Lessons Learned Through Entrepreneurship

I’ve spent the last 9 months as part of the Love Over Metrics mastermind led by Jadah Sellner. At our closing circle, she asked us to write down what we’ve learned during our time together and inspiration just started flowing out of me.

It was like all the wisdom and truth I’ve gained over the last 10+ years of entrepreneurship presented itself perfectly in 9 simple steps.

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And I wanna share them with you because we’re tight like that.

(Also, let’s be real - this list applies to life in general - not just business.)


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What would you add to this list? Comment below!! These are what came to me during my 5 minutes of reflection, and I’d love for this to be a list that keeps growing and changing as inspiration strikes and additional lessons are learned.

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CALLING ALL PORTLAND-BASED FEMALE FOUNDERS

I’m heading your way and have spots for TWO brand shoots on August 3rd and August 4th and I think you’re just the kind of woman I love working with. Let’s make some magic together and you walk away with a collection of custom images to pull from over the next several MONTHS. Photos that create connection, trust, sales and scale. Contact me for more info and to hop on a quick Brand Strategy Call.

How to Prep for a Brand Shoot

Whether you’re taking pics yourself or working with a pro, you want to get the most out of your brand shoot. Have no fear!! Go through these 4 quick steps for a more intentional and successful photo shoot, even if it’s 15 minutes with your iPhone.

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STEP 1: Create a Pinterest board (or Google Doc) and start pinning all the images that stand out to you (without over-thinking or judging them!!). Now take a step back and ask yourself: what colors keep repeating themselves? Are most of the images bright + airy or dark + moody? Take note and brainstorm how you can implement these colors and photography style into your shoot. If you’re working with a professional photographer, it’s CRUCIAL that you communicate your vision or you could end up with photos that aren’t a true representation of you or your brand.

STEP 2: What things are unique to you? No really, what are they? Maybe it’s your love of expensive coffee, hot yoga or those flashy red heels you wear whenever you wanna feel like a BOSS. What do people see and think of you? Now, how can you incorporate some of those things into your photos? Think outside the box - for me, it would be doing a photoshoot inside Target with my 4 kids because everyone who knows me well knows that’s our home away from home!!

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STEP 3: I’m gonna be honest. This one requires some deeper thinking, but I promise if you take the time to really ponder on it, the payoff is HUGE. Take a deep breath and ask yourself: How do you want people to FEEL when they see your photos? A few common words my clients have come up with are: warm, welcoming, happy, confident, knowledgable. Write down those words and move on to Step 4 to put them into action!

STEP 4: Gather your favorite items from Step 2 and clothes that embody the look and feel of the Pinterest board you created in Step 1 - but more importantly, clothes that you feel GREAT and COMFORTABLE in. Wear a little more make-up than normal, but don’t go overboard. Someone should be able to recognize you walking down the street in your yoga pants after seeing your photos. Now that you’re all ready to go, find some beautiful light and repeat the list of words you put together in Step 3 before and during your photo shoot because (hint: this is the real magic sauce of photo shoot success right here):

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How you FEEL is how you’ll LOOK. And girl, you were meant to SHINE.

I’m gonna keep it real with you: I’ve asked a LOT of women about the photo shoots they’ve loved the most and the #1 answer I get is: it all comes down to the photographer. It REALLY MATTERS who is on the other side of the camera and how they make you feel, so be choosy when booking a photographer for your brand shoot!! It’s an investment and if you’re putting in the time and energy to make the most of it, you want equal effort coming from the other side.

If you need some help going through this list and defining your visual brand, you should totally book a Free Brand Strategy Call with me. You don’t need to live local and there’s no cost - just my gift to you! It’s quick, simple and fun. Let’s chat.

Featured Personal Brand | KidArtLit

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I can’t call it anything other than fate…

I was presenting at a women’s business conference in the Bay Area last summer and everyone was sharing where they were from. I mentioned my TINY town in Northern California and a woman across the room gasped out, “SHUT UP. That’s where I’m moving!!”

At the break, I rushed over to ask her about her move and found out about her amazing literature and process art subscription box company for families, KidArtLit. I asked for more info because it sounded like the perfect addition to our homeschool curriculum and ordered a box as soon as I got home.

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Needless to say, my kids and I LOVED the boxes and before I knew it, Megan and Julia approached me about working together.

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It’s been such an honor to tell the story of how reading and taking the time to do art with your children can bring you closer together and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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The founders of KidArtLit, (and amazing boss babes) Megan and Julia, believe that a good story can be powerfully transformative and that process-based art experiences are the best way for children to develop problem-solving skills, confidence, and perseverance.

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Together, they’re on a mission to make it easier for parents to connect deeply with their kids and to enjoy story time and art time the way they’ve always imagined.

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Every detail of their business is intentional, down to the presentation of the box when it arrives… it’s basically like Christmas every single month when our KidArtLit box arrives!

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And to top it off, each KidArtLit delivery is packaged by CSS, a nonprofit providing employment & job training for adults with developmental disabilities. The boxes are 100% recyclable and reusable - in fact, we‘ve repurposed our boxes for almost everything - art projects to storage for air-soft guns!

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KidArtLit also partners with dozens of women-owned and mission-driven companies to source the best books, art materials, and activities for their families. A few recent partners include the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley, Hero Arts, and Tattly.

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Helping female entrepreneurs elevate their brands and businesses visually is what LIGHTS ME UP and working with KidArtLit is no exception. I absolutely LOVE what they’re putting out into the world, especially the important message of using art and books to connect deeply with our children, something that’s very dear to my heart. Hearing how implementing these images in their marketing, website and social media has impacted their success is such an inspiration and a testament to power of STORYTELLING IMAGES.

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Co-founder Julia said, “Brandilyn helped orchestrate a photoshoot that was professional, well-designed and that really met our needs as a business. She listens so intently and is such a creative thinker in the way that she processes what a business needs. It’s really unusual to have a photographer that instantly feels like somebody you need to have on hand all the time. Brandilyn is someone we work with every month now helping us produce images for our company so that we always have fresh, new photos that we can use at the drop of a hat! Whether we are re-designing a website or planning a big marketing campaign, we know we have the images that are not only going to meet our needs, but that will TELL OUR STORY. She’s a joy to work with!”


If YOU are ready to:

STAND OUT ONLINE

LOOK MORE PROFESSIONAL

TELL YOUR STORY

…then you definitely need to book your FREE BRAND STRATEGY CALL today where I’ll help you clarify your visual brand and go over how I can help you take your business to the next level!!!