The first step in building a brand and business you love is to articulate your vision or know what success means for you. Once you are clear on where you are going you can create a plan to get there. When you have a vision and a plan you will gain not only the support of the right audience, but you will be in a stronger position to add value to your clients and collaborate with your peers.
An effective vision is clear, concrete, concise and compelling. The process of documenting your vision helps you gain clarity. Often we “know” what we want, but we have a hard time putting it in words. By being explicit you become clear about what it is you really want. When your vision is clear to you, you are better able to articulate it to others.
A concrete vision means you have a vision that is real and tangible. It is not about using language that your audience doesn’t understand or trying to impress others with extensive content. It is a vision that your audience can touch, feel, and become engaged in. It has to be something that your audience can easily understand.
Your vision also needs to be brief. There are of course details that you need to figure out but that’s what planning and goal setting are about (we’ll get to that later in the challenge). When sharing your vision people just need to know the big picture so that they can easily share it with others. If you have too many details your audience may get lost.
Finally, it needs to be compelling. Meaning it needs to resonate with your audience emotionally. Your audience needs to understand not only the big strokes of the vision but they need to feel it has something to do with them. They need to want to be a part of what you are building. It has to be something that your audience has some stake in.
There are several questions to consider when answering the question “What is your vision?” Below I have listed the seven questions and examples of how to answer them.
1. WHO YOU ARE. What’s your business and brand about?
Ex. Studio Keyes Creative is a branding agency that focuses on the use of story, psychology-based design and conversion-driven copy to build brands that are both profitable and meaningful.
2. WHERE YOU ARE GOING. What will your busy look like at its full potential?
Ex. Studio Keyes Creative will be a full branding agency for Women of Color that is run and operated by them. It will focus on showcasing the diversity of these women and helping them build brands that are a reflection of their experience, ambition, and impact they seek to leave on the world. SKC will be a place of collaboration, support, learning, growth, and relationship.
3. WHY YOU ARE GOING THERE. Why is it important for you to manifest your vision?
Ex. I need to build this type of branding agency because women of color are often left out of the conversation, particularly when it comes to representation in business and the media. For WOC to create the change they want to see and for them to inspire future generations there must be realistic, nuanced, inspiring stories being shared.
4. WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO BE GOING THERE. What does it feel like to work on your vision?
Ex. It feels exciting and freeing. Working to create change is exciting because it gives me hope. It is freeing because that hope is centered on the ability of women of color to live their lives as their true self, unbothered by stereotypes the need to live up to or avoid. The creation of these brands allows them to connect with other people and not just create a living for themselves but to create a life they can be proud and happy to leave for their families.
5. WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO. How can people contribute to your vision?
Ex. People can contribute to this vision by supporting women of color entrepreneurs. This means more than just buying from women of color. Although we want them to do this too! This means they can start and engage in dialogue about representation, authenticity, self-esteem, self-care, community and a range of other topics that are central in creating a supportive and collaborative community for women of color. It’s about changing what is considered “acceptable” so the key is to make room for women of color in everyday life by standing up to injustices and changing how they interact with them. SKC will also facilitate opportunities for like-minded individuals to get involved through events and activities.
6. HOW YOU’RE GOING TO DO IT. How are you going to make your vision a reality?
Ex. SKC will manifest its vision through being intentional about the types of clients, collaborations and content we produce and engage with. To ensure SKC can stand the test of time we will focus on sustainable growth. This means that we will add on services, products, and events as we build the capacity for it.
7. WHAT THE REWARDS WILL BE. What benefit will manifesting your vision have?
By manifesting my vision I will be helping women fulfill their God-given purpose and building brands and businesses that not only provide for themselves and their family but create a ripple effect of security, happiness, and freedom.
That’s it! That wasn’t so bad, was it? You now have a documented vision that’ll have so many positives outcomes for your long-term goals! Be sure to share your favorite part of your vision in the comments!