The Design Business Show 128: Creative Direction and Brand Strategy with Hillary Weiss

Director : Melissa Burkheimer | January 29, 2021
Check out episode 128 of The Design Business Show with Hillary Weiss to learn all about creative direction and brand strategy!

Hillary Weiss is a brand consultant, speaker, copywriter, and founder of Statement Piece Studio @ She’s also the co-host of the cult-favorite Youtube marketing talk show Hillary and Margo Yell at Websites (#HAMYAW), and has had her work featured on Business Insider, The Next Web, The Observer, and more. Since 2011, she’s helped thousands of brands all over the world get seen and heard (and make serious cash) through her 1-1 client work, writing, coaching, and videos. Nowadays, she’s on a mission to help more small businesses define their “statement piece”, a.k.a. the bold point of view that makes them radically relevant to their perfect people.

Wanna know more? Catch her riffs on all of the above on her blog, or say whaddaaap! to her on Twitter @hcweiss.

Here’s what we covered on the episode:

  • How Hillary and I met in 2019 because we were both guest mentors at Sage and Tarzan’s Legendary Life Event
  • Hillary shares that she was a copywriter for about 10 years, but realized a few years ago that her passion was actually more on the strategy side of things and that the switch took her about 3 years
  • The idea for Statement Piece Studio happened around late 2017/ early 2018 and Hillary tells us that the statement piece is rebranding in Hillary Weiss style of the big idea
  • Hillary does creative direction for brands who are ready for a rebrand, who are in the 6 or 7 figure zone and are also ready for a big umbrella brand that brings all the different elements of what they do together
  • How Hillary also does positioning coaching, where she works with creative business owners to develop the core of their brand by finding their position of power in the market, which is identifying their specialties, the unique framework, approach, and the content and offers
  • In 2016, Hillary tested out coaching by offering 10, 60 minute slots for $99 each and shares that the price gradually moved up once she started getting more experience and giving it structure
  • For Hillary’s start with creative direction and brand strategy she worked with her mentor, Sarah Ashman for 10 months in a training program around creative direction just to make sure she wasn’t missing anything
  • Why Hillary loves what she does in both areas of her business is because she gets to help creatives learn how to show up as themselves; she also shares that she enjoys the creative challenge of brand strategy and creative direction and making all the elements fit together in a logical way
  • How Hillary realized she was doing a lot of the strategy work in her copywriting for free and how she was interested in the opportunities that creative direction and brand strategy would open up to her, beyond copywriting
  • Why Hillary accidentally ended up doing strategy for free while copywriting is because she would ask clients basic questions about their market, about the big promise, etc and they wouldn’t know how to answer
  • The reason Hillary started doing messaging strategy is because there were a lot of gaps around that– when the client isn’t secure on all those touchpoints of the brand experience and the brand conversation, they have no confidence going forward so it makes it hard for them to measure what’s working and what’s not
  • Hillary shares that her strong start in copywriting had to do with her style; she can mimic voice very well and is a good writer, but when it came to sales and brand strategy, it was a guessing game for her
  • As she learned and gained more experience, Hillary got better at figuring out what worked, what didn’t, and what clients needed and found herself developing these strategies as they went, often doing correction work
  • Hillary explains what was talking a lot of energy was being able to map out the whole process with the client and helping them see the big picture, so when they got the deliverables they would understand what plugged in where to the strategy
  • Now Hillary sits down with clients and does all the identity work, like who’s the target market, what’s your unique benefit, what’s the problems and solutions, what are the objections, what are the beliefs that need to shift within the customer, etc and explains these things separate strategy from words on a page
  • Hillary talks about pricing for her services and says that a 90-minute call discussing and tightening brand strategy without deliverables starts at $1500, her power positioning coaching, for 6 sessions is $6500, creative direction also starts at $6500, and messaging strategy starts at $3000
  • What Hillary loves most is creative direction because it involves every piece of the puzzle and positioning coaching because she gets great joy from seeing creative business owners transform and become more confident
  • How Hillary got business for copywriting was through referrals and shares that’s how she gets most of her business for creative direction as well and that her email list and social media, specifically Instagram is more for her power positioning clients
  • Part of Hillary’s strategy right now, along with talking on social media and to her email list is she’s about to start pitching some workshops around creative direction to clients with larger communities of clients that fit the bill
  • One of the biggest mistakes Hillary sees is people not taking the time to reverse engineer their thinking and take note of how we approach things; people focus on keeping up with the ‘strategic Joneses’ and look to what’s going on around us in our business for information and direction when we need to go within
  • If your small goals aren’t tied to a bigger piece of the puzzle and rooted in something, in terms of strategy, identity or where you want to be going, Hillary says, you won’t finish because you can’t hit a target you can’t see
  • Hillary’s opt-in offer, Statement Piece Framework that helps you look at 3 major sources of inspirations for content– conversations with your clients, conversations you have with your colleagues, and conversations you have with yourself
  • How Hillary uses social media as a space to show up, have fun, have conversations and test out ideas and wants her audience to view her space as a safe place and somewhere they can also have fun
  • Hillary talks about what’s next for her which includes running ads and continuing to grow and find fun ways to do so
  • Hillary’s hot seat community called, The Thunder Collective, which is an accountability group where they meet twice a month, set a goals, bring what they’re working on and receive feedback, while having fun
  • A program Hillary wants to put together called, Hot Seat Beast which would help people become better hot seat facilitators and use that in their own marketing, pitch themselves to masterminds and help add value to their programs
  • Connect with Hillary on her website, check out her YouTube show, HAMYAW, or reach out on Instagram or Twitter

Links mentioned:

Statement Piece Studio

Statement Piece Framework

The Thunder Collective

Hillary’s Website 

YouTube Show, HAMYAW

Connect with Hillary on Instagram

Connect with Hillary on Twitter 


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