This week, we’re joined by the lovely and wonderfully talented Melinda Livsey. She runs Marks and Maker, a brand strategy agency. She successfully pivoted from offering design services to full strategy packages for her clients. This episode should teach you a ton about pivoting your services, charging more and attracting your dream clients. So without further ado, let’s get into the show!
Show Notes for This Episode:
[1:00] Tom welcomes and invites Melinda to share a little about herself.
[2:00] Melinda getting introduced to brand strategy is an A-ha! moment.
[3:00] Becoming a Strategist.
[4:30] Tom asks Melinda how the pivot has been beneficial.
[5:30] From multiple logo options to showcasing one logo to the client.
[6:00] How the one-logo show helps the client and the agency.
[7:10] Many successful branding agencies offer only one logo.
[8:00] One logo = less client overwhelm.
[9:10] Less revisions, less headache and more money.
[10:00] Melinda stops giving ideas away for free.
[11:00] Charge for what you offer.
[12:20] Melinda discusses learning and building a strategy framework.
[13:00] Going from $1000 – $10,000 for brand strategy!
[14:00] Tom talks about Melinda’s hourly rate.
[15:30] Lisa asks Melinda if she ever gets push back from clients on her price.
[16:00] The 3 why’s Melinda asks all her clients.
[17:30] Selling the problem not the solution.
[18:00] Dustin asks how Melinda proves she boosts a company’s revenue.
[19:00] Pinpointing ROI from a new branding project.
[20:00] Brand strategy influences everything and can be hard to track.
[21:00] Clear goals make brand strategy easier to track.
[22:00] If client needs persuading they may not be a good fit.
[23:10] Melinda shares a past client’s measurable results.
[24:00] Discovering business and personal reasons for a rebranding project.
[25:00] Finding motivation and building confidence is brand therapy.
[26:40] From owner to employee, brand confidence is powerful.
[27:10] Tom talks business strategy.
[28:00] The type of company that’s a dream client for rebranding.
[29:00] Clarity – focus and a road map to success is invaluable for a brand.
[30:00] The value is in the eye of the beholder.
[31:00] Value is the price your client will pay for what they need.
[32:00] Tom talks about how positive mindset is everything.
[33:30] Melinda used to be very objectionable to making huge leaps in her business.
[34:30] Read, follow and join into conversations to see if you want to do branding.
[35:00] Melinda shares a few books that are great reads for strategy branding.
[36:00] Find your processes, build confidence and increase prices over time.
[37:00] Discover your tribe and lean on them.
[39:00] Melinda’s pivot was a process and not an overnight success.
[40:00] Having a study group built confidence.
[41:10] Melinda shares her before and after income difference.
[42:00] Referral bonus for sending clients to other expertise.
[43:15] All prices have ceilings. Here’s how to work around that.
[44:00] Melinda makes leaps by going from generalist to specialist.
[45:25] Do you need to be very experienced to pivot into a specialist role?
[46:00] There are plenty of strategists that are not creative.
[47:00] Credibility builds over time.
[48:00] Empathy is a must for brand strategy.
[49:00] Which comes first: success or credibility?
[50:00] The one belief Melinda had that helped her pivot her career.
[51:00] Finding how to charge for what she was giving for free was eye opening.
[52:00] Seeing that others were charging thousands for her freebies was life changing.
[54:00] Finding your focus.
[55:00] Chris Do helped Melinda find her strategy legs.
[56:00] Working smarter not harder.
[57:00] Hard work yields the success of working smarter.
[59:20] Brand strategists are basically mapmakers.
[1:00:30] Tom asks Melinda if she struggles like the rest of us.
[1:02:00] Melinda shares self-doubt and the hard times during the pivot.
[1:03:00] Survival mode, Craig’s List and hitting up friends for work.
[1:04:00] What did Melinda do early on that did not move the needle?
[1:05:00] Learning to focus on what mattered.
[1:06:00] Refining skills and rebranding herself was not needed.
[1:07:50] Where can you find Melinda online?
[1:08:00] That’s a wrap!
“A must for every creative freelancer (or those aspiring to freelance). Thank you for being so… honest! Such a wealth of information from people I admire who have ‘been there and done that’. Listening to the podcast every week feels like I’m among friends. Can’t wait for more episodes!” – AG_GD