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The two-step Brand plan

Lauren Aston
6 February 2019

Hi pals

I’m afraid I’m super busy today and don’t have time to do the post I planned on (sharing some of the amazing products that fellow small businesses donated to our Subscription boxes) so I’m just doing a quick one today…. I didn’t want it to be worthless just for the sake of posting something so I figured you’d get the most value from a quick pep talk about something that I think is super important for small businesses to know/remember, in the hopes that it might be useful to someone and I’ll do a post next week about all the amazing products and treats that went into our subscription boxes with pictures and links etc. (thanks for bearing with me while I get my shit together!)

Instagram Talk

Yesterday I did a short talk at the ‘Preparing to Sell’ workshop in Plymouth run by Made By Hand Events (who organise my ultimate FAVE The Contemporary Craft Festival – it’s ALWAYS worth a visit to Devon that weekend if you’re into crafts and creative small businesses.) I spoke about ‘Building your Brand on Instagram’ as it’s my favourite platform and the only way I really market my business. I seriously love doing talks like this because I enjoy getting to chat to everyone and (hopefully) helping with some tips I’ve picked up from my own experiences. It’s part of the reason we started doing the Toolkits last year, I know it’s not directly in line with my knitting work but the last 4 years have taught me so much and I really love to share it and see other grow. This is one thing I said a lot yesterday and I think is super important and also makes things so much easier…

The two-step plan

Effectively, I want to give you a 2 step plan:

Step One: Understand your brand

Step Two: Absolutely GO FOR IT.

Step one

I know that some of you won’t need this advice at all, in which case I’m sorry to drone on about something you know already but I’m going to because sometimes you just need a kick up the backside or a reminder or to hear something obvious (and also, because you can stop reading at any time if you’re bored!)

I think people often underestimate the power of knowing exactly what their brand is about. We start businesses and they grow and change organically and we automatically assume that we know them because we made them. But the truth is, once you sit down and really assess what your brand stands for (not just what it sells!! – but everything that surrounds it) it can be very revealing!

I really don’t want this to seem like a sales pitch as that’s really not what this post is about but when Helen from The Creative Business Network and I wrote the Define Your Brand Toolkit we did the steps in it ourselves and it changed both of our businesses and our understanding around our brands in a way I never expected. Since then I feel like I have a much deeper understanding about LAD and can make decisions about the brand so much easier (I still can’t decide what I’m having for dinner tonight but I can tell you if something’s in line with my brand values and it helps me literally every day!)

Step two

Once you understand it properly it’s a game changer. This is when you can absolutely GO FOR IT. Once you know ‘who’ your brand is you can act and communicate and develop in a way that suits it and this will massively help your brand identity which makes it so much easier for your customers to buy into (with their time, emotions and money.)

From a small business, people aren’t just buying a mug/print/ball of wool… they’re buying INTO a brand and the clearer you can make it for them that this is you and your brand, the easier it will be for them to connect with it – and that connection and relationship is so important to sustaining a small business.

Be your own brand

The KEY to this is to be your own brand. This isn’t just a dig at Janet’s, it’s for all of us to remember – we all look at other brands/people/businesses and feel that pang of envy that they’re so perfect and wonderful and we’re so…Us. But instead of trying to be them: understand who you are (as a business) and then 100% embrace that. The sooner you can embrace everything that makes your brand unique, the easier it’ll be for everyone to enjoy it, from your customers to yourself.

Short but sweet today hey?! I hope that was useful and that it’ll help someone! I’ll add a button below for the toolkit *for just in case you want help defining your brand, but absolutely no pressure at all, only trying to be helpful!!*

Bye for now team!

Gotta run, I’ve got a plane to catch tonight! (I’m doing something hilariously fun but I don’t think I can tell you about it – If I can, I will asap)

Take care lovers,

L x

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