The day you decide to be a business owner, blogger, or an entrepreneur of any kind, you've decided to present a particular image to the world; that image is your brand. From graphics, to image colors to fonts alike, everything you put out correlates back to the overall brand you are trying to showcase.
Now I had a brand once upon a time called The Budget Divaa. That brand was all that I knew for over two years of my womanhood in the entrepreneur world. I grew my brand from the ground up and can honestly say I was extremely proud of what I accomplished in that time period. From invites to events, sponsored products and even a few coins, The Budget Divaa flourished from what I initially started it out to be.
But alas, I relinquished the title of The Budget Divaa because I found that the brand no longer aligned with that I wanted to produce. Not only did I feel I had outgrown the name but also felt obligated to attach some monetary insight in every single post. I loved being able to give tidbits on deals every now and then, but sometimes I just honestly felt like talking which I felt didn't fit in with what my brand upheld. When I discussed the idea of changing my name with my friend Bree, she made the statement of "What do you want to go viral for"? That question stayed with me because budgeting was NOT what I wanted to go viral for and alas, that was the key idea of what my brand was built on.
Needless to say She's Candid was born after that. I struggled with some time to find the perfect name, layout and persona I wanted to write to on my new blog. It took time and effort, but I can confidently say I think I did an excellent job, (correct me if I'm wrong).
What were my secrets? Nothing crazy, but definitely NECESSARY nuggets of information that made the transition smooth sailing. So if you're looking to rebrand, relaunch, refocus or reinvent something you're in the right place. Grab a notepad because I'm dropping knowledge on you.
Before you rebrand, LISTEN TO YOUR AUDIENCE. It may come across as I didn't like my name anymore so I just jumped ship. Nope, not the case at all actually. I realized a trend in my analytics over the past six months and the trend was people would come for the fashion, but they would stay for the content. My audience likes when I actually talk, when I share or when I drop "the real", and I wasn't producing enough of that on my old blog. Not only was I feeling like it was time for a change, but my audience was also screaming at me that they wanted more of something The Budget Divaa just wasn't able to deliver on.
Even though you know your audience will love the new brand, INCLUDE THEM. This is one of the things I learned from Miss Chakayla Taylor's blog post on rebranding and it is CRUCIAL to keeping your online community. If I just switched everything cold turkey my audience would feel neglected in a sense that they had no say. Yes, you're making the ultimate decision to rebrand, but letting them know what's going on and how they can stay in the loop let's them know you still care. I also included my audience by hosting a Twitter launch party to bring in She's Candid where they won prizes and chatted with me leading up to the actual launch of the site. Doing little things to include them will help in the long run because you keep your following even though you may be changing to something very different. Retention is vital for us bloggers, so take some time to figure out how you're going to factor in your audience in your rebranding process.
Once you've decided on taking the leap into rebranding, SET UP A TIMELINE. Let's be honest, you can continue to improve on yourself and your work for forever and that's exactly how I felt when I was preparing for my launch. I wanted to continuously tweak this, add some stuff to that and overall I could've continued to go through my brand with a fine tooth comb for quite sometime. What stopped me from doing so? I had a specific timeline I stuck to so there was no time to continue to perfect my vision. I set up three important dates which were the date I announced I was rebranding, the date I let everyone know about the relaunch date/Twitter launch party, and the actual launch date. These three dates kept my entire process in check and gave me specific deadlines I had to meet. This is so crucial for getting your rebranding done in a timely manner and not wasting so much time that you lose people in the process.
Don't just think short term, THINK LONG TERM. It's so easy to get caught up on the now with a new brand; the new colors, the new blog posts, etc., but after the new phase comes and goes will you still be happy with your brand? This rebrand was my first one and I plan for it to be my ONLY one, because I thought long and hard about She's Candid years from now. Call me crazy, but I thought about when I travel the world, when I get married, have kids and guess what? It can ALL fall under She's Candid. Every milestone I plan to hit within the next ten to fifteen years can be showcased through my new brand and that's exactly what I was looking for. So yes, doing the vision board and figuring out a cohesive look for now is important, but don't forget to think long term so rebranding is a one time thing for you.
Your new brand is a big deal so...GO BIG OR GO HOME. If you're rebranding that tells me you've grown and growth deserves recognition. Don't downplay or diminish your relaunch, let the whole world know and relaunch with a WOW factor. You want your old followers to immediately understand why you decided to switch things up and delivering above the expectations is EXACTLY how you do that. So get all your graphics, events, sponsors and other entities in order to make the unveiling of your new product an extraordinary affair.
Now here we are at my new, recently launched blog, She's Candid. It was easy to rebrand because I was catering to my needs and my audience's, so if you're doing the same it should be painless. If not, email me so we can work on it together and until next time, stay candid.