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Mariah Danielsen is a brand strategist, graphic designer, and founder of Wander Design Co., a boutique design studio for adventurers, dreamers, and doers.
I worked with Mariah to rebrand my photography business in 2021, and I was blown away by the level of strategy and intention she builds into her design process!
Mariah designs absolutely beautiful branding for creatives, but she also takes her services to the next level by offering “Why Discovery Sessions”. In these sessions, she helps creatives find their “why statement” and use it to build an authentic brand and aligned business.
In this podcast episode, Mariah shares her unique perspectives on branding for small business owners, how to find your why, and how she stays productive as a creative and work-from-home mom.
Tune into the episode wherever you listen to podcasts using the links above.
What is a Brand? [2:30]
“A lot of people think branding is just a logo that you slap on your product or your social media page and you got it all figured out, but branding is so much more than that,” says Mariah.
In reality, your brand is every touchpoint you have with your customers. Having a clear brand is powerful and can help you attract your ideal people.
When’s the right time to invest in your brand? [4:20]
So many entrepreneurs struggle with branding in the beginning stages of their business because it’s hard to know when the right time is to invest in hiring a graphic designer! Mariah talks about the importance of knowing your niche before you decide to invest hundreds or even thousands of dollars into your brand design.
“There’s a time period when you have to get to know yourself. Get to know what you really like about business, the type of people you really like to work with. Get into your groove, gain some traction, and start making some money. Then if you’re consistently booking clients and feel like you like working with those people, then it’s time to invest in branding that truly speaks to who you are, that tells your story, and speaks to your ideal clients.”
And know that if you’re just starting out, it’s okay to DIY your branding until you get some experience and clarity around your brand and business.
What does it mean to “Find Your Why”? [10:00]
Mariah was skeptical about why discovery for a long time until she found her own and discovered what a powerful tool it could be in her business and life. Mariah found her own why after reading, “Find Your Why” by Simon Sinek. She even had a chance to meet him in New York early in his career.
Mariah’s why is, “To build others up so they can confidently shine.” She says, “Your why never changes and it spans across the full spectrum of your life.. You don’t have to keep finding your why over and over again, it’s a one and done thing.”
“I was feeling kind of lost.. The clients I was working with were taking advantage of my time and my energy, and raising two boys at home, I just couldn’t do it anymore. So I ended up finally reading “Start with Why” and it really spoke to me.. [I realized] I need to infuse myself into my brand, get really clear on why I’m doing this and why it matters and get my head back on my shoulders.”Mariah Danielsen on Finding her Why
What are why ‘themes’? [18:45]
Mariah worked with Simon Sinek’s team to help her identify the themes around her why. These are powerful themes that Mariah uses as criteria for knowing what types of services to offer in her business and which types of people she should (and shouldn’t) work with.
A few of her themes are 01 | Together, 02 | Recognition, and 03 | Optimism. Mariah uses these themes to identify people and projects that will allow her to build community, earn the recognition she deserves, and work with people who are as optimistic as she is.
I know my ‘why’.. now what? [22:50]
“When you are able to pull together everything that someone has felt for their entire life into one little package… I cry on every call!”
Once Mariah helps someone clarify their why statement, she also helps them clarify their themes and crafts a phrase that describes what they do. This statement pulls in people who share their beliefs and repels people who aren’t a good fit for their brand.
How to stay productive as a work from home mom [27:00]
Productivity has looked different in each season of Mariah’s life. But if you’re doing aligned work that you care about, you’ll find a way to make it work in each new season of life or motherhood.
As a designer, Mariah makes space for her creative energy by creating an inspiring environment with candles, music, mood-boarding, and more.
Bonus Round: Mariah’s Favorites [36:50]
Productivity Tools: 17 hats + her amazing virtual assistant
Books: “Overcoming Underearning” and “Everything is Figureoutable“
Podcast: Old-Fashioned on Purpose
Connect with Mariah:
If you liked this episode and want to learn more about branding, why discovery, and finding your ideal people, be sure to connect with Mariah via her website on Instagram using the links below.
Find Your Why: https://wanderdesignco.com/services