weekend reading | 10.24.14

weekend reading | grab a cup of tea and check out these posts!

TGIF! I can’t believe it’s already Friday again, oh wait I can! I’ve had a busy week working hard on projects to get them wrapped up before the end of the month. I’ve got tons of design work to share, and I can’t wait to share it all with you!

In the meantime, thank y’all for your kind comments on Monday’s post. I truly appreciate everyone’s well wishes. I truly do feel so blessed to be a part of such a great community here online.

But enough with the sappy stuff, let’s get to some of those great posts from this week, yeah?

loooved this post on compromise in relationships from Jess. This is definitely something I think about with my own relationship. Sometimes you just have to do what’s best for you and your loved one regardless of how tough it might be for you.

Have you guys heard of Brand Week? If not, it’s a new series over on the Vidaluxe Studio blog. Keizra has been killing it, sharing tons of awesome posts to help you with your brand. Check them out here!

Along with that branding post, Kelly shared a few things to think about with your own brand.

One of my friends from college started a blog recently, and she’s already sharing great stuff like this post of 5 things to help you get through the week.

Struggling with coming up with things to write about for your blog? Alisha has 4 awesome tips to help you continually come up with new content.

Someone shared this on Twitter, but I had to share this with y’all here: if you have a business, you should be blogging.

Thinking about making the leap from your 9-5 to full time freelancing? Vanessa shared a few important things she considered before making the leap herself.

Two of my favorite people, Tori and Trina, paired up to write a beautiful post about the blogging community around a quote. I can definitely relate to what both of them shared, and I’m so touched each day by this community!

creating a defined brand

begin creating your defined brand with these three simple steps

For most people, when they start a blog or business one of the last things on their mind is crafting their brand. However, have you ever stopped to think about how beneficial it could be to work on something like that from the beginning? Well, okay, maybe you have, but you’re looking at your screen thinking, “Yeah, I know about branding, but I have no idea where to even start.” So, today I’m sharing three simple steps to help you start your business or blog with a defined brand!

Start with what you’re doing and why You’ve seen all of those blog posts about your target audience / market, right? How you need to have that in place before you go too far. That you need to think about your ideal client, your dream client? I totally realize that when you’re first getting started, you may not really care about that. You’re probably just wondering how to gain ideas for blog posts or where to find your next client. Thinking about what you’re actually doing and why will help you with both of those things.

Did you start your blog to encourage other people? Are you blogging as a much needed creative outlet, since you don’t find that in your job? Did you start your business because you want to help women feel better about themselves? Are you helping people start their own business and help them pursue their own dreams? Knowing these things will help you begin to consider who to target your blog or business to, and let them know how you can best help them. If you’re a blogger, knowing what exactly you’re doing with your blog can definitely help with coming up with post ideas.

Create your logo This is a no brainer, right? You probably think of a logo when you hear the word ‘branding’. When you’re just starting a blog, this doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be made by a professional. (Though I do firmly believe when you invest money into something, you’re much more likely to follow through with it.)

If you’re starting a business this is a little bit different. Take the time and make the investment to work with a designer. It can really change how you come across to people within your first months of business. Your logo doesn’t have to be something that you’ll use forever; heck, some people don’t even stick to their name forever, so work on creating something that speaks to you, your brand, and your customers. Tweak as you need to.

Develop your message Have you ever thought about the words you’re putting out into the world? Maybe, maybe not. Everything that you put online (images, videos, words, all of it) influences what people think of both you and your brand. This reason alone is why you should take some extra time to consider your message and what you put out into the world. This goes back to why you started. If you want to be a source of positivity and encouragement, angry tweeting or complaints on Facebook might not be the best way to do that. Similarly, if you want to help women feel comfortable in their own skin, don’t body shame other women (celebrities included) on your sites.

Crafting a well-defined brand may seem tough, and it does take time, but when it comes down to it, you’re getting to the root of your brand and creating an identity and presence that will bring you more readers, customers, and connections that you may have if you’re sort of all over the place.

If you’re looking for help to create your own well-defined brand, I’ve got some good news for you! Brand Catalyst is the ecourse where you can find and do just that. Registration opens before the end of the year, so be sure to sign up so that you’re the first to know when this opportunity comes around.

keep going, you’re almost there

If you’re part of my Wild Hearts community, you received this post in an email a few weeks ago. However, I wanted to bring it out to the blog today in honor of posting as part of the #fireworkpeople blog tour. This community is full of truly amazing women who are all doing things to change the world (even if it’s just their world). I’m inspired and encouraged by them every single day.

Keep going! You're almost there.

Hi friend! I have to admit something to you. Lately, every inquiry I get almost brings me to tears.

When I started my business, I didn’t know why people picked ME to create their blog designs and branding (though I had a feeling it had something to do with my ridiculously low prices). See, I was entering my second semester of junior year of college when I started officially taking on clients. I didn’t actually know a ton about design, and I definitely knew even less about running a business. My blog nor my social media were getting a lot of love, and I felt like I didn’t have a clue what I was doing.

So, when someone would email me requesting pricing or just flat out mentioning, “I want to work with you!” I was giddy. Every email sent me to cloud nine. Here I was getting emails from complete strangers who wanted me to create something for them.

However, when I started my business, I really was charging ridiculously low prices to do things. I saw my peers online charging like 2000% (yes, two thousand) times what I was charging to do the same thing. I often sat back and thought, “This is going to take years to grow into something substantial.” I knew I was on the right path, but I kept wishing I could fast forward to the part where I was working, making enough money, and actually having an impact.

I couldn’t, though, so I kept working. I kept reading. I pursued the blogs of my biggest inspirations until I had read them all. Then I read them again. I upped my prices. I got a few more clients. I kept reading. Upped prices again. Got a few more clients. On and on, until here I am today, making money like I can’t even understand (and I am honestly saying this very humbly).

A few weeks ago, I was adding a payment to my finances spreadsheet, and I saw it. I had hit my revenue goal for this year. Actually, I hadn’t just hit it, I’m over it. Technically working part time for the first five months of the year, and working full time for the last three, and I’ve actually hit my goal, one that I could only dream about last year. I almost cried when I saw that. The thought that I’ve hit my goal and business isn’t slowing down literally almost brings me to tears.

I could tell you all the ways I know that got me here (like blogging, and social media, and just down right hard work), but I’m not going to tell you about those things. Instead I want to give you this:

There were many nights that, like I said, I felt like it would take years to get where I wanted to be, when it felt like I’d never have relationships with all of the people I admired, when it felt like I might be in the shadows forever.

You might be feeling that way right now, and if so, keep going. Keep pushing, keep working. One day you are going to open your eyes, and see all the goals you’ve reached without fully realizing it. You’ll look back, and your journey will mean so much more to you. Maybe, just maybe, each thing that keeps coming to take you one step closer to where you dream of being will bring a tear or two to your eye. And those moments, when you want to squeeze that customer or client or touched heart in a tight hug, well, they’ll make it all worth the hard work and late nights you’re putting in right now.

launch / lemon lime life

lemon lime life | branding + blog design by kory woodard

Y’all! I had no idea that I never shared the moodboard for this project until now! It was one of my favorite moodboards from the last few months, but I’ll spare y’all the details. Brittany contacted me after being referred by one of my fellow designers, and we got started on her project fairly quickly.

When she got in touch there were a few things she knew right away: she wanted to get her blog launched as soon as she could because she was super excited to start blogging. The other thing she knew was that she obviously wanted some yellow and green in her design, as she already had her blog name down: Lemon Lime Life!

lemon lime life | branding + blog design by kory woodard

We were focused on a few simple words for her branding: friendly, loving, happiness, warmth, and inviting. The design is pretty to the point, and I just love how minimal it came out to be!

Although Brittany is just getting started, she wanted to get my fuller package to make sure she was getting started on the right foot. So, with her standard blog design, we also created a few additional pages. You can see in the brand board above a simple “About Me” graphic. I thought that would be a fun touch for her about page, and Brittany pointed out that it rhymed after I had sent the design over. I hadn’t even planned that, so I love that funny coincidence!

Don’t just take my word for how awesome it looks though! Check it out below.

currently / 15

life lately | kory woodard

Can y’all believe that it’s already mid-October? I can’t believe that there are just two more weeks until it’s freaking November. November, y’all! I won’t waste any time here though, if you follow me on social media, you know some exciting stuff has been going on in my life, so I’ll go on ahead and dive in to the news (list style, again!):

+ Well, in the last currently post I shared that I was engaged, and now I’m married! I can’t believe it, but it’s been a week now since we officially tied the knot. Being apart and D being military makes things a little tougher, so we decided to go on ahead and make it official so we can ensure that by the end of the year we have a home together in South Carolina.

+ Also in the last post I announced that I was working on an ecourse. As y’all know by now, I’ve officially given it a name: Brand Catalyst. I’ve been spending as much time as I can to develop the content for it. It’s going to be running after the first of the year, but registration will open later this year. If you want to be the first to know when it opens, sign up here.

+ I haven’t meditated once since setting my goals for this month. I truly was going to, but sometimes it’s tough to work into my day. Instead, I’ve just been trying to be more conscious about when I’m feeling stressed or just not good in general. Hopefully in the next few days I can get back to meditating. Along this health part, today makes 79 days without a soda! I’m still pretty stoked on that, y’all!

+ Going along with me moving to SC, I’ve decided to not take on any new clients in December this year. Between the holidays, moving, and spending time with D and our families, I don’t anticipate having tons of time or wanting to spend time away from my loved ones. Instead I’ll finish up with my clients, finish up developing content for Brand Catalyst, and enjoy time with my loved ones.

Other than those sort of little things, I’ve become obsessed with ABC’s new drama How To Get Away With Murder, I’ve been working on finishing up several really awesome projects, one of which I’ll be sharing tomorrow, and last Sunday was my birthday so I’m officially 23. I’m a little sad that I can’t sing, “I’m feeling twenty-twooooo!” anymore.

But enough about me! What’s going on with y’all?! Fill me in!