A Little Branding Love

Branding, branding, branding. This seems to always be on (creative) small business owners' minds! For obvious reasons, though. We live and breath the success of our businesses. Most times, we are the face of them, the main contact, we've invested every dime we've made (and then some), and we unfortunately identify parts of our being with these brands and businesses. It's amazing, fulfilling and freeing but can also be exhausting and draining.
I've spent years working on my business (so far from where I want it), but it's just me, myself and I. Sans a degree in business (Family Studies.. what was I thinking, haha). I exhaust all my resources, and work really hard to do the one thing I know a lot about, right. And that is my branding. Of course, at the beginning, I would have loved to hire for this service. But I couldn't afford it on the long list of expenses so it continued to fall to the waistline. I always make sure to put out as much cohesive work as possible, which can be really hard when you work all four seasons with so many different types of clients. My first question to clients is always "have you taken a look at my work, or website?" because I want to confirm that they have, in fact, looked at my previous work. They don't have to love everything but I want to weed out as many inquiries as possible that could be barking up the wrong tree. Example; when an inquiry tells me they "hate greenery" or prefer a "tight, ball-shaped bouquet"... that's usually a dead giveaway that they haven't looked at my work and maybe got my name or contact from someone else. There is NOTHING wrong with this, but it's the perfect opportunity to direct them to your work so you don't waste their time, either. 

Victoria Austin Designs | Fairhope, Alabama Wedding | Joelle Grace Photography

This is all to say that branding is really important in your overall marketing plan. If your branding isn't cohesive, complete or on-point... you'll be booking the wrong clients for the indefinite future. And go through one season of that, and you'll never do it again! :) I've compiled a quick small business branding guide for beginners. These tips may help you get started on your own branding or even assist with your marketing plans. I'll expand on it in time! 

To View/Download the Guide:

Let me know if this guide helps you, or if you have any questions!

Bump Update | 33 Weeks Pregnant

Welp, Another 6 months have passed by before my eyes. Hope I can get back into the swing of blogging this year as I enjoy blogging so much (blogged long before my business came to fruition), and I love sharing updates on work and life here when I don't have time to update my portfolios! But alas, it all takes time, doesn't it? 
We are just a little over 5 weeks from meeting our baby boy, Thomas Anthony Austin! I can't believe we are at the tail end of this 9-month journey. It has FLOWN by. I feel really great, and actually worry that my hormones are finally "right", and will "go back to normal" post-delivery. It worries me because I feel like my emotions, happiness, energy, etc have all been better since getting pregnant. I also wonder if that has to do with diet and a lightened workload? Either way, I pray these feelings stick around!  

Beach Maternity Session | Kaylie Poplin Photography | Victoria Austin Designs

I have my inducing date scheduled. Which bummed me out a little at first, but I have Gestational Diabetes (also bummed me out, and took me by surprise). Although, I don't think I am the healthiest eater, I've never considered myself to have an unhealthy diet. But I am reminded once again that pregnancy does weird things to us women, and for me, one of those things is resisting a little insulin. Overall, my sugars have remained low (a huge relief) with diet and physical activity, but we monitor baby Thomas' heart rate weekly, and have an inducing date to prevent him from "over staying his welcome". :) Anyways, I hope this little bambino comes on his own. But if not I feel prepared and taken care of with my doctor! 

Rosemary Beach Maternity Session by Kaylie Poplin Photography | Victoria Austin Designs

I was torn about taking maternity photos, but had an idea early on that I wanted to do but I really didn't want cheesy photos. I honestly felt so good when I thought of how I wanted them to look and feel that I was so ecstatic to reach out to one of my favorite photographers (and friend) Kaylie B. Poplin Photography.  We were planning to go to Rosemary Beach to celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary (we got married there) and I would conveniently be 30 weeks pregnant during the trip... it just seemed like the perfect time IN the perfect place to document this season of our marriage. But as my pregnancy progressed, and I grew (lol), I started to regret planning these photos, especially because I was hoping to do REAL beach ones, in a bikini and everything. What.
BUT. I am here to say that I am so so so happy I took these! They are exactly what I had in mind when I planned them originally and show the joy and happiness that this season has brought me. I am still shocked at how well Kaylie was able to capture these emotions for me. I truly will have them forever and even plan to add a few to Thomas Anthony's first baby book. I always believe if you FEEL good, document it. Remember it. Use it. It's contagious and will keep the momentum going when you begin to feel LESS good. 

Rosemary Beach Maternity Session by Kaylie B Poplin Photography | Victoria Austin Designs | Motherhood
Rosemary Beach Maternity Session by Kaylie B Poplin Photography | Victoria Austin Designs | Motherhood
Rosemary Beach Maternity Session by Kaylie B Poplin Photography | Victoria Austin Designs | Motherhood
Rosemary Beach Maternity Session by Kaylie B Poplin Photography | Victoria Austin Designs | Motherhood
Rosemary Beach Maternity Session by Kaylie B Poplin Photography | Victoria Austin Designs | Motherhood
Rosemary Beach Maternity Session by Kaylie B Poplin Photography | Victoria Austin Designs | Motherhood

Just a few of my many favorites above but you can see more on Kaylie B Poplin's blog, here! I hope these inspire some of you to go head first into pregnancy and do "all the things", the cheesy included. :) I look forward to sharing Thomas' fun baby shower details, darling nursery and maybe even some VAD wedding work here during my downtime. XOXO

Hair: Vivo Salon and Spa (Rosemary Beach)
Makeup: Morgan King Makeup