How do you feel about your brand? I’ve been saving this guest interview all summer, and I’m so excited to share it with you now! If you’re intrigued by all things branding, this episode is for you!
My guest, Nikki Arensman, is an expert at supporting female entrepreneurs & founders in building a brand-driven business from day one. She’s the Founder of The Business of Branding Podcast and creator of The Brand Boutique, a modern branding template shop. I had the opportunity to interview her back in May 2022, just before the birth of her baby boy. In this episode, we get into her personal story and chat all about her business evolution, and how she serves women looking to build an ideal brand.
Nikki has helped over 15,000 women-owned businesses build a brand they’re absolutely in love with by using her DIY Template Systems and Brand Strategy Products. She lives in South Florida with her husband, daughter, son, and 2 dogs.
Listen in for some great insights and don’t forget to check the links below for more information about all the things we discussed in the episode.
Highlights from this Episode
We talk about:
- Nikki’s experience with building brands for over a decade started in licensing and all the interesting things she learned working with brands like Marvel and Disney, and her manufacturing experience with a women’s fashion line.
- Working with business owners to build a brand strategy and foundation from their larger vision.
- What it felt like to take a leap and sell her business without a plan when she was pregnant with her daughter and getting back-to-basics to embrace her creative roots
- The larger conversation about the struggles female entrepreneurs face to create balance and wiggle room between life and their businesses, and how important it is to recognize that expectations and reality won’t always match and that’s okay.
- The fundamental things you must have in place with your branding so you’re positioned appropriately for your ideal client to find you and buy from you.
- The balance between personal and professional branding styles when it comes to reaching your audience.
- Her pet peeves when it comes to branding, design trends, and seeking inspiration
- And of course, all the best resources she has to offer (linked below.)
Captivating Quotes from this Episode:
11:18-What it looked like to take the leap to start a brand new business when she had her daughter
“And so without knowing what was next, like, Okay, I’m gonna start a consulting business. I’m gonna go online, this is what you know, it was just like, I don’t know what’s next. But I know that it’s something different. And so I’ve got to take this leap. I sold my business and finalized everything. I feel like it was the end of August, like the first week of September. This was almost five years ago, but, and I had my daughter in October, it was a big transition. That business, my sister and I had for about five years. So it very much was like a part of our identity. And you know, it was like, our little baby, and so I sold that. And then I had [my daughter] and I did take the first six months to just kind of dabble in researching what could I be doing next? Like, what do I want to be doing? I started thinking about what I loved about Jeeva. What did I learn about these other businesses that I was a part of, and these other career paths that I was in, and I just nonchalantly started taking on some like consulting clients that were actually my initial clients were actually a lot of product based businesses. What we had was active reliance, like another activewear line. I started working with my manufacturers who did our printing, they had a line, so I was supporting them a little bit. And then over time, I’m like, Wow, this physical inventory thing is still-, even if it’s not mine- it’s still stressing me out. So then I sort of, again, nonchalantly was taking on some service-based clients, and then I then I was really after my daughter turned one, I was like, Okay, this is really kind of becoming like something…. So then I did a brand identity and created an actual business. But it was a very, slow, organic process”
17:35- Women finding a balance between leadership roles and creative flow in their life and business
“All these women who are in these leading roles, like whether they are running an online business, have physical products, have children have social activities going on, like all these different things…Everyone’s dealing with all the same struggles of trying to find balance, trying to stay creative, trying to stay in that power role, while also like not being too masculine, and being able to soften and, and still tap into their, their feminine. And I think that for me, as a creative and as a branding person, a lot of my creativity comes from the feminine side of my work. And just like I have my energy I’m always in this, gotta have control of parenting of being a wife of my house of all the things, it is really hard for me to then click the switch and turn over into, you know, creative, soft, feminine, and a lot of my clients are women who work with other women. And, maybe it’s not talked about often enough, how you find that sort of flow between the two but I do think there’s something to be said about getting too stuck in like, I gotta balance all of this all the time, you know, and like, how do I do it in a way that is not chaos.”
23:40- Branding from the very beginning- Why it’s important not to wait until everything is in place.
“The most important message is- people feel like they have to have the following already. or they have to have the reputation already, or the testimonials or the team or the bank account or revenue, whatever it is, before they really start diving into like the nitty-gritty details of what makes their brand stand out; where I believe doing those things early on in tandem with like, very needle-moving tasks in their business just sets you up for an easier success, I think because you don’t have to shuffle hustle to get there, get that client get this client get that client and then all of a sudden you’re backpedaling. Oh, wait a minute! We need to fix our messaging, we need to fix our marketing, we got to you know, we don’t we’ve been inconsistent with our color palette, our visuals are all over the place– whatever it is. So to be able to set clear expectations about those things early on, I don’t think it’s like ever too early.”
31:35- Rebranding: Your visuals are the clothing for your business
“A lot of the visuals of branding, the stuff that you would rebrand, like colors, fonts, logo, graphic elements, imagery, all of that, I think of that like the clothing of your business. So if your body is the business, and the details, and the services and all that stuff, everything that you put on- makeup, jewelry, clothes, all of that is the visuals of your business. And over time, you may outgrow, and trends may change as well. So, a lot of times we get started and we create a brand identity, or a logo, a system in place, to just get the momentum going to feel good online to be able to show up to fill up our confidence cup. I’m such an advocate of, just get started, create something, and get started. That’s why we created Brand Identity Breakthrough. It’s a $27 logo system, for templates system. And the purpose of it was: Get something created, have it look good, love it, and move on. Because you’re going to come back and change this at some point. So a lot of times you grow, your business is evolving, your messaging is changing, your services are being revamped, and you’ve now learned things. You’ve figured out and really nailed down this season of your clients. Maybe you are now covering multiple seasons of your client. Right? So you’ve got a lot more going on, but your wardrobe is stuck at the starting line. So I do think it’s a good indicator of like, we’ve grown, this is not reflective of where we’re at anymore.”
Freebie Brand Color Palletes:
Nikki’s Product Vault:
Branding Tik Tok:
Megan James Podcast Episode: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/21-an-inspirational-chat-on-being-an-artist/id1415260941?i=1000525444699
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