They say you teach what you need to learn.
Here are the things I know….
:: I’m a great storyteller.
One client described working with me as an archaeological dig… that I was able to reach into her heart and extract the brand that lives there. Honestly, this comes from a bit of an unlikely place. I started in radio, and I interviewed a LOT of peeps. I also started my career in corporate sales, and always took a relationship selling approach. You know what’s vital to that? ACTIVE LISTENING.
People want so badly to be heard. And without hearing them (and I don’t just mean the stuff they’re saying, I’m also referring to all the stuff between the lines, the twinkle in their eyes, the energy behind their words), how can I create something that feels beautifully, authentically them? I can’t. It would mean creating something that might be beautiful, but would have ZERO impact. And they’d be left feeling like yet another designer let them down.
:: I’m a decent web designer… but I don’t love it.
I build websites because it brings a brand full circle. It gives my clients a virtual home, a platform to tell their stories on… but the tech side… it’s not my fave. In fact, on some of my projects I work with a fabulous designer who does that side for me. It’s all about bringing a client’s vision to life, and a website is just one way I do that.
Why do I outsource? Because it’s how I’m best able to serve. By staying in my zone of genius, I’m able to help more people, have bigger impact, and go DEEP. When I get tied down to every aspect of every project, it limits my reach. And let me be clear… this isn’t about profitability, it’s about service. (Plus, who wouldn’t love to outsource the parts of their biz they don’t get super lit up about?)
:: My journey is not original – and neither is yours.
We’re all told we’re these special little snow flakes, but I have to be honest… the majority of things I hear from clients are things I hear over and over again. Their struggles, their journeys, who they help… there are no original stories.
But that doesn’t make it unimportant.
Sharing your journey, every rise and fall, who and how you serve and your big WHY is what makes you relatable. Too many people miss this step. They think they have nothing to say. They think they need to be perfect, so they hold back the hard times (and the eff bombs). They deny the darkness in their story. They lightwash their journey and try to be all things to all people. And guess who buys into that? No one.
The journey may not be original, but it makes you human. You’re perfectly
imperfect. Embrace it. I sure as hell do.
:: My super power is in how deeply I care… but that doesn’t mean I’m always nice about it.
A lot of people think of someone who is caring or nurturing as someone who is nice. I am not nice. 🙂 I say what I think, and while my intentions are always good, I don’t sugar coat or pull punches. Because I care enough about my clients to tell them what they need to hear, even if they don’t want to hear it. So you’re just as likely to get a warm hug as a kick in the ass by working with me… but it’ll always be exactly what’s in your best interest, I promise.
:: I bring the woo.
I know that word makes a lot of people cringe, but when I use it, we all know what I’m talking about, right? Call it intuition, spirituality, whatever, it’s an important part of the work I do. Much in the way that the ancient Greeks worked with muses, I liked to channel Divinity into my work. I call on my angels and guides (and sometimes, those of my clients) to help me create works that will best serve. I meditate. I do rituals. I smudge my workspace… It’s all energy. I also use it to support my zero jerks policy – and it works. I manifest DREAM CLIENTS and rarely have to turn someone away because they aren’t a personality fit.
I used to keep this side very clearly locked into my personal life, and have only started blurring the line between personal and business. And you know what, it feels good. It feels AUTHENTIC (which is one of my core desired feelings). It feels me. I started working with energy on the playground in elementary school… it’s natural for me. And it’s gonna stay. Does this mean I may put off some clients… sure. But then they weren’t my ideal clients in the first place.
So there it is… confessions of a brand strategist. I’m glad I got that off my chest and that you know where I’m coming from. 🙂
With love (always),