Thursday, 6 January 2011

Brand (new) Me.

Over the last week I have been working really hard on finding and implementing new marketing strategies and working on my business plan.
I’ve re-worded a lot of the titles of my products on Etsy so that they’re easier to search for, signed up to new websites to help with promotions and SEO stats as well as reading hundreds of articles on small business advice.

Whilst doing all of this admittedly rather dull work, I came across a great website called Copyblogger and he has a series about branding your business. As an experiment I thought I would go through all of the steps he suggests (that apply to my business…I’m not going to start singing no matter what) and I’m putting the step-by-step online. It’s a very useful site. Have a look if you’re interested/involved in small business marketing.

In doing this I am hoping to show by example you one might go about branding/rebranding a small business I would really like this to be helpful. If not to me then to someone...

1. What drives you?
The need to not be doing an office job.
I have always said that I am only afraid of two things in life: mediocrity and organised religion (sometimes in that order).
I want to work as creatively as possible for as long as possible. I really don’t want to climb a ladder, no matter what the financial gain of this may be.

2. What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about literature, poetry, art and politics. Few things make me happier than travelling. I love nature. And these are mostly the things which inspire me all of the time.  I love debating things that matter to myself or other people but I also really like it when someone changes my mind on an issue.

3. What are your strengths?
I am very stubborn. I mean, I am very persistent. Either way, once I have decided to do something I will throw everything I have at it. I work hard and will happily put in long hours to get a better result. I have a good eye for art, which I have to credit to my Dad taking me to as many gallery exhibitions as possible when I was a little girl. I knew my way around the National Gallery before my village.

4. What are your weaknesses?
I’m not very good at asking for help. I know my marketing could be better if I was willing to reach out to people and ask them to help promote me but it makes me very uncomfortable to do so. I am not good at drawing/painting. My artistic-eye does not stretch to free-hand creation. I’ve no training in any formal business things. I am learning everything as I go, accounting is still mostly a mystery to me. And coffee, I have a real weakness for coffee.

5. What is your personality type?
I’m definitely introverted. I am really shy and so tend to act quite outgoing when I meet people while really wanting to curl up under a blanket and pretend I’m not there.
I love my friends (and usually my family) very much but I enjoy living on my own so I can work at my own pace and I am happiest pottering around the house on my own. I do however like the company of good books, art and music while I work and write

6. What is your story?
I have been trying to figure this out because I am writing an Artist CV at the moment. Here’s the short version. I started making jewellery for Young Enterprise. Kept making it for friends. Started making art collages to decorate my walls while at Uni. Found Etsy. Had several miserable office jobs. Decided to try to make a creative career work. You’re up to date.

7. What is your background?
Someone once asked me to write the first line of my biography and this is what I came up with: “She was born in Ascot without a hat and spent the rest of her life looking for the perfect one.”
I grew up in the East Midlands, lived in London but loved the country. I never meant to be an artist, or a jewellery designer. It just sort of happened but I am very glad it did. Even if I can’t do this forever or even for very long it’s good here and now. I think the accidental way I fell into arts and crafts gives me a different outlook and set of ideas. And I don’t think that is a bad thing at all.

8. What are you most talented at?
What a horrid question. I can multi-task better than most. I read very quickly. I’m good with my hands and can pick up manual skills when I’ve been shown. I make the best cottage pie you can imagine and my rock cakes and jam tarts have been known to get me offers of marriage.
I guess that sort of applies to my business. Maybe not the cooking part so much.

9. What do you have the most experience doing?
I guess I have the most workplace experience in politics. I worked with various politicians and political groups since the age of fifteen until about a year ago. Life experience I think books and art are pretty much equal for the top spot. Crafting wise I have made more jewellery than anything else but my artwork is slowly catching up.

10. Why did you choose your career / niche / topic / market?
I chose my career, such as it is, because I don’t know how to cope with normal life. I chose my niche because it’s what I love, it’s personal and means I can live in my imagination for most of the time. I choose my topics depending on my mood, this can be very dangerous but also exciting. I chose my market based on my friends, family and people I know so I could make the best products possible for the people I hoped to sell to. 

Okay, that's part one done. Depending on the level of complaints (or even complements) I get I might keep doing the rest of the branding questions. Once again - the original idea came from Copyblogger, so a big thank you to them!



  1. Hey!
    Thank you for reminding me of this blog! I have added this link to my favourites because I wanted to read it over and over.. it has SO much information! SO much to read!
    I think I will try this out, too!
    The website is really great!

  2. This is very good! It got me thinking. ;-)

  3. Thanks for the link to this blog. I have been wanting to organize my business in a whole new way and this will be a great place to get thoughts together!
    By the way, I found YOUR blog because of a treasury you made with my item in it. Thanks for that!

  4. Thank you for the introduction to your blog and the many great links!

  5. thanks for providing this link. So much to think about

  6. oh I haven't visited copyblogger in a long time... thanks for publicizing your path.

  7. Brilliant! "Born in Ascot without a hat" made me laugh until I had to wipe tears away! I make hat pins! TY!
    I'm stumped when it comes to writing my own bio and I think you have just given me some hope!
    (((HUG))) Pam

  8. Vicks, Thanks for the etsy post that brought me here...will follow ur blog surely-do hop by at mine - would love to connect!

  9. Hello Vick! Stopped by after seeing you on etsy! Thinking on the same lines to improve my sales and also brand building I finally decided to take the plunge to blogging. A newbie still, I have learned that the world is not a bad place. Think positive and wonderful things will take time. I am planning to do Friday Features on artists/bloggers who have an inclination towards ethnic ideas. My blog is

  10. I think you can comfortably add 'writing' to your Strengths category. This is so concise, yet descriptive. Having never blogged before, you've convinced me to put it on my very long list of things to do sooner than later. Thanks!

  11. Look how terribly slow I've been in responding to all you lovely people! Sorry guys.
    It's no excuse but I've been working hard on getting my cards ready to start selling.
    Thank you all so, so much for leaving such amazing comments. I'm still learning loads from everyone and I'm really pleased that this has been a little bit helpful.
    I've got one more to go and round it all up and then I need to decide what to work on next!

  12. Kelly - I love making treasuries, it's such a fab way of finding new favourites.
    Pam - I *adore* hats, I can never resist trying them on - and more often than not, buying them as well!
    Reshma - that sounds like an amazing idea, and a great way of connecting to more people. I'll keep an eye out for it.
    Lori - Thank you so much, I love writing so being able to use that to work on my crafting is great fun. Let me know when you're set up so I can follow you!
    And I think I've found most of y'all now, either on Etsy or via your blogs so will be looking forward to seeing more of your amazing creativity!
    All the best,

  13. Thanks so much for sharing this! I love your writing style.

  14. I got this link through an etsy newsletter and I like this, I just started now on my shop. I had to quit my day job. A bit risky but I have other plans of making money I need while I work on my art online and this really makes me think. I'm with you on not fitting in with the regular job world, it bores me to tears!

  15. Thanks for you blog, Vick. Reading points 2 and 3 was like looking in a mirror - I wouldn't have written about myself any differently, it's uncanny really! Forever I've thought I was the only person in the world who felt that way, obviously not. I also suck at accounting! I live in New Zealand and, although I don't have an office job as such, I'm dying to work for home instead of for the government (I'm a high school teacher), more because I want to explore my passions than for any other reason. I'm working towards it (still in the thinking stage). I've just recently opened up an etsy shop @ (though I know I have lots to add/change/amend in there as I haven't even thought about a target market) and I'm going to start a blog soon. So. I look forward to reading more about your success as it will inspire me to make my own. Thanks.

  16. Thanks for sharing your story -- it reminds me of the early days of blogging, when one person would complete a "meme" or list of questions and tag others to complete the same challenge. It was a great way to learn more about a person you knew only through the internet, and a great way to discover new people you might like by following their tags on.

    So you might want to take Copyblogger's idea and add one more step -- ask a few of the people you like in your blogroll to answer the same questions. We can click through and find out cool stuff about them too!

    Thanks for prompting me to flash back to visiting the National Gallery. And love the pic of you outside a wonderful Georgian door.