it short, packed with value and then at the end of the challenge leave them feeling so excited about what’s to come with your paid program, they can’t wait to sign up.

  4. Video Webinar / Masterclass. If teaching is your jam, then providing a free webinar or masterclass in your area of expertise is a brilliant way to showcase your skills and let your audience get to know you, helping to build your know, like and trust factor - which is mandatory when it comes to building a profitable online business. To get ideas for what topics to base your masterclass on you can survey your audience and ask them what they’d be most excited to learn about or alternatively, look at your Google Analytics to identify your top blog posts and turn them into class for you to teach.

  5. Audio training. Similar to the video webinar, if teaching is your jam and you prefer audio over video, then creating an audio training is a perfect option for you to add value to your people.

  6. Sample chapter of your eBook / paid product. This is probably the easiest lead magnet for you to create and offer your audience, but it does rely on having an existing eBook or Course. It’s also the perfect way to test drive interest in your paid product; providing you an opportunity to track your conversion rate and measure its effectiveness.

  7. Cheat sheet. Any kind of shortcut you can provide your audience that will save them time and create efficiencies in their business is a win/win.

  8. Resource list. Giving away insider secrets that would take people a long time to figure out provides significant value as it saves your audience time and gives them peace of mind they have a trusted recommendation.

  9. Video Tutorial. As with the webinar and masterclasses, video tutorials demonstrating a how-to is a great way to build meaningful connections with your audience.

  10. Access to Resource Library. I left this one till last because it’s effectively a dedicated section on your website where you can house numerous resources {that may make up a combination of items on this list}. Over time, you’ll have likely built up a library of these lead magnets and it makes sense for you to create one portal on your website to centrally house all of these resources. To make it exclusive, you can password protect the page on your website so only the people who sign up to your email list gain access.


So tell me, what has been your most successful opt-in that worked with your audience? What else would you add to this list?


If you’re ready to take the next step towards the big goals you've set to build your online presence - I can help! Take a look at my services which are all designed to empower you building a purpose-fueled brand, so you can confidently share your message and have it seen and heard by the right people. 

How to Craft a High-Converting About Page that Captivates your Readers from the Get-Go

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Did you know that your About page is likely one of the most visited pages on your website? Don’t believe me? Go check your Google Analytics! This is consistently one of the highest traffic pages on my site each month.

It makes sense that if someone comes to your site and is instantly drawn to you and your mission, that they want to take the next step and get to know you better.

Given this, it’s worth your effort to spend time crafting it to clearly articulate how you can help your reader; why YOU are the person to help them solve their problem, as well as letting them get to know what makes you so awesome.

Your About page needs to let your readers know what they can expect from you as well as giving them some kind of call to action on how they can take the next step - whether it’s working with you; joining your tribe {by signing up to your newsletter}; or finding out where else they can connect with you.

Here’s the most important thing to know about creating a high-converting About page: while your About page is typically about you - the trick to crafting an amazing page is understanding that it is not about you at all!

Your job is to captivate your reader through compelling copy that speaks directly to your ideal client and captures their attention from the get-go, positioning you as the expert with the exact solution they’ve been searching for.

An epic about page is one of the 7 website essentials to captivate your dream clients and create an exceptional Brand experience and today I’m going to dig deeper and share the must-have elements to create a high-converting About page.

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Must-have elements for your epic about page:

A bold opening statement.

This is your hook to get them interested.

It could be a statement or question that offers a solution to a problem your readers have: “Ready to ditch stress and overwhelm for good?”

It could be declaration of your purpose in the world: “I’m on a mission to help you radiate vibrant health and glowing confidence everyday.”

Another option is using a manifesto-style opening - “I believe that self-love begins from within."

Whatever you choose it should powerfully connect with your readers and leave them absolutely certain they are in the right place.


Psst… My eBook The Brand Plan gives you the exact formula for making your brand memorable. Get it free when you sign up for my newsletter below!


How you can help.

This is your opportunity to demonstrate exactly how you can help your reader.

Here’s a template to make your own:

I’m {your full name} and I am {your title/ vocation} ___________ {a life coach/ health coach / nutritionist / yoga teacher / writer / illustrator / jewelry designer}

I work with / write for / support / empower {your target market/ dream client/ ideal reader}  ___________ [ side-hustlers / newbie entrepreneurs / overworked corporate goddesses]

Helping them {how you serve}  ___________ {reclaim their energy / build their dream business / hone their intuition}

How you got here.

This is your opportunity to give your readers an insight into your story and how you’ve reached the point in your life where you are now.

Did you overcome any obstacles or challenges to get to where you are now?

Were there any big ‘aha’ moments that led you on your path?

What changes or major transitions have you experienced?

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Your Big Why.

This goes back to your whole mission and purpose in the world. Why are you here? Why is this so important to you? Making this crystal clear allows your readers to form an emotional connection with you that will only leave them wanting to know more about you!

INJECT YOUR UNIQUE MAGIC.

Give your readers an insight into what makes you tick as a person. Love yoga? Share it. Got an amazing collection of crystals? Let people know! Are you a brilliant chef in your spare time? Brag about it!

Other essentials to include on your about page:

  • Your social media icons. So people can connect with you.

  • Your opt-in. This is your opportunity to invite people who are already interested in you to take your relationship to the next level.

  • Photos of you. You need to have at least one photo of you looking direct to camera, and some other fun / more playful shots that highlight your personality and unique quirks.

Take action:

Review your current about page and consider -

  • What needs to be tweaked or improved?

  • Have you answered the question your readers will be asking: “What’s in it for me!?”

  • Have you injected your unique blend of magic and let your readers know what makes you so awesome?


If you’re ready to take the next step towards the big goals you've set to build your online presence - I can help! Take a look at my services which are all designed to empower you building a purpose-fueled brand, so you can confidently share your message and have it seen and heard by the right people. 

7 Website Essentials to Captivate your Dream Clients & Create an Exceptional Brand Experience

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Your website is the most important marketing tool for your business.

It should be your No. 1 priority to cultivate an online presence that gets your message seen and heard by the right people, so you can cut through the noise and connect with your dream clients.

Taking the time to intentionally craft your content and visuals, as well as ensuring your design and user experience is optimized - will be an investment that continues to pay dividends for you by turning your dream clients into raving fans, who will ultimately become your biggest advocates.

These days you don’t need to sink tens of thousands of dollars on an expensive website; there are numerous options to create a beautiful website on a small budget. Platforms like Squarespace {my preferred platform and recommendation for solopreneurs} make it super easy for anyone {even with no design experience!} to create a stunning looking website in a short amount of time.

Before you venture down this path, consider what your main goal or objective is when  someone visits your site:

  • Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter?

    Let them get to know you better?

  • Learn about your latest program?

  • Purchase something from you?

  • Establish yourself as an expert?

All of the above!?

Ok, let’s dive into how you can create an exceptional brand experience with your website that serves you crushing all your goals.


  1. Aesthetics and branding to reflect your vision, values and visuals.

First impressions count!

Think of your website being the front door of your business. It’s your job to ensure the design of your website is aligned with the vision you have for your brand and your broader mission.

Consider -

  • Are your colors and fonts cohesive and working in harmony together?

  • Do you visuals convey the message you want to share with your ideal clients?

The quickest and easiest way to let your dream clients know that YOU are the person who can help them solve their problem is by using captivating visuals that speak directly to them!

This gives you the opportunity to create a brand that not only authentically represents you, your vision and your values - but that’s also going to attract the RIGHT kind of people to you.

The point is not trying to be everything to everyone - this is a recipe for disaster.

Here are some of my favorite sites for images:

Free:

Paid:

Also check out these posts:

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2. The purpose of your business is clearly articulated.

15 seconds. That’s how long you have to engage someone who lands on your website before they lose interest and click-off elsewhere.

When someone lands on your site, the question they want answered is: “how can this person help me to solve X problem?”

It’s super important you clearly articulate the purpose of your business and how you can help your dream clients.

The most effective way to achieve this is using a clever mix of powerful copy, supported by visuals to reinforce the main message you want to share.

Your job here is to make it so freaking clear to your dream clients that they’ll be able to make a split second decision as to whether they are going to stick around. The more you make users dig around and try to work out what the heck you’re all about, the more frustrated they will come and eventually give up and leave.

Your homepage should be the main place you communicate this message, which needs to be obvious as soon as someone lands on your website. Secondary to that is your About page.

Furthermore, your blog / podcast / video content should also support your purpose.

Take action: review your website experience and see if your mission is clearly articulated from the moment someone first lands on your homepage.

  • What needs to be adjusted?

  • Are your copy and images appealing to your ideal client?

3. An epic about page.

Your About page is likely to be one of the most visited pages on your website, so it’s worth your time and effort crafting it to clearly articulate how you can help your reader and why YOU are the person to help them solve their problem.

Your About page needs to let readers know what they can expect from you; as well as giving them some kind of call to action on how they can take the next step.

While your About page is typically about you - the trick to crafting an amazing page is understanding that it is not about you at all!

Your job is to captivate your reader through compelling copy that speaks directly to your ideal client and captures their attention from the get-go, positioning you as the expert with the exact solution they’ve been searching for.

Your About page needs to also include these key elements:

  • Social media icons: so people can connect with you.

  • Opt-in: this is your opportunity to invite people who are already interested in you to take your relationship to the next level.

  • Photos of you! You need to have at least one photo of you looking direct to camera, and some other fun / more playful shots that highlight your personality and unique quirks.

Take action: review your current about page.

  • What needs to be tweaked or improved?

  • Have you answered the question your readers will be asking: “What’s in it for me!?”

4. Include your opt-in at least 5 points throughout the site.

It’s super important to start collecting email addresses that builds your database now - even if you’re not sending out a regular newsletter just yet.

Unlike social media or platforms, like Medium where you’re building an audience on someone else's domain - you own the data of everyone who opts into your newsletter list.

Each time someone visits your site, take this opportunity to invite them to be part of your tribe to deepen your relationship. Consistently nurturing this relationship over time will build trust, likability and a solid understanding of how you can help them.

Then, when it comes time for you offer a program or release a new product, you’'ll have a ready engaged audience who'll be excited about your new offering!

The know, like and trust factor is especially important for service based businesses offering high price points for people to work with you. People are less likely going to be signing up for your services on the spot, so asking them to be part of your tribe and your newsletter list allows you an excellent opportunity for you to give them a feel for who you are.

Consider the user journey from when someone first lands on your site {taking into account they may enter from another page on your site e.g a blog post} and identify the key opportunities for you to guide them to action.

I recommend having a minimum of 5 points on your site on where your opt-in is displayed:

  • On your homepage, ideally above the fold.

  • Using your announcement bar / Hello bar.

  • Including a button or call-to-acton in your navigation.

  • Using a service like Sumo Me and having pop ups / slide ins.

  • On your About page.

  • As part of your blog content {content upgrades}.

  • Website footer.

Take action: Review your website and identify 5 places where you can add in an opt-in on your site.


Psst… My eBook The Brand Plan gives you the exact formula for making your brand memorable. Get it free when you sign up for my newsletter below!


5. Make your social media icons visible.

This seems to be a no-brainer but it’s amazing how many people miss this important step!

Adding your social media icons so they are clearly visible on your site is giving people an opportunity to connect with you in all the places you hang out so they can get to know you better.

Some key places to include these are:

  • Your website footer.

  • Your website header.

  • About page.

  • Sidebar of your blog (if applicable)

Take action: Identify the gaps on your website to see  where you can add your social icons.

6. Clear navigation and well thought out website structure.

The goal with your website is to make your content easy findable and digestible to your readers. This means clearly highlighting your navigation and the key pages you want people to visit.

I recommend steering clear of having ‘interesting’ or ‘fun’ ways of naming your navigation - this is not the time to be creative on your website (save this for elsewhere!!). The reason being that you want to make your user experience easy, simple and CLEAR.

Don’t make readers “think” about where they want to go to find out where your events are or what your blog is - just give them the answer they need by making this readily available.

Key pages to have in your navigation include:

  • About.

  • Services / Work with Me.

  • Shop {if applicable}

  • Blog

  • Contact

It can also be a great option to have a “Start Here” page that gives first time readers an opportunity to find out more about you and your offerings

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7. Let your audience to get to know you and demonstrate your expertise through your blog.

Your blog is the BEST way for you to demonstrate your expertise and easiest way to let your dream clients get to know you.

When you create consistent content on your blog that clearly articulates your knowledge in a particular area, you immediately position yourself as an expert in that field.

The more you can demonstrate your expertise by sharing solutions, tips, and ideas around your chosen topic, the more you align your brand as being a thought leader in this area, as well as building trust and important relationships with your readers at the same time.

Supported by a well thought out social media strategy and outreach; consistency over time will reward you with a personal brand that clearly demonstrates your leadership and expertise in your niche.


Let me know in the comments - what action will you be taking to captivate your dream clients and create an exceptional brand experience?

7 Reasons Why Your Website is the Most Important Marketing Tool for your Business

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I have a question for you: is your website working for you or against you?

I have a confession to make: I’m guilty of judging people (and their businesses) based on their websites.

If I land on a website that doesn’t look good, or I can’t easily find what I’m looking for, I will leave pretty quickly.

Are you guilty of this too?!

These days, your website is like a modern day business card. How well it’s designed; speaks directly to your ideal client; and clearly articulates the problem you can help solve, has a significant impact on your brand and the future growth of your business.

What does this mean for you and your biz?

You need to make sure that your website is working for you and not against you.

Here are 7 reasons why ensuring your website is well-designed, user-friendly and speaks directly to your ideal client should be your number one priority as a business owner.

1. Your website sets the bar and the expectation for the rest of your business.

15 seconds. That’s how long you have to engage someone who lands on your website before they lose interest and click-off elsewhere.

First impressions count!

High converting websites have one thing in common: they have well crafted copy and visuals that speak directly to your ideal client; capturing their attention from the get-go.

How many potential clients could you be turning away simply by not having compelling copy and a design that authentically encapsulates your brand, positioning you as the expert with the solution they’ve been looking for?

Make sure your front door looks fabulous and clearly demonstrates how you can help your dream clients by offering a level of assurity that your business is trustworthy, reliable and will deliver on what it says it will.

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2. Your blog is one of the best (and easiest) ways to position yourself as an expert in your niche and build relationships with your dream clients.

In the digital economy both content and branding are king. Here’s the thing: content is branding.

Savvy brands are using content in clever ways to connect and convert their prospects into loyal customers.

And when you create consistent content on your blog that clearly articulates your knowledge in a particular area, you immediately position yourself as an expert in that field.

The more you can demonstrate your expertise by sharing solutions, tips, and ideas around your chosen topic, the more you align your brand as being a thought leader in this area, as well as building trust and important relationships with your readers at the same time.

Supported by a well thought out social media strategy and outreach; consistency over time will reward you with a personal brand that clearly demonstrates your leadership and expertise in your niche.

3. Your vibe attracts the right tribe.

When you start thinking of your website as a way to attract or repel your dream clients, you’re potentially saving yourself a ton of time.

Here’s the thing: you want your dream clients to connect with you and to resonate with you and your vibe. If you’re letting off a vibe that’s not in alignment with who you are as a person, or what you can offer potential clients, then you’re doing you and your business a disservice.

While there are a million other coaches, personal trainers, nutritionists and designers online - no one is YOU.

Through clever copy and visuals, you have the opportunity to create a brand that not only authentically represents you, your vision and your values - but that’s also going to attract the RIGHT kind of people to you.

The point is not trying to be everything to everyone - this is a recipe for disaster.

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My rule of thumb is to:

  1. Figure out who you most want to work with and create content and offerings that speaks to and solves their specific needs.

  2. Then, focus on showing up consistently and doing YOU - the rest will follow.

This approach allows you naturally weed out people who really would never consider working with you in the first place and means you get to work with amazing people who vibe with you!


Psst… My eBook The Brand Plan gives you the exact formula for making your brand memorable. Get it free when you sign up for my newsletter below!


4. You own the data and the relationship with your audience.

Unlike social media, where you’re building an audience on someone else’s platform and they control the data; your website is an opportunity to grow a database of people who are genuinely interested in you and your work.

There are so many great tools like Sumo and ConvertKit that allow you to easily capture email addresses, providing the perfect opportunity to start building a relationship through regular email communication with your people!

5. Savvy Sales Funnels allow you can work smarter, not harder.

Once your email platform is set up, put it to work and use it as a smart sales funnel by setting up automations to save you time following up potential leads.

This way, you can quickly identify people who are serious about working with you... and if you’re using it as a way to sell digital products then this is an amazing way to create a source of passive income where you're not trading time for dollars, which means you can earn money while you sleep!

6. SEO helps drive enormous traffic with potentially thousands of new leads each month.

What if by making some simple tweaks to how you craft your digital content and how your website is structured, you could potentially bring thousands of new leads to your site each month?

Here’s the thing: when backed by a solid strategy SEO can, over the long term, drive significant traffic to your website at a fraction of the cost of standard advertising fees.

The Google algorithm loves fresh content and favors sites that are regularly updating their websites with relevant, targeted and extremely useful information. As the algorithm is always changing and never static, an optimal strategy would be to make strategic website updates as well as integrating SEO into an ongoing process of content creation, rather than treating it as a standalone project.

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7. You have complete creative control.

Unlike any other form of online marketing, you have complete creative control about everything on your website and domain. As your business grows and evolves, so too can your website. Key to this is building your site on a flexible platform that’s easy for you to update - like Squarespace, where you don’t need expensive designers and coders.

This means you can always have an up-to-date, fresh, modern and well-designed online home and use it as a powerful marketing tool and making meaningful connections with your dream clients.


So there you have it - my top 7 reasons why your website is the most important marketing tool for your business. What is one thing you can do to optimize your website and start turning your website into a profitable money making machine?!

How to simplify and streamline your social media

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Is creating content for your social media causing you stress and making you feel overwhelmed?

Today, I’m going to share how you can change your perspective on social media; take back your time and simplify everything in your business, so you can focus on what matters most.

Whenever I teach my Blogging Workshop and we get to the section on social media, one of the most popular questions that inevitably comes up is: “how can I grow my social media following?”.

I totally get why this question seems so important. Having a large social media following serves as a quick and immediate indicator that your brand is of significance and people should be paying attention.

But - and this is a big but:

Having a large following on social media does not equate to having a successful and thriving business. In fact the opposite can be true.

In the day and age that social media followers can be bought and that a lot of the so-called ‘engagement’ of liking and commenting is being run by automated programs, it can be hard to determine whether or not the engagement you receive is meaningful. Which in my view, is a significant not reason not to get caught up on likes and followers.

Adding fuel to the fire are the constantly changing algorithms which ultimately mean that the content you’re creating is not even being seen by your fans!

Let’s be real for a minute: the organic reach on social media has been in a steady rate of decline since 2014 and is set to get worse.

The Big Four of social media: Facebook, Instagram, and to a lesser extent Pinterest and Twitter - all want you to “pay to play” meaning that in order to reach the followers you have, you need to spend money on advertising to reach them.

The truth is you don’t need to have a big social media following to run a profitable business.

I know many people who run hugely successful businesses with either a limited social media presence or not one at all.

Last year I had to re-evaluate how I was using social media as I realized it was having zero impact on growing my actual business i.e where my client base was coming from.

When I did an audit of where I was spending my time, it became obvious I was spending significant time not only creating content for social media, but then hours and hours of engaging with people on the platform -  and I had little to show for it!

Which begs the question - is investing time on growing your social media following even worth it?

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My answer is if you’re a solopreneur or creative business owner, then, no.

Here’s why:

Social media numbers are all vanity metrics.

Social media fans, likes and comments are all vanity metrics, which means they’re numbers that may seem impressive to some people but don’t actually tell you anything about the health or success of your business.

The real metrics you need to focus on as business owner are the conversion rates from your various marketing efforts and the actual sales numbers in your business.

The question to consider is: can I directly measure the number of clients who have discovered my business and booked my services via social media?

If you can safely say that the majority of your referrals and business enquiries come from social media - then great, keep doing what’s working for you.

But if not, it may be a sign you need to re-evaluate things.

As a solopreneur your time is your greatest resource.

As solopreneurs, time is our greatest resource. We wear multiple hats in our business: everything from marketing, accounting, client services, administration - there’s a never-ending list of things we need to do to keep our business running. Until we’re at the point of hiring help, then we need to assume these roles ourselves.

This is why it’s so important we’re intentional with our time and only focus it on activities that are going to drive us forward.

You don’t own the data.

I hate to break it to you, but if Instagram changes it’s algorithm tomorrow or YouTube shuts down, and that’s where your audience is - your business will be in trouble!

While you may be accumulating fans and followers by growing your social media numbers, you don’t own the data which means the only method you have of connecting with your fans is via the platform they are following you on.

And with organic reach steadily declining, it’s not a good use of time to be investing in marketing efforts where there’s such a low chance of people even seeing your content.

I liken it to building your house on someone else’s land which is a disastrous idea.

Social media doesn’t make you feel good.

Who goes on social media and afterwards feels amazing?! Nope didn’t think so!

The truth is seeing other people’s highlight social media makes you feel like crap and leaves you in a constant state of comparison on how you measure up against other people.

Even worse, is when you start measuring your worth by the number of likes you receive and the number of followers you have - I’ve been there and it’s a dangerous game that never ends well!

In fact, there are multiple studies to support linking spending time on social media with increased rates of depression and mental illness.

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The paradigm shift: using social media with intention.

Making this simple tweak to your content strategy will allow you to to reclaim your time and focus it on what is going to build the most traction for your business AKA getting clients.

Instead of approaching your contention creation from a platform-first basis i.e Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest - shift your focus to make your website and blog the centre of your online universe and take a top-down approach where everything you share on your blog is then amplified across your various platforms.

What about podcast content?

In the case of where you’re creating podcast content which is consumed on another platform i.e iTunes, you should always have that link back to your blog in the form of a show notes style post, so you can still drive your audience back to your website and reap the benefits from this.

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This means that by coming up with a content calendar for your blog, which let’s say you publish one blog post each week, you can then spin-off and re-purpose into various pieces of content to share across your other platforms throughout the week.

Instead of having to come up with bespoke content for all of your platforms, you can reduce your focus to just your blog which is going to save you a whole lotta time!

Here’s why this is a good idea:

  • Boost your SEO: creating regular content on your blog means you’re automatically helping to boost your SEO (organic search traffic) - Google LOVES fresh content.

  • Build your list: fresh content on your blog gives people a reason to visit your website, which means you have the opportunity to get them on your email list by subscribing to your newsletter - you own this data which makes it far more valuable than social media followers.

  • Claim your expert status: the more time you can dedicate to creating quality long form content on a website domain you own that people can easily share with their network, helps to position you as an expert in your niche.

This approach allows you to see social media for what it really is - a great way to make connections with likeminded people, share your message - and have fun!

If you’re not having fun with it and it’s causing you stress - then it’s a sign you need to make a change.

Your goal with social media should be to let people get to know you AND get them to join your VIP party AKA your email list.

And remember, focus on your zone of genius and ditch, automate or outsource the rest!

So, tell me: is social media helping or hindering your success? How will making this shift change the game for you?


Are you ready to start confidently showing up online and sharing your message with the world?

Grab your FREE copy of Little Brand Book with the six step system to get clarity on your message, so you can create a rock solid foundation for your brand and start attracting your dream clients.

5 Hard Truths No One Tells you About Pursuing Your Purpose

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As introverts, we're well-suited to the life of a solopreneur and running our own business. The perks of being able to work from home and taking ownership of our schedule, while never needing to sit under the glare of fluorescent lights; deal with office politics; dreaded open plan offices and team building activities, ever again - are very attractive.

It makes perfect sense.

Entrepreneurship provides a compelling option, giving us the opportunity to pursue careers that are well-aligned with our strengths and passions - often as coaches and healers, given we crave purpose and meaning in our career and love to help people; and creative pursuits like graphic design, writing, photography, art and illustration.

This is exactly what attracted me to venturing down the entrepreneurial path - it was extremely important for me to do work in the world that I found rewarding; was meaningful and left me deeply fulfilled {and also meant that I never had to step foot in another corporate ladder-climbing job again!}.

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All of that being said, running any kind of successful business, online businesses included - is damn hard work. So, without wanting to burst your bubble and talk you out of pursuing this path {that is not my intention at all} I want to have a moment of #realtalk and share a few truths about what it really looks like to run a profitable and sustainable business.

I’m sure you already know this, but did you know there are literally thousands of hashtags on Instagram dedicated to #girlboss life and glamorizing the definition of what it means to be a modern entrepreneur and biz owner?

When we’re scrolling through Instagram and constantly being bombarded with messages about the so-called glamorous side of running your own business - coffee dates at the hottest places in town; catching up with your biz besties in the middle of the day; being a digital nomad and working from exotic locations where all you need is a dream and a wi-fi connection - it is suuuuper easy to get caught up in the highlight reel; hey I’m guilty of this too!

But I think it’s important to present a balanced view of what being an entrepreneur is really like because, the truth is that not everyone is cut out for this life.

As introverts, our innate personality traits of being able to focus for long periods and do deep work, mean we can thrive and be highly successful entrepreneurs - we just need to be aware of the areas that can trip us up and hold us back from making our dream a reality.

Ok, let’s dive in!

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#1. It’s going to get uncomfortable.

When I first started out as a new biz owner I assumed, thanks to my 10 year corporate career in digital marketing and advertising, that I’d have all of this marketing stuff down pat. How wrong I was!

Working with a team of people, doing the marketing for a big brand is worlds apart from marketing yourself!

To effectively market yourself as a solopreneur means getting very visible in your business and showing up in places where your dream clients will be. This alone can be super daunting - especially for us introverts, where our natural inclination is to avoid the spotlight at all costs.

As a newbie business owner, I quickly realized that in order to attract the right kind of clients, I needed to show up and let them get to know me.

Offline, this means going to events and conferences where your dream clients are likely to be; and online it means things like getting on video; podcasting, blogging and email newsletters - on a regular, consistent basis.

Think about it - one of the basic tenets of building a strong brand is building the like, know and trust factor with your dream clients. The quickest and easiest way to do this is letting them get to know the real YOU through all of the channels you have available to communicate with them.

As an introvert, this is completely terrifying!

Hiding behind your computer screen or worse; expecting that ‘your work will speak for itself’ {I used this excuse all the time!}; mean you’re ultimately holding yourself back and blocking yourself from the abundance and success you desire.

Here’s the thing: courage takes bravery.

I guarantee that getting visible in your business is going to be extremely uncomfortable in the beginning, but it will get easier!

The truth is that if you want something you’ve never had before - a successful and profitable business where you get the luxury to work from home and make your own hours - you need to do things you’ve never done before to make this your reality. And this means getting uncomfortable!

The real question is: how badly do you want it?

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#2. You are going to fail.

After my first few failures in business I felt extremely defeated and wanted to give up, and almost did, on numerous occasions. This was until I shifted my perception on what the true meaning of failure is - an important part of the journey to success and an opportunity learn lessons that help propel us forward.

Think about it - if success came so easily and was handed to us on a silver platter, would we value it just as much if we’d if we worked so goddamn hard; overcoming obstacles; coming face to face with our fears and pouring our time, energy as well as our heart and soul into making it something epic?

Nope, didn’t think so.

Failure is part of the process. And the more often we fail, the more lessons we can take with us and apply to our future success. Learn to be ok with failure and not see it as being final.

Above all, allow it to be a stepping stone for you to create something even more amazing!

#3. You will lose friends.

Here’s a major #truthbomb for you - my circle of friends looks entirely different now from when I was working in the corporate world.

As a new biz owner, the only thing you will find yourself *really* wanting to talk about is your business! Problem is, your corporate friends won’t understand or be able to relate to the enormous stress and pressure you’re under to make your biz work. In fact they’ll probably say unhelpful things like “why don’t you just go back and get a job?”.

Adding fuel to the fire is that you’ll likely have limited time available to catch up, and limited finances given you’ve probably left your corporate gig and living off savings until your biz makes money.

The reality is the only people who will be able to relate to what you’re going through are other solopreneurs and business owners! So make it your mission to seek out these relationships and  start building your network.

Joining a mastermind {online is great, but in-person is even better!}; attending events in your industry; and reaching out to people you vibe with on Instagram {yes, I’ve done this and have made some really amazing friends!} are great ways to help you feel supported on this journey and make it waaaay less lonely than trying to do it all on your own.

Even though we’re introverts and love being alone; we still crave some level of social connection.

So yes, this will involve feeling awkward and getting uncomfortable to build these relationships in the beginning, but I promise, the reward of having your biz bestie and entrepreneurial tribe to support you and cheer you on will be so worth it!

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#4. It will be hard before it gets easy.

Building a business is a very steep learning curve. Unless you are from a family of entrepreneurs or have had experience building other people’s businesses before - everything on this journey will be completely new to you and oftentimes, extremely overwhelming. But that’s ok!

Please go easy on yourself and don’t place unrealistic expectations on yourself as this will only add more stress to your plate.

Instead, choose to accept you don’t know everything and adopt a beginner’s mind where you show up with an attitude of openness, eagerness and zero preconceptions - just as a beginner would on this journey.

This way, you can actually start to have fun on your journey and view it as an exciting opportunity for your personal growth - which it absolutely is!

#5. You will want to quit.

As I’m sure you’ve now gathered - the entrepreneurial path is not a walk in the park and certainly isn’t for everyone.

Chances are, when it gets really hard and you have no idea what your next best step is, you’ll feel like quitting, again and again. Many people give up too soon on this journey and go back to the safety of a full time job. And that’s ok too.

The thing worth remembering is that nothing worth having ever comes easily.

Chances are, if you ventured down this path in the first place, you have big dreams - and they are worth going after!

So when you feel like you want to quit, it helps to remember why you started and why building your business and dream lifestyle is so important to you.

Here are 3 simple ways you can get the support you need instead of giving up on your dream:

  • Take a part time job to relieve some of the financial pressure. Starting a business is stressful enough and worrying about money amplifies this even further. Take some of the pressure off and look for a part time job or some freelancing work that will support you while you’re building your dream.

  • Get support. Hire a coach; find a mentor or join a mastermind! Although it might feel scary to invest in these things, the value of having someone in your court; helping you shift your mindset around the challenges you’ll come up against and providing you an entirely new perspective based on their business experience - is worth its weight in gold!

  • Surround yourself with positive and like minded people. As I mentioned earlier, finding your tribe is key to making this journey a whole lot more fun! Make sure you’re surrounding yourself with positive people who believe in you and your big dreams. There’s nothing worse than naysayers who will try and talk you out of your dream, calling it ‘unrealistic’ and nothing but a ‘pipe dream’. Don’t buy into this and learn to ignore these kinds of people. My rule of thumb is not taking advice or opinions from anyone who hasn’t already achieved what I’m going after - because the truth is they have zero clue!

So lovely, would you add anything else to this list? I’d love to know some hard truths you’ve discovered on your entrepreneurial path!

Love,
Rachel


Psst…Are you ready to start confidently showing up online and sharing your message with the world?

My eBook The Brand Plan gives you the exact formula for making your brand memorable. Get it free when you sign up for my newsletter below!

Behind the Brand :: Studio749 Brows

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Living in alignment with our purpose is meant to be FUN. And this is exactly how I felt when I was designing the brand new website for my amazing client, Christine A.K.A The Brow Therapist at Studio749Brows.

The minute Christine described her boutique brow studio to me and how she had decorated it, inspired by the gorgeous homes featured on The Glitter Guide and The EveryGirl, I immediately understood how this would translate into her online home.

I honestly had so much fun bringing this to life and the icing on the cake was when Christine let me know one of her clients made the comment: "your website is gorgeous, it is YOU"

Today, I am super excited to be taking you on a tour of Christine’s gorgeous studio and finding out more about her business journey; what made her decide to open her home-based studio and the inspiration behind her beautiful space!

Thank you Christine!

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Tell us about you, your business and how Studio749Brows began?

After I had my first facial I thought 'I need to change careers'! I had been working as a store manager for a retail company for quite sometime and it didn’t take me long to decide to go back to school to get my esthetician license.

I was actually going to apply for a position in Nordstrom at their spa, and instead got hired at Anastasia Beverly Hills counter.

I built a great clientele, and many were very close to my town.

My clients were the ones who asked if I’d consider doing their brows at my house, 'it would be so much easier than driving to the mall'.

So, I first started in my kitchen on a massage bed, then I took over a room downstairs, and as my customer base kept building at my home I knew I had to expand even further.

My husband came home from work one day and I said, 'I’m giving my 2 weeks notice at Nordstrom, remodeling downstairs and starting a full-time business!'   

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How did you come up with the idea of creating such a beautiful home studio?

I knew I wanted something inviting to clients and comfortable. I wanted my clients to know the space was for them, that they were coming into STUDIO749BROWS not my house.

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Your clients must loving coming to your gorgeous and unique space! Where did you find inspiration for the design of your Studio?

So many clients say how much they love the look of my space. And many have asked the same question. Instagram was a big source of inspiration. 

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You’ve created such a beautiful vibe in your studio and no detail has been spared. What are your favorite tips for decorating and cultivating such a beautiful space? 

I think a great tip for me was to keep it simple. I didn’t want anything ornate but I did want a touch of sparkle. I love the softness of blush and pink in the waiting area. 

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What advice would you give to anyone who wanted to create their own studio in their home?

First you need to have a place that is separate from your families living area. I have a separate entrance for my clients that leads right into the waiting area.

I think its very important for your home business to be very separate. You want your clients to feel welcome and not feel like they are intruding. 

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You’ve just launched your new website - congratulations! What will having this new online platform allow you to take your business? What’s coming up next for you?

I am so excited to finally have a website. This was definitely a goal I wanted to accomplish this year. I really want my clients to see my business and me professionally. I

would really love to start brow training classes for beginning estheticians.

Check out Christine's gorgeous online home!


Connect with Christine & Studio749 Brows.


7 Ways to get visible in your business and build your brand influence

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In last week’s post I shared how you can get over the fear of self-promotion and share your work in a completely authentic and non-icky way - so we can get visible in our business and start attracting our dream clients!

Today, I’m taking this one step further and want to share with you some practical ways we can start getting visible in our business so we can build our brand influence.

First up, why is this is important? 

There's a few reasons:

Be an expert and thought leader in your niche.

When you consistently show up and share valuable knowledge, insights and solutions you begin to cultivate an expert profile in your niche.

People start to position you in their minds as being someone who offers considerable and valuable solutions in particular area of expertise.

This is important because as soon as people start positioning you in their minds as being an expert, opportunities will begin to flow and you will naturally begin to attract people who come to you to help solve their specific need.

Allows you to demonstrate your expertise.

In addition to being seen as a thought leader and building your expert profile, by simply sharing this valuable information, you’re actively demonstrating your subject matter expertise which helps to build trust with your tribe, giving them confidence you know what you’re talking about!

Provides opportunities to align with influencers in your niche.

Once you start to build your expert profile and are being seen as a thought leader in your niche, you’re then able to start creating opportunities for collaborating with influencers in your niche.

By getting visible and aligning yourself with other influencers in your niche, you naturally begin to strengthen your brand and everything you stand for.

Grow your audience and your influence.

The most obvious reason why getting visible in your business is so important is because it helps to grow your audience and your influence which is key to growing a profitable and sustainable business!


Watch the full video:


Ok, let’s dive into the practical ways you can begin to get visible and increase your brand influence.

1. Speak at events.

I’m not suggesting you need to start out by being a keynote speaker at a big conference - start small! Seek out local events in your area and see if there are opportunities for you to be a guest speaker or participate in a panel.

Not only will these kind of events allow you a platform to share your message and demonstrate your expertise, they will allow you to connect with an engaged audience who will begin to know, like and trust you as being someone who can help solve X, Y & Z.

As your brand influence grows, there will come a point where it makes sense for you to seek out opportunities that offer you a larger audience and allows to create an even impact with your work.

The key is to start small; build your confidence; grow your influence and then keep expand from there.

2. Host your own event / workshop.

There is no reason why you need to wait for an opportunity to speak and someone else’s event - it is super accessible to host your own event or workshop with platforms like Eventbrite helping to make the whole process seamless.

Live events and workshop offer unparalleled opportunity to build real relationships with your tribe as you get to meet people in person and let them know you on a far more intimate level than online will ever provide.

The most important thing to do when organizing your own event is finding the right venue - look up places like Breather and PeerSpace which allow you to book spaces for as little as $45 an hour.

Or, you might look to partner with local yoga studios, fitness clubs or boutiques that complement your business and would attract an audience that aligns well with your business.

You want to have a space that’s reflective of your brand values and offers your guests a comfortable and memorable experience.

3. Instagram / Facebook Lives.

Not only is there zero barrier to entry to get in front of your audience for doing a Live broadcast, this is a great way to interact in real time with your tribe, giving them an opportunity to have a conversation with you and know that you’re a real person!

I know this can be super intimidating in the beginning {which is one of the reasons I challenged myself to do them on Instagram!}, but I promise they get easier with practice.

Doing these regular live broadcasts gives you a platform to share your knowledge and expertise with your tribe and not helps them build trust in you, but also demonstrating the value you can offer them as potential clients.

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4. Record videos on YouTube / your Blog.

Video offers a far more intimate experience that photos and pictures can ever provide. Doing this regularly is a great way to offer your tribe significant value and build relationships with them in a relatively short amount of time.

The added bonus of uploading your videos on YouTube allows you to grow your audience by strategically using keywords and phrases that people will be searching on.

Don't forget, YouTube is owned by Google so the search engine presents a massive opportunity not to be underestimated!

5. Pitch for features and interviews.

Start looking for opportunities with podcasts and publications where there is a direct synergy with your brand and pitch yourself out to be an interview guest or write an article feature.

With the number of podcasts around these days, so many of them are looking for high quality guests to feature. Rather than waiting for them to approach you, be proactive about it and pitch yourself as a potential guest.

Same goes for blog interviews and features - they are always looking for amazing people to be featured! So I recommend doing some research and start thinking about which publications offer the best opportunities for you to connect with your dream clients and then send them your pitch!

6. Collaborate + Coffee dates!

Collaborating with likeminded people in your niche is essential for both your sanity (!!) and helping to build your brand influence.

It is super important that you’re intentional about the relationships and partnerships you build - they must align with your audience for them to create value and to be a mutually beneficial partnership for both parties involved.

I recommend spending some time researching on Instagram and compiling short-list of people that you vibe with and who you think you could be friends with in real life.

Then start reaching out to them and asking them on a coffee date (if they are in your area) or a Skype date where you can get to know each other!

Most important thing in the initial stages is to build relationships first, and then if it feels good - then start brainstorming ideas on how you can collaborate with each other!

7. Guest post on blogs / publications.

There are so many online blogs and publications these days that rely on content from  contributors for them to exist.

Start doing some research and find out which publications offer the best opportunities for you to connect with your dream clients.

You’ll probably find that most of these opportunities aren’t paid - especially if you’re just starting out. However the value at this stage is more about the opportunity to grow your brand influence so when you think of it in those terms it can completely shift your perspective on it.


I recommend doing at least 3 of these brand building activities at any given time as they will all work together to support you getting visible and growing your influence - and helping to fuel the growth of your business!

I’d love to know - which of these activities are you excited to try to support your business?

Let me know in the comments!


Psst… My eBook The Brand Plan gives you the exact formula for making your brand memorable. Get it free when you sign up for my newsletter below!

How to get over the fear of self-promotion

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Confession: promoting myself and my work is not something that comes to me naturally at all.

In fact, I would say I actively used to avoid it at all costs.

Maybe it’s because I’m an introvert, but I’ve never had a desire to be in the spotlight or the centre of attention.

Why do we fear putting ourselves out there?

  • Fear of criticism.

  • Fear of not being good enough.

  • Fear of our work not being perfect.

  • Fear of not having anything valuable to share.

  • Fear that we won’t be doing anything different - there are so many other people doing the same thing!!

All of these fears hold us back from sharing our gifts with the world and aligning with our greater purpose and holding back on sharing our gifts does not serve anyone.

It takes courage to create.


Watch the full video:


The reality is that being visible and getting good at promoting yourself and your services is an essential part of building a brand and running a successful business.

When you are the person who is the face of your business (and there’s no product or transactional service you’re selling); people need to know you exist for them to start building a relationship with you and understand how you can help them.

Foundational to building a powerful and purposeful brand, is being visible - which means not only promoting your services, but also showing up and allowing people to get to know you.

I came across an interesting article by Kelly Watson who describes the 4 myths of self-promotion which categorizes women into four different stereotypes when it comes to promoting themselves and sharing their work.

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The Bitch Myth :: 'Self promotion will make me look arrogant'.

For some women, myself included, the thought of being called a bitch for coming across as pushy and arrogant is something I actively avoid.

But the opposite of this is not sharing our work in fear of avoiding this label.

There’s distinct a difference between shamelessly promoting yourself and bragging about what you do (AKA being an arrogant bitch about it!) and authentically sharing your work, your message and how you can support people.

The Princess Myth :: 'If I'm good enough, people will hear about it.'

The premise of this myth is that if you work hard and wait patiently enough, someone will eventually notice.

This is the myth that I recognize myself in the most. When I was in my corporate career, I basically kept my head down and worked really hard, hoping that people would take notice of my work.

While people saw me as being a hard worker, it actually did nothing to support my efforts being recognized in a way that was reflective of the value I was creating.

When I first started my business I adopted the same mentality and it was a recipe for failure. Not only wasn’t I attracting clients, I wasn’t able to sustain myself financially.

It is not enough to wait for our dream clients to appear.

It is our responsibility to show up; get in front of our tribe, demonstrate the value we can bring and how we can help them achieve their goals.

The Friends and Family Myth :: 'Others should talk about my accomplishments, not me.'

Relying on word of mouth and expecting that others will do our marketing for us is another trap we can easily fall into.

If we’ve had a few clients who have had great experiences with us, it’s easy to get complacent (especially if we avoid self-promotion!) and instead rely on others sharing our work and helping to promote us, but this offers a false sense of security.

While it’s great to have people share your work - I fully believe word of mouth to be an invaluable way to build a business - this doesn’t mean we should rely on it as the only way to grow our business.

We’re doing ourselves a disservice and ultimately holding ourselves back from so many potential opportunities by not actively getting out there and showing up for our tribe.

The Martyr Myth :: 'You can't control what people think anyway.'

This myth is all about adopting a martyr mindset, believing that after you’ve done the pitch to your dream clients ‘you can’t control what they think’ and people will make their own minds up about whether they want to work with you.

While this is true, the reality is that sometimes people are busy with other priorities and need to be followed-up or invited to work with you.

If someone has expressed interested in your product or service and you don’t bother with the follow-up; this is another way we can self-sabotage and prevent ourselves from the many opportunities that are often right in front of us!

This means not waiting for your dream clients to magically appear...

..And instead taking the initiative, backed with intention for meeting your tribe exactly where they are, so there is no doubt in their mind they know just how committed you are to supporting them reaching their goals.

How to get good at self-promotion.

The good news is that self-promotion is a skill we can learn and get better at over time!

This is a skill that is available to everyone.

An important mindset shift can change the way we see self-promotion and help us develop our skills in an authentic and non-icky way.

Instead of viewing self-promotion as selling, view it as serving.

When we come from a place of service and how we can support other people to reach their highest potential we’re able to get out of our heads {and ditch our mean girl ego trying to pull us back into safety all the time} and instead, invite ease and flow into how we show up.

In a practical sense, what does this look like?

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How to self-promote with ease and flow:

Get clear and focus your mission.

When we’re led by our mission and ask: who am I here to serve? It becomes less about you and your ego that always shows up with an opinion.

Ask:

  • What are am I here to do?

  • How can I serve?

  • What support can I offer to help people reaching their highest potential?

Boost your confidence!

Clarity and confidence are the keys to showing up as our best self and instead of second guessing ourselves we’re excited to get out there and share it!

Let’s talk about some simple ways you can boost your confidence and start sharing your message with ease and flow:

Invest in professional brand photography.

This is honestly the best investment you could make for your brand. Above getting a fancy website or expensive camera gear - 100% invest in some professional branded photography.

Not only will it help capture you in your best light, it’s an opportunity to showcase your brand authentically and everything you stand for.

Visuals are incredibly powerful, allowing you to connect with your dream clients and position you in their minds as the person who can help them reach their goals.

Having some beautiful visuals will help you feel excited about sharing your message, fueling with you with confidence to show up and shine!

Dress for it!

What we wear has a direct impact on how good we feel. Wear clothes that make you feel fabulous and empowered and notice how much more confident you feel.

This is especially true if you’re going to events, client meetings and when you’re out meeting fellow boss ladies.

If you work from home, make the effort to get dressed into something that makes you feel good; along with doing your hair and make-up so you look like the boss you are!

Wear clothes that flatter your figure and make you feel like you run the place: show up and stand tall - you’ve got this!

Get your body moving!

I cannot stress enough the importance of getting your body moving! Not only does working out release those feel good endorphins, it fuels us with the energy we need to get out there and kick our goals!

Regular exercise helps us stay productive, focused and also helps boost our confidence - when we feel good {and look good!} we’re so much more motivated to get out there and do our thing.

In other words - fill up your cup first and then serve.

When you fill yourself up with foundational practices to support you showing up as your best self, you’re confidently able to show up; serve and shine!


Let me know in the comments - what is one thing you can do today to help you get more visible in your business?


Psst… My eBook The Brand Plan gives you the exact formula for making your brand memorable. Get it free when you sign up for my newsletter below!

The ultimate guide to creating a killer content strategy for your brand

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In today’s post I’m breaking down step-by step process on how to create a content strategy and build an editorial plan that can be used for your blog, website and social media.

The big tip with this entire process is that you can apply these principles to all of your channels; or just the one!

First up, let’s talk about why it is so important to create a content strategy for your brand.

When you purposefully position your brand with content, you allow your brand voice to shine through, authentically.

For you to stand out and cut through the noise, being able to differentiate yourself online is essential and this comes down to branding.

Content is branding.

The big shift.

The big shift that has taken place in recent years is brands today need think and act like publishers.

Back in the day, brands only used to communicate with their audiences by one-way communication channels such as broadcast radio, television and print.

Times have changed and while it’s never been easier to start a brand and a business online, to be successful means being intentional about the content you craft and share on a daily basis.

Let's break it down.

Creating a content strategy doesn’t need to be complicated at all and in this post, I will break down the exact process you can apply to your business.

People I speak to about this topic say their biggest stumbling block is knowing the right kind of content to post.

Great content  = knowing your goals & who your dream clients are.

Thing is, once you nail down who you are creating content for and what your overall goals are, everything becomes infinitely easier.

After these two steps have been established, it all comes down to setting up a system and process for you to create regular content and then execute on your plan!

Let's dive in!

1. Create your content goals.

Ok, so first up the most important thing you need to decide when you’re creating content is what your goals are.

What is the main outcome you want people who interact with your content do to?

This could be to:

  1. Drive traffic your website and your blog.

  2. Increase sign ups for your newsletter.

  3. Download your eBook.

  4. Get people to engage with your content and learn more about you!

It’s likely that it’s a mix of all of these things, which is perfect! Having a clear purpose around why you are creating your content is going to support you creating meaningful, valuable, relevant and timely information to your audience.

While ultimately the overall goal is to drive sales for your business; it’s important to consider the journey your customers will be on to making a purchase decision {referred to as the sales funnel}; and that perhaps the next step in the process - if they find you on your social media - won’t be to buy from you straight away, especially if you have a product or service at a high price point.I

Instead, think in terms of “what is the next step I want my dream clients to take?” in the overall sales funnel.

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2. Define who you are talking to - who are your dream clients?

Defining who you are talking to is essential, so you’re able to best connect with your dream clients in a way that speaks to their hopes, fears and concerns and demonstrating that you are the one who can offer them a solution.

Just asking some simple questions will help you create a persona of who your dream client is:

  • Who are they?

  • Where are they located?

  • What is their struggle?

  • What is their vision?

  • How can you help them?

  • What have they tried in the past before that hasn’t worked?

  • If they had 3 wishes right now - what would they be?

Create a persona for your dream client that describes their situation right now and what it is they would be so excited to have a solution for; then give this person a name!

The key is to craft your messaging in a way that meets your dream client’s vision AND solves their problem.


Psst… My eBook The Brand Plan gives you the exact formula for making your brand memorable. Get it free when you sign up for my newsletter below!


3. Craft your brand story - what is unique about your business?

Human to human connections are the heart and soul of business.

While there are thousands of other coaches, therapists, personal trainers and designers - none of them are YOU!

You have a unique story that is unlike anyone else and sharing this authentically with your dream clients is the way you will build a tribe of people who resonate with you that will ultimately allow you to cultivate beautiful relationships with them.

Your brand story, combined with your gifts and how you show up and authentically share this with your tribe is your unique blend of magic and what will set you apart from anyone else.

Uncover your Brand Story by asking:

  • What inspired you to start your business?

  • What led you to where you are today?

  • Was there an ‘aha’ moment you knew this is what you were meant to be doing?

  • What challenges have you faced along the way?

  • What do you think is normal that everyone else considers to be weird?

  • What do you believe in above all else?

  • Why do you do what you do?

4. Determine the best content - create categories or buckets for your content.

Begin brainstorming a list of categories for things you want to share with your audience and importantly - what will resonate with them?

This could include things like:

  • Quotes.

  • Blog posts.

  • Tools and tips.

  • Questions.

  • Personal posts.

  • Behind the scenes.

  • Themed posts e.g Workout Wednesday, Throwback Thursday

  • Promotion of your products / services

Once you have compiled your list, you will have identified the key categories of things you will be posting on your social media.

If you’re not sure what types of content your audience will like and be excited about, go back and re-visit Part Two.

5. Create your content schedule.

This is the last piece of the puzzle and the most important.

Once you know what kind of content you will create, you need to establish the plan and process for creating it. A content schedule should organize the way you curate and create content, and help develop your editorial strategy.

It is super important to create a content schedule so you know in advance what you are posting and when you’re posting it.

Being successful is not about how often you are posting, but being consistent with when you do.

Having a schedule will ensure your brand consistently publishes high-quality, well-written, high-performing content pieces.

Creating a schedule that works for you will help you stay on top of everything and not let it consume you and become overwhelming.

Make sure to build in flexibility though – being responsive towards news and trends is critical.

Without proper planning it can become crazy stressful!

Here is how to create a schedule:

  1.   Work out the days, times and frequency you want to post.

  2.   Work out what type of content you will post at each time eg.quote, blog post etc.

  3.   Plot out each piece of content on your planner.

  4.   Schedule your posts.

That's it!

6. Measure & refine.

Creating a content strategy for your brand is not a set and forget process - success and results all comes down to staying on top of your analytics and understanding your metrics!

After launching your content marketing strategy, you can’t just sit back and watch. You need to study the numbers and gather results.

Using the right tools, you can uncover useful insights about who’s reading your content, who’s sharing it and whether it’s resonating with the right people.

Look at what is working and focus on creating more of that.

Investigate what hasn’t been going so well and see what tweaks you can make to optimize your efforts for long-term success.

Rinse and repeat!


Let me know in the comments - how do you organize and schedule your content? 

How to create beautiful visuals and graphics for your brand

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On Friday I was over on Instagram Live with another mini masterclass, sharing my top tools and tips for creating beautiful visuals and graphics for your brand.

In today’s post, I’m sharing it all with you along with a few extra bonus resources!

First up, before we dive in, let’s talk about why creating beautiful graphics is so important.

Because content is branding.

Every time you create a piece of content and share it on any of your channels, a visual web of your brand is being built.

Visual branding plays a huge role in not only attracting your dream clients; but also in making you memorable and positioning YOU in their mind as being the person who can help them!

So when they have a problem that you can help them solve - you will be top of mind as the person who can help.

Research has shown that when people hear information, they're likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. 

However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.  (Source

Being intentional about the images and visuals you use on a daily basis will help you cultivate a brand that cuts through the noise and connect with your dream clients.

Ok, let’s get to the fun part - here are the the top tools to style your online brand.

I’ve broken this down into:

  • Creating Visual Graphics.

  • Best stock photography and image resources.

  • Apps for photo editing and creating graphics.

Creating Visual Graphics.

1. Canva.

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I love Canva - it is so easy to use and allows you to create beautiful, professional looking graphics for any of your online platforms including social media, blog and website.

It also allows you to create graphics for things like eBooks, business cards and marketing collateral.

If you’re not up for using Photoshop, I always recommend Canva as being the best alternatives as they have an incredible range of templates that are super easy to customize with your own fonts, colors and images.

And if you want to get creative, you can easily design your own graphics using their fun drag and drop elements to style your creations.

The free version is brilliant; but what I love about the paid version is the ability to upload your own fonts and then being able to organize your designs into folders - this is super helpful if you’re creating a lot of graphics and want to keep your files nice and orderly!

2. Creative Market.

I swear, Creative Market is probably my favorite online store. I love that you can find pretty much any kind of design resource on here with everything from fonts, social media templates, icons, illustrations and SO much more.

It’s literally a biz owner’s mecca with everything you need to help you create a beautiful online brand.

Here’s one of my favorite tips that I get asked a lot:

How do you create beautifully styled Cover Photo Highlights to appear on your Instagram profile?

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Creative Market makes this super easy!

  1. Choose the icons you want to appear on your Instagram Highlights.

  2. Jump onto Creative Market and do a search for ‘Icons’.

  3. Find the icons you like and then create an Instagram Story with them in the middle of the Story (Instagram Story dimensions are (1080 x 1920) - hint: use Canva to create these!

  4. On Instagram, make sure your Story settings are turned on to “Archive Stories”

  5. Post your Story to Instagram.

  6. Go to your Profile page and tap “New” highlight

  7. Select from your Stories which one you want to appear as the Cover and position.

  8. Rinse and repeat for as many different Highlights you want to add!

Stock imagery & photography resources.

Beautiful, quality images are an absolute must for creating a powerful and purposeful brand.

These days there are tons of resources out there, both free and paid to help you find the perfect images for your brand.

That is, unless you're creating your own images - which is another post entirely that I’ll save for another day ;-)

So, I’ve rounded up the top resources to find stylish images for your brand. For any paid products you’re creating like eBooks and digital products, I highly recommend investing in some good quality images.

For blog posts and social media, it’s totally fine to use free images, however my only caveat being that popular images will likely be all over the internet, so if you’re after something more bespoke it’s worth investing in some paid images.

Image from  Unsplash : the best free stock photography website.

Image from Unsplash: the best free stock photography website.

The best Stock Photography Resources.

  1. Unsplash (free hi-res premium images)

  2. Stocksy (premium paid stock images)

  3. Styled Stock Society

  4. Bloguettes - Stock That Rocks

  5. Shutterstock (royalty free stock photography membership site)

  6. Death to Stock

  7. SC Stock Shop

  8. Wellness Stock Shop

  9. Create Her Stock

  10. Styled Stock Co

  11. Fempreneur Styled Stock

  12. Haute Stock

Apps for Photo Editing & Graphics.

Photo editing.

It’s easy these days to take really average-looking photos and completely transform them into something amazing, simply by using photo editing apps.

There’s a ton of apps out there that do similar kinds of things, but I thought I’d share the two I use regularly (and love) and another couple that I know are great tools.

In terms of choosing the best apps to use if they have a similar functionality, it mostly comes down to personal preference and which ones you find easy to use.

For me, this is VSCO cam. I use it daily to edit my photos, so they are all visually cohesive.

There’s a free version, but you also have the option to download additional filter packs.

A Color Story (created by A Beautiful Mess) is another photo editing app I love as they have some fun themed filters.

My favorite filter pack is by The Glitter Guide. As with VSCO cam there’s a free version, but personally I think the best filters are in the paid packs.

Afterlight and Snapseed are two other photo editing apps available on iPhone and Android, which have similar kinds of photo editing features to VSCO cam, along with filters to use.

As I mentioned, which app you choose all comes down to personal preference, so I recommend experimenting and testing out which ones you prefer!

It’s important to note that when creating your beautiful visuals, it’s best to find the tool and filters you like and then stick to them as this will help you to create a super cohesive look for your brand.

APPS FOR CREATING GRAPHICS.

These days you don’t need to be a design expert to create stunning visuals for your brand and nor do you need to hire a designer (unless you want to!)

Taking it one step further, you don’t even need a computer to create these gorgeous visuals - they can all be done with the convenience of your smartphone.

If you don’t have access to your computer and want to create some beautiful visuals on the fly make sure you check out these apps:

  • Wordswag (create gorgeous quote graphics)

  • Over (for creating fun quote graphics with cute overlays)

  • HypeType (great for animating Instagram Stories)

  • Canva (the app version of this is brilliant!)


Got any favorite apps or tools you love and would add to this list? Let me know in the comments!

How to Create a Powerful and Purposeful Brand

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I’ve been doing a series of mini-masterclasses over on Instagram and last week I spoke all about how to create a solid foundation for building a powerful and purposeful brand.

So today, I’m sharing the break-down of this approach, along with a handy workbook for you to implement this strategy for your biz!

The framework has three core ingredients: your Mission; Visuals and Positioning.

This is the first step I recommend to anyone about to launch their brand; or for more established brands who feel disconnected to the purpose behind your brand.

This framework will help you uncover your unique blend of brand magic by creating alignment with your vision and getting clarity on what you stand for so you can confidently share your message and build stronger relationships with your dream clients.

Ok, let’s dive in!

1. Mission.

Your Brand Mission is the big why behind your business and the driving force behind why you do what you do - AKA, why should people care?

Thing is, people don’t buy what you do - when there are a million other health coaches, copywriters and candle makers out there - it’s less about the ‘what’ you are creating - but the why behind what you do.

This is what helps your dream clients build a relationship and a connection with you that goes far deeper than any functional benefits - it is the intangible value you offer to every one of your dream clients when they work with you and essentially, how you make them feel.

This is can be broken down into:

Purpose.

This is the driving purpose behind what are you here to do and create.

  • What are your unique strengths that you’re able to tap into and be of service to others?

  • Why do you do what you do?

  • What makes you get out of bed everyday?

  • Why should people care?

Cult beauty brand Glossier, founded by Emily Weiss was launched in 2014, at time when there were millions of other beauty brands and products littering out shelves.

Glossier at Rhea's Cafe, pop-up shop in San Francisco.

Glossier at Rhea's Cafe, pop-up shop in San Francisco.

How on earth was launching a new beauty brand going to cut through the noise and build a loyal tribe of customers?

By backing Glossier with a very clear purpose on what they did and why.

Emily had a very clear vision of the brand she was building, at it began with putting their customers at the forefront:

“We make products inspired by the people who use them: you”

Furthermore, the brand goes on to say - 

"Glossier is about living in—and embracing—the now, not the past, and not the future. It’s about fun and freedom and being OK with yourself today."

"Inclusivity is really our number one value," said Emily Weiss, Glossier's founder and CEO. "We want to inspire, but we also want to be realistic and show beauty in real life."

This clarity of purpose that drives Glossier everyday, is how, in just four years, they have achieved cult status reaching 600 percent year-over-year growth from 2015 to 2016 and raising more than $34 million in three rounds of funding over three years, closing its largest round of $24 million in November 2016.

Impressive; yes.

But also extremely inspiring to know what can be created once your clarity of purpose has been established.

Principles.

These are the values that drive your everyday business decisions.

What do you stand for? What do you love? What do you hate?

Have a position! Powerful and purpose-fueled brands are not vanilla.

It is completely ok that your values will not resonate with everyone. This is the point.

By authentically sharing what you believe, you will attract your tribe of people who share the same belief system as you do and will want YOU to be the one to help them solve XY or Z.

Emmily Banks is a professional Organic Make-up artist and the founder of Depths of Beauty, an online hub which “aims to empower people to confidently and comfortably make the transition to eco-beauty by embracing all natural, organic, ethical and cruelty free products and practices.”

Emmily Banks, Organic Make-Up Artist and founder of Depths of Beauty

Emmily Banks, Organic Make-Up Artist and founder of Depths of Beauty

These principles guide every decision that Emmily makes in her business on a daily basis, including products and brands she features on her website, social media channels; as well as the products she uses and recommends to her clients.

  • What are the beliefs and guiding principles that influence the decisions you make in your business everyday?

  • How can you authentically share these values with your tribe so they can’t help but fall in love with everything you do?

Pitch.

This is your core message and what it what it is you are here to do.

How do you describe what you do when you meet someone for the first time?

It is super important to have a quick introduction describing what you do so you’re not stumbling over your words and purposefully and succinctly and describe what you do and who you do it for.

This will make you and your brand memorable.

Claire Baker, an Australian Coach, based in London has a very clear and succinct pitch that she shares consistently across her website and social media channels:

Claire is an Australian Coach and Writer who helps women find their flow by living in sync with their menstrual cycle via eBooks, workshops and online courses.

Claire Baker, Australian Women's Coach and Writer

Claire Baker, Australian Women's Coach and Writer

Key questions to develop your pitch are:

  • What do you do?

  • Who do you do it for?

  • How do you do it?

The goal is to create complete clarity in the minds of your dream clients so they know exactly what you do and how you can help them!

Remember: a confused mind never buys, so the more clarity you create around this, the more you're helping to enable your dream clients to want to work with you!

2. Visuals.

Visuals play a huge role in creating a powerful and purpose-fueled brand.

Research has shown that when people hear information, they're likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later.

However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.  (Source)

Being intentional about the images and visuals you use on a daily basis will help you cultivate a brand that cuts through the noise and connect with your dream clients.

Visual are not just limited to images, but also include:

  • Graphics.

  • Visual styling.

  • Filters on photo editing.

  • Fonts.

  • Colors.

When I work with my clients one of the first thing I do is help them create a Brand Style Moodboard to capture the vibe and spirit of their brand - basically a visual representation of their brand without using any words.

The goal with your moodboard is to create a ‘visual mood’ that captures the essence of your brand.

Start by creating a moodboard and use Pinterest, Instagram and magazines for inspiration. Pull together a visual collage of everything your brand stands for.

Then, every time you share a post on social media or your blog you can draw on your moodboard and do a quick check-in to see if what you’re sharing is aligned with your vision.

This consistency and cohesiveness created with your brand visuals is what will help to powerfully and purposefully position your brand in the minds of your dream clients.

3. Positioning.

Brand positioning is all about the personality of your brand and how you make your dream clients feel. How you position your brand in the minds of your tribe will determine who pays attention.

In other words: your vibe attracts your tribe!

There are 3 key elements to define your brand positioning:

1. Brand personality.

  • What 3-5 words would you use to describe the personality of your brand?

  • If your brand was a person, how would you describe it?

  • Which words evoke the way you want your dream clients to feel each time they come into contact with you and your brand?

2. Dream clients.

  • Who are you serving? What do they need? How can you help them more than anyone else can? 

  • Start by creating personas for each of your dream clients that detail their stage of life; what they need; along with their hopes, fears and concerns.

3. Connect with your dream clients.

  • Once you have clarity on who your dream clients are and how you can help them; the next step is determining how you will best connect with them.

  • Where do they spend their time?

  • What channels will allow you to establish communication with them?


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Brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Dior have used distinctive elements to create a personality steeped in luxury that serve to create desire in the minds of their dream customers.

People who buy a Chanel or Dior bag are not simply looking for a bag - it is so much more than that: the bag is an expression of their own identity.

The emotions we associate with a brand come into play and ultimately influences our decision to purchase.

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Let's take a look at two amazing coaches: Jenna Black, founder of Abundant Boss and Denise Duffield-Thomas, founder of Lucky Bitch

On a surface level, they do very similar things: helping female entrepreneurs with their money mindset. 

However, both of these ladies have cultivated a distinct Brand Personality showcasing their unique blend of magic, which has enabled them to completely differentiate themselves and attract dream clients who resonate with their authentic vibe.

Just take a look at their Instagram profiles - you'll see instantaneously what I mean!

Here and here.

There is no right or wrong way to approach this step, but when you can infuse your uniqueness into your brand, while at the same time get into the hearts and minds of your dream clients - it is this sweet spot where you’ll uncover your brand magic. 


This system gives you complete clarity on your brand so you can confidently share your message with the world!

My eBook The Brand Plan gives you the exact formula for making your brand memorable. Get it free when you sign up for my newsletter below!

How to create a killer brand impression {that people can’t help but pay attention} ✨

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I’m just coming off the back of a crazy few weeks with a whirlwind 10 day trip back home to Australia to renew my visa {yep, I’m in the US for another two years}; and arrived back to San Francisco in time to celebrate our two year wedding anniversary.

To mark the occasion, we road tripped down to the Big Sur and stayed at Post Ranch, an utterly incredible spot overlooking the ocean - it was absolute bliss and the whole weekend completely blew our mind.

What struck me throughout the entire weekend was the impeccable execution of how they took care of their guests - from the moment we arrived {we were greeted with a glass of champagne while someone whisked our bags away to our room and then parked our car for us!}; during our stay and then right up until we left - it was a completely cohesive, magical and unforgettable experience.

It got me thinking… I’m now going to be telling everyone I know about this place and raving about our stay, which for them, is an incredibly powerful form of marketing.

Upon doing some further investigation {can’t help myself!} I discovered they don’t even have a social media presence at all - shocking right?!

Well, not really.

Here’s the thing: for them, the experience they give each of their guests is their marketing strategy.

Through each of the touch points with their guests - champagne on arrival; parking your car; the fully stocked and complimentary mini-bar {refilled on request}; ambient music playing in your room; lit fireplace on arrival etc… they are cultivating an exceptional brand experience that people won’t be able to stop talking about.

Why? Because it's completely authentic and far more powerful than any Instagram or Facebook post could create.

Consider this:: how are you cultivating an unforgettable and completely cohesive experience at every single touchpoint you have with your dream clients?

Your brand = what people say about you when you’re not in the room.

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This includes everything from:

Online:

  • Your website.

  • The photography, fonts, colors and images you use - across your social media, but also at every other brand touch points including your website.

  • Your newsletter sign up process {how easy do you make it for people to sign up to your newsletter?}

  • Your welcome email.

  • Your Thank You message that pops up after someone subscribes.

  • The guest posts you write on other people’s blogs.

  • The comments you leave on people’s social media and blog posts.

  • How you respond to emails.

Offline:

  • Your business cards.

  • What you wear to events / conferences / meetings (yep, YOU are your brand!).

  • The pitch you give to new people you meet, telling them about your biz and what you do.

  • Workbooks you give out at workshops / events you hold.

  • Any physical presence of your brand - pop-up shop / retail store / staff you hire for your team.

  • All of your collaborations and partnerships (these may be online or offline)

  • How you package your products {if you sell physical products}

  • Your return / refund process.

So, what contributes to a poor brand experience?

Basically anything that leaves your customers feeling that your brand has not lived up to the expectations  you promised them.

Imagine booking in for a luxe afternoon of pampering at a super expensive beauty salon you've treated yourself to and then arriving at the salon to be greeted by a rude receptionist who got your name wrong and kept asking you to repeat what it was that you booked in for.

The whole experience would leave a really bad taste in your mouth....

Your goal is to wow your clients and customers at every touch point they have with you and your brand, so they become your number one fans and tell their friends about the amazing experience they had with you.

Despite the high-tech world we're living in and the ubiquitous force of social media, word of mouth is still the most powerful form of marketing there is.

Even simple things like broken links on your website; inconsistent messaging and the visuals you share on social media, are all touch points helping to build an overall impression of your brand.

Consistency and cohesiveness are key when it comes to creating a killer impression for your brand.

Now it’s over to you! Share in the comments below: what are 3 things you can do today to help improve your brand experience and help create a killer first impression?

Get this right and you'll create a powerful and purpose-fueled brand people can’t help but to take notice of.


Psst… My eBook The Brand Plan gives you the exact formula for making your brand memorable. Get it free when you sign up for my newsletter below!

5 branding lessons we can learn from Kim Kardashian West

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Love her or hate her, there is no denying that Kim Kardashian West is a force to be reckoned with and the ultimate brand powerhouse.

Not only is KKW is the most followed person on Instagram; her rise to fame has been watched by fans around the globe through her hugely successful reality TV show, Keeping up with the Kardashians - which has just finished it’s 14th season (!!!)

KKW has graced the highly coveted cover of Vogue seven times, along with countless other magazine covers including Elle, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, Forbes and GQ.

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She’s represented hundreds of brands like Mastercard, Sketchers, Shoedazzle…. The list goes on...and last year she launched her own beauty brands, KKW Beauty and KKW Fragrance.

KKW regularly finds herself in the middle of controversy and is often the topic of conversation for her outrageous antics {like breaking the internet by posing nude on the cover of Paper Magazine; and taking her fans along for the ride as she openly gets plastic surgery and cosmetic enhancements }...

So yes, there is A LOT we could talk about on the topic of KKW, and I’m sure you already have your own opinion about it all…

But regardless of what people say or think, the fact is, we can actually learn a lot from a brand perspective about her success - because let’s face it - KKW is a brand machine.

Why?

Because as soon as her name is mentioned we’ve already created an image in our mind of her and everything she represents - which is the very definition of a strong and powerful brand.

Let's dive in...

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1. Be visible.

Strong brands are memorable and being highly visible is a huge part of this. If no one knows you exist or what you do, there’s a lot of missed opportunities for your business.

KKW does an amazing job of this - she’s not only on social media sharing what she’s up to; what she’s wearing and give us an insight into her day in the life...She’s also got her app where she shares more behind the scenes and exclusive content; of course her popular TV show giving an even deeper insight into her life;  and on top of all this - she actually gets in front of her fans at events and conferences.

In the branding world, we call this having multiple brand touch points, which essentially means all of the various places, both offline and online, where your audience and customers can connect with you in some kind of tangible way.

Regardless of how skilled or talented you are at what you do, it means absolutely nothing if you’re not visible and no one knows who you are.

You can be the best in your industry, but if you don’t get in front of your people, then you’re missing out on a ton of opportunities!

Social media has made this super easy, allowing you to take people behind the scenes of your brand, letting them get to know you, what you do and why you do it.

Same is to be said about getting offline and getting into the real world to meet people face to face.

What is one action you can take today to be more visible to your tribe?

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2. Show up, consistently.

Apart from the noticeable break she took back in 2016 following the Paris incident where she was robbed at gunpoint (um, yes fair enough), KKW has been showing up consistently to her fans since 2007.

Yep, that’s for over 10 years now.

Whether it’s through her wildly popular reality show; giving us a peek into her glam life on social media; or the many media endorsements she has, no doubt you will see KKW on one of her various channels.

It’s not a coincidence her ubiquitous presence has led to creating such a powerful brand - basically because we can’t forget about her!

When building a brand it’s easy to fall into trap of thinking ‘oh people will be sick of hearing from me’ or ‘I’ve already shared about this event / product / service recently, so I won’t share it again’ - and then not share it.

The reality is that showing up consistently builds trust with your audience that you’re here to stay; and it also lets them better get to know you and keep you top of mind.

Even if they don’t purchase from you today or next week, or even next month - when the time comes, you want your brand to be the one they think of when they have the problem you can help them solve!

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3. Be authentic.

What I love about KKW is that she really doesn’t care about what people think about her and just gets on with doing her thing.

She completely owns who she is and is unapologetic about it.

We don’t have to like or agree with what she does at all - and that’s the point - by simply being true to herself she attracts the people who vibe with her, and repels the people who don’t.

In its simplest form, brand building is about attracting the right people to you and repelling the people who are not your dream clients (and never will be).

When building your brand, the best thing you can do is show up being authentically you and not try and pretend to be anything you’re not.

Why?

Because people will catch on pretty quickly of you’re not who you say you are; and it also means you’re creating an impossible standard for yourself that isn’t even you in the first place.

It’s better to have a small and super engaged audience who love everything you do, rather than building up a big audience who don’t connect with the real you.

It will become exhausting after a while, so instead just focus on doing you; sharing your story authentically, and trust the rest will follow.


Psst… My eBook The Brand Plan gives you the exact formula for making your brand memorable. Get it free when you sign up for my newsletter below!


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4. Be bold and challenge the status quo.

Following on from the previous point - being your authentic self means sharing your opinions; your thoughts and what you believe in.

If you have a point of view on something important to you - share it.

Don’t be afraid to take a stand for what you believe in and the values that shape who you are.

The more opinions and points of view you share, the more you’re allowing people to get to know you and be part of your world.

At the core Dreams for Breakfast are the values of creativity and courage - bravery, with heart; staying in your magic and uncovering your zone of genius to create the business, lifestyle and success you desire. It’s also feminist AF.

My goal is to weave these values into everything I do, create and share - whether on social media, my blog, newsletter etc and connect with people who resonate with this - and essentially share the same belief system.

And KKW - well she definitely believes in glam fashion; eccentric makeup; cosmetic enhancements; shoes; big closets…. As well as the close bond with her family.

A strong brand gives people a reason to believe in the same things as you - and as Simon Sinek wisely shares:

"People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe”.

How can you give your audience a reason to believe why you’re doing what you’re doing?

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5. Don’t be afraid to evolve.

In the 10 years since KKW has been in the spotlight, her brand has evolved considerably - case in point:

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Her latest reinvention was supposedly created during her 3 month social media hiatus in 2016; and since her comeback, she’s definitely been shaking things up.

A brand is a living, breathing entity and constantly evolving. Change is a natural part of who we are and if we don’t change, it’s a sign we’re not growing.

So if you feel like you’ve ‘outgrown’ your brand; or really, you just want to shake things up and pivot; change directions or shift your style - that’s completely ok... and in fact it’s a good thing…

Some of the most successful brands we know and love have been forced to reinvent themselves to stay current and relevant.

Competition is fierce - that’s a given.

If you don’t feel like your brand is creating the impact you need it to be, then perhaps it’s a sign you need to evolve; level-up and start playing in the space you really want to be in.


5 ways to create a super stylish logo on a budget

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I have a confession to make: of all of the brands I’ve created and launched to the world, I’ve never invested in an expensive logo - yet all of them have looked premium and super stylish.

I don’t believe having an expensive and elaborate logo equates to success in business.

Thing is, your brand is not just your logo. A brand is a living, breathing entity encompassing your logo yes; but also your website; every blog post, Instagram post, Instagram Story; Facebook update; every email you send; your business cards… 

Your brand is a culmination and endless web of all the daily actions you take to make your mark - both in the online and offline space.

When we talk about the value a brand has, it's the sum of all of it’s parts - and your logo is just one part in the overall equation.

I do agree that having a logo helps to make your brand distinctive and unique - but some of my favorite brands who are killing it, have extremely simple yet stylish logos.

Let’s take a look...

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GirlBoss. 

Arguably one of the hottest new media companies right now, led by the super inspiring Sophia Amoruso, has used a simple yet effective type face to bring the GirlBoss brand to life. Simple, stylish and super eye-catching.

Into the Gloss.

Top beauty blog founded by Emily Weiss, who also happens to be the founder of the uber cool beauty brand Glossier, have again used a simple typeface to create the gorgeousness of their logo.

Collective Hub.

Magazine publisher {of my fave mag ever} and all-round female entrepreneurial badass, Lisa Messenger designed the Collective Hub logo with a clever use of two different type faces paired together to create a visually stunning design.

Sézane

I’m obsessed with the French fashion brand, Sézane and have been slowly building my wardrobe with their stylish pieces. What do I love most about them? Their simple, yet super feminine approach to style. Their logo is a true reflection of their core brand essence: feminine, stylish and super French chic.

Style Runner. 

My go-to destination for active wear is always Style Runner who has the best range of style-driven athleisure - their logo is well-matched being understated, and of course stylish!

Goop. 

I’m a huge fan of Gwyneth and her wellness site Goop and their logo is perfectly simple, yet super eye-catching.

Hot tip: the more you can save by creating your own logo, the more you have to spend on other far more important expenses in your business - like a fabulous website to showcase your offerings; gorgeous business cards to hand out when you’re at events and some super-styling branded photography.


Ok, so here are my top 5 ways to create a super stylish and premium logo without breaking your budget...

1. Creative Market and Etsy

There are so many amazing designers on Creative Market and Etsy who have created pre-made logos that are super easy to customize.

You can find a premium looking design for a fraction of the cost of a custom design. 

Also on Creative Market you’ll find tons of amazing logo template files which are also easy to customize and make your own.

2. Canva

I’m always recommending Canva to my clients - it’s the perfect design solution if you don’t want to master the ropes of Photoshop, yet need a simple DIY option.

There’s a ton you can do with the free option, but there are some awesome advantages with the paid version, including uploading your own fonts which gives you loads more options to create something fab for your brand.


Psst… My eBook The Brand Plan gives you the exact formula for making your brand memorable. Get it free when you sign up for my newsletter below!


3. Fiverr

If you’re not feeling enthusiastic to attempt your own design, then I definitely recommend checking out online marketplace, Fiverr.

All of the designers on this platform have ratings and samples of their work, so provided you have an idea of what you’re looking for (showing as many examples as you can helps!), you can easily have a logo created for a super reasonable price.

4. Squarespace - built-in fonts

One of the many reasons I love Squarespace and design all of my websites with it is because if you don’t already have a logo designed you can easily create one in the platform, using the in-built fonts and various styling options to adjust things like the color, spacing and height of your design - so good!

5. Buy a gorgeous font and create it yourself!

If you’re feeling more creative then it’s never been easier to design your own logo. Just doing a search on Creative Market for “fonts” you can find a beautiful and unique font you like and then simply customize it using Photoshop. 

Be sure to check out the designers on Behance who often post their work and create their own custom fonts; and also do a search on Pinterest where you’ll find a ton of font inspiration.

Get creative and the options are endless with what you can create with a simple type face!


Got any other tips for creating a stylish logo on a budget? Let me know in the comments!