“How do you choose the women you feature?”
It’s a question I get asked often, both from curious readers and from women hoping to get selected for a future issue.
The truth is, an intricate web of elements factor into my decisions. It is the strength of their brand, the quality of their product, the way they market, how they speak to their community on social media, how expansive their vision is, how strong the user experience is on their website, how innovative they are. It’s all of it.
I get pitched often from PR people, hoping their clients will make the next list, and, truthfully, many times I can tell from the portrait they attach to their email whether the person will be the right fit, before I ever see their site or their product or anything else. It’s an ethos I look for more than anything, a refined thoughtfulness, a considered aesthetic. Then I look to see what values they infuse in their company, how they conduct business, who they’re taking care of, who they’re looking out for, whose lives they’re changing.
I realized recently that studying these companies for the past three years has taught me more than an MBA could have about business — not just about any type of business, but rather, about creative businesses that market to creative women. That is the niche of the world that I know intimately.
I have also realized that while I very much enjoy the process of curation, it’s a fun puzzle of a game for me, I am much more excited by the idea of helping the underdog brands, brands without huge amounts of VC capital, brands run by women in the BL community, brands that have so much potential but maybe aren’t actualizing it just yet. I want to use the discernment that I’ve honed while curating and cultivating Bossladies to help other brands grow more profitable, become more beautiful, help more people, do more good in the world.
So we’re doing a new thing.
This December and January, I’ll be taking two businesses through a Brand Critique process. I’ll be sitting with every element of their brand to identify what is working well and where there is opportunity for improvement. I’ll be looking at the brand visuals (logo, photography, web layout), the brand storytelling (website copy, social media content, newsletters), the brand values, partnerships, marketing efforts, and the product / service itself. I’ll be giving all of my honest feedback.
At the end of our work together, I’ll provide the founder with a Brand Growth Brief, outlining the findings, that they can work from as they begin making plans for 2019.
Why we’re only taking two clients —
This process, when done right, is a thorough, comprehensive one that requires a honed study of the industry and the company’s position within it. By taking only two clients at a time, we’re able to give each company the headspace and individualized attention it deserves.
The process —
We’re accepting applications through December 10th for the two brands we’ll be taking on in the New Year cycle. As we review applications, we’ll be looking for companies with unrealized potential and services or products that we believe in. After the brands have been selected, we’ll begin the process below:
Intake Form — We’ll have the client fill out a Typeform to learn what they feel is working well and what pieces of the business they’re struggling with.
Initial call or coffee (in Santa Monica) with client to talk through their form and answer any questions they may have
Deep Dive Analysis (3-4 week process)
Present client with Brand Growth Brief. Discuss brief together. (2-3-hour meeting)
Follow-up call two months later to review changes the client has made and answer any questions
Elements we’ll be reviewing —
Brand Visuals — logo, photography, website
Brand Storytelling — website copy, social media content, newsletters, content marketing
Product / Service and packaging (if applicable)
Brand Values and Positioning
Partnerships and Marketing Efforts — social media presence, collaborations
Of note — this process will not dive into your operations, systems, shipping processes, contract and payment processes, appointment scheduling, client intake forms, etc. but we do offer operational consulting to help you with these items. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.