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Lesson 2 from: Branding Strategies to Ignite Your Marketing

Ashlyn Carter

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Lesson Info

2. Branding

Lesson Info


So that brings us to the first big thing that we're gonna dig into here. And it's something, it's a marketing tool, called positioning. So, the best analogy I have for this, is think about when you're sharpening a pencil, right. You're getting that pencil point perfectly sharp, so you can write, you know how annoying it is to write with a dull pencil, so you're shaving off a lot of the good stuff, right, because you wanna get it really clear, and pencil point perfect. The purpose of a positioning statement, is to help you find your focus, in your business. Now, we just talked about having to say no to good, to make room for great, and positioning does mean that we need to firmly declare what you do, and what you don't do. So, you need to be able to tell me why you do, what you do, the way you do it, in a way that is different, or maybe even better than people that do the same thing that you do, and here's the kicker, may even charge more, or may even charge less. If you charge more, yo...

u really need to figure this out. This is kind of the basics of positioning, and figuring out this kind of statement, this is not like, the headline that goes on your homepage, or anything like that. This is called a unique selling proposition. Unique value proposition as marketers call it. And this deep piece of internal messaging that once you figure this out, you're gonna be crystal clear. Because this helps you figure out who to market to, and who not to market to. So I pulled four power plays for you to think though as you determine your brand's positioning statement. And I know that this is a little hard, and we spent a whole module on this with my students. So, spend some time here, OK. This is gonna be really important for you figure out before you move on. Another analogy, I need word pictures all the time, Another analogy that's helpful for me, is to think about, like, your favorite show on HGTV, when they rip the house down to the studs, before they do a renovation on it, OK. We're gonna do that for your creative business right now, as we get started. We're gonna rip down to the studs, have our own little demo day, and then we're gonna build up from there, with all the other marketing features that you wanna get going with. So, as you think through these power plays, I want you tell me, who you are. I want you to think through what you do and the way that you do it, what your process looks like. I want you to spend some time thinking about who you do it for. And this one's really important because you can't be all things to all people, and I think you'll realize early on as you start and get going with your business, that the riches really are in the niches. And if you zero in, just talk to, as copywriters say, the rule of one, one reader, one idea, one offer. If you really zero in, you're gonna a lot more successful communicating, OK. That other thing I want you to do, is think about the way that you do it. Maybe you do something that's more unique or different or interesting. Maybe your story is something that you wanna bake-in. I'm gonna tell you that later, I'ma show you an example that I use in my business with my story. So those are some things that you can think about as you figure out your positioning statement, which another way to think about that again, is your unique value proposition or your unique selling proposition. So, if positioning is internal, I've talked about that with the house renovation example, how then do we communicate that message externally? How do we actually start talking to those potential clients, to those dream customers, all those people out there? The way we do this, is through branding. Now branding is storytelling. It's a mechanism that helps you communicate and get all the things we just talked about that out in the world. So when it comes to figuring out what to say, I feel like we need to look back at maybe some of the old dead copywriter quotes, they're so good. Eugene Schwartz said, "Copy isn't written, it's assembled." And hopefully that can calm you down, a little bit, about figuring out what in the world it is that you wanna say to people, because sometimes I see from my students, and when I'm giving talks at conferences, it's kind of an overarching theme, that people get a little scared of that blinking cursor on a big page, with nothing on it. That's intimidating, right? That's enough to make me sweat sometimes. But what I want you to think about is that you may, just may, already have some of the tools out there. And it's just a matter of assembling those in the right order. So, if you look at this, you probably already have some of the materials that you need. Part of figuring out what you wanna say, is thinking about the things we just talked about. Your positioning. Your mission, your message. Also, your brand voice, which we'll dig into, a little bit more today. But you also, the half of that, is what your clients, or customers, want to hear. Again, I told you that talking to everybody is talking to no one, and we really want to focus in on the people that you actually want to work with. You can't work with everybody, so let's focus in. And now that group of people has their own voice. They have their own problems. And they have their own desires. So where these two big ideas overlap, is gonna be the exact words that we need to say to speak to those people. So, how do you, how do we wrap up, kind of this 30,000 foot up overview, when we're talking about branding? Well, before you move on and keep consuming all of this information that's coming to you today, I want you to have these five branding gut checks to think through. I want you to think about, what is your mission as a business? Do you have that down on paper? Sometimes we have it in our heads, but have you spent the time to put it on paper? What do you offer? Tell me exactly the services, and the products that you offer. What are your different packages? If you offer photography, for example, at different rates, what are those packages? Tell me exactly what they are. I also want you to think though, what do clients or customers think of your business, or if you're not quite there yet, where you have clients and customers on hand, what do you want them to think about your business? What qualities do you want them to associate with you and your business? And then the last thing that we talked about, right at the very beginning, what is enough? What do you actually need to brand? What does your take home need to be to pay your bills? And again, I keep coming back to that, even though I'm a writer and a words girl, because that, your sales goals matter so much. Sometimes marketing feels like a popularity contest. But that's not what it should feel like at all. The person with the most followers, or the most subscribers, isn't the winner when it comes to profitability. So I want you to really define, what is enough for you and your creative small business, and that is what we're gonna work for as we get through your marketing goals.

Class Materials

Free Bonus Material

How to Run Your Business Like a Boss
Branding & Copywriting Resource Guide

Ratings and Reviews


Awesome class!! Super great info, Ashlyn is a great presenter!


What a great class and Ashlyn really knows her stuff! Thank you for this super helpful information!

Marta Oliehoek-Samitowska

Very helpful and informative! Ashlyn does a really great job! So much ethusiasm, lots of good advice and so many simple but handy tips!

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