Tiffany Tolliver has a brain for branding, and she truly understands how to turn her clients' ideas into tangible content. This is part two of our interview with Tiffany, where we'll be taking a closer look at her tips for branding, styling, and visual storytelling (catch up on Part 1 here). She has so much wisdom when it comes to marketing your business in a consistent way! Read on to learn about Tiffany's extensive branding expertise, the importance of starting with 'why', and overcoming comparison on social media.
Visual storytelling is the art of delivering an experience, capturing a mood and creating an emotional connection. Making the intangible, tangible. When I first sat down to conceptualize The Agency, I knew that I desired for my brand to be more than a logo delivered to the inbox of my clients or solely on the front page of a website. Telling a story without words is my job. Just like an old silent movie, I must make the characters (brand) dance on the screens of consumers' cell phones, computers and tablets. I must personify the brand and make it come to life. Everyday I am given the opportunity to do just that. To translate the dreams of a fellow creative. To turn what was once a small idea into a living, breathing brand that helps to make a difference in the lives of those who come in contact with it. Being a successful storyteller requires that you have as much background information as possible, know the information inside and out, yet have the creativity & flexibility to shift gears to suit his/her audience at the drop of a dime. As small business owners, we must recognize that we offer a unique, more intimate buying experience. To compete with big brands that have several teams working on marketing campaigns, we must think as they do.
To be honest, it took me about a year to fully develop the look and feel for my brand. I encourage you to take a scroll down to the bottom of my Instagram feed... go on, I'll wait here. You can see where I tried a variety of different themes, such as using quote heavy graphics and varying color palettes, before landing on the light & airy, lifestyle-focused brand you see today. If you are taking a D.I.Y. approach, remember to give yourself a bit of grace when creating consistency. There isn't a one-size fits all to this and absolutely no corner-cutting involved. You must do the work! Everything I put forth is based on my Instagram account. Using PLANOLY helps me to see the content before I send it out to the world. Once I've decided that my top 9 (the first nine squares that my followers see) is to my liking, I schedule corresponding content. That's content for my blog... collaborations... etc. The language that I use across the board also remains the same. Otherwise, I stay in my branding and styling lane! It helps me maintain my message consistency and solidify myself as an expert. Staying connected on Instagram is so important to me. Sometimes people forget to be social on social media! Liking, commenting and following those who truly inspire me, not only keeps me fresh and on my toes, but it also gives me ideas on what content to post myself.
This is an easy one. Comparison has been the obstacle that never seemed to go away. Always arriving at the most inopportune moments. My relationship with comparison changed once I joined The Rising Tide Society and began to attend their monthly #TuesdayTogether meetings. There they spoke from a "community over competition" mentality, from a place of abundance & genuine satisfaction of truly helping other entrepreneurs along in their journey. Instead of allowing comparison to tear me down, I've learned to compare myself to those men and women who I admire... focusing less on what I lack, but instead on what I can gain from looking at their example. Joining those individuals and surpassing one year in business has been my proudest moment in my career so far. According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within their first 18 months. With each creative women in business who entrusts me with their brand, I join the elite 20% of entrepreneurs operating a sustainable business.