As I type this, my first ever blog post, I am full of excitement, hope and ambition for my business, but to get here, I had to learn to take my own business advice.
Within my posts here, I will of course offer advice and guidance about content marketing for your creative business but I also want to be honest with you. I want to share the good times and the bad, so that we can both learn from the lows and celebrate the highs together.
So, it felt only right to start as I mean to go on and open things up with the first in a series of business honesty posts.
Truth 1 – The advice that I spend my time giving to clients, wasn’t being used in my own business.
In corporate realms, the term ‘eating your own dog food’ is often thrown around. The whole point is to use your own products or services, and act in accordance with your morals and core values, to not only improve your business but to encourage similar behaviour in your customers and audience.
So, how can I encourage you to be honest with me, if I’m not honest with you? And why should you believe that investing in my services will be a wise financial choice, if I don’t practice what I preach?
How rebranding taught me to eat my own dog food
A couple of months ago, I started to feel like I was falling out of love with my business and I wasn’t sure why. Yes, I still enjoyed my work but something wasn’t quite right, I wasn’t getting my business out there in front of people in the way that I knew I should be.
I decided to join Kirsty Carden’s mastermind programme over the summer, hoping to unearth exactly what it was that was making me uncomfortable. I got the guidance, support, and challenges I needed to push me to grow my business, but that niggling feeling wasn’t caused by anything I expected.
Learning to practice what I preach
A few months prior to joining Kirsty’s mastermind, and in spite of strongly believing that businesses can benefit from bringing in professional services such as mine; I still took it upon myself to believe that I could rebrand my business. On my own, with absolutely no graphic design experience, except a D at GCSE level, 17 years ago!
Cue me learning my lesson the hard way.
I beavered away in Canva and PicMonkey, downloaded various pretty elements and fonts from Creative Market and TA-DA!! My new branding was born (see below).
I was happy enough with it and made a big fuss on social media about my lovely new colours and logo.
(In the interest of honesty, I haven’t removed any of those posts, despite feeling ever so slightly embarrassed by them now.)
The truth is though, ‘happy enough’ wasn’t really what I wanted. At a time when my business is growing, I wanted a brand that I was truly proud of and excited to get behind. One that I wanted to show off but also one that showed off my services, knowledge and skills in the right way, to the right people.
It was time for me to take my own advice and call in the professionals.
So here I am, rebranding for the second time in less than 6 months.
In just a few weeks, Hollie Ellis has created a brand strategy that I absolutely love. I now have a clean, simple logo; a warm, calm colour palette; and professional social media graphics.
The effect having a cohesive brand has had on how I feel about my business is so much greater than I ever imagined possible.
My website rebrand isn’t quite finished yet but I’m so much more confident in the image I’m presenting. It not only means I’m finally starting this blog but also that I can’t wait to get out there on social media every day, share my my own content and network at events.
Below is the branding that Hollie created for me and I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s significantly better than mine!
Would you give your customers or audience the same advice?
Will it encourage them to trust you?
Will it present the right image?
Will it stand the test of time?