Creative Brand Chat with Maggie Gentry

Creative Brand Chat with Maggie Gentry

Maggie Gentry talks to us about how to focus on the right aspects of marketing in this creative brand chat! 

TOPICS COVERED:

  • The importance of knowing your why
  • Defining a marketing plan (that feels good)
  • Setting business goals based on your why
  • Developing a routine and finding your zone

 

Structure Your Elevator Pitch in a Way that Sells

Structure Your Elevator Pitch in a Way that Sells

Have you ever been to a networking event, met someone new, asked them what they did, and immediatly thought, "I need you!" or "I know someone who needs you!"? 

Or maybe the exact opposite reaction happened and you walked away completely confused having absolutely no idea what that person did for a living.

Your elevator pitch is the perfect way to attract or repel someone within seconds of discovering your brand — whether it's in person or online.

Start attracting the right customers to your brand by structuring your elevator pitch in a way that sells.

Creative Brand Chat with Liz White

Creative Brand Chat with Liz White

Liz White of Linea Mae joins us on this Creative Brand Chat to discuss the art of conversion with your sales pages!

TOPICS COVERED:

  • Creating a sales page for your brand
  • How different elements of a sales page play into your overall brand
  • Staying consistent with your messaging
  • Having a business that offers a solution to a problem

Creative Brand Chat with Nesha Woolery

Creative Brand Chat with Nesha Woolery

Today, my friend Nesha and I are teaming up to talk about why you need to select a niche as a creative business owner.

TOPICS COVERED:

  • Why you should throw out your “ideal client profile”
  • Choosing a niche for your business is a good move
  • Creating a pattern of familiarity for your clients/customers

5 Simple Ways To Be the Leader of Your Creative Business

5 Simple Ways To Be the Leader of Your Creative Business

1. FIND YOUR BUSINESS BESTIES

In order to be the visionary and CEO of your business, you need to cut the naysayers out and find the people who support you. It's all about your mindset.

"You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." — Jim Rohn

Find people that are also in the creative world you're living in that get what you're doing.

Make sure they are people you trust and can rely on. Make sure they have their own goals and ambitions. You can't do it alone. Find people to ride this entrepreneurial rollercoaster with.

Creative Brand Chat with Kali Edwards

Creative Brand Chat with Kali Edwards

Listen in and hear from two creatives about the importance of branded websites for your business. 

TOPICS COVERED:

  • How to combine website design and branding
  • Sharing your business 'why' through your website
  • Creating your niche
  • Right right time to invest in serious business branding
  • Attracting new clients and visitors through your website's call to action  

Creative Brand Chat with Ashley Beaudin

Creative Brand Chat with Ashley Beaudin

Listen in as two creatives chat about relating to your audience by sharing your imperfections in a very filtered world. 

Topics Covered:
 

  • Relating to Your Audience by Sharing Your Imperfections
  • Showing up as who you are first
  • Knowing your deeper why
  • Being your true self to others and your audience
  • Attracting your ideal clients with authenticity

90 Quick Tips (and Fun Facts) You Need to Know About Branding

90 Quick Tips (and Fun Facts) You Need to Know About Branding

I’m coming at you with 90 branding tips (and some fun facts) that we’ve covered in the past eight days of my #22DaysOfBranding periscopes. There is over eight plus hours of video content, you guys! Thank you so much to everyone who’s already joined in and helped make #22DaysOfBranding a success so far. It seriously blows my mind just how much we’ve covered in the first eight videos! If you haven’t joined in yet, don’t worry, there is still plenty of time to get in on the fun.

Three Things You Need to be a Powerhouse Girl Boss Brand

Three Things You Need to be a Powerhouse Girl Boss Brand

Do you ever look around at some of the successful girl bosses online and wonder how in the world they became so boss? Ever find yourself lost in the comparison game and wondering if you'll ever be able to measure up? Do you get overwhelmed looking at where you are now compared to where you want to be? 

You are not alone.

Brand Vision: What is it, and why do you need one?

Brand Vision: What is it, and why do you need one?

Do you struggle to find your ideal clients and grow your community? How about defining what makes you different from everyone else within your niche? Or how about deciding what you should be spending time on within your business? This is why knowing and owning your brand vision can be extremely impactful.

Why you Need Business Besties and How to Find Them

Why you Need Business Besties and How to Find Them

We all have our moments. Those moments of self doubt and overwhelm. Those moments of "What the heck am I doing?" and "Why in the world did I think I could do this again?" That's where your business besties swoop in and save the day. They halt your oncoming breakdown with some loving words of encouragement or make you laugh with a few dumb jokes. They tell you to pull yourself together or suggest you mix a strong drink.

How to Have an Effective Collaboration (with Bonus Agreement)

How to Have an Effective Collaboration (with Bonus Agreement)

We've all heard this saying before: community over competition. Well today I'm changing it to collaboration over competition. Collaborations can be amazing for so many reasons, but they can also be scary, risky, and confusing. My goal is to get you feeling more comfortable with collaborations. I'll cover the topics you need to discuss from the get-go in order to avoid conflict and create a space for an effective collaboration.

One Thing You Need to Define Right Now to Overcome Your Biggest Business Blocks

One Thing You Need to Define Right Now to Overcome Your Biggest Business Blocks

As business owners, we've all faced blocks throughout our entrepreneurial journey. Some struggles might hit us harder than others, but we've all been hit by them at some point. I'm sure you know that feeling of panic, overwhelm, and "what am I doing!?" all too well.

Whip Your Website into Shape and Tell Your Brand Story Better

 
Whip Your Website Into Shape

Your website is your digital storefront.

If you happened to pass by, would you walk in and want to look around some more? 

If your answer to that is "ehh" or a solid "no," here are twelve solid tips to whip your website into shape and ensure your brand story is shining through.



1. GET INSANELY INTENTIONAL WITH YOUR TAGLINE

Within a few seconds of landing on your homepage, I want to know who you are, what you do, who you help, and how you help them.

I like to call this your one sentence.

Catchy titles and fancy names are great, but at the end of the day, your new readers and potential clients need a clear statement describing the purpose of your website.

Start by simply filling in the blanks: 

I help [ who ] to [ what ] through [ how ].



2. CLEAR + CONCISE NAVIGATION

Make sure your navigation is crystal clear. Don't get too fancy with your link names. Simple About, Contact, and Hire Me links work just fine. Save your creative copy for the actual page content!

Add a hover style and selected style to your navigation links. You can do this by changing the link color, adding an underline, or changing the font style. The Delightful Style does an excellent job of this by having grey links that change to pink when hovered and black when selected. Caitlin Powell's navigation links are underlined when selected so you always know what page you're on.

 

3. KNOW YOUR IDEAL PATHWAY

According to Nielsen Norman Group, "users often leave web pages in 10-20 seconds, but pages with a clear value proposition can hold people's attention for much longer." Determine the ideal pathway you want viewers to take through your website. It should be clear on each page where you want your viewer to go next.

For example: If someone reads your about page and scrolls all the way to the bottom, you should have an actionable link or button directing them to sign up for your newsletter or go to your blog.



4. FIRST REACTION IS EVERYTHING

On average, a viewer's page visit lasts less than one minute (Nielsen Norman Group), so first reaction is everything. People will decided in a split second whether they want to stay on your site and learn more about you or leave. This is where your brand's visuals come in. Your overall design aesthetic is crucial to the viewer's first reaction of your website.

One way to work on your visuals and determine your design aesthetic—if you can't hire a designer right away—is to create a moodboard for your brand. For exact steps to create your own moodboard, check out my last post.



5. CONSISTENCY IS KEY

Are you getting sick of me saying this yet!? If you've interacted with my brand before I'm sure you've heard me say this a few times. Whether you're trying to grow your community through social media or bring more clients in through your digital storefront (your website), it all comes back to one thing: consistency. Having a consistent logo, color scheme, and message is crucial to having a recognizable, memorable brand. 



6. PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT'S ABOVE THE FOLD

Above the fold refers to everything on the upper half of your screen before your viewer has to scroll down. Make sure your logo and tagline are above the fold. Also, make sure you have enough engaging content included above the fold to intrigue your reader to keep scrolling and learn more. 



7. WHITE SPACE IS A GOOD THING

Repeat this with me! "White space is a good thing." "White space is a good thing."

Do not be afraid of a little empty space. Do not try to fill up your entire page with links, photos, buttons, and more. White space helps your overall design aesthetic by making you look more professional. Some breathing room also helps your viewer focus in on the most important information on each page.



8. SHOW US YOUR PRETTY FACE

At the end of the day we're all just people who want to work with other people. By showing us your face, we can already connect and relate to you that much quicker. A bigger, fun photo that matches your design aesthetic, voice, and personality is the way to go!



9. CUSTOM PHOTOS MAKE YOU STAND OUT

There are some amazing free stock photography sites out there, but displaying custom photos on your website is one of the best ways to stand out. Using your own photos adds to that overall first impression and allows your viewer to see a little bit more of your personality right away.

If you do use stock photography, add your own spin to the images! Overlay a transparent color that matches your brand, crop the photo to fit your website better, or add custom text. (A little legal side note for you: Make sure you check the photo rights before you make any edits.)

 

Free Branding Scorecard



10. ADD IN A DASH OF PERSONALITY

Remember, people want to work with people so make sure you're humanizing your brand. Embrace who you are and what you like. Then allow that to shine through in your website's design and copy.

If you're outgoing and colorful in everyday life, then make sure your website has pops of colors with fun content on each page. If you're an adventurer who loves spending time outdoors, maybe you should opt for a more neutral toned website design with minimal content and big, beautiful visuals.
 


11. USE BRANDED BLOG POST IMAGES

Make sure your blog post images are consistent with your brand's colors and typefaces. This is not only super important for your website, but also for your social media. When you share photos on Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter you want people to recognize your brand instantaneously. Using branded blog post images is the perfect way to make this happen.



12. THERE IS A PROPER TIME AND PLACE FOR ADS

I will admit I am bias when it comes to having ads on your website. I am not for them. However, if you do have advertisements on your website, follow these general guidelines: 

  • Do not put ads on your homepage. You want people to stay on your website! Do not encourage them to leave right away by placing ads for them to click on.
     
  • Design the ads yourself. Use consistent colors and fonts that match your brand.
     
  • Add a 'Resources' page to your website. That way you can house all of your ads and affiliate links in one place.

Want to make sure you're designing a website that attracts your ideal clients?

Well, first things first, you need to know who your ideal client is in real life.

60 minute online training, class outline workbook, and three take action worksheets for the creative business owner who wants to ditch the made-up customer avatar and find her ideal clients in real life.


 

How and Why to Create a Moodboard for your brand

 
How and why to create a moodboard for your brand

Moodboards, vision boards, inspiration boards... You've probably heard at least one of these terms being tossed around when it comes to establishing your brand's visuals, but what do they really mean?

What is a moodboard, why do you need one, and how do you even go about creating one?

I am a big believer in using moodboards to help you discover your aesthetic and establish your brand direction so we are going to cover each one of those questions today.


WHAT IS A MOODBOARD? 

The Oxford Dictionary does a pretty spot-on job defining what a moodboard is:

moodboard: an arrangement of images, materials, pieces of text, etc., intended to evoke or project a particular style or concept.

A moodboard does just what it says: it sets the mood for your brand.

A solid moodboard will included photos, colors, typography, textures, and patterns. All of these details will help you get a better sense of the direction you want to go in when it comes to your brand's design. 


WHY DO I NEED A MOODBOARD?

Getting your moodboard right is crucial to the outcome of your brand's visuals. If you don't like the moodboard, you probably won't like the designs that come after the moodboard either. Once you create a moodboard you love, you can dive in and figure out what specific elements of that moodboard draw you in. 

For example: Are the typefaces you included serif or sans serif? Are the colors bright and flashy or muted and calm? Do the photos have plenty of negative space or are they packed full with colors and patterns?

Keep in mind: The idea is not to copy design elements right from your moodboard. The goal is to figure out what design aesthetic you are most attracted to and use that as inspiration for creating your own visuals.

Moodboards are also the perfect way to ensure that you and your designer are on the same page about where your brand is headed visually. It is a simpler, less time consuming way to define your brand's visual direction before your designer spends several hours coming up with multiple variations of logos, color schemes, and typography. With a solid moodboard in place, your designer can present you with a higher quality, more detailed design direction that she already knows you'll love.


HOW DO I CREATE A MOODBOARD?

1. Collect

Pinterest is a great place to start but should not be your end all, be all. Create a board dedicated to pinning photos, fonts, patterns, textures, and colors you like. Then go a step further and print off images, tear designs out of magazines, get paint chip samples, and collect materials you like. 

2. Compile

Hang everything on a wall or compile everything into a great big document on your computer. Don't worry too much about how you organize everything at this point. Just get everything into one place.

3. Eliminate

Look at everything you've collected and start eliminating. Notice similar photos, repeat colors, and matching font styles. Pick out one or two of your favorites from these similar photos, colors, textures, and fonts. Keep your favorites, and remove the rest.

Analyze what you have left and then eliminate one more time. Remove anything that doesn't belong. For example, this could mean deleting photos, patterns, and textures with color schemes that don't match your newly found aesthetic.

4. Organize

Take your final images, whether they're on the computer or hanging on your wall, and organize them. Start moving your images around. Place paint chips or color blocks next to a photo with a similar color scheme. Put a texture next to a flat color block. Keep moving and organizing the images until you find an overall image you like.

Moodboard created by yours truly for Lauren's rebrand.

Moodboard created by yours truly for Lauren's rebrand.


HOW DO I USE MY NEW MOODBOARD?

Use this final moodboard to inspire your brand's visuals. Once your moodboard is complete, you should have a very clear direction on where your visuals are heading. Your colors should be crystal clear, the style of font you're using should be apparent, and your overall aesthetic should shine through.

Trust your gut with this one. If something feels a little off, go back to the elimination process and find what doesn't belong or pull photos back in from your reject pile. Keep playing and organizing until you feel that aha moment.


Need to get your brand vision in order before you can move onto creating your moodboard?

Learn how to discover the purpose of your brand, find and attract your ideal clients, organize your offerings in a way that sell, and share your brand story consistently.

Ten step-by-step audio lessons, each paired with a workbook, to take your brand from chaos to cohesive and crystal clear.