Skip to main content

craft & maker

Brand Your Creative Business

Lesson 21 of 22

Brand Strategy: Where Do I Begin?

Megan Auman

Brand Your Creative Business

Megan Auman

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

21. Brand Strategy: Where Do I Begin?

Lesson Info

Brand Strategy: Where Do I Begin?

So let's build some of that brand strategy actually right now so we're gonna start with monica you feeling a little stressed so step one what do you guys still need to decide um what's missing like what what do you have to figure out yet before you can move forward or do you feel like you're pretty good right well I am there's like ten percent of me that is still leaning toward oblivion lila verses living miwa okay s o finalized you have to finalize the name right and then of course I'm the crazy person that does the weird spellings with my children's names so do I go with the traditional way or my way because I don't want to complicate it for search purposes I think I think you just answered that question right there, right so that's part of this talking it out is like right I think I used that but you know you know what the answer is right? Okay so you know if you decide that you know go with the traditional spelling yep. And then um and then before I can like feel one hundred percen...

t committed to this change I want to dio the research to make sure that there are no trade marks that were infringing upon or other people in our space okay that have any things some more teo so really now you are kind of jumping into step to here yeah, which is that you need to just can you need to check the name out? We'll call it right. What else do you have to figure out in this research stage? What else isn't? Is missing in your business on dh then I'm going to need to do some research on, like other sexy logo's that I think that we would like tio use as inspiration to create our own. What else do you think you need to know? Probably some packaging resource is afraid for. Sure, you would have to figure out packaging, and we're gonna need thio figure out how we want, like our fonts, because then that's how it'll be embroidered for labels, um, way can get r yeah, product on point. And so with things like logo design, you know this is again or that trap of research comes in so, like don't feel like you have to look at every logo in the world and and in fact, if you can, you know, create that mood board, create division for your brand and and maybe work with a graphic designer, at least work with someone who kind of has that kind of experience instead of feeling like I have to look at somebody else's because the the thing with logo design as I can tell you guys when I designed my local I didn't look at anyone else's logo right? I sat down and I played with the elements I knew that I wanted something that kind of fit in around compact space and I knew I wanted to create use my initials and instead of looking at other people's logo's I made hundreds of sketches and actually in that in that vector video I show some of those sketches so I made a ton of sketches everything from like I'm going to go since I have this thing I was like, well, what if I like scribble em in a you know, united things like that yeah through to you know, all the different ways I could write my initials so probably better than spending time on logo design here where you feel like you have to look at everybody else's option you know what upscale brand logos look like you buy upscale brands, right? No, you d'oh I see you wearing them, right? Yeah so instead of putting it there put it here in design because really this design phase isn't finishing in the logo it's creating all of those possible inter generations, right? So maybe you sit down and you're going to do those hundred sketches and then you might pick for five and if you can't decide, maybe then you post them on facebook to and you get some feedback from there right um so that's really where this should be not here but they're very so what else do you have to design? I mean the whole website ramping so website and you're also going to design your packaging packaging business cards marketing collateral like for the postcards that we send out um my wine she very much right tonto and um okay, so that's in your designs so let's move on tio action so you have a bunch of stuff over that way but what else do you have to dio so I know there's a big big piece missing that we haven't talked about yet but I think those under action yeah start with a gigantic glass of wine I think that's the only way I can see teo drink heavily yeah really no photography right now something that you have to dio yeah and I think in your case, you know I can't spell anymore oh, todd that's no, uh, I think in your case, it's very clear from all the feedback that we've gotten that the missing piece is the lifestyle for taco doing so you know, I think with a little bit of uh, you know, creative cropping, the product shots you have are fine, but I think the lifestyle photography is what's really key and while you've got models while you've got upscale locations while you've got a photographer I would shoot a couple of really quality videos so in your case that's going to be eight one video that demonstrates how the diaper clutch works and I think it needs to be it needs to be lifestyle, not infomercial right? So it's not going to be model at a table like and you flip it open and you flip these out, right? And not that it's there's a beautiful setting and there's some music in the background and the mom is on the go with the kid and she sniffs the diaper on then who whips out of the purse lays it out so you see how it works, but you're not being told how it works, right? It's the show don't tell right, so you're gonna have that you're also gonna have one for the wet bag and maybe the web bag falls into that same maybe back those to happen at the same time, right? And then you're going to do one for the nursing cover and the same thing where it's a lifestyle like I noticed you have one on your website where your demo ing it? Yeah cheesy now would be the rule and you will help you yeah so instead, you know it's that same thing mom is at the restaurant with the friends she's got the stylish scarf the baby sitting in the seat next to her and you know maybe it's even something like the waiter serves the food and then suddenly baby starts to cry picks baby up shifting around good to go right right that and I feel like I can tell because I have a friend who was like she was I watched her struggle to that same thing with clearly inferior years but yes that's what they should be is very lifestyle that yeah what else needs to happen in in action for you guys um I don't know because they feel like a lot of other ones we covered right so basically all of this stuff once it gets designed happens right on that I think for you then you're gonna do some kind of the launch event right yeah were you also got to have that big glass of wine yeah you could have one when you start this process and then you could have a couple when you finish your champagne right total that's totally the champagne there start with the wine and with champagne yes so I think that's what you're looking at yeah I agree perfect okay I know it's a it's a big lie but you could do it it's all right it's a kathy let's talk about you ok so what is your what's your step one what do you need to decide um first is the name yep decision I don't know I don't know what's going on there the name and I think you have a pretty good idea you're just a little afraid to commit to it right yeah if I was to transition to my name do I you know what what would I do actually with glimmer of cold website great it's question yeah so in your case and actually in everyone's case here since we're all talking about name shifts who take that old domain and just forward it to the new one oh the glimmer of gold is just going forward to your new name glimmer of gold dot coms going forward there's going to be any got going on there with nothing lives there anymore okay don't put up a button that says go to our new site because they won't write just forward those dummy names on and that's actually what I did with the crafting mba to designing an idea and if you have links that you're super attached to like if you had blood content you could forward those individual links but I think for pretty much all of you you're just gonna forward the whole site on right okay so if someone's looking for the old brand they might find it but it's going to shoot them right to the new space all right so what else do you have to decide anything else yeah and then the shop platform I mean transition maybe toward press ok so we're gonna put we're actually gonna put that for you we know you have to build a new website right? We've pretty much established that so for you it's going to be figuring out the web platt form you're probably going to just do a little peek and figure out can I can I move toward press am I gonna find a theme I like or who might get someone or am I going to move to shopify yeah so you're going to do the research look at those two options and decide which one makes more sense right? And then another thing that I was I had to work on was message consistency and fund and so I would put that if you feel pretty decided you feel decided about what your new messages right I know when we started this just you felt like you had multiple messages but now do you feel like you've clarified them okay so then I would actually put that under design because what you're actually doing is you're creating so you're creating you're consistent messaging right so you're going to sit down and you're going to do some writing you're going to figure out all of the places where your messaging has to appear so those air going toe range from your home page right right now and and and you're going to save yourself a little headache and you're gonna pick a home page theme that has way less places to put text that's gonna see that trouble right there but you're going to write your home page you're going to write your about paige you are going to write that little card that goes in your packaging right that that could get a little spruce you're going to write your bios for social media um what else you gonna write anything else missing something who knew anything goes anything your main ones yeah and these are not especially one two three the card packaging thing is going to feel a little different that's sort of your love letter to the customer but your home page you're about paige and your social media we're going to say the same thing they might say them in more or less words but whatever those keywords are for your brand and your case is this idea of a happy child like magical those words are going to appear again and again and again okay that's not redundant that's branding right so those same words so when you write these things they're going to sound annoyingly similar that's what you want okay what else you have to design uhm my logo I mean well what you have you don't I deserve that but maybe I was trying to do like a you know, a statement at the end but maybe I'll think about that so you you actually have to figure out maybe a tagline yet you haven't figured out the tag line you're gonna use to create your tag line what else yet and consistent photography uh look yeah so in your case now we're gonna head into action right? So you also you have to do some photography and in this case so for you I think also you've designed the logo but you actually have tio apply it now, right? You have to you have to make it and you have to apply it on all of your elements uh, what else do you have to do? Um see uh move the ten blog's human you teo teo basically murder for lack of a better word we'll say marge logs but you're you're going to move the block post over into that new space that you're creating what you actually have to create create website right? That has to happen first. Yes. And then, um the create a style guide I guess I kind of do that kind of in your design. Yeah, eso if we're if we're looking at this, you know, then you want to start to act sort of put some of this stuff in order, right? So you're probably going tio make your your make your style guide and you're probably going to actually redo your photography so style guide a logo and photo before you create your new website you could d'oh website before new photography, but you're going to feel better putting new photography on a new website then designing any website and having to stick your old photography and it right right so so then you're gonna do your website and then you can move over those block posts and then go ahead and forward all those old old domains from right that's doable look that's not so bad awesome that makes it so much less it's like your brain is kind of going everywhere and it just got condensed so right yeah that's what we're trying to do here is like let's give you an actionable list and you know then you can take this list and you can divide this up as you need to so you know these are big picture steps right but what do I need to do to create my style guide right I have tio pick my phone to pick my colors right so you can put that in there so you can go back in and break down those couple of details then but you know that this is the big picture list and this is the order you're going to do it in yeah I'll keep you on track are we getting anything from online because one of us is actually going through this process exactly as your following and they are believing they probably do need to change the name of their business but how would you notify current customers of your new name change without scaring them oh that's a good question so I think first of all it it depends on who your customer basis so notifying kind of followers and fans on social media is going to be really different than, say notifying wholesale customers right? So wholesale customers you're going to do something like concrete sent into the mail you what else is on the money? Well too you might actually give them a call on the phone it's good for redundancy with wholesale customers they've got a lot going on so you're gonna be like hey, we're changing the name yeah here's here's your postcard that comes in the mail here's the phone call here's the email with your online customers you want to give them a heads up that something is coming right um I think uh beth from honest alchemy company did this really well she was actually squid and the whale was her company and then she decided to go through an entire rebrand process and she changed the name to honest alchemy and she kind of started sneaking it out on social media she's like hey guys, I'm working on some new branding hey, I'm working on developing the name and she give you like little little snippets so you can't not say anything and say one thing and then expect everyone's going to notice right over the course of the process let them know that these changes are happening now then, once you do make the name shift, the beauty of something like social media is that you can change your social media handle and you won't lose your followers, right? You just go in and change it, so you're you know you're going to tell people, hey, something new is coming. We're working on a new branding, a new name is coming, keep them in the loop and then go ahead and make the switch, and hopefully then they've they've heard enough time there are always going to be hell who are confused. Those people were probably confused to be in with that anyway, but the more kind of little tidbits you can let them know that's coming the better. Teo, get their feedback as you develop things like, hey, what are your thoughts on this logo versus this? If you're kind of undecided and then my other question is, is it okay to slow slowly updating change? Or does it have to kind of be in all at once type of thing? So for the first part on ly get their feedback, if it's not going to confuse the heck out of you, okay, so if you feel like I want them involved in the process, or I'm really stuck between two and I could use help. Great. But if you know if you have a gut feeling of like, yes, this is right on, just do it. Don't show it to them. Or if you're the kind of person where, like everyone else's opinion confuses you, then just pick a core group of people what you might do instead of asking everyone is pulling together your case. We're going to call like your mom focus group, right? Eso couple of stylish, savvy mom friends. Maybe you're going to create a secret group on facebook, whatever is kind of the easiest way to share and you going to say, hey, guys, this is what I'm working on, and I just need a couple other sets of eyes on it, okay, can you jump in and take a look at this? Some sort of turning it over to the big world? Pick a small group to help you? We can. We learned, I think in the course of this workshop that this back and forth, this seat back is really helpful and useful, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Right, right too much feedback and it's going to stall you out it's it's like that research fate it's another form of procrastination so that was a great question your second part of your question was is it okay to roll little elements out at a at a time or does it have to all go at once in your case it's gonna all go at once so what's great about what you're doing is because you're changing the name you could be building that new website and you can actually build it live on the internet in real time over the course of a couple of weeks but you're not going to tell people to go there until it's finished so that it is a big event now you might do a little peaks on social media like hey, you know, so excited about the new logo design something that are like oh, I found some great packaging I'm excited to use it you could do that, but I think in your case you want to come out of the gate with a fully finished ready to shop website everything is there ready to go because you could also dio you if you decide not to do a real event, you do a virtual launch party, right like countdowns coming it's almost lunchtime um, you know we're ready to go right right any other questions coming in online? We actually just got a really great comment that came in from wild ship studio they're saying they taken on board everything you've been saying megan so they just got back in from marketing some of their products to local shops since that they sold a handful of items wholesale and they've got really good feedback very very excited I love awesome I love it I love when it works all right sarah europe so step one what do you deciding a new name? You know I have to say I think it's so funny before coming into this I was like no one's going to change their name and we're just gonna talk about that really everybody's changing their name I love it I love it you guys don't love it I know you're all looking at me like monica shooting daggers but I love it all right? So sarah you're you're deciding on the name that's really? I think it for you as faras decisions, right? Okay, but but this huge to me it iss it is huge to you because I don't want to have to change it again now and I think that's one of those things with the name where, you know, we got a great suggestion right from from the audience is that something that you're feeling? Yes tio or maybe or you just want to go home and like throught a ton of ideas first maybe maybe maybe yeah it's not yeah I'm not I'm not like oh yeah that's it you know that's and that's a good sign that maybe you need to keep playing a little bit but I would also give yourself just a little bit of it of a deadline right like this is my maybe name the sarah shonka is my maybe name but I'm going to give myself two weeks to play with lots of other name ideas I'm going to you know, put things together I'm gonna you know do those google searches to make sure the name I can own the name you know you're going to test out a lot of different stuff and if after two weeks nothing is better than that idea then I would just go with it because you want to spend a year trying to pick the perfect name, right? No, I'm in a hurry to get stuff done especially because you're looking at applying to trade shows you want to get all that stuff sorted so give yourself you know, a short amount of time again if you want you know, bring a small group together, get some people together kind of give you feedback and help you brainstorm uh but give yourself a deadline to get it sorted quickly okay, so then what do you need to do in your research phase? Um well I would need to research the name and obviously like you said the domain seems majorly right the name is adele so forth it's google ability um I need to find a photographer with the photography thing um this is the thing is that as I'm making more product I don't you do your own so you don't worry about this but I don't wanna have to bring it to a photographer every time I make something I want but then again I don't have a set up and right so I think in your case what you're gonna have to decide is just like we talked about giving yourself deadlines with the name you're gonna have to give yourself deadlines to create collections so like I know on this date everything has to go to the photographer right and then it gets sent off and then the next new things you design they have to wait until the next batch, right? Okay? And the thing is if you're starting to think about wholesale and trade shows that's going to start to work itself out anyway right? Because if you're heading towards a trade show season you have to have a collection put together for that show it's not like you khun design and then you're gonna come home from the show and like designed for more things you're business is going to start to fall into that really clear kind of time frame of design I go to a show, I do production, I feel those orders. Then I design again for the next show. So that's going to make it easier to start to batch that stuff and do the photography. And even though I have my own set up and I do a lot of my own photography for the most part, I still work that same way I designed to get everything ready. I go to the show, I feel orders, and then I block off some time to design again and get ready for the next show. Okay? So just flesh out my the collection with the stuff I was talking about, and I want some bracelets, and I want a few rings and yeah, yeah, okay, and I think for you, right? So it sounds like for you when we get down to this, like when we get down to step for inaction, like you're going to create a to do list for yourself in terms of product development, so you're going to sit down and you're gonna have to say, like, right, I have to find I have to finish for earing design six pendant designs, whatever that isthe so make that list for yourself, make it part of your to do with and I know that's not the most exciting way to design but at some point you have to do that to fill in the holes in your collection, pull the collection out see what you're missing filling those holes and then you khun said those deadlines to send it to whatever photographer you found in your research stage what else has to happen in research the research photographers packaging find figure out what kind of packaging I want um that's probably it for you for research, right? Because you know you're you've got a lot in the design phase because you're working on that new website, right? So you've already made the decision you're moving a rob site shopify, which is a great choice so now you actually have to go in and you have the template so you're really just doing the tweaks right? The colors, the colors so so you're probably you actually have to design you have to create that style guide right? Uh you need to do you need to design that figure out what you need their uh so you're gonna do that you're going to dio and then you can apply that to the website, right? Huh? I need to design a logo. Okay, I need a tagline the packaging was under research, but I guess I need to design the right once you once you kind of know what we're getting, then you're right and I think a lot of times with packaging, in your case of less about designing as like finding the components and then bringing them together so you have to design a logo, but you're either going to design a logo and then just have it imprinted on boxes or you're going to make a sticker, right? So in that case, it is kind of its research and then it's action basically okay, so I think in your case, we have tio prioritize kind of what you're going to do next, right? So, you know, you're also looking ahead to trade shows what's your time frame for the trade shows you are you doing that in summer, right? You're not doing that in winter reading that winner I actually I was shocked I last week, I went on the new york now and found out that they were take the deadline for the for the emerging art east section was december second and I applied, so you may be doing a trade show really soon, right? Yeah, you don't even have a I don't have lunch, right? So that's going to impact the route that you take with your branding right is if you have to do a trade show in the next couple of months, then that means that finishing that product development is going to be number one for you, because you can go to a trade show and have your website still be a hot mess if you have tio, we're not existed quite frankly uh so in your case it's definitely gonna be product development is number want well name still probably number one you do have to get that sorted, right? But so name, product development and then photography is going to be next for you so that you could get all of that collateral done because you are going to the trade show, right? If you are, we're doing this is if you are, if not, some of this order changes, right? You khun maybe not worry so much about the collateral and get the website up first, right? But that's, where you're going to go, I would create the style died before you do the collateral because that's going to help make that easier like collateral I mean, your line sheet, your line, she catalog postcards, whatever promotional materials you're making right. Okay, so you going to do your style died before that. So it's really products vote name, product, photo style guide and I realize this is looking pretty messy, but that's kind of how this process works, right? We sort of have to work forwards and backwards to figure out what the order of things is, uh you know if you're in that I have to get ready for a trade show in a couple of months panic things like your tag line I would let that slide for a little bit it's not super essential rite even as you're working on this stuff you can get a really really great what side up even if you have no idea what your tag line is you can actually get a really, really great website up even if you haven't designed a new logo yet right? And really if you wanted teo because you've got the shopify space and you've got the theme you could actually do the website and work on that before you finalize the name in your case if you really wanted to because you could just move it over then so the website maybe a good way for you to say I feel like you're starting to implement some of these ideas while you're still thinking about the name and it's very possible that in working on the website you start to feel better about a name or you sort of feel like you're getting somewhere so that might be an area that if you're not doing the trade shirt right away I think that this is sort of contingent on that yeah if you're not doing the trader right away but I would probably you know, do the photography and the website would be the next steps for you so that's, it shifts a little, depending on what you know is coming up, but do you know one house and you're supposed to find out january er in that case, I would work on this stuff so that your trade show ready if if you get in that's where I am and I need a booth and you need the booth, and by the way, I have to move by the end of change. But but the good news is that if you have the style died and you have your mood board, you can make all those decisions about the booth. We didn't really talk about booth design, there wasn't time in this in this one, and we covered it so extensively in my last class, but you could just take all those same elements from the mood board in the style guide and create the booth. If you look at my booth that this it looks like you walked into my mood board, basically. So the nice thing is that if you're creating this stuff, this would can actually come together really easily for you. You got a lotta work, tio that that trade show you headline makes it a little a little trickier for you, but it's doable for sure, and the other thing, I think, you know, if you're really feeling stuck with the name is you could move forward with your old one for a little bit longer. But I think in your case, because you're about serve evolution and transformation, just pick the new name and move on. Get that get that decided really quick. Okay. Yeah, way getting online. Well, people have been really engaged with all of our students throughout the two sessions of this course. Cc is saying perhaps, sarah, if you get somebody to help set up your photography set up, then you can shoot it. You go so many bringing a photographer to do that. But other people, you know, just being just energized by the whole course. Very amazing. Saying I thought oven also, my dear, from my branding, when I ship out of purchase venture vintage patton. But first I have to get over procrastinating on that's being that's. The trouble is being lazy. Just the thought of getting over being lazy. I am not sure I can totally help you with that one, though I can't say that. It's okay to be lazy and chunks. I'm a big fan of like, matching your work so I will work really intensely for a couple of weeks. And then I will go home and do nothing. I can tell you guys that when I get back from creative live, I've got maybe two or three days left of really intense work. And then I am shutting it down, right? So it's okay to be lazy sometimes. But then, when you go, you really have to go right?

Class Description

Every small business owner shares two common goals: increasing sales and marketing more effectively. One of the most powerful ways to achieve these goals is to define and tell the story of who you are as a creator. That story is your brand, and a strong understanding of how to tell that story to your customers will take your business to new heights.

In Brand Your Creative Business, you’ll explore what makes your business a unique brand and find ways to share it. You’ll learn about implementing a brand strategy and growing and protecting it. Megan Auman will teach:

  • Why branding matters
  • How to define your brand
  • Storytelling to promote your business
  • How to develop a strategy to implement your plans

You’ll leave this course equipped and energized to create a strong, consistent presence in every aspect of your company – from packaging to customer interaction and beyond. You’ll also develop the confidence use colors, logos, and fonts to reflect your style - even if you’re not a designer

Whether you’re an Etsy seller looking to grow or an occasional crafter trying to build a full-time business, this course will give you the tools you need to connect with customers and sell more products.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Megan Auman - Brand Your Creative Business Resources.pdf

Megan Auman - Branding Bibliography.pdf

Megan Auman - DIY Photography Resources.pdf

bonus material with enrollment

Megan Auman - Brand Your Creative Business Syllabus.pdf

Megan Auman - Brand Your Creative Business Workbook.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


a Creativelive Student

I was drawn in immediately. Megan's ability to tender precise, goal-oriented, and REAL life experience-infused information is what captivated me the most...AND...I logged in 30 minutes late on the first day of her class. I am excited to know that her course is STILL available, and on sale a couple of days after it aired live. TY CreativeLive for this opportunity; it is truly a gift to myself which will keep on giving...I have often used storytelling to build my brand, but Megan's guidance has given me a structured approach, which I really needed. Paying it forward, and sharing her amazing course with others will be a joy, as I feel an obligation to others I know, and those I have yet to know, all who will benefit from her plethora of carefully cultivated information. Her use of emotional connections to build a brand, and to reach a solid audience based on one's authentic voice is clear, clean, and easy to follow. Thank You Megan Aumen!


This is such a great class! Great content, great advice, great examples...great, great, great!! I'm so happy that I have a clear path to create a great brand for my business. Very empowering! I especially love the bonus information, especially the video on how to make your own logo in Illustrator. Exactly the information I've been looking for. Great job, Megan!

Laura Captain Photography

I'm in the process of launching a creative business and this class was what I was looking for. With procrastination and indecision cast aside, I will now confidently plan and carry out a productive and well organized branding strategy of my own. Before this class I felt somewhat confused and overwhelmed by all the miscellaneous branding information I had been trying to piece together. Even though I already knew some of the information she covered in the class, she put her own spin on it, gave some great examples and put it in an easy to follow plan. I particularly liked the segments related to naming your business and social media branding because I had a lot of questions on those topics. I'm very excited to get started with branding my business and I'm so glad I took the time to go through Megan's class, it will be so worth it in the long run. A big shout out to Megan, I love your business branding, your jewelry and your teaching style, great work!