As my business and I emerged from another lockdown and months of homeschool, I felt a bit lost. I knew what I wanted to offer, and what my favourite types of customer were like – the ones I wanted more of – but I didn’t really know what to put out there about myself to get them. So I decided to ask for help, and you may have noticed that things changed a little bit in the RLC world around May / June time: new photos, a new strapline, and new brand blog. You may even have noticed that I restructured the whole of my website’s front page, so that it doesn’t talk generally about copywriting services – it talks about why blogging is so brilliant, why you should do, and how I can help you.
Then again, you may not have noticed at all – because I wanted it all to be outwardly subtle. I didn’t need a big rebrand to tell the world about huge changes I’d made, or new customers I was seeking; what I needed was clearer direction for me. I needed clarity on my focus, and a grasp of what I offer that’s essentially me – and a strapline that encapsulates all of that in a few words. It sounds like a lot to ask, but I got that from the fabulous Nicky Marchant at Fox Brand Image – and then I got the photos to match, from the equally fabulous Laura Laws at LC-Photography.
Marchant Magic from Fox Brand Image
Nicky is amazing. She’s not a brand design service, although she can give advice on that if you need it; she works on a higher plane. She intuitively guides you to realise what you offer, and to own it –giving the inspiration for those perfect strapline words that sum you up.
At our first hour-long session we talked about how I started down the whole copywriting road, and what came before it; what I love about most about what I do; and what my ideal customers are like, and the less-than-ideal ones too. We also chatted about life in general – family, interests, background. All this and more went into the magic pot of my session – and what emerged just captivated me instantly.
“You need to use that ‘RLC’,” said Nicky. “They’re your initials and they’re in your business name, so let’s use them to describe what you’re all about. Strapline, hashtags, slogans, everything.”
And so, within a matter of moments, I had the quintessential strapline for RLC Words that I could never have arrived at on my own: Refreshing Lively Content for your brand.
Before Nicky, I would go to networking meetings and talk vaguely about the different services I can offer; perhaps occasionally I would be inspired to use a famous quote, or talk about a project I had just finished. But now, I have a real focus for introducing my business that’s far more memorable than just a job title. No longer do I say “I’m a copywriter through my business, RLC Words” – now it’s “I’m Rebecca, and my business is RLC Words – Refreshing Lively Content for your brand”. My audience don’t have to interpret how my job title might help them – my strapline tells them straight away what they’ll get, and puts a framework around everything I offer.
And then there was the website and the blog. She was brimming with ideas for my blogging services, how to shout about them, and how to develop my own – the Brand Blog you see before you this very moment is entirely inspired by Nicky.
She’s done what had stumped me for so long – distilled me down, summed me up and pointed me in the direction I want to go.
Through Laura’s Lens
Laura uses the same brand of magic with her art as Nicky does with hers. To prepare for our shoot, she listened to all my visions for what I wanted to do with my new photos, and gave me advice on colours and outfits to pick that would complement my brand. As far as the venue went, one of the most important things to me about my business is that I can run it from home, so that made my choice very easy – and Laura was very happy to accommodate that. We talked about what I do when I work, what I use, where I sit, where I chat to clients – and, of course, my little workmate Bertie’s involvement in everything – and she built time into the shoot so she could scout the different locations around the house and garden, and how the light and set up would work.
On the day, we had so much fun. We laughed about kids, family, work, the weather, and food – and photogenic little Bertie was a major part of the morning! She guided me with every shot, from where to place my feet to how to hold my head, move my hair, where to look…and she really did work magic.
Like many people of a certain age, I don’t like most photos of myself. They have to catch me at a very good angle, in a very good light, to be even half acceptable to me; but somehow, every single shot Laura took of me made me grin with pleasure when I saw it. I loved them all, and choosing was very, very difficult indeed. Her empathy, intuition and artistic skill with the camera has made me look how I do in my head, and I couldn’t be happier with my beautiful new photos.
If you’re in a similar place with your business as I was, don’t despair. It’s so hard to sum your own business up, even when you’re a writer for a living – but these amazing ladies are here with their magical powers to help you discover what your business is really about, and how you and what you do can look to the rest of the world. They are truly talented, and in a matter of hours they created transformational change for me and my business, which has set me on the path I want to follow for years to come.