Did I just say that? Did I just write the word fuck in its entirety, in a headline for this blog? No fancy *stars* to protect our modesty today, not this time.
And yes I know, it’s a polarising word.
But I didn’t include it here to be controversial. And yes I will mostly revert to adding that tasteful star back in – because saying a word and seeing it on paper in all it’s 4 letter glory is a different thing. A very visual thing. More on that another time. Instead, I say it here because it’s a word there’s a very good chance you’re going to hear me say – if you’re around me for any amount of time.
And yes, I am learning to censor my language a little around my 1-year-old, but we’re adults here, and censoring is not something we need to do.
That’s the thing with Making Your Mark and building a brand around you.
It allows you to express yourself. It inspires you to create something that feels real, not fake. And it allows you to show your perfect customers who you really are – and what you’ll be like to work with.
So if you’re interested in putting YOU out there in a way that’s liberating, genuine, and comfortable, you’re in the right place.
This, right here, is the place to hang out if you want to create a brand that feels as good as wearing comfy new slippers while snuggled up by the fire, with a hot cup of mocha loaded with mini marshmallows!
If you’ve been waiting for permission to be yourself in your business now you have it.
Go for it. Be yourself. And if that means being a lil bit sweary every now and again, so be it!
Going back to that swear word in question…
The other reason I said ‘f*ck’ – there’s that lil star for modesty – is because it’s part of my favourite phrase – one which my friends and family have picked up on and repeat to me almost daily!
Which means you can expect to hear it often if you hang around here. So take this as your warning… I will invite you to Crack The F*ck On! frequently.
Because as well as inspiring you into action, it’s also another way to describe the CTFO process – my four-step method that will help you Make Your Mark by unlocking and expressing the brand that’s already in you.
Which is what I’d LOVE to share with you today.
If you’re ready to create a brand that feels so right you can’t quite believe it, then it’s time to get comfy. Pop the kettle on, put your feet up – it’s time to discover the branding journey we’re going to take together.
OH AND I’ll also share a simple, 5-minute activity that’s going to help you unlock the secret personality of your brand with just ONE photo.
It’ll be fun, I promise!
– the one thing everything about your brand is built on
To really Make Your Mark, you must first put YOU at the CORE of your brand. Which is why CORE is the very first activity in the CTFO Process and it’s a NON-NEGOTIABLE.
** DO NOT shortcut or side-step this part of the process **
If you do, you’ll find it a whole lot harder to create a brand designed to empower you to do the things you want to do with your business.
After all, it’s your business. Your business should serve YOU first. And with you at the CORE of your brand, you’ll find it a whole lot easier to express what you love and connect with the people that love what you do through your work.
And NO this does not only apply if you are building a personal brand.
ALL brands start here.
A brand built on you, on a real-life personality, will be much more meaningful than a brand built on a random idea or a fad. And the big bonus is a personable brand gives your audience an insight into what it’s like to work with you – without you having to tell them. So if you’re an introvert, it’s time to celebrate! With your personality at your core, you can let your brand do a big chunk of the talking for you.
But that’s not all.
A brand with YOU at its core is seriously hard to copy. So if you’re sick of people stealing your ideas and processes, build a personal brand – because what’s one thing that can’t be copied – YOU. No one can be YOU.
Remember, people buy from people they know, like, and trust.
So it’s your job to make sure your brand inspires all that ^
Make it easy, make it impactful, and use your personality to disrupt the timeline.
SNAPSHOT – HOW TO FIND YOUR CORE
Ask yourself WHAT DO YOU LOVE?
Don’t overthink this. Instead, set a timer for three minutes and write down what comes to mind…
– who’s your Perfect Customer?
Step Two is to define your TRIBE.
Yup, no mistakes here. This stage comes second to you. While your Perfect Customer is super important, the first person your business must serve is YOU. That’s why you come first – because who you are determines everything else.
With you at the CORE of your brand, you’ll instinctively attract like-minded people. People with a similar worldview and similar values to you.
It’s another reason why your brand starts with you.
When you attract like-minded people, it’s soooooooo much easier to build rapport and persuade them to know, like, and trust you.
In other words, with YOU expressed through your brand, it’s a whole lot easier to inspire the right people to work with you. And that’s how it should be.
Why make it so hard on yourself? Instead, when picturing your perfect customer choose someone you LOVE working with – and someone who’s going to love you.
SNAPSHOT – HOW TO DEFINE YOUR TRIBE
Think about a real person that you love to work with. What makes that working relationship so perfect? Write down now what comes to mind…
– how people instinctively feel when they interact with you and your brand
Have you ever had the feeling of wanting something desperately, but not really being able to explain why?
For example, you see a jacket you just love or a shirt to die for. There’s no logical reason for your sudden attraction, but something deep inside tells you that you’ve gotta have it and before you know it you’re dangling your card in front of the sales assistant!
That’s the power of feelings when it comes to your brand. Feelings pull on the purse strings and lead to sales.
So I’m sorry to break the news, but us humans can be so very fickle!
One minute we’re logical, intelligent, deep, analytical thinkers.
Then the next minute, something inspires our feelings and that rational brain gets overruled!
It’s how emotions get people buying. We then rationalise our choices with logic. It doesn’t happen the other way around.
Feelings rule – always.
And that’s why your brand must be designed to inspire feelings in your audience. But not just any ole feelings! I’m talking about the feelings that make you the one they just can’t live without.
The I-want-what-she’s-got effect.
The I’ve-gotta-buy-it-just-because-you-made-it type of reaction.
And that’s the job of your brand.
Your visuals must wake up the emotions and inspire your perfect customer to feel something significant. And those feelings can’t be accidental.
That’s where the persuasion comes in.
The right visuals lay the groundwork that enables you to build a strong connection between your perfect customer and you – even if you’ve never spoken a word to each other.
Just think about the power of that.
SNAPSHOT – HOW TO DEFINE THE RIGHT FEELINGS
Pick three words that best describe what you want your Tribe to associate with your brand, how you want people to feel when they work with you…
– What you’re really selling
With your Core, Tribe, and Feelings figured out, now you can start to craft products and services that reflect you, appeal to your perfect customer, and inspire the feelings that get people buying in a frenzy!
When these three brand elements are aligned, the product creation part is so much easier.
Plus what you’re offering will make sense based on who you are and what people know about you.
In other words, there’s no more second-guessing or creating stuff that flops.
With CTF in alignment, your Offerings become a natural extension of all those things – and that gets the right people excited to buy.
SNAPSHOT – HOW TO DEFINE THE RIGHT OFFERINGS
What do you love that your Tribe will also love?
Set the timer for three minutes and see what you come up with…
Phew, that’s it for today, we covered a lot just then, here’s a quick recap…
Taken together, the CTFO process is a fun, but easy way to communicate visually with your audience – and make their buying decisions simpler.
It’s the easiest way to draw the right people to YOU – so you can Make Your Mark.
Create your brand through this process and you’ll
- Build something meaningful, not random
- Make it easier to show up as YOU
- Effortlessly attract the people you really want to work with
- Attract people who are excited to work with you
- Build a business that works for you
- Express yourself, break the rules, Make Your Mark
If this stuff is rocking your world, stay tuned for the next blog in this series where we’ll dig a little deeper into the work you can do yourself to CTFO your brand.
But right now, here’s that simple, 10-minute activity that will show you how easy it can be to find the visuals that reflect you – even if you think you don’t have a design bone in your body.
CREATE YOUR BRAND FROM A SINGLE PICTURE – seriously
You heard me, it is entirely possible to pull the bones for your brand – colours, images, styles – from a single picture. This is something I did myself not long ago.
The key here is not to overthink.
That’s why I want you to set a timer and give yourself 10 minutes. That way your logical, analytical brain has less time to interfere and screw up your creativity!
Wanna have a go?
- Grab a camera – the one on your smartphone is just perfect – so you can take a photo.
- Look around your home – because it will be full of things that you love
- Take a few photos of things you love, things that feel like you – don’t overthink this. Follow your instincts!
- Flick through the photos you just took and choose one that calls out to you the most, one that sums you up, the one that gives us a peek into who you are
- Take a few minutes to dissect the photo and note down why you love what’s in this picture
Here’s my example…
I picked these flowers from my garden. I just love their unusual texture, shape, and colour. I also love the structure of the flowers and the repeating patterns, which is a big ‘thing’ of mine. These flowers work brilliantly in my favourite jug. I love the deep, dark blue on this jug and I love how the cream contrasts.
Yes, it’s a bit quirky weird, but that’s me! I love the sense of adventure and boldness this picture expresses.
And so from this photo, I started developing my visual brand style to reflect the values I felt this image shared.
Here’s a peek at my latest Instagram pics where you can see the visual style from this one photo translated into the graphics for my brand…
Can you see the visual style from that first photo showing up in my brand visuals here?
What about you?
Go on, have a go yourself, and don’t forget to share your picture and analysis over in our Facebook community.
And I’ll see you back here real soon for more mark-making brand ideas.