A Decade of Stories

A Decade of Stories

Oh 2020, you were really one to remember. It’s been an eventful 12 months to say the least, and sadly for many of us big celebrations took a back seat. So much so, we almost forgot a pretty special little thing in The Story of Us world. We turned 10! It’s been a whole decade of fun and these double digits are not passing by without a bang!
This momentous occasion has allowed our team to take a trip down memory lane, remembering the early days and the evolution of SOU. From the home of the memory film to a corporate creative agency, we feel seriously #blessed to have worked with so many couples, families, suppliers, entrepreneurs and businesses, large and small. And all for the purpose of creating memories, impact and beautiful content.
We as a collective have shot 500+ memory films, photographed 400+ weddings, designed 1000+ stationery suits, transformed 200+ brands, and have helped craft and share countless stories. 
As anyone with a small business would know, it’s a live and breathe passion. A challenge, a 24/7 commitment, it’s late nights, early mornings, showing up when you feel strong and being vulnerable when you’re out of your depths.
It’s also about meeting extraordinary people, working alongside innovative brands, witnessing special milestones and sharing success and failure.
We know our couples, clients and families choose us because we’re real and we are true to ourselves and our purpose. Longevity in business is a privilege denied to many and not something we take for granted. So as we raise a mug of champagne in our pajamas at our weekly Zoom meeting, and reminisce on the decade that was, we thank those who have trusted us to tell their unique stories. Here’s to the next decade and bringing your wedding, business and family memories to life. Hip, hip hooray!

We can't wait to tell your story

To work with The Story of Us, one of Sydney’s Northern Beaches longest-standing creative businesses, get in touch via our website. We can’t wait to tell your story.

#wetellyourstory

How To: Build a Cult Following

How To: Build a Cult Following

1. Impressive Product

 

It may come as no surprise that a cult status usually starts with a seriously EPIC product or service. You have to walk the walk, ya know? What your biz is putting out to the world has to solve problems and has to make people’s lives a little easier, better, more exciting or more beautiful. To test the waters, you may like to ask yourself if your product affects your life in this way, and then ask friends and family too. Take Australian wedding website, WedShed, as an example. The founders were personally stuck on where to find unique wedding venues for a friend getting hitched. When they couldn’t find what they were looking for, they created it themselves! Now, thousands of couples head to their website daily to conveniently search a collection of venues and vendors for their big day. Problem solved!

 

Once you know your audience cannot live without your product, your early adopters are priceless. These are the folks that discover you early, and it is their reviews and ratings that build trust and support your impressive status. How to get those glowing reviews? Your product must stand out in the (very) thick cloud of consumer choice. Does your product promote sustainability? Is your service inclusive? Is your branding swoon-worthy? Does your tone speak to the soul? Is your customer service second to none? If your product/service can live up to the hype and break free from a flooded market, you’re halfway there.

 

2. Influencers

The elusive “influencer”…love or hate the term, your business needs them. These are the peeps who have the power to actively affect the purchasing decisions of those who follow them. In other words, they know their stuff and their audience must have whatever they promote. An influencer knows that their career hangs on trust, so the good ones will only partner with brands they truly use or believe in.

 

Finding the right influencer for your brand can often start with a healthy social media stalk. Discover your space and who has authority in it? Be it beauty, baby, wedding, food, luxury, art, travel…the sky is the limit and every category has its people. An influencer then partners with brands and acts as a super fan bringing their high quality following along for the ride. And for your brand, this means the opportunity for exposure, relationships, collaborations and (you guessed it) sales!
When successful, their followers become your followers. A great example of influencer mastery is the art of the social media giveaway. When done tastefully, a giveaway creates a synergy of positive results.

 

Take luxury Byron Bay accomodation, The Bower as an example. They will often collaborate with other influential Byron based brands like Spell and The Beach People for an ultimate giveaway, in turn they cross promote to their audiences, gain mass followers and utilise the cult power of other brands to expose to new markets. Win win!

 

3. Talk Triggers

Ever feel like when a great show drops on Netflix, everyone is talking about it? Good news spreads like wildfire and sometimes all it takes is doing something a little different. To cult followers, the tiny details or the added extras do not go unnoticed.

Take Australian online beauty distributor, Adore Beauty as an example. Shopping online for beauty products is pretty standard, right? But when you shop at Adore Beauty, your order arrives accompanied by 2x free samples and a delicious individually wrapped Tim Tam to brighten your day. You then happen to mention this to your hairdresser while getting your colour done, and your girlfriends over coffee and already it’s a trigger for said hairdresser and friends to shop at Adore Beauty next time their mascara runs out.

 

People talk, and talking turns to doing, it is these customer conversations that build your following. Word of mouth recommendations are huge for purchasing decisions, and let’s be honest, when was the last time someone raved about a totally adequate experience? It’s the ones that stand out, go above and beyond and really catch your attention that are worth your breath. Cult status is defined by spreading the word.

 

4. Branding Genius

Ever been interested in a product, only to visit their Instagram and be totally underwhelmed? A cult following lives by the mantra that aesthetics absolutely matter and your design not only allows followers (and ultimately clients!) to identify with you, but also fall in love with your brand.
What would Tiffany’s be without that signature blue?
Branding genius takes some trial and error and it’s never too late for an overhaul or refresh, but it’s no denying that colour, font, packaging, social media and websites play a super crucial role in attracting your loyal audience.

 

Before jumping into the design suites, you can ask yourself a few questions. Who is your audience? Who are your competitors? What brands do you admire? How can your design survive the test of time? If you think about it, the culty brands have classic clean lines that surpass trends, but are not afraid to be bold and iterate.

Take Sydney brand, The Boathouse Group as an example. They started as a single waterside cafe with simple striped walls, fresh flowers and fish and chips in abundance. Their cult following grew and so too has their business, spanning multiple venues, events, homewares, flowers and accommodation. What makes them special?

It is the narrative they have woven into their brand identity. The nostalgia of long summer days and seaside meals shared with loved ones. The fresh Australian food and a carefree lifestyle that followers around the globe want to bring home with them.

 

5. Tone of Voice

 

We’ve spoken about walking the walk, but don’t forget to talk the talk. The way you speak to your audience is crucial to building a trusting relationship. Your brand’s voice is the shining star in communicating with your followers and in turn, attracting mass appreciation.

You may not realise, but there is endless opportunities to show your identity through words…social media captions, about us pages, packaging, product names, eDMs, even your fine print can be sprinkled with personality.

The trick is to be consistent and stay true to the persona you create. Is your voice conversational, informal and playful? Or do you communicate with poise, humour or parody? Pick your audience and speak directly to them.
Take Melbourne based skin care brand, Go-To as an example. Founder Zoe Foster Blake is a talented writer and her strong, no BS voice reigns true throughout their branding. Have you ever read the back of a tube of moisturiser and genuinely giggled? If you haven’t, you’re in for a treat!

 

Just as we were banging on about how clever branding makes you feel, the words play a huge role in exciting the senses too. If something as mundane as your morning skin care routine can put a smile on your face, you will feel ready to start your day. And you will soon crave this feeling every morning, cue *adding to cart* when you reach 3/4’s of the bottle and cult following ensues.

Is cult status on your horizon?

Hit us up at The Story of Us Creative to chat about our branding packages that breathe life into your biz and get those loyal followers knocking on your door.

Let’s Elope!

Let’s Elope!

Let’s be honest, 2020 may not have turned out like many of us had imagined. A new decade promised a fresh start and for so many, big wedding plans were all the chatter. But the reality of 2020 looks a little different. People have lost homes (cue, bushfires), jobs (thanks, corona), not to mention, loved ones (hello, global pandemic), special milestones and forever memories.

 

BUT if we let the doom and gloom swallow us whole, it will. And one thing the world hasn’t given up on is, L O V E. And with this comes the biggest wedding trend of the year…elopements. Because there are lovers out there that have marriage written in their story and when life gives you lemons (in the form of square meterage restrictions, canceled dance floors and zero international travel) you make some sweet elopement lemonade.

 

Eloping bears its roots in the idea of two starcrossed lovers setting off for a romantic and secretive adventure, only to return with sun tans and rings on their fingers. But the modern world has transformed elopement into new meanings, where brides and grooms are after something more personal, more intimate, thoughtful and special. Not to mention the added bonus of saving costs and the exciting flare of spontaneity.

Eloping means your day can be exactly how you want it, no answering to venue rules or that micromanaging Aunty, just a beautiful step towards an incredible marriage.

And all you need is a celebrant to make it legal, a photographer to document the feels, a videographer so you can relive it and a florist to make it pretty and special. Whether you gather a handpicked selection of your nearest and dearest or ride solo with your love, the options are aplenty, but the hassle is non-existent. And don’t get us wrong, we by no means wish to dismiss those who dream of a lavish affair. For some brides and grooms, bigger really is better. And when the world is healed this is how many will choose to celebrate. But we can’t help but be excited about the new look elopement style wedding that can be in the back yard of an Airbnb, at a secluded waterfall, a private beach or your parents house. Maybe your original wedding plans have been postponed, maybe your newly engaged and ready to plan or maybe you’re just looking for something different. An elopement is stepping into forever with less fuss, but not without all the things that make a wedding day magic.

Fancy an elopement style wedding day, but don’t know where to start? Find our exclusive elopement package here to discover how your dream day can come together with ease. We’ve put together some seriously awesome humans that want to help you make your elopement possible.

 

We can’t wait to celebrate with you!
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The Small Biz Package (that ScoMo will pay for…)

The Small Biz Package (that ScoMo will pay for…)

There’s no denying that 2020 has thrown us through the ringer. Our world has been turned upside down and our businesses have suffered. The all consuming and very disruptive effects of the bushfires and corona virus have forced us to rethink our new normal. But there’s a beam of light! This is where The Story of Us can step in and lend a helping hand. As a small business, we have had a moment to pause, breathe and marinate on who we are, what we stand for, the clients we want to attract and the brand we aspire to be. And that’s the silver lining, right? We have the opportunity to invest in the future of our businesses, and not just come back stronger, but finally take everything to the next level.

A double rainbow amidst the coronavirus hail storm is that the Aus Government is footing the bill with the announcement of the Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant.

  This allows eligible small businesses to apply for a grant of up to $3000 to revitalise their brand and regain their strength. Think of it like a really good face serum or a body pump class. Both designed to make you look and feel great and revamp your image. This grant means that safely reopening is on the cards and putting your best foot forward is where we step in. There’s no doubt that a strong online presence is everything in this climate. But when we’re all “on the line”, how do you stand out? It’s all about creating unique content that speaks directly to your audience, breathing new life into your brand with a refresh, updating your website and managing it with flare and incorporating video into your repertoire. This grant can boost your comms and marketing collateral to feel all shiny again and if digital solutions like e-commerce or a sparkly new website have been on your list – now. is. the. time. And we totally get it, before now, we have had valid excuses. We’re far too busy, we don’t have the resources, the cashflow, we don’t have the creative energy, or our vision has been clouded. But now is our chance. The world is different, so we need to be different, and it is not too late to turn this $h%t show around and make this next chapter our best yet!

The Story of Us is excited to deliver our Small Business Facelift Package, which you can fund through the grant (thanks ScoMo) that will give you the tools to take your biz to serious new heights. Introducing…

$3000 including:

  • Business review of current marketing and advertising strategy
  • Refresh on business communications strategy
  • Digital Marketing Plan
  • Refresh on your Brand Identity and framework (Logo design, letterhead design, business card design)
ADD ON’S
  • Creation of a self-managed website (5 pages)
  • Business review of current branding and framework
  • Brand Strategy Development
  • E-Commerce Add on
  • Domain migration (if applicable)
  • Set up of online shop
  • Blog Creation bundles
  • Staff Photoshoot
Wait before you go! Check out our new feed

If you’ve met your quota of loved up couples for the moment, then jump onto to the new Story of Us Creative ‘gram. We’re sharing all our business, branding and creative direction love on a new feed. Come on over!

Amanda + Richard

Amanda + Richard

When I visited Eventful Spaces’ venue The Glue Factory in Glasgow last year I was immediately inspired by its urban, industrial personality. It felt like the biggest blank-canvas opportunity for a really alternative, fun and creative wedding design. 

So, together with the team at Eventful spaces, we hatched a plan to create the wedding of our dreams, in a styled editorial shoot. We were honoured to gather together some extraordinary wedding creatives to join us on creating this mood and what they all brought to the table really inspired us. Moody, unique, interesting and alternative creative for what turned into an alchemic bomb of creative goodness. 

At the heart of this shoot are real life lovers, Amanda and Richard Davies, who, although already married 4 years ago, brought an authenticity and heart to the wild and rebellious style we planned for their dream wedding. Amanda was stoked, as she had actually ordered some smoke grenades for their actual wedding and they didn’t arrive until the day after. So she was excited to have a play with these. 

We were so inspired by the creativity and imagination of everyone who contributed to this shoot. Thank you Glasgow, for welcoming us with open arms and working with us on creating something really special. We’re obsessed with the light, air, foliage, rebellious nature and imagination of Scotland’s wedding scene and can’t wait to tell more local stories.