BRAID CREATIVE & CONSULTING
is branding & business visioning
for creative entrepreneurs.
27-Jul-2015
Sharing Your Creative Brand & Business Vision | Braid Creative

how to share your business vision

Today’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!

Creative entrepreneurs rarely stop at the skill they began their business with. So what’s your business vision? Is it...
- to design for a certain kind of dream client? Who?
- to work within one very specialized kind of niche? What?
- to pair your skill with planning, consulting or some other kind of service? How?
- to infuse your creative work with more purpose? Why? To what end?

Not every one of these vision questions above is going to get you fired up. Some of them you may feel so-so about at best and overwhelmed about at worst. But we would bet—after all the creative entrepreneurs we’ve worked with, coached with, and talked about our fears and dreams with—at least one of these questions above, and its answer (even if it’s still fuzzy), feels like “what’s next” for you.

sharing your business vision

A fuzzy vision can make you feel shy about sharing content, shaky about your offerings, and slow to shape the brand you know you really want.

So let’s talk about that fuzzy feeling. You know you want what’s next, but you might think you need to get your vision (and your content) completely focused in and clearly shaped up before you can start sharing it with other people. But often what we share as-we-go is what shapes what we become.

Imagine your vision coming through in:
- your emails with prospective (and current) clients
- your wardrobe and personal style
- your blog posts (or mini-posts like Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest)
- your daily schedule and routines
- your “about me” page on your website
- your “about me” conversations with your friends and family

What’s it going to take for you to feel like you can start sharing your vision on your brand places: your site, your social media, and in your face-to-face conversations?

Now I bet you’re imagining all the rewriting, redesigning, or even just rethinking you’d have to do to start infusing that vision in those “brand” places. “But I don’t have time for shaping up those sharing places!” “My site needs too much work before I start sharing there!” “I still want to redesign x and y before I start doing z!.” “How can I tell people the kind of work I want to be hired for if I haven’t done it yet?!” You do it a little at a time. You try it on. You practice. You change a little copy here today, and a whole lotta copy over there in a month.

sharing your business vision

So which of your “sharing places” do you need to update to feel like you could really start shaping your “what’s next” vision by writing and talking about it now? List out the places first: website (get specific by page), blog, social media platforms, email, typical new business conversations, typical casual conversations. Then mark which you could start slightly altering today...Within 30 days...Within 3 months. It’s not an all-or-nothing challenge. Start peppering your vision in now – with a goal for a longer term shift for the “what’s next.”

Next up we’ll be talking about doing vs. shaping your brand because there’s a huge difference between doing the work and doing the work while you shape it toward your bigger future goals.

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 you can walk away with some amazing insights into who you are and what you want from your business. We’ve also included a whole workbook of some super-clarifying exercises, to help you lay out your vision into bite sized chunks – so you feel less overwhelmed, and more confident sharing your creative vision.

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.

SHARE THIS +


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.

SHARE THIS +


The Fear of Backsliding in Your Business for Creative Entrepreneurs

Fear of Backsliding for Creative Entrepreneurs

Tara here. I love when a creative sees a way forward that sparks their excitement as much as it makes good solid sense for their business. For example, when they tap into a more focused specialty, a more methodical way of working, or a way of packaging their services that helps them say no to the things they don’t want to do anymore, and create a more specific and meaningful brand for themselves.

Once we see that new way – usually by experiencing glimmers of it in a dream project, with a dream client, or just with clarity around what we’re really best at – it’s hard to go back. We fear going back.

Fear can be a motivator, too. The fear of backsliding – going back to our old job, going back to our old way of doing business, or going back to a way of being that we just don’t want to be anymore – can push us to keep moving forward. And that’s a good thing. A steep and rocky slide behind us can give us enough of a jolt to:
- move forward with sharing more of our personal brand
- move forward with charging just a little more for our services
- finally launching a product that will help shift our business model,
- or just finally declare: “this is new direction is my specialty, it’s what I love and what I want to do, and that’s what I’m calling myself, and branding myself as from here on out, no looking back!”

Big steps forward fuel us. They keep us going after our goals. They keep us from having a wishy-washy brand. They help us keep our eyes on our own page, and overcome our fear of backsliding into “what used to be.”

Sometimes our fear of backsliding is really a fear of backpedalling.
Backpedalling isn’t just inertia having it’s way with you, it’s a much more reactive “let’s reverse this!” reflex. So we’re not accidentally just falling into old habits, we’re actively choosing to change our mind, to go back to the perceived safety of the same old thing, and to do a “take back” on some of the decisions we made along our own personal/professional crossroads.

We’re not fans of backpedalling here at Braid. We typically like to make a decision, stick to it, tweak it, and not look back. But! Here’s the thing: beware of getting so addicted to the big steps forward, that you forget to look back at how you got here, and what you learned along the way that can still serve you!

Learning from Past Experiences for Creative Entrepreneurs

“Two steps forward. One step back...” can be a good thing.
Just as much as I love seeing creative entrepreneurs find that forward-focus, I also love when they can get far enough along in their vision, get some real work under their belt in this new way of doing things, and then stop proving it so hard.

When we are confident in our forward-vision, we can let ourselves bring some of the layers of our past work and past experiences back into our new business, our new brand, and our new adventure.

Get more specific about what you do! But consider your specialty has layers:
This is the interior designer who wants to embrace minimalism, and have that be the focus of her brand and her specialty. But she’s finding a more balanced work-style when she lets the layers of her client’s aesthetics and her more traditional design background into her approach. A kinder, gentler, less spartan approach to minimalism is becoming that truer creative expert “blend” for her.

Circle back to old ideas that didn’t work the first time if opportunity knocks:
These are the creative collaborators who tried launching a workshop for creative entrepreneurs just starting out – and no-one signed up (well, one person signed up) so they had to call it off. But circle around a few years later and they try a podcast instead. A little experiment with a new platform. It becomes so popular they invited followers to a master class in New Orleans for a creative entrepreneur get-together, and get four times the attendees they expected – in the first day of sign up.

Don’t be afraid to look how far you’ve come:

This is you. Have courage in your bold decisions! But don’t be afraid to look back now and again. You won’t turn to stone. If you can calm the fear of backsliding, but stay strong against the instinct to backpedal – you can look back. Because that journey is what got you here, and how you learned everything along the way!

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.

SHARE THIS +


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.

Learn more about how to work with Braid here >

RECENT POSTS
CATEGORIES

VIEW ALL BLOG ARCHIVES >

 


 

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.


 


 

 


 

LETTERS for CREATIVES

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.

Thank you for signing up for our Braid Letters. Keep your eyes peeled on your inbox and in the meantime like us on Facebook.

 


 

KATHLEEN'S PERSONAL BLOG

For a more candid, behind-the-scenes look at the work, life, and adventure overlap.

© Braid Creative and Consulting
Website Development by Indie Shopography

AFFILIATE LOGIN