It’s fall and everyone’s excited for sweater season and pumpkin-spice-everything! Us too! But latte cravings and wardrobe-layering aside—as professionals, marketers, and communicators, isn’t there something comforting about knowing what to expect from a season?
We all intend to plan ahead, but too often let the day-to-day minutia get in the way of making a calendar for the year. Sure, you can’t know every detail to anticipate. Heck, you can’t know half the priorities that will pop up in any particular month. But you can plan for big picture seasonality, busy-times, and events.
Whether promoting our own business, or the organization we work for, how can we get more intentional about bringing the seasons into our message and marketing?
Do this… plot out the next three months. (And make it big. On a big whiteboard, or roll of butcher paper). There’s something about having a big, visual calendar that everyone can see that helps you remember the very things we can take for granted. Don’t get bogged down with every little XYZ.
Kathleen here and lately I’ve been receiving a lot of emails from creative entrepreneurs who aren’t sure whether they need a business coach or a brand platform. The short answer: you’re going to need both. So where do you begin? Do you hire a business coach? Or a branding agency? Let’s dig in.
A business coach can help you through many stages of your business—from helping you launch a new business or project off the ground to helping you hurdle over a plateau. Here are a few reasons why you might want to hire a business coach
You can get a lot out of both a business coach and a brand platform, but the timing of where you invest your time, energy, and money for maximum impact in your business vision can be a little tricky.
You’ll get the most out of working with a coach if you have awareness around what your goals are and where you’re feeling stuck. A business coach will help you clarify exactly where things aren’t working, prioritize your goals and ideas, break those goals down into actionable next steps, and hold you accountable for getting it done.
If you’ve been following the Braid blog for awhile, you probably understand the reasons why it’s important to have a cohesive brand presence – it makes your business look polished and professional, it attracts your dream customers, and brand consistency builds trust with your audience – just to name a few.
Yet, from experience we know that our own branding clients like to change things up. A major pitfall we see our own clients fall into is wanting to change up their brand platform too soon and too often. And we get it! You want to liven things up – but if you keep rebranding yourself every time you get bored you will, at the very least, diffuse your marketing presence and at worst, confuse your customers.
A promotional campaign is a marketing drive that highlights a specific offering or product for a limited amount of time. For example, let’s say you’re a rockstar – your promotional campaign is your newest album release.
Each album you release has cover art that looks and feels like you, but at the same time is an opportunity to try something a little new. Now, I know you’re not Beyoncé (unless you are! Holla!), but your brand is the rockstar of your business so let’s dig in to a few questions you might have.
One of the best things you can do for your business is say no to clients who are a bad fit. Saying no to a bad fit clears not only mental space, but literal calendar space so you can say YES to the jobs that are a good fit – and in turn, deepen your creative expertise and the work you want to be known for.
This is harder because you know the project has the potential to be perfect – but keep in mind that if you say yes, you could potentially regret it down the road when you’re not being compensated for all your hard work. Because even the coolest projects are still work … and worthy of compensation.
Saying no by still describing what you do can actually get you the work you want. We’ve used this exact script to say no only to have the rejected potential client send someone who IS a good fit our way.
As a creative entrepreneur, you’re probably resourceful and really great at figuring it out as you go. So when a dream client asks you to do something you can technically do (or figure out how to do) but don’t want to do, it can be really hard to say no. But just because you can do it all doesn’t mean you should.
That would only distract you from what you’re best at and what you really want to be known for. When you say no to this kind of dream customer, be sure to let them know what we’re best at – they may just hire you for your expertise anyway!