To rebrand is to change your image. Traditionally this term has been tied to corporate images, but in today’s world of social media influencers and content experts, we all have our own brand. Often unconsciously the way we show up and present ourselves is forming our image in the world (whether online or in real life). And whether we are looking to hone that image for the first time or looking to intentionally shift the brand we’ve already created, we find ourselves in the midst of a rebrand.
Unless branding is your passion, you are probably like most of us wondering, “but how do I do that?!” How do I figure out what to focus on in my blog? What do I include (and leave out) on my resume? How do I tell my story at the networking event I’m attending? And the list goes on! Whether you are rebranding a “thing” like your business or passion project or rebranding your own “story” as you hunt for, say, a new job, figuring out where to start is daunting. It is in that spirit that I present the following 5 steps to doing just that.
But first a little context.
Oftentimes we are so in the zone of what we are trying to do that we don’t even know that a rebrand is happening (or called for). That’s what happened to me last year. In early 2016 I went on a retreat and made a commitment to relaunch my website. The original pointroadstudios.com was a simple landing spot created with my husband’s technical help in a couple of afternoons back in 2012. It lent credibility to a google search of my then-new business venture, but really was little more than a virtual brochure. 4 years later, I wanted it to be more. Specifically, I wanted to create a platform to share ideas aimed at spreading and empowering the design yourself spirit that embodies all of our work here at Point Road. (Psst, that’s the site I’m publishing to right now!)
I knew that the thing that I was creating was a website, but this investment was borne out of some strategic business shifts I was testing. I sketched out ideas for what I thought this new site would look like, but eventually realized that I needed to find a partner who could bring this vision to reality. I had done what I could do on my own and needed help. I hired a web development firm and got started. I was challenged a lot through this process because the web developers wanted me to fill in the blanks on what content would go where. Meanwhile, I wanted strategic guidance on how to answer those questions based on my business objectives and their technical expertise. And so I found myself needing to do a rebrand in order to get the new site up and running. It was an exhausting and imperfect process and I sweated every detail. And I learned some really powerful lessons along the way.
It is in that spirit that I present the following tips that helped me along this process.
5 TIPS FOR REBRANDING
1. FOCUS ON CONTENT FIRST
It’s very easy to get lost in how things look when you are “rebranding.” What’s the latest resume format? How to make your logo instagrammable? Or for me, what format would work for the website? What colors would I use? What photography filters? Resist the temptation to start with aesthetics and stick with the substance of what you want to say. Let your content dictate the form and not the other way around. Beauty comes from having substance and good looks. Good looks alone fade. Have something to say and say it.
2. LOOK AROUND YOU FOR INSPIRATION
Okay so you want to stand for something, but don’t know how to say that. I feel you. To figure out the substance of your content take a look at wha you are already talking about or reading about or doing. Starting with where you are naturally drawn to spend your energy will give you a pretty good read on where to focus. If you are still coming up blank ask your partner, good friend, or another trusted loved one who interacts with you on a regular basis. You will be surprised at how easy it is for other people to see what we take for granted.
3. START SOMEWHERE!
Our desire to start perfectly sometimes keeps us from starting at all. (Ahem, I know this all too well!) As I moved to create a content platform, I had to start, well, creating content! I launched a podcast and started writing blog posts while I was building out the website. But how to organize all this new content I wondered? Ultimately I spent a couple of hours strategizing and then just jumped in. For now my blogs are organized under the banners THINK / LIVE / LEAD / CREATE. I could see that changing, but I wasn’t going to be able to answer that question any faster by trying to think about it versus just doing it. On Monday, I’ll be releasing the 50th episode of Design Yourself (!) and I know far more about what I want to say in the podcast today than I did when I launched the show a year ago. I was surprised by how much easier things were to do once I started. Starting out with one idea, led to several more which led to several more. The hardest part is often the first step. My best advice: Rip off the band aid and get started. (If you are feeling really uncomfortable with this step, check this out.)
4. ASK FOR HELP
I am a big fan of getting out of my own head. When feeling stuck, look for help. This is counterintuitive for most of us. We get so into execution mode, so focused on what we need to do that we forget there is a whole world of resources and people that can help us. And if you ask nicely and genuinely, you will be surprised by how many people will volunteer to help you out. You don’t have to go it alone.
5. SET A VISION
This is a go to step for me. (Duh – I’ve built my business around this!) There is something about NOT TALKING about what you want and just SEEING it that I find works really well. I am often hired to coach individuals and organizations on setting a clear vision for where they are going. One of the first things I do in this process is take them through a guided vision meditation to uncover what they already know. Two things always happen in this process. 1) My clients always realize that they more than they think they do about where they are headed; 2) There is always something in the vision that totally surprises them. They didn’t know that idea or direction was there, but when they took 15 minutes just to let things emerge, it shows up. (Psst, if you are curious to try this out for yourself, episode 5 of Design Yourself has a vision meditation that you can check out.)
I sure hope these tips help you on your own personal journey. You got this!