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Braid Creative Sisters | Tara Street on the Being Boss Podcast

Braid Creative's Tara Street on Being Boss Podcast

Kathleen here. When I tell people I own a business with my sister they respond one of two ways: either they say “oooh, you’re so lucky! I wish I could work with my sister!” or “I could NEVER work with my sister.” And the truth is, most days I feel really lucky. A huge perk is that 30+ years of shorthand as sisters has allowed us to expedite our growth as a business. Plus, we always know that we’ve got each other’s back – and that kind of trust makes for powerful business.

Tara and I started working together at an advertising agency. She was literally the boss of me – and that was okay because as my older sister she has been the boss of me pretty much our entire lives. Then when we started our business together we went from being sisters to being the boss of each other – and once we hired a team we both became the bosses of our employees. We have to make a lot of decisions together and often take turns at the wheel when it comes to driving this bus. And to continue with that bus-driving metaphor sometimes our path is smooth sailing, other times the terrain is a little more rocky.

My favorite part about working with my sister (aside from the vacations we get to write off as business) is that she’s one of the smartest people I know. She thinks in layers and can see the domino effect of any scenario in an instant. And when you meet her you’ll probably want her to be your big sister and business partner too.

I’m really excited to have her on the Being Boss podcast this week – because as the younger sister who typically craves attention I’m usually the one in the spotlight. But Tara is the slow burn who knows her stuff and I’m glad she’s getting a chance to take the stage.

Here are a few nuggets of wisdom she shares (click the image to tweet):

own your creative expertise

fake it till you make it creative entrepreneurs

creative entrepreneurs ideas & inspiration

Listen to the episode at or on iTunes.


What Creative Experts Do—How to Be a Creative Expert | Braid Creative

What creative experts do

Something magical happens when you’ve become a creative expert. It doesn’t happen overnight, and you may find that you’re the last one to adopt the “creative expert” title for yourself, but at some point you’ll take a step back—after sending that final invoice to a client, after designing your 85th logo, after showing your client a moodboard and hearing that enthusiastic “YES!”—and you’ll think, “Wow! I am really good at this!”

“But I’m so busy in the doing!” you might say. And yeah, the client managing, business managing and the creating itself for sure, is a big part. But another part is doing what creative experts do. So we want to share with you our do-like-a-creative-expert list—and if you’re kind of at that “fraudy feeling” stage where you’re not quite ready to claim your creative expertise, you might find that you’ve got some of these items covered too:

Creative experts explain, they don’t sell.
You can’t have a business without a sales funnel because no matter how fabulous your services are, the idea that anything “just sells itself” is a lie. Creative experts know this, but they also know that a stuffy sales pitch is not going to do them any favors either. So what do they do? They explain. Your clients want a behind-the-scenes peek, a glimpse into what drives you to create an amazing product, and a preview of the journey you’ll take them on in your time working together.

Creative experts know that the sales process is really just a conversation—not polished and perfected, but genuine and transparent to really get that potential client to understand the process and connect with you and what you’re offering. (click to tweet)

how to be a creative expert

Creative experts predict and notice patterns.
This isn’t to say that each of your clients isn’t a unique and beautiful butterfly, but when you’re a creative expert, you understand your dream clients before you’ve even met them (click to tweet). You’ll begin to see which problems, worries, and frustrations are common among your favorite clients, and you’ll be able to anticipate those same needs for similar clients moving forward. Creative experts see these patterns and connect the dots so they can produce more content that is even more specific to their dream clients. Once you’re able to offer those specific solutions to those problems and concerns, the only thing they’re thinking is, “Oh my gosh this person gets me! I need to work with them immediately!”

Creative experts earn enthusiastic approval.
We’ve all had that client (or fear having that client) who after seeing the final logo, or the brand design, or the website, even final room (for you interior designers out there!)—just didn’t like it. Cue: heart drop, irrational anger, and feelings of hurt and rejection.

Creative experts know how to minimize the risk of ever getting to that disappointing place so late in the project, and instead get a response that’s more along the lines of an all-caps, exclamation-point-expression of love and excitement. And it’s not because they’re better at what they do, it’s because they know how to listen, adjust, and share the process along the way. By making your client feel like part of the process and be able to give you constructive feedback before you get too far in, you’re able to take some of that pressure off the final reveal and receive that enthusiastic approval.

Creative experts have a creative process.
You know when you finish a project that just felt so right? Your client was a dream, the process was smooth, and the result made your client excited and made you think I wish every project could be just like this!

Creatives experts have figured out how to make all of their projects just like that one project. That’s not to say they don’t have a project that gets off track sometimes or only produce a uniform product forever and ever, but they’ve developed a process to follow that helps streamline communication, smooth over any bumps, and maps out a timeline that’s achievable. This process helps you work in the perfect conditions to create your best work, it helps your clients trust that you know what you’re doing, and it gives you the confidence to continue to grow.

Creative experts teach and share their knowledge
By sharing the knowledge that attracts their dream customers to them, creative experts are setting themselves up as an expert in their field. They build trust not only by demonstrating that they know what they’re doing, but potential clients feel confident that if the free content can add so much value to their lives, then the actual paid service will help them move mountains! The more you can share what you know, either by giving it away or choosing to package and sell this content, the more you will build a tribe of built-in dream customers who are already learning from you.

Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to support themselves financially with their business, create a blog or consistent online presence, and finally turn the work they’re already doing into a digital product, package, or offering for dream customers. This branding ecourse comes with 7 learning modules in a 300+ page digital download, a workbook with 20+ branding exercises and scripts, a quarterly masterclass, and an exclusive Facebook group so you can connect with us and other students.


Going from Creative to Creative Expert | Braid Creative & Consulting

Embracing your creative expertiseToday’s post comes from our Branding for Designers email series. Almost everyone on the Braid team started out as a graphic designer so we have a special place in our hearts for you all. We know your struggles first hand and wanted to create a series just for you. Oh, and if you’d like to get a free eBook on how to brand yourself as a creative expert sign up here. Now on to the post!

There’s a difference between deciding to work in a creative field and deciding to become a creative entrepreneur who works for yourself. There’s an even more subtle yet significant leap (in mindset + just making it happen) to go from a creative entrepreneur who works for yourself to a creative who is positioned as a creative expert.

“Expert” is a heavy word. You might not be sure how you feel about it. So let’s remember for a second why you became a “creative entrepreneur,” which is hopefully a label you happily embrace.

You became a creative entrepreneur because you love creating things that all click together in this really cool way. You can look at a problem—at something that’s missing, at something that’s just a total mess, or something that’s almost there but still not quite right—and make it into something that works, that inspires, and that gives you this feeling of “I did that.”

That feeling at the end of a successful client project—be it large or small—is so good. But sometimes it gets all muddled by other feelings along the way: “Ugh. It took so many revisions.” “I wish the client had liked it more.” “I wish I had liked it a little more.” “It could’ve been better if only...” Here’s the thing – it is so easy for creatives to blame these woulda-coulda-shoulda’s on the client. And all too often, deep down, we blame it on our own fear that we just aren’t talented enough, smart enough, creative enough, or good enough.

Difficult to embrace the title creative expert

So who can blame us for not easily embracing the word “expert” when it’s difficult enough (especially on the hard projects, the hard clients, the just plain hard days) to feel like we totally own the label of “creative entrepreneur?” (click to tweet)

Think about how you would love to be seen by your clients before you even get started. Think about the kind of work you’d like to be known for. Imagine feeling so confident not just at the end of a design project…but along the way. Yeah, there’s still always going to be muddled feelings (we’re all human after all), but when you cultivate the inner mindset and working habits of a creative expert, those moments of doubt and frustration are so minimized by the feeling of “I got this.”

become a confident creative expert

Try this: Make a list of all the things you would have to start doing before you would be comfortable thinking of yourself as a creative expert. Is it more training in your skill or education? Is it a portfolio filled with more work you love? Is it working with a certain kind of dream client? Is it feeling like you have a worthy brand? Is it feeling confident blogging, writing or just speaking?

Now look over that list again. Let’s refine those thoughts, get a little more specific, and use them to help you fill in this blank: “Actually I do feel like an expert already at _____, ____ and _____. I’d really only need a little more of _________ to feel even more confident, and that’s something I could start doing right now in the short term. So if I had to pick one big thing that would help me truly feel like a creative expert in the long term, it would be ____________. I think that’s something I could really focus on over the next six months and really see a change in my mindset, my business positioning and the kind of work I get to take on.”

Next up we’ll be talking about how to create and share your business vision because our creative expertise is all about helping other creative entrepreneurs find that voice so they can tell dream clients who they are and what they do, but also so they can get specific about their business vision so they can move forward without self-doubt and second-guessing along the way.

If you find this series of blog posts helpful, then you should definitely check out our Braid Method Branding ECourse. We’ve taken everything we’ve learned from our creative expertise and spent years curating this content and getting it just right so that you can walk away with some amazing insights into who you are and what you want from your business as well as some exercises to help you fine tune your messaging and get crystal clear on how to position yourself as a creative expert.

Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to support themselves financially with their business, create a blog or consistent online presence, and finally turn the work they’re already doing into a digital product, package, or offering for dream customers. This branding ecourse comes with 7 learning modules in a 300+ page digital download, a workbook with 20+ branding exercises and scripts, a quarterly masterclass, and an exclusive Facebook group so you can connect with us and other students.


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

Learn more about how to work with Braid here >





blend who you are & what you do,

share & sell your creative expertise,

attract your dream customers,

& make your business vision real

This ecourse is for creative people like designers, photographers, stylists, lifestyle coaches, wellness professionals, yogis, foodies, writers, bloggers, and creative consultants. Whether you’re just starting out, or have lots of experience, our step-by-step guidance will help you create a brand and business vision that feels more clear, confident, and like the true you.






Want more? Sign up for our exclusive weekly email letters from us, Kathleen and Tara, for insights and advice from our own personal and professional overlap – as sisters, business owners, content sharers, and creative entrepreneurs.

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Listen to the Being Boss podcast with Kathleen Shannon & Emily Thompson for candid stories, insights and tips on how to be boss in work and life.

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