Episode #334: how to create a brand through your story
TAYLOR BRADFORD: You are listening to episode number 334 of the Boss Girl Creative podcast. Today I’m talking about building your brand through your own story onto the episode.
Hey, welcome to episode 334. I’m your host, Taylor Bradford. Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode, which is all about building your brand through your own story. And a shout out to Kelly who reached out to suggest this topic for this week. If you have a topic that you’d like to hear on a future episode of the podcast, I would love for you to reach out to me you can email me at email@example.com or message me on Instagram @BossGirlCreative.
So before I dive in, do not forget to take a moment to fill out the fall survey for Boss Girl Creative. In exchange for you filling that out, I am gifting you a complimentary one-on-one 20-minute strategy session. So go to bossgirlcreative.com/fallsurvey to provide me some feedback. I would so appreciate that.
And yeah – so let’s dive in to this particular topic. So the question is, how do you get inspired to create? The answer should be through yourself, through your own life, through your own story, through your own challenges, through what inspires you. It’s why I always say that you’ve got to keep those horse blinders on. So when horses are racing, or maybe even not when they’re racing, but for real when they’re racing, they wear horse blinders. And those prevent a horse from seen anywhere else but forward. That’s why I always tell you to keep your horse blinders on to keep your focus forward, so that you don’t pay attention to what other people around you are doing. Keep your eyes facing forward.
Your brand should be built on the framework of yourself. You are the difference. At the end of the day, you are the difference. You’re the differentiating factor to why somebody might choose you over somebody else. It’s because it’s your stories. It’s because it’s your personality. It’s because it’s your values. It’s how people will connect with you and through you. Because again, at the end of the day, the goal is to connect with others that align with those things. Which is you that people are attracted to those things, which ultimately is you. So this is what I want you to start with. How did you get here? Like, right now, in this moment? What led you here?
So if I walk through Boss Girl Creative, how did I get here in this moment? I can go all the way back to 2008 when I discovered the Pioneer Woman and her blog, and I was fascinated by this medium. I had no clue that blogging existed, or it was called blogging back then, and I dove in and read through nearly everything she wrote. And I was like, Oh, I’m kind of inspired to do this, but I don’t really know what I will write about. And at the time, we had a used car lot. And so my very first blog was titled Tales of a Used Car Lot Owner and I would just write about the stories that were inspired by the actions and the things we were doing that were happening in that particular business. And I kind of came at it from a comedy standpoint because we saw some really crazy things. And so that was my very first blog and it was inspired by the Pioneer Woman. And then when I went on the road full time for my oil and gas work. That was 2011 and I revamped that blog, I hid all of the old posts because I thought they were crappy. And I renamed it to Goings on in Texas and I just was a blogger. And I kind of classified myself as a lifestyle blogger I wrote about anything and everything from fashion to beauty to food to books. And now I never thought about the name of my blog. I for sure was not talking about the goings on in Texas but there wasn’t a lot out there at the time on how to name your blog and etc. So or how to create a business behind a blog. So I was just kind of creating what inspired me what I wanted to talk about. And then when social media became a thing, so back then there was Twitter, but there really wasn’t anything else. There was Facebook, but you had to have college email access. At the time that I got into Facebook, you had to have a college email address. And thankfully, I had an alumni address from my school. So that’s what got me into Facebook, but it was really just Twitter at the time.
And I decided that I was falling in love with the nitty gritty of blogging and so I started a series called #Bloggingmucation. And that allowed me to teach as I was learning, and I created 40 lessons in that series, and then cue forward into late 2014, which was when I heard my first podcast, and I was like, Oh, my gosh, I’m really passionate about this blogging stuff. And would it not be cool to get behind a microphone, and then people could hear how passionate I am about blogging and teaching how to blog. And so that’s what inspired the start of Boss Girl Creative and I officially launched Boss Girl Creative in July of 2015. And I’ve produced an episode every week since July of 2015, which is how we are now at episode 334. So that’s how I got here. for Boss Girl Creative. That is my story with how I got in this exact moment.
For Sugar Creek, it began with doing a baby shower for a friend of mine, and literally going over the top with the decor. And then after her baby shower, someone else wanted us to help do their baby shower and so we went sourcing for things for that person’s baby shower. And we were like, oh, maybe maybe we can do this, maybe we we can create this business for baby showers and maybe tea parties. And so we formed a partnership and kind of looked at the inventory that we already had. And between the two of us we had 300 items. And we’re like, Okay, this could be kind of cool. So in the fall of 2014, we did a big inventory photoshoot with my business partner at the time, her photographer from her wedding, and launched the business. And soon after we started networking within the wedding industry once that discovery happened. And then in 2017, she and I parted ways and she rebranded. I rebranded into Sugar Creek, and the creation or the iteration of Sugar Creek as it is right now is just a culmination of that particular journey. So that is how Sugar Creek got to right here right now.
And then with Ivory and Ink, Ivory and Ink started out with a business partner. And it was a frustration as wedding vendors on what our clients actually needed to know in order to plan a successful wedding that nobody’s teaching. And so it started in, I think, the fall of 2017, which is when we started brainstorming the content and what it would be and what it would look like and etc. And then we really dove in, I believe in about 2018 was when I started building the original blog, and then our ideas kind of expanded. And we hired a web team in 2019. And then end up actually having to sue the web team, unfortunately, in the summer of 2020 for basically being taken for everything, paint being charged and not actually getting the thing that we were paying for. So that was a frustration. And of course we launched literally a week before COVID shut everybody down. And that was super frustrating and, and really Ivory and Ink just took a backseat for over a year. And we’re just now at a point that I’m able to put some focus back into it.
So the business partner has since moved on and is doing something else, which is totally okay. And now I have a – I have created this new version for Ivory and Ink and I’m hoping that I can get it off the ground pretty quickly and get it reworked – and the concept is still the same. It is still the same from a standpoint of I’m a wedding vendor and I want my couples and other couples to understand what is really important with planning a wedding. But if you go out and look at the things that brides and grooms and couples are typing in as their pain point it is how to plan a wedding and how to set a wedding Budget, those are the top two pain points. Whereas I’m trying to teach you what you don’t know already. But you’re not googling that you’re not searching Pinterest for that you’re not scouring the not for that. Because you don’t know. That’s what you don’t know. And so I plan on creating a wedding planner that will help solve that. Here’s the wedding planner, you can purchase it. And then I’m going to implement the things that I want inside that wedding planner that will teach how and what we wedding vendors want couples to actually know. And so that’s where I’m bridging that gap is how do I solve the problem that wedding vendors see, but nobody else’s? is answering because couples don’t know to look up those questions, because they don’t know they want to know how to plan a wedding. So that is how I got here with Ivory and Ink.
So I want you to take time to write out how you got here, right now, what led you to this exact moment in your own story, whether it’s for your blog, or for your business, take time to write it out, write a super long in depth version. And I want you to simplify it to a short version. That’s kind of like an elevator pitch. This will help guide you.
So now after you do that, step two in this process is to zero in on those aha moments. The moment when you had the blog idea, the moment when you had the business idea, the moment when you had the product idea. When did you say to yourself, there’s a need for this? When did you say to yourself, I’m really good at this, and I want to share it? When did you say to yourself, This is a really awesome idea. And it needs to be shared, and it needs to be preserved. I want you to zero in on those aha moments. Because that is part of your story as well.
Step three in this process is to think about the connection points. Okay, so now, what are connection points, these are points that will connect to your ideal reader. Points that are personal to you. Points that are made up of you. So this could be your love of history, this could be your fate, this could be your favorite food, this could be your personality type. For example, if you’re a fan of the enneagram, make that a connection point. This could also be your favorite hobby, or the thing that you do or your favorite beverage, especially if you’re a coffee lover or a tea lover. This could also be a life shift. What are your connection points, because these are going to be what connects you to your ideal reader. This is what they’re going to latch on to because they’re like, Oh, she’s like me? Oh, we’re very similar because she likes those things too. Or she comes from a similar background like me. Connection points can be big or small. You got to remember that people buy from people. It’s why connection and storytelling matter in your brand.
So as I’ve been thinking about this from a another standpoint, so I put out into the universe that I want a wedding venue, I want an event venue and eventually that will happen. And what matters to me most with this is preservation. And that might sound odd, considering it’s a wedding venue and it’s a celebration of a life event, but the preservation part is what matters because I want to preserve history. I also want to preserve your story, your love story, your celebration story. That will be an anchor – one of my values – in any wedding venue that I create because that is important. It’s important for me to connect with you through your own love story or through your own celebration story so that it can be preserved. That’s what I mean by connection points. Connecting with people on a level that they get that they align with. This is important.
So now that you’ve worked through all of these different steps, What emotions did you feel because these emotions will also be shared by your ideal reader, by your ideal client by your ideal client. customer. So what emotions? Did you feel going through these exercises? Was it calm? Was it joy? Was it surprise and delight? Was it excitement, come up with three emotions that you felt doing these exercises. And I want you to incorporate those things. And everything that you put out related to your blog or your business, whether it’s through your social media, through you writing a blog post, through you interacting with a customer, I want you to always remember those three emotions, because that is what invokes that connection. These emotions will be an anchor point for you incorporate them in everything that you do online.
So if we go back to the beginning question, how do you get inspired to create, it’s got to start with your story. It’s got to start through yourself. And I don’t know that you are going to find inspiration through a book or through a podcast or even through me. I think it’s going to come from within and that’s how you move forward is the connection points through yourself, the emotions that you feel because of your own journey. So when you are working on your brand, or when you are working on your blog, I want you to do these things through yourself. Let your own life be your guide. Let your own story be the framework. Let your own challenges and things that inspire you, drive you forward. Keep the horse blinders on. Your brand, should be built on the framework of yourself, because you are the person that makes the difference. You are the differentiating factor. At the end of the day, in a busy room in a busy world, you are the thing that can’t be replicated and I want you to sit in those thoughts and feelings about what that actually means. So go back through this podcast episode and walk yourself through these exercises because that is where you’re going to find inspiration.
Thank you so much for listening to today’s podcast episode. If you found it inspirational, I hope you will go out and share it with your business bestie. Again, pop over to bossgirlcreative.com/fallsurvey to take the survey and as I thank you for taking the survey, I will gift you a 20-minute session one-to-one business strategy. We’ll talk about whatever it is that you need some help with right now in your business or your blog. So go to bossgirlcreative.com/fallsurvey to take that and finally the doors of the Inner Circle membership are going to reopen December 1st. So if you want to get yourself on that waitlist so that you don’t miss out when the doors open or when they close because they will not reopen until April 1st of next year. Go to bossgirlcreative.com/InnerCircle to get yourself on that waitlist. And until next time, I hope you have a great rest of this week.SUBSCRIBE TO THE SHOW