Today I’m joined by Chantelle Andercastle, a service based business strategist, web designer and creator of the Aligned Action approach. Since 2018, she has taught entrepreneurs how to get past where they’re stuck or where they’ve settled and help them grow into confident business owners who make conscious decisions and take meaningful action so they can generate true connection – and cash because hello, we’re all business owners here, right? – all while making their vision a reality.
In this conversation that you are about to hear, Chantelle and I dive into a topic that I found really intriguing and really interesting: We’re going to be looking deeper into the relationship between the business owner and the business itself and how that connection between yourself and your brand plays a crucial role in building your business. I can’t wait to get stuck in. So without further ado here is that episode!
TL;DR – Here’s how to connect with Chantelle:
Disclaimer: The following transcript has been auto-generated and then cleaned up by my wonderful VA – and while the general flow of the conversation is there, it’s probably not 100% accurate.
P: Hey Chantelle, welcome to Brand it with Petchy.
C: Hello, thank you so much for having me on your show.
P: I was so excited to have you here, this is gonna be fun. So you reached out to me back in July with a pitch for a guest episode that I was rather intrigued by actually.
It’s a topic that I as a business owner thought would be really interesting to explore further and that is looking deeper into the relationship between the business owner and the business itself and how your connection with yourself plays a crucial role if you want to create a purpose driven brand and I mean that’s so spot on for what I do that of course I had to invite you on.
C: Yes, I know, I could see right from the first time I came across you on instagram that we had some things in common and I knew we would have a lot to chat about.
P: I am eager to hear more about this whole concept of a brand or a business as a relationship. So,where do we begin?
C: So I discovered the concept a bit by accident working with clients one on one. I started noticing how they would speak about their businesses- It was almost how they would speak about a friend, or about a partner, or a family member. You know our businesses take on almost an identity of their own and they become almost this real thing. I mean they are a real thing, but we personify them slightly and I started noticing that and how people were speaking about it. That turned into the whole concept of ‘well, we nurture our relationships with ourselves, we nurture our relationships with our friends or partners, and we’re also nurturing our relationships with our businesses.’
I started realizing that there’s this give and take between the business owner and the business, and it’s like an ongoing conversation if you will, which I started to find just really fascinating. I dove into the concept a little bit further, and I tend to be one of those introspective types and so I’m definitely in conversation with my business all the time. But then of course, I’m in conversation with clients about their businesses as well, and I’ve heard people talk about nurturing their businesses with the plant analogy before, but I do not have a green thumb and I just can’t keep a plant alive. So, you know, it’s a good thing, I can keep a business alive!
So for me, the analogy works best when we talk about it in terms of relationship with another person, and I suppose the essence of why that analogy aligns is because our businesses-just like ourselves- are continually growing and changing. There’s nothing static about it. The relationship can always be deepened and you can always get more and more fulfillment out of that relationship, the more effort and energy that you put into it. So really that connection between us and our businesses I think works best when we’re communicating- just like in any other relationship- when we’re putting intentional time and effort and when we’re seeing that sort of reciprocal energy between, you know, the time and effort that we’re putting in and what we’re getting back out of it.
P: That makes so much sense now that you’re saying it out loud like that. I think for me it’s been a process for sure.
Like the whole sort of bringing me into my business and then connecting my well-being with my business’s well-being, that’s been a journey for me and I’m 5. 5 years in now, roughly, and the way I look at my business now and how it connects with me as a person and what I want and what I need is very different to what it was five years ago when I started this solo venture because I, like I imagine so many others, brought with me into my business everyone else’s expectations of what a business is supposed to look like and what you’re supposed to do and ignoring my own kind of inner voice that was telling me this does not feel good. This doesn’t feel aligned. This isn’t who you are, why are you showing up like this? And I was just silencing it, and shoving it to the back of my head, and just trying to carry on doing what I’d always been doing and following people’s expectations. Then slowly I kind of started coming around to, well, why did I start my business in the first place if it was just to carry on doing what other people wanted from me? And that’s when it started to shift, when I started thinking, ‘What do I want in this business?’
So I guess that’s kind of a little bit of the essence of what we’re going to talk about today and that kind of shift. But what was it like for you? Have you always been in tune with yourself and your business and the connection between the two?
C: Yeah, great question. I’d say my journey has been a little bit different, although I think your journey is more common. I tend to be a person that thrives on change and I already knew about myself that I liked trial and error before going into business.
So the many, many starts with few finishes was familiar to me and I noticed that I tried so many things that, you know, I naturally just purged what didn’t align and kept on with what did. Not that I was always great at knowing what that was before starting or even, you know, in a timely fashion after trying, but because I was constantly iterating it- that’s how I find alignment- is through iteration. So I try something, I see how it feels, I see what the response is like, I decide if I want to keep going or not.
And so that process was already how I approached life before. So that’s been my experience with the business side of things. But injecting more and more of myself into it and giving myself the permission is something that I resonate with. Absolutely. And it’s so interesting to go from having a job to having a business because you wind up your own boss, but you have to keep reminding yourself that, you know, I don’t have to sit down and work from 9-5. I can choose whatever hours I want. I can choose what days.
P: I had that too. It took me years to get over the feelings of guilt for leaving my desk at any point between well, it’s eight and four here in Norway, that’s the usual hours here. I mean, what’s that all about?
C: Yeah, absolutely. It’s tough as much as it’s exciting. It’s tough to define those expectations for yourself and it’s not something that I’ve seen entrepreneurs do quickly for the most part.
I think it takes most people a long time to make that adjustment. I think that’s okay because you’re learning so much through what you don’t want, you know, every time, every time you’re doing something and you realize, ‘oh that doesn’t feel right,’ You gain the success and the results from recognizing it and fixing it, but you also gain sort of like consciousness points within yourself for having the awareness to notice it, which is a beautiful thing because you’re growing that that self awareness as you go.
P: I applaud you for normalizing the sort of trial and error approach as well, because I think, well this is just me thinking out loud here, but I think most entrepreneurs, most business owners go through that trial and error phase.
I mean we have to figure out what we don’t like in order to figure out what we do, like.
P: But what I see as a problem is that the people who speak the loudest about their business success, they don’t mention all of the rounds of trial and error that it took them to get to that point of success. And so when you or I or anyone else starts a business, we are seeing all these success stories and so trial and error feels kind of wrong, like, ‘oh well They’ve got this success, so why can’t I make it the first time round?’ That’s a pet peeve.
C: 100%. I agree with you on that. We could talk an entire episode on that.
P: Yeah, I’m going to make a mental note to do a repeat episode.
C: It’s endlessly frustrating that people share the product and not the process and that even their version that they share of the product is so carefully curated that you know it can’t possibly be the entire story. I agree it makes it 10 times harder for the new people starting out because they have this impression that business is all success, all the time, and that you instantly know exactly what you should be doing and how it’s going to work for you.
That’s just not the case for most people. Even if it is, even if you, you know, like you have a beginner’s luck and you have a great poker hand the first time around, and your first offer is amazing. Like that’s awesome, congratulations, but it may not continue that way, right? Like even after you’ve had a successful launch, something may go wrong with the second one. Or even if you have a fantastic offer that serves so many people, maybe the second one might need some tweaking. It’s not linear and as much as I am not a fan, I’m sure you’ve seen the graph, the journey of entrepreneurship where the bar graph line is all over the place.
It’s not my favorite visual because mostly because the lines are so angular and I think it’s really quite a bit more flowing and of course everyone’s line is a little bit of a different roller coaster, but just that it’s not necessarily representative. Everyone’s experience is unique and that’s where that relationship analogy flows too, is that every relationship is unique, right? The way that you are in that relationship with your business is so individual to you and it’s not going to be the same as so-and-so making 10-K months over there.
P: I think that’s another reason why it’s so important for those of us who work within our own frameworks. When we work with clients that the frameworks are not rigid, that they are adaptable to each client’s needs. The way you’re kind of describing this, I kind of get a gut feeling that you help your clients to get in touch with themselves and find that connection between themselves and the business. So how is your process? How do you help them get into that mindset?
C: I’m glad that you mentioned that you know that the process can’t be rigid. When I really reflect on it the only part of my process that is rigid is time. So as someone- and this is me bringing in my self awareness into my offer- as someone with a short attention span. I can’t work with someone for months and months and months because by the end of it, I won’t be inspired by their business anymore. And I get sad to say because my clients are doing wonderful things, but I know that my interest will start to wane and as it does my engagement in the process and my results of my work are less good. So through trial and error over years, I figured out that the perfect little sweet spot for me is one month with clients. I keep things within that timeline because I know that I can produce the very best concentration of work in that, but that’s about the only thing that’s rigid in my process is like the start date and the end date.
And then everything in between gets to be a little bit different depending on everyone’s situation. So that’s just a little way that I bring some self awareness into how I approach things. But then with clients, the journey to getting clarity, people often come to me wanting clarity-which is great because my business is called clear courts creative. So there’s a great little clarity tie in there. But how they expect to find clarity or how they’re guessing it might show up isn’t always the way.
What I tend to do, my process is really endless, gentle, kind questioning. And I would say that what I’m going for is I’m modeling the kind of questioning that I would like them to be able to maintain and continue for themselves. So, I’m providing that second voice for a little while that’s saying, ‘oh, but what about this? Or have you thought about this or how will you feel if you try this or? Well, what about this idea? You know, you’ve mentioned that word a lot.
Is that important to you? What is most meaningful to you about this idea?’ So through all of these little questions based on what I’m hearing, we’re in that conversation and my hope is that modeling shows my clients that over time, that’s the kind of questioning that you want to have in your head, every time you’re making decisions. Every time you are considering launching something new, or every time you’re considering taking on a client, but you might have that little voice that says, ‘oh I’m not so sure about that.’ Or every time you’re considering what investment to make, even those little questions, that conversation, that relationship you have, that’s how you determine what is the most aligned step for you going forward. Not that you’ll be perfect 100% of the time, but instead of just forging right ahead without asking yourself those things, knowing what questions to ask yourself in, you know, a mini staff meeting of one, is really going to make the difference between you feeling like, ‘oh, this business is me and I don’t know what I’m doing.’
P: I love it. I think it sounds like you’re a little bit like me, you’re the annoying best friend who asks all the difficult questions that people are feeling a little bit resistant to answer, but that’s when they actually do start digging, that is what’s gonna kick the snowball off and make it start rolling. I have a slightly different approach to my framework, so my framework is not so set around time because sometimes I have bigger projects that need that time to mull over and to process in my head, but also in my client’s heads. But I have a fixed set of sort of steps in my framework, but it varies from client to client how much time we spend on each, because some of them will need help with one part, but they’ve got this other part sorted already, and maybe then we can focus on just one or two parts of my framework, but they have the whole full framework available to them that they can go back to if they want to. So for me that’s my kind of flexibility, as you know, ‘Well you say you’ve nailed your brand personality um fine, we don’t need to spend time on that, you just need to tell me so I can translate into your visuals afterwards.’
So that kind of works for me. Also, you know, it’s really popular to just do well to tell people to just do work for one specific type of client in one specific niche or industry. And I’ve just said no, that’s one piece of advice I’m not taking because it would drive me crazy to only do work within a certain industry. I drive on that variety. I thrive on working with a solo business owner for one project and then the next project I take on might be a full rebrand for a company with 100 employees that’s been around for 20 years.
That variety is what I thrive on and that is, I think part of me putting what I want into my business and so connecting my business to what works for me. That makes sense?
C: Totally. Yeah. Yeah, no niching down is one of those things that I agree, my view of it is a little bit different than most. I’m like you in that way and maybe that’s common with brand designers.
P: Maybe, and I mean for some people, niching down works wonderfully.
C: But it’s the type of niching down…
P: Yeah, it’s the type of niching down, and also I think there needs to be this acknowledgement that it doesn’t work for everybody and I’m, I have a little bit of rebel in my brand personality, I’ve never liked to conform to rules that are just there for the sake of having rules. I’ve always been questioning teachers, lecturers, and bosses, ‘so why are we doing this? Why do I have to do this? I don’t want to do this.This, this, this doesn’t make sense!’ So I think that rebel in me is kind of now rebelling against this, whole, ‘you should do this!’
C: It’s that design thinking too though, which is what makes you great at what you do is the, ‘well why does it have to be this way, why couldn’t it couldn’t be this?’ Right? That’s what creates great visual brands.
P: Exactly, exactly. I mean I’ve got one example of this from- and this is going out on a side note here- but I just think it’s really kind of descriptive to how someone in the creative industries might behave when confronted with authority.
I used to work for a big international company whose headquarters were in China or Hong Kong, I think it was actually, and they tried to make everyone wear smart clothes like a suit to work. The entire creative department were like, ‘no, that’s not happening, screw that, I’m not wearing a suit to work!’ and out of all of this big international organization, the design department were allowed to wear whatever they wanted because they just realized that they were never going to make us conform. And that if we were forced into this tiny little box, we would find somewhere else to work.
And so they, they kindly asked us, ‘well, could you please put on a suit for when Mr Big Shot comes over from Hong kong to visit the premises?’ and we’re like… ‘Maybe.’
C: You’ll have to see the morning of…
P: Yeah, so I think that kind of rebellion I’m taking into my way of doing business. And so that’s something I know that I need to honor, you know?
C: Yeah, absolutely.
P: Yeah, but that was a complete side note. But if someone is listening, if they’re new to this way of thinking about a business or a brand, how can they start to frame their mindset about business as being a relationship and what possibilities do you think that can open up for someone?
C: I love that you used the word possibilities. It’s one of my favorites. I think that the more you there is in your business, the more possibilities there are, absolutely. So it’s a great way of putting it. Really the mindset tips of it are to focus on doing the things with your business that you would focus on if you were trying to improve any other relationship in your life. So, one of those things: two parts of communication. So listening first, right?
Listening to what kind of feedback you’re getting from your business. So listening on the very surface level, like client testimonials, client feedback, comments that you’re getting questions that you’re getting, any kind of market research information data that you’re getting. Listening to what the data is actually telling you. You know, is this getting sales? Is this getting followers? Is this strategy actually working? And then being receptive to what you hear. So then once you’re open enough to be listening to what your business is telling you, then being receptive to it and starting to make decisions that are aligned with that or support that and put of yourself back into it.
So communicate back to that by starting to make decisions that flow with that rather than against that and put more energy into the things that are working and take away energy from the things that aren’t working. So the communication piece, first of all for business as a relationship and then second like awareness that there’s going to be ebbs and flows and ups and downs just like in any regular human relationship. There’s going to be times when you know exactly where you stand and there’s going to be times when it’s a little bit murky, just like in real life where you may feel like you’re faltering a little bit or you may feel like you’re rocky for a little bit. But the upswing of that curve, you’re going to feel in sync, and aligned, and connected again in close. That richness you can almost only appreciate because sometimes there are those lows, those ups and downs, so knowing that it’s cyclical and it’s ever changing and just having that awareness that it’s going to continue to evolve.
P: So how would you say that, asking yourself questions and diving deep into self-inquiry opens up a whole new world of business possibilities. How does that?
C: We kind of talked about it earlier in the episode, about how that’s the role that we have with our clients: we’re that annoying friend who asks the questions that deep down you know need to be answered, but you’d really rather not face them. So fulfilling that role for yourself means that you get to be true to you with every step that you take, really.
So as much as it’s, it’s tempting to ignore asking yourself those questions and going deeper on the tough stuff. The reward on the other end of that rainbow is that your business will feel more you and less like the 9-5 or 8-4 that you’ve left and less like what you don’t want, right? The more that you open yourself up to those questions and hearing the honest answers, the more that you can enjoy having a business that is tailored to your specifications.
Like we’ve talked about already: of your working hours, your niche or you’re not niche, what you wear to work, or what you don’t wear to work. All of those little pieces that make entrepreneurship exciting and wonderful. You get to experience more and more of them and this touches really on just about every aspect of business. There’s really no element of business that couldn’t have a little bit more of you injected into it and the way to get there is having that self inquiry. Because like, alignment is this big buzzword and it’s on every Canva template, instagram graphic that you see out there. It’s everywhere.
So many of the interviews that I do and the client conversations I have start with the question, but what is alignment really? And so it’s that obviously is not a completely formed concept, but what I have to explain it as is that you know, you can’t have alignment without knowing what you’re aligning to. In entrepreneurship, you’re aligning to yourself in general, especially as a solopreneur. So you know who you are, to some extent, you can’t have anything to align to and that’s where I think that disconnect happens, that lack of clarity, is well ‘I’m supposed to be aligned’ but like aligning to what? That’s someone that maybe just needs to do a little bit more of that self inquiry or work on self awareness, or try out meditation, or journaling, or any of those kinds of practices. Breathwork, or goal setting, or any kind of mindset work, because you need to know yourself before you can know what you want and what you want to make your business into.
P: This ties in so nicely with the kind of work I do with my clients too You can’t build a successful brand, a strong brand, you can’t have a strategic foundation unless you actually know what you’re aiming for. What’s your benchmark, because when I work with people and we work on their brand strategy and it’s all about, you know, taking a look at where you are now and then taking a look at where you want to be. Then the strategy that I help them where they’re supposed to help them bridge the gap between where they are and where they want to be. If they don’t know where they want to be or who they are, or who they want to be, then it becomes kind of impossible to build that bridge because you don’t know how long it’s going to have to be, or how many steps, or maybe you can just jump over from one side to the other. Maybe you need to climb all the way down to the bottom of the ravine or whatever, and then climb up again and that is very different from client to client. But you really can’t do anything unless you have that sense of ‘this is who I want to be. This is what I’m going to inject into my business and my brand.’
C: Yes, and I think intuitively people reach for that when you see all the content around a purpose driven brand, or heart centered entrepreneurs, or all those things. They’re coveted things for a reason because it feels nice and comfy to know yourself and to have a business that’s aligned to that. It feels more stable and comfortable then reaching towards other people’s ideas or trying things without any kind of idea of where you’re trying to get to with the end in mind. It’s just a little bit more, it’s just a lot more reassuring to have that sense, which yeah, I agree with you that rebranding is often one of those points where people are they don’t realize it necessarily, but they are looking for more of that self awareness piece. And so when they’re coming in and they’re wanting a new logo or they’re wanting a new website, they are typically realizing, ‘okay, what I have so far doesn’t feel quite like me or doesn’t feel quite like my clients, or quite where I’m going. I want something that feels good.’ Which is why it’s sometimes difficult, I’m sure you’ve experienced this, it’s sometimes difficult to put that intangible into the color, the font, the graphic, because really what they’re wanting is that feeling of feeling more professional. Or feeling more put together, or feeling safer, more solid, in better standing with themselves.
P: Or feeling like their visuals are accurately representing who they feel inside that they are.
And so they’re wanting, like there’s a high bar for us designers because they’re wanting this deep feeling and we’re trying to convey that through visual. Through color, font, graphic, photography words, whatever. Whatever medium, we’re trying to create that feeling for them. It’s an exciting, but weighty time.
P: Yeah. And that’s why when people come to me and say, ‘well I don’t need all of that strategy stuff, I just want a logo. That’s all I need.’ That’s why I turn people like that away because like that to me would be like working with my eyes shut.
P: You know, I have nothing to go by to create these because what I need is something that I’m going to translate individuals. I need to know what the visuals are going to communicate. I need to know the feeling. So a lot of people come to me thinking that they just want a logo. But wanting a new logo, or not being entirely happy with your color palette, or constantly tweaking the topography and the fonts: Those are symptoms of something more serious. Like a more serious matter underneath.
And if I’m going to help you fix that. So if I was a doctor I was going to prescribe you some kind of medication to fix your itch for a new logo, I need to know what’s causing the itch so I can give you the right kind of medication to fix it. And that’s I think what a lot of people don’t don’t see. So all of the inner work, quite a few of my clients find that challenging because they’ve never really had to think about these things before, but when we do work through it and like in the end and they’ve asked themselves all of these questions, that’s when they, I can almost see, like their eyes lighting up and they’re like, ‘oh wow!’
They all of a sudden see their brand in a completely different light, like they’re seeing it with someone else’s eyes, you know? Oh wow. Never thought like that before and that kind of enlightenment, I think you can only really get if you are having that close relationship between yourself and your brand.
C: Yes, I agree. We’re completely diagnosticians where we’re looking for the missing piece because if the clients are wanting that, they haven’t had it yet, right? And so the transformation is from not having it, to having it, and our job is to figure out what is the missing piece? What hasn’t been figured out so far?
So, I completely relate to that doctor analogy where we’re doing all of the testing and all the poking and prodding, trying to find out what it is and our our patients- our clients- are, you know, a little reluctant, as you said to being poked and prodded in this way. They’re not huge fans of it. It’s not comfortable always, but you’re right. It’s wonderful: unlocking the key that goes from them feeling like ‘yeah, this logo I had didn’t feel right’ to ‘this is me represented.’
And when you were saying, when you were describing it as the eyes opening, the thing that it made me think of is the look on the children’s faces in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The original one, I haven’t even seen the new one, so I couldn’t tell you. But the old one- that look of wonder on their faces when they step in and it’s this whole world. That’s what us brand designers and web designers are trying to create for you, just so you know, is that sense of like, complete and utter wonder and transformation that it’s beyond your wildest dreams. That’s why we’re asking those questions.
P: Yes and the realization of what you can be, you know, what this could become.
C: That’s right.
P: I feel like we’re going all deep here now. I’d like to bring it back to something that people can relate to. I love to make things relatable and especially concepts like this that might feel a bit foreign to people. So you do web design, right?
C: I do.
P: Could you tell us a little bit about how you apply this in the work that you do with your clients?
C: Yeah. So often my clients are coming to me from one or the other situation. So in one scenario they’ve never had a website before and they’re coming to me with a business idea. And often that’s what my inquiry form says. They’ll say I have an idea for a business and I need a website that’s you know, half the time, that’s the message I get. The other half of the time it’s ‘I’m running this successful business. I’ve DIY’d my website up to this point. But I know it’s not totally right,’ or ‘I’m you know, I’m frustrated with it’ or you know whatever kind of DIY frustration is happening there. Can you help?
So for the people who are brand new with the business idea, they likely haven’t been able to start their websites because they don’t have the answers to any of these questions. And so they’re sitting there and they’re like ‘I have to write my about page.’ But the contents of an about page are the answers to all those questions.
P: And that’s why About pages are so hard to write!
C: Exactly because they’re forcing you to look in the mirror to confront those questions and answers. And it’s tough, right? And you know, for anyone who’s DIYing their website and is struggling with their about page. Like go and take 10 personality tests. Go and see you know what 10 books you’d pick up off the shelf at the bookstore. Go and see what your go-to’s are to listen to, like find out more about you. And you’ll be able to write that About page with ease, right? And so that struggle of ‘how do I convey in words and images and photos on my website?’
Like people say ‘how do I find the content for this? How do I know what pictures? How do I know what words? How do I know what colors?’ There’s so many places where people can get stuck trying to do that on their own just because engaging yourself in that rigorous self inquiry is a tough thing. So if you’re one of those people in that first category and you’re stuck on wanting to DIY, you absolutely can just teach yourself to ask yourself those tough questions or find someone else- like doesn’t even have to be a business person- to just interview you and ask you those questions,and have someone to bounce those ideas back and forth on. So this could be a business bestie, or it could be just, you know, someone in your life. But having that other person to reflect and have that conversation with will really help with that About page. That was a tangent too.
P: We do love a good tangent
C: I said the magic words of About page, and then I had to talk about it.
So, and then in the other case, the person who is coming in because their business is successful but they don’t have the website that matches, and they want their website to feel as successful as their business truly is. Then it’s much more diagnostic where we’re not building right from scratch, right from the beginning. It’s more like you explained earlier of finding the one piece that’s a little bit off. And I find with that person, going first of all offer by offer for them. So exactly what services they offer their clients, because I typically work with service providers, and having them tell me about the clients that they help without giving away specifics because a lot of my clients are and the kind of wellness healthcare kind of area, so no names. But tell me your client stories, tell me your client successes and through that story we’re going to uncover so many of those details because that’s where they tend to light up is when they talk about all the client work and all the client transformations that they make.
So bring it into the really practical of ‘how does your website convey that feeling?’ You only have three things at your disposal. You have words, images and design of some type. (color, font, image, graphic, that kind of thing.) And so for each of those elements, bringing in as much detail as possible. That is something that sparks inspiration for you, or something that sparks inspiration for your client, or preferably both. So when you’re going over each of those, when you’re editing them, ensuring that you feel like you’re in that upswing of a great relationship where you’re close, right, where you are connected and close and calm and reassured.
All of those hallmarks of a positive relationship. You want it to feel cozy, squishy, you know, warm and use that feeling as your guide. So if an image doesn’t… if you look at an image on your website and it doesn’t give you that kind of fuzzy feeling, then replace it. If you read a paragraph on your website and just kind of feels flat, try and add some emotion to it, Tweak it. Add a detail, add an element of story. You can go piece by piece like that through your entire site and that’s how to nudge it towards where you want to go. If you feel the happy feelings when you’re looking at it, that is going to translate.
P: I feel like the keywords here was ‘where you where you want to go’ because that to me it rings true, whether it’s your website or your brand as a whole or anything really. Is that end goal, like what is it that you’re actually trying to achieve, what does this brand or this website need to achieve and how can we do that, but within the frame or the confines of who we are and who we want to be perceived as. So to me it’s very much an intentional process.
C: Yeah, absolutely. I think where the struggle is, is when people are trying to fit into a template instead of trying to follow what their goals are. So many people start with the template- and if I could teach listeners one thing- it’s start with your goals instead. I think I need to make it into a proper freebie, but I do have this list of, I think 60,70 goals for your website. Like things basically that you would see on some kind of call to action button, like, ‘listen to the podcast’ or ‘read the blog’ or ‘sign up for a free trial’ or ‘book a call’ like whatever those goals are in your business, whatever those actions are that you want people to take, start with those first. Choose ideally up to, I’d say three top goals and then shop around for templates and see ‘is this template set up for people to do that? or is this template set up for people to go buy in the shop?’ because that’s not gonna work for you if you’re if your main goals, our podcast, blog and book a call. So knowing where it is that you want people to, how you want them to journey through the website experience, knowing that from the onset, before getting into the specifics of words, design, images, templates, even platform, that sort of thing, is knowing what you want people to actually be able to do on it.
I think a key thing there is re-imagining a website from a sort of a static portfolio, like a visual representation to an experience. So, I like to explain to my clients that your website is the beginning of that relationship you’re going to have with your clients. So you want to get off, you want to start that relationship off on the best foot. Your website is a way to do that if it is in line with what your clients actually are coming to your website to do and where they’ll be going in their relationship with you.
So the goal based website, as opposed to the template based website, is going to be better for your clients and for you. It’s just going to fit and align so much better. And the goals are going to vary depending on the business. So choosing those, those three goals to start, I think is the very first step in having a website that really is intentional.
P: And setting those goals, again, it’s going to be a lot easier if you know who you want to be, where you want to go.Like if you have your relationship with your business and use that about first.
C: Yes, exactly.
P: You know I could sit here and talk about this for hours on end, but I think it’s about time we start thinking about wrapping things up, but before we do that, if you could give our listeners just one simple tip today, something that’s fairly easy to implement, something they could take away today and start doing what would that be?
C: I would say to get what is really meaningful to you today down on paper.
So what is important to you right now, just a little quick jot note of 2,3,4, or five things. What means something to you today? Get that down on paper and that piece of paper you can carry it around with you, you can put it on your desk um you know, bring it along throughout your day. But that little piece of paper can be your own mini manual. It can help you with all of the decisions that you’re going to make today down to ‘should I go and take a nap?’ or ‘should I go and I take this next step on my to do list?’ The reason that this is a tangible thing that you can do that can actually help you just right now today, is because having something to align to is going to be very helpful towards that clarity that you’re seeking. This is also much easier when these things are out of your head. You may think that you’re juggling all of these balls at once by keeping all of these thoughts in your head, you may think that you know what is meaningful to you, vaguely, as you’re making these decisions, but externalizing it, putting it on a piece of paper, writing that down. And this doesn’t have to be fancy. It doesn’t have to be, you know, at the beginning of a brand new notebook for all of you stationary nerds out there, it can be on a Post-it, it can be a note on your computer. But writing it down, what is important to you today? What means something to you? What are you emotionally connected to today and using those, those little those answers as a mini manual.
So once you’ve got those written down every other decision you make, ‘should you switch to this task?’ Should you answer this email? What should you say in that email?’ Look at those things that you’ve written down and ask yourself ‘is what I’m about to do, aligned with what I’ve written down? Does this contribute to what’s most meaningful to me, to what’s most important“““? Or does it take me further away from that? Really, alignment is just the practice of trying to get closer and closer to what is most important and what is most meaningful to you.
P: Sound advice, I don’t know about you. I’m really curious. So if anyone’s listening now and actually doing this exercise and writing down what’s meaningful to them and what’s important to them right now, I would absolutely love it. People, if you would hop on over to instagram and share it with us. Tag us in your story and tell us that you’re working on this
C: It would make my week.
P: Yeah, mine too. I love having a peek into what goes on in other people’s business. I love seeing when people get value from the podcast and putting the advice that they’re getting from my awesome guests into practice.
C: Even if they don’t want to share it, even if they just want to message it to us, that would be wonderful. If you don’t want to put it out into the universe completely, but you do want to share it with us, you would make two designers/ business owners very happy.
P: Yes. So there you have it people, go and share with us what’s meaningful to you. I’d love to hear it.
Right? So if my listeners now want to connect with you and learn more from you, possibly work with you.I know we’ve mentioned Instagram. So that’s probably one place where they can find you, where else can they find you?
C: It is, yes. So on instagram I’m at ClearQuartzCreative and I’m a little quiet on the feed at the moment, but the DMs are still open.
P: Oh, there’s so much magic in the DMs.
C: Oh yes,
P: I love it
C: Totally. Yeah, my favorite part of that platform is when I get to have real one-on one conversations, that relationship aspect that’s so important to me in my business. That translates to that too, of I want to be having real conversations about what is going on in people’s businesses like in the moment. That’s what brings me joy on that platform.
In addition to that, I have a podcast as well. I’m in the podcast world and my show is called the Aligned Action Podcast and you can find that on Apple, Spotify, anywhere you listen to shows. One feature of the show that people tend to appreciate is every month I do an alignment report which is different than an income report in many ways. Where I talk about my adventures in alignment and I share what was aligned for me, what wasn’t aligned for me, and what meaningful actions I took around that.
And then of course everything that I offer, everything I do is on my website at https://www.clearquartzcreative.co/ And so I invite you to have a look there as well.
P: All of the links are going in the show notes people, so you know where to go to connect.
Thank you so, so much for being here today. It’s been a pleasure talking to you. I’ve loved this conversation.
C: Yes, thank you so much for having me. It was wonderful to talk shop a little bit and to connect with you and with your listeners in this conversation
Before you go: if you tuned in today and you’re thinking, oh wow, I really need to start nurturing and cultivating the relationship to my own business… Guess what? I’ve got just the thing for you! If you’re listening to this episode on the day that it airs, you’ve got a couple of weeks left to apply to join my Brand it! group programme. It’s a 12 week strategy journey for purpose driven brands, where in a small group setting, I will guide you through as you discover, define and implement your brand’s purpose, your values, your unique personality, all of those really crucial things that make up the core of your brand. And we do that work so that you can show up more as you with your brand and attract more of those right fit clients and allow you to do more of the work that you actually love.
If that sounds interesting, I invite you to hop on over to petchy.co/group, check it out… and get your application in before the end of the 31st of December 2021. And if you are listening to this after that date, you will find a waiting list on that same page, where you can just pop your name and email address on and you will be first in line to know when the next round starts!
Until next time,
Pssst! If you enjoyed this episode, don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss the next one! I’d also be super grateful if you’d share my podcast with a biz friend or two, or leave me a review.