Lessons from starting a creative product business

Let’s talk creative product business problems. The latter months of the year are prime time for making really good product sales but, with that comes the pressure to produce!

Creativity is not my problem. I’ve learned that they’re a host of other factors that come into play, when you have a product business. Things that I wish I knew about earlier on. I’m going to share some of them with you in this post.

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What do you want to be known for? Debut episode of Soulful Branding Live with Lulu

Have you ever thought about what you want to be known for?

In this debut episode, I share some important questions that I feel are the foundation of any branding exercise. Questions to help you figure out what you want to be known for.

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How your business philosophy can help you grow

We all have personal values and beliefs, as well as experiences and interests that inform our business philosophy. 

Often, this philosophy is behind the scenes and something we don’t consciously tie into how we talk about what we offer (i.e. our marketing). Sure it seeps into everything because we are so connected to it but, have you ever considered writing it down, in one place, for the world to see?

Have you ever sat down, with your strategic hat on, and thought about how all the products and services you offer directly tie into the different aspects of your philosophy? Continue reading “How your business philosophy can help you grow”

No new clothes: a story about branding and freedom

Branding and freedom aren’t two words you usually see together in a sentence. Let me tell you a story …

I used to go to job interviews in a suit. A nondescript black or navy trouser suit that was ill-fitting in so many ways. Firstly, the anatomy I’m blessed with makes finding a flattering off-the-shelf trouser suit quite difficult. Vanity aside, there I was, a young excited professional creative, going to find a job in my field, looking like an accountant!

Somewhere along the journey into adulthood, I had picked up this idea that this is how things were done. Serious situations like job interviews called for “serious” attire and, we all know that means a suit. Despite the fact that people who already worked at these places never/rarely wore suits. Despite the fact that I was largely being judged on my creativity and, we all know how your visual presentation has the power to influence decisions. My choice of clothing just didn’t make sense.

Presentation is everything

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Stand out from the crowd

Stand-Out-From-The-Crowd-Workshops-2There is such huge pressure for new beginnings in January. Reflecting on the month I've had, it's been more about recalibration, in preparation for new things.

Rather than be frustrated, I'm reminding myself that, ultimately, we can start whenever we like!

For those who are working on starting (or restarting/refreshing/revamping) a business, I'm running a 3-part workshop in London, in collaboration with business coach, Danielle Anderson of Step and Stone. It's titled, 'Stand out from the crowd.'

The sessions will cover: identifying and crafting your unique voice; building an online presence that is in alignment with this and; leveraging the power of social media, with confidence. We want you to be able to market your business in a way that's authentic to you, effective and fun!

You can take one or all three sessions for a comprehensive foundation. Find out more details here.

I'd love for you to join us!

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Beyond Making: Non-Creative Business Priorities, for Creative Professionals

I wanted to be a creative professional because I like to come up with ideas and to make things. I wanted to be an entrepreneur because I wanted more freedom over my ideamongering (yes, I made that up) and my making. The hard truth of the matter is that, running a creative business is still running a business. As much as I would love to spend all my time developing concepts, drawing and designing, in reality that has often only taken up half, if that, of my work time.

I’m not complaining because my situation does indeed enable me to live life (a little more) on my own terms. With the wisdom of experience, I continuously make adjustments to free up more time and space to create. It’s about finding a balance. A team and a business partner can certainly help with that but in the beginning, that may not be an option.

Before you embark on your entrepreneurial journey, it’s good to know what will be in store – to appreciate the various hats you may have to wear by your lonesome. Here are ones that I can think of: Continue reading “Beyond Making: Non-Creative Business Priorities, for Creative Professionals”

Afri-love on Instagram (and Why I’m Loving the Network)

 

So I bit the bullet and decided to try out this Instagram thing, despite just not getting it for years. It's been a couple of weeks now and I'm really enjoying it! Pinterest will always be my first love – it's such a useful tool for my design work and creative projects but, I've found space in my life for Instagram too. Here's what I like about it:

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Asilia’s January Sale

Asilia-January-Sale-Afri-love

 

I love running my own business and I'm always so excited to see other people taking the leap! That's what this blog is about – celebrating entrepreneurs (particularly ones in the creative industry). 

The company I co-own, Asilia, is all about harnessing the power of design and digital technology to help pioneers take their brands and businesses to the next level. 

To that end, as a welcome to what's going to be an amazing year (if you decide so) and, in an effort to kick things off with a bang, Asilia is offering 8 exciting packages for ambitious, passionate people, just like you!

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Don’t Hire Somebody to Create Your Website – Do it Yourself in Minutes

DIY-Websites-Let-Your-Work-Speak-For-Itself

Getting a website is pointless …

We can all agree that, if you've got something to share with others – be it a product, service, idea or philosophy – you need to make it accessible to your audience. 

 

… Unless your audience lives more than 2 miles away.

I think the majority of us can also agree that, in this day and age, having some kind of online presence is a no-brainer. Especially if your product, service, idea or philosophy is one that can add value for people who may be hundreds or even thousands of miles away from where you are.

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Politics and the Power of Design

1-Political-campaign-design-South-Africa

While in Nairobi earlier this month, my brother and I were discussing the plethora of campaign posters covering pretty much every available surface in the city. 

This March, for the first time, Kenyans will be voting for 6 different seats – President, Governor, Senator, MP, County Representative and Women's Representative. The presidential candidates are well-known but the feeling I got from most people I spoke to is that, they don't know the people running for some of these other offices, let alone what they are proposing to do for us.

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