Branding your abilities

I had a vision many years ago of a creative studio. A company where all the freelancers out there in my country would be given the emotional and mental support to become giants in their fields. That our country would not be so reliant on being rich on oil, but rather a country fuelled by an economy of amazing creative entrepreneurs.

Premature creative release

I just forgot one thing or rather, someone. Me.

If you are anything like me you tend to see the solution right away and you see the big picture. You are ready to start implementing the changes right away with the full force of nature that you are. Let’s go! What’s the holdup? Anything is solvable and there are infinite solutions! The hold up is neither you or they are ready. At the moment.

As I have multiple abilities in the creative genre I decided to call my company by the initials of my first and middle name, LØ and added the Creative Studio. Also, I do love working with creative people.

I was inspired by the multiple artists out there who were using the Scandinavian letter Ø in their branding name (which is the second of the additional three letters we have after Z) and it looked so cool! I might never be an artist of sorts but at least I have my very own Ø. And it looked good on my graphic design: LØ Creative Studio. The only thing was that I felt like a fraud.

Feelings overload

My company will most likely at one point become this creative studio but for now, it lies in the for later pile. In the process of writing a book called the Creative Book of Wonder, I find myself questioning some of my own choices and routines. Hence this post.

For a while now I have started my workday being overwhelmed. I couldn’t see what my next step was. What action to take when I woke up in the morning and I started to lose faith in me and my abilities. Maybe I wasn’t that good after all? And maybe I just was a fraud, a builder of dreams who could never create this massive promise.

In the last year, I started to notice that people were searching on Google for creative studios in my area and I felt a pit in my stomach. In my mailbox, I got a monthly Google Company report that I had previously ignored (unconsciously I think I was hoping that I wouldn’t be noticed.

Now I started to envision calls made to me with disappointed people who saw me for who I wasn’t: what?! You don’t photograph anymore? Don’t you do graphic design anymore either? What kind of creative studio are you?

Faith in a name

In the back of my mind, I heard a firm voice: I am not a creative studio. I am a writer. I am a storyteller. A lover of words. And yes, I might have a company one day with multiple freelancers who will build the entrepreneurial spirit of this country. I might start photographing again and I might do graphic design again, but right now I am a writer.

Building a company’s success is only hard if you work against yourself with a whole lot of visions of what you could’ve, would’ve and should’ve been and do for others.

It has to be something you do for you because you love doing it, learning about it and talking about it. It gives you so much joy and satisfaction just thinking about how lucky you are to actually do what you do and get paid for it, that you just can’t help becoming a success. This is what people would like to be a part of, not those who have a company because they have to and least of all those who are ashamed.

Finding the support I needed

I am not a success yet, but I will be, that I am sure of, because I love what I do and I have removed the pressure of performing as something I am not. I changed my company name to my full name: Lill Øyunn Nermoen-Hanssen.

I googled: when to name your company with your name, and found the article by Pia Silva on Forbes.com “When to name your company after yourself” which was quite useful and gave me the answer to all the questions I didn’t know I had.

Here are quotes from the article that helped me the most:

“If you have a unique name, using it as your brand name can be an easy way to win the SEO game so you come up first in Google searches.” (Check)

“If you are going to be creating content, recording podcasts, filming videos, and the like, your name will be more powerful than a brand name, even if you plan to build an empire with employees.” (She got me there)

“If you are breaking new ground in your field, your business may feel more reliable when it’s attached to your name. Gary Vaynerchuk had his own spin on and approach to the social media world…” (I respect him and I have my own spin on motivational speaking with my Creative Book of Wonder as I am writing right now)

In alignment with my dreams

She goes on with more example and ideas on why you should use your name and when not to use your name and rather create a brand name.

Her article is a great read and to the point, which inspires me to learn more about her work, but more importantly inspires me to see the strength in branding my name.

You will benefit from reading it whether you have a naming quandary or not. Do you have a company or would like to create one? Read it.

PS

Today was the third day I woke up since I changed my company name, with a feeling of joy as I woke up and motivated to be a success as a writing business because I get to be the one who writes.

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