Last year, while launching a branding course when my son was just a few months old, it dawned on me that there were several parallels between branding principles and infant development. Upon further reflection, I realised that there are indeed several parallels between branding and life!
That course has evolved into the Radiant Branding summer school which, is now open for enrolment. Today, I’d like to share branding lessons that I’ve learned, in my 10+ years of professional advertising and graphic design practice, and my 30+ years of life.
1. Take time to get to know yourself
It took me a while to truly appreciate the importance of making this kind of time and space. Time to figure out what makes my heart sing and time made sacred for these activities. Time to really think about what I stand for and time to articulate these values to myself. Acceptance of myself, with all my quirks, and appreciation of who my kind of people are.
Figuring out who I am and what I want from life, has been transformative. This kind of clarity – in the context of your business – is the foundation to an authentic brand that will resonate with those you want to serve.
Ask yourself: as a brand, who am I? What am I all about? What is my purpose? What do I want to be known for? read more…
- Gathering ideas
- Making a short-list
- Maybe even change your mind a few times?
‘Materia Marketer’ was a great first choice of name for Your Radiant Business, but there came a time when it somehow didn’t feel such a good fit.
This coincided with the time when Lulu made a decision to move back to Nairobi.
We’d continued with our blog collaboration, and I’d begun to mentor two homeopaths regularly. One was newly graduated and the other wanted to refresh her practice.
I was ready for the next step: offering seminars. I felt held back by our name. Materia Marketer just didn’t seem to fit what I was sharing through mentoring, and it wasn’t what I wanted to teach.
Today, we would like to share how we evolved our brand identity together: the shift from Materia Marketer to Your Radiant Business.
For me, the best thing I got out of my networking membership was my friendship with Lulu!
I’m often asked how Lulu and I came to set up Your Radiant Business.
The truth is, our love of beauty and how that translates into business branding and identity is what drew us together and it’s basically been the focus of a four-year-long conversation.
We initially set up our blog as a creative outlet for our ideas, and it’s grown into an enjoyable ‘side-business’ for us both.
A natural evolution
Deciding on a name for our original blog ‘Materia Marketer’ and creating a visual identity was so much fun. Rebranding it as ‘Your Radiant Business’ a couple of years later was a natural process as we had clarified our ideas on what the blog was about.
We’re now in the process of ‘refreshing’ our branding for the second time, which is exciting too (watch this space!)
Personal branding is a big concept to get your head around
It’s simple in one way: you just have to be yourself.
But harder in another: how do you translate that into an identifiable image for your practice?
Today, we would like to share how we created our very first brand identity together: Materia Marketer (the original name for Your Radiant Business).
GDPR isn’t really a ‘one-size fits all’. We all collect and handle data in different ways. This means that we need to look at what we ourselves are doing to make sure we’re GDPR compliant within our practice.
There is no shortage of guidance and information, but there is a lot to process and consider.
It’s taken me several dedicated blocks of time to get my head around this myself. I’m also lucky to have some great people in my support team to help me.
Here’s what I’ve learned.
Someone recently asked me,
“How do you manage your time? You seem to find time to get so much done! You work on your business as well as in your business. How do you do it?”
Another friend once commented that I seem to have an extra day in my week. I wish I did! That would be lovely!
It’s true that I’m always trying to get the most out of my time. I’m aware of all the ways I can waste my time, and recently I’ve been making a note of how long things take. That has helped a lot.
But if there was just one thing that made a difference, it’s this …
I am not always able to be as consistent as I would like because I juggle many things. There are some things I am good at, and others I am less good at.
I am learning to let go of the things that others can do better than me, so I can spend more time on the things that only I can do.
Here’s an example:
I like parties.
Even though at some point I know I’ll find myself having to explain what I do.
I’m used to people being curious about me. I don’t think I fit into many boxes. It’s taken me a while to realise that.
I often find myself being introduced to people as a DJ, which puts me on the spot a bit: I have to explain, “No, I don’t do mixing, no, I’m not famous, no, it doesn’t pay my mortgage.”
Then I have to explain what I really spend my time doing in that role…
Do you struggle telling others what you really do? Me too; here’s how I’m tackling it.
If, however, you have lots of people one week and only one or two the next — or you just aren’t very busy at all — then you probably need to focus on what I call ‘growth’ activities.
Growth activities are steps we can take that attract more clients, and today I’m going to look at just one: your website.
When talking about websites with other homeopaths — whether on my 3-part business course or during mentoring sessions — I always start with one question:
How many new clients come through your website each month?
Anyway, every so often when I’m not ‘too’ busy, I offer a free webinar training exclusively to the homeopaths on that list.
Back in July, I offered a webinar on ‘small upgrades that make a big difference’ and had quite a few homeopaths join me.
Following on from that, Cathy Hutton offered to host a Radiant Business School training at her home in Hampshire. We set up a time to chat on the phone about that, and it was during that conversation that she asked me what I do when prospective clients email me with an enquiry.
This is what I said:
I do it at the end of every quarter. It helps me see if I’m moving towards my goals, and figure out what’s working and what’s not working. Then I update my goals for the new quarter.
I find September is a good time for a review; it has a ‘back-to-school’ feel about it.
January is another good time, a new year is time to turn over a new leaf.
Sometime in Spring is a great time for a review. It’s a natural time to harness the new energy that’s around and channel it into new growth.
So the next question is: where do we start?
My annual review system
There is no automatic career structure for a homeopath, like there would be inside of an institution or a corporation. No annual company review. No performance management. No pre-set targets.
Without any structure or accountability it’s easy to let things drift.
Here’s how I learned to approach these self-reviews: