8 takeaways from branding

Hi guys! Welcome back!

I'm sitting in Starbucks just outside of Richmond and having a super productive day! Hooray! It feels almost like Fall here in Virginia today and it's making me want to savor these last few weeks of Summer. I will miss you maxi dresses! Today though I wanted to share a little of what I gained through being branded. You can catch up on my branding journey here and here! It's been over two months since One Sweet Day in May debuted and I feel like a whole new business. Sure, it's all exciting the week of and right after you launch, but here I am two months later ready to let you in on what exactly has changed. Enjoy! 

Photo By Andrea Pesce 

Photo By Andrea Pesce 

1. I've created a client experience

One of the most important things to me is to make my brides feel special from the moment we meet until she becomes a Mrs. I want to shower her with a meaningful experience. Before branding, I didn't really have any form of client experience. I knew thank you cards were important, but that's about it. Throughout branding Ashlee Proffitt and I created a client experience to make each and every bride feel like she's my only one. This has become such an integral part of One Sweet Day in May and I'm so thankful to have it included in my brand. Plus I seriously love loving on my brides. It's my favorite thing. 

2. I became streamlined

This has become my favorite word the past few months. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a streamlined brand. A great example of this is Annmarie Swift Photography. In the days I spent with Annmarie last month I got to see the behind the scenes of her brand and holy moly, is it streamlined to perfection. From her website to her client experience, to her marketing magazines...the girl has got it going on in the streamlined department and I'm so excited that I have a brand now that does the same. Anything One Sweet Day in May is now consistent (whereas before it was nonexistent) Everything I put out there on any platform whether it is Facebook, Instagram, my email signature, or here on the website/blog is recognizable as One Sweet Day in May. You'll notice over on Instagram that all my photos are consistent with one another. Hello branding. Same colors, same fonts, same minimalistic and bright light that surrounds my brand. Without going through the branding journey, I still would come across as a confused business. Now I'm a pulled together lady and it feels good!

3. I'm more organized.

Hooray! Along with my brand being streamlined, I am more organized. It's made my life easier every step of the way. From what to bring with me for a consultation with a bride to walking them through the process. I now have things in place to keep me organized. Everything has a purpose and being organized is such a time saver allowing me to focus on my weddings rather than freaking out about what to send clients when or hmmm...what should I do now? It's all set and I'm one happy girl. 

4. Accurate first impression.

You know how when you have a job interview you make sure you look your best? Your hair is done, your makeup is on point, and you wear your most professional looking suit or confidence building outfit? The same has to be for your business too. No matter how they are referred to you, your website is the first thing a potential client will see and it needs to represent you and what you can offer. Branding has given me the ability to give a wonderful first impression and it's a step in the right direction with potential clients. 

5. My business reflects me

The #1 thing I wanted accomplished through branding was for my business to reflect me. I wanted my website and blog to match the me in person. I am friendly, open, and approachable and I wanted that to be the public face of my business. I wanted clean lines and softness with the simplicity that made it easy to get the info a website should provide. My old website wasn't doing that and as silly as it sounds I couldn't find the "me" I wanted to put in One Sweet Day in May. This is why I outsourced. (That and this girl can barely change a font hah) Branding lets you discover what you want for your business and I'm so thankll for that. It asks tough questions, but they are so important for your end goal. Now when I  meet a bride, she has a good sense of what I'll be like in person because my website and blog accurately represent the person I am. Yay! 

6. I attract my ideal client

It's hard to tell this to someone who isn't creatively driven or connected to this industry. They think your business should just be about making money. They say who cares who you're working with if they are paying you? And I get it. Us creatives have got to make money. But isn't isn't it so SO much better working with clients who get you, who love the same things you love? Hello Starbucks brides! Whee! It makes my job that much more fun when I connect with a bride over the little things because chances are when we connect with each other on those little things it will lead to us being on the same page wedding design wise. And that my friends is a wonderful thing. I'm in this industry because I genuinely love it and love the people I'm surrounded by. Being branded for the past two months, I have booked brides who I could be best friends with. I love my brides! We meet for coffee and talk Lilly Pulitzer and family and Taylor Swift concerts. Those are the brides I want to keep attracting and I do that through what #5 says, my brand reflects me.

7. I'm growing

One thing I take away from every Katelyn James speech (yes, I'm a bit of a groupie haha) is to show the world you're a growing business and my branding has allowed me to do that. Most importantly here on the blog, but through my website too. I'm not perfect and I freak out daily about creating One Sweet Day in May, but here on the blog I show the ways in which this business is growing. I met with so many brides while I was going through the branding process and I would tell them that One Sweet Day in May was going to be getting a little fancier, but not to worry because it was still going to be me. All of their responses blew me away. They were so supportive and gave me quite a few "you go girls" and I realized that it is so true to show that you are growing rather than pretending that you have it all together and you're the best you'll ever get. Jeez that couldn't be further from the truth. Branding made me see that just because this is where I am doesn't mean I will be here forever. It makes me excited for the future. 

8. I have confidence

This is by far the most important point and take away from branding. Once I not only felt like a legit business, but looked like it too, my confidence grew by miles. I can assertively say "Hi, I'm Michelle and I own One Sweet Day in May" without being scared or worrying about what they will think about me. Now that everything is organized and streamlined I can go into any consultation, any vendor meeting, or workshop/conference with confidence. It's like wearing your fanciest (and most comfortable) pair of pumps every day. Branding your business gives you that little boom you need to exude the confident boss lady you are. It's kinda like having a body guard haha. I'm just this little business owner going about her day with this big badass brand behind me. Does that make sense haha? 

Photo by Andrea Pesce 

Photo by Andrea Pesce 

The right time to brand is different for everyone and it's a big decision as well as a big investment. I knew it was my time when I figured out this is what I wanted to be doing. Like really doing and I wanted to take One Sweet Day in May to the next level and Ashlee was my fairy godmother who brought it all to life. It's not something to do just because everyone is doing it either. It's got to come from a genuine place, or the money and time you spend on it won't be worth it. 

Happy Wednesday sweet friends! Make it a great one!! I'm going to be working here in Starbies for a few more hours working on something I am finally announcing on Monday (ahhhhhh!!!) and then Chris and I are going out for date night tonight. I'm craving sushi and hope he feels the same haha. And I'm thinking a little competitive mini golf round too. I am loving this season of life guys. Also, if you read my August goals post last week, I have exciting news! I'm down 5 pounds in 2 weeks! Yay! A small step on my health journey, but I'll take it! Talk to you later!