Dream Smarter Podcast Ep31 - Crafting a Cult Brand Using The High Moon Method


Dream Smarter Podcast Ep31 – Crafting a Cult Brand Using The High Moon Method

Below are the show notes/summary for this episode. Please listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify for the full show! Xo, Alex


I’m excited to share this with you because this is something that we have been working on behind the scenes, and that is the high moon method. Now you’re probably wondering what the high moon method is.

And I will explain in a second, but I wanted to talk about the backstory of how we got to the high moon method. As you know, we are brand and website designers. That’s I started this business all on my own, and I was doing it alone for a long time. And now that we’ve worked with, I’ve hired a team, I’ve grown an agency, we’re expanding we’ve expanded into passive income, like education and different guides. And now I’m even growing new businesses on the side that are separate from High Moon Studio. I was thinking to myself, who am I? And I believe that besides, of course, being the dreamer, I do genuinely think that I am a brand builder building brands is what I do best. And building brands is why I’m good at business because if you’ve worked with us before or follow us at all, if you’re listening to this podcast, you would know it’s not just about branding.

It’s about the whole picture. It’s about 360-degree design. It’s about creating a business that is rooted in strategic aesthetics. Okay? So that to me is building a brand and everything underneath it. Your products, your offerings, your experience, all of that is a part of this brand that you’re building. So I was looking to create some modern and fresh method because today’s climate is a lot different from it was 50 years ago, for God’s sakes.

So there needs to be a new method out there on how to build brands. And that, my friends, is how the High Moon Method was born. So let’s define the high moon method. The High Moon Method is a brand-building method designed by me that shows entrepreneurs how to craft a strong business foundation rooted in strategic aesthetics and grow a cult following dope.

In this episode, I’m going to walk you through the eight steps to the High Moon Method, and each step does stack on top of each other. You can’t start with step five just because you want to; you have to start with step one.

Step 1: Strategy.

You cannot move forward without any strategy. A few things that you need to do in this step first, you need to define who your target market is and get nitty-gritty with this. Who is he, or she or them? How do they like to feel? That’s the biggest part here is how does your target market like to feel? What are their ages? Where do they hang out? What do they spend their money on? What type of buyer are they? There’s a bunch of different types of buyers. Figure out what type of buyer they are so that you can sell to them better. What social media platforms do they spend time on? How do they make buying decisions?

What type of vibe do you want your business to have? How do you want to come across all of these types of things? How can you like exude your personality in your business? What is your POV? How are you different from your competitors? What do you have to say or deliver or bring value? How can you bring value to your target market differently than anybody else? What lens are you speaking from? What lens are you selling from? What lens are you creating from? This is the strategy portion of the high moon method. It’s very important. You need to get this down before you move forward.

Step 2: Your solutions

I am calling these solutions because your target market has problems. And you’re going to come up with solutions to those problems; whether it’s a product or a service or anything, it is what you’re selling to make money.

It’s how you’re solving your target market’s problems. It’s the solution part. I always have thought I’m going to go through what I’m selling first and figure that out, and then we’ll get into strategy, but you want to do your strategy first, then figure out what you’re selling, then figure out those solutions. So that includes what you’re selling and how you’re going to sell it.

If you’re a brand and website designer, you decided your solution is branding and website design. Who’s your target market? Let’s just say photographers are your target market. Their problem is they need to find clients online. Your solution is I’m going to create websites for them. But you also need to think about what platforms do they prefer websites being built on?

What things do they need on their website that other service providers or product lines wouldn’t need? For instance, they’ll probably need a pricing guide. They probably need a gallery. How will you find a unique solution for your specific target market based on your point of view and the strategy you did in step one?

So that’s like what you’re selling, whether it’s a product or a service or whatever that solves your target market’s problems.

Step 3: Creative Direction

Don’t get this twisted with your brand design. That’s coming next. Your creative direction is your plan to express your strategy visually. I created this feeling in my strategy. I found out who my target market was.

I found that feeling that they like to feel you have these vibe keywords, let’s just say minimalist, clean, calm, luxury Lux. How do I express those feelings to be seen within my brand visually? How do I take minimalists, clean Lux, and calm and create visuals? What is my plan going to be? And so, when it comes to creative direction, that’s when I start by building a mood board. How can I emulate this stuff in the brand? Maybe with the words that I just express, you want to use many strokes in lines. Maybe your color palette will be extremely minimalist and just like maybe shades of beige or something.

Maybe you’re going to have calm, beautiful photography of nature like that saying, okay, so I’m going to, before I even get into like the exact design of anything, I’m going to sit down. I’m going to think about how I can execute and express my strategy. Visually that is number three, step three. So just to kind of wrap things up, what we’ve done so far, we’ve gone through our strategy. Step number one, we’ve chosen our solutions. Step number two, how we’re going to solve our client’s problems. We’ve gone through creative direction, step number three.

Step 4: Brand Design

Now that we have all of those done, we can move forward into one of the funniest parts, in my opinion, which is the brand design. That is your logo, your color palette, your type suite, anything that’s like visually representing your brand. Maybe that’s illustrations; maybe it’s patterns; maybe it’s anything you visually represent that creative direction you came to in part three.

You’re executing your branding in this part. Once that’s completed, you get your branding done. Either you design it yourself, or you have somebody else design it, right. Then you have your website and your website. I consider it an online storefront. You want it to feel that feeling, those amazing feelings, the minimalist, the clean, the Lux, the calm you want your online store to feel like that. I almost say, picture yourself walking into your website as if you’re walking into a store, really imagine it. Like, what would it smell? Like what would, what music would be playing in the background? What would be happening? How do you get people to hang out where they’re like, I want to stay here.

So how can you create that on your website specifically for your target market? Like this, this all stacks on top of each other, you guys, I told you so craft that online storefront that will strategically, of course, you, you want it to be strategic because you want it to sell, sell those solutions that you came up with a number two. It’s all about the user experience on the site. It’s all about guiding them in the best way, most strategic way to get them to do what you want them to, which is buyer solutions.

Step #5: Social Presence.

That includes the platforms on which you will be visible because all different target markets hang out in different places. If you’re targeting gen Z ears, you probably want to be on Tok-Tok.

If you’re targeting baby boomers, which those guys are pretty old now, but you’re not going to be, you’re not going to want to hang out on Tik Tok. You might want to be on LinkedIn or something. You’ve got to get strategic with like, what is this platform like? All of this does stack on top of each other. And then it’s also your content plan. What are your content pillars? You know, how are you planning your content to attract your target market in the social space online? How are you going to use it to continue to build this brand that you’re crafting number six, then we get into number seven, which is your marketing and messaging. And, when we get to the end here, like the website, the social presence, the marketing and messaging, and then number eight, all of these are kind of like, you can do them all at once type of thing.

We have your marketing and messaging, and your marketing and messaging include your copywriting because copywriting is so freaking important when it comes to building a brand. It’s how you speak and show up for your target market. It has to be strategic. I suggest working with a copywriter because you really can just by changing a few words around. I mean, if you go online and look up like Harvard studies, it studies, they do so much research on buyer, psychology, brand, positioning, messaging, all of that stuff. And it all, a lot of times, it comes down to you guys changing out a few words or positioning your sentence in a way that’s speaking to your target market. So instead of saying something like, check out my new, amazing website template, it took me 10 hours to create this or that.

It took me 10 hours to create this. It has all these different things, and you should buy it. Instead of saying that, switching it to, I know how much of a struggle it is for somebody who is not a website designer to build their own website. It’s really hard. It takes you so much time, but guess what? I am here to give you something that will allow you to build your website in under two hours. That way, you can focus on what makes your business money and build a strategic website in your free time. Okay? Something like that. I just riffed there, but you know what I’m saying? There’s completely different energy behind the copywriting in those two messages. And that’s not even like the extent to which you can go with copy.

Step #6: Marketing and messaging

Marketing and messaging are so important. It includes copy. Make sure you do the copywriting portion of this. Make sure you don’t just overlook your copy because your messaging is so important. Then we get into your funnels. Your funnels are how you get people from a to B, how you get them from cold to hot to purchased. It will cold to warm, to hot, to purchase, or warm, to hot. It’s basically like, here’s the experience here. You’re crafting your buyer experience. That’s your funnels, then, of course, you have PR, which is like public relations, getting in magazines, doing different speaking events, maybe talking on some podcasts, doing some blog, write whatever. There are tons of different things that you can do with PR. So that’s number seven. So basically, at this point, your brand has done, and you’re, you’re just expanding it.

You’re getting that brand awareness, your marketing, and messaging. That portion is really about brand awareness, which I might even change the name of that portion to brand awareness. We’ll see. Um, and then number eight, bringing it all together. This is where the magic happens. This is like all that other stuff takes so much time to put together, right? This isn’t something that you can do in a day. Building a brand, building a strong grant takes years and years and years, but you can start building your brand. You have to start today. Start today for, for goodness sakes, like start doing your strategy or something. At least you have steps now using this high moon method. But anyway, number eight, number eight is my favorite part because it’s the most fun. It’s when everything is together, and now your job is to craft a cult brand experience.

That’s what it’s called. So that is what packaging you send out an influencer and influencer marketing can be under the marketing portion too, but like your packaging, what does it look like? How does it feel? Like how does it emulate the brand? What is your in-store like? Do you have an in-store section for your business? Do you have a brick and mortar, or maybe you have like products inside a Sephora or a Nordstrom or a little boutique in your hometown? What does that in-store experience like? And then how are you building community, right? What do you have a name for your followers or your fans? How are you just like building up this community of people and creating more than just a brand? A brand to me is more than just like, hi moon studio.

To me, High Moon Studio is the essence of look at what the potential is for you. Like, I want High Moon Studio to feel like possibility to people. I want it to make people dream bigger and harder and farther. I want them to want to I want them to come in contact with our content and be fired up to get there, on the computer, working towards their goals and dreams in a loving way, in a loving, like just individualistic. Like I want you to do it in your way. I want everyone to feel inspired, right? So that’s what this number eight is really about crafting this cult brand experience is about creating that. I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s like, it’s something people want to be a part of, right? Anything that you offer, they’re buying it, just so that they can be a part of this cult brand experience.

Building that community is so important, responding to people on social media as a part of that, like creating giveaways creating some in-person experience. Maybe you do some retreat, or maybe you’re opening clubhouse chat. There are so many parts to this. And then it’s just really, like at this point, you’re just building upon the brand foundation that you’ve set throughout this high moon method. And you just continue to grow and grow and grow with your followers. It’s beautiful because as you grow, your followers also grow your fans, grow your clients, grow your students grow, whoever it is, everybody’s growing together.

I just want to keep crafting this experience for them. They don’t want to put the phone down and stop following you. Right? You want them to want to be checking in on you because you’re always up to something new. this is where consistency comes in. This is where it takes, like pivoting through different things that are happening in the world. Right. And just like really staying on your toes and making the business and this brand almost like its own person, right? High Moon Studio is like its own person to me, and I’m just feeding it. You know, me and the team we’re feeding it. The community is feeding it, and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger and stronger and more beautiful as time goes on.

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