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Brand Your Creative Business

Lesson 12 of 22

When To Tell Your Own Story

Megan Auman

Brand Your Creative Business

Megan Auman

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Lesson Info

12. When To Tell Your Own Story

Lesson Info

When To Tell Your Own Story

So then the other question that comes up is we're talking about customer stories but when should you tell your own story because at some point your story does come into play right? We talked earlier people were like I haven't about paige I don't haven't about paige I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be talking about on my about paige so when is it appropriate to tell your own story? You certainly need to tell it at certain points one is going to be the about paige on your website now that's not to say that you're about paige can't also reflect the customer but if we're trying to create this connection and we are because we're small businesses were personal brands there's got to be this human element and so that's when it becomes really essential toe actually create your own stories but you want to use your origin story and the origin story is this kind of how your business started story to reflect your brands key emotions right and I know that this origin story thing can be easier or ha...

rder for different different businesses right? So I think in the case of monica your origin story it's pretty simple right so years came from your idea so when you talk about your origin story what do you what do you talk about how your brand started? I talked about the frustrations of being out with two children and feeling very disoriented and frazzled and that there needed to be a better way and we came up with the solution right and you also talk about you were searching for a product and nothing was spitting the bill right? You designed it yourself, right? Yeah and your mom actually so the first first prototype right? Right so I think that's really great because it reflects that kind of I'm frazzled I've got this problem I'm having the same issues as my customer and you also clearly I think you know, we talked before about like how much of your personality comes through you embody what your customers want to be you have that like chic stylish mom thing going on and your customers want that so it's okay to say I was frazzled like you so I developed this and I'm looking me now kind of thing so that's the case where your story is very clear and very distinct but I know for some people not everyone's origin story feels that clear so cathy what would you talk about is the kind of the origin story of your business? Uh well it involved a number of times but with this whole painting now it's started I made a painting that said shine bright like a diamond and it was with my writing and then I added a crystal on top of two dot the I and that's where the whole sparkle came and it became it was very popular, you know? So I started making it more and I hand painted all and then I started thinking well there's like a deeper meaning like where these people buying right? And then I started thinking asking where they would place it and sometimes it would be like at a nursery and a kid's nursery or in their office and so then I would think like, what kind of emotion do they have buying this or in that particular space? And I said, okay, well it must inspire them to shine where you know like or that little element of of sparkle or something in that piece it's it's enough to draw attention to it to just read and simple it's black and white you know, and with that sparkle so I think that that evolved into like that beautiful print and then involved evolved to color and adding color so I just kind of that's how it started and just it's simple I think in your case there's ah, there space there too actually tweak that story more to make it more exciting. Like I just decided teo isn't really a story that customers tell a lot, so what motivated you to create that first one like it? What was there something kind of with that or, you know, eat it, did you even questions like did you already have the paints were you already doing something did you have to go out and buy them we're going to try to like set up okay mark yeah so I really like black and white just simple and it was like minimalistic and everything that's going on now I feel like people crave for that minimal nous in artwork and minimum this sometimes in design and so I'd like to create just simple things I mean and then when I was just writing you know drawing and my husband saw it and he's like that that's nice like did you buy that no it's like no it by this you know and then he's like well you should see how it does and I said really it's it's kind of I was just kind of playing around with writing something for my wall or from my daughter's wall and then it just I mean that could be a more interesting story because it it kind of evolved from simplicity so you did the original piece because you wanted to create a piece of artwork for myself for yourself yeah for my home for your home for you so you for your daughter's room or just in general from my distant generalizing sure but that song shine bright like a diamond is kept playing in my head and then playing and then that phrase when I wrote it out it just looked really nice and minimal look black and white and it was it wasn't busy at all it was simple and handgun and that motion of it just being hand done it felt like it was which is meant more so were you already creating art before you hit on that one what's the I think there needs to be in your case we have to pull back a little further from that moment of creating that one specific thing to pull out like the bigger story so we're just going to go we're going to dive deep like okay, how long have you been creating art for way we're going to go way back for a second here for I'd safe really probably when my daughter was born five years ago so I just started doing just painting and then I involved her and like painting and I had painted with her and then it just kind of made me create more things I mean it involved my creativity and that's why I think I'm so inspired by getting back to the simplicity and the happiness of a child is because of my daughter in our good now we're getting somewhere right so you know if we apply that same kind of story framework that we did with our customers to your origin story so the catalyst for change was the birth of your daughter right julia so when your daughter was born you felt this need to be more creative, right? And then and and I'm gonna we're gonna muddle through this I try to remember exactly what everything you said so when your daughter was born you felt this need to be more creative and you also took it as an opportunity to create with her right? And so you were inspired by her childlike approach to the world or who's something like that, right? So then that encourage you to create this art and we can say this all way better than I can say it off in my head so that that encouraged you to start creating sort work and you were trying to create something for your home you made this shine like a diamond piece and it really resonated with people, right? Yeah. So that's the story so there's actually a story before you create that piece that I think is the story that also then ties together the emotion of you know you want people to be happy like they were when they were children happy with themselves and so it's the birth of your daughter is the catalyst for this creativity and that's how you got where you are today yeah that's perfect sometimes stories I guess as your living them you forget that that's what really influenced so it's kind of it's nice to just talk it out even to a friend or something and just tell your story and then I mean, what you just did was perfect kind of you keep going back, you keep going back and was the reason your right and your story always feels feels very long, right? And you're not sure what point to pick up from so kind of figuring out, like, what actually is the right moment to tell the story from is really critical. So in your case, right, you were trying to tell it from I designed this piece when the story really starts with I had my daughter that syria awesome that's awesome you, sarah, I know, and you're you're soaking the interesting because you've got there's a long story, because you've been doing this for so long in different versions. So what's what's your origin story. I started making jewelry when I was sixteen, so that's there's the eight years? Yeah, ok, so so that's, the jewellery and, uh, kind of I mean, do I? We're going to actually lay a lot of it out right now, and we're going to pick out what we think is the key parts that you're going to tell in the final kind of final version of the origin story, okay, so I started high school fellow student loved it immediately, and I've always wanted to do it, so I uh and I started really with like my grandfather was a garage mechanic was using his tools which were not jewelry tools like really crude so I was really determined to do it and um but I took breaks along the way like in college um I didn't I didn't do it I wanted to study art but um that was discouraged and so I didn't so and then I went to japan and picked it up again there and um study and I worked for either went to the g a and got certified as a jewelry in jewelry manufacturing arts worked for a company in san francisco and had a really interesting um training there was like an old world factory moved back to japan for another like five years and studied and had a really, uh, great opportunity studying learning traditional japanese metal smith ing techniques and um then I had babies, my babies, okay? And I didn't do for like twelve years I was an at home mom, I didn't I didn't make hardly anything at all, so then uh got a divorce following the transformation, the big the big one, the big trip with there's never just one and so it was after that I just I I decided that's how I want to make a living I want to start my business so I've been doing that so I think your story there's a there's a couple of different I think elements and I think part of it you know, you're talking about this idea of of passion and purpose and so there's something in your story about you kept coming back jewelry right? You did it and then you stepped away and then you came back and then you did it and and then I feel like the japan thing just hits with people too and I'm guessing that it's an important part of your story or else you wouldn't bring it up and you wouldn't put it on your website right? So how do you feel like that's the japan part is worthy enough to mention right? Uh I don't know if it is to customers or not, but it is for tech technically, no, I'm not worried about technically I'm talking about sort of in the big picture of your of your brand do you feel like it's important that you went to japan? I mean, I know what I think I want to hear what you say well, yeah, I'm not using any specifically japanese brands although I did learn the red copper coloring over there um but uh the aesthetic I mean my my oh my jewelry that the designs are taken from japanese kata, ga me the paper said yes and that's the thing I think you're overthinking it is important that's what I wanted you to come to is that I think that's ah really key part of that story um but then I think so is the I went through the divorce and realized I wanted to do this so in a way it's kind of it's a shame that we can't be like divorce japan whatever then we'd really have have the thing but I know that's not the chronology of how it happened um but I think that you know the story is really I did this you know I first made jewellery and I was a teenager but then I came back to it you know I stepped away and then I came back so yours is that story of that following your purpose but then also the evolution so I think it's some of those details you could probably drop out because they're not as interesting to the customer like joining the g a and working for the other jeweller I don't think those are part of the big picture stories like I think for you it's like started when I was sixteen went to japan got a divorce decided to commit to this full time that's the that's the main arc of the story yeah okay and it's and that reflects this idea of following your purpose following your passion and this idea of transformation that's so important involving that so important your customer okay, awesome! I think because the the japanese part influence is actually a very big part of your brand because listen as you mentioned and all the people on the internet identify with it so yeah that's the part that people I identify with you the most so if he has stranded think someone can say more business wise that would be a good thing to to complain right work and especially if you're going teo re I already forgot the name of reading your brand whatever that shikha yeah um so yes, I think that's and that's the other thing with you know, these origin stories is you want to put in some you wanna put it in detail enough detail that it's captivating but not so much detail that people start to gloss over it so like I first did it when I was sixteen with my grandfather's tools I went to japan, I got divorced, I decided to to start again those are the details like that that's all you those air enough concrete details to make it work but you don't need like I you know I study the gaea that just starts toe bird in the story so look for that big theme because then those things are interesting people yeah, I bought this from her she actually studied in japan and she's really influenced by that or, you know like me like she went through a divorce and so we there's that you know, kindred relationship there so those air the key point because those are the things that are going to interest and connect you with your customers. So are we seeing online it's really interesting actually because so many people sharing what their origin stories are but it seems to be the theme is that it's uh, come out of necessarily tragedy or a change of situations that really gave him the impetus to get out there and do what they wanted to do. People talked about losing their jobs, people talking about illness except when they suddenly realized you know what? This isn't my passion I need to get out there find it and that's what gave them their starting point to really create their own business and ideas I think it's usually something like that yes this out and think you know what? I have to do this yeah, and those stories are interesting to people because so many people are contemplating those things themselves like, oh, I could never do that roo I would want to do that um so those air really good I do want to say for the people who don't have those big transformation stories it's okay too, you know, because I'm actually someone who's had that where I went to school to become a metal smith and I became a medal smith right there's no like epiphany moment you know? So my origin story is going to be something more about that I'm actually you know, the daughter of my father owned a machine shop that actually founded by my grandfather and my mother was a painter so I took what my parents did working with tough medal and then creating beautiful art and I merged them together to create my brand so that's my origin story there's no major transformation point but instead it's about taking these two elements and bringing them together to create the brand I'm basing a lot of those as well people who just had an inspiration yeah just had something I wanted to drive it's interesting we still got comments coming from monica some people say why you're focusing on the mother's how about for sheik babies on the go or keeping chic babies organized because then the mummy thing you know I gotta she kid that's going funny and that might play into some of that like I don't want to feel sweet this feels the self interest in me I want to kind of like deflected to my child but I think in your case I think it's right I think the moms because they deserve it mom is the one that's using it right it's the baby that yeah is the right caesar that yeah well in your case to the the babies are kind of young enough that they don't have a lot of personally I mean I know they have personality but you know, I'm saying like it's really like it's the it's the kid and the mom is the one still with kind of like the purse and they're trying to I think also find their identity now with the kid totally so I think the mom's air the moms were key anything else we're getting online or any well questions and people are giving us a swell saying, you know, they just they had epiphanies they're saying they wanted to do things differently they wanted to create art or whatever it was and so they just said, you know what? I'm going to quit my job and I'm gonna do it if they got over the fear because people have that yes care factor andi see nor cc saying it was just my passion that pushed me out there I design jewelry for a company and I thought, well, why can't I be doing this for myself? Nice awesome. So as we kind of head towards the end of um this segment, I'm gonna give you guys some homework, which is we've already kind of been doing this as we go along but that's to develop those key brand stories so that's probably knew something about you know, a story that's your customer is the hero and then a story that your customers going to tell us that might be that acquisition or that connection story, and then your origin story. So those air, you know, three really key stories that everyone should have, so, you know, the customer is the hero, one of those kind of acquisition connection or use stories, and then that origin story and again, keeping in mind that the origin story should in some way reflect back those kind of emotional appeal of your brand, so it should have that that strong emotional connection in there and and doesn't have to be the whole story again pick out those elements you know, figure out what's the most important part, you know, you're not telling your life story, you're telling a sound bite something quick that you could share with the media or sharing your about paige, keeping in mind that people's attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. So that's your homework is you're going to develop those couple of key brands stories, and then what we're going to dio when we pick back up is we're going to start applying those stories. So how do we share those stories? How do we encourage our customers to share those stories? And we've been talking we've been doing a lot of well, we've been doing on talking let's face it, we've been really heavy on the verbal side of the brand, so we're going to talk about where to put those stories, whether it's, your website, your social media, your packaging, we're gonna talk about where to put them, but we're also going to get into the visual elements of your brand because the beauty is, first of all that we can tell stories visually, too, right? So we can with a picture tell a story that might be as impactful as an entire paragraph of text and let's face it, people are way more likely to look at the picture, then read the paragraph of text in today's world, and we're going to talk about those other really specific visual brand elements all those details they people were asking about earlier, you know, colors, logo, website, all of that we're going to actually start to really put together your brand package with the emotions and the stories at the core, so if you haven't already again develop those key brand stories really drill down on those emotions and that's going to put you in a good place as we head into our next session.

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

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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!