let's get this party started
Starting a new business is one of the most exciting times of your life. It represents a choice to take control of your future in a completely new way than working for someone else.
You are flipping the script, and deciding to be the creator of your destiny, rather than the servant to someone else's.
You may be going all in, or starting a side gig to make a little extra money - the game is still the same no matter which. That means you need to be recognizable and memorable for the business you are creating if you want your business to last.
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starting your business brand
Welcome to my guide to starting your brand.
Today I am going to be talking about:
2. How I Got Started
4. What Is A Brand?
5. What Not To Do: Mindset Shifts
6. What You Need To Get Started
7. Why You Need Brand Portraits
This post is going to be a little long, so you may want to bookmark it now so you can come back to it when you have more time or enter your email below and I will email it to you, plus a FREE 5-day email course on how to start your brand.
I want your business to succeed: It's the whole reason I created my business. I am on your team now, and I take it to heart.
Your time is the essence of your life, and we don't have it to squander. And, for me personally, I want the people I work with to succeed because you will be raving fans if I do my job right. It's symbiotic.
So if you're ready to really start a business right, I've developed a free email series to help you launch your brand when you are starting your business.
It does not occur to most to begin to plan their brand as they are starting their business.
The work you are putting into the DNA of your business right now is very unique. I did not know *a thing* about this when I started my business. I thought you needed a logo and a tag line - oh my.
If you take a pause and look around, you'll see that you are WAY ahead of those around you when you brand at the beginning.
You can sense the ones from a mile away who are branded -- their business sings of connection and relevance. They pop right off the page.
That's what we're up to in here.
The time investment you are putting in right now is like feeding your pregnant business all the greens. I'm thrilled you are here and will now receive a step-by-step guide to branding your business.
If you aren't into reading about how I got started CLICK HERE to skip straight to the post.
Endings are beginnings. And that is how I got started at Jessica Sunshine Creative. Previously, I had been "Jessica Sunshine Photography."
JSP (Jessica Sunshine Photography) was ending because I was hitting rock bottom creatively. I had been in business for over 10 years and I was really good at my job.
But I wasn't growing creatively, and I wasn't evolving as a person. I went on like that for awhile, because I had no idea what to do about it.
But the wheels came off the bus of their own accord one day, since I hadn't known what to do about it. I was left high and dry. It was pretty scary and stressful.
My identity had been "photographer" for a really long time. Now what was I? A SAHM? Pfffftttt.
Ironically, I signed up for a business class when my business ended. Over the next couple of years, I have been in a creation process to bring Jessica Sunshine Creative to life.
I have worked with creative solopreneurs all of the world to uncover how to show up authentically in branding portraits.
You can't have branding portraits without a brand.
You are branding yourSELF as a creative solopreneur.
The processes, programs and methods at Jessica Sunshine Creative revolve around self-discovery to open you up to a strategic and aligned visual representation of who you really are, what you are all about, and how you are deeply valuable.
Jessica Sunshine Creative is not simply about how to get your hair and makeup and wardrobe ready for a photo shoot. But, rather, how to prepare to be a brand.
The Brand of You.
Cracked open. Authentic. Exciting.
Now that's something I'm ready to get to work on. Let's do it...
you are right on time
it's never too early...or too late...
Wait - Did you already launch your business, but you didn't learn about branding before you opened?
That's OK. You're all good. There isn't a defined moment one should start weaving in your brand. I didn't know about any of this for an entire decade.
It's not that you can't run a business without a brand...you can.
The reason you want to brand your business is to attract clients you truly enjoy working with, and to grow faster.
Would you rather work with a misaligned random guy, or that Bohemian woman dripping with vibes?
>>> The first thing we will do is define and understand what a personal brand is.
We will define the game and then look at how you're going to play it. How does your personal brand look, feel and act in the world?
>>>We will also dispel the myths that can cripple your branding efforts right out of the gate. You will learn the mindset shift that is key to creating a brand.
>>> Of course, what I most presently want to share with you is my corner of the store: your visual branding. Your visuals are of crucial and critical importance to your success. You already know that if you are here in the first place!
That is why we are here together after all: your visual branding and to nail your branding portraits. We're going to cover how to do that.
Along the way you will naturally come to understand how to be your own brand strategist as well, because this work is magical like that.
Small businesses and creatives deserve all the support they can get, and the best thing ever is that this is all free and conveniently coming to your inbox.
Starting a brand and business is so much easier when you have someone to guide you.
how to start a new brand in our free email course:
what is a brand
Branding is the connection you create with your potential clients. Connection is what leads to aligned clients. You create connection by doing one thing: sharing your beliefs.
A personal brand, versus a corporate brand, is your one woman show. Your business depends on your skills, talent, and/or personality in order to operate.
There would be no business without you. That is a personal brand.
If you are a personal brand you need to share your beliefs to create connection. Connection leads to aligned clients. (Which leads to a great business. Which leads to a kickass life. Woohoo!)
To start a brand you need to share your beliefs. So, then, how do you share your beliefs?
In my world, you do this with your branding portraits.
You can also share your beliefs in other ways: the type of content you share, the way you write your copy, the type of services you offer.
Your beliefs should permeate every square inch of your business. Consider it like spritzing your signature perfume everywhere. You can't escape the scent.
what not to do - mindset shifts
Let's look at it all another way. What not to do. These next three things represent a mindset shift. Shifting your expectations will free you up to experience more fluidity and give this experience more space to live, grow and ultimately thrive.
1) Don't expect that your brand will be a finished product on your first attempt.
Your brand is a feedback process as you push out your idea of what it is, and you receive feedback from your community.
You will start out with your initial ideas but with feedback and tweaking it will develop and grow.
Mindset Shift: Let It Grow. Let it change. Let it surprise you. Reassess as many times as is necessary until you are feeling F*^king Amazing.
Your brand is a like a high-schooler: You begin as a freshman full of hopes and expectations. You express yourself uniquely. But as we all know, who you are a freshman compared to a senior is a whole different ball game.
So will be your experience as a brand. Embrace the process.
2) Don't automatically expect your branding photographer will nail your brand in a photoshoot. Rather, your photographer needs to be guided.
You are the only one that understands your brand, especially in the beginning. Don't show up to your shoot and expect the photographer will have a vision for your brand. She will not - unless that is - you tell it to her.
Mindset Shift: You Lead Your Photographer. She doesn't lead you.
Certainly, she absolutely brings her photographic creative process to the table, as she should. Your aim isn't to micromanage her photographically.
However, you must communicate who you are, what your brand is and the feeling you are going for in your portraits. Then you let her deliver her genius.
3) Your brand is not just a logo, matching fonts and a cohesive color scheme. Your brand is a total experience that you need to lead your followers through. You will teach your audience how to experience you.
Mindset Shift: Your Brand Is An Experience.
Reflect on a brand experience you have had recently. You become swept away into the dream of this brand...it elicits a feeling in you...what was it? Luxury? Relaxation? Being cutting edge or rock and roll?
Looking at someone's logo does not create an experience. The confusion here is that when you hire a graphic designer she is creating your branding materials for you.
The word "brand" in this case is a bit too broad, in my opinion, or too nebulous. Your graphic designer is delivering a part of your total brand package to you. But, there's A LOT more to be done to create a brand.
Like: Your branding portraits, your copy and your packages/services/offerings.
A brand is an experience.
what you need to get started
Getting started with creating your brand is such an exciting time. As creative business owners, that's our sweet spot: Creation. I'm so looking forward to you sharing it all with me.
I've mentioned the components of a brand already: your branding package you receive from your graphic designer, your copy and the voice in which you address your following, your personal look, your packages/offerings/services, and your branding portraits.
I can help you with your branding portraits.
To step through how to DIY your branding portraits, hop on over here:
No photography skills or special equipment necessary.
I created my business, Jessica Sunshine Creative, the website you are reading now, in order that new brands could bootstrap their branding photography. For free.
Yes, you can and will and should work with an amazing photographer one day, and let's hope very soon, but until then, you NEED branding portraits and I created this solution for you.
I believe that all of us deserve to be able to have the business and life of our dreams, and this is my way of making sure that happens! It's my mission and my purpose.
why you need branding portraits
Without branding portraits on your website you will not be able to connect your energetic vibration to your potential clients and following.
For my soul sisters out there, you are catching my drift, but maybe I've lost you on the phrase "energetic vibration?"
We communicate a lot non-verbally, in person and through our portraits. A picture of you makes people feel a certain way.
Ever stood next to someone in a line or met someone at a party and they instantly make you feel something?
That's their energetic vibration.
We can communicate a lot without words. Our energy. Our vibration. Our self is encoded with who we are, and so an authentic portrait of us will communicate a ton of information about us instantly.
For instance, check out these images of different women:
As you spend time with each of these images, you feel differently with each one.
You don't need to analyze it too deeply because this isn't a homework assignment. But you do need to understand that the energy coming through each image uniquely expresses a feeling.
You don't want just any old portrait on your website, but instead you want to set the intention before your shoot to create an authentic image that you code with The Brand of You.
We will unravel that in our continued work together, because if you are reflecting on this all and don't have a clue how to package who you are into an encoded energetic portrait, DON'T WORRY.
I got you.
That's the work that's done here.
And it is so exciting.
Because when you have a portrait of yourself that is LIT - busting with all your codes - you can FEEL it.
And so can your following. They will get you so clearly and immediately.
No more headshots. No More. This is about the Real You.
Wild Inspiration Session
Austin, TX: A branding portrait session for the burgeoning business, the Wild Inspiration Session is 30 minutes & will showcase one theme. You can use your branding portraits for your social media headers to start the brand of your dreams.
I am thrilled to be a part of your journey. This is just the beginning of our friendship. I hope to be there for you as you begin and as you blossom into a realized brand.
Your brand is an embodiment process.
That sentence is a big, big deal. You will evolve from one thing into another. It is a transformation. It is living your dream. It is walking the walk.
I am here to witness, to encourage and to congratulate. We need our soul sisters, our team, our friends till the end.
So lady I will see you out there in the open plains. Instagram Influencer, here you come! (For real, you are going to be one...one of our sisters just inked a book deal from her Instagram growth.)
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learn how to start a new brand in our free email course:
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