How do you promote your business when it feels like tooting your own horn?

How do you promote your business when it feels like tooting your own horn?

I got this question in my inbox:

I have just started my own [creative business] and I'm not really sure how to market myself? I think I know what I have is good, but I hate singing my own trumpet, so do you have any advice for that?

This is a really common question and I want to crack this and help anyone who has this particular problem. You're not alone, a lot of people feel the same way at the start of their own business. We have been conditioned to compliment others, but not brag. We have spent our online careers promoting others, but not ourselves. And now it's seriously getting in the way of our progress.

Because you can't grow your business with this particular damaging mindset.

OK?

A breakdown of my entire coaching process with creative rebel clients.

A breakdown of my entire coaching process with creative rebel clients.

Hey there future client!

It's a little strange to be dissecting my work like this because to be honest every client feels like a unique snowflake, which makes my process for them slightly different, but throughout my work with creative rebels (aka bloggers, freelancers, and creative business owners), I have noticed some common steps.

So. If you're curious about my coaching process, now's your chance to see it, no censorship or holding back or BS, just what it is:

 

CLARITY + FOCUS + ALIGNMENT + STRATEGY + SYSTEMS

 

It's sort of like coaching meets consulting. That's my jam. :)

Starting a brand? Stop asking other people to tell you who you are.

Starting a brand? Stop asking other people to tell you who you are.

I was listening to a particularly vivifying speech by Simon Sinek.

You know the one... he's one of the big rebels, who says we should start with WHY, not with WHAT. He's the one who says the words purpose and fulfillment a lot. He doesn't apologize for it and he doesn't teach leaders to be perfect. He teaches us all to be human, vulnerable, and humble. 

Which is WHY I like him...

He doesn't BS, he always stands firmly by his truth, no matter the consequence. (Which is what true creative rebels do, by the way.)

So I was listening to one of his motivational speeches in a compilation called "The 10 Rules of Success According to Simon Sinek" or something. And although I never click these clickbaity things, this time I did, and I was happy for it. 

How to set goals and not become completely overwhelmed.

How to set goals and not become completely overwhelmed.

I will share an insight I've had with a client recently because I believe it is of the utmost importance to creatives.

So you you're doing what you love, you're hustling, living the dream.

Naturally, the dream looks and feels more like being at an endless party - fun at first but eventually it wears down on ya, and you just want to rest, dammit! Which is where the word sustainable comes from. We all feel like once we can sustain our blogs, brands, and businesses, we can rest and relax and have fun.

Weeeeeell, I won't argue with you cos we have bigger fish to fry.

To get to the sustainable part, we each have our systems we mostly devised ourselves, because let's face it, we hate other people telling us what to do, and when they do, some of the time it works but most of the time it doesn't because we are all different individuals with different strengths.

But our systems don't always work either. Sometimes they backfire.

Are you a creative with no style and no confidence in your work? Read this.

Are you a creative with no style and no confidence in your work? Read this.

I hear this everywhere...

I'm a writer/artist with no identifiable style. How do I find it?
My style of writing/etc. is boring/underwhelming/not very good. How can I write/create more like you/her/him?

Etc.

We're going to take on these (really) common limiting beliefs among the creative community and figure out how to get past them once and for all. Because on the other side of these lies your personal creative freedom. 

In this case, the grass is greener on the other side.

Do you want to turn your bad creative habits into better ones? Hell yes!

Do you want to turn your bad creative habits into better ones? Hell yes!

The free training is here!

So when I asked on twitter what you guys wanted to learn about, the answer was loud and clear - better creative habits. :)

And it's totally normal for us all to want that seeing as creatives aren't famous for being super productive, how, are we? What we are famous about is being moody and cutting our ears off. Or becoming alcoholics.

If you think about it, creativity can drive some people to madness, but it can also drive other people to success. I believe it's a choice, in the end.

So today I am answering your request and digging into your creative habits. 

We'll discuss how habits work, where to find the answers we are looking for, how to dig deeper to the root cause instead of just treating the symptom, and finally, discuss something I like to call a tipping (or avalanche) habit.

At the end of the article, you'll also be able to sign up for the training!

How exactly can you "find" your purpose and why would you want to?

How exactly can you "find" your purpose and why would you want to?

Confession time.

A lot of the time I worry if people understand what I mean by "find your purpose" because I used to be someone who was confused by that.

What does she mean my purpose! I make my destiny. This is crapola.

What does she mean find it? I need to make it, not find it, duh.

I'm with you on the whole "make your destiny" pitch and following your passions instead of something so ephemeral that a lot of people can't even explain. 

But the question here isn't what you call it. It's whether you want to infuse your life - and creative career - with meaning. It's whether you need to focus all of your efforts in one direction, so that you're less scattered. And it's whether you want something so big, so personal, that will last you throughout all of your crazy creative ideas, and you'll love it, and it will motivate you like crazy. 

One way to get all those things is to "find" your purpose.

When you get tired of your own BS, that's when the magic happens.

When you get tired of your own BS, that's when the magic happens.

There have been many times in my life I had tired of my BS and done something about it. There was the time when I tired of depression and went to a therapist to get diagnosed so I could finally lead a better, happier life. There was the time when I tired of flailing about trying to find "jobs" because that's what I was "supposed to do," even though I hated it, so I started my business then.

And now I have reached the limit of another BS point...

How to free your creativity from all limitations and create from the heart.

How to free your creativity from all limitations and create from the heart.

Hey there rebel!

You know how I always say we should go with our natural ways?

Well... turns out there IS an exception and I have just found it. And since I promised myself to always share my lessons with you in my emails, today I'll tell you how I had to go against my Natural Way this summer! *gasp*

I know, I know... it's like REBELASHPEMY.

Let me explain...

How to be more productive and work fewer hours.

How to be more productive and work fewer hours.

hey, this is no clickbait... 

I just wanted to share my progress from procrastination and distraction to productive and getting sh*t done. Seeing as we all struggle to get things done and not lose our minds in the process (did you know that hustling is bad for you), I thought this could be helpful for all of us to reflect on.

Don't get me wrong, I still struggle, always will, but progress matters. Even if it's just small progress, that's much more than many people get.

So let me share my 3-step Plan to Progress & Productivity with ya. :)

The Ennegram test and the boxes we put ourselves into.

The Ennegram test and the boxes we put ourselves into.

OK...

Most of the time I LOVE personality tests.

I am big on self-awareness and knowing more about myself makes me feel empowered to grow and make better choices. We don't often change, but knowing what we could do better is a powerful tool for anyone driven to achieve and just live the good life or whatever your ultimate goal in life is.

And most of the time I LOVE what I read and nod a lot.

Yep, that's me... yep, yep, totally me... OMG how do they know... and so on.

But I finally came about a personality test that literally made me cringe. Which doesn't mean I didn't like it or that I think it's wrong. But it literally took the worst aspects of my personality, the things I'd like to change but cannot, and put them together in a report that's basically my life in a nutshell.

Looking for a coach? Make sure they understand your creative rebel needs.

Looking for a coach? Make sure they understand your creative rebel needs.

you've hit a bump in the road.

You feel stuck, uninspired, and frustrated with everything that used to be fun.

Usually, at this point I recommend to people to get some perspective by introducing another person to the equation. It could be a loved one (though they are subjective) or an accountability buddy (though they can only give you their opinion, not guide you), or a coach (who do not have the answers, but know how to gently guide you to your truth, or at least the good ones do). 

If you think you're ready to hire a coach, I just want you to make sure that you're hiring someone who understands your needs as a creative rebel.

Otherwise you'll have wasted your money and ended up even more frustrated.

I hope you still write fiction.

I hope you still write fiction.

There's a song I always go back to.

It's a country song, called I Hope You Dance, performed by Lee Ann Womack.

Here are some of the words that touched me:

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin' might mean takin' chances, but they're worth takin'
Lovin' might be a mistake, but it's worth makin'
Don't let some Hellbent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to sellin' out, reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance

When you focus on the FUN parts and ignore the BORING parts of your business.

When you focus on the FUN parts and ignore the BORING parts of your business.

Don't get too excited... I am still technically on a break.

But I wanted to give you a little update because I think this is important for all of us creative rebels. Basically, I'm going to spend this summer fixing a terrible mistake I had made. And I bet I'm not the only one in this...

You know how there are fun parts in business?

Creating content, learning new things, outlining projects, etc.

And you know how there are boring parts in business?

Admin work, funnels, answering emails, repurposing content, etc.

Have you found your authentic path yet? Here's how I found mine...

Have you found your authentic path yet? Here's how I found mine...

For most of my life, I followed the rules.

I was a good student.

I never missed an appointment.

When I needed to learn something, I started from the books.

Basically, I was a good little girl who had faith in society, traditional education, and the people enforcing both. I had faith they would bring me somewhere. However, they brought me to a miserable place. A place where everything was predictable and boring. Where people were like robots with certifications who never stood out and who always did as they were told.

It's why for most of my life I have done creative projects on the side.

A part of me just always KNEW I would never be happy if all I was was a good little girl who followed the rules. That is why I was a rebel in my free time. I started collaborations, projects, and blogs that reflected who I really was.

Don't confine yourself into a niche. Find your Core Message first.

Don't confine yourself into a niche. Find your Core Message first.

YOU’RE STARTING SOMETHING - A BLOG, A BRAND, A BUSINESS - AND THE EXPERTS ARE ALL SAYING THE SAME THING: NICHE DOWN.

Which you don’t really want to do because:

  1. You’re a rebel and you don’t want to put yourself in a box;
  2. Even if you did want to do that, you wouldn’t even know where to begin!

Listen, I get where you’re coming from because I’ve been there. More than once. And the truth is that I have listened to the experts more times than I would have liked. But there comes a time when you stop listening to the experts and start listening to your own gut or internal compass or whatever you call it.

There comes a time when you need to do what works best for you.

Now let’s see why this is really bad advice...

When your self-employed brain inevitably enters panic mode.

When your self-employed brain inevitably enters panic mode.

Listen guys...

We don't talk about this enough.

And I just decided to talk about it because a) I want to be real with you and b) I just had a dream about hand-delivering promotional pumpkins and writing rhymes for food labels. Which is basically my brain entering panic mode.

When you're self-employed you're gonna have good months and bad months.

Finacially, I mean.

Until you hit that sweet "sustainability" spot, that's just the way it's gonna be, especially if you're doing your own thing and walking on untested territory.

And you're probably like me...

I did a Tarot reading for you and rebels are saying it's creepily accurate.

I did a Tarot reading for you and rebels are saying it's creepily accurate.

Dude...

I have never in my life done something so radical.

Which reminds me. Apparently saying you do Tarot readings is a bit tricky, and you're supposed to say that you're doing it for entertainment purposes.

*So this Tarot reading was done for entertainment purposes.*

I have done Tarot readings for friends, family, and strangers at hen parties (so much so that every girl at the hen party lined up to wait her turn), and they have all experienced the same thing - insight. I'll be honest and tell you why that happens - because the cards reflect what you think back to you.

Rebelify your website - because it's YOURS and everything you do should be as unique as you.

Rebelify your website - because it's YOURS and everything you do should be as unique as you.

It's rebelifying time!

Again.

Because once you start you cannot stop. I should know.

This time we're looking at your website and how you can make it more YOU. How you can finally let go of the expectations of others and the expert advice. How you can stick your flag on the Moon.

Oh yeah, almost forgot...

Some people ask why they should have a website, and even though I am not one to set rules for others - or use the word should - I will admit that I don't understand the question. 

It's like going to the Moon and not sticking your flag on it.

In Merlin's name, why.

Are you rebranding? These 5 creative rebels helped me do it.

Are you rebranding? These 5 creative rebels helped me do it.

OK, they didn't help me personally but...

If I hadn't had access to their wisdom, my brand could be different now.

And I am NOT saying that I ignored myself (again) so that I can listen to a bunch of experts tell me what I'm supposed to do. You know me better than that.

I'm saying that their rebelliousness gave me great rebellious ideas.

That's just how rebellion works. It's contagious.

So let's look at the 5 rebels who helped me relaunch my site and rebrand it, and bring to you this new site that is the most authentic I have ever been.