Welcome to the first in a behind-the-scenes series I cooked up whilst laying on my sofa feeling a bit blah because I woke up to snow and my period. You can already tell I’m going to be such an effin’ ray of sunshine today, right?
Today I want to talk about my word of the year for 2022, and how that’s affected my plans and my offer suite. I want to give you a glimpse into the brain of a small business owner trying to figure out what the heck she wants and how to make that happen. Spoiler alert: it’s not a linear process! As a bonus for me, I get to tell you about the different ways I can help you – which I was initially feeling might come across as very “salesy”… and then I remembered: this is my podcast, nobody is paying me to create it, and I get to do whatever I want to. Woohoo! So yep, I’ll be talking about my own stuff, but I hope that hearing about what’s going on behind the curtain in another small business is also helpful.
The Lone Brandit self-paced course
WAIM Unlimited (affiliate link)
I mentioned back in episode 50 that my word for 2022 was going to be ease – which meant I’d be working on streamlining my offer suite further, leaning into more of what feels easy. I also said I’d probably be doing more VIP days and establishing my group programme as a regular thing, allowing me to take on fewer but larger done-for-you brand design projects.
Well, what a difference three months make. The first thing I’m going to tell you is: I realised very quickly that actually, no. I won’t be doing more VIP days. I fell into the shiny object trap with those, so many people were raving about them that they felt like a no-brainer offer to add to my lineup, that I forgot to ask myself whether it’s actually a good format for me. The answer, as you might have guessed, is that they’re not. I found myself not wanting to promote them. At. All. That’s never a good sign, and for me it usually means something is off. And that something is: I get completely drained from doing a VIP day, they are that intense. They may work brilliantly for others, but for me… nope. It was the same realisation I had after offering Voxer hours, I had just been running after a new stick because everyone else seemed to love it.
So earlier this year I sat down to really have a good think about what works for me and what doesn’t. As I was leading my group programme participants through the first segment of my Brand it! Framework, I too sat down to work on the same things alongside them. When I started to look closer at what I am great at in relation to what the world needs, it became clear to me that yes: I can actually make a positive change with the work I do. But how do I best do that? How can I make my impact bigger? How can I utilise my values, skills and personality traits in a way that reaches more people on a deeper level?
I am an empath. I used to think of that as a weakness, because I can so easily pick up on other people’s moods and emotions – and feel them, in my own body, so strongly that even watching films (that I know are made up! Don’t even mention watching the news right now with all the crap going on in the world…) can shake me up so much that not only do I cry there and then, but I carry that feeling with me for days. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I’m vulnerable. As a child, I was severely bullied for years – I was quite sensitive and so I was an easy target, it was easy to trigger me to make me cry or make me angry – and that’s also why I saw being an empath as a weakness for so many years.
However, I’ve come to realise that what I thought was a weakness, is also one of my biggest strengths. My ability to pick up on people’s unspoken needs and emotions (and I believe this has to do with how I read and process body language and verbal and visual cues) is what allows me to see the bigger picture and translate that into brands and visual identities that convey the right feelings and emotions. My ability to empathise and understand other humans is what allows me, the hardcore introvert, to curate powerful and lasting communities and connections, bringing the right people together.
When I couple that with the fact that the world is crying out for more empathy and compassion, equity and diversity, more unity, more people who care about something other than their own short term comfort and wellbeing… I see now that my work as a purpose-driven brand matters. I realised that I want to empower other business owners and help them find the courage to show up fully as themselves and attract more dream clients because of it, not in spite of it. I want more money in the hands of the right people, who make the right choices, who invest that money back into the economy in the right places… So we can start to balance out the power imbalance in the business world, lift more people out of poverty, empower marginalised groups, and make a positive impact on the climate – and ultimately our children and grandchildren’s future.
OK, this is getting long already!
My point is, when I sat down to streamline my offer suite I had three questions in mind:
- How can I make the most of my background, my personality traits and my professional skill set, so I can make my own business more profitable and sustainable, provide for my family and have money/time left over to donate/take on some pro bono work?
- How can I best help other purpose-driven businesses increase their revenue and positive impact through brand strategy and design?
- How can I avoid working myself to a pulp while doing so?
I quickly realised that A) I still want to be doing some 1:1 work and done-for-you brand identity work, and B) by working with groups, I can impact more people whilst increasing my income and without constantly stretching beyond my energy and time limitations.
In other news: the group programme is here to stay! And making that a regular thing will be my main focus moving forward.
So I used this tool called Whimsical.com to start mapping out my offer ecosystem visually:
Basically, my aim was that everything I offer is somehow connected, and I have three main segments:
- Brand identity design
- 1:1 brand strategy
- 1:many brand strategy
For the done for you brand identity design, I went against the grain (hah, again!) and I’ve moved away from offering three fixed price tiers/packages. I realised that my clients are not cookies, so they don’t need a cookie-cutter package! We’re so accustomed to off-the-shelf packages these days, that anything custom feels scary… and dare I say it: extravagant? But I want my clients’ brand design experience to feel extravagant, I want them to feel special – but at the same time I don’t want to inflate it with lots of extra ‘bonuses’ they don’t need. 20+ years of experience has taught me that certain elements are essential for a kick-ass brand identity process, so I do have a “starting from” price. And then if people need more, we’ll add more! Easy as that!
For 1:1 brand strategy I wanted to keep things simple. Rather than having fixed packages, I’ve opted to offer power hours. Sometimes you just need to get out of your own head, or to identify any gaps between where you are and where you want to be — and make a plan to bridge those gaps. Often with strategy work it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how long it will take for those a-ha! moments to start happening, because new things might emerge along the way. By offering power hours, my clients can book one if they want a quick brand-boost, or to just see what it will be like to work with me without a huge investment – or they can stack’em if they want to dig deeper or work with me over time!
For 1:many strategy work, obviously my group programme will be my flagship offer. That’s where I get to combine my strategic brain + my people skills to bring carefully curated groups together and tap into the power of community alongside the obvious benefits of creating a clear brand strategy. This intimate 12-week programme combines 1:1 coaching with a supportive community of likeminded business owners – and as I’m getting close to rounding off the first cohort I know in my heart that this is good shit. This is something I want to do more of! Once the first cohort is complete, I am taking some time to gather feedback and to refine the format, content and delivery of the programme – the training videos will be re-recorded entirely for instance – and my plan is to open applications for the second cohort in August for a September start. There is a waitlist, you can pop your name on there, with no obligation to join obviously, but there will be a very special price available only to the people on that list. Expect to see and hear more about this as we get closer to the next launch, but if you want to check it out already and get on the waitlist, you can do that at petchy.co/group. That link will be in the shownotes, along with all the other links I mention this episode.
I recently signed up to WAIM Unlimited (in the founders’ words it’s “an un-boring coaching programme for intentional online business owners” – I’d say it’s a hybrid between a coaching programme, a community and a huuuuge resource library) and as part of that membership I get a lifetime Teachery account too. Teachery is an online course platform, btw. So I thought “hey, why don’t I bundle up the teaching materials from my group programme and turn it into an evergreen, self-paced course?” – it kinda makes sense, right? So I did, and it’s called “The Lone Brandit” (If you’re new around here you’ll soon learn that my love of puns is strong!) and it’s available right now for €200.
Basically, this course is a stripped down version of my group programme. I’ve bundled up the essentials from the programme… minus the group. Maybe you eyed up the Brand it! group programme, but it wasn’t for you. Maybe the timing was off, maybe your budget wouldn’t allow it – or maybe you’re a lone brandit, who prefers to go it alone and at your own pace.
And wait for it: if you decide that you could do with some guidance and support after all, I’ll knock the cost of this course off the cost of the Brand it! group journey if you join a future cohort. That’s what I call a no-brainer 😜
Now for the last and final part of my offer suite. I’m just about to launch something that I am excited about: an exclusive alumni group. It’s a paid monthly membership/community called “The Brandits” and it‘s going to be part of my overall offer ecosystem, but it’s only going to be available to past or present 1:1 clients and to past group programme participants. This is something I’ve dabbled with the idea of for a while, but I’ve only just found the confidence to create it. I’m really quite eager to see how that will be received.
So, those are my plans moving forward. Will it work out how I want it to? I don’t know! I hope so. But I’ve had plans fall apart before, and I like to be transparent about things.
I know this: it feels good. It feels solid. It feels in alignment with my skill set, my vision and my values. Now I just have to trust myself enough to follow through and make it happen.
I’ll be honest, that’s the hard part – the pricing debates I have with myself inside my own head, the marketing, the grit to see things through when unstable cash flow is eating away at my confidence, my pride… and my savings! It’s hard to feel confident about your own business and your own expertise when 5+ years into your business journey you’re still having that feeling of “I should be further along by now!” I don’t think people talk about that enough, but from speaking to a lot of fellow business owners I know it’s a common place to be. But somehow we only hear the wild success stories, and not so much about the path that led to that success. Two of my own brand’s values are integrity and candour – the quality of being open and honest – and being just that, open and honest, is part of how I’m living my brand.
My task for you, if you’ve made it this far into the episode, is to ask yourself those same questions that I asked myself:
- How can you make the most of your background, your personality traits and your professional skill set to work towards the change you want to see in the world?
- How can you best help the people you want to serve through your zone of genius?
- How can you honour your own wants and needs while doing so?
I’ve been putting my group programme students through a lot of this type of deep inner work over the past couple of months, as I am sure they’ll confirm! I know they’ve found it challenging. I also know they’ve all had some pretty major epiphanies along the way, and that their brands will be stronger for it!
I hope you’ve enjoyed that little peek into the inner workings of my business. If you have suggestions for what you’d like to hear about for the next behind-the-scenes episode, or you’d like to share your own BTC story, please reach out and let me know!
Before you go: I mentioned WAIM Unlimited and my new brand strategy course earlier in the episode, and I want to tell you 1) what the heck WAIM is, and 2) how you can get your hands on both.
WAIM was founded by husband and wife team Jason and Caroline Zook, and is still run by them – no huge team. This is something I like about the concept, it tells me we don’t have to grow these huge businesses to make an impact and earn a great living! WAIM stands for Wandering Aimfully, and it’s “the idea that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for designing a business and life you love; there is only experimenting intentionally until you find the right answers for you.” It won’t come as a surprise that this is right up my alley 😉
WAIM Unlimited is a comprehensive program that aims to give online business owners all the tools, resources, and knowledge needed to grow their biz. For full transparency, I am a WAIM Affiliate, which means whenever someone uses my affiliate link to sign up, I get paid for it. But, if you know me you’ll also know that I will never ever promote anything unless I can stand fully behind it.
I joined WAIM mostly because fun people I know and trust were already in there and raving about it. I was not disappointed. Listing everything that’s included would be a whole podcast episode, but my top 3 personal favourites so far are these:
⭐️ The Notion starter pack → I’ve never been able to stick with a planning/project management tool (Trello, Clickup, Asana… I’ve tried them all), and I had started to dabble with Notion, but this starter pack was a game changer that made it easy to customise my own “business hub” in a way that means I actually use it!
⭐️ The lifetime Teachery account → this alone is worth the investment, I mean… lifetime access to an online course platform! I’ve already used it to whip up a course from my group programme curriculum!
⭐️ The Slack community → from day one, the community was welcoming, friendly and helpful. I felt at home! I mean, that alone is worth the membership fee to me.
I’m also a little bit in love with their lifetime business model: WAIM Unlimited costs $2,000 in total, and you can either pay $100 per month for 20 months OR $400 per month for 5 months – and then that’s it. For good.
Now that’s good, but how can I make it even better value for you?
Remember I said how I had already whipped up a course, The Lone Brandit, using the lifetime Teachery account included in WAIM? TLB is a self-paced brand strategy course to help you get clear on your brand fundamentals + find the confidence to show up as you → attract more of those ‘omg, yes! 🤩’ clients. And when you sign up to WAIM via my link, I will give you lifetime access to TLB, for free.
If you want to get your hands on the WAIM + TLB combo, all you have to do is sign up to WAIM via my affiliate link, and send me proof of purchase (a screenshot will do nicely) either as a message over on Linkedin or Insta, or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll add you to my course portal! Just like that. If you do sign up, make sure to tag me in your intro post on the WAIM slack channel, so I can welcome you in. Maybe I’ll see you?
Until next time,
Pssst! If you enjoyed this episode, don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss the next one! I’d also be super grateful if you’d share my podcast with a biz friend or two, or leave me a review.