Time for something a little bit different! A few questions have been coming up again and again, so I decided to pull together an episode to tackle them all at once.
Those questions aaare...
👉🏼 Should I start working on my brand or my product first?
👉🏼 How do you create time to work on your business and branding when you carry a full time job and have a family?
👉🏼 What's the biggest challenge a personal branding coach faces when working with a new client?
👉🏼 What does a personal branding coach do?
👉🏼 How often do creative entrepreneurs typically update their branding? Do you notice any patterns?
👉🏼 How often do entrepreneurs do a whole overhaul?
Hope you find them helpful!
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LinkedIn: Kat Elizabeth
You're listening to Episode 32, lightning round answering your questions about personal branding. Now, this is probably going to be the first of many of these lightning rounds. But basically I just saw the need to do a little bit of an FAQ type episode because I have been getting some great questions lately, but they didn't necessarily justify an entire episode. So I am just going to plow through some fantastic questions like for instance, what's an example? How often do creative entrepreneurs typically update their branding? Should you build a product or start working on your brand first and what does a personal branding coach do? So I'm just going to dive straight into these very unplanned I've just got my list of questions, I'm going to answer them very honestly, as I always do hope you find them helpful and feel free, if you have questions for another episode, make sure you just send them to me, you can email me or DM me over on Instagram and I would be thrilled to receive your submissions. Welcome to the personal branding project. I'm your host Kat Elizabeth, an actor and personal branding coach who is obsessed with helping creative entrepreneurs like you build personal brands that change your life for good, from attracting bigger opportunities, more joy and freedom in your life and the ability to get paid to do the things that you love most. Each week, I'm bringing you inspiration, practical advice and the occasional dose of tough love. So you can stop dreaming and start doing what it takes to make those dreams a reality. All right, welcome back. Thanks for being here. I hope you've been finding some of these recent episodes helpful. I'll be honest, I have been winging it a little bit in that, I had a whole bunch of ideas for the podcast, like, honestly, probably I could record an episode a day for the next like 200 days. But I've just been going with my gut instincts based on conversations that I'm having, where I'm noticing people struggling, where I'm feeling inspired to talk about things, and I'm just rolling with that and seeing how it goes. So we'd love your feedback and just know that if if ever you're just like really craving an episode on something in particular that I haven't covered in a while or have never covered. I'm an open book, just let me know. And if it's something that I think yep, there's definitely more than one person that needs to know this, then I will absolutely add it to the rosta. So with no further ado, oh, gosh, this is off to a great start, isn't it? I'm rushing because I have the house to myself right now, very briefly, I've set up my little podcast booth, which just involves like a couple of pillows on my desk, and me putting a blanket over my whiteboard because my partner is down at the gym and I know he'll be back soon. So I'm like, alright, I need to do this quickly before he opens the door and ruins my sound. Anyways, let's start somewhere that is definitely, this has been coming up a lot lately. So I've been speaking to some people who have ideas for things, it may be a product offering, a service offering maybe some sort of hybrid and the question is, what do I start working on first? Like, should I create my product? Or should I be working on my brand? And my answer, really, and it look, it looks a little bit different for everybody because one of the things we need to think about is like what are the resources that you have available, including time, because the amount of time you can spend in a week working on these things, obviously is going to play, you know, play a part in the kind of strategy that we build. But what I will say is that I've noticed people take two different extremes. So one, one extreme is spending a really long time behind the scenes, developing a product till it feels perfect, and then suddenly announcing it to the world. Only the world is very small because you haven't got an audience in place, you haven't been building your audience, you haven't been building your brand, you're kind of, you're a secret. The other extreme looks very different where you invest so much in your brand, you know, and when I say invest so much for some people, this is going to be just like spending a really long time working on your brand organically. But then for others, like I've experienced this back when I was working with my partner more in like an agency format, we would have people come to us and invest in you know, expensive logos and websites and all of that before they had a product. And they never got the product off the ground like they never actually launched and that was heartbreaking for us because we were so proud of the work we did and then we're like, oh, okay, that business is not a business. So, you know, that is a problem too, which is why I don't recommend starting by investing crazy amounts of money in your brand. You know, before you've actually got a proven and validated idea. And and the other thing is like just being so scared to even, you know, offer your services like let's say, your not developing a product, you actually want to sell your services, and your like, I just have to like, start creating heaps of content and I have to build my list and I have to do this. And you've got all these things. And you spend three months I mentioned this in the last episode, like three months working on your website, when you have a service that you could offer right now and start making money from it right now, I believe there is a nice sweet spot. Obviously, there's there's room for movement, as I said, but in the middle, where we need to be tackling both. I think I mean, the thing with it, if it's a service offering, then that is like a no brainer to me, I'm like, well get it out there and make some money. I think I talked about this a couple of episodes ago. But for product development, whether it's a digital product or a physical product that takes time. So you are going to need to set aside some time to be building like to be creating that. But I want you building your brand as you go. Now there are certain things to keep in mind. So number one, you need an audience like this is the Seen in my Seen, Heard, Paid framework that I talk about, your audience built in, if you if you've been, you know, obviously building a crowd building some loyalty, you know, you've got some fans, it is so much easier when you go to launch something. The other thing that I want to just throw out there is building an audience first before you actually do the development. But using the audience building, also, as part of your research for validating ideas, is a wonderful thing. So for instance, if you have this idea, but you haven't actually done any testing, like you don't actually know for sure that this is something that people would want to buy, because you don't have an audience yet, then it might be idea to actually start working on building your brand, building an audience and asking them about it like interviewing people get like I've talked about this before, like market research calls, you can validate your ideas and be building your brand at the same time. So long story short, the answer I would give is you want to create some sort of strategy that allows you to be building momentum with your brand building visibility, and also establishing your brand foundations, because the thing is, you don't want to have to do a massive pivot, like, if you kind of, you know, slap together something and then you're not happy with it and then six months later, you want to redo your branding, that's going to affect the product strategy, all those things. So we need to start with some really clear foundations. But like I always like to say the minimum viable for you. So what is the simplest way we can launch, that does not mean going out and spending $5,000-10,000 on a website or getting a custom logo done, there is probably a sweet spot there where you can have a mix of DIY and some affordable help to piece together your brand and then also be working on this product behind the scenes. So we don't want to just go all one or the other because there are problems to both. So I hope that helps. But this also brings me to another question that I was asked is, how do you create time to work on your business and branding? When you carry a full time job and have a family and my goodness, like, yep, it's gonna be tough. It's not to say it can't be done. This is where having a plan is extremely important. Because you do your time is precious, you may only have a couple of hours in a week, if you're lucky. So you'd better believe that those hours need to be productive and not productive, like busy, but like productive getting the important things done. So you know, a lot of people I know, especially if they've got kids like it's about figuring out what is that time of day when you can maybe not get interrupted. So sometimes it might be later in the evening, or really early in the morning. And I know that sounds brutal. But this is one of those things where you go, okay, like do you want to build a brand that allows you to eventually leave your job, well, then there is going to be a period of putting in the work, doing extra hours kind of making that sacrifice Now, in order to have that huge payoff down the track. And so it's not for everyone, it's not. But I will also say that there is a beautiful thing that comes with building a brand while you have income coming in from your job, it can put a lot of pressure on you to have quit your job and then be like, oh gosh, like I have to be successful in the next three months. Because that's when all my money is gonna run out, like you don't want to be approaching things that way. I mean, maybe you're dare devil and you're like I love living on the edge. For me, I just freak out like it's not good. I make different kinds of decisions when I'm in panic mode. So what I'll be saying to you is really appreciate like the the money that you have, thanks to that job, appreciate the fact that you have a family that you're working for like that, you know, that probably gives you so much drive and purpose and is probably one of the big drivers of you wanting to even build this brand. But then make sure you figure out like what exactly what it is you're doing. What is the absolute fluff free minimum viable product of every thing. So like, How quickly can we like, what's the content strategy? And how are you going to make sure that it just, you know, you get the best content out there with the little, like, the least amount of effort? And, you know, is there any way that you could hire anyone to help you make that even easier? Yes, it costs a bit more money, but then you're also saving a lot of time. So this is just something where, you know, if you've got all the time in the world, you can afford to make more mistakes, experiment a lot more, you know, throw spaghetti at the wall, see what sticks. But if you know that you've just got such precious limited time, then I, the big thing that I'd be saying is, get yourself a strategy. So that if you only have two hours a week, like you know that every single minute is going to be accounted for it is absolutely doable, other people have done it. That does not mean it's easy, though. So I hope that answers that question. All right. Okay, what next? So what is the biggest challenge a personal branding coach faces when working with a new client? I got this question. I actually love this question. I hadn't even I haven't pre thought it through my answer, I'm just going to go with my gut here. I am going to say like, if we're talking a one on one client, often it's working through all of the limiting beliefs that are getting in the way of that client, being able to do all the things that it's going to take to build that, you know, profitable personal brand. So what you know, part of them wants to be Seen, you know, it has dreams of being on a stage and speaking on stage and getting known for something and part of them is absolutely terrified. Dealing with impostor syndrome, being a total introvert and just being like, Yeah, but can I but can I and you know, all the voices in their head just going but, you know, the markets already saturated, someone's already doing this, it takes so much more work to get past all of that and down to the strategy. The strategy part is actually really straightforward once we're there. You know, it's not the same for everyone. It's definitely not like a paint by numbers scenario. But once we can get clear on, you know, what do you actually want to achieve? Okay, like, what are the goals? What are we aiming for? Okay, cool. Like, the strategy part is very, very clear and simple to me. Like, that's just how my brain works. Maybe it's not simple if you're not a personal branding coach, but I'm just saying, that's, that's the fun free and easy part for me. But when we are spending a lot of the session just being like, okay, like, you are worthy, you're allowed to put up your prices, people aren't going to leave you like, there's just all this stuff that we go through. But I love it. I love it. This is I just believe that this is why I am here, this is my unique offering to the world is to help you get over those things. So that then you can apply that strategy and achieve all of your dreams like that is what I want to help you do. I don't want to be the person that's just like, just follow the strategy. No, like, I'm excited to help you see how amazing you are, like see you the way I see you. So it actually just it gives me a thrill even though it's extremely challenging. So thank you for that wonderful question. Oh, which brings me on to a really big question. What is a personal branding coach do? I feel like I've, I've never really gone into this in a ton of great detail, I have talked about what's inside of my programs. But that's not the same as working with me as an actual coach. So let me try and break it down. I mean, all the stuff that we've talked about. So I mean, I have a framework, the framework does not just apply to my programs, I use that framework to help guide the sessions. And so it's the get clear, get seen, get heard, get paid, repeat. So I am here to basically help you get clear on okay, so what are your goals? Who is your ideal clients? Like, you know, how are you going to communicate your value to them? Like what is the transformation that you provide? What makes you different? What parts of your story do we need to share, all of those kinds of things come in to Get Clear stage, it's like our compass for everything else moving forward. Then in the Get Seen, I help you develop a visibility strategy. So we figure out how to get you seen by those ideal clients that we just talked about, making sure you're meeting them where they're at. So you know, figuring out where what are they listening to, what are they watching? What are they searching on Google and ensuring that you start to pop up everywhere, so that you're there like, oh, I see her everywhere. I see him everywhere. Like they must know what they're talking about, they must be an expert, which is what has happened for me like I started to pop up everywhere for personal branding, thanks to things like SEO, search engine optimization. So I am a trained SEO copywriter. That's actually sort of what was one of the things that led me into eventually doing the personal branding, coaching. I also use SEO on YouTube. It's how I've grown my own following on YouTube. So I help people with that. That. And then we talk about, you know, getting you on other people's podcasts and nailing your social media content and making sure it's shareable. So really tapping into all of those organic strategies. And for the right clients, we might discuss paid strategies as well. But it's something that I'm like, let's just, let's maximize the opportunities of organic reach first. Because that is, you know, like, that is so powerful. And also part of the same strategy, we're really thinking about those first impressions. So when people first discover you, what are they seeing on social media, you know, on your LinkedIn profile on your website, and making sure that the visual first impression is giving off the right vibes, you know, we're really communicating your personality, your values, the kind of person that you, you know, trying to speak with. But then obviously, pairing that with the messaging. So the messaging is, it's everything, I'm sorry to tell you. Because I know it's the area that most people avoid, because it's also the hardest work when you don't know what you're doing. And so messaging is something that we're kind of working on throughout the entire strategy, like so we're talking, we start with the market research in, you know, Get Clear and then it gets seen, we're kind of doing some of the obvious stuff, like we're really tapping into keywords and making sure the messaging is reaching the way people are searching for you. But then in Get Heard the next piece of the framework, this is where we set you apart. So it's where we're establishing you as an expert. So you've got your expert topics, those go to things that you're going to be known for, when you're talking about the stuff you're obsessed with on other people's platforms, and you're on your own platform, polarizing topics, the stuff that makes people go, oh, oh, this person's got an opinion, like again, they must know what they're talking about. And really just nailing your website and making sure that every piece of contact that people have with you, whether it's you know, a social media caption, an email, a blog post, that it's just really speaking to your ideal client and using their language, because that is the key with messaging, you need to be having the conversation that they're like already having in their heads, if that makes sense. Like, your ideal client is already thinking all of these different things, or maybe they feeling them, they haven't even figured out how to communicate what they're feeling yet. But then you're gonna put into words what they're thinking and feeling. And they're gonna go, oh, my gosh, this is what I've needed. Like, this is what I've been waiting for this person gets me. So that is what Get Heard is really all about, then Get Paid is about your incredible on brand client journey. If you're a little bit more advanced, like if you've kind of been going at this for a while, then this might be where we really dial in a sales funnel for you. But like when I say sales funnel, I'm not talking like Click Funnels, trip wires, all of those technical things, it's really just going okay, like mapping out the entire client journey from when they discover you when they work with you and beyond. Making sure that journey is very intentional, very strategic, very nurturing. So that we're just maximizing every opportunity, we're increasing the chances that people do decide to work with you when they discover you, but also increasing the chances they're going to tell everybody they know about you. So in other words, they become raving superfans. So get Paid is really about making sure yes, you get paid, but that your client absolutely adore you. And then finally, I mentioned the Repeat step in the metrics that matter episode. So basically, this is where I'm coaching you through learning how to understand the data and track it and also reading it on your behalf and creating optimization strategies to make sure that we are actually really sort of doubling down on what's working really well and then maybe cutting out strategies that aren't performing as well, etc, etc. So, so that is kind of like I mean, it's an overview of the framework, but essentially how I work as a as a coach probably looks a little bit different to some other coaches. I like I keep tabs, you know, we all do we keep tabs on the competition. But I don't say it that way because I just think there isn't there enough clients to go around for everybody. But my approach is probably a little bit unique in that my background is as a copywriter. So I've you know, I've got five and a half years of copywriting experience as well as like marketing and advertising experience beyond that, that I bring to the table. So when you're working with me as a coach, you're also getting my copywriter eyes. So I'm often reviewing copy, you know, that you've created and helping edit it, might be providing you know, specific templates and guidance around what you should be creating, you know, whether it's for captions or for your website, and also running those hands on audits and able to do, you know, help you with things like keyword research and maximizing your SEO opportunities and things like that. So that's where it's a little bit different. Plus, as I've mentioned before, I'm my own guinea pig. So I intentionally I have a podcast, I have a YouTube channel, I dabble in on LinkedIn. And I, you know, I take every course on the market like I am not actually joking, all so that I can test out these strategies for myself and then when someone comes to me, I'm able to actually go, you know what I feel like this plus this plus this is going to get you the best results, knowing your business model, knowing your experience level, knowing the size of the team, or you know, if you're DIY-ing, knowing the amount of time you have knowing your personality type. So it's really about, I custom shape a strategy once I've gotten to know you and you and your goals, to make sure that whatever we're creating, it's not just going to get results, but it's going to feel really good because that is one of the biggest problems I think we're seeing right now is that we're all being thrown these checklists and roadmaps, and, you know, just do this and then you're gonna have success and like paint by numbers funnels, and it's just, it feels so icky and gross to most people, because you're just you're trying on somebody else's strategy for size. And, you know, you probably don't necessarily have the confidence to tweak it, because they're like, Oh, well, they told me to do it exactly like this, or I won't see the results, but you're not going to see the results if it doesn't feel good and if it's just not a strategy that even makes sense for your brand, and your business and your audience. So yeah, long story short, here for actual coaching, the mindset coaching here to help you create the strategy, here to review your content, and then often I'll end up, you know, a lot of clients will end up maybe if they need it, you know, getting me to actually write their copy for them or, or help with some hands on stuff as well. That's for a limited number of people. That is my disclaimer, because I'm only one woman, while we're on the topic, I am already getting really busy for Q1 of 2021, that was not my plan, I was planning on doing a lot of work on my business getting caught up, you know, like updating all of my, my strategies like my evergreen funnel, well, that's all out the window right now, because I'm working with a lot of clients, and I love it. But what I wanted to let you know is that if you have been listening for a while, and you'd be like, Oh, one day I want to work with Kat, if you've been kind of going, I would like to work with Kat in early 2021. Take this as the sign to reach out and get in touch with me because I really believe that I'll need to kind of lock in the rest of my schedule pretty soon, like in the next couple of weeks. And that will be my books closed for Q1 because it's just so quickly getting out of hand so that I'm talking copywriting I'm talking like launch and funnel strategy and one on one coaching as far as the Seen, Heard, Paid program that has got an evergreen enrollment. So if you ever want to join and work with me in that capacity, which is like my most budget friendly, you know but really high value offering so the perfect starting place, if you're still just getting established, and you just want those foundations, then you can absolutely go check that out at any point in time. All the information for everything I do basically is on my website right now. Or you can just drop me a DM over on Instagram. And we'll chat that way. But while I am on the topic, actually, while I'm on no topic, I'm just rambling. And the question. So here we go. How often do creative entrepreneurs typically update their branding? Do you notice any patterns? This is a really interesting question. Now, I can't speak for all creative entrepreneurs, just for myself and all of the creative entrepreneurs I know, which is a lot. And I will say it depends. I would say there's kind of a couple of elements to the branding. I feel like your visual branding, if you do it intentionally and strategically from the beginning and you don't have some you know cheap and nasty logo that you end up hating within three weeks, then there's a good chance you'll be able to have your visual branding last a really long time. You know, I've recently kind of refreshed my visuals, probably a I mean a year, when's the last time I did it, I feel like I've had them for about a year and I just recently did that website refresh. I used mostly the same color palette by introduced I kind of replaced one of my blues with a with the teal. So it was a really minor thing. Because I found that people, they really recognized my brand at this point. And it was risky to change it too much. So that's something to keep in mind. You don't want to be updating it all the time, especially your visuals. Because yeah, they can become very well known. So do your research, do your planning at the beginning and make sure you like what you're attaching to. But then when it comes to your messaging, this is the thing that is just an ever evolving beast. So I have I mentioned that I updated my my messaging recently and it's this is part of the repeat stage as well of the framework. So we're not just talking about you reading the results, blah, blah, blah. We're talking about always going back like we have this constant loop where we revisit Get Clear and we need to make sure that we are still actually wanting to serve the same clients, we need to make sure our offering hasn't changed and we need to regularly get on calls with our ideal clients to get their language and make sure we're staying, you know, keeping a finger on the pulse. So that we can continually revisit our messaging and just keep polishing, I didn't want to say keep making it better, it's just that it ends up it changes. So I had to update mine, I was kind of aiming for one thing when I first launched the business, and then, you know, learned a lot from this year and realized, oh, hold on, I want to just tweak a little bit who I'm speaking to, and what each of my offerings is for and this is also about those levels of customer awareness, you may or may not have heard of the concept by Eugene Schwartz, who was a very well known copywriter back in the day, back in like the mad man days and he had the the five levels of customer awareness from completely unaware to, you know, problem aware, solution aware, I'm butchering these completely, but basically, meeting your customer or client where they're at in their awareness of their problem or your solution. So we have to be really careful, like if you're offering adjusts, and you're like, hold on the I've realized, like, I'm actually speaking to someone who, you know, has already been trying to solve this problem for years, you're going to be using different languaging to someone who is only just aware, just recently become aware that they even have a problem. So that's where we're just constantly dialing that in and the best way to do this is just getting on calls. And then applying what you learn to your copy. Obviously, it goes beyond that, which is why some people end up hiring a copywriter. Honestly, my preference is for you to do it yourself if you possibly can. Because I think you can absolutely get just as good results as long as you have a bit of guidance. So this is a very long winded answer but essentially, it's like, your brand is always evolving. It's just sometimes you might sit down and make it a very, like firm thing of like, okay, I need to do an overhaul. Which brings me to kind of the second or third question. It was like a group of questions. Thanks, Jen. How often do entrepreneurs do a whole overhaul? And I mean, I sort of touched on this in the last episode, where I'm talking about what to do when so I think you there is definitely a stage like you have your startup version of your brand that gets you so far. And then eventually you start to feel you've outgrown it. So it's probably the brand that you did yourself, you know, so it's like involves a bit of Canva, you know, a WordPress template or maybe not even that, like maybe it was Wix. No offense to Wix website users like Wix is a lot better than it used to be. But that is your starter website, because it's the easiest one to get started with. I was also a Wix starter website user. So I'm certainly not speaking from my high horse. But eventually I started to have higher demands for my website, I wanted to more control over it, etc. So, once you've outgrown it, that's when you start to go, Okay, do I do the next one myself but at a higher level? Or do I hire someone, but when this happens is different for everybody? I think it's really fascinating to keep an eye on some of the really big entrepreneurs and how often they do it. Like I definitely am always keeping an eye on like Amy Porterfield, Marie Forleo, Jenna Kucha, because I think they're a perfect example of like people who, even though they have it so dialed in every once in a while, they will still go back and revisit it because they just, it's not just about your audience, it's also keeping up with the times the fact is design trends change, and what people expect from a website kind of changes. So there's no right or wrong here. But if you start to feel ashamed, or embarrassed by your website, and just that it doesn't fully reflect all of your awesome, then it's probably time to do some sort of overhaul, but just do it carefully. Don't just throw money at it really figure out what is it about it that's bothering me like is it that I need to just burn it to the ground, or maybe there are there are a few tweaks that I can make. Maybe everything is great. It's just a bit of an outdated website theme. So keep keep your fonts, keep the colors, keep your images just change the website theme. Or maybe it's your images that are out of date, your personal branding photoshoot, the last one you did was years ago or you've never done a professional one. Maybe that's the thing to focus on next and see if that helps. So I think you can chip away at it. I think overhauls are very expensive and very disruptive. They're huge projects. And even if you're hiring professionals, they're huge project. So that's just something to keep in mind. So this has been a little bit of an all over the shop episode, but I hope you found something helpful in here and yeah, let me know if you've got more questions for another FAQs type session. And as I said, if you have been thinking about working with me, this is your invitation to get in touch. I know I've had here's another question I've got, I've got like, do you even have availability? Aren't you completely booked up? Do you have a waitlist? Look right now, there is not technically a waitlist, I can definitely, like, I'm able to start bringing on a few new coaching clients soon. For bigger projects like funnel builds, launch strategy, website copy, usually there's a bit more of a wait time. And it's like, it's, it's a longer term project as well. But it's best to start talking about it now. Like if you if you want to relaunch your website and have it live in, you know, April or May, now is the time to start thinking about it. So that's all I'm gonna say, this is not a hard sell. Like, because I'm just not about that life. I believe that the people who want who were meant to work with me will end up working with me, but I just wanted to give you a little nudge in case you're being shy. Or you've just been like going, Oh, I'll wait until dot dot dot because yeah, blink and you miss it. We're gonna be, we're gonna be in Q2 already. Like I'm not even coping. Anyways, that's enough for me today. Have a wonderful rest of your week. I will not see you next week, because it's Christmas week. So I hope you are not listening to podcasts, you're not on YouTube, that you're able to even if it's zoom, because of you know, 2020 life, I just hope that you're spending time in some way with your loved ones, looking after yourself, chilling out, and just really celebrating how far you've come this year. Because even though if it wasn't the year that you wanted it to be I know, I know, you've done better than you think you did. I know there are things to celebrate, I know you've grown. Sometimes it's more just internal. Sometimes it's like an emotional and mental level up rather than a, you know, a financial one or a business one, but that is okay, because we have to do all the level ups. You know, I have found that the biggest shifts I've made internally ended up leading to the biggest shifts externally. So do not sort of poopoo it if you did not hit your financial goals this year. That is okay. There is always next year but like what did you do this year that you're just like, Oh my gosh, that was actually awesome. It was a tough year and I got through it anyway. So that's all from me your friendly neighborhood cheerleader. I will see you oh no, I won't see you but you'll hear me in a couple of weeks.