Having my own creative business has so far been a tedious yet satisfying journey. There isn't a guidebook or instruction manual that tells you exactly how to be your own boss and quite often I've had to figure things out on my own. Since making a decision to officially freelance aside from my career, I've realized a few important factors I neglected that could prevent me from reaching my goals. Factors such as, having definition and clarity on who I was, what kind of business I wanted to run, and who I wanted to help. Without this understanding, it robbed me of several things necessary to function as a creative entrepreneur: My confidence, my sales, and my potential customers. So to help you avoid making the same errors as I did in the beginning, today we will be discussing some key points that helped me define my brand, business, and client.
How To Define Your Personal Brand. Being an #entrepreneur isn't as self-explanatory as saying you're a lawyer or a doctor. The term just means you've decided to create your own business and take the financial risks on your own. It doesn't necessarily define who you are or what you do and before marketing a product, service, or organization you need to be able to market yourself. There are a lot of entrepreneurs in today's era and everyone seems to want to impact their industry as an expert, but it's not necessarily what you do that defines you it's how you present yourself that does. It actually takes being intentional about how you want to be perceived to help you create a foundation that's genuine to you and your audience. So what are ways to define yourself and still feel authentic about it?
These are the questions I focused on when I took that initiative:
What sets me a part from my peers?
What do I value most and won't compromise in this stage of my life?
What type of voice do I have and how can it be influential?
What kind of habits or lifestyle do I have that others can learn from?
What are my superpowers?
What do I want people to say about their experience with me?
How To Define Your Business Purpose and Title.
There are many things that could define your business: the industry, the product, the service, and even the customer (if you let them). However, true definition lies when you can clearly articulate the purpose of your business and why it exist. I can't tell you guys how often I use to feel awkward when I couldn't answer questions about my business or what I was currently doing in life (like most people want to know once you've hit 30s). I could never give a proper answer to anyone because grabbing a notebook to define this seem like the less exciting part of entrepreneurship, and I felt that people would just automatically know what I was doing once I created a business name or gave them a title, which was almost always never the case. Making the decision to turn my #superpowers into income and communicating it was challenging. This is when I finally understood the importance of taking the time to define your business purpose and how it helped communicate why the business exist, where it was headed, and what I want out of it.
Here are some questions to think about:
What am I passionate about?
What am I an expert in and what will my title be?
Why did I start a business and am I solving a problem?
What needs will people expect me to satisfy? Is it the experience, the quality, the style, etc.
What is the core focus of my business?
What is the vision? The desired end goal?
Lacking definition in this area can make you run the risk of stepping out of your business purpose. This quite possibly can tempt you to accept customers, projects, or sales that could steer you in a different, often undesirable direction for your business. Having a clear understanding can help motivate you and keep you on track with your goals. It can also ease the anxiety the next time someone ask you for more details about your business.
How To Define Your Ideal Customer. I'm sure you've heard before that not everyone is your customer. But why is that? Well, it's more than just about demographics, solving a problem, or satisfying a need when working with people. The reality is people have different personalities that could potentially clash and if your non product based business requires you to work one on one with a client, then that is something you need to consider before any collaboration. Compatibility plays a huge role in business, and often times creative entrepreneurs make the mistake by collaborating with the wrong people for the sake of income, only to regret it later. The way you run your business may not be what others are accustomed to. So taking the extra step to know your prospects beyond the surface of their problems or needs, will help you determine if they truly are a good fit as your client. If your business requires interaction with your client, get to know them personally before jumping into a business commitment. This is where networking comes in. Collaborating with someone who doesn't align with your values can cause unwanted problems.
So here are a few questions that I've considered and defined when establishing a connection with a new prospect:
Do they value the same things you do?
Do you have similar characteristics?
Do you feel comfortable with their vibe?
Are you still within your purpose if you accept this collaboration?
It makes the experience so much easier and refreshing when you work with the right people. If you are not compatible with your client there will be disruption. Always align yourself with like-minded individuals even when you are doing business. Saying no doesn't mean you are doing yourself an injustice and you never want to accept everyone for the sake of staying afloat. Quality over quantity, unless your business goals have hard sales quotas. Even then so using a salesman tactic isn't always for everyone. Go beyond writing down the text book demographic definitions and really be specific and describe your clients lifestyle, values, and interest. When you encounter a prospect, filter them out to see if they align with your ideal client definition before closing the deal. In today's society, there are so many cool coffeehouses like Starbucks that you can schedule a meetup for a cup of tea or coffee to go from there. Go the extra mile for the sake of your personal brand, business, and self-care.
Ultimately, becoming a entrepreneur isn't going to be the easiest endeavor you embark on. However, taking the initiative to define your brand, business, and client will make the transition a lot easier. If you feel uneasy about launching your brand or marketing your business out to the public, it's more than likely because you've skipped these three processes of definition and clarity. I had to take a three-month hiatus for me to focus on putting my intentions into a few simple words which helped me now clearly communicate who I was, what I was, and what I did. Doing so helped set the foundation of my business and has so far contributed to the experience of becoming a #creativeentrepreneur .
So, who am I anyway?
I'm Kendra and like most people, I'm simply trying to make something I've always wanted real. Personally, I'm just a creative girl living a creative lifestyle. I was born and raised in Miami, FL, and have always been passionate about all things art. Creative thinking, planning, and design have always been a special interest of mine. Because of this it lead me to study and cultivate my skills in the graphic design industry, where my experiences have finally equipped me to provide creative direction and affordable design services to wannabe, newbies, and established entrepreneurs. Click here to learn more about my creative space.
In the meantime, I love my worklife, traveling with great company and vibes, capturing beautiful moments, spending time with God, and supporting movements that bring awareness to our environment like @4ocean and @wearlovehope.
Follow me on Instagram and get to know me more @memyselfandthirties
Yours Truly, -Kendra