The world is full of a cornucopia of blogs, lifestyle photographers, craft projects, entrepreneurs and travellers. It is hard on the very best of days to promote your businesses, to show case your work and find a voice to say how great your products are, that you adore what you do and would move heaven and earth to continue to do what you love.
The same for me. I still do not think this blog is projecting what I want to say. I continually search the vastness of the internet for inspiration, finding along the way gorgeous sites, photography that has found its voice, its style, its recognizable brand. Like many things in life, we know in our heads what we should be doing, what we want to project, but in the doing, it just doesn’t manifest. This new found work I am in now, writing and photographing is a huge learning curve. Making my aged conifer syrup, with the premises in Eastern Europe, so far away from my home, has been a challenge. Some days are “black-dog days” and I feel a rising panic that I cannot do these things, its too complex, its too steep a learning curve. I retreat and sit in bed with a book written by another, or browse Instagram for the pictures created by others.
My husband is full of confidence, drive and passion for what he does. He does not have self doubt as I do. He focuses and creates. I worry and fret. Lately I have been following the words of photographers I love, looking at their first blog posts, and their steep learning curves and realising that yes, we all start at a similar point and it is a case of stepping forward, step by step. If way back someone had said I would run my own tax practise, I would have laughed – me? No surely not, I have no idea of figures. But now, this very week, I have decided, pressed by my husband, to write a book about business, combining many years of experience within industrial factories, manufacturing plants, admin offices and long years of commuting – a small germ of an idea brewing, into a book that at many times I wish I had on my busy desk. Full of help, of tick sheets, reminders, prompters, resolving formula, how to get all the day to day stuff done. So I will write this book and dedicate it to all business owners who fret about how others manage to run their businesses.
But back to branding, I think this is what I am trying to say. I am trying to find myself and in this world where it is hard to stand out, find a voice for my businesses. My businesses have to be commercial, they must give me a living, both financial and for my well being. We have been working on Ion Aged Conifer Syrups website over the last couple of weeks. The old site just wasn’t cutting the mustard and representing how we felt the product should stand out amongst the competition. And yes we have competition, but we felt this was a negative thought. Instead we looked to see what we have that stands alone, with no need to compete. This meant going back to why we loved this product from the start – the mountains. A syrup made from natures ingredients, by hand and used in the recipes we love to cook and share. The dark, cool forests, mysterious, dangerous, an intrepid journey to gather the buds. This is our brand.
For my own brand, I do have an idea of what it should be, but there are also limitations. Technology prevents me for now creating what artistry I want, versus the ability for me to actually post articles and pictures. There is a compromise to be reached. One blog I loved Lost In Cheeseland, has recently rebranded and I am sad some of the “Frenchness” has been lost. As ideas change and the focus changes, maybe towards prose more than pictures, old blogs have to be reworked.
Time will tell, commitment, practise, niche, rework, striving for a voice. www.ionsyrup.com