What I Do

People often wonder what it is I do. Even my own daughter has asked me if I have a job. If I say branding, they think I just make logos. If I say marketing, they assume I make logos AND business cards. If I say designing, well, they just ask if I can make their business cards…for free.

quote_on-brand-storytelling_boxer-creative_uk-1I’m a professional storyteller. I have been since I was a kid. It’s actually part of my rich Native American heritage. I tell stories that build relationships. Stories that make an emotional impact. Stories that provoke change and movement. I tell stories that don’t always require words.

Branding is the soul, the essence, the narrative, the story of a person, product, or organization. That story is their brand. I tell their story. The process of telling the story is called marketing. Effectively telling that story through content creation, visual design, and strategy is what connects the brand with the desired audience. If the story is told well, the audience is moved emotionally and provoked to make a decision. If the audience connects with the story, they will want more.

The Humility of the Artist

I was reading Seth Godin’s blog post this morning and it profoundly hit the nail on the head. Here’s what he said,

It seems arrogant to say, “perhaps this isn’t for you.”

When the critic pans your work, or the prospect hears your offer but doesn’t buy, the artist responds, “that’s okay, it’s not for you.” She doesn’t wheedle or flip-flop or go into high pressure mode. She treats different people differently, understands that she is working to delight the weird, not please the masses, and walks away.

Isn’t that arrogant?

No. It’s arrogant to assume that you’ve made something so extraordinary that everyone everywhere should embrace it. Our best work can’t possibly appeal to the average masses, only our average work can.

Finding the humility to happily walk away from those that don’t get it unlocks our ability to do great work.

Knowing who you are and where you are going is branding. That is the brand, whether the brand is you, a product or service. Being confident in allowing your brand to be itself is not arrogantit is strategic. We must be artists, creators, innovators; we are all original.

I asked a client (singer/songwriter) the other day in a session, “Who was Michael Jackson like?” “What about Prince? Or Miles Davis?” The answer, obviously was no one. They were confident in being themselves and they created forms of music that no one before them had created. We don’t really consider musicians who followed in their footsteps to be legends. Being legendary requires being unique, different. It required these artists to be themselves, not attempting to please everyone, but pushing to have personal integrity and originality in their work.

Michael Jackson Prince Miles DavisNo one can be you. There is no competition to you. When you choose to be yourself and stay focused on a clear path, you don’t really compete with anyone. You now have something unique. Now all you have to do is market, effectively tell your story to a specific demographic. Branding and marketing…defining who you are, where you are going, and sharing that story effectively. 

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4 Common Misunderstandings About Content Marketing

Sure, you know about content marketing—but do you really know about content marketing? I found this great list at Zemanta this morning. Clients always think creating content is a no-brainer, but you need to be strategic and consider a few things.

Do you think content marketing is the same as blogging, for example? (It’s not.) Does launching a content marketing strategy seem either too easy or too hard? (It shouldn’t.) The truth is, most companies today are still a little fuzzy on what exactly content marketing means.

So to help you clarify your understanding, here’s a look at four of the most common content marketing misunderstandings!

1. Content Marketing = Blogging

2. Creating Content Is Easy—We’ll Just Throw Something Together

3. Creating Content Is Hard—We Have Nothing to Say

4. Content Marketing Means Losing Money

READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE…YOU WON’T REGRET IT!

This is My Art

Seth Godin, one of my favorite modern thinkers, released his newest book today. “The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?” is nothing short of brilliant. Two things might hold someone back from sharing the art they’ve got inside: The fear of telling the truth or the lame strategy of hiding the truth behind a sales pitch. If you can find the voice, stand up and tell people what you care about.

Your art is vitally important, and what makes it art is that it is personal, important and fraught with the whiff of failure. This is precisely why it’s scarce and thus valuable—it’s difficult to stand up and own it and say, “here, I made this.” – Seth Godin

Watch this video…go ahead and do it. Now.

At some point, art must involve a human. A human with intent. Your hand can be your heart or your words or your effort or a hug, but, yes, the work of a human. If you de-industrialize the process and return it to humanity, to connection, then yes, it’s art and yes, it will connect to other humans more effectively.


MY ARTThis is my art:

I’m good at helping tell your story to people who don’t really know it, yet need to know it. I create pictures that don’t speak a thousand words, but instead speak a few strategic words that provoke an inevitable response. I’m gifted at the art of ignoring boxes and rethinking possibilities. In essence, my art is helping give your art wings.

CALL ME 626.467.5335

ALSO, check out our LOFT and how it may support you.

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If you want to Innovate…

Innovation doesn’t come from doing things over and over the same way. Innovation sets you apart from the clutter. It makes a way, where there was no way. Watch the video

“If you want to INNOVATE, you’ve gotta DESIGN.” -Marty Nuemeier

Marty Nuemeier shares that traditional business thinking is based on a two-step process, Knowing and Doing. However, Design Thinking adds an extra step in the middle…Making. The designer doesn’t accept the normal limitations of “what has already existed”. It may drive traditional thinkers nuts, but it’s what makes new innovations possible. Whether you call it “thinking outside the box” or Design Thinking, the answer is the same, innovation is needed and you aren’t going to get there without thinking like a designer.

A designer is anyone who devises ways to change existing situations into preferred ones. You have to be able to close the gap between what is and what could be.

At the end of the day…the success of your brand comes down to new thinking. It comes down to making new ideas out of seemingly nothing. It comes down to connecting to the world through the mind of a designer.

One of my clients is in the Real Estate world and told me one day that she loves my perspective because I don’t get stuck with what everyone else is doing in the industry. Basically, I don’t think like a Real Estate agent. What’s great is that she feels free to no longer think like one either.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” -Albert Einstein


Marty Neumeier is a designer, writer, and business adviser whose mission is to bring the principles and processes of creativity to the industry. His recent series of “whiteboard” books includes The Designful Company, about the role of design in corporate innovation; Zag, named one of the “top hundred business books of all time” for its insights into radical differentiation; and The Brand Gap, considered by many the foundational text for modern brand-building.

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29 WAYS TO STAY CREATIVE

My favorite is “Drink Coffee”. Enjoy.

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