BRAID CREATIVE & CONSULTING
is branding & business visioning
for creative entrepreneurs.
03-Sep-2014

Have you heard about the Law of Attraction? The idea, as I’ve come to understand it, is that if you can visualize what you want, it is yours – that your emotions, thoughts, and feelings set into motion what comes your way. So if you’re negative, you will probably attract even more negativity into your life. And on the flip-side if you focus on the positive more good things will come your way. I believe this to be true on a universal “woo-woo” level – that when you get clear, set intentions, and “put it out there” you begin to attract what you want without a whole lot of effort. 

Kathleen here. I see the Law of Attraction show up in my life on a daily basis. I have noticed that whatever I’m interested in personally, is what I seem to attract professionally. For example, when I really started diving into my yoga practice I started attracting a bunch of yogis as clients. When I got pregnant I found that we were being hired by more and more doulas, midwives, and postpartum health coaches. When I get fired up about food I start attracting foodies – from Paleo cookbook authors and experts to juice cleanse coaches and raw food fanatics and everything in-between. Even my more rational business partner and co-workers will tell you that there is a little bit of mojo at play when it comes to attracting these dream customers. But you don’t have to be a magician to make the Law of Attraction work for you too. 

If you’re skeptical about the Law of Attraction here is a more practical breakdown of how to make it work for you: 



STEP 1: GET CLEAR ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT 
The first step to attracting the good stuff is to get clear about what it is you want. What do you want in your business? If it’s new clients what do you want those clients to be like? Is it more money? If so, write down exactly how much you want to make this year. Is it a beautiful home or a badass wardrobe? Maybe start a Pinterest moodboard so you can visualize what that looks like. 

STEP 2: PUT IT OUT THERE 
Start writing about, talking about, and thinking about the stuff you want. Make it a priority to share the stuff you like – personally and professionally – at home, at work, over coffee, while you’re networking. The more you can have other people thinking about your goals the more likely it is someone will think of you when the opportunity to fulfill those wishes presents itself. 

STEP 3: TAKE NOTE WHEN IT BECOMES REAL 
The most important part of making the Law of Attraction work for you is to take note when you wishes come true. Perspective is everything – your thoughts make your reality. I recently read that the only difference between lucky people and unlucky people is mindset. Oops! I’m starting to get even a little more woo-woo-meets-business here. Okay, so for example – when Tara and I started Braid Creative I said “I want to work with someone famous and I want to make $X amount of money.” Well, just a year in we landed Brené Brown as a client (a personal hero of mine who found us when I did a book review of Daring Greatly and shared it with her via Twitter – that’s an example what “putting it out there” looks like) and three years in we just now hit a big money goal. If I had not set those goals in the first place I might see these events as one-time flukes or quickly go on to raise the bar without properly acknowledging these accomplishments. 

AN EXERCISE
Try this: write down a list of 5 things you want to attract. Get as specific as you can about these desires. (So don’t write “I want to attract money.” Instead write down “I want to make $1,000 in one week.” Or whatever your money goal is.) Put these five goals or desires on a post-it note that lives on your mirror or computer so you can see it everyday. Take note when these goals become a reality (and they will). 

Our new ECourse Dream Customer Catching: Embrace Your Expertise and Attract What You Track is now open for registration. We share more secrets for attracting dream customers by getting narrow with what you offer. This ECourse will be in-session from September 19-29. Learn more and see if it’s a fit here. 

And if you like a good mix of woo-woo meets practical steps for living the dream – in work and life – you might like my DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions. It’s just $40 for four weeks of guidance. You can sign up here to receive these emails straight to your inbox anytime. 


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17-Jun-2014

Two money posts in a row, I know. Kathleen here and I'm positive the majority of you creatives and aspiring entrepreneurs and freelancers are craving a conversation about cold hard cash. I know this because every time I get some face time with you all we end up talking about money. How to find it, make it, sustain it, and grow it. Last week I shared four bits of money advice on the blog and this week I have one more important tidbit to share with you and it is this:

Be a farmer. (Not a hunter.) 

Yup, you heard me: be a farmer. This is actually a money mantra Tara and I used a lot when we first started Braid Creative together. We adopted it from Blair Enns, a new-business coach whose specialty is helping creative agencies sell themselves. Meanwhile, we were leaving the agency world and starting over on our own. We were three months in, and had been tirelessly building our business from scratch – from the branding, to the website, to the endless administrative stuff like setting up our LLC and accounting systems. Once the flurry of setting up shop settled we were discouraged to hear crickets chirping as we waited for clients. Even though the silence was discouraging, an even more demoralizing prospect was going out and selling ourselves “cold” (i.e. knocking on doors, making calls, or sending unsolicited emails). So we started farming. 

BE A FARMER 
Farmers wake up early and do the work. They get their hands dirty and plant seeds. They protect and nurture their land for months until they're able to harvest their crops. They look at the big picture and they cultivate patience. Obviously, I'm not telling you to literally go out and become a farmer (that's another fantasy for another day), but do start treating your business like a farm. Wake up early, do the work, build your brand, read blogs and books, write a post, hit publish, launch, build relationships, build your list, have conversations, and share your gifts of knowledge... that's farming. In other words, if you want to grow your business, your brand, and your bottom line, first you have to plant it. 

DON'T BE A HUNTER 
Hunting for the quick kill sounds appealing until you come home empty handed, hungry, and desperate. Hunting in business is what will make you feel like a used car salesman rather than the creative expert you are. Hunting is exhausting.  

HOW THE MANTRA WORKS
The mantra “be a farmer, not a hunter” works by getting you in the headspace to plant seeds that may not produce fruit (that would be cash money) for months... years even.  Our commitment to being "farmers" kept us productive even when we didn't have clients. So if you're feeling discouraged start farming. 

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Our Braid ECourse Dream Customer Catching: Embracing Your Expertise and Attracting What You Track will be in-session starting this Friday, June 20. If you are a writer, designer, coach, or creative who understands the importance of narrowing in on your niche for building your business but don't quite know where to begin this ECourse is for you. Learn more and enroll here.  But you have to register by Thursday! 

Or check out our DIY Coaching for Creatives email series. It’s insight delivered straight to your inbox over the course of 4 weeks.

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Well, “nightmare” might be a bit harsh. But it played off of “dream” so nicely – and really, nightmares are kind of just waiting to happen whenever you work with non-dreamy customers. Misaligned expectations, unclear needs, differing aesthetics, unfulfilling end-product, Freddy Krueger coming towards you in his weird striped-sweater-fedora combo… (shudder). Wake me up!

Figuring out exactly who you work with best helps you in two ways. One, you can find them easier, by creating content that speaks directly to them. And two, you can work with them easier, because you’re able to be such an expert for their needs. Super dreamy-sounding, right? So – how can you tell if your idea of your dream customer is right-on or a bit off? 

Liz here. Along with Tara and Kathleen, it's my job to guide all of our clients through our Braid Method. I see lots of patterns and disconnects come up when it comes to their own dream customers. Here are some not-so-dreamy assumptions we see entrepreneurs make time and time again, when figuring out who their dream customer is:



"I want to work with _________, but 
I'm afraid they'll see me as _________."


Maybe the “nightmare” is really just letting your fear and self-doubt get the best of you. What you think of as a barrier, is actually an opportunity. What you see as a weakness, is actually a strength! We see this take so many forms. Maybe you think you're too old, or have had a lot of random past experience in totally different fields. You're actually just wise and well-rounded – a guide for younger or less-experienced clients. Shift your perspective, own it, and move on.

Or maybe you think you're too young (or don't have enough experience) to appeal to your dream customers, and that they won't take you seriously. But if you can show that you’re a creative expert (without proving it too hard), age and experience are irrelevant. Still think you need more schooling? Learn by doing.



"I think my dream customer is everyone! 
(Or maybe I just have a hard time saying 'no.')"


Sometimes your dream customer isn't just who you want to attract, but who you can help the most. Look at what you offer, what your true strengths are (what you're great at vs. just what you can do) – and consider what kind of client can benefit from that the most. Someone who needs more guidance and direction, or someone who knows exactly what they want? An engagement where you just come in for one small piece of the puzzle, or where you handle everything from start to finish? 

For example: About six months ago, we stopped offering web design and development. Sure, we can do it, and it’s a nice complement to what we currently offer – but we realized we’d rather take two creatives through a Brand & Business Vision Guides than one website (and they cost the same). We knew our customers were better served when we helped them with visioning and branding, and left web design and development to the real web experts. Now we happily recommend a small handful of web experts who love working with our files and clients – and everyone is better off because of it.

Bottom line? Being “an expert” means getting daringly narrow. And the narrower you can get about what you do and for whom, the better. And don’t forget - even though you’re helping them, they need to help you too! You deserve dream projects that pay.

"My dream customer is exactly like me!"

Sometimes when our clients start describing their dream customer, they’re really just describing themselves. We recently had a client who started out thinking that her dream customers were highly-creative urban-homesteading makers (like herself) - but soon realized that they probably couldn’t afford her work! After some thought, she figured out that her dream customers were actually women like herself a few years ago: living in a city, but dreaming of things like having a vegetable garden or raising chickens, wanting to be more creative and valuing handmade, but also still shopping at places like West Elm and Target. 

Sometimes we confuse “dream customer” with “dream comrade.” Dream comrades follow your blog, and may overlap in several areas of interest or work – but they may never become customers. And that’s okay! Comrades are your community, your tribe, your support system. But sharing content with them (or selling to them) is like preaching to the choir. And that’s why you need dream customers, too.

Dream customers may follow your blog, but in a more aspirational way. Maybe because their lives look very different than yours, or they’re a few years younger than you and interested in the path you’ve taken. So instead of preaching to the choir, you’re a guide, always 2-3 steps ahead of them. Your content becomes the breadcrumbs that they gather as they follow you, and that establishes your expertise.

You can share content with both in mind – just make sure you’re selling specifically to your dream customer.

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Who is (or ISN’T) your dream customer? Let us know on Facebook.

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Our Dream Customer Catching ECourse helps creative entrepreneurs figure out how to work with / sell to the people they like, the people that pay, and the people they can actually have the most impact for. It will be in-session from June 20 - 29th. Learn more and register here. 



Or check out our DIY Coaching for Creatives email series. It’s more dreamy insight, delivered straight to your inbox over the course of 4 weeks.

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Braid Creative & Consulting is branding and business visioning for creative entrepreneurs. The Braid Blog is where we share weekly insights and resources for creatives.

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