Taking the leap of faith.
I was probably like most of you, working day to day to pay the bills. I’d forged a good career for myself, travelled to exotic locations on photo shoots, worked with top brands but ended up hating my job.
Everyday was a chore, the early starts, the commute, the beaurocracy of it all, I worked hard, did more than my job description (it’s in my nature) but getting passed over for promotion again was the final straw. I handed in my notice the next day, a place I’d worked for in some way or another for over 20 years. The phrase “you’re brave” was banded about, “what are you going to do?”, “how will you pay the bills?”. I’ll admit, I was petrified but I’d seen my husband set up several businesses and he seemed to be able to re-invent himself with each one. The key thing he had was drive and an unfailing belief that he wouldn’t fail.
I gave myself the school summer holidays to get my head together and put my new business things in place, I would strike out, working on projects just as soon as the kids went back. That’s what I told myself anyway!
Except projects don’t just come to you, you have find them, you actually have to put yourself out there. Now I’m a natural introvert and happy to be, put me in a business situation and I can witter away for hours about branding but trying to tell people how good I am at what I do and why, I’m not so vocal.
I cried at my first networking event, looking back my confidence was still low, I had no faith in myself, why would anyone listen to what I had to say. So I volunteered my services to a few charities, posters, tickets, anything they needed and I found they loved me. I made contacts and tried my hand at another more informal networking event, it boosted my confidence and gave me the chance to remind myself how unique the work experiences I have had over the years are.
I found that people appreciated my friendly nature, the fact I prefer to have a good old natter and get to know you, rather than box fill you as ‘just another client’. It meant I truly was truly able to create unique and personal brand identities for each of my clients.
I understood totally the issues that plagued new businesses and it became my mission to not make their branding one of them. I want new business owners to find their identity and have the confidence to use it themselves.
I am a firm believer that the client owns that branding, they should understand why it looks like it does, why those colours are used, but most importantly they should be able to use it themselves. I know designers hate Canva, I know some designers don’t want you to know the colour breakdown of your brand colours or the typeface used or they just give you a jpeg of your logo so you have to keep coming back to them when you need anything designing.
I didn’t want the branding experience to be a bad one, I wanted to help clients be self-sufficient so they can use Canva, provide logos already sized for social media. I mean what is the point of spending weeks designing a brand identity and then not seeing it used everywhere properly! Unbeknown to me I stood for something that people really appreciated, they felt they could ask me questions, make a change, ask for help, and I love that relationship I form with clients. One client and I meet up every month (via zoom at the mo) to see how we are both getting on, it’s like a little support bubble. And I truly love to see her business grow.
There is nothing more satisfying than seeing an instagram post one of your recent clients has built themselves, they’re using the colours, they’re using the templates and it looks amazing. They have that consistent look and feel that creates loyalty and trust with their own audience and what’s more they’ve been able to do it themselves, saving money and time.
So yes, looking back I was very brave to take the leap but I'm so glad I did. The people I've met, those who've helped me on my journey will be friends for life and hopefully I've made their lives a little bit better too.
Let's have a chat about your leap of faith, email me firstname.lastname@example.org