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Tara here. I know most of you did not dream of starting your own business, just to work with clients that don’t feel like a fit. But I don’t want you to take your clients for granted, either. I want you to love your clients. 

As much as I get fired up to create products for my own business – daydreaming with Kathleen about what’s next for us – I only enjoy those planning-scheming-dreaming moments when they are layered into a healthy schedule of client work. For me, that means lots of chunks of time in my day and week devoted to visioning and writing brand platforms for our clients. 

I recently wrote a post on how Winter is For Working On You. For us that mentality is part of every week – every Friday on our calendar has become a Braid day. But when Monday rolls around, or as the winter hibernation starts to wear off a little –  you stick your head up like that little groundhog that sees spring really is coming this time, and think “ok, who’s going to be my next great client and what kind of client work is going to be filling my calendar?”

What has the doing of the work for our dream clients… done for me?

1. Dream clients give me a steady income. But I’d rephrase that to say, they give me a steady confidence. I could have easily titled this post “What I Can Do For Dream Clients.”  But I wanted to talk to you instead about the confidence having three+ years of dream clients and counting, has done for me and my business.

Braid has never had a dip in our profits since we started, only a steady incline as we’ve built our business. Too much information? I don’t think so. We don’t take for granted that our ability to attract dream clients who pay us for our creative expertise, gives us confidence to always ask for what we’re worth, and only work with our dream clients. So even if we create a product (like our Braid ECourse), or venture into new territory (like our Being Boss podcast) – the confidence to do that, and a lot of the content that made us the creative experts we are – all started with our dream clients.

2.  Dream clients keep me happy-busy. In the moment it may just feel like regular-busy, you know, deadlines and all that. But I have to admit, working purely on a client’s challenge gets me out of my own head. I find when I spend too much time focused inward, I end up scheming on overdrive with all my own business and brand ideas (even we can suffer from an abundance of ideas, so our motto when that happens is “stay on the bus,” but the motto isn’t needed as much when we’re in wildly productive working-mode).

3. Dream clients let me use (and value!) my methodical mind and creative words. In other words, they see me, and trust me – as a creative expert. Ok, so yeah, of course this isn’t just all about what my dream clients can do for me, ha! It feels great to help another creative say what they really mean, sound like an expert and look like they really want to be seen. This gives me purpose, and it gives me momentum to then turn that same vision and brand guidance on ourselves again, when we have to do some self-work on our own business, too. 

It’s definitely a back and forth of building our own business, building our own confidence, and then turning around and giving others the same.

I want these three dream client statements to be true for you, too:
1. My dream clients give me a steady income!
2. My dream clients keep me happy-busy!
3. My dream clients see me as a creative expert!


Some of you may think, ugh, I just need clients, period. And yes, we get that. But then look at those statements above. If you didn’t say “dream,” in front of “client,” and worked with anyone for any project (even if they’re not a fit at all) – forget number two and number three. You could only say number one, “my clients give me a steady income!” and even then, it may not be so steady. You may find your income is based on other factors like the seasonality, word-of-mouth, or just plain luck. 

P.S. What if you really are just starting out and need any client?! What if you’re transitioning from one type of client to a new kind of dream client? You guys might already know about our chalkboard method, but if you don’t, check it out here (we really dive into how it works in our current Braid ECourse). It really helped us in those first couple years of building our clients, and keeping a full and consistent roster of not only clients, but dream clients. 


Our Braid ECourse Dream Customer Catching: Embrace Your Expertise and Attrack What You Track is now open for registration. So if you’re a writer, designer, photographer, consultant, or creative who is wanting to bring more of your personality and passion to your profession this ECourse is for you. 


Or if you’re needing more work / life guidance check out the DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions – it’s just $40 and you can sign up and get this content straight to your inbox anytime! 


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Kathleen here. I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about my purpose and asking myself what does it all mean? Because the stuff I fill my days with – I want it to be more than just a paycheck. I want it to really mean something. A big part of my day, and my identity, is wrapped up in the work I do, and it became important to me to understand WHY I do what I do – especially on the days when I don’t really feel like doing the work. 

THE VALUE IN KNOWING YOUR PURPOSE
Most of us creatives do the work because we’re talented and have bills to pay and lifestyles to maintain. But working for the weekend only takes you so far. Big growth (in your bank account and in your heart) happens when you know why you do what you do. Knowing your purpose will keep you from feeling scattered, spread thin, burnt out or stuck in your tracks. When you know the higher purpose of why you do what you do you will shatter glass ceilings and level up – on so many levels. 



SO WHAT’S YOUR PURPOSE
If the question “what’s your purpose?” throws you for an existential loop or makes you feel like you’ll never find your purpose know that you are not alone. But here’s the deal – you don’t find your purpose – you make it. Start by asking yourself a couple of questions: 

  1. How you feel when you’re doing your best work? When do you feel charged or in the flow? What kind of work are you doing, what kinds of conversations are you having? Get specific. 

  2. How does that work (and all those feelings) best help others? Who are you serving?

So for us, Tara loves feeling like a creative expert who helps other working creatives look, sound, and feel like confident experts. And I love feeling like a creative boss lady who is wildly productive and living the dream – every. damn. day. And I want to inspire other working creatives to live, work, and share what they love too. We took that and distilled it a bit further to reach our clarity of purpose and it comes down to confidence. We want to help working creatives from small towns and big cities feel like confident experts so they can share, sell, and do the stuff they do best. 

So now, when I wake up in the morning I know why I’m going to work and who I’m going to help. And that feels like a wildly productive dream. 

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If you like this blog post and want more check out my DIY Coaching for Creatives email sessions. It’s $40 for 16 emails (over 4 weeks) delivered straight to your inbox. You can learn more and buy those here. 

I also recently launched a podcast with my creative confidant and fellow boss lady, Emily Thompson, called Being Boss where we’re talking about doing the work and being … well, boss. You can listen to our most recent episode and peruse the archives at our website here. 

And finally, our most popular ECourse on personal branding is now open for registration. It will be in-session from February 20 - March 1. If you are a creative entrepreneur interested in blending more of who you are into what you do this course is for you. 

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Kathleen here. Today’s blog post is borrowed from a recent Letters for Creatives – our newsletter with exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox. I always invite the Letters recipients to respond directly to me, and after I sent out this email letter in particular, I got so many replies from creative entrepreneurs saying how it resonated big time with them – so I thought I would repost it here. If you would like to receive our newsletter sign up here. I only send out about 3 letters a month – in other words, I promise not to take advantage of being invited in your inbox. 

Earlier this week I posted on the Braid Blog about how to feel like a creative expert. At the same time I was writing that post my 9 month old baby started growing teeth (which is apparently incredibly painful – there’s a reason why you don’t remember growing teeth) and came down with a virus that left the both of us covered in snot and puke more than once. Gross, I know. So after giving my sad, sick baby a tight squeeze and a good bath I got mad. I got mad at my own mom for never telling me how hard it was going to be to be a mom. I mean, she made it look so easy. And then I realized that’s because she was (and still is) a really great mom – it was part of her job description as “best mom ever” to make it look easy. 

On the Braid blog I listed out a few different ways to feel like a creative expert: remaining neutral to criticism and praise, taking a pause to gather more information before you respond, trusting yourself in the moment, recognizing patterns, establishing clear boundaries, saying no, charging more, and having enough confidence to share your point-of-view. But after this week of tending to a sick baby, juggling work and life, and thinking about my own mom – who is obviously an expert at motherhood – I need to add this to the list: 

Experts make it look easy. 
Experts don’t have to prove their worth by telling you how hard they worked on your project or how long they’ve been in the game. Experts never displace blame or require validation. Experts just do what they do what they do best – whether that’s snapping a photo, writing a book, developing an ECourse, designing your logo, or consulting you through next steps – with grace. Experts make you feel safe and reassured through the process. And they make it look so easy that you almost consider that you could do it yourself. And that’s how they know they’ve done a good job. 

Are you still having a hard time identifying or embracing your expertise? Consider this: 
  • What comes easy to you that seems to impress the people around you? The answer to this question might be your expertise. 
  • What isn’t so easy but is something you want to be really good at? This could be your expertise if you start working on it today (and tomorrow… and the day after.)

Our Braid ECourse Dream Customer Catching: Embrace Your Expertise and Attrack What You Track is now open for registration. So if you’re a writer, designer, photographer, consultant, or creative who is wanting to bring more of your personality and passion to your profession this ECourse is for you. This ECourse will be in-session from December 12-21 – you can take it for $50 using the discount code BRAIDECOURSE50 when you check out. 

Or if you’re needing more work / life guidance check out the DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions – it’s just $40 and you can sign up and get this content straight to your inbox anytime!  

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THE BRAID BLOG from TARA AND KATHLEEN
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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