Firstly, what’s a stellar year? For us, it was a year in which we exceeded our expectations and went way beyond what we’ve previously achieved to smash all of our goals.
And 2018 was a great year. We won 2 awards (of 3 that we applied for), we increased our turnover by 251% and our profit by 333%. We worked with more social change organisations than we ever have done before including 3 global organisations as well as continuing our work with ambitious business founders. And we continued to give back – running workshops for brilliant organisations like Uprising charity and Charity Comms as well as mentoring some AMAZING young leaders along the way. Oh, and we went from being a one-woman operation to a team of 5.
This is what we’d describe as a win-win-win – wins for our clients, who continue to give us great feedback on our work. Wins for our business as we continue to grow (in profit and achievements). And wins for the world around us because we have helped build brands for some AMAZING causes.
And these wins were recognised by our peers and industry too– we were delighted to be awarded Precious Creative Business of the Year 2018 and Highly Commended in the Independent Consultant category at the 2018 Women in Marketing awards.
So how did we achieve our stellar year?
Unsurprisingly given what we do, it was all about nailing our STRATEGY. And this was about doing 3 things:
- We changed our vision
- We used our new vision to shape and hone our overall direction and
- We turned this direction into action – committing to our strategy in everything we do (even when it got hard and we were tempted to take the easy way out)
It’s worth noting that we didn’t do this alone. We consistently talk about the importance of investing in your brand and working with experts and as we always say, we practice what we preach! We started the year by working with the brilliant Janet Oganah on our social media strategy (to help us reach more of the audiences who can benefit from what we do). We worked with change mentor, Sally Henderson to look at how we translate our new vision into action and what this means for our future direction. And finally, we wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without the amazing, ongoing support and guidance from business coach Harriet Minter.
And what did we learn?
Firstly, the importance of investing in the business. We made sure that we hired experts to amplify our skills, providing objective insight and doing things that we can’t do ourselves (or at least not as well).
Secondly the need to build a strong team. Brand by Me was always going to be bigger than one person. We believe that the best brand consultancies draw together the unique experiences of individuals to meet the problems that clients face. And we’re no different – each team member has a brilliant skillset that means that our approach is always bespoke and tailored to the needs of our ambitious and complex clients.
Finally we learned that it’s ok to be more visible. We’re not about hogging the spotlight but to help the people who can really benefit from what we do, we had to step out of the shadows and start putting ourselves out there. So we started sharing our expertise with a wider audience through speaking opportunities, guesting on podcasts and writing content for publications.
What a year it was! And it wouldn’t have been possible without our INCREDIBLE clients – ambitious, collaborative and a LOT of fun to work with too! A massive thank you to all our clients – past and present. And thank you for reading – enjoy the festive season and here’s to a stellar 2019!
PS If you want to make 2019 a truly stellar year, SIGN UP to our monthly brand action plan NOW and kickstart your year with brilliant brand strategy!