I mean, your brand is good enough for now, right? Sure, you’re not clear on who your ideal client is so you’re still speaking to the masses, but you’ve got a somewhat steady stream of clientele so it feels like eventually, the answer has to pop into your head. Is that how these things work? Gosh, you hope so...
And it’s not like you haven’t tried to define your brand- it’s just that the concept is so big that it feels unknowable. The way people throw phrases like “my brand,” “on-brand” and “off-brand” around, it makes you feel like you missed an invitation to the cool kids’ table, complete with a local dialect guide to help you converse in the fluent creative tongue.
So you download yet another free printable from Pinterest (today’s digest- “10 questions to define your brand!”), and convince yourself that someday, you’ll get there. One day, you won’t have to struggle with messaging, you won’t have to feel like you’re imitating someone else’s voice in order to reach a client you’re not even sure is right for you.
For now, you guess you’ll just resign yourself to the fact that you don’t feel like you fit in with your own brand.
But what if you didn’t have to wait for someday (or a magical brainwave) to start clarifying your brand’s purpose, message, and voice: what would it look like for your brand to be the perfect fit right now?
You KNOW there’s something you’re meant to do, and people you’re meant to reach… it just feels like every time you sit down to figure out WHY and WHO, your brain fogs over and you end up on TikTok. Again.
It’s time to stop the seemingly endless process of “figuring out your brand” and get some real answers, so you can start showing up for the dream clients who need your gifts and services most.
You don’t have time to wait for your dream brand
to magically land in your lap.
You could claim YOUR unique place in the market- rather than copying the strategy of the week, you’ve got the competitive advantage of working from a playbook that’s 100% your own.
You’d stop guessing on what to say to your audience- you'd know which messaging speaks to your dream clients. Even better, you know *exactly* who those dream clients are!
That feeling of being a fraud? It disappears, because you've ditched the disingenuous online persona you thought you needed to reach the audience you thought you were “supposed” to be aiming for.
You’d finally have a clear vision for where your brand is headed, so you can STOP with the yearly cycle of rebranding (seriously: step away from the website template shop for a sec).
It's like therapy for your brand!
“I want to build something of my own, not a brand that feels like a carbon copy of everyone else in my industry… but if I’m honest, I don’t know what *actually* sets me apart from my competition.”
“I guess I have a vague idea of my target audience?...but I have no idea how to speak to them!”
“There HAS to be more purpose to my work than just filling orders and going to the post office… right?” (there absolutely is!)
“I’m frustrated with all the ‘quick’ fixes I see online for building a brand… none of them have ever worked for me! Am I doing something wrong?” (you’re not!)
“Don’t judge, but I’ve tried reverse-engineering my favorite creative’s brand and it’s just not working- I’m NEVER going to get this figured out!” (you will!)
The thought of achieving “meh” results with yet another rebrand is enough to make you want to crawl back into bed with a glass of pinot. Something has to change.
There has to be a better way to develop a cohesive brand than duct-taping together a bunch of scattered (sometimes contradicting) advice from free downloads.
And now that you think about it, you don’t have TIME to wait for “someday”- with the way the current global crisis is affecting small businesses, you need to start distinguishing your brand NOW so that you can make it through the other side, and hit the ground running when the world starts spinning again.
It’s time to get this figured out, once and for all.
And I’m sharing my very own framework for building a brand from a place of purpose, a brand that goes the distance and isn’t subject to the whims of the industry (a framework I’ve only ever taught privately to coaching students in the past!)
After 11 years of photographing people and a BS in Communication, I’ve learned that more often than not, simply being talented isn’t enough to grow your business to the heights you’ve dreamed of. When we’re working in a market full of talented artists, there MUST be something else for our clients to hold onto in order for you to be remembered!
It isn’t enough to present your best portfolio work like Show & Tell and hope that your dream clients click “add to cart!”
So let’s move all those surface-level free Branding downloads to your Trash folder- I’m going to hold your hand and walk you through what ACTUALLY goes into to unearthing your purpose, finding your unique gifts, and discovering + speaking to the dream clients you are MOST equipped to serve!
And once we’ve done that? I’ll spill the secrets on how your brand’s foundations directly dictate the visual components of your brand!
Lace up your Chuck Taylors- let’s DO this thing!
“This course met me where I am- I didn’t walk away feeling like I was small or unimportant. It wasn’t over my head, and I feel encouraged!”
This could be you:
“I know exactly who my ideal client is, and I’ve crafted a message that speaks STRAIGHT to them. I never have to wonder what to say anymore.”
“I don’t have to GUESS what my visual brand should look like- I’m confident that my website, logo, and visuals all speak to my dream audience!”
“I know my Why as a business owner, and I’m confident my work has purpose beyond just the product and services I deliver."
Discern your unique position in the market based on your Why, your brand’s voice, and the unique strengths you bring to the table
Know where your brand is headed over the next few years based on who you’re trying to serve (and NOT based on whatever your competition is doing!)
Identify your ideal clients and learn to speak directly to them using the same methods I’ve used over the last decade+ to the high-end bridal + branding photography markets!
Craft a drilled-down brand standard for your products, messaging, and visuals, customized to YOUR business’ needs
See how the below-ground roots of your business (your Why, values, strengths, brand voice, and more) directly influence the visual, above-ground fruit (website, logo, colors, gifting, even what you wear on the job!).
Infuse your brand your personality without resorting to an “internet persona,” even if you are not your target client
Sell your products and services with authenticity, because you’ve done the hard work of aligning your business with what you ACTUALLY believe in! No more icky feelings around selling, because you’re not pushing needless product- you’re serving your audience well.
Branding Foundations is a, online mini course designed to help you clarify, uplevel, and distinguish your brand, reach the clients you dream of serving, and find unparalleled contentment in knowing that your brand is aligned with your purpose, values, and strengths as an individual.
By the end of the program, you’ll be able to …
The blueprint for discovering + building a solid creative brand on a secure, lasting foundation, so you can stop guessing at your visuals, voice, and messaging, and get back to doing what matters most in your business.
Branding Foundations is an online mini-course formatted to help you FINISH the material, so you can get on your way to crafting a memorable brand for dream clients who can’t wait to work with you!
The course consists of 17 easy-to-finish chapters, with text-based content that doesn’t waste your time with needlessly drawn-out videos.
A simplified format makes referencing back to the material a *cinch*- no more re-watching module after module in search of that one nugget you wanted to re-learn.
No monthly membership fee here—once you’re in, you’re in … every future training and addition is yours to keep.
Part I: Inputs
We must lay the foundational groundwork of determining what sort of INPUTS we’ll base your visual brand off of Before we can even begin to talk about social media, websites, logos and product packaging
What a brand is, and what it isn’t
How your foundational inputs are the basis for your visual outputs, and why developing them in order makes for a more consistent brand over the years!
Why it’s actually BETTER to grow slow, and how rushing the process will backfire
Why you must start with what uniquely works for YOU, instead of forcing or borrowing from what seems to work for other people. You can’t borrow a brand.
Chapter 1: Let’s clarify- what is a brand, exactly?
Because unless you can get clear on where you’re starting out, there’s NO way you’ll arrive at the right destination.
How purpose drives action, instead of the other way around
Why your brand ISN’T actually about you
...and why that’s really good news!
How a Why >>> laser focus, allowing you to bypass all the other small business owners caught up in chasing butterflies (or waterfalls)
Chapter 2: Finding Your Why
To think that your purpose as a creative is limited to the products and services you offer VASTLY underestimates your potential, and undersells your value. It’s also a great way to head straight for burnout. Understanding your Why as a business owner is a crucial first step in claiming your territory and putting your stake in the ground.
A step-by-step guide to discover your own set of 5-7 values
How discovering your values helps to anchor your business choices to what matters most, instead of a messy business structure that chases whatever’s new and shiny
How to avoid years of wasted time chasing goals that feel like an awkward fit
Chapter 3: Values
When your business operates in harmony with your intrinsic values, you stop working against yourself. Crafting a brand that supports your values makes everything else easier- choosing which products and services to offer, determining your schedule, even selling. Yep- SELLING! No more icky feelings around the S-word!
How your strengths make you a more compelling expert in your field
Why you should stop trying to force strengths you don’t have, and when to do so
My go-to resource for uncovering your personal strengths AND weaknesses
Chapter 4: Strengths
You’ve got ‘em, and chances are, you have a lot MORE strengths than you’re currently aware of! Deciphering your strengths means maximizing your impact with your God-given gifts, and wasting less time forcing the issue with your weaknesses.
A practical breakdown of how your ideal client directly informs your messaging choices and overall voice
26 in-depth questions to help you uncover what your ideal client looks like, feels, thinks, needs, and resonates with, so you can stop shooting in the dark (because being able to answer “where does your brand shop?” doesn’t actually help you understand HOW to speak to your ideal client, unless the topic of conversation is limited to “where’d you get that top?”)
How knowing your ideal clients’ buying behaviors helps take the guesswork out of pricing your services
How to learn to speak your clients’ language when your target audience ISN’T a carbon copy of you (including the elusive language of luxury!)
How to look for anticipate, and strategize around market need AND constraints unique to your industry
I’ll let you in on a secret: THIS is where we see the visual side of our brand begin to take shape! Because crafting the perfect website and logo for your brand isn’t so much about your personality- it has everything to do with your ideal clients, and what will speak most clearly to them!
Chapters 5 & 6: Audience and Market Need
How to make sure EVERY one of your offerings is infused with purpose and expertise
Why getting super specific on your specialization only ever strengthens you marketability, instead of excluding potential clients
Why being a general practitioner makes it hard to raise your rates (and how to overcome that!)
It turns out that there’s an easier way to determine which products and services your business offers that doesn’t involve the ambiguous, overwhelming question of “what do I feel like doing for work?” We can take our cues from a combination of your Why, strengths, values and knowledge of your ideal client, crafting an irresistible offer your audience is EXCITED to buy!
Chapter 7: Products and Services
How to develop a personal brand voice without needing to share every (clap) single (clap) detail about your life
Where to look for cues on HOW to speak in the language of your idea clients, if you’re not sure how they speak to one another
15 prompts to help you clarify exactly what your brand does (and does NOT) sound like!
Chapter 8: Voice
Because sometimes, your tone matters even more than the content of your message! A cohesive, consistent brand voice doesn’t necessarily come easily, especially if you’re attempting to reach clients with needs that differ from your own, in different stages of life, or in a totally different demographic.
My formula for deciphering your 5-10 storylines that will form the backbone of ALL your business-related messaging
Declarative vs. Understated messaging: what they are, and how + when to use each as you pivot your message and uplevel your brand
How to develop trust with your audience and avoid damaging, off-brand messaging that can cost you big time
How to use your messaging to sell with subtlety so you can avoid exhausting your audience with yet another “buy from me!” post
Don’t be overwhelmed by this one! “Messaging” can feel like such a vague, unknowable topic, but it’s MUCH simpler than you’re probably thinking! In this lesson, I break down exactly what messaging includes, and how to PRE-determine a collection of messages that you’ll tell again and again so that you’ll never have to scramble for social media, newsletter, or blog material ever again.
Chapter 9: Messaging
Part II: Outputs
Now that you’ve done the heavy lifting of determining your outputs, you’re ready to start pulling working on the visual side of your brand! Part II walks you through considering how each output factor is informed directly by your inputs, so instead of buying yet ANOTHER new website template and hoping this’ll finally be the one, we can create from a place of utter confidence.
Rather than a step-by-step tutorial for website design, color theory, or the best posting schedule for Instagram (which all vary wildly according to your audience!), consider this your guidebook for how each one of the VISUAL components of your brand are born as a result of your foundational inputs, so that when we set out to design, we already have an end destination in mind!
When to begin work on your Outputs (hint: roots and shoot grow together)
Why you should actively avoid rushing the process (and how expensive of a mistake that can be)
What strong brand development has in common with Michaelangelo’s most famous sculpture
Chapter 10: Consistency (it’ll make or break you)
Finished statues aren’t revealed as soon as you first hammer a chisel into a block of marble- this. takes. time. Consider this me giving you permission to allow your brand to emerge over time, a little bit at time. After all- it took Michaelangelo two years to finish David.
What information your website MUST include, and how it’s directly influenced by WHO you’re trying to speak to
The essential pre-website design checklist for every new business owner
When it might be time for less-intense website refresh, vs. full-on rebrand.
You already know you need a website. But did you know that, rather than scrolling Pinterest looking for the prettiest template shops, your ideal clients can give you huge clues for the online home you should be crafting! Your brand is already starting to take shape, so let’s get it an outfit (your website!) that fits it perfectly, instead of asking our website to dictate the brand (a job your website can’t do on its own!)
Chapter 11: Website
What to consider when designing a logo with text and/or graphics
Markers of a timeless logo design
How to use your brand voice to determine your color palette
Chapter 12: Logo + Color Scheme
Since you’re jonesing for a brand that will last you more than the next 10 minutes, it’s important that you’re intentional about your logo and color choice!
How to be ruthless with your photo selection when it comes to showing off your best work
Why your current head shot might be unintentionally sending the wrong message
How to attract ideal clients for dream project (EVEN IF you don’t have your dream portfolio just yet!)
To curate or not to curate? That is the question. The answer? Your portfolio should be highly curated to speak directly to your ideal client!
Chapter 13: Portfolio
How to curate your content for your ideal client, and doing so *with authenticity!*
How to choose the right platforms for YOUR business (instead of succumbing to shiny object syndrome and chasing every new social app that debuts)
The difference between a personal brand and a business brand, and how to choose the one that works for you based on your unique situation
Chapter 14: Social Media
Repetition is key- so then why do so many of us feel like we never know what to say on social media? This is where the rubber of messaging meets the road of marketing!
The passive ways you can positively influence experience without increasing your workload
How negativity bias affects the final grade your clients give you
Recognizing the warning signs that it’s time to delegate pieces of your business for the sake of the client’s overall experience
More than just a cute gift you drop in the mail for your clients, the overall experience is impacted by every single touchpoint your clients have with your business (even the ones where you’re not talking directly to them!)
Chapter 15: Client Experience
What the quality of your packaging says about your brand (for better or for worse)
How your brand voice should be silently present throughout every piece of business-related mail you ever send out
When it makes sense to send a gift, and how to make sure the gift doesn’t contradict the brand perception you’ve worked hard to build
The ancillary, physical goods associated with your brand should only ever continue the story of your brand in the way you want it told!
Chapter 16: Printed collateral, Packaging, and Gifting
How to harness your email address + email signature to passively demonstrate your professionalism and expertise
What your outfit on the job communicates about your brand
How your choice of consult locations and advertising outlets impact your brand’s image
Named after my favorite category on Jeopardy, this last lesson is a handful of unrelated, less obvious categories that need a dose of “essence of your brand!”
Chapter 17: Potpourri
A full list of the branding resources mentioned throughout the course, plus additional vendors, articles, and education suggestions!
Instant access to all 17 lessons, written out and ready to rock!
Audio files of every lesson so you can listen on the go (arriving Monday, 5/25!)
A 20+ page printable workbook to work through the questions at the end of each lesson, helping avoid the “oh, I’ll just come back to that later…” trap
Lifetime access, so you can review and reference any time you need a refresh!
Access to any new lessons and material added to the course in the future- this is our pilot launch, so we’ll be adding to this as you guys ask!
You’ll ALSO get:
Well, you spend the next couple of years plugging away with freebie downloads that promise to help you piece a brand together... but only if you’re OK with spending hours sorting the “meh” from the “I can’t believe I traded my email address for this”, and only if you’re enthusiastic about seeing your progress bar load 1% at a time.
You could keep reading those unhelpful blog posts that say things like make sure your brand statement is strong! And think about how your values impact your business! With you on the other side of the screen thinking “wait- that sounds like it’s important! But HOW do I do it?!”
Or you could get yourself on board the Solid Brand Express- with me as your conductor.
Start right now with lifetime access, for only $97
Enough chit chat: what’s it cost?
Lifetime access to all 17 text-based Branding Foundations lessons, to cut the fluff and make learning FASTER
Audio files in Branding Foundations
20+ page workbook
My personal list of resources for designers, website templates, apps, packaging supplies, gifting resources, and further education to make implementation a no-brainer
One payment of $97
Get on your way to a clarified brand that distinguishes you from your competition
I’m an international brand & wedding photographer, speaker, and fierce lover of PEOPLE!
There’s something that *fascinates* me about finding the disconnect between where a brand currently is and where the brand owner is trying to go. It can be maddening when you’re in the midst of it, when you KNOW your work is gorgeous but you just can’t seem to figure out WHAT ELSE sets you apart, other than your craft.
After all- there are a LOT of other people who do what you do, with the exact same tools that you use. And if you can’t even tell yourself what makes you different, how are you supposed to convince your audience you deserve their business?
I’ve had the joy of teaching more than 1,000+ students, and now, for the first time ever, I’m pulling back the curtain on how to build a recognizable, well-loved brand that works in harmony with your purpose, values, and strengths to serve the clients you’ve been DREAMING of since your first days in business!
Let’s stop spinning your wheels, wasting months chasing dozens of rabbits, only to find you haven’t caught a single one.
Now more than ever, it’s crucial that you know your purpose as a creative, and can enunciate your UNIQUE value in the market. Without knowing your brand’s foundational INPUTS, spending excessive time on a pretty Top 9 or a cute About page? It’s just a Band-Aid on a bullethole.
A new website template won’t change the fact that you still haven’t defined your brand.
But investing in yet another course?
You’re not sure if you can take the disappointment of another hours-long, fluff-filled educational resource that reads more like a personal memoir than a workshop.
Friend, I am RIGHT there with you.
That’s why we crafted this course in the exact sort of format that makes it EASY and FAST to get through. No video, no superfluous bonuses you and I both know you’ll never use.
We’ve boiled it down to the essentials, giving you branding education GOLD.
These “ideal client” prompt questions are WAY more helpful than the ones I normally see! I’ve even been confused by people who “do branding” for a living when they talk about it.
It’s always like “where would your customer shop?” I’m only 20% through and already loving that your guide is more in-depth than that.
No one is teaching branding like this- this is so, so, so, so, so good.
This really does teach you how to implement, which is something that other branding resources I’ve purchased DON’T seem to teach you.
I don’t think you’ll ever know how helpful this course was.
You compiled it all in one place and made it digestible- the prompts were a game changer because they were questions I could actually answer without getting overwhelmed.
You’re asking so many questions I never even thought to consider!
We had it reviewed by the very students I had in mind while creating this course, and here’s what they’re saying already:
Don’t waste another day.
NOW is the time to define your brand, get clear on your purpose, uncover what truly distinguishes you from your competition, and reach those dream clients with a message that speaks directly to them.
Your clients are happy with the end result you deliver, but after the transaction is complete… you never hear from them again
You know where you WANT your brand to go… but you have no idea how to get there.
You’re constantly losing out on bookings because (wait for it) “it came down to budget.”
The market you serve is full of ideal clients, but none of them ever seem to find their way to you- you know your work is up to the task, but that doesn’t seem to be enough.
Your messaging and marketing plan currently consists of the Show & Tell approach: “look at how good the product is! Money please?”
If someone were to ask you what makes you different, you’d find 100 different ways to circle *around* the issue… without actually answering the question.
But I’m definitely an advocate for thoughtful course purchases- if you don’t need this course, I truly don’t want you to waste your resources!
How to know if you’re the right fit for Branding Foundations-
Ya with me?
You already have the tools and gifts to create a remarkable, memorable brand- you just need a bit of guidance and direction to finally hammer out your own defined brand standard.