Confession: I named my business because I wanted to use the AW monogram from our wedding. I’d just put in my two-weeks notice as a publicist working for in a little-bit-crazy restaurant industry, and was hell-bent on being a writer. I’d studied journalism, had editorial clips under my belt, worked at a full-service communications agency and then as a publicist for years, and filled calligraphy orders at night.
The word “write” was sure and sweet for certain.
What I didn’t plan for was how to laser-focus my offerings under one business roof, considering my offers were divergent: I had (1) brides wanting to book calligraphy services, and (2) creatives wanting conversion-copy for their websites and launches.
Those are two very different targets.
It took a lot of coaxing from my business coach Heather Crabtree, but eventually, I figured it out.
In this post, I’m going to share…
- My experience communicating one message when there were 2 sides to my business
- Why there isn’t an end-all-be-all answer, and how to know if you need to split your businesses for messaging’s sake, or if you can keep them under one roof
- 3 steps to work through to figure out what you need to do
- Plus, a freebie workbook so you can figure out how to position yourself.
Here’s what happened to me.
I hate the phrase #allthethings and at the same time, I couldn’t escape it when first starting my business … I had entrepreneur-mind and saw gaps in the market everywhere that I could serve! I didn’t want to trim down my services right out of the gate.
And … from what I see in my inbox, some of you can’t either.
I’m asked a lot how to define a message when there are 2+ business ideas:
“Ashlyn, how do I blend the messages for both sides of my biz?”
“How do I combine my creative endeavors under one roof?”
While I can’t give you a personalized answer, I can coach you through it based off of what I learned.
First things first: Yup, you may need to separate them. And also yup, you may be able to keep your business united. (Not what you wanted me to say, I know).
Working with Heather, I was able to figure out a way for my messaging to converge under a mission statement of:
Writing meaningful messages for creative women
Then, I had to further flesh this out in copy snippets like my brand positioning statement, elevator pitch, and unique selling proposition.
Writing those are part of what I teach in my Copywriting for Creatives curriculum, but I didn’t know I’d be doing it for myself!
there isn’t an end-all-be-all answer.
There are a LOT of people doing more than one creative endeavor well under one message … and a lot of great entrepreneurs who divvy the businesses up.
My client Jenna Kutcher is a photographer AND educator for business marketing
Jasmine Star is a photographer AND business strategist
James Wedmore serves as a YouTube expert AND a mindset/spiritual business thought leader
Former client Lara Casey spearheads Cultivate What Matters AND Southern Weddings
Former client Kat Schmoyer drives Dear Sweetheart Events AND Creative @ Heart Conferences.
My client Laura Hooper is a wedding calligrapher AND a modern calligraphy teacher
So, as you can see by clicking around above, some of them split their messages, and some of them kept things under one brand (usually themselves).
but here’s why it’s important.
Confused messaging doesn’t convert.
We’re wired for survival, we buy what we understand.
Before you put too much time and effort into your marketing, use a framework to clarify your messaging so it’s clear, concise, and persuasive. I teach a hands-on way to do this in my signature Copywriting for Creatives course, and I’ve seen how valuable it’s been for creative entrepreneurs!
Now that you get the why behind all this, let’s walk through 3 steps you can DIY to see if you need to separate your messages or not.
- First, figure out what your clients for both products/services are REALLY buying. Under all the layers, what is it they’re after? Hint: the reason any of us buy anything is typically to better ourselves. So, on that note, what do you have to offer them? Make lists, and then start drawing parallels between the benefits.
- Next, figure out your unique selling proposition: how are you unique or different? Can your story link the two sides together? Does one side of the business support the other in a way that stands out from the crowd?
- Finally, test it. Get a little tough love on this. Ask trusted biz besties or your business coach if your message is clear. If they don’t think it is, trust them … and either go back to the drawing board, or divvy up the sides of your business.
Wanna walk through these 3 steps in-depth yourself?
I have a freebie for you!
Don’t leave without your workbook to guide you through these 3 steps, so you can figure out how to position #allthethings in your biz. 👇🏼