Dear Creative Entrepreneur
A Letter From Me To You
Imagine what it’s like to have an idea, be excited about that idea, have the confidence to start a business based on that idea, only to be left clueless on how to profit from that idea.
But there had to be some sort of mistake. The universe was playing with my feelings. Is creativity really not enough?
I quit my job because I wanted complete control of my life but quickly realized if I’m not able to attract an audience to my idea then I still don’t have control. And I’m not talking about pitching your idea to anyone who would listen hoping they can relate to your vision. Or outsourcing any marketing efforts until your budget doesn’t want to play anymore.
I simply mean:
And anything you choose to do outside of that is really just a bonus. This is self-made!
But I remember that feeling of prematurely quitting my job to start a business. I also dropped out of college after having spent 7 years basically on the best vacation of my life. It’s safe to say my approach to business at the time was desperation. Look everyone, I’m not the bum my ex thought I was!
I’m An Entrepreneur?
I was focused on elements such as design, logo, website, and suppliers (since I was doing e-commerce). I opened up my very first Shopify store so excited! Excited to make money, call myself an entrepreneur, have people use my products and spread the word.
I called it Omni Central. Ha, good times! I intended to sell a bunch of trendy products, having no real niche. This version of me was clearly chasing money.
Funny, I never once considered how people would support my business if they don’t know me.
After a number of failed attempts, I understood it took more than simply launching your business and investing in your offer to be successful. Crazy, right? But what was I doing wrong? There was A LOT I didn’t know.
Think about how many dope music artists exist but aren’t getting the awareness they deserve so we’ve never heard their music. Or a vegan face wash that doesn’t break out your skin. And I bet there’s some woman in the living room currently in her own vibe, hand making candles that will put Bath and Body Works to shame.
I know what you’re thinking about the candles. Just go to Etsy, problem solved. To my rebuttal, what if Etsy didn’t exist?
I want complete control. Not in a crazed kind of way like Daenerys Targaryen behaved towards the finale of Game of Thrones.
But just imagine how much relief that is to understand how to attract any audience you want to your idea.
This allows you to focus 80% of your energy on being creative, confident that the other 20% will lead to profit.
Hopefully my failures can shorten your learning curve.
Will you go out with me?
This may be an exciting state to be in if you’re going after your crush but being this vulnerable in business is tragic. The ball is in the other person’s court causing you to be at their mercy. Maybe they’ll show their interest today, maybe not.
Marketing was definitely an appreciated lesson, but I soon realized it’s an ASK. It’s promotions with the intent to attract buyers. Most companies and entrepreneurs lean this route because it’s instant gratification and they’re hyper-focused on sales.
That was me. I was most entrepreneurs.
But when’s the last time your favorite brand, one you use often, needed to track you down with marketing. Never! Any promotions from that brand is added excitement.
I’m just saying Maggiano’s doesn’t have to stalk me with their offer because I’m going to eat there regardless.
I probably shouldn’t have written this post while hungry but you get the idea.
Impatience will be your downfall. Everyone wants to be Apple, Tesla, Disney and so on but maybe 5% are actually willing to build real relationships.
Your foundation will dictate your flow of operation.
Let’s make a pact. No more jumping into relationships before getting to know, like, and trust your audience. Or getting to know yourself.
It’s still the most effective way to build a solid foundation to any relationship. Of course I’m referencing what you expect, dating someone whom you have an interest but also dating yourself to reveal the essence of who you are.
What are your values?
List the top 5 traits your audience must have in order to vibe with your brand.
What’s your story?
Your perspective on what you experience
Figure out what your brand stands for by addressing each of those elements.
Once you know who you are, you know what you should attract. For those in the back saying, “but opposites attract too, me and mines are doing just fine.”
May you have many more beautiful years together! But when running a business, especially if you’re a startup, you want to spend as little time as possible trying to convince anyone to understand your perspective. Focus on your high value audience.
Your high value audience would be a mirror image of your own values and story!
Yes! I’ll go out with you!
Attraction is probably an underestimated trait. Most people try to fight it but they can’t. You can’t help who you’re attracted to nor what food is your favorite. But you do know that the attraction is a vibe that needs no convincing.
Branding is an attraction of fans. In order to do this successfully, you need to build connections by sharing your values and story with an audience that best understands your perspective. This concept is what attracts us to certain music and why it should also apply to your business.
But this isn’t effective if the dating phase is overlooked.
Position yourself as “I know who you are and this is how I can complement your life” versus the “Will you go out with me?” approach.
Take a moment to note:
How you best communicate
Are you best with writing, videos, photos, or simply talking?
Customers v. Fans
I’m very passionate about my distaste for selling. Don’t get me wrong. Without sales, you run a hobby not a business. But I much rather be an attraction.
On top of that, there’s way too much noise and competition anyway. After experiencing this truth first-hand, I realized there’s a difference between customers and fans.
Two different vibes…
One fulfills a need for the moment, and the other, it’s their lifestyle!
- Are sold
- Price match
- May abandon you for competitors
- Cash flow problem for your brand
- Form connections
- Will sell for you
- Anticipate your next move
- Boost brand value
If you’re marketing without having built a brand then you’re attracting customers.
A business can stand on its own without marketing but is vulnerable without a brand. Read that twice if you need to!
Which would you rather attract?
In order to build a true fan base, more brands must pay attention to how fan-based relationships are established in the creative industry.
This sparked an idea to consider how relationships are formed through music or what I refer to as poetic branding.
Be the flow and attract your worth.
Real brands should establish a fan base similar to the vibe an audience has with their favorite artist. But how is this possible?
VISION. Music paints a picture for the lifestyle of their audience i.e. events their audience may have experienced, are currently experiencing, or want to experience. Brand should paint a picture through storytelling.
AMBIANCE. Music complements your experience. Brand should complement your audience’s experience, making their lives easier.
UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE. Music gives off a very transparent vibe that is for a particular audience yet everyone can enjoy. Brand should target your ideal audience, but you should find comfort in knowing that the market is everyone who wants to experience that vibe.
UNITES US. Music naturally engages a community of like-minded individuals. Brand should naturally do the same.
MEMORY. Think about how easy it is to remember lyrics to your favorite songs as if you wrote them! Brand becomes easily memorable by being relatable.
WAY OF LIFE. Imagine life without music. Actually, don’t do that. It’s… depressing lol In order to attract your worth, the culture of the brand should be your audience’s way of life.
So what happens next?
- Identify your values and story
- Your audience is a mirror image of that discovery
- Identify how you best communicate
- Share how your offer complements your values and story
- Audit your current content stategy! (use the music concept as a guide to attract your own fan base for your industry)
Your fellow creative