As a self-taught designer, Britney Kolodziej uses her creative genius to communicate and connect businesses to their audiences. From this hands on experience she has acquired valuable and essential skills to successfully move businesses to the forefront of their market.
Ask yourself; do you want to reach more customers, engage with a wider audience, and grow an active following? Of course! And at BlogCon 2016 Britney will cover numerous ways you can do that. As of now, though, let’s get a taste of some of the awesomeness her presentation will hold, and how her business creatives might be just what you need to apply! Enjoy!
Britney Kolodziej, JAMMarketingGroup.co
1) From visiting your website, JAMMarketingGroup.co, it is clear you love what you do. It seems you have a fun time helping clients discover their unique voice. I admire how you work together with your clients to find the right expressions and methods for them to utilize. Why do you feel businesses sometimes struggle with this?
Whether you’re running a blog, a business, or just simply your own life, it’s so easy to get caught up in what others think of you. We’re all human and to us, other humans (and their opinions) matter. While this is natural, going too far down this road can be detrimental. Before you know it, your hair’s a length you hate but matches all of your friends’, you’re throwing together a free eBook because isn’t that what everyone does now (?!), and your whole brand is unrecognizable amongst the rest of your competition.
The truth is, if you don’t stand out, you won’t get ahead.
To help my clients stand out, while still being true to themselves and their business, I deep-dive into their business, brand, and personality. I identify where things match up and where they don’t. We then tweak and tweak until all outreaches of their business look and feel of the same body, while being recognizably THEIR BUSINESS.
A great place to start on developing your own unique voice would be to practice writing in your own voice. No editing, no holding back. Write it as if you were to speak it. Take a mini break from your writing and then edit the piece as if you were speaking to a real live customer standing right in front of you. This humanizes every bit of the copy, allowing it to truly connect with its audience.
This can feel incredibly awkward for someone that’s always trying to say the “right thing” and write the “right thing.” This does take practice. But it’s worth it. If you can speak and write to your audience in your own voice, you’ll attract a high-quality audience, one full of people that already speak “your language,” that will stick with you for a long time, AND that will spend more money with you.
2) Branding is a difficult concept to sometimes define, and yet it is vital for a business to develop one. Do you feel some owners forget this crucial aspect? What are some things you do that help them create and integrate ‘branding’ into their business?
The word “branding” gets thrown around in a countless number of ways. Often times, I find that “branding” is used to describe the look of the business – the logo, the website, the social media visuals, the brochures. Tangible things. This isn’t exactly wrong, but if the look of your business is where branding begins and ends, we’ve got a problem.
I describe “branding” as not the look, but the FEEL of the business. In fact, branding is much more of a subconscious awareness of what your business stands for than what a person can see. Once your brand is developed on the intangible side, you can then, and only then, develop the tangibles.
Here’s a great example of how branding can go so right and then go so wrong:
As you walk into Bri’s Brews, a tiny, quaint cafe, serving perfectly-steeped, steaming cups of coffee, you are greeted by a smiling barista who welcomes you. While the space is small, it feels like home even when it’s your very first time inside. Soft music plays in the background, each and every surface is spotless, and the barista, now in front of you as you’ve reached the counter, introduces herself a “Mindy,” happily ready for your order. Once you make your careful selection, Mindy is sure to pen your name on your to-go cup, not with haste, but with elegant ease, spelling it correctly because she was thoughtful in asking how. The cashier, Bobby, rings you up and accepts your payment with a humble, “Thank you so much for your business today, Carrie. Have a beautiful day.” You leave Bri’s Brews feeling like you’ve just been hugged.
Later that day, as you’re telling your “work-best-friend” about Bri’s Brews, the new coffee spot you discovered, you quickly Google the cafe to show her. You find its website, but hesitate when it loads on your screen. This doesn’t seem like the same place you visited this morning. The site is piecemealed together, feeling a bit outdated with low-quality storefront pictures, a logo different from the one stamped on your to-go cup, and no hint of the cozy cafe feel you enjoyed in the flesh.
In this example, you were exposed to Bri’s Brews’ branding (woah, accidental alliteration, my bad) as soon as you walked into the “tiny, quaint cafe” and it continued through your lack luster Google search experience.
So in short, branding is ALL THE FEELS, whether good or bad. Ideally, we want ALL THE FEELS to be positive and cohesive.
I help entrepreneurs and marketing teams develop “good feels” branding by connecting the dots between their marketing strategy, their design (or “look), and their customer service efforts. When these three match, mics drop and profits ensue.
3) The success you have in helping your clients overcome the various challenges in reaching their audiences is commendable. How does it feel when you see the work you and your client have done is, well, working?
From every engaging Facebook ad, to every subscribed-to lead magnet, to every web-referred sale, it all feels great to be a part of. To me, the best feeling comes when the client finds their unique voice and/or unique place in the market and becomes profitable because of it. A dollar is a dollar, but when that dollar was earned being authentically YOU and doing work you are honored to provide, it’s all priceless. I strive to make that the foundation of my own business, as well as the foundation of the businesses I get to work with.
4) Was there something specific that inspired you to form your business? Was there Aha moment, or had the idea been churning in your mind for a while? What do you like most about your work?
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial itch. That I can’t deny. But the itch became something I just had to scratch in early 2016. I was working as a Marketing and Design Coordinator at the time and began realizing that many businesses, not just locally but all across the world, struggled with making all of their marketing pieces fit. Their social media accounts and websites and other online collateral didn’t match. Matching these, AKA branding and design, was something I did every day and absolutely loved. As I became a part of a few key Facebook groups and interviewed a few people that I thought might be in my business’s target market, several people confirmed that my ability to create cohesive brands and then teach others how to do so was definitely needed out there. So with that, I founded JAM Marketing Group and provide those things.
My absolute favorite part of my work is connecting the dots – taking all (of the millions) of pieces of someone’s business and communicating it through striking design and honest sales copy.
5) Coffee! I see you love it too! And while this helps keep us going, I’m sure there are stronger motivations which encourage you. Would you like to share what a couple might be? For instance, are there rewarding or deeply satisfying experiences you’ve had in your work that help you strive for your goals each day?
Coffee definitely helps! But my actual motivation stems from a need and willingness to serve honest people and honest businesses that are doing good in the world. It can be easy, especially when you work from home or only have a few followers on your blog, to feel like your work isn’t impacting anyone and to then get discouraged.
The truth is, whether you own a business, work for a business, or are simply writing a personal blog for a handful of followers, you’re dedicating a portion of your life to the betterment of someone else’s. I work with businesses that are doing absolutely amazing things for the betterment of so many people. By helping these businesses reach new and existing audience members, I’m ultimately helping them make their mark on the world. The implications of that are just colossal and that fuels me every single day.
Wow! Incredible information, Britney! I can’t wait for BlogCon! Anyone coming out of that day is going to so pumped up and prepared to take whatever they are doing to higher levels! I appreciate you sharing, love your enthusiasm, and admire your heartfelt desire to help others express their businesses or blogs the best way they can! EXCITING!