Register for brand school opening soon! Learn More

BRANDING FROM THE INSIDE OUT

Turning Brand Mishaps into Gifts. A few ideas to get you there.

This has to be one of the most common conversations I have with my clients. Something goes wrong. A terrible review of a service or product, a client that didn’t pay, a project cancelled unexpectedly.

It can also look like a manufacturing mistake, a missed deadline, or someone dropping the ball.

Something that is uncomfortable and let’s be honest, hurt a bit.

The pattern generally goes like this, My client shares with me the pain, describes how ‘unfair’ it is. The mistakes their client made, how THEY didn’t understand what it was all about, How THEY misinterpreted something or how THEY are annoying and asking for something beyond the norm.

My answer is almost always the same.

WHAT IS THE GIFT?

This has to be one of the most common conversations I have with my clients. Something goes wrong. A terrible review of a service or product, a client that didn’t pay, a project cancelled unexpectedly.

It can also look like a manufacturing mistake, a missed deadline, or someone dropping the ball.

Something that is uncomfortable and let’s be honest, hurt a bit.

The pattern generally goes like this, My client shares with me the pain, describes how ‘unfair’ it is. The mistakes their client made, how THEY didn’t understand what it was all about, How THEY misinterpreted something or how THEY are annoying and asking for something beyond the norm.

My answer is almost always the same.

WHAT IS THE GIFT?

When we hurt we wish to hear that we are right. That we didn’t do anything wrong and that it was them, how dare they not read our mind and know that things simply work in a particular way?

But what I find is that all those mishaps, those disconnections in the journey of experiencing your brand are brilliant thermometers for knowing where the fine tuning needs to happen.

So generally, after we shake the ego and the pain, we sit down and brainstorm the gift.

If someone didn’t understand your return policy, maybe it’s time to re-write it again from a different perspective. Client’s are asking ‘silly questions’ about your product? Then let’s think creatively of new ways to explain it. Maybe a video or a how-to brochure could do a better job.

Years ago when Wallnut was still in full design branding mode, I accumulated a set of big mishaps within just a couple of months. They were painful, expensive and heartbreaking.

Luckily, back then I had a brilliant business coach who got me to implement boundaries and systems for each of the issues that I experienced and let me tell you, none of them ever happened again.

I had to add new bits to my contracts, I had to finesse my client onboarding process and I had to get better at saying no and spotting my ideal client. So in hindsight, all those painful mishaps were nothing but beautiful gifts helping me shape my business into one that runs more smoothly and MOST IMPORTANTLY, feels respectful of me, my vision and what I’m about.

So I ask you today, what are the gifts you are being given by your customers? And what are you doing to make them count? In your processes, your systems, your offerings?

Would love to hear if you have any stories like this!

With love,

Cris

A couple of weeks ago I was reminding my Mastermind participants to prepare their businesses for winter. A week later, my son got sick and as of writing this, I have spent more than a week with multiple wakes at night, some re-scheduling of priorities and in general feeling a bit rundown. Surrender has definitely been the word of the week!

When running a small business, Winter, as in sickness and little ones unwell and needing care, are factors that will surely impact how smoothly we run. The energy of Winter is also that of inward contemplation, our bodies require different things, and we tend to introspect much more.

Considering all this, I wanted to write a little message with some ideas on how to get your business ‘Winter Ready’:

A couple of weeks ago I was reminding my Mastermind participants to prepare their businesses for winter. A week later, my son got sick and as of writing this, I have spent more than a week with multiple wakes at night, some re-scheduling of priorities and in general feeling a bit rundown. Surrender has definitely been the word of the week!

When running a small business, Winter, as in sickness and little ones unwell and needing care, are factors that will surely impact how smoothly we run. The energy of Winter is also that of inward contemplation, our bodies require different things, and we tend to introspect much more.

Considering all this, I wanted to write a little message with some ideas on how to get your business ‘Winter Ready’:

IMMUNE BOOSTING TIME

Naturally, immunity is a big one. I always turn to my incredible health coach, client, and friend, Kate Barnes for ideas on this. Things like good quality supplements, making sure we are having fresh air and sun (a.k.a. Vitamin D) every day are some of the things she mentions to me a lot. I love her E-book on Immunity and highly recommend it, you can get it here.

VILLAGE BUILDING

Once again, checking on babysitters, extra support and carers for this season are some of the things I’ve been focusing on. This podcast from my dear client Julia Jones has so great ideas on ‘Buying your Village’ (yup, we are allowed to do that 🙂 ). Making sure you have a bit more support like an assistant or someone on call to cover you at your shop are all great ideas too!

BATCHING MORE

Assuming that I may have more time off-work that expected during this season, I’ve been focusing on batching more work when I have a chance. Writing a couple of blog posts at once. Scheduling a few more months of Instagram, paying a few things in advance and even cooking larger quantities of food like muffins, broths and meals are a few ideas on how to get ahead.

CONSIDERING WHAT’S ESSENTIAL

Having a good look at projects, pending stuff, commitments, engagements and really checking it to see if they still feel right is so important. Boundaries, saying no and letting go is my never-ending practice, but I did it recently with a couple of projects and the stress, and sense of pressure has definitely gone down!

RIDING THE FLOW OF THE SEASON

Winter naturally calls for inward attention. We slow down, we contemplate, we go deeper. I see this as a great chance to access great wisdom within us. So, why not consider drafting that project, e-course or book that you’ve been pondering? Maybe spend some time reflecting on your current offerings and what could stay or go? It could be even spending some time to reflect how your inner gifts are being reflected in what you do!

THINK CREATIVELY

If your business is particularly affected by the winter season, less traffic, seasonal products or events, fewer customers visiting the area, consider a business winter spin.

What else could you offer to complement your client’s needs and wants that they are not used to hearing from you at this time? What other service or platform could work well? What about collaborating with other businesses around this time to boost sales?

Challenge the belief that this is a low season for you and think creatively exploring what’s possible!

EXTRA SELF-CARE

I personally perform better in my work and at home when I have a bit of self-care in my system. After a week of little sleep, I’ve taken extra time to have a massage, treatments, sauna, meditation, and exercise. It has actually taken me years to see it this way, but now I REALLY know that I can’t pour from an empty cup. So if you need permission, this is it, schedule if you need, for the whole season, a few extra treatments, visits and time to fill your cup!

That’s all, hope it helps, let me know if you already do a few of these or if you find this helpful.

Let’s hope for a beautiful, cosy and insightful winter business season!