Melissa @ Brand Sweet Co

👩🏼‍🏫 #Creativepreneur Brand + Marketing Education 📲 Follow along behind the scenes as I build my new business!

🙀This could well be some of the last traces of my beloved blush pink you'll see around here. If you watch my stories (or check out my highlights), you'll see that I've been on the verge of a big shift with my business for a while. The process of totally reshaping everything from the ground up has been SO challenging. BUT...the good news is that I've FINALLY made some big progress!⠀ .⠀ I've committed to sharing my brand building process behind the scenes with you, and I've been teasing it for a while. Don't worry, it's still happening and I haven't been keeping anything from you! I got SO stuck at the very first stage - what to call my new business. That might seem silly, but I had a lot of criteria for this bad boy and a lot of thought and hours went into this.⠀ .⠀ I'm going to be recording a video later today where I'm going to share the new brand name, what my challenges were in selecting the name and the approach I took to figure it all out.⠀ .⠀ Since this will be the first of many videos, tell me...what do you want to know or learn about building your brand? Drop some ideas for me down below ⤵
One way or another? Gray skies or silver lining? Glass half empty or half full? 🥃 I’m literally saying the exact same thing in each of those questions. But our internal thoughts, beliefs & past experiences massively affect our emotions and mindset. 😢 Failure & rejection are 2 things I’ve become intimately acquainted with the past two years. I’ve seen new lows I didn’t know were there AFTER I thought I’d hit rock bottom. Maybe a month ago, I realized I had a very fucked up, co-dependent relationship with failure & my fear of it. 💡 The big epiphany was that I just needed to treat failure the same way I handled all tough emotional topics in my life: with a healthy dose of smart-assy humor, deflection & detachment. Like when I was 32 & still chronically single, my response to the question “when are you going to find a nice guy and settle down” was a straight-faced “as soon as he divorces his first wife”. 🌪 Yesterday life crashed in on me with a tough break. A repeat of what should have felt like a very big failure. A year ago, I would’ve gone full-tilt emotional breakdown. Yesterday? I was unnervingly calm about the whole thing. 😶 Turns out, I hadn’t been emotionally invested from the start. I honestly felt relieved and started finding silver linings left & right. After having such an unhealthy fear of failure my whole life, it feels odd to face a big failure with such peace of mind. ☀️ Today, I’m energized & motivated because when I to reflect back on my string of failures I realized they were happening because I wasn’t chasing my purpose in life (which has been crystal clear to me since riiiiight before the failures started). These failures have just been God having my back & making hard decisions for me. . . . #youbelong #mycreativebiz #communityovercompetition #savvybusinessowner #beingboss #risingtidesociety #tnchustler #creativityfound #creativepreneur #dreamersanddoers #gritandvirtue #creativeentrepreneur #femaleentrepreneur #girlboss #creativelifehappylife #theeverygirl #pursuepretty #hustlewithease #dowhatyoulove #thatsdarling #makersgonnamake #societygal #createcultivate #goaldigger #pursueyourpassion #savvybusinessowners #flashesofdelight
🤨Just over here trying to perform some Instagram CPR and this ish ain't easy. 😩Yea...this photo is a romanticized version of the facial expressions happening over here as I pour over analytics and hashtags and strategize, oh my! . So what am I focused on as I try and breathe new life into this old account? My #1 focus is ENGAGEMENT. Does it bother me that my follower count has taken a nose-dive and I'm struggling to break-even? A little, but that's a vanity thing IMO. What literally had me losing sleep last night is that I'm struggling so hard with engagement. . If you swipe left, you'll see some screenshots from my @iconosquare account. The first year of my account, my worst-case average engagement was over 12%. That is unheard of engagement guys. Like stop the press and write home to momma crazy good. Most experts and reports on analytics cite 2-3% engagement as average. So I had 4-6X that. Currently, I can barely break 1% engagement. . The community I grew here in 2016 meant the world to me and gave me life in the beginning stages of the darkest hours I've faced. That same community is who I want to pour into now. I'm not pushing links or launches or opt-ins or any of the rest of it. Not for a while. For now, I want to teach, share and inspire. Which is why engagement is so important to me right now - I want to talk about what you NEED to know/learn/do right now. Not what I want to talk about. . Anyone interested in learning the analytics and strategy behind my attempted insta-comeback? I've been digging into this for a few days now and considering doing an #IGTV sharing everything and then updating on my progress each month. Let me know if you'd watch! . 📸 by the amazing @lauraannewatson . . . . . . . #instagramstrategy #youbelong #mycreativebiz #communityovercompetition #savvybusinessowner #beingboss #risingtidesociety #tnchustler #creativityfound #creativepreneur #dreamersanddoers #gritandvirtue #creativeentrepreneur #femaleentrepreneur #girlboss #creativelifehappylife #theeverygirl #womeninbusiness #pursuepretty #hustlewithease #dowhatyoulove #thatsdarling #makersgonnamake #societygal #createcultivate #goaldigger #pursueyourpassion #savvybusinessowners
I think I’m gonna dub Monday’s #marketingmonday because I love a good excuse to nerd out and chat marketing. Today in my insta stories I’m talking about market validation, which is fancy pants biz lingo for making sure people want to buy the ish you’re trying to sell before you spend lots of time and money building a product or business.⠀ .⠀ WHY am I talking about market validation? Well, because I’m doing my own. Big companies will do long-winded and super expensive market research studies to impress boards, startups have to have validated ideas to get funding, but us little guys can kinda do whatever we want, whenever we want. Which is so freeing, but it can also be our downfall. ⠀ .⠀ Validating your idea doesn’t have to take lots of time, money or effort. A few months ago, I was helping an entrepreneur validate their biz idea and I put together a basic 10 question google survey, posted the link in a few relevant groups and got over 100 responses in 3 days. Those survey responses not only helped validate a new business idea, but helped create the perfect pricing structure and develop 3 unique client personas to market to. Kinda powerful right?⠀ .⠀ But it can also be SUPER simple. Such as polling some groups full of your target market, kinda like I did with the super basic yes or no poll in my insta stories a few minutes ago. (Shameless plug - go check out my stories & vote please!) . . . . . . . #bosslady #bossbabe #ladyboss #womeninbusiness #businesswomen #solopreneur #womensupportingwomen #girlboss #dreambigorgohome #gottastayfocused #gogetter #businesswoman #bosschick #femaleentrepreneur #learnfromthebest #bossbabes #millenials #entrepreneurmindset #businesspartner #youngentrepreneur #businessowner #entrepreneurs #womenempowerment #goaldigger #womenentrepreneurs #femaleentrepreneurs #stayfocused #businessminded #leaders
📖🗓✏ Basically what's happening over here today as I try to create/find/make the time to focus on building my new brand. I'm equal parts planner and procrastinator, so I love this "sit-down-and-plan-with-all-the-color-coding" stage. Making myself stick to the plan....that's another story usually. Any tips for creating structure in your day and making yourself stick to your gameplan for the day?⠀⤵️ tell me below! #reply . . . . . . #calledtobecreative #herestothecreatives #creativebiz #creativityfound #wearethecreativeeconomy #beingboss #theimperfectboss #fueledwithheart #failforward #progressnotoerfection #hustleandheart #creativeentrepreneur #creativebusiness #creativesofinstagram #gritandvirtue #theeverygirl #thursdaythoughts
Ever have one of those days where you feel like you're chasing productivity from the second you get out of bed? Today is one of those days. #thankyousnoozebutton . . These days I'm juggling so many balls. When my business essentially died, income had to start coming from a variety of places. I managed to escape going back to a corporate prison and fill the dollar void with a multitude of freelance and consulting gigs. While I'm super grateful for that, it's a beast of its' own to manage my daily schedule and to-do list. My days still don't feel like my own to manage, despite technically being my own boss.⠀ .⠀ As I start trying to rebuild a bigger, better version of my business that once was, finding the time to do the work without working 24/7 is going to be just as challenging as it was with a full-time day job. Over the next few days, my big goal is to block off non-negotiable times to strictly focus on my new brand. Wish me luck!. . . . . . . #youbelong #mycreativebiz #communityovercompetition #savvybusinessowner #beingboss #risingtidesociety #tnchustler #creativityfound #creativepreneur #dreamersanddoers #gritandvirtue #creativeentrepreneur #femaleentrepreneur #creativelifehappylife #theeverygirl #womeninbusiness #pursuepretty #bosslady #hustlewithease #dowhatyoulove #thatsdarling #makersgonnamake #societygal #createcultivate #goaldigger #pursueyourpassion #savvybusinessowners
📆 Every year, I start with big plans, big goals, big ideas. But most years I don’t take action on them, map out how they’ll happen or start taking the small steps that create momentum for a while.⠀ .⠀ I wish I was one of those super planner people who was already mapping out 2018 before 2017 was over yet, but I’m not. (@thesocialwalker - I need lessons girl!). Most years I let that get me down as I see others charging through their #powersheets checking off to-dos and crossing off goals.⠀ .⠀ This year I’m reminding myself to practice what I preach and do what works for me. So if that means starting my 2018 planning in January and my goal crushing in February, then it’s all good. This entrepreneurship thing is a marathon, 🏃🏼‍♀️ not a sprint. It doesn’t matter when you start, only that you do. And that you don’t stop moving forward.⠀ .⠀ So 🥂 cheers to the late bloomers and the catch-er-up-ers! I’ll see you at the finish line. ⠀ .⠀ 📸 via @unsplash . . . . #Joyfulcreative #herestothecreatives #neverstopcreating #communityovercompetition #thatsdarling #savvybusinessowner #entreprenuer #calledtobecreative #creativechics #liveauthentic #pursuepretty #solopreneur #createmore #iamcreative #risingtidesociety #girlboss #allthingspretty #buildingbossladies #immtribe #findyourflock #flashesofdelight #ohwowyes #iamtheeverygirl #creativelifehappylife #mycreativebiz #handsandhustle #thatsdarling #bossladies
Failure sucks. Most of the past 18 months of my life have been filled with failures. BIG ones. Personal failures. Business Failures. Relationship failures. And #realtalk - they've crippled me.⠀ .⠀ But today I'm wondering if I can be my own source of inspiration to overcome the constant sense of failure that I feel as I came across words I wrote almost 2 years ago to the day:⠀ .⠀ "Start small. Start somewhere. And just do it. Slowly but surely, the hesitant, self-doubting little voice in your head will get quieter. Small scary steps become this driving force of momentum." ⠀ .⠀ So here's to time wasted frozen from failure and the time of my life still to come. And to the small, scary steps required to get there.⠀ .⠀ 📷 via @thismarbledlife
Can a business come back to life after a year plus of being dead in the water? Let’s find out...
Thinking strategy and marketing and business, oh my! This requires doughnuts! 🍩🍩🍩 Trying to create a strategic marketing plan for biz can be daunting. Maybe you're not even really sure what the heck a strategic marketing plan is or where to start? Grab some extra doughnuts and cozy up to read today's blog post where I'm laying down the basics to start thinking strategically. . With 2017 right around the corner (what the heck?!) I'm devoting the next couple of weeks to your brand, your marketing and your goals so you have a #sweetstrategy to ring in the new year. I'd love for you to come back here and tell me what you feel is the scariest, most challenging part of starting to think strategically in your biz. I want to be sure I can answer as many questions as possible in the #sweetstrategy series! So don't hold back! 📷: @vicki_yo
📅 Who else is sweatin' 2017 knocking on their door? Is it just me, or do you more motivated to get organized, set goals and plan ahead this time of year? . Just in case I'm not the only one....I'm kicking off a new series ALLL about planning, marketing and growing your business by learning how to be strategic with what you do. I've named it the #sweetstrategy series, and yes, there will obviously be 🍩 doughnuts 🍩  involved. Stay for the doughnuts or stay for the series, either way, it will last a couple weeks and I've got some good stuff planned. . Today's blog is all about how to start thinking strategically. And Mean Girl's references. I mean naturally Regina George and strategy go together like doughnuts and doughnuts, right? Now that you're curious how I managed that....the link is in my bio 😉
☕️☕️☕️ GIVE ME ALLLLL THE COFFEE!! ☕️☕️☕️ Who else has a crazy busy #makewavesmonday with a super long to-do list? I'm going to be cranking out some opt-in PDFs, planning some websites and stepping WAY outside my creative box to take some real estate photos! What's everyone else up to today? . Stick around my IG today, I'm devoting the next couple of weeks to my #sweetstrategy series that's all about coming up with marketing strategies for your business. 📷 : @minimaliving
HAPPY BLACK FRI-YAY! If you're anything like me, you're avoiding the madness and doing your Black Friday shopping from the comfort of your couch. There's incredible sales literally everywhere today. But as a creative entrepreneur, today is an awesome time to invest in your business AND get in those last tax deductions of the year. So, I thought I'd do a round-up of my Black Friday deals for you! . 💕 @christinascalera has an AMAZING deal on her legal contracts 💕 @belongmag has some awesome tshirts for just $19 plus 20% off everything - be sure to pick up a copy of the magazine! 💕 @cultivatewhatmatters has some of my favorite prints, journals and tshirts on sale 💕 @heyflockandco has a fun and FREE black friday surprise 💕 @honeybook is offering $100 off their lifetime Foundation Membership 📷 by @wickbox
No matter what, I am still thankful. My first year of business hasn't turned out quite as well as I had planned on paper, but I am still deeply thankful for my business, my support system, my clients and all of you. No matter where you are in your business or how many bumps you've encountered along the way, take a few minutes for yourself today and reflect on what aspect of your business you are thankful for. More specifically, I'm thankful for: 💕 my handsome fiance @wesbrookman and my mom (who still doesn't get Instagram) who went above and beyond to help me this year 💕 @lauraannewatson and @steadfastbookkeeping - you ladies have helped me through so much this year 💕 @kvcphotography and @bethphillipsphoto - two amazing clients who I now call friends 💕 being able to leave my full-time corporate job despite the obstacles that came with it 💕 having the opportunity to help the creative community I've loved for years even in the smallest ways
Happy Thanksgiving Sweet Creatives! I hope we all step away from our laptops and emails to enjoy family, friends & good food! I'm looking forward to some smashed sweet potatoes later 😍 I would love to hear everyone's favorite thanksgiving dish!
Happy #followfriday sweet creatives! I'd feel *pretty* narcissistic if I posted a photo of myself today since that's somehow most of my recent photos. So today, instead of introducing you to myself, I would 💕 LOVE💕to introduce you to some amazing clients of mine, @lanierbridal ! . Maria & Jonathan have an incredible vision of making the North Atlanta region near Lake Lanier tone of the premiere wedding locations in Georgia. They're turning years of experience as wedding planners into being a huge resource for both brides and wedding vendors. . They're making a big splash y'all. Twice a year they're producing a bridal magazine focuses on real weddings and advice from vendors in North Atlanta PLUS planning two epic bridal expos a year! #entreprenuergoals . I have the privilege of being their design right-hand, providing their branding, website, media kit, magazine and styled stock! . You'd rock my world if you'd give them a follow! 📲 . Question guys...What would you want to see in a regional wedding magazine? Tell us below in the comments! ⤵️
One week ago today, this crazy awesome thing happened. I was on the @mycreativeempire podcast with the amazing, beautiful and talented @christinascalera and @reinaandcompany ! . The podcast was SUPER helpful for me and will probably be for you too, because it was actually a live mentoring session! Here's what Christina & Reina helped me with: 💕 How to hire before you’re ready to avoid scrambling later 💕 What you can automate to make life easier 💕 How to make a minimum viable passive income product 💕 How to collect ideas from your ideal client for passive income products . Let's just say I've been spending a lot of time working on ALL of those things recently! They light a fire under me that I'm in no hurry to put out because it's moving my business forward in the right directions. . I'll be honest though - there isn't a single episode of this podcast that doesn't hold some nugget of wisdom or gives me a light bulb moment. If you're in need of some biz inspiration, you need to go listen to this NOW. . If you listened to my episode, I would LOVE to know what your light bulb moment was?
What better way to return from an Instagram hiatus than an amazeballs guest post over on the @simplyforcreatives blog AND a totally kick-ass FREE 📓 workbook + ✉️ email course for 📷 photographers? . I'm talking alllllll about how making your brand stronger 💪 can help you successfully raise your rates. And not at a vague, high-level, "I don't really understand how this works" kind of way. I'm going into tons of detail and giving you a real-life photographer example for everything so you know EXACTLY how all this branding mumbo-jumbo applies to YOU. . Sounds like something you want and need right? I haven't even gotten to the best part yet! Besides being 100% free it's also 100% DIY with 9 easily doable and super actionable steps. Plus some fun and helpful emails along the way to keep you on track and motivated. . I'm not holding anything back and there's zero sales pitches along the way. A few of my biz besties said I was crazy to just give this all away and not charge money for it. And I probably am. But I'm making this available for $0.00 because my driving force behind Brand Sweet Co is help creatives stop struggling SO much and get to the business of their dreams faster. So, lame freebies and vague information aren't my style. 💁 . Now go follow @simplyforcreatives , go to her blog and get your learn on!
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