BRAID CREATIVE & CONSULTING
is branding & business visioning
for creative entrepreneurs.

How to tell people what you do as a creative

“I used to think branding was just about logos, fonts, and colors. But I realized that my trouble articulating what I do is really a branding problem.” – Kat, Illustrator and a Braid Method Branding ECourse Student

One of the hardest things to do as a creative entrepreneur is being able to tell people what you do. Kathleen here. Just yesterday morning I was in a boxing class (yup, I finally watched Mad Max: Fury Road and was inspired to be a post-apocalyptic badass – boxing class seemed like a good place to start) and the coach asked me what I do for a living. And even as someone who tells creatives how to tell other people what they do for a living, I had that moment where I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to tell this guy, who boxes for a living, what it is I do. I boiled it down to “graphic design” and that was an appropriate answer given the context of his expertise (boxing) and my experience leading up to becoming a branding guide and creative coach (who started as a graphic designer over a decade ago).

But it’s not just in out-of-context situations (like boxing class … or Thanksgiving dinner with relatives who don’t understand your creative career) that creative entrepreneurs have a hard time explaining what they do. Creatives often find themselves stammering in front of potential dream clients and while networking with their peers. And like Kat, an illustrator taking our branding ecourse, said, the inability to articulate what you do isn’t a confidence problem – it’s a branding problem.

The inability to articulate what you do isn't a confidence problem - it's a branding problem. (click to tweet)

You might be having a hard time telling people what you do for a living if:
• you are using vague words and trendy industry jargon to describe what you do
• your expertise can’t be summed up in one small title or job description
• you feel more like a Jack (or Jane) of all trades and master of none

messaging for creatives is a branding problem

In our ecourse we created a whole scripted lesson module for this very reason. It’s called “Get Blended: Shape Your Branded Messages,” and in it we share formulas for talking and writing about your business, while still sounding like you. You want to be clear enough to explain what you do to almost anyone in just a few sentences, legit enough in your next layer of content (usually on your site or in your conversations) to get hired, and you want to feel authentic and true to the dreamy-but-difficult path you’re carving out for yourself.

You want to be clear enough to explain what you do to almost anyone in just a few sentences. (click to tweet)

creative clarity when explaining what you do

One of the first scripts we share is your positioning statement.
• Your positioning statement is just a few sentences that say what you do, and for who.
• You need it to help you sound self-employed, not unemployed, when you explain what you’re about in a short amount of time.
• It can go in places like your website home page, perhaps under your photo in a sidebar, and in your social media profiles.

We share scripts for service-based creatives (like photographers, designers, and stylists), content-based creatives (like coaches, consultants, writers, and bloggers), and product-based creatives (like jewelers, makers, and artists) in our Braid Method Branding ECourse for Creative Entrepreneurs. But! I want to share just a down-and-dirty fill-in-the-blanks script that you can give you less anxiety and more confidence so you can start practicing on your own boxing instructor (or maybe just in your next coffee meeting) today!

Try filling out these blanks:

I’m ___[your name]___, and I’m a ____ [simplest form of your title]____.

I love ____ [creating, designing, guiding]____ clients who want ____ [your specialty]____.

And they love how I ____ [your approach]_____ when we work together!

But at the end of the day, what they really get is ____ [ your deeper deliverable for them]___.

Because I’m more than just __[your simple title]__, I’m a ___[your creative expertise]___.

I can’t wait to try what’s next for me, which is launching a ___[your next big endeavor]___.

It’s hard work, but totally worth it, because as I create for others, I’ll also be creating __[your dream]___ for myself along the way.

Okay, I went a little future-dreaming there, but I can’t help it! That’s what we love to do at Braid, not just blend the person with the profession, but blend the “now” with the “what could be!”

Because once you start articulating what you really do, and really want, it really does start to happen. (click to tweet)

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.

Our branding ecourse will be $179 through the end of June 2015. In July it will go up to $229.

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Branding for Creative Entrepreneurs | Braid Creative & Consulting

Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

Kathleen here. My purpose as a creative entrepreneur is to live what I love, say what I mean, and be who I am 100% in both work and life. When I asked my older sister Tara (and Braid business partner) what her purpose was when we first started this path together, she said "you know, I just want to feel like a creative expert and get paid well doing it.” Our combined passion, purpose, and honestly pragmatic desires manifested as The Braid Method.

Sticking with the method (and the roadmap it has created for us) has kept us focused, kept us turning our ideas into action, and kept us attracting dream clients to our brand as creative experts who blend who we are into what we do.

We couldn’t have done the kind of work we’ve done over the past four years, for all the creatives we’ve helped – without The Braid Method. It has been, and continues to be, how we do branding and business visioning for each and every one of our one-on-one clients.

So… we’ve decided to take our tried and true process and put it into one self-guided ECourse + Workbook just for you.

This ecourse didn’t happen overnight – we’ve spent many years writing, developing, designing, and refining this content. What we’ve created is a 300+ page book with 7 lesson modules, a workbook with over 20 branding exercises and scripts, quarterly masterclasses, and an exclusive Facebook group so you can cultivate your creative pack with us and other ecourse students. Here’s a snapshot of what we’re covering:

Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

GET SPECIFIC ABOUT YOUR DREAMS (AND EVEN YOUR FEARS)
In Lesson 1 we teach you how to get specific about your fears and your dreams so you can make decisions faster and be confident you’re on the right path.

Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

LEVERAGE YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
You already have a personal brand – you’ve been cultivating it for years. But in Lesson 2 we’re going to teach you how to blend who you are with what you do, break the old rules and make your own, and embrace your personal style to attract dream customers (and repel the not-so-dreamy ones.)

Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

EMBRACE YOUR CREATIVE EXPERTISE
A lot of the creatives we work with shy away from calling themselves an expert, but branding yourself as a creative badass is the best way to make a living doing what you’re best at. So in Lesson 3 (one of the meatiest lessons in this ecourse) we’re going to help you identify your core genius and unique point-of-view. We’re going to teach you how to narrow in on your ideas so you feel focused and your client feels confident in hiring you. And finally, we’re going to teach you how to leverage your process to close more deals, get enthusiastic approval on your work, and get paid doing what you love.

Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

ATTRACT YOUR DREAM CUSTOMER
Lesson 4 is all about getting specific about your dream customer, when to say yes or no to the wrong fit (because we know how hard it can be to turn down a potential paycheck), and how to price your products or services so you can not only put food on the table but actually be compensated well for the amount of energy you put into your work.

SAY WHAT YOU MEAN - YOUR BRAND MESSAGING
Lesson 5 is where we begin to take all the stuff you’re uncovering and learning about your brand and business vision and start crafting some messaging so you can say what you mean on your website, your social media, and in “real life” conversations. In this lesson we give you scripts and worksheets so you can write your positioning statement, your brand story, and your “how to hire me” language.

Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

GET IT OUT THERE - TELL PEOPLE HOW TO HIRE YOU
I see too many talented creatives not telling their customers how to hire them. They’re afraid of seeming too self-promotional or even greedy. Or on the flip side I see creatives blasting their product all over the place without bringing any value to the conversation. So in Lesson 6 we’re going to teach you how to share your gifts of knowledge for free so that you attract dream customers to you, gain their trust, and have them clicking “buy” on your services or products.

KEEP THE DREAM JOB DREAMY
Our last lesson is where we give you a peek behind the curtains and share with you exactly how we run our wildly successful business. We share everything – from how we got comfortable talking about money to our content-sharing and social media plan.

Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

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You can learn more about the Braid Method Branding ECourse for Creative Entrepreneurs here. See if it’s a fit for you (you can even check out a free trial!) – we hope to see you in our Facebook group and masterclasses soon.

Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to supporting 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.

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Everyone is doing the same thing

Last week a discouraged creative entrepreneur told me that she feels like everyone is doing the same thing. Why bother when there are a million talented creatives already out there?

On days when I’m feeling particularly optimistic I think we’re just lucky to be alive – that our one in a bajillion chance of even being here is our greatest accomplishment and anything else we can make or create is gravy on top. But on days when I’m feeling insecure or discouraged I know exactly how that creative I was talking to last week feels. Why bother?

For example, a couple years ago when I uncovered that I was not just passionate about branding but also coaching other creatives to live what they love, I felt like everyone and their dog was becoming a life coach. I asked myself “How many professional cheerleaders does the world need? “Who’s going to actually do the work and live the dream if everyone is just cheering from the sidelines?”

And then when I decided to launch an ECourse I felt like everyone else was already crushing it with their six-figure B-School online offering. When I fall into a comparison trap it feels like quicksand and I don’t have the energy to hustle - like Atreyu’s horse dying in the Swamp of Sadness in The Neverending Story.

YOU’RE NOT A UNIQUE SNOWFLAKE
I’m pretty sure that discouraged designer wanted me to tell her the same thing I want to hear when I’m feeling blah about what I do and begin comparing myself to everyone else. What I want to hear is that I’m a unique snowflakes and only I possess the talent to do what I do. I want to believe it, but I just can’t buy it. Because the fact is, there are lots of other people who are successful doing what I do. But what I DO know to be true is that there is enough room for everyone to be great.

enough room for all creatives

If you don’t feel like a special snowflake either, but do want to get out of your comparison trap all you have to do is change your mind. Here are some things that might help shift your perspective:

WHAT WOULD YOU RATHER BE DOING?
The creative entrepreneur I was talking to is a designer who loves design. It turns out she wouldn’t rather be doing anything else. That realization alone helped her get out of her comparison funk because there was really no alternative. But for others this question may reveal that your path needs to take a bend. When you’re doing what you really want to be doing, it doesn’t matter who else is doing it – or even doing it better.

ACKNOWLEDGE THE MARKET BUT DON’T GET SUCKED IN TO IT
It’s actually a good thing when other people are doing what you’re doing – it means there is a demand for your services. Let’s say you want to be holistic chef for a living – you get some training, you launch a website, and you start sharing your recipes. Then maybe you start following some other holistic chefs on Instagram and sign up for their newsletters. Before you know it you’re bombarded with other chefs’ work and BAM! You fall into the comparison trap. It’s easy to feel like EVERYONE is doing what you’re doing when you follow everyone else that does what you do. My advice is to be aware of the market but maybe pick just one or two of your favorites to follow.

GIVE THE PEOPLE YOU’RE JEALOUS OF A HIGH FIVE
Nothing gets me out of my comparison trap like giving the people I’m sizing myself up against kudos for doing such a damn good job. But even if the compliment isn’t reciprocated that’s okay too. It’s more about me recognizing that other people can do great work and it doesn’t detract from what I’m doing. You can give someone you’re jealous of a “high-five” by giving them a shout-out on your blog, telling them how much you like them on Instagram, or even purchasing one of their products.

TIME IS GOING TO PASS ANYWAY – YOU MIGHT AS WELL MAKE SOMETHING
I mean… let’s say you give up and decide not to be a creative entrepreneur anymore because too many other people already have it covered. Then what? Every time I think about “quitting my job” I imagine hiding under a rock for about 36 hours, brainstorming something I could make, design, create, launch, and ship while I’m under that rock, then crawling out from under my rock so I can get back to work. (This also goes back to asking yourself what you’d rather be doing – the answer to that question will always come to the surface when you’re hiding under a rock).

WHAT IF BEYONCÉ THOUGHT “WHY BOTHER?”
I mean … c’mon. What if Beyoncé was all “Well, I mean… Tina Turner, Britney, Lady Gaga, Pink, and Madonna already have it covered. Why bother?” Enough said.

GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD AND DO THE WORK
Finally, if you’re busy doing the work, honing your craft, and making something you’re proud of, you won’t have time to compare yourself to everyone else. Get back to your hands. Put pen to paper. Or mouse to screen. Get into your creative process – go, make, do!

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Okay, so while I don’t believe the work we do makes us unique snowflakes, I do think who we are is pretty damn special. And I know that when we show up as ourselves 100% of the time, we attract the dreamiest of clients – the ones who believe we’re the only ones who can really help them and “get” them. That’s what personal branding is all about – being who you are in business. Because the blend of you the person + what you do, isn’t something anyone else can do the same.

Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to supporting 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.

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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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blend who you are & what you do,

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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.


 


 

 


 

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