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How to Use Your Brand to Plan the New Year (strategically, of course)

BRAINSTORM, BRANDING

Who’s ready for some strategic planning for 2022?!

Picture it: you’re thinking about all the things you could do next year, you’re excited, motivated and down right in love with your inspired ideas.

But like most things we get ourselves into, the excitement dims as the work creeps into normalcy. We get bored fast, right? We make all these plans and then February rolls around and we’re disappointed with our progress.

I’ve learned that it takes time, attention, and a little bit of strategy to make sure your idea is not only fruitful, but continues to feed your joy and passion. And doesn’t make you want to give up by the end of January.

That’s why I’m so HOT on strategic planning. When you set aside time for honest, non-judgmental reflection you can rekindle that spark your idea came from and you have a better guide to move forward.

If you’re looking for a tool to help you judge yourself less and set achievable goals more, I made a little thing for ya. It’s called The Creative’s Almanac and you can read about it right here. But this is what The Creative’s Almanac is about: creating space for you to reflect back, look forward, and reconnect with your inspired ideas so they can fuel your new year all the way to the end.

But where’s a creative entrepreneur to start with all this strategery?

Brand Audit

Here’s a helpful nugget for your strategic planning: do a brand audit first.

How?

Review your core values, the forces that drive you, and the messages you’re putting out into the world. Ask yourself these questions:

1. What are the core values of your business? These values will be an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to designing your future.

2. Who are you serving in your business?

3. What message are you sending into the world with your work? What do you hope people take away from working with your business?

4. What’s the driving force behind why you chose this work?

By choosing to start your planning with a moment of clarity-seeking, you’ll ensure your dreams are built on the foundation of your ‘why’.

If you don’t have these foundational pieces in place, I’d recommend creating a vision or mission statement, or even a combination of the two! I like to call my combo mission/vision statement a Statement of Intention. This becomes my decision filter for all future strategic planning sessions.

Need a decision filter? You can download excerpts from The Creative’s Almanac inside the Think Tank Library, answer those questions, and create your own Statement of Intention to help fuel your vision for 2022.

Your Brand Matters

Ultimately, spending time with your brand helps you refocus on what your brand should actually be doing for you. Your brand is the experience your customer or client has when they interact with you or your business. What moves them to take action with your work, whether they purchase from you, book you, or seek collaboration with you? What makes them care about your craft?

The identity your brand takes on through your logo, color palette, packaging, etc. is a visual representation of this personality, but you can’t get to the visual aspect of your brand without first understanding these questions of what, why, and who – which is why your time spend doing the work of strategic planning is so valuable.

I hope you are feeling this new year strategic planning stuff as much as I am and I hope that the tools you use speak your language and help you feel empowered. If you’re in the mood for some clarity, check out the Think Tank library and download the Creative’s Almanac Excerpts and get. to. planning!

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