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How to consistently grow your audience, attract new customers, and get business-building opportunities on repeat

Brand Strategy
min read
In this article

If you’re ready to grow your audience, attract new customers, and get business-building opportunities on repeat, chances are that you’ve tried lots of different tips and tricks to make these things happen in the past, but haven’t yet had any real major success.

The secret to making them happen and making them consistent? Building a brand that brings customers and collaborators.

Today we’re talking about a new branding approach that will transform how you grow your creative business so that you can finally start seeing the sales and growth that you have been wanting to see.

First things first, let’s address something.

Branding isn't just one of the many problems in your business that you need to solve. It's the umbrella that all of your other problems come under, therefore it's the first thing you need to address before you can worry about anything else. 

I mean, you have all these things to worry about like right? You’ve got design, email marketing, social media, copywriting, your website, sales, growing a team, packaging, and customer service... the list goes on. Branding is yet another one of these.

However, when you’re running your business working on one tiny piece at a time, you're not looking at the big picture and how it all fits together therefore it ends up feeling disjointed like nothing is tying it all together.

Chances are that you are looking at all of these different problems and trying to solve them independently with lots of different resources. Am I right, or am I right? You’re finding resources for social media. You’re finding courses to help with copywriting. You’re getting somebody to help with your packaging. It’s all happening.

But what’s really happening here is you’re getting overwhelmed, and you’re getting a mishmash of results that don’t really work together because they are not communicating with each other. You have one expert teaching you about A, while another is teaching you about B, and they’re just not connecting.

So how do you fix this? You start thinking about your brand as the umbrella that connects all of these things together and that everything sits underneath. 

The Pillars of Branding: Design, Marketing, and Systems

Pillar 1: Design

If you look at the above chart, you can see you have your brand, and then underneath that, you have a “pillar”, design. And underneath design, you have your website, packaging, and signage.

This is where you decide what your brand is, what it sounds like, feels like, looks like and how that impacts what your website looks like, what your package and signage look like, etc.

Pillar 2: Marketing

Next up, you have your second pillar, marketing. So now you know what your brand looks, sounds and feels like, what do you want the messaging to be?

Who does your brand need to talk to? How does that impact your email marketing, your copywriting, and your social media marketing? And how can you get them all to talk to each other?

Pillar 3: Systems

Then lastly, you have your systems pillar. This is where you need to know your brand and how your business needs to be set up in order to scale. 

For example, you need to know how to hire based on your values, based on how you want to outsource, and how you want to set up customer service etc. You need to know what templates, automation, and processes you need in order to make your brand experience fit with the rest of your brand and how that connects to your marketing and design.

Seeing your brand as the overarching backbone behind everything you do allows these three pillars to connect seamlessly.

When you build your brand and set up your systems first, you'll never second guess any part of your business again. Your brand becomes your compass and your decision-making guide for everything you say, create, and do.

Let’s get this clear… Branding is more than just visuals.

Branding is not just design. Branding is a strategy.

It's how you show up on social media. It's how you do customer service. It's how you hire a team. It's the copy you write. It’s the design and so much more. 

So when I talk about branding, in this guide or any of my others, know that I'm not just talking about logos, colours, fonts, and patterns. I’m talking about figuring out what your brand says, what your brand feels like, what your brand is like to engage with, what your brand is like to talk to, and what your brand is like to work with.

Your brand impacts so much more than just your visuals. And honestly, that’s where most people get stuck with their branding. They think it’s just about the design when really, it’s way more than that. 

The biggest reason these people get stuck is because they will do their brand, it will work for a while and then it will stop working and then they plateau, blaming it on them for not working on their brand.

So the new approach that I want you to think about is what if, instead of doing your branding once every 3-5 years, you made your brand better every day? What if you worked on your brand every month? What if you worked on your brand every three months? 

What if your brand was something you were consistently working on?

This is the approach that I personally recommend if you want to consistently improve and grow your creative business. In my program, The Next Level Creative™ Method, I teach that this specific process has four main phases.

The Next Level Creative™ Method: The 4 Phases of Brand Evolution

Phase 1: Brand Strategy

This is where you figure out all of the things that I mentioned before about your brand values, vision, mission, who you want to work with, why you do what you do, the direction you want to go in your messaging, personality, and all of those things.

It's the things underneath your visuals and your marketing. It's the strategy underneath everything. 

Phase 2: Brand Design

This is what you probably know and love about branding, the visual stuff. 

This is your logos, colours, fonts, patterns, imagery, iconography, and illustrations which you then apply across your business including your website, packaging, signage, and all of the things that are going to make your brand look and feel amazing.

Phase 3: Brand Growth

This is marketing your business, sharing it with the world, and all of the ways that you can do that both online and offline.

It's creating a marketing and growth strategy that is tailor-made for your business and built from your brand strategy and using your brand design.

Phase 4: Brand Systems

Lastly, we have brand systems. This is setting up your brand for success and allows you to scale your creative business. 

This is where setting up systems, processes, automation, and potentially people (aka a team) comes into place. Things like templates, guidelines, automation, systems, and delegation all come under this to allow you to scale your business.

The first time you go through these phases, you may not even have these things and might be setting them up for the first time. However, when you go around this method this framework the second time, it's like a cyclical process. Which is why I recommend revisiting each stage regularly. 

For example, once your brand strategy is all setup and it’s been a couple of months, you want to check back in with it and ask yourself:

  • How do I feel about my brand strategy? Is it working? 
  • How is my messaging? 
  • Is my audience growth good? 
  • Is my copywriting working? 
  • How about my brand design? Am I happy with it? 
  • Do I need some more assets? 
  • Could I flesh out my brand guidelines? 
  • Do I need to change or add anything? 

Then you’ll do the same thing with your brand growth, asking yourself these questions to check in and make sure you’re consistently growing your audience, attracting new customers, and getting those business-building opportunities you’re ready for.

By doing these check-ins regularly, you can not only track how well you’re growing but help your brand evolve and come up with fresh, new ideas for upcoming content, packages, promotions, and anything else you have in the works.

For example, when reviewing your marketing, you may find that whilst auditing the last quarter, you were able to repurpose half of the content from that quarter into the next quarter, and completely plan out that next quarter, three months in advance *drool*.

You could also have had a routine look at the systems in place around your brand and added new tasks, delegated tasks, hired help, or created automations that allowed you to scale your creative business that you may not have been able to do otherwise.

So instead of waiting until you realise that things aren’t working, it's too late, and you need to overhaul the whole thing into a full rebrand and hire lots of help to fix all of these things, you can be on the ball and fix things as they happen. Always making progress.

This is what The Next Level Creative™ method is all about. This is what my approach to branding is all about because I don't want you to be wasting time and waiting three years to do a rebrand or to realise that you've been wasting so much time using marketing that isn’t actually working.

I'd rather us check in more regularly, figure it out now, and change it now to see more consistent growth in your creative business.

I want to help you do it quicker so that you can make progress and succeed quicker because, well, you deserve to succeed and your art deserves to succeed.

Instead of using all of these little band-aid fixes and trying to jigsaw puzzle them together to make it work, I want to help you look at the big picture and figure out your brand and how that can help everything come together, so you can make the impact you’re ready to be making.

So if you’re ready to consistently grow your audience, attract new customers, and get business-building opportunities on repeat by following The Next Level Creative™ method by working on your brand strategy, your brand design, your brand growth, and your brand systems, and working on them as a whole system (rather than continually to look at them individually, which you know isn’t working).

I teach this inside The Next Level Creative™, which is my signature program and *the* creative branding lab for artists and makers who are ready to grow their audience, attract new customers, and get business-building opportunities on repeat.

If you’d like to learn more about The Next Level Creative™, you can do so by clicking here or DMing me on Instagram @makerandmoxie.

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May 8, 2024

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The Ultimate Branding Checklist

Your go-to-branding guide is just a click away!

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