In this week’s episode, I sat down with Andrea Hill, brand strategist extraordinaire. As the owner of Hill Management Group, Andrea oversees four brands serving small business owners with marketing services, strategy consulting, professional development and publishing.
She has spent most of her career as a fix-it specialist for ailing companies, serving as the CEO or President of companies like jewelry brand Rio Grande and Fulcrum Direct, which had several catalogs in the apparel industry.
As you can imagine, I was super excited to pick her brain, so let's dive right in!
Certainly we all have something to learn from Andrea, and I encourage you to take a listen above. For now here are the biggest 3 takeaways from our conversation.
What Every Designer Should Embrace
When I asked Andrea what she wished every designer would embrace about branding, the answer was a wake up call. As Andrea put it, “a brand is a very tactical and strategical pursuit.” We have to remember that our brand is the life and blood of our business, and it affects everything we do.
With this holistic approach to branding, is also important to keep in mind that – as a jewelry designer and small business owner – your brand is the one thing that is going to get you noticed and attract DREAM clients, which brings us to #2…
3 Steps to a Holistic Brand Approach
Andrea advises all designers to take a long hard look at themselves in order to craft a thriving business. If you’ve ever taken a course with F&TA, you’ll know we stress the importance of identifying your DREAM clients and only attracting those who you want to do business with. Andrea then asks us to take a look at our actual designs and really ask ourselves what our design strengths and weaknesses are. To take it another step further, Andrea wants us to ask ourselves what types of designs are our DREAM clients responding to?
The last step is where it all comes together: Just as our design strengths can help create cohesive collections, Andrea encourages us to find our origin story that can tie it all together. She gives some great examples in the podcast, so don't forget to take a listen!
How to Stand Out in a Crowd
Finally, I wanted to hear Andrea brainstorm some some ways that designers can stand out from the crowd. As it turns out, having a conscious brand presence in everything that you do is the key. Think of your brand as a guiding light for your efforts. If everything in your business, from your designs to your website to your customer service, feels purposeful and put together, you will already be miles ahead of less-focused small businesses that appear more thrown together.
I’m sure you must be itching to learn how to put together a purposeful and strategic brain, so don't hesitate to listen to today's episode above!
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