No More Vanilla

Apr 2, 2017

I recently had the pleasure of mentoring a beautiful boss lady with her own graphic design business.
“Anna,” she told me. “I’m tired of working with boring, unimaginative clients that aren’t interested in seeing – let alone approving – my creative concepts. Why aren’t I attracting the cool, open-minded clients?”

“No worries,” I reassured her. “I’ll investigate and see what the problem is. Leave it with me.”
I clicked over to her website and instantly the issue was clear to me:
She was using a corporate template for her site …
when her unique point of difference rested in the quirky, one-of-a-kind illustrations she crafted.

And she wondered why she was getting boring clients.
When I asked her why she wasn’t showcasing her illustrations and infusing more of herself into her site, she explained that she didn’t want to put anyone off. Her illustrations weren’t mainstream, she said, and she wanted to appeal to as many people as possible.
The problem was that by trying to appeal to everyone, she ended up leaching her brand of personality. She attracted dull, boring clients because that was the brand image she had cultivated.
Maybe you’re the same? Tell me if this sounds familiar.

  • You’re afraid to let your freak flag fly, in case it scares off high-paying clients.
  • You’ve got a unique edge/skill/quirk … but you’re worried about showcasing it in case it turns people off.
  • You’re trying to appeal to as many people as possible … which means you’ve had to soften your brand’s natural personality and edge.
  • You feel like you’re stuck with the same old, boring, Dullsville, doomed to never have another original, innovative and creative concept approved again.
  • Your brand doesn’t even feel like you.

You’re unintentionally coming across as a “vanilla” designer.

Well, here’s a little truth explosion for you: You don’t need to soften your edges or dull your shine in order to run a successful graphic design business.
In fact, you’re doing more harm than good by attempting to be a vanilla designer.
By being unique, you’ll nurture raving fans that adore your memorable, quirky brand. You’ll attract the right kind of clients because you’ve portrayed the right brand image.
Not sure where your brand stands? Worried you’re more vanilla than double chocolate-crunch?
Three check-yourself-before-you-wreck-yourself questions you can ask yourself:

  • Does your brand truly reflect where your talents lay and what you love working on?
  • Does your business feel like you and have your personality in it?   
  • Is your brand distinct, easily recognizable and memorable?

If you’ve answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, consider this your official Vanilla Alarm. Stop, drop, and let the vanilla-flavoured bubble pop.
Embrace your inner double-chocolate crunch.
You – and your future cool af clients – deserve it.

Now, who feels like ice cream?
Anna xx

PS. Need help extracting your brand’s personality? Want a mentor to guide on you the path to double-choc world domination? I mentor boss ladies like you to elevate their brand and take their business to the next level. Book in a FREE 15 min chat with me here.

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