BRAID CREATIVE & CONSULTING
branding | visioning | marketing
that blends who you are and what you do

stand out in a saturated market

I recently received an email from a follower of Braid who admitted to wanting a career path very similar to well, what we do here at Braid. And then she said this:

“I can’t do that, you [Braid] are already doing that.”

She followed up by asking for a no-nonsense response to how you make it in a saturated market where it feels like everyone is doing the thing you want to be doing.

Whether you’re a coach, photographer, painter, marketer, leadership consultant – or even a whole team of people working toward a common goal – it can be easy to question whether you’re adding to the noise or actually contributing something special with your services and talent.

The feel-good response to this self doubt would be: “Only you can combine your personal + professional experience to offer something special (like a unique snowflake!) that nobody else can”

And while there’s truth to that sentiment, I can think of far more practical and straight-forward insights that will help you cut through the noise and stand out among your competitors. And that’s what I want to share with you today.

FIRST, LET’S TALK ABOUT TALENT + EXPERTISE

If you follow Braid Creative, it’s probably because you value how branding and marketing help grow your business. And yes, they’re totally necessary! But what’s even more crucial than branding what you want to be known for is working toward becoming the best at what you offer.

Yes, we’re all unique snowflakes, but the momentum comes from rolling that snowball up that hill! Then you see what sticks, what’s working for you, and what you can really start to build.

We all want to be different and “brand” what we do best, but are the hours and attention you’re putting in focused on creating what you want to be known for?

create what you want to be known for

Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point and Outliers, says that it takes 10,000 hours of intentional and deliberate practice to be an expert or leader in your industry. So don’t be so concerned about what everyone else around you is doing – start putting in the time.

get focused

THERE’S ENOUGH ROOM FOR ALL OF US. BUT ALSO, NARROW IN ON YOUR NICHE

The world is a very big place and there is enough work for all of us. Even here at Braid Creative, there is no way we could meet the demands of every single person who needs branding. Branding itself can be a pretty elusive word that we’re constantly defining in order to attract the best fit for the work we do.

If you can get incredibly clear about what you do (and don’t do) and what your customers can expect along the way, then you’re going to be able to serve the people who very specifically need exactly what you offer.

Fit matters for the clients you attract. It’s not just what you deliver, it's your philosophy and how you work together. If specializing on a niche is unrealistic for what you offer – then “fit” can help you narrow in on who you work best with.

FINALLY, YOU HAVE TO ARTICULATE WHAT YOU DO & WHO IT’S FOR

This is where our expertise (that would be branding) comes into the equation. There’s a lot of pressure to be completely, wildly different from everyone else to cut through all the clutter – and that’s just not true. You don’t have to be one-of-a-kind to stand out. You just have to be able to articulate what you do and for whom.

be clear about what you do

When you clearly articulate through your messaging, design, photography, tone – both your practicality and purposefulness – you will absolutely stand out from the competition. You will attract the people you’re for and repel the ones who might be best served by someone else.

Don’t take for granted the impression a cohesive brand makes. From your website to your storefront to your social media feed – your dream customer is smarter than you think, and they’re seeking too – not just for the “stand-outs” but for the simple, clear, confident message that helps them really decide where their dollars go.

Need more ideas on how to articulate your brand to stand out?

Download this PDF: 7 Ways to Brand You and What You Do

SHARE THIS +


The Chalkboard Method | Manifesting in Your Business | Braid Creative

The Chalkboard Method

When we first launched Braid Creative, we spent a few months developing our brand, solidifying our positioning, and designing our website. We launched with a big hurrah and a bottle of bubbly. And then… crickets.

We needed clients, stat.
At the time, we were working with our executive coach, Jay Pryor, who held us accountable for doing things to help move our baby business forward. He helped us navigate feelings of uncertainty, but he also helped us get clear and practical when it came to growing our business. When we shared with him how freaked out we were that we didn’t have any clients he said this:

In order to get clients you have to make space for them.

The Chalkboard Method for creative entrepreneurs

Our coach put us “on the hook” for developing a system to visually track our clients. Jay promised that the universe abhors a vacuum and that we simply needed to make space—literally and metaphysically—for clients.

I had an entire wall in my home office painted with chalkboard paint at the time – and as daunting as it was to “make space” for clients I didn’t have yet, I drew 12 lines that I hoped would fill sooner than later. I remember sitting back down at my computer, which faced my chalkboard wall, a little freaked out about the constant, oversized reminder that we had NO work. But through a combination of a lot of hustle while launching our business and a little bit of magic (#hustlewoo), all 12 slots were filled by the end of the week.

The Chalkboard Method for manifesting clients

What started as something that felt a little silly or superstitious has become a business tool we come to rely on every single day and what we refer to as “The Chalkboard Method.” Our own Chalkboard has evolved from just 12 blank spaces for clients, to a place where we track (and attract) dream clients, digital products, new offerings we’re experimenting with, and even grow our social following.

Anytime I tell someone about The Chalkboard Method, they want to know more details! “How does it work? How can I make my own?”

I’ve got you! Here is a worksheet that will walk you through The Chalkboard Method step-by-step so you can make it your own.

DOWNLOAD: CHALKBOARD METHOD WORKSHEET

And if you’re still wanting more, I did an entire podcast episode on The Chalkboard Method over at Being Boss. You can listen to that here.

SHARE THIS +


Brand and business uncertainties

Tara here. Kathleen and I were hosting a webinar last week about attracting your dream client, navigating selling conversations with more confidence, and helping them actually hire you once they are ready to find out more.

The creative entrepreneurs, makers, consultants, and coaches gathered together to hang out and learn something new from us—and also share the thoughts and concerns so many of us have pinging around in our head. They also voiced many of the same heartfelt uncertainties and declarations we hear again and again (and feel ourselves!) for their brand and business vision:

---
“I want to show up, to position myself as an expert in my field!”
---
“I feel like I’m second-guessing my value to my dream client or why they should invest in me.”
---
“I don’t even know who my dream client is or how to attract them.”
---
“I need to be more consistent about how & what I share online.”
---
“I want to transition from freelance to deeper, more strategic work!”
---
“I want to transition from one-on-one work to creating products that can reach and help more people!
---
“I want to blend my different passions & professions into one brand, but I don’t know how, or if it’s even possible.”
---
“I’m afraid I’m trying to do too much with my brand.”
---
“I’m afraid I’m not doing enough with my brand.”
---
“I’m a little embarrassed to embrace & share my personal brand with others.”
---
“I don’t even know what my personal brand really is.”
---
“I feel unclear about what my brand focus should even be.”
---

Any of these wants, needs, or challenges sound familiar to you? Just another day in the head of the creative entrepreneur, right? But what’s really running through all of these thoughts? The need for a clear message and focus + a voice and style that feels like the professional and person we are. This is the clear one-two punch combo we all really want from our brand.

Think of the kind of confidence you would feel if your brand was doing those two things for you. Think how much more focused and legit you would feel when you were:
    • updating the content on your home page, about me, or sales pages on your website
    • blogging, sharing videos, or posting on social media
    • sending emails to people inquiring about your services
    • having conversations with people interested in hiring or buying you

When we get to the heart of what we all want our brand to do for us, it’s 1.) share a clear message so people actually understand our value & how to buy us 2.) with a voice and style that feels like the expert + the person we are.

This is why we created the Braid Method Branding ECourse. It’s how we take you through all the layers of your brand and business vision and show you how to weave them together, so you get your head and your heart into a clear, confident brand:
    • your vision (what do you really want to be doing all day?)
    • your expertise & personal brand (you have both even if you think you don’t!),
    • your dream client & attracting them (you can’t be everything for everyone!)
    • the content you have to share & the offering you have to sell
    • blending these together into a brand focus with messages that position you with confidence

Feeling uncertain in your business

It can be hard digging into your brand and business vision this way! But in all the best ways. It’s not the kind of hard that feels like you’re spinning your wheels without direction. It’s the kind of hard where you can see the framework on the page, the roadmap to getting the brand you want – you just have to knuckle down and start shaping “all the ideas” into those brand messages that are going to serve you in all your “brand places” online and in person.

We want you to feel like we’re guiding you along the way. We know we can’t work with every creative entrepreneur one-on-one to help them shape up their brand. So we made sure to get as much support and guidance woven into our ECourse as possible with:

  • Lessons that feel like we’re speaking directly to you (we are creative entrepreneurs like you!) where you’ll hear Tara (the rational & layered older sister) and Kathleen (the bold & empowering younger sister!) piping in with our stories and own specific expertise.

  • Worksheets that don’t have you staring at a blank page but give you a framework, an outline, even fill-in-the-blank scripts that we use behind-the-scenes in our own brand work.

  • Audio Recordings so you can pop in your earbuds or listen in the car, as Kathleen and I narrate each lesson, plus give you advice around working through your worksheets (where the magic & the real work happens in the ecourse!)

  • Exclusive Webinars you can attend, just for Braid ECourse students, where we’ll be answering questions and addressing some of the roadblocks we see people coming up against when trying to shape up their brand.

  • Access to The Braid ECourse Facebook Group where you can connect with your peers for extra guidance, support, and questions!

Often what keeps people who’ve been meaning to take The Braid Branding ECourse, but just haven’t taken the leap yet – isn’t the cost investment as much as it is carving out the time.

We get it! With seven super-robust lessons, we provide a suggested schedule—whether you’re the type who wants to do it all in one week, like an intensive, or you’d rather spread it out over a couple of months. You can take the ECourse on your own time, at your own pace – with pep talks from us to keep you going along the way.

Speaking of your own pace and style, you can also pay two different ways, either three monthly payments or just a one-time purchase. Check out the details, price, and more of what you get with The Braid Branding ECourse here. >

SHARE THIS +


THE BRAID BLOG from TARA AND KATHLEEN
Braid Creative & Consulting is branding and visioning for creative entrepreneurs and purposeful businesses. The Braid Blog is where we share weekly insights and resources for getting clear about your vision and voice, sharing content that attracts your dream client, and creating the brand positioning you want to be known for.

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.

 


 

BEING BOSS PODCAST

Listen to the Being Boss podcast with Kathleen Shannon & Emily Thompson for candid stories, insights and tips on how to be boss in work and life.

© Braid Creative and Consulting
Website Development by Indie Shopography