First things first: where to start when creating a business
When we start working with a client who is in the beginning stages of their entrepreneurial journey, we typically guide them through these steps before even thinking about creating a website or social media strategy. This helps us create a solid foundation - jumping straight into creating a logo or Instagram account will only cost you more time at the end of the day.
1. Brand exercise (verbiage)
Before thinking about the visuals to tell the story of your business, we need to hone in on the words and verbiage. Here are a few questions to guide you in this process. (These questions are mostly for solo-preneurs; if you run a small business, think from the overall business point of view.)
We recommend taking some time to free-write your answers... in other words, don't overthink it!
- What are your gifts (or natural abilities)?
- What do people compliment you on?
- What advice or skills do people come to you for?
- What’s your wish (or ideal state) for your clients (current or future)?
- How do your gifts align with your client’s ideal state?
2. Brand exercise (visual)
Pinterest is your best friend at this stage in the game. Create a private “brand inspiration” board, and search for images that make you happy! Search for your favourite brands, designers, photographers, colours, artists, places, etc. Follow accounts or boards that have tons of great stuff, so that your home feed automatically loads beautiful images every time you open it. Save only your FAVOURITE images to your private board, and after stocking it up with hundreds (yes, at least a hundred) photos, pay attention to any patterns that show up. What colours, photography styles, font types, or imagery appear consistently? This will help determine the visual style of your brand… and will be great to share with any designers you choose to work with down the road. (They’ll love you for doing this.)
3. Secure the name on all platforms
Do you have a business name yet? If you’re still trying to decide, here’s a tip: use your own name if you want to be the face of your business, forever and ever. Or, if you want to build a team (and maybe even sell the business one day), create a new name. If you’re stuck, revisit #1 for inspiration. What words, feelings, or descriptors appear throughout your answers?
Deciding on a name is typically a back and forth process - we usually search for the name on GoDaddy (or other domain name providers) and Instagram to ensure it’s available.
Once you decide on the name, purchase the domain and create social media accounts on ALL platforms, even ones you don’t plan on using. (Trust us.)
4. Write out your business’s description in 3 paragraphs, 1 paragraph, and 2-3 sentences
Good news: you already have most of this done, thanks to #1. Now just edit it into something concise, clear, and descriptive. Use the 2-3 sentence version as your bio on social media accounts, the 1 paragraph version on platforms where you have more space to write, and the 3 paragraph version on your future website’s About page.
5. Define your dream client
Get SUPER specific on this one. Describe your dream client like you would describe a person. Identify his/her demographics, physical attributes, career, what groups or communities they may be a part of (virtual or in-person), and their hopes, dreams, and fears. Even give him/her a name. Don’t worry - getting specific doesn’t mean you won’t attract/work with other types of people, but it will help you find and identify the people you reallyreally want to work with.
6. Define your offerings
Write descriptions of your offering(s) (products and/or services) that really speaks to your dream client. Bonus points for running it past a dream client that you know, and getting their feedback on if it resonates with them.
Having all of these pieces pre-determined - before you set out to do your website, branding, and social media - will make the whole process easier, and ensure you stay aligned with the heart of your business.
We get it, sometimes this can feel overwhelming.
Reach out if you want some guidance as you work through your creation journey.