Having trouble launching your brand?


Running a business begins with setting goals. And to achieve those goals, we create a list of tasks that need to be completed. But do you ever feel like you can't complete a certain task because you're not sure if you will succeed? And that thought of not succeeding is enough to make you not want to try in the first place?

We all go through ups and downs, but at the crucial stage of launching your brand, you can't afford to procrastinate for days or weeks, and certainly not months or years. So here are six things that will free your mind from those negative thoughts and unleash your productivity. 

1. Remember, you're not alone

A recent client was struggling to plan her brand launch and reached out to me for guidance. She had a clear vision in mind and had already done a lot of brainstorming on content. However, she also recognized that she had reached a roadblock and needed help in order to move forward with her launch.

The simple act of talking about her struggles brought clarity and stress relief, even before she made the decision to work with me. So my first piece of advice, whether you choose to hire someone or not, is to remember that you're not alone. Find someone who will listen to and support you, because having an outlet for frustration is crucial to overcoming that frustration.

After signing on, she admitted she was having a hard time with the first task: to define her product offer. As she started sending some bullet points my way, she always wrote the same phrase at the end, "This definitely needs revision."

2. Expect Revisions, Not Perfection

Launching a brand is very personal, so when you have to start sharing ideas with someone else, it can feel daunting. My client had to share ideas with me, someone she had only known for a short time, and ignore those negative thoughts about being judged by others. But more than that, she had to ignore her SELF-judgment and realize that when you define your product offer, (or any aspect of your brand) it's not going to be perfect the first time around. You have to let go of the fear of writing down a wrong answer – which was no doubt engrained in our heads from school – and just let the ideas flow.

3. Trick Your Mind Into Letting Go

Acting with imperfection, in other words, to do something that may be incomplete, inaccurate, or not a representation of your best work, may seem like a bad idea, but the only truly bad idea is never acting at all. Trick your mind into letting go of the fear of failure, by repeating that phrase over and over to yourself. And never forget that there's a delete key on our laptops for a reason! Any time you start a task, whether it's hashing out your product offer, creating a buyer persona, or writing a blog, remember you can always hit the delete key, and any trace of imperfect content or ideas will be gone.

4. Take a Break and Come Back

I can't stress enough how important it is to give yourself time to take a break and return to a task. That's a great way to allow yourself to feel at ease when acting with imperfection – because you know it's only temporarily imperfect, and after a 20 minute walk or a coffee break, you can come back and really make it perfect! (That's how I manage blog writing!!)

5. Remember Nothing Stays the Same

Remind yourself that what is true now, may not be true in three days, three weeks, or three months. Your audience may be different, you may expand your services, and your prices may increase. Challenge yourself to put everything on paper that's in your mind, and breathe deeply with the knowledge that it's all going to change anyway, so the fact that you wrote it down, imperfectly, is the most perfect thing you can do!

6. CONSULT a Brand Strategist

If you're still struggling to organize your to-do list and make progress on daily tasks, consult a brand strategist who can provide structure, offer daily support, and make recommendations that will achieve results. If you're ready to take those steps ASAP, let's connect! If not, you can also take this questionnaire to find out what strategies are right for you.



Branded Social Media Content on a Budget

No budget for branding photography?

If hiring a branding photographer is not for you, there are other ways you can get beautiful photos that show off your digital presence and impress your followers. Here is a step by step look at how to recreate the look you see below. Or save yourself the effort and hire an expert.


create branded content without spending a dime

1. Go to Unsplash.com or Pexels.com to find thousands of downloadable images.

Try typing in keywords like iPhone, laptop, or desk. The downside? These photos are all over the internet and it may feel less unique, but that's the upside - you can customize it as much as you want by adding screenshots of your online presence.

2. Use a free design tool to edit your images.

If you aren't comfortable in the Adobe Creative Suite, one of my favorite design tools is Canva.com. It's easy to use, simple to learn, and will save you hours of pulling your hair out with Photoshop or InDesign. Once you create your Canva account, you can upload the stock images and start editing them. 

3. Take a screenshot of your content.

Capture your website's home page, your logo, social media profile, or any other digital asset that you want to display. Then upload these to Canva. Now you're read to combine the images.

4. Play with it until you're happy.

It may take some cropping, tilting, and tweaking, but the straight edges of the iPhone, iPad or laptop screen make it reasonably stress-free to fit the images correctly.

5. Rinse and repeat.

Once you're done, go back and try some more. I've included a few examples of my own to give you more ideas.

MWE Creative Banner (3).jpg

If you try out my steps and still find it too time consuming, I've got you covered. For a limited time, I'm offering social media packages that combine elegant stock footage with the brand content of your choice. Get all the benefits without the hassle. Click below to learn more.

5 Signs It's Time to Upgrade Your Brand

I recently connected with a prospective client who felt their brand could use an upgrade. Kudos to them, because this is not always an easy thing to recognize. When you're busy running daily operations, connecting with clients, and selling your product or service, it can be hard to make time for the little details. But, you're already here, so why not devote the next few minutes to a little brand analysis? These five signs will tell you it's time to upgrade your brand.

1. You're not posting regularly on social media

Does your brand have a social media presence? A Facebook page with a few sporadic posts, an Instagram profile with 50 followers, or maybe you used to write weekly blogs on a consistent basis, but other priorities came up and you haven't gotten back into it. Whatever the case, if your social engagement is practically non existent, you're likely missing out on opportunities to connect with your audience, announce important product information, and convert followers to customers.

2. Your brand links are inconsistent

Take a look at your website URL, your brand name, and your social media usernames. Do they all match up? This is one of the first things I check for when meeting with prospective clients. It's a basic branding step that, when overlooked, can confuse the hell out of viewers and make it more difficult for customers to connect. For example, you're a dentist and your company is called Perfect Smile, but your website is PerfectSmilesToday.com and your Facebook business page is SmileToday, and your Instagram is @Smiles_Today. A client may post a before and after photo praising the difference your dentistry has made in their lives, and they want to tag you in the post but give up because they don't find you right away. Maybe that example seems over the top, but it happens more often than you think. Just remember, people will have a hard time establishing a memorable connection with your business if there are little inconsistencies throughout your branding.

3. Your website hasn't been updated in months...or years

This one has a real simple test. Open your website on your mobile phone. Is it easy to navigate? Is the text the right size for the page? Do the photos load properly? If the site hasn't been updated in the last few years, chances are it isn't "mobile optimized." Why does that matter? No reason...oh yeah...except that, "50% of smartphone users won't recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site." (Impact)

4. The idea of creating video content makes your head spin

Video is as important to branding as mobile optimization is to websites. With attention spans dwindling, you no longer have the time to capture the viewers' interest that you used to. People need to see your product in action, they want to meet the team behind the service, and they expect to find testimonials and visual case studies to inform their decision making. If your brand isn't visible, it's invisible.

5. You're reading this blog

Gut instinct is never something to ignore. And if you feel it's time to make some changes, you're probably right. For anyone struggling with this decision, I've got you covered. This branding questionnaire will help clarify your business goals and narrow down what's missing from your strategy. You can use it to figure out how well you know yourself, your audience, and your brand. The more answers you fill in, the closer you'll be to figuring out the next steps for your business.

First Time Hiring a Freelancer? This Post is for You!


Curious about hiring a freelancer to help with your marketing? If this is your first time making that decision, it is very normal to feel uncertain. You're probably thinking "How do I know if this is worth it, how do I figure out my budget, and what should I know before signing a contract!?" These are all great questions, and I've shared my thoughts on those and a few other FAQs below. Don't feel like reading the whole thing? Click below to go straight to the freelance client questionnaire and find out what services you'd want from your ideal freelancer.


How do I know if hiring a freelancer is worth it?

Hiring a freelancer is worth it if you consider that time is money. If you are spending 2 hours on a project that could be completed in 30 minutes, then it is worth it to consider outsourcing that project to someone who specializes in it. Not only will they do it faster, but they will also do it better. So you can be working on something else AND see improved results for your business. 

How do I know if they are good at what they do?

Make sure to review the freelancer's portfolio. This will likely be in the form of a personal website or a portfolio platform like Behance. If they don't have some kind of digital display of their services, that is an indication that they have not completed many projects, are new to the game, or haven't taken the effort to properly display their work. When you visit a freelancer's website you can see whether they have experience in your project. For example, if you want someone to build you a website, there should be evidence that they have built a website before. Additionally, many freelancers include a testimonial page like this one so you can see what past clients have said about working with them.

How do I know if what they are charging is fair? 

As the client, you are in charge. You have every right to do your own research and see if other freelancers will do the same project for less. Maybe your freelancer will match a lower bid, but if not, they should be able to explain why they are charging you what they are. Often, it is an hourly rate and they estimate how many hours a project will require. Some freelancers, myself included, will reduce the total if after a project is completed, it required fewer hours than predicted. Some freelancers, alternatively, may offer a flat rate and you can ask them to break that down. They should be able to explain where the numbers are coming from regardless.

How do I figure out my budget?

This is tricky, and really depends on you and your business. You may not want to share these numbers with your freelancer, but the rule of thumb I go by says young businesses only 1-2 years old should reinvest between 12% and 20% of their total revenue back into their marketing budget. So a hairdresser making $4000 per month could choose to spend $480-$800 per month on marketing.


What should I know before signing a contract?

Make sure the freelancer has outlined the payment schedule. Will they send an invoice at the end of the month, or is there a deposit required before getting started? Additionally, you'll want to have an idea of the project timeline. It is good to set deadlines such as one website page completed every week by Friday, or quantify the task e.g. 500 word blog post every other week. Make sure the freelancer has included a protocol for late payments or late deliverables. Finally, review the confidentiality and decide if the freelancer should sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

What other questions should I ask my freelance candidate? 

If I were hiring a freelancer, I would want to know what their communication style is like. Will we have a once weekly phone call, will I receive monthly reports, or will we text every other day. This will depend on the scope of the project, and your own preferences as much as the freelancer's. On that note, you'll want to know how they handle revisions. Revisions include any piece of work that you look at before it is completed. It is important you sign off before a video is posted or a newsletter gets sent, because you may have small changes to make. The freelancer may designate a certain number of revisions which will help you stay focused and not continually make small changes often. Additionally, you'll want to know your freelancer's availability. Do they want a short term project of a few months like helping you launch a new product, or will they take on long-term work such as managing your entire marketing strategy.


Any other advice?

Don't worry too much, your freelancer may have more experience communicating with clients, than you do with freelancers. The early stage of working with a freelancer is kind of like a first date...except none of the nerves about looking good, saying the right things, or impressing anyone. I mean, the freelancer may feel that, but you -- the client -- don't have to! The best thing you can do, much like that first date, is be yourself, be honest, and see if there is chemistry.

Still not sure if hiring a freelancer is the right thing for you? Fill out my Client Questionnaire and see how many questions you can answer about your own marketing needs.