Kathleen joins Emily today to discuss the ever-evolving nature of business branding, defining what exactly branding is, what to do with your brand when your business becomes more complex, and what to do when your ideas outgrow the business and brand that you've already built.
This episode is sponsored by Freshbooks Cloud Accounting and Acuity Scheduling.
Get full show notes for this episode here
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Kathleen joins Emily today to discuss the ever-evolving nature of business branding, defining what exactly branding is, what to do with your brand when your business becomes more complex, and what to do when your ideas outgrow the business and brand that you've already built.
This episode is sponsored by Freshbooks Cloud Accounting and Acuity Scheduling.
Get full show notes for this episode here
Follow Being Boss on Instagram: @beingbossclub
Follow Being Boss on Twitter: @beingbossclub
Follow Being Boss on Facebook: facebook.com/beingbossclub
in a few short weeks, we're gathering together with some of the most boss people we know to throw down on the biggest event we've ever put on. From best selling authors and seven figure business owners, toe working creatives and diehard entrepreneurs, we've gathered some of the best in the business to come and share with you their secrets for finding the time they need to do the work and how they share what they do with the right people to grow the creative business of their dreams. Join us in New Orleans on April 19 through the 21st 2020 to hear from our amazing roster of boss experts. For example, you'll hear Mike McAlary. Let's talk about how to run your business like clockwork. And in case you think his name's familiar, he's the guy who wrote Profit First. We interviewed him on the episode 1 26 of this podcast. You can also hear from Vivian K, founder of Kinky Curly Yaki, speak on building a seven figure empire as a single mom, using her vibrant personality and authenticity as her secret sauce to success and many, many more. There will be sessions on automating your business to help you work smarter, not harder hiring in delegating to help you grow and scale. And that's just the beginning to see our full roster of speakers in an outline of the sessions you can be a part of, go to being boss dot club slash conference to learn more that's being boss dot club slash conference. I hope to see there. I'm Emily Thompson and I'm
Kathleen Shannon, and this is being boss in this episode of being boss. Joined Kathleen and I, as we discuss the ever evolving nature of your business is brand, including What to do is your business becomes more complex and what to do when your ideas out grow the business and brand you've already built. As always, you can find all the tools, books and links we reference on the show Notes at www being boss dot club are friends of fresh books. Know that managing a team has its own set of challenges, especially when you have your own jobs. D'oh! That's why Fresh books is designed to help growing teens just add team members, get them tracking time, logging expenses and contributing to projects plus fresh books, lets you share files and messages right in the APP to make working together efficient and seamless. Are you a boss with the growing team? Well, fresh books has you covered. They just introduced five user types. Each puts different limits on what your team can access in fresh books. They're easy to assign and gives your team members access to every tool and report or limit them to specific features like time tracking and invoicing. For a limited time, Fresh Books is offering our listeners 50% off your 1st 3 months. When you upgrade to a paid plan, go to fresh books dot com slash being boss and Inter being boss in the How did You hear about a section that's fresh? Books dot com slash being boss for 50% off your 1st 3 months.
Okay, so, Emily, you know that my jam is branding. I love thinking about branding. I love figure out the solutions and problems and questions and answers around branding. I just love it. I think that it's a great way we'll we'll get into that. But recently I got a question from someone who follows Break creative on Instagram, asking When do I need more than one brand, or when do I need to have multiple brand story need multiple brands? And this is a question that I get a lot from my one on one clients from people that like anytime they find out, I'm a branding professional. It always comes back to this. And then there are like a myriad of branches that come off of this tree. Other question. Right where it do you need to use your name or not? Do you need an umbrella brand? Do you need more than one social media account? There are so many different considerations, and this is a big conversation, and I wanted to. I wanted to write a block post about it, but it is just too nuanced and tricky, and you kind of have to hash it out because it all depends. There's no black and white answer for sure, And this isn't just a conversation that you have one time and you're done. It's a conversation that you have in your business constantly ongoing for years and years. I know business owners who have been, you know, in the game 10 15 2025 years, and they're still saying, What do I do with this new thing that I'm creating to a brand it separately? A. Do I need to change my entire business branding? Do I need to put my name in it? All of those things you just said These are conversations that you have constantly for years. So I'm excited to dive into this because it is such a topic. It is something that I think about it, something that I'm talking to my people about as well. And for you who are listening. We know that creative entrepreneurs in particular, are multi, passionate beings. We all have, ah, Brazilian ideas and one of the things that will often keep us from doing The next thing is we don't know howto brand it or we don't know how it fits into our current business. And so sometimes that can stop us from doing things or it doesn't stop you, and you end up having this insane quilt of brain. That's exactly what I was going to say. Like you end up having this crazy quilt of different brands that you have to maintain and sustain and pay attention to and nurture. And that can be tricky to. Yeah, I mean, I've seen I've seen businesses that again 10 15 2025 years into it. They have these elaborate, beautiful quilts of businesses and products and things that they've created, and they don't know what to do with them. So I'm excited to talk about this today. It's something that we have faced in something that everyone we work with is facing. It's something that so many people who are listening thio this are facing, Um, because it's a really long, big conversation and even in today's episode were only going to be like, sort of touching the tip of the iceberg. Basically, yeah, and it's an evolving conversation. It's a conversation that you'll continue to have, because as a Brandon as a business, you're Brandon business continued toe evolve. Even if you start from a single idea, you're going to have more ideas, more offerings, the markets change and your business can become very complex after, especially after a decade or two of business. But even I would say after 3 to 5 years, you start to develop new ideas and ways of working and new offerings. I know that whenever I'm branding someone the thing that always changes the most that they can rely on changing the most is their business offerings. How they offer what they dio, maybe even their process, a little bit for what they dio people. You might go from one on one offerings if they're a service provider to doing group offerings or turning their process into an E course, which we did upbraid. Or, you know, maybe, um, they r a maker or have a brick and mortar, and they want to pivot the direction of like what they're known for selling, you know? So, Emily, I mean, we'll get into so many case studies. I cannot wait to talk about almanac and how you've grown that and what that's meant for your branding. I can't wait to talk about why we decided Thio make being boss its own brand versus wrapping it under either braid or in the shop biography. So we've had these conversations ourself and even some of the topics that we're gonna hit today. We don't have the answers to, which is why I wanted to talk it out on a podcast versus writing it into a block post. Yeah, let's do it So that's kind of what we're looking at today. We're here. Thio have a conversation around answering the question of how to grow your brand in a way that makes sense. So before we dive into deep, I'm gonna grill you. Are you ready for this? Oh, I love it. I feel like I'm taking a test. You are day your dust. Are you an expert, Kathleen? So we're really 100% I have put in my 10,000 hours. Perfect. So let's define some things first. What is a brand and why is important? A brand is how you articulate what you d'oh and for whom it is so incredibly important because it differentiates you from your competition. I know as creative entrepreneurs, sometimes we can get real intimidated or freaked out whenever other people are doing what we d'oh. If you are a coach, you maybe had noticed that the coaching industry has exploded. Um, if your brand was, you know, kind of I don't know, let's say witchy that's become more mainstream in the past few years, you know? So your brand is really what makes you different. It sets the tone for your business and it helps you attract just the right dream customer. That is a good fit for you. So if your business plan is the foundation and like the exchange of money of what you d'oh, your brand is kind of like the soundtrack to what you're doing, and it helps set you apart. It helps you articulate who you are and what you d'oh through messaging, positioning your logo, your brand identity it's your brand is like what your brand is like your palate of what you're applying to your website, your social media. It's what makes you look consistent. And consistency is what makes you look polished and professional. And I don't mean like a capital p professional, because sometimes a lot of my clients are worried about looking too stuffy. Or I think a lot of people think that branding means that you're devoid of character. If anything, it's the opposite of that I've being. I find that branding is about blending who you are into the work that you d'oh and doing it in a way that is consistent. Um, even if it looks like a crazy quilt, it looks like a crazy quilt across all of your platforms. There you go. Did it. So it's not just a logo. Number one. It is both the look and feel and really the words you use to share what it is that you d'oh! And with whom, All right, next question for you And when should a business owner get branding or branded Who? This is a good one because it's tricky, and it depends. So if you're investing in a company like great creative, I would tell you to have 2 to 3 dream clients under your belt, like make sure that you are already practicing what it is that you're offering and actually like doing the last thing I would want is for someone to hire me whenever they haven't even launched there. Idea yet, or even Beta tested their idea yet to see if it's something that they actually like doing. I have branded life coaches who end up heat life. They hate doing life coaching, right? So I would say whenever you find that you really want to show up without any sort of like embarrassment or shame, whenever you want to be able to direct people to your website and feel proud of it, whenever you want to build a handout that tricked out business car that looks beautiful and be able to give that elevator pitch in a 16 you know, five second message. That's whenever you need branding. So for some people, that means that they have already bought out their business plan. Maybe they've been working with our mastermind group or with a business coach, and they've really hashed out what it is that they want to do and how it's going to work. They they might be a good candidate for branding, but for other people, I think that I will. I will say, You know, get one or two clients and your belt Make sure that, or like if you're a maker, you know, maybe you've done a couple of craft fairs before you sign, at least on that building, right, like it's really stepping into it. I also think that you can get rebranded, so maybe you launched with what you had and you you know, about a logo off of etc. Or creative market, and now you're ready to level up. I get a lot of people who are 2 to 3 years in and they're making good money, and they really want their level of success and where they want to go next, to match what they look like on the outside. And that's their brand. Lovett as I agree with a two year mark, that was I was gonna throw that in if you didn't. But I feel like that two year mark is a place where you're proving to yourself that you can do this. You've been doing it. You want to continue doing it. So making investments into having professionals help you get your look and feel as well as your the words that you use in order, succinct and clear and ready to go. That's a good point to do it. Yeah, because you just know yourself better. You know your clients better. You know how to speak directly to them. You know what their problems are. And that's a lot of what branding is this being able to speak to your client's problems and telling them how you're going to be able to solve their problem, right, and you can't do that until you've done that. But I want to make sure that it's clear that you can d i y your brand. Just have something there. Toe have a place to show up. It doesn't have to be perfect. And use that for as long as you can. And then whenever you're ready to invest like you can hire professional, all right. Next question. What's the difference between a brand and an offering? Your brand is how you tie in the emotional connection between you and her client. It's how you say it's how it's the tone in which you say what you offer So you're offering is the exchange you're offering is you give me this amount of dollars and I'm going to give you this thing, whether that's coaching, whether that's crystals, whether that's you know, whatever it is, the brand is what gives the offering flavor, and it's what attracts just the right people to that. Offering harder question was the difference between a brand and a business. I think that a brand in a business go hand in hand like a very happy marriage for me. I have found that branding and business visioning are so tied together that whenever it comes to how I work with my clients, I have to understand their business and their strategy behind where they've been and where they're going in order to properly brand them in a way that feels true to them. So I mean, I'm trying to think of a good metaphor here. If your business is how you exchange money or it's like your business is the foundation, and then the brand is like the decoration on the walls. And so that's why a lot of people might think that decorations are unnecessary and sometimes they are right. We can go real minimalists with us. You can have a business without having a brand, but you still have a brand because every interaction and exchange that you have with somebody or that they have with you, that's a brand experience. Yeah, so that is intentionally hard question, because I think we're gonna be walking this interesting gray line between offerings, brands and businesses. Over the course of the rest of this conversation, Thio sort of show that there are places where there is no difference between them and their places where they're they're completely different things, and so that's the conversation that you will be having as you navigate, especially multiple years in your business and it's a conversation we're going to start having. So we're gonna be using these words quite interchangeably. I want to, like, lay down some ground rules. So you know what we're talking about when we're talking about it? A business is the structure that you have built to serve a person or group of people or whatever it may be. A brand is how you design and article words and articulate thank you what it is that your business does or offering. We'll get there in a second. And the offering is the thing that you actually do for people. So if you're a coach, then you may have several different offering several of several different ways in which you work with people. If you are a product maker, you have may have a couple different product lines, those air different offerings that your business offers. So I hope I, like painted that in a way so that, you know, there there are differences, but we're gonna show you all the incredible gray areas between them as well, and that's what we're gonna be talking about today. We're going to be diving into what it looks like to build complex brand structures around businesses, um, different kinds of brands and offerings we're gonna talk about when it is that you need to stick with one brand for literally everything that you do always. Because that is an option. Guys. Totally an option. Really talking about when you might need to diverge from one brand into having more than one brand. Yeah, and even in the same business, Andi, I want to talk a little bit about when you might need to combine or ditch a brand. If you have a lot of irons in the fire, it might mean that you're consolidating true story, and we'll be thinking about when it is that you might want to consider setting up an overarching umbrella brand. I think of this. I know I have had a client referred Thio. It's a term that I've been using a lot umbrella brand and in large corporations, it might be like, uh, what's that brand that owns the toilet paper and lotion and all? Like Johnson and Johnson? Oh, yeah. Proctor, your pre op Procter and gamble like they own Kleenex. They own e seventh. That's so seventh Section seven. Yeah. 73 Oh, my Gosh, speaking of brands, have you seen that brand? That's like an organic brand that's called if you care. It's so passive aggressive, like if you care. I mean, if that's what we need to save the world, guys, I will be passive aggressive to true that. Anyway, there are corporate levels of umbrella brands that kind of acquire these other brands that have been established. That's not what we're really talking about. We're talking about an umbrella brand that might be more like I had a client refer to it as a dollhouse, and you have all these different rooms in your dollhouse. But the dollhouse still contains all of the different offerings and service is and things that you're making and doing. I
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All right, so let's say you've started your business with one brand and you get a couple of years down the road and you have your next great idea. Do you start a new business and brand? It's separate from what it is that you currently have. Do you offer it within your current business structure under a different brand, or is it just branded under what you're currently doing? This conversation is so layered, and I feel like it starts with. I recently did a block post over at Braid called You Need a business coach? Or do you need branding? Because sometimes what you need is a business coach to ask you questions like, Okay, you've got a next great idea. Is this great idea going to help you become what it is that you want to be known for? Does it reflect your values? Is it monetize? Herbal? Is this maybe just something that you want to try as a hobby and not necessarily turn into a business? Is it going to distract from the thing that's actually making you money? Why are you doing this? And how does it fit into the bigger picture from like, Ah, base level from there? Do we need a brand or two? I think people love the branding process. People love giving a name and a face and a style and a tone to their business. And that's my favorite part of the whole process. And that's why I have a branding agency and not 18 different businesses, right? So I love the branding process. I'm always erring on the side of a very sure you want to do this, And is there a way to wrap it into the brand that you have there many times where you do need a separate brand. But again, it just depends. So one of the biggest overlaps that I really start to see is, let's say it's a Yogi who wants to become a life coach. And after seeing the patterns of this happen and unfold over the past eight years that I've had great creative, I've almost every single life coach that I've branded has been kind of a yogi, right? And so now I can see how that fits together. But in the moment you might feel super scattered like, Well, what is this thing have to do with that thing? So from there, I would say, if you can get creative and find a way to nation, maybe you bring your yoga foundations into your coaching practice, you know, and that would be a way to start to blend it into one brand, and you can start to roll out an offering under your existing brand to test it like that's a great place, a beta test it and see. So these are all cases for keeping one brand, I suppose, is to see how it fits in and challenge yourself to see Okay, How would this fit in? And you know her mantra of its only as weird as you make it. Maybe try rolling out this offering, testing it out where you already have an existing platform and reputation because your brand is also a reputation. Roll it out there and then see what happens. So I I could go down so many different trains of thought. But here we go. I'm gonna take us down this one. Whenever we started being boss, we could have wrapped that into great creative as a brand or to Indy shop. Ah, graffiti, which is your Web business as a brand. But because we were two people coming from two different businesses, we decided to make it its own brand. Now that was for the kind of, like logistical and legal reasons. So that's a thing, too. If you're bringing on a business partner or you want to put it under a different l. L C, there might be reasons why you want to rebrand it differently. More fits, and yet you might want to sell down the road. But for us, talk back to being boss being its own brand. I still shared it. You still shared it. We both shared it with the platforms that we already had. So it kind of became, like this sister brand to both of our individual brands. And I think that that was inappropriate. Please. Another example. And then I'll let you talk. I promise. I feel like Kanye, right? I just get so passionate about this topic. Do it. Do it. So, um, here's an example of whenever this happened with me, I became coaching certified while I was still growing braid creative as a branding agency, I got coaching certified under Martha back. It was kind of Wu. I didn't know where if it in, but I decided to just let people know like, Hey, I'm gonna do creative coaching. And that was the thing. I branded it as creative coaching or coaching. Four creative entrepreneurs specifically so still fit within my wheelhouse of what I was doing. I didn't know how it fit in at the time, but a lot of the exercises that I have learned have now been integrated it into the braid method process so I can better figure out who my client is, who their clients are and really hear them and understand them. So it's like been more tools in my tool belt that have helped me expand what I'm already doing. But it didn't need to be its own brand. But I remember thinking like, Is this its own business? Like, where does this fit in? And it's even fit in, like with our conversations here of being boss. There's often times that were, you know, having hard conversations that requires from that coaching skill set. So anyway, that's all my thoughts. What do you think, Justus? Many things Justus. Many things, and I think you hit the nail on the head and a couple of different areas, obviously. But one of them being, you know, what do you what are you What is your long term vision for this project? And one of the big things is being Do you want to sell it? One day, I think is an important one. If this is something that is separate from your current core business, um, then making its own thing and, you know, create it, make it d'oh over there and then let it go. At some point, we have some examples around that, um, actually I want to talk about one interesting example of someone who did do a separate brand for a project. And I think it came back to bite her in the ass. And that is I won't be mentioning any names here, so I was like, Are you about to name names? A new setting? Spill all the tea? No, no, no, D no tick. Just some examples. Um, so I do recall a coach once who made a product that was a very in line with her dream customer. So she had a certain type of dream customer wanted to create a product as she was coaching, then product. And instead of making it a product for her brand, she made this product its own brand. I'm pretty sure it was still operating under her business structure, but created a brand that was separate from her brand for this product. And she did this because I think she wanted to sell it. I think she wanted, or to make it more appealing, thio people to like larger companies to acquire our partner with her wherever she thought that making its own thing would make it look a bit more professional. and would make it more appealing to those sorts of partnerships. Yeah, you know, sometimes I'm jealous of people who have brands that are just so say what you mean, like, um, painting your walls like, let's say that's like a brand you know, it's just like painting your walls dot com. You know, that's a terrible I'm a branding professionally came up with painting your walls people who have, like just a very say what you mean brand name, Yes, and it seems very sellable, right? Or like something that's even almost more search engine optimized, like someone searching for that specific thing they're brand will come up. You think that's a good idea? Unless it choo choo in the foot, which is what happened with this person. She created this product, create a very like see what you mean brand separate from her coaching brand and with very good intentions. And none of it happened for her, and it didn't happen for her because instead of instead of allowing it to live within the brand and the expertise and the, you know, place the report that she had already built with her current brand, she removed it from that, and because she couldn't, you know, sell it to the people who were already in her audience. It never really took off by separating it. She was unable to leverage her expertise and the same way she could have if she kept it under the same brand, and it kept it from being successful. So there's a lot to be said about leveraging what you've already built by keeping things in the same house. Basically, it could be very powerful. There are times when you should separate, but there are times when you just keep it all in the same place, and then things can usually be separated later if they need to be. Trust is a huge factor whenever it comes to your brand. It is an ongoing relationship, either with your audience or your newsletter list or your social media following or your podcast listeners. Building a brand is building trust with people who reach beyond just your direct customers. It's really about communicating with them, telling them your ideas, and
this is why you
feel so strongly about personal branding and really blending who you are into the work that you d'oh because then it really is just having an ongoing conversation building trust. It's then simply explaining what you d'oh versus that really hard sell that all of us find so icky. Instead, you can just say, Okay, here's what I do And here's how it works. Take it or leave it. Either way, I'm here for you. You can read my block posts. We've seen examples of this. I mean, being boss is that, for example, and so if you're launching a brand from scratch, you have to work a lot harder to build up that trust and do not think that people will just follow you from one brand to the next. I also have an example of someone who was very big and one space decided. Thio, you know, take her experience, um, and move right into another space and had set some very high expectations about being immediately successful because there was such a such a strong presence in the other thing that she was doing and it didn't happen. It didn't happen. You can't just pull a crowd from one brand to the next. Um, if it needs different branding, it will have a completely different dream customer. Oh, that's a good way of really establishing when you need a new brand, as if it's a completely different customer. So I'm working with a client right now who has a food preparation like meal planning company. And then she's going to be launching a completely different business where there is very little overlap both in content and dream customer. And that definitely requires two brands, right? But for the most part, not every new idea is a new brand. And if you can all find any sort of connection between the brand that you've already built or even the thing that you're already known for, let's say you're working a day job and you're you've got a side hustle. How does your side hustle fit into your expertise, you know, or if it into a network or community that you're already a part of. Not every new idea is a new brand. I know it's so much fun to name things and colors to it and put together a mood board. You don't have to do that right, and it's okay to occasionally create separate offerings. So let's say you are doing um, doing a new offering that's serving the same dream customer. Or maybe it's even like a slightly tweak stream customer. So let's say you have a Let's say you have a a yoga business. Let's go in this direction where you are usually serving your, you know, older millennial crowd. But like one day you decide to do a workshop. Siri's where you are focusing on, um, scoliosis. There you go. Perfect. So, like you don't need to create a hold. Other business Thio have the slightly tweaked dream customer by any means, Um, or even let's say
different. Actually, I have a yoga claim that exactly fits this model. So he has a yoga business, and he found his niche in yoga therapy. So really to dialing in on how your joints are positioned in order to flow best for you. So a lot of yoga is getting this position. Will not everybody's bodies conduce that? So he's narrowed in on everybody's bodies are different and yoga can be therapy, and then he just launched a new offering that is cannabis yoga in states where it's legal and basically getting high and doing yoga. It didn't need a whole other brand, but what was fun about it is that we created, like, almost a secondary logo for that brand. I mean within the same brand. So one cool thing that you can think of. And I have this with some of my bigger, more organizational clients, as I think about promotional campaigns. So let's say I am working for a credit union. A promotional campaign might be in the summer. We're doing a hard push on car loans, for example, and they may be in the fall. We're doing a hard push on home loans or maybe a credit card product. I know that sounds really boring, but it totally relates to creative entrepreneurs. You can almost think of some of your offerings as a promotional campaign or offering, so you can still have a fun look and feel that might even be a little bit of a departure from your main brand. But it's still feels like it fits in that same dollhouse. It still feels like it fits in that same family. And so I've thought about this a lot even whenever it comes to book designs. We have a lot of clients that have written a book, and the book is designed by a publisher who doesn't care about their brand. P s. I know we had a fight hard to get, like our brand into our book, but we wanted it to also look a little bit different, like we used a hand drawn typeface versus are being boss logo. We wanted it to feel a little bit stand alone in a little bit like an offshoot. So this is all to say. You don't necessarily need a whole new brand in order to have a promotional offering or different kind of look and feel to kind of highlight something that's different or new, right? So I sort of challenge everyone to consider to first consider keeping things in your current business and in your current branding. I think that is where you should begin. And then if you find things like the offerings being completely removed from how it is that you work with people in your current business or brand how if the tone of what it is that you're doing is complete different if the dream customer especially, is completely different, or I think this business partner peace is a huge one. If there are other people in your business, um, that are taken into consideration than that could be a reason to create another business slash brand for this new idea that you have. But in most other cases, keep it in the same house has everything else that you're currently doing because otherwise you end up with so many little pieces of businesses and brands everywhere that it can be really difficult even for you. Keep it straight in your own head. I find that a brand and business is so much more organic than we give it credit for. And I think it's because we have this idea that we need a five year business plan and we're gonna follow every single step along the way things change so you might have an offering that really takes off. And maybe in 2 to 3 years, you come back and reposition your brand to be more centered around that offering. You can always evolve your brand as you go, and it can just feel like the next chapter in your book versus throwing the book in the fire and writing a whole new book.
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One thing I want to mention before we go on Emily is that whenever you started to evolve in the shop biography from doing website design two masterminds before you decide to ditch that because you were feeling scattered and when it's just put everything under being bus one of the things that you did is you look back at your Brandon Business Vision Guide and the brand platform that my company braid creative, had created for you and correct me if I'm wrong. But you noted that not much had changed, like sum of your offerings had changed but who you were in that process was still the same. Is that correct? Absolutely. You could take the platform like the positioning of that brand platform and word for word still completely related to what it was that I was doing with my clients, for sure. So one thing that you want to think about, whatever you're thinking about your brand and this can even be like a writing exercise for our listeners here today is right down. What doesn't change, like what does not change about. And usually it comes down to what you value or what your expertise is, or how you help people the best. What you're known for your offerings can change, but your brand if it's done well and if it's really considered, is the thing that doesn't change. It's like your true North and like an anchor at the same time. It helps keep you Grant grounded so that you can experiment and try new things. I just want to mention that right, and it will throw in there, too, that that positioning even played into what we do here at being boss like there is. You'll find that there are these common threats, especially when you've been in it as long as we have 10. I think 12 years for me. At this point, um, you find that whenever you get really centered in on what it is that you're doing and who you're doing it for, things don't really change, you know, and honestly, for me, it's even getting centered in what my own mission is. I know it's kind of self indulgence, but my thing has always been just be who you are, like that's been my motto. I've discovered as I've gotten older, that sometimes it's hard to know who you are. You have to do a lot of work to discover who you are. And so whenever I am having to evaluate my opportunities and how it's all going down, like with being boss, I thought, Okay, this is an opportunity Thio help people be more who they are and to figure out more of who I am by having these weekly conversations with my business busty and hitting published on them. But for me, branding is definitely like, ah, backdoor to our front door to figuring out who you are, what you're doing, why you're doing it and who you serve for. Sure. Okay, well, let's move into something that I love. I love the idea of doing. I've been trying talk David into this for years. I won't talk about umbrella brands because this is fascinating to me and is something that I see myself moving into over the next couple of years. It's something that I see something that I see. My, you know, 10 15 25 year, innit? Boss is doing or having because as you are an entrepreneur and as you're growing things and as you are, you know, adding, adding brands or projects are offerings to You know, that first idea that you had that one time you end up finding often finding that you need a better structure to house all the things that you're doing. So let's talk about umbrella brands when you need one. When you don't Yes. Oh, I think about an umbrella brand as literally drawing on umbrella on top of a piece of paper and labeling that umbrella with whatever it is. It might be your name. It might be your business name and then listening out all the things that fall under that so using being boss as an example that hopefully everyone listening is familiar with. If we drew an umbrella for being boss, underneath that umbrella might be a book. Events like our Conference on Mastermind Groups. There's also what else fits under our umbrella like we've we've played with the idea of a podcast network, even sometimes, like our sponsor relationships are go under that umbrella, and those things aren't brands on their own, but they could be. So we really like to think about that umbrella as holding lots of different things. I think that I'm umbrella can really help set the tone for all of your brands. I have a client who is a restaurant group and they're a dining group. And then they have, I don't know, eight or nine different concepts or eight or nine different restaurants underneath their umbrella brand but their umbrella brand. And this is good at Dining Group in Oklahoma City. There, Umbrella brand is good at dining group, and their main mission is extreme hospitality like That's kind of their tagline, and that goes into every single one of the restaurant concepts. One of the things that they're always really careful about, and considerate about is their interior design. You can always know that the interior design of all of their places, it's going to be superb and that their food is always going to be consistent. They set these standards for all their different restaurants, but then they're different. Restaurants have their own unique look and feel and vibe and food, but but they're all glued together under that umbrella brand. Yet I've always imagined having an umbrella brand that is the resource manager for the other businesses that I run. I loved by more resource manager, right? So, um, so imagine it was never employed with being boss because we're a partnership in that sort of plays into this whole other level of complexity that I've never really wanted to dive into. But imagine that you like it with my dough. I do, which is why it's like it's fine, It's fine. Um, I could see it happening for other things that I want to do, though, but imagine having an umbrella brand that is the resource manager in that it, um, it hires the team that then goes and works at being bossed that works at almanac because okay, imagine a social media manager, for example, could to be hired by an umbrella company, but then work equally for being boss and almanac to do both companies. Social Media Um, we're not there yet, but I think that's something that something that will likely happen at some point in the future, in some capacity, one way or the other. Because whenever you start having multiple different businesses that are multiple different brands, you often find that sharing resource is would be significantly easier if they were being managed by another business. You know, that's really good point to is that if you have one successful offering or brand, it can help you to afford to try a new offering or like kind of child brand underneath that umbrella, it can help kind of offset the actual dollar cost that is associated with starting something new. Yes, another one that I thought about, Um e think the Internet is full of creative business owners who have been in it long enough that they simply have all these opportunities that end up end up feeding into a single single incorporated business or a single LLC or whatever it may be. Oh, joy was one that came to me. Joy Chou. She has her blog's. She has her academy. She has collaborations that she does with large brands. All of these and I don't know what her business structure is like. But I think she has probably an umbrella brand. That house is all of these other individual streams of revenue or maybe even different businesses, to make it a bit easier to do it all. Yeah, whenever anything about this, I really think about leveraging an existing reputation and an existing brand to kind of catapult something else into being. I will say I'm not a lawyer. So if you are thinking about developing multiple brands or multiple offerings under an umbrella brand, you might and their crazy successful, you might consider also putting all of them under an individual L L. C. So that they're protected moneywise, even if, like so, for example, the restaurant group, I know that each one of those restaurants has its own L, C and trademarking process. But the main dining group is what helps set the tone and the culture for all of those restaurants. Actually, like legitimately start them. One of the things that I've done an almanac sort of started creating this myself, and I was one of things. I went into it knowing I wanted to do as opposed to getting into and thinking Go find other things that I wanted to do. This was always the plan guys, Um, an almanac we have. Our main business is this is actually an interesting example of multiple brands under one brand that it's all operating as a single business. So we have all men except like, oh, which is the parent company slash brand. And under it we're building sub brands is what I call them. I don't know what the technical term is, if there is one, but we're creating lines of project of products that have their own name, their own, branding their own look and feel. It is all a tone set by that umbrella brand of almanac has been a very conscious, conscious decision throughout designing them in positioning them. But we have a line of teas that we have called mother trees Botanical tease. It has its own branding guide, its own look and feel, its own logo, its own messaging, but it doesn't have its own social media. Not yet. It will. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Oh, okay. See, this is where I want to get into the conversation about this. So do you know what's cool about this? Is that it fits into the vibe of almanac, right? Which is, like seasonal goods for intentional living. There you go. Good job. All right. Good job on you. Good positioning. So it is a seasonal good for intentional living. It has its own brand. Technically, if someone wanted to buy you out like a puka tease, you know, or Yogi Tease wanted to buy you out, and they were like, This is cool. We would like to own and distribute. This will give you a $1,000,000. Would you sell it for a $1,000,000? I mean, anything is on the table, guys. We'll see. We'll see. Um, I'd sell it for $5. No, not really. Right. I had someone tried to acquire braid very early on, and it actually made me feel like, Okay, if they want us, I know that we can be successful, right? Anyway, But you sell mother trees. Botanical tea's on your almanac website. Like, right now, it lives within that umbrellas and it likely always will, though we do have the option of, for example, whole selling that completely separately as part of almanac. But just a line of products that we've done so and that's what it is. It's a line of products that we've created its own brand around that we will create a small site for it that just leaves people back to all Mac, we will have an INSTAGRAM account that is just mother trees, botanical teas, and we will grow that kind of like its own little business. But it is under Almanac Supply Co It I have a question. Yes. Has so many questions. Why? Why? Like why didn't you do Almanac tes Do you feel like it would have been detrimental because you sell candles and crystals like it would water down that brand? Okay, not detrimental. Yes, Toh watering it down I really wanted almanac to my plan for almanac is not for almanac to be the line of products. I went almanac to be a retail concept, so I had to get really clear as to what almanac was an almanac was not just a producer of products. It is a retail concept that is curating products and not just curating products that has its own name on it. I wanted to curate products that, um, that help tell the story further than just what the almanac name does for it. And so then why did you decide to create your own tea blend versus carrying other tease, like as a retail concept? Partly a condom. Bitch hasn't blowing money. No. If if money had been thing, it would have been created would have been curating already blended tea options for that mine. But for this one, I really wanted this one to be much more intentional. I wanted to bring in, um, the skills of herbalists that I know. This first set of four teas were actually blended or formulated by a friend of mine, Lindsay Clues, who we've had on the podcast before. Who wants ginger tonic botanicals and is an amazing clinical herbalist. Um, so I really wanted them to be very intentional, very high quality. We are producing them like it's the first packaging was literally me putting them into tea bags. Um, and so, yeah, I could have, but I wanted something different with this line. Um, so it's all organic ingredients when available. There is one in the set of four that is not an organic ingredient because it's not available otherwise very high quality, Um, very intentional formulations that are very seasonally aligned. But I wanted this brand to tell another side of what almanac is in a way that I couldn't have done if I had just slapped the almanac name on them, you know, and sometimes you don't have to have the answers, Thio. Why you created this sub brands? Like sometimes it is a gut check, like checking in and definitely weighing your options. And you're very logical about things. But even thinking come and try this and it does make sense and maybe not even be able to articulate why it makes sense for it to have its own stand alone brand within almanac. But it feels right. It does system. Who's there is that it does feel right, and I and I see what happens five years from now with this brand or where I wanted to go. Um, I don't really know how to articulate it yet, but at the moment is just four little tease that are being sold on her side under this brand name that isn't related to anything else. But give me a couple of years and you're gonna be like, damn! But that is actually a really important point that I want to note is that your business vision is not quite your business plan. Write a business plan is like spreadsheets and your organizational chart. And kind of like figure out what you have been doing the math and all those technical things, right? A business vision is getting real dreamy about where you want to take something and really using that dream to help. I mean, to really help manifest it in your brand by knowing where it is that you want to go. Right? So we've created this T line at all. Mac. We've also created a jewelry line called Wild Fortune. Um, it probably won't go as far as mother trees will like. I have some good plans with mother trees with wild fortune. I just wanted a very interesting jewelry line, and it's funny. We launched it like we didn't launch it. We started utilizing it just before the holidays and through the holidays, I realized there's already tweaks that we need to make to in terms of positioning. And that looked like the whole branding of It needs to be tweet, Um, and how it is that I use it within the brand. Um, so we get to go go back to the drawing board with a couple of things around that one. So it's It's a really interesting, really interesting exercise for me to build these brands within this brand. Um, and there are lots of technical things to it as well, for example, because especially, our teas are being sold with not almanac on the front of them, we had to create a d b A. For we have to create a d b A. For each of these sub grants are sub stance for doing business. As so it's ah, form basically that you file with your state government to say that you are doing business as, um, for me, mother trees, botanical tea. So it's Almanac Almanac Supply Co LLC is doing business as mother trees, botanical teas. So anything that sold that his mother trees, it goes into almanac. It is part of the almanac business, but it is a brand within an umbrella brand slash business. It's a fun exercise in doing business. I love it. I love it. I know. And I remember we You and I were having a lot of conversations about this, you know, Sub brand does it stand alone? Let me ask my branding expert business bestie, if this is nuts or not And it was a conversation, you know, And I think ultimately you made the right decision. And I also want to point out that you're not sub branding every single day that you offer. Like you're not creating a brand for just the crystals. Like you can kind of let the crystals be what they are. So that's been very intentional. D'oh! For me, almanac is candles and crystals like if, like if the almanac brand is going to live on something, it's going to live on those core products of candles. Which almanac? Brennan is on our, you know, seasonal candles and the crystals. If you buy a crystal, you get a little card that tells you what the crystal is and what it means, and it's almanac branded. Um, but I've had a hard time really seeing the Almanac brand go beyond that. Because again, almanac is not I don't see almanac as a brand of products. So much as I see it as a retail concept in that differentiation has led me. Teoh. Think about how it is that I can grow an environment of brands that all fit really beautifully within in this almanac place. So whenever you walk into almanac one of these days, it's not just look at all of our almanac stuff. It's like, Oh, they have this amazing brand of teas that I can only buy Here they have these this jewelry line that is, you know, custom curated. Whatever looks fantastic that I can only buy here. It creates a retail experience that is elevated beyond meters, putting almanac on everything. Also, each of those brands have a story, so the whole point of a brand is to have a story to connect to your audience. So whenever your audience buys the teas now, I will say from like a branding Sandpoint. Whenever you know, I rave about your tea's on your unofficial Brandon bass fishing or tea. But I always say almanac like I always say, I got the seas from Almanac probably because it's shorthand with people that I already know. But funny enough, I got a set of your teas for my best deal is who is also my creative director at Braid. I'm gonna race in the tour she's like, So because she's a branding expert, we are these, Ah, home and hug Or they are they something else, you know, and so she could kind of see under. It was really curious about it, but as so I feel like right now Mother trees, botanical teas are really leveraging the reputation of almanac, and people might be calling an almanac teas for a while, and that's okay, too. At some point, it will be able to establish its own brand. And that's part of your vision, where people are now talking about it as Mother Trees versus Almanac. So this is another bringing exercise for you all. One of my favorite things to do with my clients is to ask them to pretend like they're sitting in a coffee shop and having to over here one of their clients or customers talking about their brand, and they don't know that you're there. You're kind of eavesdropping and what is it that they're saying? And sometimes you can hear them saying things like, Oh, the almanac teas. And you're like, Ooh, okay, what I need to do to really solidify that its mother trees. And you can start to see some branding problems and start to work your way towards solutions for those I love that. Okay, all the brands in all the brands with all the brands. Got it. Let's get Thio. Really? The biggest question of your job on this whole episode. I'm sure it's when to use your name in your brand versus not. What do you think? Where are you standing on these days? Yeah, If you had asked me six years ago, what would I have said? Emily? Yes. Use your name. Put it all over every Yeah, six years. You are everything personal. Brand. You want to be Beyonce? You want to be, You know you wanna have a name, right? And because people buy from people, that's that's what it is today. Not so much like as I need a little bit more of a boundary between who I am and what I d'oh. I find that having a business name helps you be a little bit more broad and a little bit more flexible as much as I love narrowing and on your knees. And I think that's so incredibly important for launching your brand and actually making money, doing what you love narrowing and is one of the best ways that you can do that. But having a business name gives you so much more flexibility whenever it comes. Still, like even how you operate your business and how you grow your business and how you evolve your business. That said, every single claim I have if they're a solo procure, I do a version of their logo with their name in the tagline, and some There's all even flipped the hierarchy. So let's say I just had a client who is a bookkeeper, which was so much fun. Emily, I can't wait to show you this brand. I always show Emily the brands I'm working on on Marco Polo, but it's, um, bonfire bookkeeping. Shout out to Lisa. She's a boss, too, and her name is Lisa Channel. And so I wanted to do like aversion, and with her I didn't explicitly do like Lisa Channel and then Bonfire bookkeeping underneath it. But I would do that, you know. So like, especially if you're building up like a speaker reputation, like as where you're selling yourself as an authority in your industry, you can almost create like a flip flop of a logo where your business name is kind of underneath your name. But if that can change, too, in the future, like where it's not hinged upon who you are and it's not hinge upon you not growing like you can add on a business partner. Or So, for example, being boss, we were almost the Emily and Kathleen Show. Can you imagine if we had branded ourselves? Is that and then you bought me out like you did this year? Yeah, I never thought about that. Would have been really complicated. Yeah, it's still the Emily, and Colin obviously has been as valuable to me. Think about that. Actually, it would not be, and I always think, like, uh, I don't necessarily believe that you should just build a brand with the idea of selling it. I think in some industries it makes things getting practice. I think it's like not that you actually intend Thio, but I think it's a good practice to go into business with the idea of How would you do this if you were intending to sell it? I completely agree. I think that you should not go into a business saying I'm gonna build this business and sell it because it's probably not gonna happen right? It's likely not. However, I hate to say that, however, whenever you can go into it with the practice of that, it's gonna shift the way you do everything from your operating agreements to your branding to all of the things. And so even though we never imagined selling being boss to like an outside investor, the fact that I sold the majority of my shares to you means that it having a brand name and a brand name that resonated with people way more than the Emily and Kathleen Show ever would. It was an asset. Yeah, yeah, an asset. Nothing about that you're branding is absolutely an asset to your business if done well, Um, I want to give a fun example of this naming things your name because I'm right there with you where I don't lead without a deal. I'm usually like, can we like, think about how to not name your business your name unless you are a freelancer or growing a practice of some sort on dso by practice, I mean, like, you are going to be the coach for your clients for like, you're building a coaching practice for yourself. I know. But you know what? I have a lot of therapist clients who build a therapy practice, like with multiple therapists under their brand me, um, and so for them, unless you're born a brown. But even she has the daring way like she has sub brands within. I would say her umbrella brand is her as herself, and then all these brands that kind of fit under it. I know it's good to have, even for a practice of three. I think so. I'm talking like the flip of that, like you should only really think about using your name. If you're going to be a freelancer or have a practice, you should also consider not using your name for sure. But if you're building a business, think about a business name for it, um, and then adding your name to, as needed to have an interesting example of this where I have Ah, boss friend who has a business that she's had for many years, and over those years it's become very multifaceted. So standalone retail online, like digital products. Ah, book that turned into a book. Siri's, um, and they all had different names for what it is. They were because they all lived in very different places. They were all very different things. But as she's, um, grown, each of them she's found the need toe make them more cohesive. So how is it that she can sort of bring these separate things back together and the way that she's decided to do this? You know, on we're in a mastermind group together. We talked through all of these things, like what does this look like? What we nee me? How are we doing this? Um, we encourage her to add her name into the front of each of them so that she becomes the cohesive factor around all the things that she's done. So all that to say, too. I think that that sort of this natural cycle of being creative entrepreneurs who are building and doing and creating all of these things. We go through these ebbs and flows of like sometimes it's very appropriate to use your name. Sometimes it's not. And then it will. Ah, holy cycle Back of like, yeah, you should probably put your name in it. It's fine. Yeah, And I think I mentioned that earlier is like find the common denominator between your brands. Usually it's just you. Yeah, And if you could just trust that you are the common denominator, you don't have to worry about things Feeling two too much of a departure from each other or two. Different or too crazy. Um, so sometimes it is you That is the common denominator, right? In which case it's rivals have found that, like you can still build your personal brand even within your business. So at braid, the way that we've built our personal brand at being boss Ah, lot of people who listen to being boss go on to follow braid and sign up for newsletter and hire us for branding. And so I will hop on Instagram and say, Hey, it's Kathleen here to remind people that there is a real person and it's me that is running our social media or answering emails. So that's another thing to consider is that you can still have a personal brand within the context of your business. For sure, I feel like we just talked around so many solutions, like possible solutions but no real solutions, because I think that's the point years. There is no like rule to branding except do it and do it well, in which case you might need to hire a branding professional or, you know, again, this is a conversation. So if you don't have a business, Bessie, if you're not in a mastermind, if you don't have a branding professional, you need to find those things so that you can have these conversations because it's not a black or white answer. It's usually a long conversation that needs a lot of consideration and perspective and sometimes expertise for sure, for sure, and not just once, but over and over and over again. And, like we mentioned earlier, you know, getting my brand platform done for indie shop biography like 10 years ago ish. Being able to look back at that ensure the look and feel hasn't been used in a very long time, like I haven't used that logo in a decade. Not quite, but a really long time. Um, but to know that my positioning is still very much so in lined with what it is that I'm still showing up in doing is incredibly powerful. Um, but it's also the relationships that I have that keep me thinking about how it is that I can continue to grow and evolve and navigating all of the questions that you have around. You know? Is it time to change my business structure to house more brands? Or is it time to, you know, start another business that separate from the one I currently have? Or what happens whenever I want to create a suite of brands, um, the fits under something? Or is this offering needing its own brand? You're just a tweak of the brand that it's currently Underwood had, like, a 1,000,000 questions can come up, and I will say that it's been invaluable to me to have a crowd of people that I can talk to as I've navigated each of these. And it's something that and it never is, not a conversation that happens in, you know, mastermind groups are whenever we're traveling with bosses like someone's going. Okay, guys, I have this issue where I created a business card with this and now I'm doing this. What do I do? Do I reprint on my business cards? Like maybe, but also maybe not. Let's talk it all out. So with that, things were done. Go do some branding. Figure out what your brand is doing next because it's probably not just going to sit there and chill. Hey, so go to our show notes. And be sure to check out some leaks because we're going to include some additional Resource is including conversations that we've had with my business partner and sister Terra Street from great creative and you'll be a little There's
so many resource is on this, So just go to the show notes, and we'll share all of them there. Thanks for listening. And hey, if you want more, resource is we're talking worksheets, free trainings in person, meet ups and vacations and more. Go to our website at www dot be boss dot club. Do the work for us