So the first Braid Workshop is coming up May 4, here on our home turf in Oklahoma City. We made a video to share a little more about what to expect you can watch here. Our workshop is for creative entrepreneurs like photographers, designers, web developers, coaches, consultants, stylists, bloggers, writers, and marketers – out there on your own, selling what you do and sharing who you are.
But, the problem is, you hate feeling salesy and you can't decide if you love or hate the overlap between what's business and what's personal. So our one day workshop is going to take you through some of our most helpful brand and business vision exercises that get down to what you should be sharing and selling.
As far as what you can expect from the day, well, we're going to start with a get-to-know-each-other downtown breakfast at Kitchen (on you and optional). Then we'll actually begin at 9am sharp at the Level building a few blocks away in Deep Deuce, with a break for lunch (on us and included) from Native Roots, a local seasonal market just downstairs, and then back to work until the whistle blows at 5pm.
Our agenda is a two-parter. Kathleen's going to get everyone uncovering their personal brand in the morning, and getting more intentional about "Sharing You." Which aspects of your personal life overlap into your profession? Are you undersharing or oversharing your content in-person and online? What could you really be known for?
In the afternoon Tara's coaching you through getting way more comfortable "Selling What You Do." Because creatives hate feeling salesy, and we're all trying to prove our worth – but as hard as you're trying, is your true expertise really showing? We're going to show you how to get that sales content (and conversation) feeling like it should.
If you think you think our workshop feels like a fit, we hope you sign up, and walk away with some really bright spots of clarity around this blended work/life business you've created for yourself (or maybe are just now dreaming and planning about, but have yet to get started).
If you've already taken any of our Braid ECourses around content shaping and personal branding this workshop's a great way to take it to the next level and get more personal guidance and hands-on help. You aren't alone in these struggles. We're creatives too, we see the common threads, and we want to help you see yourself and your business better, too.
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(If you’re reading this post through an RSS feed or email be sure to click through to watch the video.)
You guys may already know that we’re huge fans of Instagram. But lately we’ve found ourselves recommending it more and more to our creative entrepreneur clients. Instagram is an awesome way to visually connect with your friends, network with potential dream customers or brand advocates, and “show your tell”. But it’s also a great way capture, shape, and share who you are, and what you do – in a consistent, curated, behind-the-scenes of your life and work kind of way.
Instagram is great for creatives like life coaches and consultants who aren’t necessarily photographers or designers, but still want to show of their goods, and their personal brand in a visual way, and look good doing it.
So this is how I, myself, and Braid’s creative entrepreneur clients, are using Instagram to capture, shape and share their business and personal brand. Now “capture, shape and share” is a three step approach I talk about a lot, especially when it comes to my blogging strategy (for both my personal blog and the Braid blog.) But really, you can just as easily overlay those three principles to a platform like Instagram – like a microblog approach I mention below (but with less writer’s block).
• Capture the Details: Instagram gets me thinking about capturing the small brand experiences I encounter – from a hand stamped placemat in my favorite restaurant to the way a lemon rind and oversized ice cube sits in my whiskey.
• Capture Inspiration: Instagram is a great tool for visual note taking on the fly. For example, I’ve used Instagram to scout locations and capture test shots for brand videos.
• Capture the Process: Instagram is an awesome way to share the behind-the-scenes process and tools you use to create for your clients.
• Shape the Image: One of the things I love about Instagram is the ability to actually shape the final photograph with different filters (though, I prefer “rise”) and tilt-shift blur options. I also like to go in and add typographic overlays or multiply color over my images in Photoshop when taking my Instagram photos to my blog. But even if you’re not a graphic designer, filtering your images through Instagram is a great way to create consistency with the images you’re sharing.
• Shape your Point-of-View: Go through your entire collection of Instagram snaps and start to find patterns. What colors do you capture a lot? What subjects? Do you consistently shoot from a certain angle or point-of-view? You’ll notice that the Instagram with the most followers (like one of my favorites, A Merry Mishap) have a consistent point-of-view.
• Shape the Story: You can include a description with your Instagram images and treat it almost like a daily microblog. I often use Instagram to capture images I will later craft an in-depth blog post around later.
• Share on Instagram: One of the things I like about Instagram (vs. other camera apps like Hipstamatic – which are awesome for photo editing, as well) is the built in community designed for sharing. Just like Twitter you can explore hashtagged topics – one of my favorites is #WHP. #WHP stands for “Weekend Hashtag Project” where Instagram challenges users to capture a topic or theme like “birds on a wire” or “from where I stand” and tag it. It’s so cool to see what everyone else comes up with. Check out Instagram’s blog or follow @Instagram for interesting users and hashtags to follow and participate in.
• Share Elsewhere: You can also send your Instagram photos out to Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr as you post them to your Instagram feed. This is a great way to flood all your social media platforms with beautiful, and consistent, images that share you and your brand. Different audiences may be following you in different places but you can add more information or tidbits to avoid becoming redundant if you find you have the same followers across your social media platforms.
• Share in Real Life: One of my favorite new companies, Artifact Uprising, is designed to easily get your photos m your phone to print books and calendars. You can also use Pinstagr.am for miniprints, posters, and stickers. You can decorate your office or use these prints as self-promotional materials to send to your favorite dream customers.
Are you using Instagram to capture, shape, and share your business and personal brand? Let us know your Instagram tips, advice, or insights on our Facebook page. P.S. You can follow my Instagram account here.
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Our Braid ECourse Personal Branding: Blending Who You Are With What You Do is open for registration until February 14th. This $75 ECourse has 3 lessons loaded with tips, advice and our philosophy on defining your personal brand, thriving in the overlap between personal and professional, and sharing that brand online and off. All of that content, including worksheets and videos, will be available to you while the course is in-session from Feb. 15th - 24th. Register and find out more here.
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“If you could do this one thing, but weren’t afraid of failing, what would you do?” That’s one of the most compelling questions my life coach asked me. My answer? Start a business with my sister, Kathleen. For the first six months of Braid, we continued with Jay Pryor, our life coach who immediately “put us on the hook” for things we needed to do, and that he’d hold us accountable to doing before our next session. One of those “hooks” for us – which is kind of like homework – was to picture the kind of business we wanted to build, to begin visually tracking the kinds of clients we want to attract (sound familiar? it’s worked so well for us it’s become part of our Dream Customer Catching Braid ECourse). He also put us on the hook to be grateful for each other – to take a second at least a few times a week to acknowledge each other (which we do all the time) for the really hard and new things each of us are tackling each day as creative entrepreneurs.
If you’ve never had a life coach, but have considered it, I’d say coaching, especially for creative entrepreneurs (or about-to-be’s) helps to: 1. steel your courage for big-picture changes, and 2. “put you on the hook” for the small but powerful actions you need to do, to keep you moving toward your goal.
Those are my feet in the video by the way. I love how the stepping across the logs shot kind of sums up how life coaching helps you take steps forward in work and life.
Jay describes his expertise life coaching / executive coaching, because he coaches professionals and business owners as well as businesses as groups, too. But I also think this title addendum of “executive” is for people who feel silly saying life coach. I think this self-consciousness people sometimes have about it depends on where you’re from. Another life coach we’ve been helping brand herself as of late, Kathy Funston, is really having to educate her new client base here in the midwest on what life coaching really is about (hint: NOT therapy), while in her previous city of San Francisco, having a life coach is a given, or even something to boast about – like having a personal trainer.
I think Kathleen and I will always cycle back around to having some sort of coach in our business or lives. Right now we’re acknowledging the heck out of each other as we continue to move forward helping other creative entrepreneurs, tracking our progress as we reach more and more of you all over the country – and just trying not to look down while we do it.
Have you ever had a life coach? Does it cause you an involuntarily eye roll, or are you totally gung-ho for the idea – or are you on the bubble? Tell us on Facebook!
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