Why firing your brand agency might be the best thing you ever do.
What is it about us humans that draws us to things like network marketing, affiliate marketing and the coveted “laptop lifestyle”?
Is it the fame, fortune, fast cars and fresh fashion?
Perhaps a little bit. There’s nothing wrong with that.
But I’d like to argue that there’s one ‘F’ word that trumps them all.
It’s the freedom to take care of your parents. With as much love and patience as they gave you.
It’s the freedom to spoil your wife with spontaneous outings and gifts.
It’s the freedom to go to your daughters school basketball game without having to ask your boss for permission.
It’s the freedom to LIVE.
Today we’re taking the first step in building a life of freedom, by leveraging the power of branding.
But first things first. Let’s pull the trigger.
Your agency? Fire them. You don’t need them.
And I don’t care if it’s a solo practitioner, freelancer, small agency or a world class agency.
This isn’t about sticking it to the man (well, maybe a little) but it’s about empowerment. Specifically, YOUR empowerment.
Most (not all) brand agencies are quick to take your money and promise you the world. You enter in naive, thinking everything will be roses and rainbows only to have the weight of reality come crashing down on you like a ton of bricks.
Most “gurus” are just glorified Graphic Designers looking for a payday. They spout trendy buzzwords and will tend to show you how creative they can be, instead of unearthing the core elements that make you UNIQUE and form the FOUNDATION of your brand.
Because these types of agencies are DELIVERY focused and not STRATEGY focused.
Delivery focuses on the task at hand and it’s how a technician thinks.
Strategy focuses on long term success and is how an entrepreneur thinks.
N.B. These 2 concepts are from Michael E. Gerber’s book “The E Myth”. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.
The truth is, most “experts” don’t actually know HOW to create a great brand.
After all, I sure as hell didn’t.
For a decade I’ve been working as a Graphic Designer and Brand Consultant and truthfully, it has only been in the last 3 years that I finally GOT IT.
The kick in the gut came with the dominance of sites like Upwork and Fiverr. Businesses are able to get their designs done so cheap now and they are loving it.
The outsourcing phenomenon exposed a lot of us designers for what we really were. Shallow and a waste of money. More concerned with showing off our new skills but not really knowing how to bring equitable value to the table.
I wasn’t able to maintain the masquerade though. Clients started fading away and the bills started stacking up. It’s here where I decided to make a change.
I wanted to know, definitively, whether or not branding was still relevant in todays world. Was it was something worth fighting for or was it simply a pipe dream?
Spoiler alert: It is still very, very relevant. probably more than ever.
I analyzed every part of my old business model. I met with past clients and picked their brains about their past experience with me. I consumed book after book, video after video, constantly upskilling myself before making my move again.
When I felt like I was ready, I practiced my newly found knowledge on myself and the process of self-discovery began. I was blown away by how clearly I could see things. I knew what I wanted to do and who I was going to do it for.
Slowly I started introducing my new methods to clients for free and then began charging for it. It was awesome.
But it wasn’t just the money. The whole experience was so invigorating! My favourite part is the moment the lightbulb turns on in the clients mind and they start to see their business in a whole new light. It’s such a refreshing and rewarding experience and I love having the opportunity to empower others.
I went from charging $200 for logos to charging over $10,000 for the same package. I even started acquiring clients on monthly retainers for 12 month contracts at $5,000 per month.
How? By laying a strong foundation for my brand and nurturing its growth.
“Kym is just incredible!!! His ease, passion and professionalism make him an incredible partner in launching my new business. Will recommend him to everyone - thank you Kym, you simply rock!!”
- Nicole Myden, The PR Concierge
“5 stars doesn't even do him justice. He is a pleasure to work with! I've worked with Kym for a few years now. He's a genius, very easy to work with he just needs to have a conversation with you to understand what you need. His work ethic and commitment is amazing”
- Michel Lubuya, Dream Merchant
“As an event organiser I'm super particular about my promotional material as this is the first point of call for the public. Kym has hand crafted each event artwork with originality, creativity and professionalism. The artwork that represents my events has now become synonymous with our brand thanks to Kym.”
- Nick Economidis, The Wonky Queenslander
“Kym is next level! I take branding and design serious, as does my whole team and company, and he takes our ideas and turns them into exactly what we want and then some! He's also quite strategic in his approach. He thinks steps ahead of where you're trying to go and that makes all the difference in the world. I highly recommend him to everyone!!”
- Matt Gottesman, HDF Magazine
What are the telltale signs that you have an unhealthy brand? The most obvious one will most likely be your biggest problem.
Here’s a promise.
No matter how good your marketing strategy or tactics are, if your brand sucks then it’ll all turn to trash.
When we just can’t seem to get the conversions we’re looking for, we tend to turn to marketing tactics first.
This is a classic “horse before the cart” scenario.
Focusing on marketing before branding is like pouring gasoline over a fire without any flame to begin with. You end up with a smelly mess that no one wants to clean up.
Getting your brand flame started is the essential component in ALL successful marketing campaigns. I don’t care if anyone disagrees. It’s the truth.
I’ll prove it to you.
Learning who your customer persona is.
Understanding your purpose and unique value.
Having a consistent strategy for how you communicate.
All of these things are essential when it comes to marketing success. All of these are born inside a great brand strategy.
IMPORTANT NOTE: There’s no information or tutorials here about marketing. There’s enough of that around the internet.
If that’s all after then I cannot recommend these two guys enough.
Hands down the two most generous and helpful marketers I know of right now.
We’re focusing purely on branding and the critical influence it has ON your marketing.
I’m on a mission to share this knowledge with as many people as humanly possible so YOU don’t have to go through the same thing I did.
Next let’s look at how you can fire your agency and still grow an incredible brand.