A beginning branding exercise for creative entrepreneurs

Aug 28, 2018

Okay, creative entrepreneurs, here we go – you ready?

First, grab a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. (An iPhone notes section will work, too.) Next, set the timer on your phone (or the microwave, I guess?) to one minute.

Here’s what you’re going to do – you’re going to write like you’re on fire for one < whole > minute. You have to keep writing until the timer buzzes. No picking up the pen or thinking for 50 seconds. Just write. Write. It. All.

And what you’re writing is your personal, deep down in your gut answer to this question.

What does creativity mean to you and your business?

Ok, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and just think about it for ten seconds.

Now. Press < start > or < go > on your timer.

Answer that question with absolutely any words, keywords, phrases, images, symbols, sentences, fragments, bullet-pointed list, whatever. There’s no wrong answer.

< We’ll wait right here for that minute to be up. >

Okay, pencils down.

Now, read what you wrote…

< We’ll wait right here while you read. >

NOW, here are five things WE’RE looking for…

  • What trends in ideas, concepts, or just basic words or images did you repeat?
  • What words never, ever came up?
  • What’s the vibe or style of how you think about your brand? (Smooth and easy? Tough, complicated, a real rocky road?)
  • What’s something you wrote about that’s a part of your daily life in this work?
  • What’s something you wrote about that you haven’t made happen yet?

NOW, here are five things YOU should look for…

  • What was the very first thing you wrote down – and why?
  • What words or images just popping into your brain – and why?
  • What just never occurred to you – that you thought should have or would have come up?
  • Are any of these words in your profile bio on social media?
  • Are these ideas captured in your mission statement, media kit, or company philosophy?
  • Do you talk about, live, breathe, illustrate, work from, operate with these words 24/7, and, if not, what’s holding you back?


Next steps: Work some of the words, concepts, ideas, or thoughts from this short excerise into either your elevator speech, mission statement, pitch deck, social media profile, LinkedIn page, whatever or wherever the brand is. When you do, you’re taking the first step to training yourself to start thinking more on-brand.

(Heck, it came more naturally than you thought it would, right?)



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