When we first launched Braid Creative, we spent a few months developing our brand, solidifying our positioning, and designing our website. We launched with a big hurrah and a bottle of bubbly. And then… crickets.
We needed clients, stat.
At the time, we were working with our executive coach, Jay Pryor, who held us accountable for doing things to help move our baby business forward. He helped us navigate feelings of uncertainty, but he also helped us get clear and practical when it came to growing our business. When we shared with him how freaked out we were that we didn’t have any clients he said this:
In order to get clients you have to make space for them.
Our coach put us “on the hook” for developing a system to visually track our clients. Jay promised that the universe abhors a vacuum and that we simply needed to make space—literally and metaphysically—for clients.
I had an entire wall in my home office painted with chalkboard paint at the time – and as daunting as it was to “make space” for clients I didn’t have yet, I drew 12 lines that I hoped would fill sooner than later. I remember sitting back down at my computer, which faced my chalkboard wall, a little freaked out about the constant, oversized reminder that we had NO work. But through a combination of a lot of hustle while launching our business and a little bit of magic (#hustlewoo), all 12 slots were filled by the end of the week.
What started as something that felt a little silly or superstitious has become a business tool we come to rely on every single day and what we refer to as “The Chalkboard Method.” Our own Chalkboard has evolved from just 12 blank spaces for clients, to a place where we track (and attract) dream clients, digital products, new offerings we’re experimenting with, and even grow our social following.
Anytime I tell someone about The Chalkboard Method, they want to know more details! “How does it work? How can I make my own?”
I’ve got you! Here is a worksheet that will walk you through The Chalkboard Method step-by-step so you can make it your own.
And if you’re still wanting more, I did an entire podcast episode on The Chalkboard Method over at Being Boss. You can listen to that here.
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Tara here. Kathleen and I were hosting a webinar last week about attracting your dream client, navigating selling conversations with more confidence, and helping them actually hire you once they are ready to find out more.
The creative entrepreneurs, makers, consultants, and coaches gathered together to hang out and learn something new from us—and also share the thoughts and concerns so many of us have
“I want to show up, to position myself as an expert in my field!”
“I feel like I’m second-guessing my value to my dream client or why they should invest in me.”
“I don’t even know who my dream client is or how to attract them.”
“I need to be more consistent about how & what I share online.”
“I want to transition from freelance to deeper, more strategic work!”
“I want to transition from one-on-one work to creating products that can reach and help more people!
“I want to blend my different passions & professions into one brand, but I don’t know how, or if it’s even possible.”
“I’m afraid I’m trying to do too much with my brand.”
“I’m afraid I’m not doing enough with my brand.”
“I’m a little embarrassed to embrace & share my personal brand with others.”
“I don’t even know what my personal brand really is.”
“I feel unclear about what my brand focus should even be.”
Any of these wants, needs, or challenges sound familiar to you? Just another day in the head of the creative entrepreneur, right? But what’s really running through all of these thoughts? The need for a clear message and focus + a voice and style that feels like the professional and person we are. This is the clear one-two punch combo we all really want from our brand.Think of the kind of confidence you would feel if your brand was doing those two things for you. Think how much more focused and legit you would feel when you were:
When we get to the heart of what we all want our brand to do for us, it’s 1.) share a clear message so people actually understand our value & how to buy us 2.) with a voice and style that feels like the expert + the person we are.This is why we created the Braid Method Branding ECourse. It’s how we take you through all the layers of your brand and business vision and show you how to weave them together, so you get your head and your heart into a clear, confident brand:
It can be hard digging into your brand and business vision this way! But in all the best ways. It’s not the kind of hard that feels like you’re spinning your wheels without direction. It’s the kind of hard where you can see the framework on the page, the roadmap to getting the brand you want – you just have to knuckle down and start shaping “all the ideas” into those brand messages that are going to serve you in all your “brand places” online and in person.
We want you to feel like we’re guiding you along the way. We know we can’t work with every creative entrepreneur one-on-one to help them shape up their brand. So we made sure to get as much support and guidance woven into our ECourse as possible with:
- Lessons that feel like we’re speaking directly to you (we are creative entrepreneurs like you!) where you’ll hear Tara (the rational & layered older sister) and Kathleen (the bold & empowering younger sister!) piping in with our stories and own specific expertise.
- Worksheets that don’t have you staring at a blank page but give you a framework, an outline, even fill-in-the-blank scripts that we use behind-the-scenes in our own brand work.
- Audio Recordings so you can pop in your earbuds or listen in the car, as Kathleen and I narrate each lesson, plus give you advice around working through your worksheets (where the magic & the real work happens in the ecourse!)
- Exclusive Webinars you can attend, just for Braid ECourse students, where we’ll be answering questions and addressing some of the roadblocks we see people coming up against when trying to shape up their brand.
- Access to The Braid ECourse Facebook Group where you can connect with your peers for extra guidance, support, and questions!
Often what keeps people who’ve been meaning to take The Braid Branding ECourse, but just haven’t taken the leap yet – isn’t the cost investment as much as it is carving out the time.
We get it! With seven super-robust lessons, we provide a suggested schedule—whether you’re the type who wants to do it all in one
Speaking of your own pace and style, you can also pay two different ways, either three monthly payments or just a one-time purchase. Check out the details, price, and more of what you get with The Braid Branding ECourse here. >
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One of my favorite things about working with creative entrepreneurs and aspiring-to-be’s, is getting to brainstorm what a super dreamy life looks like.
For some creatives it’s the ideal morning that involves white sheets, french pressed coffee, fresh air, and loads of journaling. For others it’s traveling the world. For most creatives I work with though, a dream life is about a feeling of confidence, courage, and creativity. Or something along those lines. When it comes to making that feeling a reality it’s my job, as a creative coach, to ask:
What does that look like?
This question always throws my clients for a loop. “What do you mean?” is typically how they’ll respond.
What I mean is what does confidence look like? What does inspired look like? What does courage, creativity, productivity, joy, peace, happiness, excitement, and love look like? If you can build visuals, textures, and actions around the feelings you can start to bring them into your life on the daily.
Try this: Take out a blank piece of paper and write down 3-5 things you want to feel as you move through life. Or even better, write down a LOT of things you want to feel and then circle 3-5 that really stand out to you.
Then make these feelings real by trying the following exercises:
1. A Cast of Characters
Under each feeling make a list of people who you think embody that feeling and briefly describe how or why. This person can be fictional, historical, a friend or family member, another blogger, or a celebrity. So for example, let’s say the feeling you want to cultivate is “brave”. Make a list of the bravest people you know and specifically why they are brave. Is it because they have a cool wardrobe that you could never pull off? Do they travel solo? Or did they quit their day job to chase the dream?
Once you make this list draw inspiration from these people. Let’s say Amelia Earhart was your character for “brave”. When you’re feeling afraid you can simply ask yourself “What would Amelia Earhart do?” Or you can say “I am Amelia.” to steel some courage. Kathleen Hanna (the lead singer of Bikini Kill) used this very technique when she found herself needing some thicker skin when it came to her critics and internet trolls so she declared “I’m Beyonce.” I love that!
Once you have your cast of characters take a few people from your lists that you could actually get ahold of to interview. Tell them “Hey so-and-so, I really admire how brave you are. I’d love to ask you a few questions about what brave means to you and how you find the courage to do all the awesome things you do.” I think you’ll be surprised to find out what they say about the very feeling you’re trying to cultivate and you’ll discover that we’re all in this together.
3. Make a Pinterest Board for each feeling
Start pinning images that represent the feeling you’re wanting to capture. It can be as abstract or as specific as you’d like. As humans we don’t actually think in words. We think in images and symbols – and those images are different for everyone. For example when I write the word “bear” you think of an animal with fur, right? What color is the fur? Where is that animal? You might be imagining a koala bear eating a eucalyptus tree while I’m imaging a brown bear giving birth in a cave. The idea is to associate the feeling concepts you want to cultivate with actual images so you can start to define, recognize, and manifest exactly what you want.
4. Check-in With Your Feelings
As you move through your day ask yourself “Does this action make me feel [insert desired feeling(s) here]?” If the answer is no an adjustment, big or small – attitude or otherwise, may need to be made. If the answer is yes then keep doing what you’re doing. And you might be surprised with your findings! For example, one of my clients wanted to make it a goal to go on a walk every morning. She imagined it would make her feel peaceful, productive, and centered. But instead her morning walks just made her feel anxious. So she stopped walking and started using her mornings to write instead. And get this – she had been feeling guilty for YEARS for not going on a morning walk.
Another one of my clients loves watching TV and was feeling bad about this guilty pleasure. But when we talked about her current obsession with Mad Men we realized that by enjoying this TV show she was feeling inspired to change her own career to be a bit more like Peggy. Just like Pinterest can help you create visuals for the life you want to live so can TV. But if channel surfing on the couch doesn’t spark your core desired feelings then it’s probably time to move on.
5. Acknowledge Your Feelings When They Happen
Finally, the best way to live the dream life is to find gratitude for your desired feelings as they’re happening. So for example, if you’re at a concert watching your favorite band take a moment to step outside of yourself and say “This is [that feeling]. This is excitement. This is inspiration. This is energy.” Or if you have a random moment of clarity (this sometimes happens to me while showering or driving) take a moment to savor it. Imprint it into your consciousness and say thanks to yourself for manifesting that moment. The more often you can recognize the desired feelings as you have them the more grateful you will be. And the more grateful you are, the happier you are.
If you like this post you might like our DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions. It’s 4 emails x 4 weeks (16 emails total) for just $40. Complete with worksheets, exercises, mantras, meditations, and to-dos for time management, decision-making, and strategies for living more of what you love—in work and life. You can learn more about what you’ll get and purchase anytime here.
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