The Power of Branding: Using Authentic Storytelling to Scale Your Art Business | Sarah Edwards | Skillshare

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The Power of Branding: Using Authentic Storytelling to Scale Your Art Business

teacher avatar Sarah Edwards, Art Director & Creative Success Coach

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Storytelling: The Secret Ingredient


    • 3.

      The Class Project


    • 4.

      Crafting a New Mindset: Exercise 1


    • 5.

      What You Need for Success: Exercise 2


    • 6.

      Knowing Your Brand Values: Exercise 3


    • 7.

      Identifying Your Brand Style: Exercise 4


    • 8.

      Brand Pillars & Social Media: Exercise 5


    • 9.

      Strategy is Not What You Think: Exercise 6


    • 10.

      Discovering Your Customers: Exercise 7


    • 11.

      The BIG Secret of Marketing: Exercise 8


    • 12.

      Overcoming Limiting Beliefs: Exercise 9


    • 13.

      My Biggest Tip for Success


    • 14.

      Closing Thoughts & Giveaway!


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About This Class

Does marketing and branding seem daunting as an artist? 

Do you feel overwhelmed when you think about selling your art, starting a business, or posting on social media? Have you ever felt you need help designing marketing materials, like business cards, a website, or social media feeds?

I will have you walk away with an explicit and written branding plan that will help articulate your voice, tone, business palette, strategy, content pillars, and marketing in a new and fresh way through the lens of storytelling. 

We will also uncover mindset shifts, limiting beliefs, and invisible scripts that might hold you back from your business growth.

This class will empower you to think about marketing, branding, and business growth in a fun and entirely new way. You don’t want to miss this if you’re hungry to launch your business, get new clients, or take your creativity to the next level.

Together, in this class, 

  • Learn the most significant marketing secret about selling a product, service, or idea
  • Identify your business or self values and mission
  • Find and commit to your visual style and tone for your business and content
  • Discover personal and content branding pillars for high-impact marketing and ease
  • Learn about your marketing strategy uniquely and memorably
  • Understand and find your niche, audience, or community
  • Overcome limiting beliefs and hidden scripts that impact your growth
  • You’ll unlock the secret ingredient to success and storytelling
  • You’ll even receive a BONUS 30-day social media challenge; this challenge includes a daily plan for social media growth, with actual tactics and progress tracking. Let’s set procrastination aside and crush this together!

Ultimately, you’ll have your personalized branding plan, a social media kickstart, and major mindset shifts around your limiting beliefs and creative fearlessness!

Oh, and hi, my name is Sarah Edwards - and I wear a lot of hats. I am a professional Art Director, writer, entrepreneur, creative educator, wife, and mental health advocate! I am an all-enthused neurodivergent to-do list fan, overthinker, and very caffeinated creative!

This class is for every human, as we are ALL "creatives." Whether you are an aspiring interior designer or a mom who loves setting a good dinner table, let’s make your dreams a reality.

I’d also like to mention that I coach creatives 1:1 in a fantastic program that this Skillshare Community inspired. The Creative Catalyst Academy is a transformative 12-week program that will help you create your authentic style, story, and branding, work past limiting beliefs, doubts, and the inner critic, and build a personalized process for goal success that will help you overcome stress, procrastination and so much more.

My profile, website, and social accounts have everything you need to know to get plugged in.

I’m offering
free 45-minute strategy sessions for those interested in enrolling! Click here to book!

My website includes many resources: a digital magazine, products, stationary to support creatives, digital downloads, a podcast, and more.

Meet Your Teacher

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Sarah Edwards

Art Director & Creative Success Coach


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Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: A little. A little. Are you ready to create or scale your artistic business? But don't know where to start. Don't worry. If so, you're in the right place. My name is Sarah Edwards. I'm a professional art director who has worked at some of the biggest advertising agencies in the world. But still, my most extraordinary job has been teaching and coaching creatives, just like you, on how to take the top secrets of performers and businesses and other creatives to scale their business and creativity to build a life of total freedom and happiness. My mission is to help you and artists defeat procrastination, become your own mini project manager, experience success, and overall have more joy in the creation process. I have built a six figure business, worked as a full time freelancer. And most importantly, I'm spending my time now working one on one with you and building my day around purpose and connection and kindness. I will have you walk away with an explicit and written branding plan that will help you articulate your voice tone, business strategy, content pillars, and look at marketing in a new and fresh way through the lens of storytelling. We'll also uncover mindset shifts, limiting beliefs and invisible beliefs that might be holding you back from your business growth. Trust me, I did all of this alone in the past few years. As an underdog, I have considerable health issues, learning, comprehension struggles, mental health battles, and honestly have had a lot of failures. I even dropped out of college. But what you think matters to your artistic business or success? Honestly probably doesn't. Many people ask me how I did it and I will share the core secrets of my success. Right now. In this masterclass, working with dozens of people, I have found that the Achilles heel for so many creative minds is marketing, branding and business growth. Marketing and branding is honestly a giant monster to so many of us. And it's almost like a dreaded shadow following us around. And I get this. I used to feel the same way. I hated building a new website or posting on social media. And it was exhausting as a working artist. But now I love it because my efforts are producing real results and I want to start seeing results for you to, and showing you how to do that. I want to change the narrative for you today and show you that marketing, social media, and branding can be fun and impactful. The secret ingredients of that is storytelling. You don't want to miss this. If you're hungry to launch your business, get new clients, or take your creativity to the next level. A big part of my story is mental health as an advocate with mental disorders and handicaps. And I really want to emphasize to you that marketing, business growth, and branding can be possible for you even if you have the perceived road blocks like neurodivergence, anxiety, social anxiety, even depression and so on. Many people assume that they must have a specific personality to have particular brand or succeed on social media or in just in business in general Guys, this is so not true. I've worked with people from all over the world in different cultures and backgrounds, 18-65 years old. This is possible for anyone and everyone. Success is not related to personality, age, background, et cetera. Success depends on action. The only difference between you and a highly successful artist or social media platform is action. The individual has mastered storytelling, essential marketing secrets, and brand pillars, and consistency. So let's use your personality, your age and background as the elements of your story. Not the dictator of what you think is your belief around success. Here's what I want to scream from the rooftops about branding and marketing. Stop thinking of it as a stale, boring, painstaking business. Just like bookkeeping, I love my finance gurus out there, but bookkeeping can be rough. If you think of this as stale and boring and intimidating, you're going to find excuses and reasons to avoid creating your dream business, your dream art, your products. I know a few of you have avoided probably posting online or starting that business and building websites because you think you're not worthy or good enough. Not only will I give you everything you need to get going, but we will crush your limiting beliefs about yourself. Because the world needs you, It needs your art, it needs your products, it needs your services just as much as anything else. Here's how I want you to think about branding and marketing. Instead, branding allows you to meet people where they are at. You meet them in the crisis, in the heartache, in the growth, in the excitement, in the changes. You meet them there with your tips, personality, friendship, art skills, services, et cetera, branding and putting yourself out there is the hidden invisible hero to changing the world and people. So get ready, take some notes. You're going to have your boundaries pushed. And most importantly, you're going to walk out feeling encouraged and feeling changed. I'm going to have you walk away with a branding plan that will give you all of these things. And I've popped in a 30 day bonus social media challenge to get you motivated and get you started by the end of this class. Don't worry. All the steps are clear, concise, easy to follow. And as always, I have a workbook that I'm going to be providing you guys so that you can totally crush this and go beyond the class. Also exciting announcement for the first time y'all, if you've been in any of my classes, I know I do the workbook thing, but I've created my first creativity branding journal. This thing is available for you. If you totally want to go next level on this class, you can go to the link in the project description and you can find how to purchase this from my website. It is tailored to this course so that this can act like your own little mini branding bible. As you work throughout the class. It has spaces like a journal does with lines. I spent months creating this and it follows the class perfectly. So if you want to create your own little branding Bible that you can take with you, slip in your bag, your backpack, and have with you long term, strongly, strongly recommend that you check this out. I poured a lot of love into this and for those that are interested, but are like, oh my gosh, what do you mean I have to spend money? I get you, I feel you. I have kind of sort of created a giveaway. And I'm going to be giving a few copies of these out to some lucky people, so stick around through the course. I'm going to be giving you instructions on how to enter the giveaway, and I'll be announcing winners not long after the publication of this class. So stay tuned for that. But if you don't have the journal, do not worry. I got you. In your project resources, there is going to be a digital PDF that you can download that has these exercises and everything we're going to go over in the course, so you will be hooked up either way. But just want to like share that bonus with you and you're going to be seeing more of that bad guy throughout the course. I spent honestly five years spinning my wheels as a small business owner because I didn't think I had anything figured out and I definitely didn't have branding figured out. And I kept restarting and changing my focus. But here's the thing, guys. I made more income connections and business growth than ever when I nailed my branding in just a few months than I did in years. And even if you're not planning on scaling your business or launching a platform, or launching a business, I really think this class is essential for all creatives. Because the tools you're going to learn here can also give you a stronger creative voice. And new project ideas overcome common limiting beliefs. And help you see how absolutely amusing you are. So I'm just excited. Let's get into the class. Let's get going. I'll see you in the next segment. 2. Storytelling: The Secret Ingredient: The art of storytelling is as old as time itself. From the etchings on cave walls and the fables of ancient civilizations to the digital narratives of today stories have been at the heart of human connection and communication. They offer a way for us to transcend the ordinary and engage people on a deeper, more meaningful level. In modern marketing, the narrative has evolved into a powerful tool called brand storytelling. Brand storytelling is an authentic narrative that connects your brand to its audience. Focusing on evoking emotions and building relationships. It's not merely an account of facts and figures. It's way cooler than that. It's crafted of your brand values, your mission, what you care about. And this class delves into brand storytelling to help you put together a captivating story for your audience to elevate your brand, your product, and really yourself. Brand storytelling is really about that connection with your audience. And weaving narratives together that resonates with them and makes them feel like they're a part of your journey, your art, and your business. It paints a vivid picture of who you are and what you stand for and why your art exists. And this is true for individual products or for a whole brand ecosystem. You are created from events, and experiences, and learnings and emotions. And I often teach people that that art journey is usually the translation of one thing to another, from one audience to another. So how do we get that across to other people? If you create anything with the intention of having impact, then storytelling needs to be a non negotiable for your tool belt. Crafting a compelling brand story lets you tap into your audience's emotions. It helps create a deep emotional bond with your customers, making your brand more memorable and relatable. And here's another thing. Consistency. Consistency is desirable for humans because we are craving consistency in an inconsistent world. Big coffee companies and food chains have mastered this, making it a refuge of trust and expectation for the customer. I know the word consistent sounds very scary to creative minds. However, consistency does not mean you must stay within your same products and style and artwork. It means you must remain consistent with your mission. The type of conveying that you're trying to have with your artwork, the story telling, the messaging, and so on. So storytelling grows with as you enter into new seasons of your life. But I want you to develop a core that gives it a grounding that provides clarity for you and for your customer. If you've spent some time with me, you might notice a lot of my consistency comes through in my color palette and my emogs and my pictures. And this is an authentic demonstration of my personality and how I want people to feel when they spent time with me and my business. It also creates a powerful through line between all branches of my business, from products to my social media to my website, to my coaching platform. So by evoking emotions, you can inspire your audience to engage with your brand and take desired actions like purchasing, signing up for a newsletter, or sharing your story with others. A world full of turmoil and information overload, customers are yearning for authenticity. A brand story that is sincere, genuine, and humane, and can help build trust for you and your audience. Breaking your brand more relatable. Making your audience feel like they're engaging with you and real people and not just like a faceless platform. Your artwork is fantastic, Your artwork is emotional. It's beautiful. It has breadth to it. So let's make your audience and the world see that together. 3. The Class Project: It's class Project time. Class project time. Okay, so your class project is going to be creating a personalized finalized branding plan. And you're going to create this after going through all the exercises in the program. So you're going to do this in stages and in pieces, and you're going to have a new outlook on your storytelling and your marketing when you're done, which is so, so exciting. This can be found in your class resources section as a digital PDF. So please download that now so you're ready and you can follow along. Also, please write down your responses in a journal or a digital document, whatever works best for you. And I'd encourage you to keep your exploration and responses to these exercises in one place. So so important it eliminates decision fatigue. And this will operate as your brand kit when you're done, so you have the action plan moving forward. Just as a reminder, I created the official branding booklet journal inspired by this class. You can purchase this as well in case you want to keep it all together in that way. It has blank pages for all your responses and things like that. The link is in the description and I would love you to encourage each other. So feel free to share whatever you're comfortable with into the discussion section or in the class project section, because I know some of these can be a little bit more personal or intimate. So share whatever you can. Whatever you feel inspired by, whatever you feel like would encourage another student. This is so, so important. Also, of course, feel free to share work in progress with myself as you go. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me directly. I respond to every student. So e mail me or pop a question into the discussion and I will get back to you. You'll also notice a 30 day challenge. So I'd encourage you to use this as a tool at the end of the course to get you hyped up and pumped up if social media has been something in the marketing bracket that you've been avoiding or you've been feeling unsure about, it is a 30 day challenge, but it has really great tips and a plan of action for you so that you know what you're doing and like how to jump right into it. So with all that being said, finalized branding plan, optional, really cool journal if you're down. If not, I'm here for you. I'm here to encourage you. I'm here to say hi and let's just jump in. Let's make your business dream a reality. You're encouraged to make it messy. I want you to scribble in the thoughts. I want you to highlight words. I want you to doodle things. I want you to fill it with color. You can stuff pages with prints and findings and weird things. Whatever you need to articulate your brand, your voice, your color palette, all the things. Find a space where you can do this. You, you're investing in yourself. Make sure you take pauses, take deep breaths, take walks. If you have to, take everything at your own pace. Rushing does not enhance creativity. I will preach that forever. It only squanders it. Toss out the majority perception you might have about journaling, or how journaling has worked for you in the past, or if there's a gender role assigned to it. These micro exercises are not contingent on gender, personality, age or background. And of course, like I want you to feel encouraged to participate in journaling because we already do it daily in conversations when we're collecting information. So do the work and you'll receive outcome. Remember, action is the only thing separating you from somebody else or somebody else's journey. So this is an investment for you. Do what you need to do to get the work done. I'm here to support you along the way, your classmates are super pumped and excited. I love you guys. You guys are like a mini cheer squad and you're fantastic. And accountability is the secret weapon of success. So invite someone to do this with you. Jump right in. Let's get started. 4. Crafting a New Mindset: Exercise 1: Since the focus is on storytelling, before we jump into the logistical side of things, I want to touch on the blind spot of storytelling. I mentioned that some people believe that they must be a certain way, look a certain way, or meet a specific criteria to succeed in branding, marketing, growth, and social media. This is an example of what we call an invisible script. Invisible scripts are unseen, unheard, but acutely influential voices and subconscious beliefs that guide our lives. These unspoken rules are invisible scripts that are deeply ingrained in subtly shaping our attitude in our behaviors. They are so omnipresent that we often fail to recognize their existence and their influence. So like water to a fish, they surround us at all times, directing our thoughts and our actions without our conscious actually realizing it. But identifying these things and overcoming these hidden scripts are so crucial for creatives. Especially because they can significantly impact our personal growth, our creative expression, and just our overall mental health. So invisible scripts originate from our societal values and our norms. They are preconceived beliefs that we are unknowingly adopting and adhering to from career choices to life decisions. These scripts subtly guide our actions and often lead us to lives that we don't consciously choose. So if this is true for choices you've made for your business, for your artwork, for how you define yourself as an artist. Like for instance, we might believe that we have to get a conventional job or we have to have a certain type of art career or make a certain type of art like these are classic examples of invisible scripts that we might have as creatives that are really prevalent in our society. And while these examples might not be directly relatable for everybody, you're going to be an impactful storyteller that we need to remove or change some of these powerful narratives that are running your life, that you've developed about yourself and your worth. And honestly, this was one of the biggest hurdles getting in my way from progress. So I'd love to teach you this first. So ultimately we tackle this to make room for the real stories. And I want you to tell the story and create space for your authentic self. Identifying these scripts is the first step towards breaking free from those shackles. And you can stop that by examining the beliefs and questioning their origins. Are they yours? Have they been imposed by you by society, or culture, or your family? Do they resonate with your true desires? Are there societal expectations you feel compelled to meet? And this is the first exercise together. So I want you to jump in your workbook and there'll be a series of questions that you'll be encouraged to respond to. Please take time to put it in any medium you want. Painting, sketching, just writing. But please do this before we proceed into the coming lessons. Because even if it feels silly, I promise it makes such a big impact for when we lay down your branding groundwork. Invisible scripts can be honestly detrimental to creatives. They often impose boundaries on creative thinking. They change our expression. They restrict artists from freely exploring and expressing their unique perspectives. And honestly, society often judges creatives based on those conventional success metrics, which can lead to self doubt, and anxiety, and roadblocks. So the impact of this might prevent you from posting on social media, from building that website, from telling your family that you're starting an artistic side, Hustle and whatever, you know, following trends and following the peer pressures of society. And it's really, really invigorating to challenge those scripts and rewrite them and replace them with beliefs that align with your values and your aspirations. And remember it is within your power to redefine your life. I realized that I struggled so much because I didn't have a guiding point. And I was listening to all these scripts that I had to graduate from college and I had to be, not going to an art school and I had to get a job that was like safe and secure and conventional. And these are not bad things, right? Getting a house at a certain age or starting a family or having a certain type of career are great things. But I want to make sure that for you, just like for me, they are align with your true self and that you feel empowered to know that you can do anything. You can make a business that makes you a safe and secure income. You can launch a product that people embrace. I want you to like know it's okay to take this time for yourself in this silence, wherever you feel safe to go through these exercises before we lay down your awesome, amazing, cool branding plan. 5. What You Need for Success: Exercise 2: A captivating brand story is not just a random collection of facts. It is a well constructed narrative that brings together several key elements. And don't worry, we're going to cover each of these by the end of the course. By the end, you're going to have all the ingredients you need. But right now, I want to focus on a critical element that brands don't like to share, because it's secret sauce. This is like Top Secret, like secret sauce. Like hot secret sauce. Okay, here it is, your characters, the transformation. And brands care about the transformation of those characters. Okay, I know you're like, what? Did you just speak? Another language? I get it. Hear me out. When you hear storytelling or stories, you think of stories but also a plot and a journey. This is true for you and your branding. Every story needs characters in your brand. This can be you, your team, your customers, or your products. Giving a human face to your brand can help your audience connect with your story on a much deeper level. And this might sound odd, but your artwork and products have personalities, even your website. So what is the essence of this story? Here's an example of me looking at my branding in a new way. So for my brand, a lot of my followers associate me with cheery and a bright personality or I hope. And I have products and conversations around mental health, so I use bright colors. I often joke about my love of caffeine chocolate, saracha, strawberry cream cheese. And most of my imagery includes stars and flowers and memorable shapes. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Deeper than that is the transformation I've been through as a character, I share stories of my mental health journey, which was dark and challenging and lifelong. And I show my health issues up close. And I like to talk about being in the darkness, being bullied, being without sunshine. And so hence I create energy and fright and like personality of kindness. And I really like to romanticize the moments of my life. And so people resonate with my parts of my transformation as well as kind of where I'm at now and the style that I convey with the message I convey. And it makes people want to walk the way you walk and take classes with you and walk your journey with you. And this is so, so crucial to selling products. So here's the big ticket about your character. It's their transformation, your transformation. Products, platforms and brands sell transformation. And guess what? They didn't want you to know that. A huge thing that I learned when I first was an art inter and I was like, oh my gosh, this is insane. That product is now the magical, simple way to get there. The transformation is the sale, not directly the product. That sounds like a downer as an artist, but stick with me. It's powerful and it's actually really good news. Your art transforms someone's face, their body, their mind. It makes them feel a certain way and makes them a particular person. And that's so awesome and powerful. And isn't that why we create art in the first place? So compelling storytelling is about showing, not telling. It's about merely, you know, weaving narrative that draws your audience in, not just stating facts. It's about using language, vivid, descriptionary, and engaging your audience with your story so that they still alive in your story too. So I love to start with this. Ask yourself, why does your brand or artwork exist? What problem does it aim to solve? What is the purpose or the mission? You can create a compelling narrative that resonates with your audience by stating and figuring out why the exercises we do together throughout the course will answer these questions for you, don't worry, but here's how to break that down with your character and transformation. Look at this next exercise in your workbook. It's broken into three parts. So part one is if you were to write yourself as a character, what traits would you write down? Think of personality, favorite items or repeated needs that you have or your character has. And if you're an artist or creator, and you don't want to be the desirable center of attention for your brand, you can do the same exercise without it being about directly yourself. It could just be about the feelings your products provoke. What you want your art to create, the tone and feeling of your art. So part two of that is what transformations have you experienced in your life? I want you to make a list. Feel free to doodle these, draw these, write down memories. And then part three. How does the transformation relate to your character? What stories can you craft? What are these ideas of transformation? And how do they connect to your products, to your messaging, your artwork and your ideas? Have fun with this. Make sure you get these thoughts down before continuing into our next exercise. Because transformation, identifying the starter pieces of your character, really, really, really lays the cement for a strong foundation. So that when we start looking at pillars and color palettes, you're already going to have half the work done. 6. Knowing Your Brand Values: Exercise 3: A captivating brand story can keep your audience engaged. It can keep their curiosity going, can keep them hooked and motivated, and encourage them to explore more about your brand through stories. You can communicate your brand values, mission, and vision to get their engaging manner going. Authenticity is the key to brand storytelling. Your audience can easily spot a fabricated or exaggerated story, trust me. And therefore, we must ensure that your brand story is genuine audience and reflects your brand's values and mission. In the crazy digital landscape, a brand's voice and mission statement serves as its unique fingerprint. They set your company apart and create an emotional connection with your target audience. But finding your brand's authentic voice and crafting a compelling mission statement if you need one, is a challenge and it's not a walk in the park. It requires a deep understanding of your brand's values and audience's needs and their ability to distill these elements into an impactful statement. This sounds really daunting as a creative at times. So I've distilled this into an easy exercise so that you can add a clever twist on it and make it more fun and less formulaic. Authenticity is the ability to embrace who you are, your weaknesses, and your strengths, and make that your story. It is the power of rising past the scripts we've discussed and jumping into the character you've outlined. Because the transformations you've endured and your true self, from loving glitter or gothic font, is a life long and friend to someone else in need. So with that in mind, jump into exercise three with me and see now how we can quickly identify your voice, identify your creative values, and figure out where you need to go next. One thing I want to touch on that you're going to see in your exercise is a lot of the word value. So identifying your creative values, what is that? It sounds like business speak, but I promise it will significantly help your branding and messaging as a creative. So your brand's core values serves as the foundation of your brand voice. Okay, so these principles guide your passions, your artwork, your projects, and the marketing with it. They should reflect what your brand and you stand for and what you're hoping to achieve as an individual or as a brand. So if you're creative in a slump, this might actually help you ideate some new projects. Because you're honing in on your why and what you're trying to say or translate. So don't be afraid to get creative with this exercise. You can be descriptive. You can use magical words and say whatever you want. It's for you and you alone. So use the exercise questions in your workbook to focus on the piece and then move you back here when you're ready. Because we're going to jump in some really awesome stuff in the next segment. 7. Identifying Your Brand Style: Exercise 4: Okay, as creative, I'm very excited for this segment, and you guys probably are too. I created a step by step process to help you discover and articulate your brand style. While style and branding might sound like a trend or a buzzword, I promise you, it's a pillar for success. Many people don't know how to describe their style or know how crucial it is to come up with an understanding of it on paper. As we've explored, style is a form of expression and communication, but I want to push that even further. Style to me is about establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual, a brand, a group or an organization. It's about clearly communicating your unique self, Distinguishing yourself from the competition or others, and building that credibility. Now stick with me. I know that sounds a little bit strange. But deciding to invest in yourself through marketing and branding, and trying to be unique is not about becoming the best. It's not about thinking you're better than anyone else or another business or artist, or being aggressive. It's about you taking the time to share your story and attract your ideal audience and clients. You're establishing yourself outwardly is a service to help others communicate meaningful and powerful messages. And honestly change people's lives through your art and your services. It's okay to show credibility and skill if you're feeling resistance in these areas. Make sure you take note of the hidden and invisible scripts you've already identified. Your answer is probably there. My appearance, age, and skill set were an invisible script in my life. It made those words feel like they had more weight. But that was doubt and fear coming into the mix. So let's jump into how to define your style and you're going to follow along with your workbook. But feel free to pause this video as you need. So step one is knowing your tone. Identifying your tone is a great place to start. Many people need to pay more attention to this part of the exploration. It's a really easy thing to overlook. The tone is about how you make people feel. And creatives are so good at this because we do that with their art all the time. But it tends to be subconscious, right? So exercise A is going to challenge you with this. So head to your workbook and respond to these questions. How would you describe your brand in three words? What would you do if you had to give your brand a genre or two, as if it were a book. A little fun, one for my writer, fictional friends, science fiction romance, whatever you name it. How do you want your audience to feel when they interact with your brand? So don't worry, we have a whole section about the audience, but for now, what feelings come to mind when you think about the R you've already created or you want to create and the messages you're trying to convey and your personality, thinking about your brand through books, feelings and storytelling seems a little odd, but I promise it's so, so powerful. So let's connect those parts of your creative expression outside of typical logistics and marketing jargon. Step two is going to be nailing down the visuals. So your visual identity is the visual elements that represent your brand, including your logo, your color palette, your typography, your imagery. And these visuals identify and reflect your brand's personality and reinforce those values and really reinforce yourself when establishing your visual identity. Consider your brand's personality and the emotions you want to evoke in your audience. So for example, if your brand is playful and energetic, you might choose bold, fibric colors and quirky fonts. If your brand is sophisticated and professional, you might opt for a minimalistic logo and a muted color palette. Feel free to break out of the old. I was working with an amazing client at one point and she absolutely adored both like whimsical, fun, and quirky, as well as like darker and gothic. And we found a way to marry the two tones and feelings together, but her messaging stayed the same. She was trying to connect to a lot of different audiences, so don't limit yourself. Don't feel like you need to put yourself on a box. You can combine things that were unexpected and maybe aren't the societal norm. But you decide that you create that if it matches your mission and your voice, then you should do it for the next step. I want you to jump into your workbook or in the medium of your choice, and start to mood for different colors, inspiration, accounts, fonts. You can gain your inspiration from any industry, even if you're an illustrator. Check out what the dance community has going on. Look at what people are doing with food and cooking. Gain inspiration from anything you want. And lastly, you're going to be looking at your personal style. So your style is an extension of your brand. It's how you present yourself to the world, and this can significantly impact how others perceive your brand. So you might be like Sarah, we just did that. But seriously, this last step takes it a little bit further. This is about you and only you. How do you want to position yourself visually to others? What photos would you take of yourself to go on your website? The type of head shot, the style of the e mail, like profile picture, or the clothing you'll wear when you're interacting with your audience. What accessories inspire you? And guys Gentlemen, I'm looking at you too. Thinking about dressing is not just a female act, it is about expression. So what kind of lifestyle do you want to show others? Are you an outdoor person? Do you love five star hotels? Consider your brand's personality, industry, and audience, of course, when developing this style. And what clothing styles make you feel confident? What makes you feel authentic? What colors and patterns resonate with you? How can you express your brand's personality through your wardrobe? Your personal style should be consistent, whether you're attending a business meeting or speaking at a conference, or posting a photo, Instagram, or jumping on a podcast. Staying consistent with your personal style is as important as your brand art or product style. Seriously, trust me on this. This will give you a peace of mind and a sense of consistency for you and your audience that you honestly might be missing. Deciding on your style also helps with stress. And as a creative, I'm sure you'll agree with me that when I say this that stress can be overwhelming, creativity is overwhelming. And being creative and working through our negative thoughts and intrusive thoughts, doing the work, handling business logistics, bookkeeping, all the things e mails, I get it. It's exhausting. So let me help you introduce consistency. Find the elements of your business creation. Reduce the stress, and believe that it's due to reducing decision fatigue. If you start honing in on your style, figuring out what colors your e mail should be. Knowing what clothes you should have on when jumping on that last minute podcast. These are a lot of micro decisions you're going to take off your plate. And if you focus on your branding, you have the power to reduce those decisions in your day to day. You'll know how to edit that next social media post or what you wear to the networking event. I know it sounds like a lot of work now, but in the long run, promise me it pays off. The second I hunged in on my style and my branding, everything got so much easier as a business owner. So I really hope you take the time today to do these exercises and really think through what makes you excited once you do, meet me back for our next segment. 8. Brand Pillars & Social Media: Exercise 5: Crafting a personal brand. Storytelling is an essential technique that helps illustrate your journey accomplishments and challenges. It offers a framework to share your brand message, assisting others to comprehend your motives and your passions. This in turn, fosters an authentic personal brand that can be harnessed to establish credibility, recognition, and trust. By sharing your life journey, experiences and the challenges you've overcome, you create a personal bond with your audience that extends beyond mere facts about your brand. This narrative allows your audience to relate to you on a deeper level. Fostering trust and making your brand more memorable. These are several storytelling techniques to consider when establishing your brand. Here are a few strategic approaches utilizing antcdotes. Use antcdotes to illustrate your life experiences, share relatable and authentic stories to create a more memorable and impactful brand that attracts audiences. Highlighting challenges, discuss challenges, situations that showcase your values and beliefs. This can demonstrate what sets you apart from others in your industry and why you're passionate about your work. Overcoming obstacles, focus on how you've overcome obstacles. To demonstrate your skills, expertise and determination. Sharing future vision. Use story telling to share your vision and goals for the future. This will create a more inspiring and relatable brand to which people will be drawn and invested. I found a great way to focus on these quickly and with long term impact by turning some of these strategies into what I call brand pillars. Brand fillers are precisely as they sound, they are vital elements from the foundation, lifting your brand. Think of it this way. Your values that we defined previously are the firm foundation, the immovable rock, right? The exploration we did about your style and who you are creatively is the decor for the house. And the pillars lift it even higher, making it more visible to the world. In this exercise, you're going to establish your brand pillars. Now maybe you're thinking, do I need to do this? What if I told you that brand pillars are the same buckets we used to identify a long term marketing and social media content plan. Brand pillars act as buckets and can identify, for our brand marketing the filter of smaller ideas like e mails and content posts and videography and photography that stands out in your industry. It is essential to highlight what makes unique through storytelling. Sharing stories about your experiences, your accomplishments and challenges can help develop a narrative that communicates who you are and why you stand out and what you stand out for. And this is broken out by identifying your brand pillars. Here's an example of a few brand pillars. If you were a watercolor artist, the options are endless. These are just examples. Pillar one, your journey story as an artist, past and present. You can explore your daily life or even project your future goals personally as a watercolor artist. Pillar two, your techniques and education tips for those looking to explore watercolor. Pillar three, your beliefs, what is key to becoming successful as a watercolor artist? Or any messaging you link to your art, maybe it's politics, social, et cetera. Pillar four, offer the marketing and branding intended to be clear about your services and what your designs and products do. You might be having a sale on your prints or you are starting a virtual water culling class. We break down the offer language later, don't worry, but it's an important pillar. What are you selling? Other pillars include styles or niche beliefs. Maybe you are in a slower life or you have a certain type of environment or country that you live in. When you start to identify your pillars, get specific on what you're trying to say or what you stand for with your business and your work. What do you want to show? What do you want to encourage them with? I want you to think about what you write down as your transformations and your character elements and try to tie them into your brand pillars. This plus your style and your tone, should all marry and connect together and it will start to all make sense. For example, one of my brand pillars is romanticizing life and slowing down. After going through my transformation with my mental health, I learned the importance of enjoying sunny days and sorting out my thoughts and loving little details in life. And this backs up. While at my storefront, you see stationery about planning life and thoughts and finding emotional regulation. And all these things tie together with why specific colors and animals and sweet summer strawberries. Also, you might evolve stuff as you go with my content buckets. I was constantly crossing stuff off as I evolved as a business and changed and redid things and move them around. It's okay for these to grow with you. So before you jump in your exercise, I want to give you two big tips that someone told me years ago when I was setting off trying to figure out my branding and it was a game changer for me. So number one is finding my style and brand pillars. It took years. I was still in a season of heavy growth and change, and my palate and taste changed with it. Your branding can evolve and transform with you. But here's the difference. Okay, don't let knowing you will change stop you from starting. So crucial as I went through the journey, I learned more about myself and grew regardless because I was taking actions and I was taking the steps to get there. The sooner you stay consistent through the steps, the sooner you're going to get results. As a business and as a creative, you're going to meet so many different people in various seasons of life, and you're going to be inspired by them too. Number two, you don't need to change yourself to have success. As I said, who you are now, no matter your background, is all you need for success. Today, I used to fall into the trap of copying people with a specific book palette or social media feed because I thought I had to do that to be noticed or liked. Copying is different from getting inspiration. Copying doesn't cure your need for the perfect branding or materials. Promise me you won't even try. It only fuels the fire of anxiety and doubt. And being true to your abilities and self will get you further than anything you could ever try. Crafting your brand story can often be daunting and filled with self doubt and pressure. But if you're embracing those imperfections that you have. And being authentic in your storytelling, It can make your personal brand story unique and special, and, and enjoyable to pursue and share with others. If you're grappling with these challenges, here are a few extra tips or small. Share small parts of your story and gradually build to more significant pieces. Get feedback. Share your story with a trusted friend or mentor me for their honest feedback. This can help you identify areas of improvement and give you the confidence to share your story with a broader audience. By the way, putting out content is feedback. So we'll hit this a little later on. But remember that when you post, you're going to get feedback. The more you share your brand story, the more comfortable and confident you will become, I promise. So with those tips in mind, let's jump into this exercise to explore your brand pillars. You can write as many as you want. I recommend trying to aim for seven in total. That's a healthy number to keep things exciting but not overwhelming. And remember, you can add sub pillars as well. So how you organize your thoughts and ideas of messaging is totally up to you. Also as a final thought, I'd recommend you make sure you've collected inspiration from other businesses and platforms and social media accounts. If you haven't already from previous exercises, this can help us to know what resonates with us. And maybe you will inspire us. So remember, do what you love. Don't settle for what you think you must do or only like, because everybody else seems to like it too. And with that, I will see you in the next lesson. 9. Strategy is Not What You Think: Exercise 6: When you hear the word strategy and you feel your body potentially being drained of all of its creative life. I understand strategy sounds like a heavy, rigid, mathematic word for some of you and for some of you it might be exciting, but for others it's kind of like another thing to add to the daunting business list. So here's an example. Maybe you've created a social media account or ten, or perhaps you've had blogs, or you've created ten blogs. Or maybe you've made flyers and advertisements and you get crickets. You feel like you're not making any forward movement. If you've run into this roadblock, there is a high chance that you aren't aligned with the right strategy. And that's totally okay, because this class is an opportunity to change that right now. And I also want to change your mind about how awesome strategy is, why you need to align yourself with it today. Strategy is side by side with storytelling. They can honestly be the same thing. I wasn't taught this, so I decided to create it because I too desperately wanted to make the concept of strategy way more fun. When you write a story, your mind might wander about some classic story details like plot and characters, and themes and conflict and resolution. And strategy addresses the same things as your classic story. Strategy handles things like tone, visual mission, brand values, and value proposition. And these are very, very similar to conflict and plot and arc, and characters. And these are the elements that make a really good story and a really good strategy. A brand, your product, your artwork, your services, and so on are in the middle of all of those pieces. And your creation is the heartbeat of those elements and the body. So let me back up. So this is clear tone and visual is what we've already figured out together. We've also identified your values and your character traits which will fit under mission and brand values. In this short amount of time, you've already identified huge pieces to the branding puzzle. And now we're going to tie it all together so you can see how this is actually also your brand strategy. So you're probably wondering what that third piece is. Then value proposition serves as the conflict and the outcome, which means that you are offering a solution to problems, guys, this is so big, take note of this. So before you freak out, I understand. Maybe up until now you didn't want to marry problem and your extraordinary, awesome creativity and artwork into the same sentence. But trust me, if you're trying to sell anything, you must understand problem. Remember that I said one of the big secrets to brand and marketing was transformation. Well, do you want to know why reading a fantastic book that you can't put down is so awesome? It's because you're watching characters transform, change, and evolve. And that evolution and transformation happens due to problems. It puts you in a state of suspense and wonder, this is what keeps you reading. When a protagonist sets off on their quest because they are facing conflict, most likely they're in need of a change or they're in need of the journey, and that journey is going to present with more problems to the character. And guess what? We love reading about those pieces and the fragments, because we see ourselves in those fragments and we see ourselves in those characters. And if we can go through some of the transformations we desire and they go through it too, we're going to see them come out on the other side and associate with those. They offer up a pain point, put a star around the word pain point, because we're going to go back to that later and it's so, so important. So maybe you're wondering, I'm not trying to sell anything, Sarah. I'm just trying to grow online. My response is always, you're always selling something. You're selling you, you're selling your messaging, you're selling your social media, you're selling your e mail list. You're selling your products. You're trying to convince people that you are worth their time, and time is the most valuable asset that we all own in the human race. Let me explain how we tie this back to story and make it fun and practical so that you can tie these pieces together. Here's what you have so far based on the previous exercises. Again, you know who you are as the character of your story or who the character of your brand is. We did this in exercise too. We see the list of transformations you've been through. And this means that you've been through conflict and you've overcome them. Just like a protagonist in a story, you know your values and your morals as the character, and you also know your style. How you present as a character, how you dress literally. You even know what on this hero's journey your outfits might be, which is really cool in my opinion. So, so far the work you've done is rock solid and you've got a great blueprint for an awesome business and a business presence. I want to know what you're offering me as a consumer though, I want to know what the pain points are going to achieve. If you sell prints or digital art, then what does that problem solve for me? As the consumer, you can make prints of beautiful, dreamy landscapes. And as someone maybe who has watched some of your content, I learned that you create beautiful landscapes because there was a time when you didn't spend time outdoors. Maybe it was during the pandemic or it was in a life trial or a medical condition. So you paint beautiful landscapes because it allows you to escape. It's a form of escapism. So when I see that painting, when I see your content and connect the story to your product, I can look at it. And also escapism and start dreaming and manifesting my future. It solves my problem of not being able to have the same landscape, the same imagery. I can imagine I'm on that landscape because as the consumer, I am isolated by a limitation. I'm facing the same thing you did or may face. Now, it's the same reason why people love the beach when they put nautical patterns in their homes. Or beach scented candles. Or if you buy fall scented candles, because I totally do, it's because it's going to help me heal a little bit. It's going to help heal a part of me that's aching for maybe a certain feeling or a season or escape. Now, I only know that as the consumer because you shared that part of your story with me. You shared that you faced as an artist conflict and as a character, think back to our brand pillars. So when we wrap your brand or project tightly around all these things, you were destined for success, you were destined for clarity, and you were destined for results. So let's put this into a fun exercise for you to digest. I want you to write your brand's story as if you were writing the summary of a book. A good summary includes the following elements. We're introducing the character, you or your brand, which might include personality, tone, and some conflicts. Number two, we are introducing some sort of tipping point for the journey, Why does your brand exist? What caused you to spring into action to create your business? And three, what is the motivation of your creation? This is your mission. This is the goals that you have of your brand, your creativity, your products, your services. And then what are the critical pain points number four in your plot. What transformation does your brand create for someone or yourself as the character? What can we expect as consumers to experience as a transformation? Have fun with this. There's no right or wrong way to achieve this exercise. The point is for you to let go of any preconceived notions about marketing and business. When you're all set with your summary, I'd really encourage you to drop that into discussion so other students can participate. I'd also love to read them as well. And then meet me back here for the next lesson. 10. Discovering Your Customers: Exercise 7: Understanding your audience, your consumers, your clients, your people, and the people listening to your stories across all mediums is so crucial. So many creatives jump into marketing our business without considering their audience at all. And I get it when you're in the flow of creation. And the joy of being an artist, most of the time you're creating for someone close to you or even yourself. And this is so beautiful and valuable and you should continue to do so. But if we desire to expand and grow, we need to open ourselves up business up to other people. Here's the crucial thing to understand about finding your audience in marketing. And honestly in general, the success of marketing and business is not related to the size of the net you cast, but the net you build. Many creatives make the mistake that if they are in everything creative or business front, that they will get more consumers or clients. But the truth is that options typically confuse people. Making your creation and products seem more generic. The key is you want to become a specialist in your work before you hit the panic button. Being specific is not the same thing as limiting your products or your skills, your gifts, or your art. It means you're showing a dominant skill that marries nicely with your consistency of branding and your brand pillars. It adds a level of clearness, credibility, and comfort. And this is called a niche market. A niche market is a highly specialized segment of a larger market characterized by distinct needs, preferences, or identities. Niche markets are often underserved by mainstream businesses, presenting a really unique opportunity for companies to provide highly tailored products or services that cater to the specific audience. I've had a lot of creatives anxiously ask me how they can survive in a world where Amazon exists and I get it. Amazon provides a lot of pros and cons to the small business owner. But here's the thing. Niche markets are often smaller, but offer several advantages, including less competition, a more focused marketing strategy, and the chance to build a loyal consumer base. Moreover, serving a niche market allows businesses to establish their expertise in a specific area, boosting their credibility and their reputation. So how is this related to our storytelling and branding journey? Well, knowing the readers of your story, who you're paying attention to your content, is super helpful in understanding how to make a strong branding plan strategy. A niche market approach can be a game changer in a saturated market, where many businesses compete for the same audience. It enables companies to differentiate themselves from competition and cater to a specific customer need. And create a unique offer that resonates with a distinct group of customers. So what are the steps to do this? I'll tell you, don't worry, your workbook makes this easy, quick, and hopefully a little enjoyable. Step one, pay attention to your passion and skills. Choose a niche that aligns with your interests and expertise. Step two, identify a unique solution to a problem. Identifying a common problem faced by your target audience, and devise a unique solution. Remember what we talked about when we focused on transformational journeys. This is it, What transformation do your work services or products offer? If you're transforming, it means you've worked through conflict or problem. In the next exercise, we dig deeper into pain points and problems, So don't worry if you feel like you've only scratched the surface here. Step three, evaluate interest in your niche. Use tools like social media platforms, Ets and so on to gauge consumer interest in your niche areas. What knitting products are doing really well in Ets. If you are a knitting artist, how can you set yourself apart using the strong branding and storytelling we've already explored? As a knitter, you have a lot of things you love to do, but a passion of yours is all about animals. At first, you don't make the connection between knitting and animals, but you go on Etsy or to a local craft market and you see that animal sweaters are all the rage. So you set up an Etsy store front with knitted pet products, blankets, toys and sweaters. You then apply your unique branding you love Fall, and you live in cozy New England. So all your patterns represent the outdoors and the colors of the fall season. Perhaps your unique mission is to donate to shelter. So unit each product after a shelter or an animal in need, and part of the proceeds go to that shelter. From time to time, you go on and volunteer the shelter and donate your products. You snap a few pictures and videos of the shelter animals and your products to advertise them for adoption for a loving home. Suddenly you have a community of people following you for your excellent products. But also because you have an extraordinary mission and transformation. And you're sharing your love for these forever home animals. What are they for you? What are the interests, aspirations, and challenges? What are their values and their beliefs? Understanding your audience will help you create a story that resonates with them. Head over to your workbook and complete the sections and questions that will guide you to finding different niches and different audiences. 11. The BIG Secret of Marketing: Exercise 8: I'm going to let you guys in on a really big marketing secret. This, next to storytelling and branding is so crucial to understand and honestly is so underdscussed. Just like transformation literally blew my mind. It's called pain points. A conversation around customer pain points is always at the heart of every successful marketing strategy. These pain points or specific challenges that your business perspective, customers experience, play a pivotal role in determining the trajectory of your brand, your business, your art, and so on. Ultimately, the whole key here is positioning your business, your product, your art as the solution. So let me pause because I'm sure some of you resist again because you can't wrap your head around the concept of pain and your fantastic business or art idea. So let me turn this into something else. Art is healing. The act of doing something creative is impactful on our spirit, our mental health, and our happiness. Cooking, knitting, embroidery, sketching, you name it, is something you pursued at one point in your life because you needed it. You needed to express yourself. Tell your story, have a mind calming activity, Show someone you love them and so on. If you're interested in selling your art, starting a business, offering services or building a platform. You want to share this with the world so they can go through the same transformation or healing as you did. Art is in need of the world. And by looking through lens of suffering and discomfort, we can see how art is positioned in the world and in people's lives. Many people think that marketing is an untrustly, sleethy business or pursuit. And I get it. I used to feel that way and you know what some people do. Some people take advantage of others with the same techniques. But just because there are forces of darkness in the world, doesn't mean you shouldn't shine your creative light. Using these same techniques and understandings, these techniques allow you to help someone to offer them a service, a place of healing, a new joy in their lives through your work and focusing on that is so key. So what are pain points? Customer pain points are the problems that prospective customers of your business are experiencing. Remember that prospective customers mean those we've identified in our previous exercise. Our audience are niche. There are difficulties or obstacles customers face with your products or services can solve. These pain points can be diverse and varied as your prospective customers. So what's the big deal of this? The complexity lies in not all prospects being aware of the pain point they are experiencing. This can make marketing challenging. And you need to help your prospects realize that they have a problem and convince them that your product or service will solve it. This is the tricky part and it takes some time to master this. But I promise you that once you get used to telling your story, your audience's story, and the story of your business for product, this gets a lot easier before you panic. If you're like, Sarah, I don't have customers. That is okay. You don't need them yet to listen in. You just need to identify who they are. So ensure you've completed that previous audience exercise and now we do a research. So welcome to stepping out of your comfort zone. I promised it would happen because research is key to a business. Social media is a groundbreaking tool for business, It's also a groundbreaking tool for research. Find your audience on social media forums, pre existing businesses pages, observe what they're posting. And I'd encourage you to connect with them directly if you feel safe and comfortable. So let's go back to our animal lover example. You find some animals fan accounts and you notice that many followers have their pets. You reach out to them through messaging and are like, hey, I'm thinking about creating products for cats and dogs with knitting materials like toys, sweaters, and so on. I'm trying to do a little research, Are there any toys or things your dog loves or maybe even struggles with? And maybe you get some responses and they're like, yeah, my dog always tears apart their toys. I need something stronger or the opposite. My dog is on the smaller and timid side and needs something soft but not too fluffy or that gets everywhere in my house. These are pain points. Through this, you'll see how your skills and talents can help another person and their needs. As we do this research, you might even start to gain interested people before you even launch or sell, or scale your business or product. Trust me, Get creative. If you think your artwork or idea could be more transformative with a solution, keep believing and keep digging a great place to start yourself. What has your work done for you? How has it changed you or helped you on your personal journey with your personal pain points? Remember, the heart of any's story lies in conflict and resolution. In your brand story, the competition could be a challenge or a problem your brand aims to solve, and that is for your audience. The resolution is how your brand overcomes these challenges or solves the problem. This is known as your offer or your value proposition of your branding. Your solution is what you're offering your customers. It is a feeling, a new look, a solution for a physical problem, et cetera. If you're stump, think of things you recently bought, what problems did they solve? What was about the website? What was it about the brand or the Instagram page or the marketing that made you buy that specific product in your workbook. You'll be tasked to do some of this research to the best of your ability and figure out a list of pain points. It's also fine to come up with a list of pain points based on your own experience alone or with people close to you, like family and friends. This list will equip you with impactful solution messaging for your website, social media, your captions, your e mails, and so much more. So, keep your pain points in mind and continuously evolve and add to the list. So what are the pain points that your customers are experiencing? How can your businesses address these pain points to improve their experience and satisfaction? Remember, when you position your product or service based on a customer's pain points, customers will find more reasons to do business with you, to keep buying your art or your services, and so on. Understanding your customer's pain points and addressing them effectively is about more than just improving your product or service. It's also about demonstrating to your customers that you understand their needs and challenges and you're committed to bringing them and helping them overcome them. In doing so, you can build stronger customer relationships, increase customer loyalty, and ultimately drive your business growth and social media. A little bit of a note here, some customers, clients of my own, when we talk about branding in the past, really react negatively to the concept of pain. Pain is really just an agitation, a thorn in your side, something that you're thinking about honestly. Sometimes pain is the fluffy fun stuff, for example. For me, there are things I would wish to experience more of, like cooking classes or understanding how to do a skill better. And maybe it's not pain like how we associate deep agony, suffering pain. Sometimes it's just a need, a one itching desire to learn something new. To experiencing something new. To learn a new technique. Don't react negatively to the word pain. Think big. Think broadly. Think more in the concept that you as an individual with skills can heal someone, not just about deep suffering. I promise this list is a game changer for all your future content building. And this is going to tie really nicely together with the previous exercises we get when you're all set with that list. However long it takes you, however short it takes, you bet me back here for the next lesson. 12. Overcoming Limiting Beliefs: Exercise 9: All right guys, It's about to get spicy. We're going to be breaking down limiting beliefs. So are you surprised that we're digging into mindset in a branding class? Don't be. I want you to feel empowered to use tools you've learned and take action on all that hard work that you've put in, and just crush any of your business goals that you have. And I want you to do that by breaking down the walls holding you back. Of course, as your entrepreneurial business, creative cheerleader and friend, I know something or two about limiting beliefs and I want to set you up for a success. Limiting beliefs are the negative thoughts that we harbor within ourselves. They are the mental roadblocks that prevent us from achieving our desires and our dreams and our business goals. These beliefs keep us within our comfort zones and limiting our development and achievement in our personal and professional lives. We often regard these thoughts, whether conscious or unconscious, as absolute truths. However, these are merely negative constructs of our minds that can be overcome and replaced with more optimistic messages. By altering our thought patterns, we can change our lives radically. Understanding the origins of these destructive beliefs can be instrumental in combating them. Effectively, limiting beliefs primarily stem from experiences in our past. They may have been birthed from a specific incident or when we encounter similar situations in the present of our subconscious mind. When we try to protect ourselves from potential disappointment, which is why we get stuck in the comfort zone. These limiting thoughts can have several roots. Personal experiences. These are experiences that are directly lived by us as the individuals leading us to development of roadblocks, hereditary beliefs. These are tied to our upbringing and the ideas of behaviors we observe or reinforced throughout our lives. Or fear and excuses. These are justifications to stop us from pursuing something out of fear of failure or being out of our comfort zone. Social circles, the people around us who can influence us, instill beliefs and thoughts within us. And then of course, society, societal norms and standards that can generate limiting beliefs. So limiting beliefs are essentially self deprecating thoughts that can hinder our growth and can impact our creative minds. This is so crucial to understand when you're launching a business, when you're scaling your business, because all of those pieces you're going to face and feel examples of limiting beliefs that you might encounter on your journey or business branding journey is, I'm not good enough. I'm too old. I'm too young. I don't have enough time. I'm not smart enough. I need more experience. I'll never be successful. I'll never be successful because of all my failure in the past. I don't have enough money. I'm not talented enough. I started too late. Let me give you a two punch technique to shut all of these things up because these held me back for so many years and I don't want to see this happen to you. Step one, the first stride towards overcoming limiting beliefs is honestly identifying them. You need to be aware of these beliefs that you have in order to gain control over them. So in your workbook, there are powerful questions to help you make a list of some of your beliefs. Step two is so crucial in overcoming limiting beliefs, and it's to replace them with more empowering ones. This process sounds easier than it is, but ultimately it involves questioning your beliefs and imagining new possibilities and trying the new possibilities. The goal is to get it into a habit of questioning your beliefs. I want you to question your beliefs. I want you to question the negative thoughts that you're having and looking at all the options available. Instead of just defaulting to the options you always choose, even if you don't realize it. And here's how we can do that. Next to the list of limiting beliefs that you're going to make in your workbook, I want you to change them into what if statements. The first part of that is to stop saying, I know you'd be surprised how often you make statements of absolute truth in your mind about who you are and your value and your worth, which is what limiting beliefs are. And I have found time and time again in individuals with unhealed, deep wounds or struggle with productivity or struggle with creative block, usually have an no complex. They feel their experience, their current understanding of situations of their skill sets, of their art is an entire truth, certainty. And therefore, it does not require growth or change in guise that is so not true today. This is the biggest thing you can do. For example, what if I found a way to overcome my posting anxiety and start posting on social media with my new branding plant? Not I know I'll never be able to post online and grow my online social presence. What if I made a sale this month? Not I know I'll probably not make a sale because I haven't in the past. What if I found a way to learn how to water color? Not I know I can't learn how to water color or be good at it. I want you to go beyond the surface and educate yourself on what it means to dig deeper into your art. And part of that is digging deeper into yourself. And when I became a coach or when I became a teacher, I knew I wanted to make that difference for people. Because these are the things that truly holds people back from business. It's not just about how pretty your Instagram looks or how your Etsy store front looks. And those things are important, but these are the things. These are the needle movers in your life, guys. By changing your limiting beliefs to I know statements, you encourage yourself, take action and think about the empowered opportunities over the negative ones. I do this almost every single day. It's been a huge help for me. As really we know work can get hard and situations can get hard. And sometimes creating is so exhausting and painful and switching this mindset is so crucial. Do not skip this, keep moving forward. Your workbook is going to encourage you to make that list, change those statements, so we can start changing your limiting beliefs. 13. My Biggest Tip for Success: We've gone through waves of mindset, shifts in this class from invisible scripts to anxieties and limiting beliefs. But I want to close the gap with a specific mindset that changed my entire career as it closed for this class, Understanding your comfort zone. Many of us think we understand the power of a comfort zone, but honestly most of us don't. And I didn't for the longest time, have you ever wondered why it is so hard for you to step out of your comfort zone or why you fall back into old or bad habits? One of our exercises was encouraging you to go reach out of your comfort zone to engage with new people. And that's really scary and daunting. And so I feel like I wouldn't be setting up for success unless we talked about the comfort zone because I get it. There are going to be decisions you make every day as an artist and as a business owner. And this is the encouragement I want to leave you with. The comfort zone comes down to evidence. Our brains seek proof subconsciously to help us make decisions or survey for any threats or harm or difficulties. And I especially learned this as I went through my personal mental health journey, as well as my journey as a small artistic business owner. Basically, it means that your comfort zone is a space where you've gathered a lot of evidence and information of positive evidence. It's safe, it's confident, and of course it's comfortable. And you know with almost complete certainty that you will remain secure without failure, without discomfort. That you won't be challenged or put in a place of overall discomfort. If you stay in that zone, you need evidence of success. When you look beyond your comfort zone, tell a new story, become vulnerable online, and build a new business. Your brain is like, hold on a second, I need to see that this is going to work. So you face significant uncertainty. And this is why escaping the comfort zone is so hard, and you don't know what will occur, what's going to happen, what sales you're going to have, what clients you're going to interact with. And this means that your brain is trying to process the reality that you don't have evidence and that you don't know the truth of the outcome of all that effort you have to release caring about the outcome, the outcome is essential for inspecting areas of improvement or seeking feedback. But it can't be the same vein as what fuels you to do the work every single day. Remember that your resistance is a sign of you pursuing the edges of your comfort zone or stepping into a new area entirely run towards this. If you feel resistance with social media, with building that website, with changing your branding, this is live feedback that you can work on that you can find, that you can grow with. And you can only do that if you step out of your comfort zone. So please, if you take anything away from this course, remember that resistance is something you should fight towards. It means that you don't care about the outcome. I have failed so many times as a business owner, I have made some of the biggest mistakes. I've lost money, I've lost time, I've lost connections, I've lost progress, I've lost skills. But yet the outcome that I care about the most is the outcome of consistency that I have chosen to move forward. And that is the only reason I'm sitting here in front of you today is because I have moved through the failures. And that is the evidence I need. That is the only evidence I need. When I have new ideas and new projects and new concepts for art, I just do them because I don't need the evidence. I just need the evidence. And I am willing to stick through it and move forward. And I hope you are too. 14. Closing Thoughts & Giveaway!: I hope you enjoyed everything this class had to offer. Teaching and coaching is my favorite thing to do in the whole world. And I am on a mission to become a full time creative coach and teacher. To help creatives like you pursue and thrive and just crush all your goals and your dreams. And you can support that dream for me by leaving a review. This is a huge thing guys here on skillshare. Please, please, please. Even if it just takes a few minutes to leave review. And I just want to give a little bit of a sweeten the deal moment for every person that leaves a review. They'll be entered into a give boy to receive the beautiful, minimalistic, hard copy linen brand book. This guy right here, that it covers everything in this course and includes spaces for you to hold your research and your exploration of your branding. And it's quick and convenient to reference. So I hope you feel encouraged by this and check it out on the site for more information. And so leave that review, and I'll announce the winner via e mail, through the Skillshare channel. And so make sure you follow my Skillshare profile to get updates from me to see that e mail when I announce the winner. And I'd also like to mention that I do coach creatives one on one in this amazing program that is inspired by this skillshare community. And it's called the Creative Catalyst Academy. It's a 12 week transformative program that will help you create your authentic style, your story, your branding, your goals, breaking through those limiting beliefs, Working past doubts, working past the inner critic. And to help you build a personalized process for you to build up your productivity, to work towards your goal for success. And you'll overcome stress, you'll overcome procrastination. So much more. All the information, the trailer for the class and the one on one work, it's all on my website. It's all on my skillshare profile and everything you need to get in terms of like contacting me, getting in touch with me. You can see on screen here, by scanning that QR code, I hope you're interested in enrolling or hearing more. You can book that call with me to get a free session of us. Just chat and get to know each other and so we can work together one on one. I'm always available to you via e mail. I am your friend, please reach out. I love when people DM me. I love when people message me. I respond to every single person if I can. A lot of other exciting stuff coming up follow me because I'm also potentially launching, maybe sort of like a live class situation in the near future. Hint, hint, I am launching new products that's super, super exciting. So please follow me on social media, e mail me if you have any questions, if you just see a friend, if you just see someone to talk to you, I'm totally here for you. Check out this book for the class if you would like. The hard copy. I'm on fire for you guys. I can't wait to be back with another class. This is the peak. My year always is posting. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you for all love and support. I am overwhelmed with how well skillshare has, you know, changed and evolved for me. And you guys are really the key to that. So if you're here, if you're still listening, you guys really have changed my life. And I can't wait to do more and put more work out for you guys. So I'm your friend, I'm your cheerleader, and I'm signing off. I look forward to another class so to spend some time together and this has been the branding field notes situation. Let me know what you'd like to see next. I read every e mail, so please shoot me any thoughts and I hope to see you soon anywhere you find me.