and they are who you curate your brand for.

There’s nothing to be scared of. They're going to love you. In fact, if you get super-duper-almost-creepy specific with your target audience, chances are they’ll just want to hug you... aww.

 

I hear it so often that now I’ve started to mouth the words at the same time my new branding clients say to me, “I don’t want to alienate anyone who might be interested in my  business.”

The issue is, if you don't have teams the size of Apple, Nike or Google, you won’t be able to successfully resonate with your audience, unless you get specific. That's what makes digital entrepreneurship so different from brick and morter businesses! With 7 billion people on this earth and a good amount of them having access to the internet, you should not be everyone's cup-o-tea. You want to be the shot of whiskey.

Why do you think they call it a TARGET AUDIENCE?

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Time for a good ol' fashioned sports analogy: If you aim for a bullseye, you have a better chance of hitting it. Dead on. Inner circle activated. BUT you also have a better chance of hitting those in the outer circles. I won't give you any less points if you get 20 clients from your outer circle, but by focusing on your inner circle you'll be able to engage people with less work. I speak from experience here. I get asked pretty often if I provide specific services that I don't advertise for or promote. Since I've resonated with my target audience, I've grown, and I've still hit some outer circle folks as well. 

 

Moral of the story: Don’t be afraid to get specific. Aim for the inner circle and your outer circle will jump on the brand wagon


Here are 5 questions to ask yourself when you’re thinking about your brand:

 

1.    

 

How is my Target Audience different than ME?

I saved the unpopular question for first. Many solopreneurs want their audience to look just like them. It’s great to have some similarities, to be sure. But if you want your brand to seem authentic (this is very important, stay tuned for another post about that), then you need to differentiate it from you. Humans have too many moods to be a successful BRAND. Some variation is great but does your target audience really need to see how you act when you’re hangry?

 

2.    

Where does your target audience like to shop? What do they value about shopping at these locations?

This boils down to the Target Audience or TA values. If you can research this or know a few of your TA members that would be open to giving you honest feedback-GO TO THEM.

 

3.    

Are you’re still convinced that you have more than one target audience? Fine. I give up.

Just kidding. That’s OKAY. Just make sure you know who your primary TA is. Focus on getting them up to speed and on board with you. Then you can expand from there.

Ready for a new website? Ask these 5 questions first!

 
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I am going through the re-design process right now. So, I GET IT. Designing a new website comes with a roller coaster of emotions. First it's exciting, then overwhelming, then you're jealous of your comrade's website, then excited again because you could have something that looks that rad too... Or maybe that's just me...

I first put this site (if you're reading circa February 2018)  together as a way to showcase my work and get a "real job" in Corporate America. My how thankful I am that freelancing took off instead. Since then, it's been hustle-hustle-hustle, sleep, wake up, repeat. And, if I am really being honest, I just never wanted to redesign because my dream for this site are lofty AF.

Fast forward to present. My site no longer serves my audience (aka you! *Amy Schumer voice* hiiii). I have so much quality content I've created that I want to share, and this lil' blog is useful, but it's not showing off my skills or acting as an example of the quality of work I consistently deliver. *hair flips*

A new site can work for you as a marketer, salesperson, advocate, fan collector...etc. etc. etc. A great website is basically your new right-hand woman, the assistant you've always dreamed of, your secret agent working the backend to make your business boom! You get it. I'll stop with the metaphors... For now. Automating your site to work for you will make your work day easier. And if your work day is easier you might have a better week. and if your week is better you might have a better month...and year... LIFE!! Whew. I get excited easily... Reelin' it in. 

So before you really start, ask these 5 questions. It will help ease the process pain and get you a website that works.
 

1. What is the goal of your website? Why do you need a website?

If you don't know why you want a new website, you surely won't be happy with what you get. Think about it. A lot. Don't just say "I want people to call me." What should they be ready to do when they call? Should they know why they're calling or do you want to guide them on a phone call? How would you like them to feel when they have gotten to the point of calling? ALSO, are you sure you even want every single person who visits your site to call? Do you have processes set up to handle a ton of calls if launching goes better than expected?

Lots to think about... Here are a few common goals for digital entrepreneur websites.

 
  • Sell a service
  • Sell products
  • Educate
  • Get a phone call
  • Collect emails
 

 

2. What is the status of the people who will be visiting your site? 

What are they looking for? What problem are you solving for them?

You absolutely have to think about your dream clients first. If your audience is EVERYONE and your company is not the size of Apple or IBM, you are going to face some issues with writing content and copy. As a digital business your available audience is HUGE! So you can get seriously specific without losing out on the cash flow. Ask these questions:

Who is your dream client? What are their values? Where do they work? How much schooling have they had? Where do they shop? What other problems do they have beyond the one you're solving for them?

You know what they say about the person who tries to do everything? Now is the time to get really, super, specific. Get to know your audience and the specifics about the people you are trying to reach. Your website needs to work for you. If you don't give your secret agent a target, you won't see results.

3. What is the state of your visual branding?

We live in The Digital Age. That means everywhere people look they can see something asking for attention. Loud designs are on the way out. People want to see less. That is why the simplicity movement in design is working for brands, both new and old. 

Easy visual branding items to examine:

  • Graphics
  • Photography style
  • Typography
  • Color Palette


 

4. How are you going to engage your audience?

There are many ways to do this. Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • Do you want to entertain? How do other brands that have similar style do that?
  • Do your clients need to be educated? Would a How To post or podcast work better for that?
  • Do they need to sign up for a course? What incentive will you give them?

 

There needs to be something to grab your audience and keep them involved with you. We're flooded with sites and info and ads all day everyday. Get creative! It's up to you (and possibly your brand designer *waves*) to decide the best way to do this!


 

5. Are your processes set up for success?

Websites + marketing will lead to new business opportunities. Once you get a call or add an email to your list, the process is not over, it's just begun. What will you do once people contact you? What are you going to do when people sign up for your newsletter? This is the part where you get to be creative. This is where you show them why your brand is absolutely delightful. 

My favorite question that I like to ask, is how do you plan to delight clients after work is finished. 

Opportunities here are endless, and Fun Fact, coming up with ways to better serve your clients is something KM Design does on the regular. 

Doing more of what I love...

 
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Reading.

Reading is one of the most underrated things to do. 

I've recently looked into it. I'm pretty sure every single person I admire and want to be like considers themselves a book worm. These are high performing people. People who achieve a lot more in 4 weeks than your average Joe. The easiest way to improve yourself is to emulate what works for others. So, if the people I admire read on a regular basis, you're damn sure I am going to do the same. 

Current reading list:
Money, Master the Game - Tony Robbins
Sabriel, Old Kingdom Book 1 - Garth Nix
The Richest Man in Babylon - George S. Clason


Recently Finished:
Four Hour Work Week - Tim Ferris
The Name of The Wind - Patrick Rothfuss
The Vegetarian - Han Kang

podcasts for creatives

STARTING IS THE HARDEST PART.

I'll say it again. Starting is the hardest part. Personal example: I've been meaning to start blogging for some time now. Months actually. This isn't necessarily surprising to me,  but it is not good either. *lower teeth smile* It is hard for me to put client work on hold to promote my own business endeavors, especially when I feel a little uncomfortable with the content I'm putting out there. I've always enjoyed writing, while being a little sensitive to critique on it (not surprising since my career choice is within a creative field and us creatives are notorious for being overly-sensitive). Due to the fact that I want to share my knowledge with others and hopefully, maybe grow my community.

Stay tuned for more posts about graphic design in general, means of inspiration, best practices, how to's and more :) I decided to start this blog off with some

 
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As a creative, the struggle with The Ever Present Question: "Is it good enough?" will always be looming.  It can be downright debilitating. "Good enough" can crush the creative spirit and leave us sitting in bed 'til way past noon, watching The Office reruns and avoiding all smart phone contact. But only if we let it fester.  The cure for the The Question is action. And sometimes to make the action happen, you need a gentle nudge in the right direction.

 
 

"You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great."-Zig Ziglar

"Action is the foundational key to all success." -Pablo Picasso

"Fake it til' you make it." -Everyone

"Do or do not, there is no try." -Yoda 

 
 

Seeing that it was some of these great podcasts that gave me that little nudge I needed, I want to give credit where credit is due. So shoutout to some of the best blogs/podcasts/newsletters I've discovered for my likeminded "soloprenuers".


BEING BOSS

This podcast was the first podcast for entrepreneurs that showed me how useful the podcast world would be for me. A client actually sent me a link to one of their shows, and I've been hooked ever since. Now I am an avid listener, active Facebook group contributor and a newsletter subscriber for both the shows hosts. Their earlier episodes are great if you are just starting your own business. Their recent stuff became a little "fluffy" for me 

Profit Power Pursuit

This lady knows her stuff. Tara Gentile is a business strategist and she runs her podcast with obvious strategy (somehow it is still entertaining): each person she interviews will give you an inside look at their business venture(s), including their profit margins. Some great information on here.

Optimal Living Daily

"OLD" podcast is stocked with 5-10 minute blog readings from all over the interwebs. One of the faster growing podcasts I've listened to, Optimal Living Daily was started by Justin Malik almost one year ago now. He was joined by his brother Neal Malik who began reading blogs for the side podcast "Optimal Finance Daily", which then expanded to "Optimal Health Daily", "Optimal Startup Daily" and recently "Optimal Relationship Daily". These may not all be related to creative entrepreneurs, but Optimal Startup/Finance/Living Daily has had some amazing input for me.

Don't Keep Your Day Job

"Real life strategies for how to create your creative passion and turn it into a profit." Sounds good right? This one is specifically for 10% entrepreneurs who want to be 100% entrepreneurs. I was lucky enough to be in a position where I could jump in headfirst to the freelance game instead of dipping one toe in at a time, but other entrepreneurs aren't always able to do so. One of her latest interviewees was Bobbi Brown, of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics-which is pretty bad ass.


That's all I have for you now!  Thanks for stopping by, especially if you made it all the way to the end of this article. 

Cheers,

Karen Marten

 

Eliza Jane Wellness-coming soon

Personal coaches are a beautiful breed. Helping people who want to help people is rewarding, to say the least.This is my first full-scale branding project for a wellness coach and it was a blast doing it.  Check in again soon to see the full project! 

Pace Car Joe Album Art Moonlight Convicts

KM Design is a proud supporter of the arts and a dedicated music connoisseur. Working with Pace Car Joe to develop a beautiful album and single cover is just a toe-dip into designing for musicians. Looking forward to making more album art in the future!

Album Art Artwork Punk Pop

Album Art Kid Indigo Gold Single

Kid Indigo's new song GOLD is so catchy. This album cover was a blast to do because who doesn't love sparkly, shiny, glittery project?

Album Art Design Kid Indigo Gold

Oasis Construction

KM Design has been fortunate enough to work with a few different construction companies recently. Oasis Construction Group was interested in a no frills, straight to the point design style that incorporated the colors in the branding.

ConstructionGraphicDesignPrintBanners