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THE BRAND BUILDERS

Entrepreneurs and small business owners, listen up. We’re giving away a 1 hour Strategy Session from Houston-based All You Need Method, who can help you grow your small business into a recognizable brand.

You work with businesses of all sizes, but are most passionate about working with entrepreneurs and small businesses. What excites you about those types of businesses? 
There is nothing more rewarding than helping an entrepreneur bring their vision to life. We connect deeply with the founders we work with and become a part of their team. Building a brand from the ground up can be extremely challenging, but also fun and inspiring. Regardless if we are working with a new consumer product,  a lifestyle brand, or a new clothing designer, we love the energy and creativity that comes with building an early stage business. We share in their entrepreneurial spirit and are proud to be a part of their journey.
 
Tell us about All You Need Method.
We launched All You Need Method and created our first online course after working for 20+ combined years in PR, brand strategy, and social media. What we saw time and time again is that the traditional PR agency model is completely outdated for small business owners, and the industry hasn’t caught up yet. We wanted to create a new way to support small business owners and creative entrepreneurs in the very early stages of their business, when learning the fundamentals is so critical and should not break their budget or waste invaluable time. 
 
The Method we teach in our course is how we’ve helped countless small businesses build a lasting brand and grow household brands that people love. Our clients have been featured in publications like Vogue, The Wall Street Journal, Domino, and Fast Company, just to name a few! We want every small business owner to feel empowered to start telling their own story and achieving big milestones on their own.
 
Tell us about the name All You Need.
PR, marketing, social media, branding, influencer marketing – it’s overwhelming! Small business owners don’t know what they need or where to start first. We provide “all you need” to get started with building a legitimate brand so you can cut through the noise and save time and money.
 
What can business owners expect in your online course and what is the length?
After completing our online course you will have a brand foundation in place and will be well on your way to turning your small business into a brand people love and talk about. You will know how to stand out in a saturated market, how to share your story on social media in a way that turns your dream customers into superfans, and you’ll be prepared to reach out to influencers and media to grow your brand awareness beyond friends and family.
 
Our online course was created for you to work through at your own pace. Depending on your learning style you can space it out over a series of weeks, or you can complete it in one day. The course consists of 7 lessons. Each lesson has a video that is between 2-5 minutes as well as corresponding worksheets. We also provide one-pagers with tips and templates that you can use time and time again. You have lifetime access to the course and can go back and revisit as much as you need.
 
You are working to help entrepreneurs and founders build their dream business. What is your dream business?
Our dream is to empower as many small business owners and creative entrepreneurs to turn their dream business into a reality so they can live the life they most desire – whether that’s working part-time from home or growing a global brand with 500 employees.
 
What kind of small business owners do you work with? 
We work with interior designers, home decor and fashion brands, bloggers and influencers, health & wellness experts, lifestyle experts, jewelry designers, fitness instructors, stylists, clean beauty brands, food & beverage companies, store owners, children’s collections and new consumer products (just to name a few).
 
What’s the most powerful takeaway entrepreneurs will get from your course?
You could have a business in place without having a brand. Without a brand, you will struggle to grow your audience (and sales) and to capture the attention of media and influencers. Once you have your brand foundation in place it will change your entire perspective on everything from talking about your business to posting on social media and reaching out to influencers. The confidence and clarity you will walk away with is invaluable and will be your guiding light for all of your decisions moving forward.
 
3 things entrepreneurs are doing wrong when launching their business?
We hate to say “wrong” because we’re all just trying our best! But here are mistakes we see:
Inconsistent Messaging – Many people will launch their business before building a brand foundation. This can lead to confusing messaging which can prevent you from connecting with your ideal customers, or potentially backfire and drive them away.
Not getting clear on what you stand for – How are you different? What values does your brand stand for? Who are your customers? Getting clarity on your brand identity and direction is essential to standing out in a saturated market.
Reluctance to invest in professional photography – This is always worth the investment. There are also so many workarounds with iphones, etc. On-brand photography and visuals (colors, fonts, aesthetic) will elevate your product or service and reinforce your brand’s legitimacy. In today’s digital world, quality photography is a must-have, not a nice-to-have.

3 best practices for social media?
Deliver value. How are your posts helping or inspiring your audience? You should talk about your product 20% of the time and deliver value 80% of the time. Your social media platforms should be way to bring your brand to life and connect with your customers in a deeper way, do use your channels as a direct sales page, instead leverage the opportunity to communicate with your customers.
Quality over quantity. As small business owners we can only get so much in a day. Pick 1-2 channels you are comfortable with and be consistent. That might be 1 Instagram post a week and 1 newsletter a month to start. The most important thing is that you are building trust with your audience and creating content they look forward to and that you consistently deliver.
Create a content calendar and designate content creation days. This takes the “what am I posting today” off of your mind and frees your headspace for other things. We share our content calendar template in our course.

3 things a small business owner should do before launching a brand?
Build a brand foundation. This is truly understanding the who, what, when, where and why of your business and making sure that is represented through your messaging, visually, and through your own channels (social media, website, newsletter, etc.)
Ask for feedback from an advisor or trusted friends. As small business owners we are so in the weeds and it’s hard to take a step back and see our business from an outsider’s point of view. Feedback is invaluable in the beginning.
Create a plan. Know what your goals are and work backwards with a monthly plan on how you will achieve those goals. Your launch is just the beginning, so make sure you are ready to keep moving forward, iterating, and changing as you receive insights and feedback.

3 apps every business owner needs?
Hard to narrow this down to 3!
Canva – we use the desktop version but they have an app. This design tool is SO easy to use and will be your best friend for everything from newsletters to Instagram graphics
Mailchimp – our recommended newsletter platform
Google Docs – for edits on the go

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received or given?
Carla: “Don’t ever attach yourself to a person, a place, a company, an organization or a project. Attach yourself to a mission, a calling, a purpose ONLY. That’s how you keep your power & your peace.” Erica Williams Simon (@missewill) on Twitter shared this a few years ago and I have it saved on my phone. It is so relevant even when the brand or company is your own. Having that greater purpose, or calling, is really the differentiating factor between clarity and chaos in my opinion.
 
What’s the first thing you do when you meet with a new client?
When we work with someone through a strategy session or custom project we always start by getting to know more about their business and current goals. This helps us determine the best way to support them and next strategic steps.
 
Best place in Houston for a working coffee?
Kathryn: Kraftsmen and Common Bond in the Heights – mainly because both are walking distance from me. 
 
Business cards: so in or so out?
We recently ordered some through Moo! So we’ll say in. 😉
 
Can you briefly share a case study/success story?
We recently had the pleasure of working with Catherine Landis, a Houston entrepreneur and founder of Oat What Fun, an oat-based play dough and sensory sand. Catherine had done a fantastic job of starting her business from the ground up and selling through word of mouth, but was looking to grow her business to the next level.
 
We worked with her on a brand audit project to refine her brand foundation. We encouraged her to reposition Oat What Fun as a natural living resource for families, leaning into her expertise as a natural living expert. This allowed her to transition her positioning and content from being product and sales focused to being a helpful resource for her target audience. This positioning elevated her as an expert and immediately set her business apart from other sensory play businesses.
 
As part of the brand audit, we also created a mood board to help her improve her visuals across social media and her website in a way that would reinforce the new positioning and further differentiate her brand from the competition.
 
She has already seen an increase in sales since our brand audit with her this past spring. She is currently redoing her website, and we can’t wait to see! Here’s her testimonial:
 
“I will forever be thankful for how All You Need Method helped me see my business from a new perspective. I put their positioning recommendations in place and leaned into my expertise and values, and my business has definitely grown as a result!”
– Catherine L.
 
GIVEAWAY! Kathryn and Carla want to work with you! They’re giving away a 1:1 hour Strategy Session ($350 value). Sign up for their monthly newsletter “The Check-In” for your chance to win. Winner will be notified by email from All You Need Method. 
 
@allyouneedmethod

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