In July 2015, I was 20 years old. For the first time since I had moved out on my own two years prior, I found myself unexpectedly homeless after being asked to leave my full-time job as a tour guide.
As if becoming homeless wasn’t life-changing enough for me, I ended up completely unemployed by November of that same year. I was terminated from my part-time job as a retail merchandiser for Hallmark Cards.
It was three days before Thanksgiving to be exact. I’ll never forget the timing of this because I asked myself, “how can I be thankful for anything this week when my world is falling apart?”
Little did I know was that everything I was going through that year was actually working together for my good because one year later in July 2016, I successfully relaunched my first business.
YOU NEED MORE THAN A BUSINESS
Today, Designed By Adriannia is a branding design and creative marketing company that is creating entrepreneurial freedom one life changed at a time. We are equipping, educating, and empowering entrepreneurs across multiple areas in their business from concept to creation.
In addition to our obvious design services, we have an exclusive and branded learning platform, membership, podcast, and other tools and resources in place to help us carry out this mission at Designed By Adriannia.
Surprisingly, this type of work that we do and the big mission that I have for my business isn’t quite how it began back in 2014. At 19 years old, I actually started Designed By Adriannia as “Creative Candle Shop”.
Creative Candle Shop was my home-based business where I sold my handmade, highly decorative candles. It wasn’t until April 2015 that I changed the name of my candle business to Designed By Adriannia.
I was the happiest young adult in the world because something just felt right about that name.
I felt like amazing things were about to happen, but as the events in my introduction have already mentioned, this was just months before I had to bring my candle-making business to an involuntary close.
Designed By Adriannia may have died as a business in the summer of 2015, but I was determined to keep it alive as something else--anything else, as long as I kept that name that I had fallen so deeply in love with going.
To be honest, I had no idea how I was going to make that happen at first.
My resources were limited, but I was able to keep Designed By Adriannia’s name alive and well with the help of things that I already had--specifically social media, my laptop, my creative software on my laptop, and my newly established life and core values of faith, hope, and love.
Since I didn’t have a permanent job--only temporary and contract jobs that kept me afloat--I had more time than ever to focus on the one thing that I had been passionate about since I was 15 years old: true entrepreneurship.
YOU NEED A BRAND
Before I relaunched Designed By Adriannia as a business offering design services in July 2016, I was already attracting design clients.
For example, I created a logo for a young lady who trusted me to provide her with a perfect design before I even had a website, a portfolio, or any of those things to show her.
The only thing that I had to present to her was who I was--which was the same thing I had been sharing with the world from the time I was homeless and unemployed to the time I relaunched my business.
All I had was my brand.
So, what exactly was my brand?
Remember those resources that I mentioned earlier? Well, I used those things that I had to rebuild Designed By Adriannia’s Instagram account as a source of faith, hope, and love with a creative flair and an entrepreneurial spirit.
I created graphical images in Photoshop that had inspirational and empowering quotes and phrases on them from the Bible, my favorite entrepreneurs, my favorite artists, and anyone else who fit the mold of transformation and growth.
So, back to that first client: the only thing that I had available to share with her was my story of how--even though I made no significant progress at that time--I was going from homeless and unemployed to full-time entrepreneur.
As I already mentioned, she was on board with me--not my business, but me.
Greater than just creating a service and putting it out there for sale, I had unknowingly created a mini-movement that inspired people, drew them in, and connected with them on an emotional level.
Designed By Adriannia was seen as a symbol of entrepreneurial freedom, and that cause and that mission is what draws in the right people for my business.
It was in that moment and over the next few months that I realized how powerful a business is when its clients, customers, consumers, or anyone who encounters it sees more than just another product or service.
Therefore, I can confidently say to you that you need more than a business--you need a brand.
WHAT IS A BRAND?
The definition of a brand or branding may vary from person to person.
Here at Designed By Adriannia, we believe that branding is all about defining the influence that you have and displaying your ability to create change and impact in the world around you.
Branding goes beyond your logo, your fonts, and your colors. Branding is getting your whole self-involved from your values to your mission.
Your brand is how you make someone else feel when they see all of these elements and more working together. It’s how you make someone feel about themselves.
So, what is your brand?
How are your products and services, branding design, marketing messages, values or belief system, and content all working together to make others feel?
Is your brand authentically you so that others feel safe in the culture that you’re creating, or is your brand a false reality that creates chaos for you and your audience?
Where is the emotional connection that draws people in found in your branding?
The sooner you can creatively brand your business, the sooner your business will see results that you never thought were possible.
Don’t get lost in the noise by just offering another product or service--stand out with a brand that is one in a million.
Share in the comments below: What was your biggest takeaway from the blog post?
Adriannia is the CEO of Designed By Adriannia, Founder of We Are Creative Rebels, Founder of Designed By Adriannia eLearning, Host of Designed By Adriannia’s Grow With Friends Podcast, Author of Becoming, Motivational Speaker, Inspirational Mentor, and World Changer on a mission to create a culture of entrepreneurial freedom one life changed at a time.