Ninety-five percent of the time when I work with creatives one-on-one, one of the main things they want help with is making their businesses more unique or figuring out how to market and promote their unique qualities.
They want to set themselves apart from the competition. They want to become the alternative—not just another option. They want to be the BEST. They want to be a leader in their niche. They want their customers to not only love them, but to become obsessed with their businesses.
Who doesn’t want that? Who doesn’t want to be THE BUSINESS in their niche—the one that customers gush over and can’t get enough of?
In order to become that business, you have to start with unique ideas—novel, personality-driven products and services, exceptional blog posts, one-of-a-kind sales pages that grab your customer’s attention and pull her to buy right that very second, Instagram pictures that encompass your brand, outstanding Facebook posts that sing with your voice, etc.
It takes a lot of thought and planning to pull it off.
You might think that as a small business, you have no chance—that it’s incredibly difficult, painstaking even. You might want to give up after months of crickets and only trickles of sales.
But, if you’re pulled to do creative work, you shouldn’t give up. You were made to do this.
Many creatives have pulled it off. They’ve built unique, successful businesses that are the alternative.
Want examples cause I’ve got plenty?
Jessica Swift, Leah Duncan, Michelle Ward, Mayi Carles, Alma Loveland, Katie Daisy, Elsie and Emma, Brittni Mehlhoff, Lisa Lehmann, Anna Bond, Juliette Crane, Bonnie Christine, Ashley Goldberg, Lisa Congdon, Emily Ley…
I could go and on, but I think you get it.
And, just because there are so many successful creatives already out there, doesn’t mean there isn’t room for you, too. I promise you that there is, because there is only one of you. (I know that’s totally cliché and corny, but it’s also very true, especially if you believe the power in that statement.)
I want to teach you how to build this type of brand.
The type of business that stands out among the crowd of thousands. Ready to learn? If so, RSVP for my CreativeLive course right here. If you RSVP, you’ll get FREE access to the course while it’s live and access to the workbook accompanying the course (and believe me when I say that you want that workbook).
In the meantime (since I’m not teaching until November 12th), I have homework for you.
Your homework is to start coming up with as many unique ideas as possible. Ideas for new taglines, blog posts, products, product descriptions and sales pages, videos, marketing campaigns, packaging for your products, business card designs etc. Make a list of every little detail in your business and start brainstorming more ideas for those details.
Once you start, the original ideas will flow more regularly—while you’re typing up a blog post, folding laundry, washing dishes, showering, working out. You’ll be flooded with idea after idea and won’t that be awesome?
Now, you might be thinking, “That sounds great, April…but how in the heck am I supposed to just start coming up with unique ideas for my business?”
Don’t worry, my friend, I’ve got your answer.
“Nothing is original. The writer Jonathan Lethem has said that when people call something “original,” nine out of ten times they just don’t know the references or the original sources involved.” –Austin Kleon, Steal Like An Artist
The majority of our “original” ideas are created from our experiences, the books we’ve read, the movies we’ve watched, the chats we’ve had with friends, the blogs we follow, the Instagram accounts we stalk (don’t pretend like you don’t do it), the places we’ve been.
What makes you, well, you…that’s the stuff that you get your one-of-a-kind ideas from, so they aren’t really original.
And, that’s OKAY. Seriously.
We all do it. We take bits from here and dabs from there and pieces from that and we pull together something brilliant.
That’s how we come up with unique ideas for our businesses.
For example, I came up with this experiment (which I think is a smashing success) by watching booktube videos.
I realized that I should include the concept of flow and how that can make your blog so much more exciting, fun and enjoyable to read in this course from listening to a podcast on The Unmistakable Creative.
I decided to create workbooks for Blacksburg Belle (the first one will be coming soon!) from strolling through the cutest gift shop ever and stumbling upon adorable notebook after adorable notebook.
All of these ideas came from other experiences—other sources.
What makes this okay?
I never copy anyone else’s work as is. Ever. And, I often look to other niches for ideas. I take a concept that sparks a new idea for my own business and I twist it and change it, infusing it with my personality and brand. When I’m finished with it, it looks very different. The original source was just the first flash of the idea.
I always give credit where credit it due. When I introduced the blog tag idea, I included that I got the idea from watching booktube ‘tag’ videos. I didn’t pretend that I came up with the concept all by myself.
Also, when you takes bits from several different places, it will create something new–something that doesn’t resemble the original sources.
This is what all creatives do—whether they realize it or not.
“Our minds are also capable of taking random bits of input and forging brilliant connections that are not apparent on the surface. This is essentially how the creative process works—it’s the connection of multiple preexisting patterns into new solutions.” –Todd Henry, The Accidental Creative
A jewelry artist creates a new line based on inspiration she got from her recent trip to India. An illustrator gets an idea for a set of clip art from reading a beautiful description of a flower garden in a novel and then taking a walk where she spots flowers she’s never seen before. A writer crafts a short story that mimics experiences from her childhood.
To come up with “unique” ideas on a regular basis, you need to fill up your creative tank consistently.
My challenge to you is simple. From now until my course on November 12th, I challenge you to spend 15 minutes a day filling up your creative tank: reading books, magazines and blog posts, watching movies, going to new places, listening to music, studying other artists’ work, etc.
Also, at least once a week, push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Read a book you wouldn’t normally read. Watch a movie outside of your normal genre. Go somewhere that you’ve never been. Read a magazine that you’ve never read before. Ask another creative to chat on Skype. Study a business that has no relation to your own. Read blog posts outside of your niche.
“You need to regularly seek experiences that will enlighten you, help you see the world in new ways, and open you to new ways of thinking.” –Todd Henry, The Accidental Creative
If you do these two things, you’ll be exploding at the seams with new ideas that are unique to your niche—things that your customers and audience will be happily surprised by.
You’ll also be prepared to use my one-day course to turn your brand into something that is uniquely irresistible.
I would be incredibly appreciative if you’d help me spread the word, because I want to help as many creatives as possible turn their businesses from “Oh, that’s nice. I should remember to come back to this shop sometime” to “Wow. This is my new favorite shop! I want to buy everything, so I better get a second job.”
If you’re up for giving my course a shout out, here are a couple ‘click to tweets’ and a Facebook post:
Click to Tweet: Take your biz from “vanilla” to “uniquely irresistible” with @blacksburgbelle’s course. RSVP for FREE here: http://cr8.lv/aprilunique
Click to Tweet: Make your creative business uniquely irresistible with @blacksburgbelle’s @creativelive class. RSVP for FREE here: http://cr8.lv/aprilunique
Copy and Paste Facebook Post:
April from Blacksburg Belle is walking us through exactly how to take a creative business from “blah, way too vanilla” to “can’t get enough…here’s my credit card” in her CreativeLive course, Make Your Creative Business Uniquely Irresistible.