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!

Creativity | At Home Inspiration

It is so easy for me to get bogged down with a demanding inbox and full plate, I know almost everyone can relate. What affects my work the most is just this, unfortunately. If I get overwhelmed, I work less efficiently, less enthusiastically and of course, with less creativity and spark. I've learned to take a few hours to myself and create something that is just for "me". I have other methods too, like another cup of coffee, reading, getting out of the house, etc., but creating something - off the computer screen - for no reason at all does the trick best!
The past few weeks have flown by and I am happy to say that although I thought September would begin a "slow period" for VAD, it has been quite the opposite.

Inspired by: Jessica Clinch of Simply Jessica Marie
As I am always adding to my brand inspiration board, a few photos stick with me! I decided to ask Jessica a few beginner tips so I can watercolor one of my favorite photos by Rylee Hitchner (florals and styling by Abany). It is not done yet and I applaud Jessica once again for her patience and time commitment, watercolor is not easy nor is it quick! But it is so relaxing and was great to sit back, paint and reflect. I may have had a glass of white while I did this!

Victoria Austin Designs | Blog | Inspired By
Victoria Austin Designs | Blog | Inspired By
Victoria Austin Designs | Blog | Watercolor Supplies

And then the fun began...

Victoria Austin Designs | Blog | Watercolor
Victoria Austin Designs | Blog
Victoria Austin Designs | Blog

Seriously, so much fun! It is extremely relaxing (when there is no pressure involved). I continue to look for inspiration at home, and I would love to share the who and what of my inspiration!