Shoots with Roots. 

Three months of intensive support, guidance and practical know-how to help you build a creative business with strong and sustaining roots.

 

Plants need roots.

Roots anchor the plant to the soil – stop it blowing over in the wind – and bring up the nutrients the plant needs  to grow.

Businesses are the same. Businesses also need roots.

In the early stages of setting up a business it’s all too easy to focus on the shoots. The stuff you can see above the soil: Likes, follows, sign-ups, shares, clients and customers. 

And don’t get me wrong, shoots are important for both plants and businesses. We need signs of growth in order to keep going, to know that we are on the right track, and to not get demotivated (watering bare ground everyday is tough).  Plus, shoots lead to leaves which provide further food for the plant, and, eventually, fruit – the thing we harvest that nourishes us.

But if you don’t have roots in place, your business isn’t going to grow in the long term. Your business might look like it’s growing but the delicate shoots will be killed by  the first frost or wind, and without anything to nourish them will eventually die back, and you will have to start all over again.

But with roots, your shoots might be small, but they will be strong.

And, most importantly, will be able to keep growing in the coming months and years. So by focusing your attention on growing roots to begin with, you are setting yourself up to develop and grow a long-term sustainable business.

Which is what this one-on-one mentoring programme is all about. Growing shoots, but with roots. 

I believe the roots of a business are:

A compelling brand

Your brand is bigger than your business. It’s what you say, and how people think of and connect to you.  Creating a coherent and compelling brand is how you get people to care and pay attention to what you do. 

The right packages or products

Your packages or products are what takes a brand from a hobby to a business. Creating the right products or packages, things people genuinely find value in and want to buy, is the key to a consistent income. 

 

An effective marketing strategy

Marketing has a bad reputation, but really it’s just about putting you and your business in front of people who will care. It’s about connection and community, and you can do it in a way that feels good for you. 

You, feeling happy and productive

I think the best businesses play to their owners’ strengths, and actively encourage them to live the life they want. Because when you enjoy your business, and want to show up, you will do so consistently and enthuastically.

 

How is Shoots with Roots different from Support to Thrive?

Shoots with Roots is specifcally designed for creatives just getting started with their online business. 

You might already be active on Instagram and growing a following, or you might have been selling through word-of-mouth or referrals for a while, but the online  business side of things is new to you.

And as such it is:

More intensive

Shoots with Roots includes 10 calls over a 3 month period. That’s talking almost every week (we will decide when to take the two week breaks together – usually when there is a lot to be done before the next call!). 

This is so we can really build and keep momentum up for you. I also know how hard setting-up a business can be, and how many questions constantly arise. I want us to move quickly through them rather than get bogged down.  

At the end of each session we will decide together what you will do before we next speak, so you always know what to focus on and are never spinning your wheels.

More structured

Support to Thrive is much more reactionary. We respond to what is coming up and take it from there.

Shoots with Roots is structured, and while we can still take time to work through things that come-up (and we will), there is a process to it. 

This is to make sure we cover all the roots of a business, and don’t get too preoccupied with those pesky shoots! My goal is that at the end of our three months together your business will be up-and-running (albeit in a”first draft” form) and you will have everything you need in order to move forward. It’s not about building a perfect, static business but getting you off the ground.

Every creative business is unique and needs different things. But it’s also important to have a structure to follow (and to deviate from!). 

So here is a rough outline of what we will cover in each one-hour session:

1. What do you actually want to build?

We’ll talk through where you are now, and your ideas for your creative business. We’ll get clear on what it is you want to work towards and how you want your business to fit into your lifestyle. We’ll set a few small, attatinable goals and map out a rough direction for the next few months.

2. Business model 

We’ll decide on what packages or products you’d like to offer, and different income streams you can set up. We’ll talk through pricing, discussing both your intial price and where you want to end up. We’ll figure out the best thing to start with, something nice and small to get you going.

3. Brand story

We’ll discuss the value that you are offering your clients or customers using a story model. We’ll talk through how to position your business, and what makes you different from your peers. We’ll begin to think about how to communicate this through your brand messaging. 

4. Website.

We’ll talk about how you are going to set up your website (whether by yourself or with some help) and which platform to use if you don’t already have one. We’ll wireframe your website, and begin to look at home page copy and have a tagline brainstorm (my favourite thing!) 

5. Sales Pages

Together we’ll draft copy for a specfic product or package, making sure that it is clear and compelling.

6. General marketing strategy.

We’ll talk through the purpose of content, social and outreach marketing and map out a content eco-system for you, deciding on the specific intention of each stream. We’ll also get into the nitty gritty of setting each up, including an email list.

7. Specific content streams

We’ll brainstorm ideas for each individual content stream, decide on cateogories etc, and create a content calendar for you. We can also talk through opt-in options as well if you’d like.

8. Business processes

We will go through each process your business needs, from on-boarding clients to posting products. We’ll talk through how to make each process as effective and efficient as possible for you, and as attentive and nice for your clients or customers.

9. Your working routine

As you move out of the setting-up phrase and into the maintaining one, it’s important to work out how you are going to keep momentum up long-term, and make your business sustainable for you. 

10. Where to next?

We’ll talk through the next steps you need to take, and ideas you have for growing your business over the long term. 

I called in Fiona to help me during the pre-launch of my business after a friend of mine recommended her. I had reached a bit of a brick wall with things and I was feeling very overwhelmed with a huge to do list, not knowing what I should be doing first. Fiona was invaluable to the set up of my business. She helped me to organise what needed doing and look at what I needed to focus my attention on as a priority. From my business loan application, setting up my website to helping with brand clarity, nothing was too much. She has a wonderful way of wording things and was able to get down on paper everything I wanted to say but didn’t know how to.

I would without hesitation recommend Fiona to anyone seeking that brand clarity or anyone who is just feeling a little lost like I was. She is very personable, non judgemental and very talented at what she does.”

Charlie Smith

Jessie Bear Blue | https://www.jessiebearblue.co.uk/

“Fiona was the missing link I needed to make my website a reality and I give her so much credit for the launch of The House of Less.  From the minute I started working with her, she made me feel at ease and comfortable. It never felt like an impersonal, business relationship, but rather a friendly dialogue between two peers. She has that rare ability to encourage you to open your mind and seek what it is you’re trying to put out there in the world.  She instinctively asks the right questions and most importantly, listens carefully to your responses. Somehow, she magically puts it all together to create exactly what has been on your heart and mind but has felt impossible to put into words. The window she helped me open has allowed an abundance of creativity to unleash itself in my life and in my writing.

Thank you Fiona, for all you’ve done to bring my story to life. Your expertise and encouragement mean more to me than you can imagine!”

Karen Hendley | The House of Less

Shoots with Roots: Three month intensive creative business mentoring

What’s included:

  • 10 one-hour Skype calls (if you can get to Frome, or I travel near you during our time, we can have one or two in person over coffee!). We’ll end each session by agreeing a plan of action for the next week or two.
  • Two weekly office hours via Flock – an online community app. I’ll be online at two specified times a week when you’re welcome to pop-in and chat directly with me. You can update me on what’s going on, get some quick advice, or just have a chin-wag!
  • Unlimited email access. Send over any website copy you’ve written, product or package ideas, or thoughts on brand messaging. You can also email me if you are struggling with something practical like setting up your email list. 
  • My encouragement, support and general cheerleading! 

10 calls | 3 months: £1250

(In full up-front, or monthly payments of £450, £400 and £400)

If you are interested in working together, then let’s have a quick chat over Skype to get to know each other better.

(Zero pressure, it’s just to see if we are a good fit, and how I can help you best!) 

Or if you have any questions then pop me an email at fionabarrows {@} gmail.com. 

Book Now
 
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