Episode 109 // Packaging, Positioning, and Process with Tara Street

January 31, 2017

Tara Street, Kathleen’s sister and co-owner at Braid Creative, is joining us again today. We’re digging how to package your offering, how to position your brand & business, and how to establish a process that you can repeat with your dream clients to make you feel boss.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"It really comes down to your positioning. How are you articulating what you do to whom?"
- Tara Street

Discussed in this Episode

  • Books and movies Tara is into
  • What to do with your business vision changes
  • Pivoting positioning vs. pivoting your business model
  • Tweaking your positioning statement vs. re-doing your entire brand
  • What is positioning?
  • Cultivating confidence in your business and positioning
  • How to develop or update your brand's positioning
  • Narrowing down to just one main offering


More from Tara Street

More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Kathleen Shannon 0:01
Hello and welcome to being boss,

Emily Thompson 0:04
a podcast for creative entrepreneurs. I'm Emily Thompson.

Kathleen Shannon 0:07
And I'm Kathleen Shannon.

Tara Street 0:10
Hi, I'm Tara Street and I am being boss.

Kathleen Shannon 0:17
All right, you guys, today we are speaking with my sister Charisse three who owns braid creative and consulting with me. And we're going to be chatting about all sorts of things. And as always, you can find all the tools, books and links we reference on the show notes at WWW dot being boss dot

Unknown Speaker 0:35

Kathleen Shannon 0:37
Okay, you guys, I'm going to pause here for a second. We're talking to my sister Tara, all about packaging and positioning your brand and your business vision. But one thing you might not know about my sister is that she loves managing the books at our company braid creative. Now, we've been using freshbooks since day one. And her favorite thing about fresh books cloud accounting, is logging into the dashboard and instantly being able to see an overall picture of the health of our business. She also easily can pull profit and loss statements for our accountant during quarterly tax time, or at the end of the year whenever it comes to doing our final income taxes. And it's just super duper easy and intuitive to keep track of expenses. invoice clients collect payment. Now you can try fresh books for free by going to www.freshbooks.com slash being boss and enter being boss in the How did you hear about us section. So we're both so excited to have you back on the show. Tara.

Tara Street 1:45
Thank you. I'm excited to be here.

Emily Thompson 1:47
I wish my big grin made noise

Kathleen Shannon 1:51
I know I feel like everything like Emily's in her happy place. with you on the show. You know why it is it's because you're like Emily's big sister too. You're like the smarty pants branding expert her us what to do whenever we're always so busy telling everyone else what to do.

Emily Thompson 2:10
I get to draw I get to boss the bosses. right between you and David shit. David is saying something to me the other day and I was like, I feel like I have a boss, can you not have money? you're hiring the same way. But like it's I have a sense of security knowing there's like someone looking out for us. You know, there's never we have questions or whatever.

Kathleen Shannon 2:32
And so just to clarify, for those of you who don't know, about Tara or braid creative, we develop brand positioning messaging and design for creative entrepreneurs. And now organizations which we might chat about a little bit, seeking a brand platform that really fits their true authentic vision. And we really focus a lot on methodically and logically getting there but also blending your personal brand and who you are into the work that you do. And Tara's just kind of the smartest person I know.

Emily Thompson 3:07
Snap now I'm jealous of you know, but legit.

Unknown Speaker 3:12
Thank you. Right,

Unknown Speaker 3:15
what are we talking about? Guys?

Kathleen Shannon 3:16
Okay, there's a lot of things that we're talking about today. Well, first, before we get into talking about like, what to do whenever your business vision is changing, and what that means for your brand, or some brand updates you can make right now. Or how positioning is the foundation of your brand. I want to know like what are you watching and reading lately? I feel like these are questions people usually ask at the end of an episode. We're starting there, but we're starting with what are you watching and reading these?

Tara Street 3:50
Okay? What I am watching these days, you know, I don't read

Unknown Speaker 3:59
Game of Thrones twice.

Unknown Speaker 4:00
I know. I'm just kidding.

Tara Street 4:03
I'm just kidding. I knew you and reading Amy Schumer's book. And a little behind. I know do you think about it? No, we're

Unknown Speaker 4:11
long are you?

Tara Street 4:12
I feel like I'm almost to the end.

Kathleen Shannon 4:15
Okay, remember, I told you it's kind of feels a little disjointed, like her voice. way.

Unknown Speaker 4:21
Yeah. Like with

Kathleen Shannon 4:22
Amy Schumer, like how we know her on our TV show and then kind of like almost apologetic or compassionate and

Tara Street 4:31
you know what I felt when I was reading it. First of all, because you told me that I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would but I feel like maybe she had a lot of criticism weighing on her while she was writing that book. And so it kind of if she couldn't write the carefree, you know, care, you know, the personal brand. We know when she's on stage or on her show, in her book that she had to show kind of the other side of it that she's a person and Kind of what it feels like to have haters probably. So, it was fine.

Kathleen Shannon 5:05
I was good not trying to be a hater for Amy Schumer.

Tara Street 5:09
Oh, no,

no, no, no, I did not mean to flip that on you What I meant was I felt like it actually made me think of you, Kathleen, cuz I know, you and Emily both had to put yourself out there and ways every day they're new and expanding. And, you know, it can be hard getting criticism that way. And it made me think of you guys actually, when I was reading conditioner, especially the part which talks about poop all the time. Yeah.

Emily Thompson 5:39
replace that with vagina. You got kind of a bag.

Tara Street 5:45
More or less. But I also tell you, I'm watching Wait, Emily, I have to tell you, I'm watching. I know that's what I was going for. Because I know you always watch the best things. And my two favorite things I'm watching right now are both on HBO, of course. And HBO shows HBO

Emily Thompson 6:00
on HBO. Gotcha.

Tara Street 6:02
It's not TV. It's HBO. And that is Westworld. Which is like fun. Awesome, futuristic cowboy robot. Will these robots become self aware alley, lots of nudity and violence and really cool musical scores like a Honky Tonk piano playing like Rolling Stones, and it's supposed to be like in a wild west scenario. Michael J.

Kathleen Shannon 6:33
Emily's newest dream is to have a piano player friend to come to our Christmas parties.

Tara Street 6:40
Okay, so if you're into pianos and or piano play automatic piano player, saloon pianos, you'll love Westworld.

Kathleen Shannon 6:50
And robots. So you need is just an automatic piano.

Unknown Speaker 6:53
I can't

Emily Thompson 6:54
remember why you're making this joke. Why are you making

Kathleen Shannon 6:58
the other day? You're like, I have a vision of having a friend that's like at my parties playing.

Emily Thompson 7:03
Yes. Because here's also another truth is I actually hate piano music.

Tara Street 7:09
Okay, do not watch Westworld. Right?

Emily Thompson 7:12
I've seen it right. I've seen an episode or two of it. David's been watching it and sometimes I'll just like walk in and see it. Um, okay, what's the other thing you're watching on HBO insecure.

Tara Street 7:23
With with her lab? Isa. I'm sorry, I don't have a last name because she's a YouTuber. And I feel like her YouTube persona was like, awkward black girl. Anyway, it's a 30 minute show. It's so cool. It's like her kind of navigating sort of like the corporate world and then also just like her social life, and it's sort of like girls, but a completely different voice and perspective. And I love it. Like I thought that I would be like, Oh, I'm gonna watch divorce with Sarah Jessica Parker, which I am. But really insecure is my new favorite. Like fix that kind of show. like watching a girl that you can really relate to you like making her way in the world. insecure, Emily. I can't leave. You're not watching it. You have to watch it.

Emily Thompson 8:07
I know. I'm not watching him. Sorry. I've

Tara Street 8:10
been watching the crown. Oh, I just are watching it last night. Right.

Emily Thompson 8:15
So I've been working on that. I'm currently a one show at a time girl. Because I can't split my

Kathleen Shannon 8:21
you're monogamous with your shows.

Emily Thompson 8:23
I am. I am. I'm loyal to a fault.

Kathleen Shannon 8:28
For good. I'm really into this is us, which is really embarrassing. Mandy Moore. Oh,

Emily Thompson 8:36
I heard about this. A little funny for you. I

Kathleen Shannon 8:41
know. You know what? I think I just have to keep it light.

Unknown Speaker 8:45
Yeah, like I've

Kathleen Shannon 8:46
got a lot of I'm just I have to pause on the business books. Yeah. And then anything that makes me cry. I just want to watch something easy. This Is Us makes me like ball. Like snotty Kleenex. ugly cry every single episode. So it's cathartic? And then I watched that movie how to be single. When? Yeah, so this is my insomnia movie.

Tara Street 9:17
Yeah, it's a good song. And it's,

Kathleen Shannon 9:18
it was giving me life. Which so I texted Tara and I was telling her Have you seen this? And I was only 45 minutes in at that point. And she was like, Uh huh. And then said nothing else and then later was like, that movie sucks. Oh, no one I didn't want to hurt your feelings over text.

Tara Street 9:37
I didn't want my car. I couldn't text you the nuances of like, why it was a cute fun romantic comedy, but it it hit all the notes for me that comedy is supposed to like the formula but it just somehow didn't quite work, right. I couldn't get that across on driving. That's okay, you need

Kathleen Shannon 9:56
the only qualification I need right now for a romantic comedy. As it opens with, like a city sweeping view of New York City or the Golden Gate or San Francisco Yeah, I'm good. Yeah. City

Tara Street 10:10
View. Cool song. montage of people walking on the street. Our main girl the cute outfit. Maybe spilling coffee on herself. office worker friend office worker friends, buddy vathy.

Kathleen Shannon 10:25
Yeah. Which is what's her name? Rebel Wilson?

Unknown Speaker 10:29

Kathleen Shannon 10:30
Is that the same girl as fat? Amy? Yes,

Unknown Speaker 10:33
she's fat. Yes.

Kathleen Shannon 10:35
And that was one of your original dinner party guests. Emily in your brand new business vision with raid creative. Oh

Unknown Speaker 10:41
my god that was bringing it all back round.

Unknown Speaker 10:44
Right. Bring me a

Emily Thompson 10:46
girl. I love some fat Amy. That shit was hysterical to me. Still probably one of my favorite characters ever.

Kathleen Shannon 10:53
Wait? What is she from?

Unknown Speaker 10:55
Pitch Perfect.

Unknown Speaker 10:57
Oh, Pitch Perfect.

Tara Street 10:58
I haven't seen that. She was just about to say Emily. I was like, uh, she has a book who's rebel. That's the book I want to read. I think she's writing. Okay, lover, she

Kathleen Shannon 11:07
made me want to get lip injections.

Emily Thompson 11:13
This conversation is go just going downhill at this point. Also, in fact, Amy does not have a book.

Tara Street 11:20
Oh, did you just Google that just now?

Unknown Speaker 11:22
I did.

Tara Street 11:23
I did a good job. You're so resourceful. Alright, so

Kathleen Shannon 11:27
speaking of that, what should a creative entrepreneur do when their business vision changes?

Unknown Speaker 11:37
elegant segue.

Emily Thompson 11:41
Best transition I've ever heard

Tara Street 11:46
a metaphor for like, well, if, if fat Amy decided to transition her business vision. And I was like, No, I couldn't figure out how to go there. So the reason this keeps coming up from us a lot with braid is people who are just starting out with their new business and learning how to be boss. But people who are maybe two years in or five years in or 10 years and are designed to shift to something new, or try out something new. They're just like, I wish I could get excited about my brand. And this is people who are hiring us and paying as an investing in their branding, their time and their money. They're still like, Oh, I'm so excited to work with you. But I'm just I just can't get excited about my brand. Because it's almost like they know too much like it's exhausting. In some ways, rehashing all of that, when you're transitioning to a new model, or a new product, versus just starting out fresh and roadie based and excited about your new business. And I wonder you guys,

Kathleen Shannon 12:50
point I feel like I feel like whenever people are brand new to launching their brand new business, the logo and the website and what we know of as the branding is what really makes it real. And so it's really exciting. But then yeah, a couple years in, you're like, oh, whenever we had to rebrand being boss, from the original thing that we threw together and two hours to taking it through the braid method and the braid process. I mean, we

Tara Street 13:20
haven't like really gear up for that. And you're like, I just want to be do I just want to do it, I don't want to have to redo my brand to do it. You know, you just want to do the work, you just want to keep going and see what's working and try it out and experiment. You don't have to want to worry about if your brand is matching or not matching, or even saying the right thing. And so I specifically think of like my website, when I think of that. That's the first thing I think people think of when they think of their brand, you know, so what

Kathleen Shannon 13:46
might prompt a refresh or a rebrand is whenever your business vision changes. So in what ways are you seeing creative entrepreneurs wanting to pivot their business vision? Or is it like they're wanting to narrow in? Are they wanting to actually change directions? Are they wanting to go from doing to teaching? What does it look like? And why do they feel the need to change their brand? And is that really even necessary?

Tara Street 14:12
Yes. All of the above? I mean, I think typically when people are transitioning, sometimes it's narrowing in because you don't like necessarily being a generalist, or an order taker or like we said Jane of all trades doing everything for everyone. And so many of us are trained to either it's instinctually innately trained in us or programmed in us or we actually learn this in the professional world. Like to every client should be custom and everything you do for everyone, especially when you're creative. I bet it applies to lots of areas should feel like it's tailor made for that client, you know, and so you kind of get an all a cart. Choose your adventure or situation with your clients or amending You have services that you can provide for them. And so people who've been doing this for about two or three years on their own, are like enough, I'm ready to be known for a specific package. So even if it's a one on one service, I want to be known for specific specialty, right? And that would be the a transition, you know, a kind of a bit of a pivot, like, how can I package up this one thing that I'm known for, versus all the things I've said that I can do.

Kathleen Shannon 15:28
I think also some times whenever we see creatives pivoting or changing, or kind of ready for a brand refresh, is whenever maybe they're packaging up a one on one client service and turning it into a digital product, it's just a good time to really revisit what you're known for your positioning and making sure that the look and feel is aligned. I also see it happening whenever you're attracting the wrong kind of client. Whenever you do offer all those all the CART services, it often leads to kind of those typical client from hell relationships. And so if you're wanting to attract more of your dream client, that's also another time to revisit your positioning and your branding.

Tara Street 16:12
Absolutely. But when I see it, you a lot of times to lock people, even though the example that we just gave, which were like, narrowing in on specialty, or packaging at my service, in a more intentional way. For most people that's so exciting, because it feels like okay, I have a point of view, I've really done the work. And I feel like I have a really specific expertise. And I've had enough time actually kind of dabbling in this. I feel like ready and competent to just rein it in and finally have the brand that ties it all up in a bow, though where I see it's there's still some exhilaration there. I think where I see people getting a little exhausted is where they feel like maybe they're changing more drastically, their business vision. Like it's so funny because they think they're changing it drastically. But so often, I'm the one that's always saying, I don't think this is a different as you think it is. Like they think, oh, I've been a leadership consultant for organizations for 10 years. But now I think I want to just do one on one coaching for executives. I know she goes to that sounds really similar.

Kathleen Shannon 17:20
Yeah, it's like the same thing.

Tara Street 17:21
It's not the same thing. But it's, it's like one word change. But I think the My point being, or like, if you're a web developer, who's also been doing the design, like web design, and branding and identity, it's all been rolled along bow we've been packaged for so long. And you're like, you know, I think I just want to be like a digital branding consultant. And I don't want to the web anymore. Or you know, that's just the example I'm throwing out there. And we put that title as needed exists her but you know, something, some some kind of thing that they've been doing that's been a tool in their belt, that there are a certain type of client that they're ready to bring that to the forefront and stop doing the other things. Sometimes it can feel a little bit like I'm have to change everything, or what will everyone think or it just feels like starting over. And I'm like whoa, slow down. You don't have to throw everything out that you've done. Let's just put a spin on this. And, and it really comes down to your positioning. How are you articulating? What you do for who, who? And what do you want to be known for? And how are you talking about it in your conversations, even before you even think about changing your brand. So your brand is more than your logo? Like that's just like the cherry like we say on the icing on top of the cake when we say that, but it's like, who put the cherry on top of icing on top of cake. It's like a Sunday minute like ice cream sundae metaphor to cake better for her. But

Kathleen Shannon 18:49
the one that like that original metaphor, which would make sense, because I'm always mixing my metaphors.

Tara Street 18:57
Like, don't look a gift horse in the mouth while you're drawing it to water. Okay,

Unknown Speaker 19:06

Kathleen Shannon 19:09
let's talk about this transition a little bit because I feel like transitioning your business is often harder than just starting from scratch.

Unknown Speaker 19:19
Yes. You know, I

Kathleen Shannon 19:20
mean, sometimes even as we're all making shifts in our businesses from indie shot biography to being boss to braid creative. Sometimes it's like, Okay, how can we just clear the slate, but there is no slate to be clouded out we have so much expertise and experience that would be so silly to not bring to the table. Sometimes it's easy to overlook it. Sometimes it's easy to say okay, if we did clear the slate, what would that look like? And working up from there just to come to the conclusion that it's not as hard as we're making it out to be I know. I mean, we laugh and say oh, haha, silly client, an executive coach and a leadership development consultant aren't that different. Let's

Tara Street 19:58
just work on your positioning. It'll be fun, right? But when we talk about our own brands, braid, being boss in detail, biography, all these brands that we're in, it's hard to see your own. label your own struggle when you're inside the bottle. Right. So I think that, just like you said, sometimes it helps us, it helps our clients, it helps you, it helps you guys out there, if you do go to the extreme and think, in your mind, at least for like a month or two, while you're kind of mulling over how your brand vision is changing. What does that extreme look like? Like if I was to stop doing one on one clients was all together? What would that look like? Or if I were to only work with this type of client? What would that look like? Or I would completely change my title of what I am, and completely redo my website content, what would that look like? And then like you said, that it's kind of easy to come back off the ledge, and be like, wait a minute, maybe that's not necessary. After all, it's usually a hybrid, or a mix, or a pivot, like we said, and it's not a complete change.

Emily Thompson 21:04
Okay, so I have a question for both of you. What is the difference between pivoting positioning and pivoting your business model?

Tara Street 21:14
I mean, I think the business model is your idea for how you're going to make money. What is the service and or product you're providing? Right? All the how it works? How is this going to work? How am I going to keep making money? Working for myself? What is my offering? How do people buy it? How do I deliver it? Does this make sense? Right? And the positioning is, once you figure that out? What's that one sentence? That describes to someone that's meeting you for the first time?

Unknown Speaker 21:55
What you do? Yeah,

Kathleen Shannon 21:57
I always think of positioning as the thing that doesn't change no matter what you're selling, or how you're selling it.

Emily Thompson 22:03
Yes, that's right. Good job, Kathleen.

Unknown Speaker 22:08

Emily Thompson 22:09
and how many people? or How often is it that people think they're changing positioning? When what they're really changing? Is their business model? Like, how often is that happening? or someone's like, I need to rebrand because I'm changing what I'm selling, when really, their positioning hasn't changed at all. They've just, they're just changing what they're offering, but their mission and their positioning stays the exact same?

Tara Street 22:33
Yeah, very often. And I think that your positioning isn't a change to match your pivot. It's honestly just a word, or two, in a series of 30 words, and only my sentences are 30 words long, hello, have run ons, but you know, saying like, usually want like, like having, we're just introducing braid, and what we do. And for the past five years, our positioning has been, we do visioning, or business, you know, business visioning and branding, for creative entrepreneurs. And just recently, we've been pivoting a little to include organizations in that, because we feel like we've learned a lot about creative entrepreneurs, that people in teams can really benefit for specifically in house marketing teams. And even some of you guys listening out there are creative, and you're entrepreneurial, but you're still working within a team, right. And so our positioning is just a matter of not just throwing it all away. But just adding a word, where we say, you know, for creative entrepreneurs, and purposeful businesses, or purposeful teams, you know, it's just kind of a little bit of spin. That's why I say that. Even just recently, Emily be talking with you a lot, you know, about our brain ecourse, where we're teaching people how to brand themselves, basically. And, you know, we all work on that a lot together. And we were talking about how I take it for granted that people know that branding is more than a logo. But when we talk about our ecourse, and we talk about our own product, I have to remember that positioning is a big deal to people and articulating themselves. And so even adding that word into our positioning statement is not meta. I think we're positioning and our own positioning statement. It's part of us thing sure that we're adjusting that and tweaking it to expand with our business vision and our business model. So I do think, yes, the positioning doesn't change. For the most part, but the fringes of it, the you know, little bits of it can change and I would just say when I say do that before you ever go in and redo your whole brand is more important than going in and redoing every page on your website. And in all your imagery and all your styling and all your stuff.

Kathleen Shannon 24:53
Emily and I in the clubhouse and being boss and all of our content, talk a lot about intention and purpose. And your Why behind what you're doing. And I do feel like positioning is kind of like the the next step as far as taking your personal why and your purpose and vision out into the world in a way that is hireable and workable. And so for me even thinking about my own personal brand, and my own personal positioning and purpose, that hasn't even changed, going from focusing on one on one client work to the one to many work that we do at braid, like the ecourse and the blogging, even to being boss, it's still exactly the same, which is blending who you are into the work that you do. And for me, it's been the same as well, it's been rocking out your online business so that you can live what you love. It's the same positioning for us personally, that we took from our individual businesses into this new vision that could have felt like a pivot going from blogging, and one on one services to starting a podcast. That really in so many ways that purpose and that positioning has stayed the same. Now there's just the overlap, or it's, it's created a kind of new thing, because we've made a blobby with it,

Emily Thompson 26:14
we made that's what it was we made a number two positioning statements love each other very much. Right? So I just pulled open the brand story that you guys did for me, like, five, six years ago, or something crazy, maybe even longer. I don't actually let me see when this file 2012. That was four years ago, four and a half years ago. And reading through it again. This is still exactly what in the shop biography does. And you're totally right, in that a couple of the words need to be shifted, like, I'm not so much into online shop solutions. Like that's not not building websites anymore. But I am still helping creatives build online businesses with the tools, the steps and the guide to get the to get you there. And I think that like I think that a really strong positioning statement, whenever it's adequately, like pulled from your depths will not change. Like even as my business model has shifted. Time and time again, I went from doing, you know, one off websites, to doing indie boom, which was like coaching and web design these super intensive projects that I was working on, to stop doing one on one work all together to create e courses and toolkits. And to even like bringing this into being boss, it has stayed the exact same. And for the design of my brand, it also stayed for a really long time. And just in the past what three months I've started the transition of graphics for in the shop biography, I think that's a really powerful thing to sort out. I think that so often, people go with these like short term like branding solutions where like, I just need a logo, or I'll just get this cheap thing here, or I'll like, go pull some stock photos and call it a day or whatever it is. But I can't like the longer I live in this brand, the more I have to speak to how important it is to really have someone dig in, in this way. Because I can still go back to this document and absolutely see myself and what in the shop biography is in it. And sure the packaging changes a little bit. What I offer has absolutely shifted, but my positioning is the exact same with the tweak, except for the tweak of a couple of small words. It's all still there.

Kathleen Shannon 28:46
And what's cool about having solid positioning is that you can try on different trends, as I mean, Emily, you and I love trends we love being do like fun. Right? Yeah. And but but even beyond the trends and trying those on, I think that having that solid positioning as the foundation of your brand can alleviate so much of that anxiety whenever it comes to placing too much importance on the logo and the fonts and the colors because of your positioning and solid. Like we said, the rest is the cherry on the icing. A little bit about if someone can't maybe afford braid or the braid ecourse How can they really get into their own positioning and understanding what that means for their brand? And how can they do something right now to update their positioning or to get into their positioning?

Tara Street 29:47
Yeah, because yeah, I have some things that you know, I was just talking about the other day that people can do on their brand right now and they are all more positioning related than like design related. You know, It's funny because the two biggest pleas for help that we get from people wanting to work on their brand with us are, oh my gosh, my brand just doesn't feel like me. It doesn't feel authentic, the style doesn't feel like me. And a lot of it has to do with design, but more of it has to do with the voice. You know, the style of voice that's coming across. And then the other thing they always say is, I just need help being clear. I'm not being articulate, no one understands what I'm talking about. I don't know if I'm talking about the right thing. And so again, it's coming down to being more articulate, and then also feeling more like yourself. But that's the magic formula. I think he was the blending who you are and what you do. That's just like saying, feeling more like myself, my brand and feeling like I'm being clear when I explain it to somebody else.

Kathleen Shannon 30:48
And so speaking really quick of being clear, sorry, no really quick, I want to define what positioning means because I realize we're saying that word a lot. And we really need to make it clear, what is positioning? How would you define that?

Tara Street 31:02
Well, I just pulled up actually our definition of it. And we probably Google that already, but like, I just love our worksheets, our E course, workbook. And he said your positioning statement is how you concisely say what you do, and for whom. So you sound confidently self employed rather than unemployed. Right? You can use this positioning statement on your website, usually, it's just a couple sentences in your social media is short enough just to be a profile, you know, explanation, in face to face conversations, especially if you're getting Tongue Tied is when asked people like, introduce yourself and what you do. And we said you could even use it to explain to your grandma what you do for a living. And I even have a formula here where it's like a fill in the blank. So I'm a blank. So I can I'm your name here. And I'm a an illogical theatrical fill in your easiest to understand title. So I'm a life coach. I'm a web designer, I'm a carpenter, you know, whatever that easy to understand title is should be upfront in your positioning statement. But then even also kind of say that I help dream clients who so kind of identify your dream client is I help women, I help entrepreneurs, I help organizations, I help leaders, I help people who love handmade artisanal goods, you know, you kind of get that sense of your dream client is. And then I always love ending it on through a word or an element that describes your expertise. So whether that's rock your business online, you know, or own your own creative expertise, or break rules, being yourself or whatever that thing is, that kind of gives it flavor. That also kind of wraps up your expertise in it to you. That's what I think are the really great ingredients of a positioning statement, who you are your simplest to understand title, who you're for. And then through of that last little bit of personality fueled purpose and expertise, that's the hardest to get to.

Kathleen Shannon 33:09
I feel like it's so easy to underestimate how important it is to really outline your positioning statement on paper and to say it to yourself 12 times out loud committed to muscle memory so that the next time you're at designer vaycay, or a being boss vacation or at a conference, you can just say what it is that you do, and for whom, and you can be able to express it in an instant in any situation.

Tara Street 33:34
So important, I have had my positioning statement, because you know it like the back of your hand, you know, your heart and mind and soul, you can just forget it and adapt it to any situation right. And I've had it helped me in so many otherwise awkward situations and or missed opportunities. I have had situations where I sat down next to someone at a coffee shop, because we were all about to have a meeting with a new client. And we didn't know that this new client invited to have his investor buddies on for the ride. And I'm sitting next to some guy while everyone else getting coffee, who I don't even know who turns to me and says so what's your story? And I'm like, Well, I'm here with Kathleen today. And we're working on your branding for your friends here. But our specialty is creative entrepreneurs and we work with them from all over the country. We help them articulate their brand and kind of what we're all about, right like without batting an eye and that's not natural for me. Usually I'm a little more

Unknown Speaker 34:31
I don't know,

Tara Street 34:33
flaky sometimes. I mean, I think I'm pretty clear. But sometimes I get flustered, like right in the moment. And that gentleman ended up being the biggest investor in that project. I didn't know no one introduced him to me properly dudes with guys. Like Ray, you know, I didn't know he was going to be there. But I just set my position statement but I said it fun with personality and then we start having a chat. That investor Guy ended up being our next two big projects that we got up right after that, because he loved going through our methods so much for the thing he just got invited to do, we ended up where he was even more like I that would have been a cavalese of returns until he said dollars left on the table. If I had been just so clear and confident with positioning, right, I could have really messed up that first impression, right. And then other ways it's really helped me I've noticed is when I used to be a creative director and advertising agency, I was a little more insular, like I was sort of just in my little creative corner working on my creative. I didn't really like what I say, hugs or high fives, like I felt like in the agency real people's hugs and high fives hustlin hugs and high fives. So people, hey, coming up and give me a high five, like to the sales team. Or we met new clients that are gonna have to handshake, kind of hustled that felt so strange to me as a creative like a lot of creatives don't feel comfortable with that. We're kind of like, don't I need my personal space, like, they're not very good at networking or schmoozing or feeling salesy. And I had to go to conference last week, so you guys can can find your vaycay, I was going to another networking conference of marketing professionals, and had to go to the cocktail mixer, you know, the night before the conference. And usually I walked in a room like that, I remember being a creative director, in my early 30s, let's say our late 20s, walking into a room like that. And a lot of people were by themselves, like their organizations had sent them to this conference, right. So a lot of them are from different places all by themselves. And just so many people awkward in the corners, you know, not really talking to each other and me walking in, and just being going going up to talk to anybody. And

Kathleen Shannon 36:44
who's the hustler and high five, me

Tara Street 36:46
who is the hustler and high fiber. Now I tell you what, and the thing is, I can just go to a table full of fangirls and sit down and they're talking about cabling, you would love this makeup artists videos, or they're talking about full circle personal branding, where they're talking about what they're watching on HBO. And guess what we're all watching insecure. And I feel totally confident talking about personality, fuel things and fun things and being fun. Because I know when they asked me about my positioning, or what I do, or why I'm at the conference, I'm not going to sound like a robot. And I'm not going to be flustered. Either. I'm going to sound like I know, my stuff. And I can tell them exactly what I do and why I'm at that conference. But guess what we can have fun. In between it almost like allows me to have more fun in networking situations that are so confident my positioning in the back of my head. Okay, yeah,

Kathleen Shannon 37:36
I will I have a question about that a little bit. Because you worked as a creative director at an advertising agency for almost 15 years before you started braid creative. You were very high powered executive session. It wasn't like, you're just making it up like we're all CEOs now. Because we get a we designate our own job title, right,

Emily Thompson 37:58
because we filed for an LLC.

Kathleen Shannon 38:03
But here's the deal. So you were 15 years at this ad agency, you had a lot of clout within the industry, but you didn't really like networking or hustling. Yeah, or high fiving.

Unknown Speaker 38:16
Right. Now, you've

Kathleen Shannon 38:17
been a braid creative for five years, I would say that you're still an introvert, like in both cases, but now you are more. Well, not warm, but you're more willing to go out there and just hang out, you do seem like you've cultivated a lot of confidence, even just in that almost extroverted type way. So I'm curious, do you think that there's anything beyond just being confident in your own positioning, that has helped you kind of own that? Or be more confident? How do you think that that's come about?

Tara Street 38:54
That's a really good my own business. I mean, I do think it's owning your own business. It just kind of gives you a confidence. It also gives you a lot of fear and Friday feelings like you guys talk about a lot, but it does give you a lot of confidence. I think for me, what really fuels my confidence. And this is interesting. And some people out there may like this too. For me, I get a lot of a more anxiety around sharing one too many, like even today on this podcast, like we're sharing with many people. And what I really love what really fuels me is working one on one, whether it's one on one with a single person, or one on one with an entire organization, there's a boardroom, I don't care if it's a boardroom in front of me because I am tackling their one on one problem. And I know no matter what they're going to be heard and I know it wouldn't matter what the next time you meet, I'm going to blow their socks off because I've just done it again and again and again and again and again. So just the repetitiveness of delivering the braid method and you guys know I really am into process like, I know my process. As much as I know my positioning backwards and forwards, I know exactly what steps I want to take to get you where we need to go. Because that's my expertise is taking you through a creative process, and that we are making it from scratch every time. So that really gives me a ton of confidence going into any sort of one on one situation. I still struggle like if I haven't written a blog post in a long time, or we're gonna do a Facebook Live video. And it's been a couple of weeks I get anxiety about, I just kind of not use it, but just a little bit butterflies about it just like lots of people do. And that, but what's really going on behind the scenes for me is I'm wondering, am I sharing anything of value? When I'm working one on one with someone I know, for certain I never get client anxiety because I know I'm sharing something of value. It's with the one too many where I kind of falter. So that's why I surprise myself if I'm in a networking situation, and I do feel that confidence. And often it is because of my positioning.

Kathleen Shannon 40:56
Okay, so I want to quick fire, just a few really actionable to do is that somebody could do to update their brand right now in a way that will position them more confidently,

Tara Street 41:09
yes. Okay, so one, I think the first thing I would do is go in and look at your About Me page on your website, because that's a really good place, it's a place people go to a lot more than you might think. So the first page will click to on your site, to go to your About Me page and see if you can rewrite it, like a letter to your dream client. Do this before you even look at your positioning, like have all this talk about positioning is kind of wigged you out like oh my gosh, I don't know my positioning is it's sort of like not knowing how to title your essay until after you've written your essay, like when you were in school, or, you know, it's just harder to have that concise statement, it's kind of easier to write like a letter to your dream client, you can talk a little bit more about your own journey a little bit. You can talk a little bit about why you do what you do the purpose what's fueling you. But I really love this letter sounding like you're sort of really talking to that dream client and that you see them you hear them, either their pains or you know what their hopes. And it can really make it sound like a more personal About Me page. Underneath that you can still get a bio, or credentials if you want to. But that's usually what I do for our clients. The first thing I do, I read their About Me page, I'll call it their brand story. Usually, it's your brand story, sometimes easier to write your positioning statement. After you've kind of gotten that all out on the page. The next thing I would do is go to your list of services. And ditch the menu approach, try leading their ideal offering, if you had a look at all your list of services that you're trying to provide, which ones that you cut, which ones that you keep in Can you package up what you do in one offering, that means one price point or a tiered price point that people can pay for the ideal service or deliverable that you really want to be known for. And that's really kind of overlapping, obviously, into business model. But it's just that kind of gray overlap between business model and branding.

Kathleen Shannon 43:12
Okay, really quick, because Emily and I were just talking with someone earlier today who is trying to just have one ideal offering, she's actually in the clubhouse and in the braid ecourse. So she's hearing a lot of this and it kind of wakes her out a little bit. So what would you tell to someone who is really feeling stressed out about narrowing down to just one thing? Yeah, feeling like, for example, collaterals pay all of her bills, that she really wants to be known for this UI UX package. And if she could just offer one thing, that would be it.

Tara Street 43:41
Okay, I love thinking about your messaging visually. And I call it chunking it out. So I love the idea of going to your sales page, and you lead with the UI UX UI UX UI. Yeah. Um, so whatever you lead with your main offering, right? Like, think of it like the big one. But then right underneath, you've got three big, chunky columns, and they say collaterals. And they say identity, and they say, so it's still kind of chunked out. But you're having a hierarchy of design, where the thing you really want to get hired for is the top he was not interested in it is to position you as an expert with a specialty. And then underneath is like, oh, but I can still do this with her. Oh, I guess we'll hire for this or guess what I could hire for the whole thing. And sometimes I'll even call it also those are others. So even below those chances have many columns. You might have another one this and by the way, if you're still wondering if I offer website overhauls or if you're wondering if I offer speaking, I do just ask me about it. The thing that we've realized as far as much as we've narrowed in in our own professions, I don't know if Emily has experienced this. People still try to ask you, people don't stop asking you or asking to hire you for something that you've stopped selling. They still want to hire you for ever. So yeah. If you're looking to get your act together, and your positioning is somewhere in the realm of what they think they want to buy, they're going to try to find a way to hire you for it. You guys, I

Kathleen Shannon 45:10
literally had someone this week trying to hire me for wedding invitations. Yeah, I was like, I don't do that. I'll sell you my InDesign file for $1,000. I have not heard back

Tara Street 45:23
there, why something narrowing in on your package is not the thing that is going to stop the money coming to the door. It's just not. It's your stuff. That is something you know, we all have ebbs and flows in our business for tons of different organic reasons or things that we're not sharing with me, we're not sharing enough content. And we're not putting ourselves out there. Maybe we're not being clear enough. But I really don't usually see people feeling like the well is drying up, because all of a sudden, they they packaged up their offering more holistically as one day package.

Emily Thompson 46:01
I experienced this exact same thing. Whenever I decided to stop doing my one off website projects and just do indie booms were like, total moment of anxiety around getting really narrow about having a single package. That was my ideal engagement that I would only work with new clients doing. And I made way much more money, which is not even how you say that. But how I felt about it for sure. Yeah, were like I gave myself so much more room to make more money because it was processed out perfectly so that I was wasting less time and I was doing more impactful work and I was getting results for my client. It was anxiety inducing. Absolutely. But it was a commitment that absolutely changed my business and everyone that I know that I've done this exact same process where you get in it, you figure out what your positioning is. And you do that by taking on whatever you can take on, you decide what it is that you like to do what it is that you don't like to do, you stop doing the things that you don't want to do and focus on things you do want to do, and you make good money doing it. I think that I think that hopefully that little preach session will anyone who's feeling anxious about narrowing in, I'm in the mood to do it. Because I think that there, I remember there being maybe a month where like I was transitioning my messaging. And I was figuring out how I needed to reposition myself in terms of how I was going to sell this thing, where, where I wasn't booking as much as I thought I would. But as soon as it caught on as soon as I realized the words I needed to say to adequately explain to people what it was what it is that I was doing. It caught on and you sell package after package after package.

Kathleen Shannon 47:54
And I will say even if you're narrowing in on your positioning, you can still take on the work that pays the bills. But another brand trick is to only show the work that you want to be known for.

Tara Street 48:07
No one has to know what you're really doing behind the scenes. I mean, that's kind of like shady. But you know what your brand shows people on the outside is a little bit how it really is, it should be. But it's also a little bit aspirational or a little bit about the direction you want your brand to go. So like on the surface, it may look like you're doing this one package 100% of the time or 75% of the time that really feels like your true positioning, your true calling. But behind the scenes, you're still doing 5050 of the work you used to do and 50% of the new work you want to do. And your goal is to eventually aim to the point where most of your work is matching the brand that you're putting out there because hopefully the brand you're putting out there is the person and the brand you want to be seen and known for. And I will also say emailing you're talking about that story about finally like having all your services and packaging up in this bigger, more intentional package. I feel like even if you do that and then you decide to change it or it didn't quite work out the way you wanted it to. There's kind of some sort of like brave bravado type, just the action of doing that. It's hard to go back from them mentality once you've done it once. You're going to be looking for the next way to package yourself. Even if that way didn't work. It's hard to go back to being the Jane of all trades.

Kathleen Shannon 49:26
Emily's addicted to it. Well, I

Emily Thompson 49:28
was about to say. I wasn't gonna say I was. But what it did show me like what I was offering was like industry standard packaging and prices, pricing for how you design, develop and deliver website projects. Whenever I decided to break that mold when I said like fuck the standards like I want to do these projects this way. I want to get paid like this on this schedule. I want to deliver it the way I want to deliver it. And it worked. It made me realize that like I can anyone can make money doing anything they want to do, as long as they have the intention and results to back it up. And it totally freed me from the mindset of I have to follow someone else's model. And put me in a place where I had proved to myself that you can create a model that looks like whatever you want it to look like.

Kathleen Shannon 50:18
I think there's also a lot of responsibility that comes with packaging your offering to actually working the process. So once you package your offering, I think it's going to show any holes that exist in your process from how you attract clients, to how you close the deal to how you work with them, to how you wrap up the project, rinse and repeat. I also think that packaging your offering will also help you find ways to take services and turn them into products and passive income and digital products. So we did that with the braid method, we turned it into the braid method ecourse. It's like our textbook version of how we work with clients one on one, Emily, you've taken indie shop autography and decided to quit working with clients altogether. But you were still able to package up that offering and turn it into helping other web developers package and deliver and sell their websites in

Unknown Speaker 51:15
a new way that

Kathleen Shannon 51:16
gets paid really well, like you did. And now you're talking about packaging, and packaging.

Unknown Speaker 51:25
It just keeps going,

Emily Thompson 51:27
right, because you can build your model, however you want to exactly like once I packaged my process into a package, it was less about figuring out how to deliver the next website because it was totally different from anything else I was I was doing. And it was more about perfecting the process so that it was more intentional and more results, giving and more more impactful for both myself and for the client. And by the end of it, the process that I had for delivering websites was ridiculously amazing. Handoff any portion of it to anyone else with a very clear like step by step process of here's how you onboard a client. Here's what the sales process looks like. Here's how you launch and deliver a project or a website to a client. And just the fact that you're able to get that awesome with your process like it makes your client experiences or your experience with your clients and your clients experience with you so much better. And it does really make you the master of your process that is so powerful. Um, so yeah, then I did package it up and sell it and you guys turned it into the brain ecourse. And like, I can't even I feel like can we get more meta with it? Like, let's make a process about processing your process.

Kathleen Shannon 52:57
Well, one thing that I really learned from packaging and positioning process, we need to title this episode, the three P's. And I was able to translate that what we've done the work that we've done with packaging other creatives and helping them to find their process. I was able to use that in life coaching.

Tara Street 53:19
Yeah, I definitely knew we were doing more life coaching. So many life coaches have gotten this training. And they're really driven to do this. And it's our natural calling, but they don't really have steps that they can outline for their clients and just having steps or some loosey goosey semblance I'm sorry life coaches, I'm not saying you're loosey goosey but you may not like a super rigid process. But there still needs to be an expectation of steps that we're going to kind of hit along the way and I think that just makes everyone feel better about the engagement makes you feel like an expert you know I was there takeaway today on these three pieces. Like if you get in the room with Tara Kathleen, Emily, you think you're gonna talk about branding and your logo? You're really gonna be talking about your packaging your process and your positioning. Right. And then the true yeah, logos just

Kathleen Shannon 54:07
I mean, but I can design a beautiful Hello

Unknown Speaker 54:09

Emily Thompson 54:09
Am I right man, beautiful, man. I was telling someone the other day I was like if you can ever get Kathleen to just do it.

Kathleen Shannon 54:18
I know so I did. I redid Emily's logo under the table a little bit. And I was like don't tell anyone I designed your logo except for like all of the internet

Emily Thompson 54:30
tell. Can I tell people that you visit?

Unknown Speaker 54:34
Yeah, beautiful.

Emily Thompson 54:37
Absolutely beautiful and Nisha biography.com go check out Kathleen's latest and greatest if I might say Um,

Kathleen Shannon 54:44
and then hire braid creative

Emily Thompson 54:46
and then hire bring to both brand new and position you like a boss because four and a half years later, mine is still amazingly relevant.

Kathleen Shannon 54:55
No but for real. Even if you can't hire us, it's fine. We have a lot of stuff for you. So Tara, where can people find braid?

Tara Street 55:03
Well go to braid, creative, calm and check out our ecourse. That definitely is all the places where we have put all the steps of our process 40 worksheets seven, I think seven lessons, we talked about your dream client. We talked about defining your creative expertise. We talk about sharing content, selling yourself. And then my favorite lesson is where I include a lot of scripts that basically break out the formula for writing your brand positioning your about me how to hire me, my process so that you can work with a designer then to help you with beautiful design and logo and you've got the content coming out of the ecourse to plug into all your brand places.

Kathleen Shannon 55:46
We also have audio files now with our E course. So if you love listening to our voices. We have a Facebook group and we do quarterly master classes.

Unknown Speaker 55:59
All right, thank you so

Kathleen Shannon 56:00
much, Tara for joining us. Thanks, guys. It

Unknown Speaker 56:03
was fun.

Kathleen Shannon 56:06
Hey, bosses, I wanted to let you know that we are hanging out live on February 1 at 12pm Central time. So that's one Eastern 10 Pacific to continue the conversation from today's episode. And we would love to see you there. Register to join us for the podcast chat at being boss dot club slash positioning. Again, that's being boss club slash positioning. And if you're on our newsletter, we will send you an email to remind you as well. So you guys, I'm not the most tech savvy person when it comes to integrating and automating my life with software. So I was a late adopter to acuity scheduling, but once I set it up, I was so grateful and I cannot imagine my life without it. I use acuity scheduling to schedule client meetings, special projects, podcast recordings, interviews, and even coffee days with my friends. It helps me keep my calendar sane. The best part is is integrates with my Google Calendar. So anytime I update my Google Calendar, that time is automatically blocked off in acuity. There are no double bookings or meeting scheduled for when I'm on vacation or scheduled something else already. Alright, try it yourself. Sign up for a free 60 day trial of scheduling sanity at acuity scheduling calm slash being boss. Thank you for listening to being boss. Find Articles show notes and downloads at WWW dot being boss club.

Emily Thompson 57:35
If you're a creative entrepreneur, Freelancer or small business owner who is ready to take your goals to the next level, check out the being boss clubhouse, a two day online retreat followed by a year of community support monthly masterclasses book club secret episodes and optional in person retreats. Find more at www dot being boss dot club slash clubhouse.

Kathleen Shannon 57:58
Thank you so much to our team and sponsors who make being boss possible our sound engineer and web developer Corey winter. Our editorial director and content manager Caitlin brains our community manager and social media director Sharon luggie. And our bean counter David Austin, with support from braid creative and indicia biography.

Emily Thompson 58:17
Do the work. Be boss, and we'll see you next week.