A unique offering and start of a beautiful(ly) (strategic) friendship.
Wouldn't it be great to sound authentic when you pitch your business?
Finally write a good brief to hire the right freelancer to produce killer content?
Instantly get the team on the same page about your company's mission?
I'm going to go ahead, and assume you just said: YES! (If not, let me redirect you.)
However, many start-up founders just don’t know how to make this happen or think they need to wait until that ‘one-day’ when they can just hand over content production to a big agency, along with a retainer fee.
Because there's not much that can be done now, right?
That big agency day will never come if you aren’t the first strategic head-in-the-game when it comes to your company’s PR.
Your company needs a good foundation to build upon; starting with a clear value proposition within your pitch, a consistent brand presence, and a cohesive guide to outline it all.
And THIS story strategist helps you make that happen.
I’ve worked with start-ups & established companies alike who were paying freelancers for double the time needed to produce content than if they had one special strategic document in place, and they didn’t even realize it.
And that's just the financial angle: can you imagine a company's copy being clear and convincing in a content wild west?
The word you're looking for is no.
Finally, when your business is growing, and you hire another member of the marketing team, freelance designer, content producer, or writer you’ll have to go through the process-
All. Over. Again.
This quickly becomes a bad cycle that’s hard to dig yourself out of.
And so, inefficiency persists, money is wasted, and most importantly: your brand is not resonating with your audience the way it could be.
“One of the most essential documents any business can have is a brand style guide, yet many start-ups don’t have one.” - Caitlin Jordan, Canva
This kind of short-term thinking is often what leads many to fail.
Introducing the Strategic Brand Guide:
My Strategic Brand Guide is a classic style guide but with a brand story & copywriting consult twist, making it a service in itself.
The guide contains all core information, from market positioning to tone of voice or how to use logos/colors, to create whatever assets your company needs. Whether it be a web page, advertisement, blog post, or press request this document will make your life easier by combining critical information and files into one cohesive universe. Delivered in a well-designed document you'll be proud to show off.
It is one part PR (story), one part content strategy (copy & design), and another part magic because getting your brand positioning clear will work wonders for your entire business: content and beyond.
That's straight logic.
A strategic brand guide also helps with the onboarding process of anyone who will be managing your brand. For example, if you hire a person to write blog posts for your website, they won’t have to waste your time with redundant questions, waste billable hours getting the information they need about your company, or worse, end up presenting your brand in a way you’re not comfortable with.
Not to mention, it's a good document to give to your team to understand the soul of your company and align with your mission. This is critical for a variety of reasons, most notably those championed by TED Talk Hall-of-Famer Simon Sinek (you can read more about that here.)
And the icing on the cake?
The document is produced as a reflection of your company- a practical document yes, but also a living manifesto with aesthetic appeal.
The troops will love it.
Did I mention, producing this document with me gives you 'dibs' on my services at the best rates??? We've done all the homework together, so it's a lot easier for me to efficiently and effectively execute on your copy in the future or find you the best hire... that's a win, win.
What key stakeholders need
Especially for a start-up, the Strategic Brand Guide gives invaluable clarity for the main stakeholders about their mission and market positioning. Just the process of creating a guide with my consult allows you to focus and represent your company in the best light whether it's a casual pitch networking or a formal meeting with investors.
what your target customer seeks
Particularly important for businesses creating content regularly, the Strategic Brand Guide ensures brand consistency throughout any content or product you produce – no matter who creates it.
what content hires will get
The best feature to a good style guide is seeing how others have understood what’s at the heart of the brand and use the brand assets to create new amazing things. It’s a cohesive little world for your brand to live in, even designed with your branding in mind.
You get efficiency with a side of enhanced creativity. Seriously, what more could you want?
Don’t believe that creativity thrives on constraints and frameworks? Read this from Harvard Business Review, amongst others.
By asking the right questions, Ms. Valentine guides to the core of one's business, just like a psychologist for companies. She left me clear, optimistic, and inspired to put my best foot forward.
/ Alexander v. Gablenz, Geschäftsführer, LeviCraft GmbH /
How it works:
Like all my work I base this service on a strategic story design method, that I created to marry my business consulting and creative production skillsets.
I’ll actively help you find your voice and articulate your value. This is what makes this service more than just a typical style or content guide. It has consulting and roadmapping built into the process.
We will make your brand a living, cohesive, and engaging story In just a few clear-cut steps!
Some Strategic Brand Guide features:
Core Strategy Assets:
- A statement with your clear value proposition or USP that establishes your position in the market. (Essentially your one-to-three sentence sales pitch.)
- A short list of keywords based on your USPs and current market trends to draw from when making social media headlines, etc. (also keeps consistency for branding)
- Write up a blurb about the company to include in media kit / press releases.
Your company’s mission or tagline (revisited and revised if needed)
Your target customer personas (created after strategy session)
Notes on voice and tone specific to your brand (created after strategy session)
Your company’s dictionary of choice
A list of your company’s preferred words
A brief section on common grammar issues
Commonly used templates & formatting (ex. blog posts or presentations)
Logo specifications & uses
Approved brand colors & variations
Chosen fonts with heading sizes
Blog post template
Press and/or product photography (executive guide only)
Social media images (executive guide only)
Website and/or product description templates
Full press / media kit prepared (executive guide only)
and more... all presented in a well-designed document.
Also includes location (and naming) of files needed for implementation.
Note: specifics can vary by company needs and type of style guide purchased.
A good style guide is a balancing act of rules versus inspiration. It’s a case of personality and mechanics; balancing the communication of the brand story with the technical delivery...
/ Quote: Heidi Lightfoot, Together Design /
Includes: mission, positioning, and About page copy; customer personas, company tone & voice, copywriting style, and basic rules.
Also: logos (and uses), fonts, hex numbers, icons
549€ (with monthly service contract)*
850€ (without monthly service contract)
Same as standard, plus: extra copywriting/editing and extensive company specific guidelines such as product descriptions and best practices, media / press kit creation, and extra digital access.
949€ (with monthly service contract)*
1500€ (without monthly service contract)
Both guides include one in-house or Skype consulting session for discovery, alignment, and strategy; and one round of feedback. Additional content & copy services available at reasonable rates; we’ve already done the 'getting to know you' part, so I can easily execute copy for you or consult on content strategy when you’re in need.
Basically, it can be the start of a beautiful(ly) (strategic) friendship.
Note: digtal assets, such as logos, are to be provided by the client prior or ordered as a separate production service.
*Monthly service contract:
Pay 75€ each month to insure your content needs.
This subscription fee covers in-house or remote consulting to do a quick audit of new content, help ideate press coverage strategies, or to simply have chat about current content & PR hurdles and potential solutions or hires.
- Schedule a video call
- Send over a bit of copy to get feedback when you need it
- Or set up an in-house meeting
In addition, I'll become the 'product owner' of the brand guide and keep it up-to-date for you as a living document. As your company develops, your guide will too. No multiple hands editing. This service contract subscription is only available to brand guide clients. 6 or 12 -month contract agreement.
Want to do-it-yourself?
Then order my digital solution and get started!
Kendra is a diverse person. She can quickly shift focus from thinking broadly to details and back. […] she was proactive and suggested measures for improving our process efficiency. [...]Her ability to communicate, both in writing and orally, enhanced [our] ability to produce quality content.
/ Testimonial: Mihail Chigrichenko, IT Business Analyst, Sqore /
[...] By assisting to extract positive aspects, she helps to refine a more sophisticated presentation of concept and message for customers and investors.
/ Alexander v. Gablenz, Geschäftsführer, LeviCraft GmbH /