Earlier this year, we hired an inspirational business consultant. She helped us to define our style, pull together our communications and tackle our work in a whole new way. She also held a mirror up to our business and asked us what was stopping us from being exceptional right now. It really made me stop and reflect on what we’re doing, where we’re heading and how we can change things to be more productive, more profitable and have more fun while we’re at it.
It’s all to easy, isn’t it, to hide behind mountains of paperwork/ a demanding workload/ hectic personal life and cite all of these things as reasons why you can’t push harder, think braver, dream bigger. But I don’t want compalcency to bite you on the bottom.
Take out your notepad (a proper one, with paper not pixels) and write down five things you’d love to be doing if nothing stood in your way. Think big. Be daring. Once you’ve put it out there, you’ll be suprised at how those dreams that seemed so big in your head seem somehow more achievable.
And if you’re feeling brave enough to share what’s on your list, I’d love to hear from you….!
I attended a fantastic talk on the power of endorsement yesterday, presented by Helena Holrick. What a lady! She had the whole room thinking really hard about how we can harness the emotional stamp of approval that an endorsement provides, and use that to enhance our credibility when talking to new businesses.
She spoke about the difference between a referral (‘I know someone who might be abe to help you’), a recommendation (‘I know someone who can help you and they’re quite good’) and an endorsement (‘I know that this person can help you, and you must use them because they’re incredible at what they do’).
Can you see how an endorsement is so much more powerful?
Helena spoke to us about how we should aim to be endorsed as much as possible, and employ those endorsements with pride and confidence whenever we can. With this in mind, I’m delighted that one of my fellow delegates offered this endorsement about working with Ditto:
‘Working with Ditto is a delight. Hannah listened carefully to what I told her about my business then reflected it back with extra shine and colour. Her vision for my brand made my heart sing and reminded me why I love doing what I do.’
I have some homework for you. Ask your clients to provide you with an endorsement for the latest piece of work you’ve completed for them, and find a way to employ it in your marketing literature – could you include it in your social media profile, on your blog or in your portfolio? Think about how much more emotionally engaging it is to use these sorts of heartfelt, genuine words, and how you can pepper your literature with strategically placed endorsements to help win over prospective clients.
Let me know how you get on!
I’m really excited to share one of my favourite recent projects with you – logo design and brand styling for Stuart McMahon Garden Design.
Stuart McMahon is an ambitious and talented garden designer, who has just launched his own business having trained at the prestigious Hampton Court. Stuart is already attracting clients in the affluent areas of Chelsea and Farnborough Park, and wanted to capitalise on his early success with a brand identity that cemented him as a talented, design-lead expert. He came to Ditto for a brand identity that attracts clients who value his creativity, design flair and ability to create the show garden look that they covet. Stuart fell for the identity we created for Tree Craft, and really wanted a look that had a similarly confident and established feel.
The season personality
Stuart’s business is a Winter personality with Summer subordinates. Winter businesses are high end, confident and ambitious. They are visionary, on-trend and tend to be experts in their field. There’s a sense of opulence and luxury to Winter brands, who love the drama that a statement design provides. Clean, strong lines, bold shapes and plenty of space are key for Winter. On the Summer side, there’s an elegance, creativity and aspirational feel which will appeal to Stuart’s clients. Summer personalities are understated, logical and pay attention to every last detail, which fits Stuart’s brand perfectly! Summer personalities require elegant styling which fits very well with the drama of Winter.
The colour palette
The colour palette we created for Stuart McMahon is far from that of your average garden designer. Violet Leaf, Echevaria Jade, Chelsea Grey, Nero Oak with accents of Silver Birch provide a confident, contemporary palette. The green and grey are heritage colours – perfect for creating an established feel – while the pop of vivd jade provides a contemporary edge. The silver creates a sense of exclusivity, which we intend to use for accents. How delicious would silver foil business cards be?! This was a brave colour palette which I’m so pleased Stuart had the confidence for.
Exclusive, polished, carefully styled and slightly hipster describes the style of this brand identity. The brand requires plenty of room to breathe, with the finishing touches creating a truly distinctive identity. Strong lines, confident shapes and bold typography tells the world that Stuart McMahon Garden Design means business.