Building Your Brand by Mary Olushanu
Good Evening All,
Hope you’re all well and ready for this new week. My name is Mary I have the pleasure of delivering today’s Motivational Monday.
Not sure if this applies to everyone but have you ever reached a stage in your business where you want to do something different to your usual and bring one of your ideas to life. You want to develop and build your brand and show clients (and yourself) what else you’re capable of. But you feel like you can’t because your clients don’t ‘let you’ (well so you say). They request / order the same ‘ol same ‘ol; and whilst you’re grateful for the business, you want a challenge, something exciting & different.
This was me recently to the extent where I was thinking maybe this is no longer for me. It got to a point where I’d sigh when I saw a booking sheet thinking not this design / look again. I was no longer enjoying it. I was simply doing it for the money. And truth be told, I was a bit tired of it all. This is where I knew I had to fix it.
With this not so great mind set, I set myself a challenge of stepping out of my comfort zone with clients and fellow vendors. After all if I continue to do the same things, why should I expect different results. And it worked! Yes there were some ‘no’s’, but that was okay because I still pressed on. And before I knew it, I had clients who wanted everything I wanted to offer. Here are some points that stood out during this process:
1) Don’t be scared to pitch your new ideas / designs to clients. Some will say no, and some will say they’ve never thought about it. But remember they’ve come to you for your service & expertise. Chances are that they are keen to hear your ideas about their wedding / event and would love something different and unique to your usual. Be calm & confident and if they say no to a particular idea, that’s fine. Work with what they want and add your special touch to it but save your new ideas for something/someone else.
2) Be committed and consistent to building the brand you want. Sometimes this takes longer than we expect and most likely will not happen all at once but in stages. 2 key things with this- do not compare yourself/business to someone else’s. You never know what is going on with anyone or where they are really at till they tell you. Yes see the works of others and be encouraged, inspired and show them love. But do not use that to bring you down. Another key thing, is never think you’ve “arrived”. Many of us are in industries that are forever evolving. New styles, products, designs are coming through everyday. Stay woke and keep learning. Learn from fellow vendors too. Between us we have a whole heap of knowledge and experience.
3) By all means necessary, make your ideas a reality. This may mean investing in yourself or new stock. This may mean pitching to a few clients. This may mean creating your own shoot / set up where you have total control and can plan everything exactly how you want. This may also mean using your booking as a place to showcase your vision and delivering it at a discounted cost (you decide the discount) to get the clients on board. This usually works as everyone loves to pay a discounted rate for the best you have to offer. It may look like you’re loosing out but you’re not. See it as a life styled shoot with an audience and real life emotions. Whenever I’ve done this, I’ve always received bookings in return that have paid the full amount. This can be once a month or once a year or once in 5 years. Do it if / when you feel it can help you and you can put it on the extra hours or cover the extra costs.
4) No man is an island. We’re fortunate to have this group and others outside of it that are willing to support. Reach out to that person you’ve never spoken to. Get involved in projects that you’ve never done. Arrange a coffee meeting and learn from others. Catch up with someone that you haven’t spoken to in a while. For a recent booking that I worked on, I was fortunate to get the skill and expertise of another vendor from within the group. Without them, it would not have come together the way it did. I also discovered that the vendor was also in need of my skill so we did a skill trade (how cool is that?! 😎😁). But imagine if I didn’t reach out…?!
5) You’re doing a great job! You may not be where you want to be yet but you’re still working hard and running your business / businesses. That takes a lot and we usually take it for granted. Appreciate & celebrate yourself!
By Mary Olushanu of Adiva Forever and Teal & Roses