How to Bring Your Brand to Life

Lesson 8/9 - Building Your Trust Within Your Brand


How to Bring Your Brand to Life


Lesson Info

Building Your Trust Within Your Brand

So this is building trust within your community. So, moving back to being a good person as a brand, and being a good friend, and what those qualities are. So we're gonna do some exercises to figure out how we're gonna build some trust. Alright. So, let's talk about creating a safe space for your community. Okay, very important for us to do, right? We want to be able to identify different ways where we can make our community feel much safer in the environment that we're creating for them. So, this exercise is all about coming up with three things that you can do from now on. Let's think about what we can do from now on moving forward to make your community feel safer. Interacting with what the service or product is you provide, and interacting with that environment you're creating for them. So, again let's keep in mind social media, let's keep in mind marketing, web experiences, in person experiences, copywriting. Let's think about all those things because those are all different ways t...

hat we can really utilize our brand to communicate with our community and create trust. Alright, so for some of my examples would be to challenge community members who are acting inappropriately. That's a really great way to create trust and to make people feel safe in my space is to actually stand up for my community when something is happening. Listen to them and stand up for them and cheer them on and sort of knock down any sort of inappropriate behavior. That's a great way to create a safe space for your community. Another one would be to allow community members to share their stories. So that could be done online, that could be done on social media, but that's a great way for people to feel safe and supported and so then they can be themselves in the environment that you're creating for them, is to actually outwardly cheer them on, outwardly support them, outwardly push them forward and celebrate them. So, I want to be able to do that online, on social media, in person experiences, is really celebrate my community members as often as possible. Another one is being inclusive of all genders, all backgrounds on our website and marketing material. It's really important to encapsulate your entire community, and to show off your community equally, so that you can draw in different types of people from your community and not alienate anyone that might be in your community. So you don't wanna just show one Rick Cline to your community because your community isn't made up of only Rick Clines. You might have different types of people in your community. So you wanna make sure they're all equally represented. Alright, so let's go down the row and just mention one thing that we'll start to do now to make your community feel safe working with you and interacting with your environment. Yeah, I think giving people, giving other's constructive feedback and building on the ideas of others, like on social media. Yeah, that's a really great way to support other people and I think make people feel like they're heard, but also collaborate with one another. So, just kind of take a moment to listen to each other, to allow for that back and forth. And then to make something together out of it, whether it's something physical or something designy, or whether it's just a new idea. Maybe create smaller groups within the community for people to kind of brainstorm with each other, and just feel safe like in that small place. Yeah, I think that makes a lot of sense because communities, especially when it comes to a brand can be quite large, and it's really, as I mentioned before, great when communities can rapidly open up to each other, and so creating a smaller, little niche communities is gonna be a really great way to do that. I'd like to learn more ways that I could acknowledge my community, so even if I receive a comment or something that I don't 100 percent agree with, to just be like, "Thank you for engaging, thank you for sharing." Yeah, I think that's really important to mention, 'cuz I think engaging with your community is something that we often glaze over, and don't feel like we have the time to do, so if somebody's interacting with you online, a lot of times people just say "Love this!" You get a lot of that where you'll post something on Instagram and someone will just respond with some sort of generic positive comment, and it's really important that we do take the time to engage with those people and at least give them a thank you, 'cuz that's what they deserve. But those little interactions really go a long way with your community of just acknowledging that they're there, that they are supporting you, and give them that support back in return. I want to encourage my community to share a little bit about themselves, share pictures of themselves with the brand and so that people can kind of see themselves. I think that sharing failures along the way is a good way of giving permission for other people to say, "It's okay to fail", and that also just makes me more human, I guess. Absolutely. I'm not sure if this is quite right, but in the sense that the community is the client base, I guess making them feel safe is a kind of professionalism, just like making sure stuff is delivered on time, and making sure all bases are covered like in regard to invoicing and timing. That gets a little bit detail heavy, but I think that kind of attention to professionalism makes employees feel safer employing you, I think. That's a really good point and something we haven't touched on yet is as creatives, people who are self-employed, people who are independent workers. Freelancers are notorious at being bad at deadlines and emails, and just getting people the things that they ask for, and I find that as a freelancer a lot, I get a lot of clients that are apprehensive to work with me for the first time 'cuz they've been burned by so many other freelancers. That's such a great thing to keep in mind all the time, is creating trust with your potential client base, of being just responsible and professional in those ways of just doing what you're asked to do in a timely manner, in a friendly way. That's another quality of a good person that will build more trust with your community. Alright, so let's talk about the things you can do with your community to make them actually very excited to be working with you. To be excited to be interacting with your brand, and to be excited to be in the environment that you're creating for them. Alright, so excitement goes back to, let's think about how we can excite people. Let's be really positive, let's cheer lead them, let's have a smile on our face, let's care about their lives, let's be a good friend to our community members, okay? So, again, keep in mind how you can make them excited in person, online, on social media, website experiences, in real-life experiences, copywriting. What are some ways that you can keep your community feeling really excited? So, some examples that I have is to feature them on social media. Alright, that one's really easy. Something that's easy to do is to just cheer lead and support them and feature them as often as possible, so that they're really excited to be seen and to be heard. That's very important for us to all feel like we can see ourselves, and know that we're seen. Alright, so do frequent giveaways and freebies for your community. We were talking about earlier about Mailchimp and about Intercom, how they produce a lot of things out of their own pocket and just give it away. Surprise your community with things they're not expecting. Everyone loves that. It's an easy way to get your community really excited about what you're doing because it really seems like you care when you do that. And hopefully you do actually care, so you'll go out of way to be really nice and give your community freebies and giveaways and give them things because you should be really thankful for their support. Another one, random acts of kindness to your community. So what can you do to surprise your community in other ways through maybe promotions, or complimenting them, or lifting them up, and injecting yourselves in their lives to really lift them up and cheer lead them. So random acts of kindness can be anything from, "Hey, hopping over to your Instagram profile to just let you know that I've notices you and I really like the work that you're doing. That a really easy way to do that. Or you can go into other communities that they're involved in and say "Hey, I'm here! "Just letting you I'm here and I support you." Those sorts of things that you can do that really don't cost you any money, but make them feel really supported and really excited that you're actually there, that you see them, and that they're noticed. Alright, so let's go down and list one thing that you're gonna do to make your community feel excited to work with you. Yeah, not only sharing innovative stuff that I've done, but highlighting things that I find that others have done that are cool and make people say, "Oh that's awesome." Especially people who may not have a lotta online following. Yeah, definitely. It's really is very impactful. Such an easy thing to do, too. Surprising them with things that will make them look better to their audience. Absolutely. I really like the idea of the giveaways and the freebies, because I like that, too. I was thinking of starting a recurring donation to an organization that my community cares about. I was thinking about inviting the community to actually participate, so whether it's a side project and asking, "Where should I go with this?" or even just asking a question on a post and then getting a lot of the comments and responding to those. I think that also speaks to your point about being vulnerable and transparent. I think that's a really great way of showing process as you both have mentioned, is huge and just being more relatable for your community. I think they really like to see it when you're transparent and a little bit vulnerable about your process, showing those things and asking for help. That's a really great way to build and excitement within a community for sure. I guess it kinda is a pop like freebies and giveaways, but like printed mail outs I really enjoy doing, and I feel like not many people send out physical stuff much anymore, so particularly when you don't know it's coming, it's a nice surprise, I guess. There's nothing better. And I think if you especially enjoy doing it, there's no reason why you shouldn't do it. If it's something that you actually really like doing, I know it can feel like a lot of the time that it's a huge undertaking to have to actually go out of your way to make all of this happen, but if it's something that you truly enjoy, you should be able to make time to do it. Alright, so let's talk about ways we can actually bring our community into our brand. We've all kind of mentioned this a little bit is this ways that we can feature them. Let's think about how we can actually often feature them and bring them into our brand to make them feel like they're noticed and included, and that we actually care about them. So a few examples are to highlight community members on website and social media as often as possible. So take time out of your day to reach out to your community members, and say "Hey, can I feature you? "Would you be interested in that?" Find different ways that you could highlight and feature them. Maybe you want to show off how they're using your product or service. Maybe you just wanna show off what they're making themselves and celebrate what they're doing. Maybe you just wanna have a little interview with them or maybe you want to collaborate with them on something totally different. Another way is to pay community members to contribute to your product or service. So if you have a blog or something, something like a social media account where you want to actually pay illustrators or creatives to actually make content for you. This is a really great time to do it and a really great way to feature and bring in your community members into what you're doing. And the last example I have is to actually bring community members into you and have focus groups with them or talk to them. Just talk and listen. Say, "How can I make your lives better?" This is really similar to what I was saying about talking to people you are working with that are team members or colleagues, but actually bring your community members in or email them and say "How can I make your experience with me even better?" And the most important thing to do at that point is just to listen and take it all in, and then act upon it. Even if one person has an opinion that you might think that no one else has, other people probably have it too. One person is thinking something that they would like to see to make themselves happier, it's only going to make other people happy as well. So listen to what those people are saying, when you're sitting down and having these conversations with them and actually act upon it because that's how you make your brand even better is when you have these conversations with your community members and you can really listen to them. And it makes them excited and makes them feel heard, and makes them feel safe within your environment. Alright, so let's think about three ways you can bring your community into your brand, keep in mind social media, copywriting, marketing materials, in person experiences, web experiences. If we could just go down the row and mention something that we'd like to do from now on. Yeah, I'd like to seek out feedback on progress or final work online. Ask people to do Instagram story takeovers on my account. Very similar to that for the part of my community that are also fellow creatives to maybe ask them to do a guest post. I want to just highlight members of my community that are doing cool things. Teaming up with the community on projects and finding someone that has a complimentary or different skill than me, so that we can kinda mix it up and figure out something new. Putting on group shows with illustrators and designers, and just having any excuse to have everybody's work in the same space. Awesome. I think a lot of these things revolve around featuring other people, and really celebrating other people, these members of your community. And I think for many years a lot of people who loved rules, about metrics and analytics with businesses, would be afraid to pause their business to focus on someone else, when it seems so counterintuitive but this is what people want now. People want to feel like they're supported, like their audience is supported because that makes you seem like a really good person as a company. And so that's what you need to do nowadays. To feel likable, and to actually be truly, truly trusted by your community is to actually take a pause from what really matters to you, which might be your business, and focus on someone else, which is what a good person would do.

Class Description

Brands today have a lot of work cut out for them. Not only does your product have to be life-changing, but your brand’s personality has to be well-loved by your community. Today’s most successful brands are more than a product, they have a personality that is authentic and a culture built on trust.

These brands have an amazing community culture that is just as strong internally. After all, a happy community makes for a happy company.

In How to Bring Your Brand to Life, Meg identifies what makes a happy company and a brand the world loves. She’ll outline what makes your community special and create an actionable plan for your brand’s personality.

In this class you’ll

  • Identify your community and create guidelines for their happiness
  • Define your brand’s personality and determine how you can communicate it through marketing, graphics, and copy
  • Learn to be a well-loved company that does good, and is trusted, within your community
  • Discover new ways to make your community feel safe and encouraged to be themselves within the space you create for them
  • Pinpoint ways you can create a positive environment for your team and internal company culture

By the end of How to Bring Your Brand to Life you’ll have a new brand culture, marketing guidelines rooted in authenticity, and a company well on its way to happiness.


a Creativelive Student

It was so incredible to hang out in the live studio audience for this class!(Despite having NO voice! ...thanks for being so kind and patient with me!) As a brand designer, it's actually so hard to get outside of my own business and think about my brand in new ways and Meg's course was so helpful in doing just that. Thank you for your fun and super helpful knowledge bombs, Meg!

Annie Wong

I know a lot of artists and designers like myself that cringe at traditional business marketing advice because it sounds gross and antithetical to the creative process. Meg has the amazing ability to humanize the idea of branding in a way that makes complete sense. The a-ha moment for me was when she reframes thinking about our "audience" and "users" as our "community." This was so helpful for me because a few days after the class a couple of members of my community expressed some concerns to me and I was able to address them in a way that was authentic. I might have dismissed their concerns before, but I realized that I have a responsibility as the steward of my brand to cultivate a safe space for my community. Thanks, Meg!

a Creativelive Student

I really enjoyed being part of this class. Meg's excitement is contagious and she really makes the idea of branding into a fun activity, instead of something complicated and scary. I really liked the workbook and how it breaks down branding into manageable exercises. I'm really excited to finish the work and start implementing my findings with my own brand.