10 FREE strategic survey questions
The strategic website and email copywriter for women-led brands like you ready to attract, delight and retain your dream customers.
Today I’m catching up with the brain behind Geelong design powerhouse South Co Studio.
For Cahlia creativity and strategy go hand in hand for every project.
Her style is modern yet minimalistic. Her brand is authentic and true. Her brand idendity designs are intentional and purposeful.
Cahlia is somewhat a newbie in the business world, but has quickly made a name for herself as a force to be reckoned with.
Let’s talk all things design principles, startup stories and what it takes to design a winning brand from scratch.
Hi, I’m Cahlia and run branding + web studio South Co Studio. I specialise in brand design for women-led businesses, who are ready for branding with a modern, feminine and slightly boho vibe that they can be proud of. As a massive believer in strategy I’m passionate about pairing strategy with visuals so every client walks away with intentional and strategic branding.
When I’m not working, you can find me either designing for fun (what a nerd, right?) or (trying to) have a cuddle with my cat, Missy! I also have a new-found love of books and am quietly addicted to decaf almond milk coffees with banana bread.
I’m only 15 months into my business so technically still knee-deep in my early days (haha). If I’m totally honest, everything happened “by accident”. I was studying psychology at University, and by studying I mean for a whole week, while working part time for a church. They asked me to “whip up” a few things in Photoshop and I came to realise that I kind of liked it and wouldn’t mind learning more about it.
So I enrolled in a $20,000 1-year online course, but shortly after realised that I could get a bachelors degree for way less. Once the penny had dropped I went to my University and changed courses. With absolutely no portfolio or past studies in anything relevant – except photography – it really was a fluke that they accepted me. But thankfully they did!
After I wrapped up my studies I started working for a company as an in-house designer. I had always freelanced a bit on the side, but one day decided that I wanted to go full time and do my own thing. That’s what started this business journey. I created my Instagram profile, uploaded some crappy designs with absolutely no social media strategy, and the rest they say is history. Or as I say, a butt tonne of work filled with late nights, early mornings, long weeks, lots of tears but also joy!
This journey has been the absolute best one I’ve made to date. I can’t believe this is my life. Corny, I know. But true!
The hard work really did pay off. 13 months after starting this “side hustle” I handed in my notice and a month later walked out of my job and now run South Co Studio full time!
And I couldn’t be happier.
Oh the million dollar question!
To put it simply: branding is going to lay the foundation for your business to grow! It’s one of the best investments you can make and the return on investment makes it SO worth it.
From branding, to brand strategy, to websites – you need it all from the start!
Your clients will take you seriously. You’ll feel confident in who you are and what you offer. And you’ll stand apart from all the people who opted for a “quick logo” on Canva.
If you want to be seen as the expert in your field, branding is going to do that!
To look at branding at the start of your business journey is going to give you clarity and save you so much time, money and stress.
If you wait until you’re an established business you’re likely missing out on people working with you/buying from you and you’ll have to start from scratch at some stage.
My branding process focuses a lot on strategy, which is really about setting up your business for success from the get go. Without branding you’re wasting precious time working on your business that you could have spent implementing your strategy and making money. You’re also less likely to be taken seriously and therefore are less likely to convert sales or clients!
Branding is one of the first things you should think about when starting a business. And I am not just saying that, hehe.
A brand strategy. If you go into business without one, you’re going in blindly.
Your logos and visual identity. That’s what sets you apart from your competitors and speaks to your ideal audience (and makes you look pretty and legit AF).
A website. It helps you look professional and is an extension of your branding + customer journey.
Your core values. That’s something we work out in your brand strategy. They become the goal posts for everything you do.
Your brand persona. One of the most important ingredients we discuss in your strategy. Who you’re talking to is going to help you when it comes to marketing and selling yourself.
That “branding is expensive and therefore not worth it.”
Sure, branding can be costly, but it’s so worth it in the long run.
The way I get clients to look at it is that it’s a small price to pay to attract ideal clients to your business from the get-go. It’s a solid foundation for your business to grow.
Branding can be pricey, but the value it delivers far outweighs what you invest.
Oh goodness. I have so many beautiful clients who share their success stories with me after our collaboration. But the most amazing ones are after we’ve unveiled their brand strategy and they let me know how much more aligned they feel with their business. How they finally understand all the ins and outs of their business. How they feel confident in who they are, what they offer and who they attract.
Or when a client doubles their income, or booked their dream client, or sold out – all because they took their branding seriously and invested.
That’s always a big success for me! Stories like that make me so happy to be able to do what I do.
Because I know that they’re using my strategy like a bible and getting the absolute most out of it.
Grab these 10 FREE strategic survey questions so you can hit SEND on your FIRST or NEXT survey and change the trajectory of your copy game TODAY. 💖💖
Grab my 10 FREE strategic survey questions so you can hit SEND on your FIRST or NEXT customer survey and change the trajectory of your copy game TODAY. 💖💖
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The website and email copywriter for female founders who replaces copy dead ends with a strategic take on copywriting. One that believes in intentional brand touchpoints and empathy-driven copy to nurture genuine connections.
Over the past 6 odd years I've given 100+ women-led brands globally the strategy and words to nurture genuine connections, drive sales and celebrate loyalty. Authentically.
I live and work on the breathtaking Darug land of the Darug people. I pay my respects to the Darug Elders, past and present, and the Aboriginal Elders of other communities who may be here today.
Always was, always will be Aboriginal Land.