Brand Strategy Bootcamp: Architect Your Business Vision | Sophia Chang™ | Skillshare

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Brand Strategy Bootcamp: Architect Your Business Vision

teacher avatar Sophia Chang™, Designer, Illustrator, Friend

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.

      1 INTRO


    • 2.

      Brand Identity Statement


    • 3.

      Goal Oriented Thinking


    • 4.

      Audience: Keep Em’ Coming Back


    • 5.

      Business Breakdown: Product and Services


    • 6.

      Business Overhead: Budget Projections


    • 7.

      Your Income Projection


    • 8.



    • 9.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

As a long time small business owner, Sophia Chang aka @esymai understands what it’s like to constantly be on overdrive. As small business owners, we are expected to put out fires, wear all the hats, and take responsibility for everything. It can be difficult to get into a rhythm of work that is more reactionary than intentional. Architecture and strategy can oftentimes feel like an afterthought in the grand scheme of running a business, since it requires the most creativity and time— but it is arguably one of the most important aspects of differentiating a business within a given market. It can be difficult to find the time to take a step back, reflect, and gain a macro perspective on how things operate. In this class, students will learn how to switch gears and develop a keen sense of business-oriented self-awareness so they can always make purpose-driven moves that serve their business goals.

This 20-minute class is dedicated to helping students develop their business—their passions, skills, and vision. Together, we’ll take a step back as Sophia coaches students, allowing them to reflect on business goals and developing a brand vision with clear objectives based on the past and present while strategically planning for the future. We’ll tackle all the hardest parts of running a small business, including pricing, defining goal structures, audience/clientele segmentation, and mapping out future growth plans that are specific to each student’s business goals.

Think of this class as a brand architecture session that walks through a series of exercises and Q&As to engage/define the following:

  • Brand vision 
  • Quantifiable objectives and milestones 
  • Audience definition and segmentation
  • Brand positioning and attributes
  • Product/service delivery 
  • Clarity of responsibilities 
  • Fool-proof budget breakdowns

The class is an exciting emotional rollercoaster with various highs as we gain clarity on our next moves and lows as we recognize areas for improvement. But at the end of the course, all students walk away with a clear vision and a clear guide to their brand vision, goals, milestones, responsibilities, and more. Students will also develop a keen sense of where their business stands from an objective and financial perspective, making sure the future is brightly lit with strategic intention.

Who this workshop is for: 

  • Small business owners.
  • Anyone who wants to reflect and gain the macro perspective on how their business currently operates. Seeing the past, present and strategizing the future.
  • Anyone looking to clarify their business vision / mission statement and set clear objectives for their business.
  • Anyone who could benefit from developing and building a strategic approach to their business.
  • Anyone needing help with finding their audience / clients for their business and the right price / rate for their services / products.

Audience: Small business owners looking to build/grow develop a strategic approach to their business.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Sophia Chang™

Designer, Illustrator, Friend


A new generation of pioneering entrepreneurs is emerging by virtue of the information age and the whole world is watching. Sophia Chang hails from the borough of Queens, New York and in less than a decade managed to champion a name for herself in the art, design and streetwear community worldwide. With her BFA from Parsons School of Design coupled with a natural acumen for business she has collaborated with a-list names across multiple fields such as Samsung, Nike, Refinery29, Adidas, Apple, Footlocker, HBO, and the NBA to name a few.

One of her biggest accolades of her career to date was the design of her own collection with Puma which touted their number one grossing lifestyle range and was exhibited at various international museums, curated by the American Federation o... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. 1 INTRO: Hi, My name is Sofia Change. I'm an illustrator and designer by trade. In the past 10 years, I've had the pleasure of being able to work with some of the coolest brands on the planet. In addition to my illustration design work, I also own a health and wellness platform called Undo Ordinary I also and the co founder of Common Ace, a online tech platform that allows women to shot from multiple retailers at once. What's most important is for small business owners to be able to take a step back. So this class is really about in carrying small business owners. The title of this course is brand strategy Boot Camp here. Well, architect, your business vision together. This class is really great for anyone who's a small business owner, and that's looking to develop a stronger strategy as far as their business growth taking for taking this class. And I look forward to seeing what you guys create together 2. Brand Identity Statement : with. So the first exercise we're going to do is identify your brand statement. This is like a little Madeleine exercise where we fill in the blanks and just have a moment to get familiar with ourselves and just start with the same baseline as far as who we are, What we dio what we want to do is identify your role in the marketplace. Who are you? My case? I am an illustrator and designer. It's your classic Hey, here in this I don't know, social situation. People ask you, what do you dio? Which is a question a lot of us don't like. But if you were to choose one thing or two things, maybe you're a photographer at the end of day. What is that one title that you closely identify with? What services do you provide? What exactly are the deliverables that you offer people specializing in and serving in basically means? What kind of industries do you serve? What kind of relationships do you maintain now? That could be you, vendors, clients and maybe even friends. Um and it could be more than one. It could be the fashion industry, the tech industry, the music industry. So go ahead and just just listed off on, and we'll kind of compose everything together shortly. When do you know when the job is actually done? And what kind of results do you strive for? Now we can put it all together in a sentence. So if you guys will hopefully have answered the fill in the blanks I am specialising in. In my case, it would be graphic design illustration. Print DESIGN What Design consulting, curation and the list goes on. Feel free toe. Feel confident with yourself and list all the possible services that you offer. I serve the industries. Feel free to list off whatever industries it is that you occupy. Your goal is to, and that basically means what are the results that you're trying to achieve with every job that you have At the end of this exercise, you'll be able to fill in the blanks right so we can actually all pieces together. And if we took each statement, added a period of end and kind of wove it into sentence. Basically, you're able to say I am X, Y and Z. I specialize in I served these industries and my goal is to. For those of you who don't have a bio or struggle with a bio, here's a great start. So your homework is to basically mall this over, go through this statement don't spend way too much time on it, but it's really to set a foundation and a platform for where we're gonna go from here. After you've done that exercise, hopefully feel pretty confident with your brand identity statement and that hopefully will be able to build on top of that as far as your brand vision goes. 3. Goal Oriented Thinking: now that we've had a chance to do some self reflection and create our brand, I don't any statement together. Let's start thinking outwardly now. We're gonna get into goal oriented thinking, say, this time next year, What would you say your goal would be? What do you wanna have accomplished, whether that's monetary or certain clients that you want to be able to work with and out on your roster, or maybe certain projects that you're working on now that you want a complete list? Three short term goals? Now that you've listed your three goals, how do you plan on meeting these goals? Is there anything that you can do right now, or is there anything that you're doing right now that is helping you reach these goals, Whether it's a monetary goal or revenue based school, write down what you can actively do right now to meet these goals. So let's create another column. Let's create a column for long term goals. What are three long term goals that you have? It could be saving up for house. We're getting your own studio or higher your first W two employees or assistant or studio manager similar to what we listed for a short term goals. How are you planning on meeting these goals? Is there anything that you can do right now? What you actively doing now in order to meet these goals and ask yourself, Are your short term goals related to your long term goals? They don't necessarily have to be. But sometimes it's cool to kind of see those milestones fall into place. Now that we've identified what I'd like to call your quantifiable objectives basically, your goals, short term and long term, we now have some milestones and actionable steps for you to meet those short term and long term goals. So what we do from here with this information, what I like to do the short term and long term goals is apply them in a quarterly basis. So we have Q one quarter, 1/4 to quarter 3/4 for break down your list of goals into a quarterly basis. This way, you have a general theme to just keep in mind. You have one major North star that's your brand identity statement, and now you can turn it into actionable items. It's just a great exercise to keep myself on theme. Make sure I'm keeping myself accountable as well. And if it even helps, maybe print this out, put it on a white board. This way, you always have this moment where you had a chance to sit down with your business, set these goals and hold yourself accountable to these goals. Think of it as a general roadmap for yourself. We're kind of creative. Cartographers were mapping out this unknown territory. That's the future of our career, but we're doing it together, so your homework is to reference the template sheet. Let's sit with the schools. Feel free to take some time. With this. You can always list more than three items. If you're feeling adventurous, why not? And you can spread these through a yearly basis, a quarterly basis, whatever you're most comfortable with. Hopefully, by the end of this exercise, you have been able to create your own 2 to 3 year milestone agenda 4. Audience: Keep Em’ Coming Back: keep them coming back. Okay, so now it's a chance for us to go through clientele, or you can call them your audience. So here's a fun exercise audience definition. Who's your clientele? Why would anyone hire you? Why would anyone look online for your services or seek out your services? So let's narrow it down. Why not look at the history that you already have collected and analyzed that data? Let's look at some of the clients that hired you last year. Let's also create titles as far as what industries there from what companies? What specific service out of the service categories that we listed earlier, what they fall under. It's always good to keep a good role index of your contacts. I personally like to schedule in quarterly check ins. This is part of my milestones as faras reaching Michael's with certain clientele or certain , um, projects that I haven't had a chance to work on, or even just some people I enjoyed working with that I like to work with again. Hey, maybe have a chance to look at their competitors who are their competitors. Maybe you can work with thumb or reach out to them as far as the services that you offer, allowing yourself to see your businesses. Audience segmentation also helps you clarify your messaging. Let's make a list of strengths. What would you say Your strength is as a photographer, as an illustrator, and I'm not just saying skills wise. I'm also saying, Is it away that you work? Maybe you're fast. Maybe you're really efficient. May be really patient. What is it about you in your service and the way that you conduct your service that sets you apart from your competitors and peers? Think about why clients want to come back to you, and we can also reference the list that we made just now of what your strengths are and what do you charge? How do you charge and come up with those numbers? And really, what justifies your rates? Say you have some pretty hefty goals there, and some really, really big names. Are you ready as a business in this point in time to be able to pursue those opportunities ? If you're not, what are the steps that you can take between now and then in order to set yourself up for success to work with those opportunities. As uncomfortable as it might be, it's also helpful to know who some of your peers and competitors are. If someone's looking for an illustrator, they might be pitching a number of different types of illustrators. What would you say is kind of a win for yourself? Is that your packaging? Is that your website? Is it the presentation of your work? Is your website on part? Is your social media trail a nightmare? Some people going your name? Hopefully, they're all good things that come up. If not, you should check out my optics in the digital age class that talks a little bit about how to clean up your paper trail to make sure you look as professional as possible. So let's recap really quickly for the sake of your homework. This video was an exercise on board thinking. What are you good at? Where are you? Good at what you dio as you've already created a list of clients that you worked with in the past few years. Maybe put that in an Excel spreadsheet. Create one column. That's the person the contact, their contact information you can check out. Our resource is zip file for a list of different templates for you to work with 5. Business Breakdown: Product and Services: So we've done a lot of exercise making lists, doing a lot of self reflection, and I'm sure it's very exhausting emotionally and mentally. So pat yourself on the back for that. Now we're going to get into some more logistical stuff. Business Break down here in this video, we're gonna list out your products and services. This is agreed exercise. Take your time. Let's be as detailed as possible. The information that we record and put down now is actually what we can put on our invoices moving forward with clients. This exercise allows us to create a pretty thorough, detailed list. This way, we can always refer to it as a template to copy and paste on invoices. Moving board This exercise is great for small business owners to take a step back and really look at the list and breakdown of their products and services. What are all the services that you offer? Now that you've created that list? What exactly do those services in tail Less doubt all the possible things that you need to do in order to fulfill this role. So, for example, if you're hiring me for an illustration, it's this amount of dollars. You get one sketch, three rough drafts. What's the duration of time between the rough drafts and what the final deliverable looks like in any specific format that I might be in? Also feel free to list how much time it takes for you to fulfill each thing. How long would it take for me to sketch something? How long would it take for me to work on clients feedback? And how soon do I need that? Clients feedback in order for us to meet our timeline and deadline now, this exercise not only helps you create kind of this hard copy list of services, it also helps if you're drafting a contract or a scope of work in the future. They tend to create work back schedules for my clients. So if they have a specific timeline, I share them. Hey, here, all the rounds that you get. And here's a time frame that I need the feedback. And in order for me to meet your deliverable time, friends say you're a small agency or you work with a number of people. What does the preproduction time take? Is it a set of people? How many people are involved or re factoring in transportation are re factoring in supplies and so forth and say, your photographer videographer, Be sure to create a separate section for your half day rate. Your full day rate, as those often times can be different types of delivery. Bols on What's helpful to is you can always add add on services as well. If, say, they need you to do all the retouching or you're providing all the equipment and so forth. So for your homework, you could reference the template that I have remember to be as detailed as you can in list form A as faras, the job details and what each service entails. Creating a business breakdown of your products and services really creates this foolproof list of exactly what people are paying for, what that entails from your end and what people can expect if they can see the exact list of services that are being rendered and helps them justify and understand your rate a little bit more 6. Business Overhead: Budget Projections: your overhead budget projections were creating a list of expenses so that we can see how much budget it takes for you to run your business. Okay, so I'm gonna walk you guys through my spend. She really quickly Let's start with our expenses from this year and this current state that we're in. What I like to do after I've created that is create another list of expenses before next year. It's an opportunity for me to see where I can trip. Say your car lease is up. Say you're about to move into a new space that might be more expensive or less expensive. Or, you know you paid off your debt for foot photography equipment. These projections give us clear visibility as far as where our financial standing is. Now that you've created your list of expenses for this year, create a column for next year and see if there's any areas that you can trim. So for your homework, you can reference the template file that are offered honestly, say a prayer, take a deep breath and fill it out. It's the best thing you can do for your business. You think a lot of time small business owners were almost scared to come to terms with what's going on. We're cutting spending, hoping, closing. If we just close our eyes, maybe maybe it'll go away. But soon enough, it really does catch up on you. You'll feel a lot better seeing how everything falls into place and how everything adds up . And to be really honest, I do spend a lot of time. One times are tough to just look at these list of expenses to see what areas I can trim just cause we need to, and every season of life in every season of work is different. 7. Your Income Projection: your income production. So we go from super depressing as faras going through our list of expenses and all the money that comes out of our pocket. So now let's actually take a moment to look at all the money that actually goes into our pockets so similar to what we did with our expenses. Let's go through our list of income. So just like how we started our expenses for last year or this year, however you started, let's do the same year. As far as our income goes, you can migrate your list of clients as faras audience segmentation exercise that we did and just kind of copy and paste and list things out here. But now you can put in the numbers just like how we're adding up our income from last year and this year we could do something similar for next year. What are some returning clients? Whether it's a retainer that you have, we're client that you tend Teoh here from again. And if you're not in a position to have returning clients, is there a way to look at the clients and relationships that you have now to turn them into returning clients you know your projects best. You know if there's wiggle room or opportunity to turn a relationship. Inter retainer. The most important point of this exercise Choose for you to see how much money is going out and how much money is coming in. If you're overhead is X amount of dollars than your income should at least be that much, whether it's on a monthly basis or on a quarterly basis, as a lot of freelancers already know. So how does he make 30 bucks a month? Sometimes we make 300 bucks a month. Sometimes it's 3000 or 30,000. Um, it's it's really tough for us. And so these projections, whether you're doing it by client by income, you can even break it up into quarterly or bi annually. It just helps us take the reins as far as where our finances are. So now that you've listed your expenses and you've listed your income have a chance to look , are we breaking? Even if not, why not? So let's be hopeful. Let's look at next year's projection. What are some potential incoming checks, incoming projects for opportunities that you can seek out or already in the books. What areas can we amplify? Are there any clients that we should be hassling mawr or following up on or, you know, being a little bit proactive? What's also important is to be flexible, identifying what your yes jobs. And you know, jobs are so, for example, if there's certain jobs that you don't really feel like doing and it's a matter of building that self awareness for you to know, Hey, I'm not really interested in it. I know I'm gonna get lazy. I'm not gonna put my full effort. Or sometimes if you're experienced and you see that the client is gonna be annoying from a mile away, you know there's gonna be a ton of changes, how you can adjust your numbers accordingly. And a lot of this just comes with experience knowing what your yes jobs are. What you're no jobs are as you have this clarity and you're doing these projections that also helps you build of stronger and better relationship with your audience and how you can take your services and turn them into opportunities for new clientele. So for your homework, for your income projections, be strong. Be courageous. This is a place for you to get comfortable and really own what's coming in 8. Recap: already. We made it. Thank you guys for going on this journey with me. Hopefully, you guys feeling confident and clearer assed faras why you exist and what you dio why you do what you do. So let's go ahead and recap everything we've covered today, Fran Vision, identifying your brand statement Why you exist. Something that serves as your biography. We've created short term goals and long term goals and really sat through order the actionable steps that you need to take in order to meet those goals. We create a quantifiable objectives based off of those goals and pat yourself on the back for making those goals and taking the time to list that out for yourself. Those goals served as a North star for you. Hopefully, you've taken your goals, broke them up into themes within 1/4 or you know quarters throughout a year and applied this actionable steps. We also did a little bit of audience definition, breaking down your list of clients, the things that work, things that don't work, why they value you having an opportunity to reflect on yourself and your strength and your relationship with your clients. We shifted gears and made a list of all the products and services that you offer this way. Moving forward when you draft a scope of work and it invoice. You have a thorough list of deliver bols and exactly how your process looks like. This way, your rate is always justified. Most importantly, we took control of our finances. Move went through your budget projections. We got a chance to really see what your overhead is, so you can see what kind of numbers you need to meet on a monthly or quarterly basis. We had a chance to be hopeful and dream big and look at your income projections as well. And we had a chance to really strategize and revisit some of the segments we covered to see how they all tied together. From your goals to your relationships with your audience, to the services you offer and all the different ways that you can amplify and strategize and work with what you already have that's in front of you. 9. Final Thoughts: so hopefully you feel strengthened to maintain and gain new clientele, hopefully feel empowered to reach those schools that you have now you have tangible numbers for yourself to reference, moving forward as far as your overhead and what kind of income you need to generate. Hopefully, all of this information that you created can only empower instrument and your next project and how you negotiate moving forward. Thank you for taking with class and please let me know what you guys think. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me here on skill share.