You may have spotted that I recently had an exciting rebrand of my business including this new website that you’re looking at! This has been a long time coming as my last website & branding was 7 years old which feels like around 20 years in the online world! Things move on quickly so it was definitely time for a fresh look.
My business has evolved in the past few years and I wanted my new messaging and website to reflect that. I’ve been mentoring photographers in business for years and more recently I’ve expanded this to mentoring other small business owners and entrepreneurs and helping them to get visible in their businesses and attract their dream clients. I’m so passionate about this work and it sits perfectly alongside my personal brand photography.
After going through a big change in your business like this, it’s always good to reflect on lessons you’ve learnt and anything you would do differently next time. I wanted to share my learnings with you from my recent rebrand so you can bear these in mind when you are considering your next rebrand of your business.
Firstly let’s start with the basics before I get into the 7 lessons.
What is a rebrand?
Don’t be fooled into thinking only big corporate companies have a brand. If you run your own business, however small, you have a brand.
Sometimes there is a misunderstanding that a rebrand is just a simple change of logo or colour palette. It actually goes much deeper than that (as I’ll explain later!) A full rebrand means reflecting on everything your business is about and then reshaping how your brand and business is perceived – it can include changing everything from your business name, to your messaging, visual identity and your website.
How do you know when it’s time to rebrand?
There are many reasons why as a small business owner you might need to rebrand. For me, my visual identity and messaging just wasn’t reflecting my whole business anymore. Photography is still a massive part of my business, but I also run my Visibility Retreat and offer strategy sessions and 121 mentoring to other business owners. This wasn’t reflected in my logo (which said photography in it) and in my main messaging on my website. So it was definitely time to change!
Also, if your visual identity (logo, colour palette, branding photos) just aren’t inspiring you any more, it’s probably time for a change. A slight word of warning here though – don’t rebrand too often. Sometimes business owners rebrand more than is necessary – this is often a case of shiny magpie syndrome and they’re stuck in the procrastination station just chasing the latest exciting thing rather than doing the important tasks in their business that will really move the needle for them. Sorry if that touches a nerve!
I would recommend a full rebrand around every 5-8 years, so probably not as frequently as you think. Obviously you will need to update your branding photos within this time (don’t be the person still using photos from 8 years ago!) and your visual identity might need a refresh, but done well, and a new website and brand should last you at least 5 years. So you can see how it’s well worth the time and investment to get it right.
Ok now let’s go into my 7 lessons I learnt from my recent rebrand (and from the previous times I’ve rebranded parts of my business in the last 14 years!)
1. You need to do the deep work
A full rebrand means really doing the deep work and getting crystal clear on your personal brand; your values, your why, your strengths, your personality, who you want to help and how. This will ensure that your new brand is completely aligned with who you are and it’s then far more likely to be magnetic to your dream clients.
Once you have brand clarity it will make everything easier for you – you’ll be able to clearly brief the team working with you on your rebrand (designer, copywriter, photographer) and your messaging and offers will flow with a lot more ease.
(Need some 121 support to help you get clear on your personal brand? Take a look at my powerful 90 minute Personal Brand Clarity Sessions)
I added some exciting new services to my business, which meant I needed to create new messaging – this has meant months of reflection and digging deep on everything in my business.
Which leads me nicely onto my next point…
2. Be prepared for an emotional rollercoaster!
When you’re going through changes in your business, with lots of big goals and dreams, be prepared for the emotional rollercoaster that comes with it! From moments of feeling excited, invincible and ready for world domination, to other moments where the old imposter syndrome kicks in and you think ‘who am I do this?’
I experienced those and everything in between!
It’s when you expand your comfort zone that the good stuff happens, but that doesn’t mean there’s no resistance along the way. Just know that this is completely normal and it will all be worth it!
It really helps to invest in a mentor or coach to help you through this transition and give you the confidence and clarity you need. (Contact me to get booked in for a 15 minute clarity session to see if I can help you or I’ll recommend someone who can.)
3. It will take longer than you think
A bit like if you’re having work done to your home, always assume it’s going to take longer (and cost more!) than you first expect.
Often the team that you want to hire for your rebrand will have waiting lists so make sure you factor that in.
Whenever I get a new website, it’s always more work than I anticipated! Make sure you factor in just how much time it’s going to take you to pull all of your copy and images together and upload them to the website (if you’re doing that part yourself).
4. Website design has come on so much
I got my first website for my business 14 years ago and it’s safe to say things have moved on a hell of a lot since then!
I’m definitely no website expert, but I have created my own websites from templates in WordPress & Wix which are great, but can be a little frustrating.
I’ve always had this website professionally designed, but this time I ended up doing it myself. I customised a Showit template and wow, it’s so much easier with the drag & drop functionality. I ended up really enjoying the process which I hadn’t been expecting! (See more details of the template I used and a special discount if your in the market for a new website.)
5. Do your research
Make sure you thoroughly research any suppliers you’re going to work with on your rebrand. Good testimonials and recommendations are important, but make sure that person/company are able to help you with your specific needs.
When you’re investing a lot of money with someone, don’t be afraid to request a quick connection call before you sign up so you can check they are the right person for the job. This could save you a lot of time (and possibly money) in the long run.
You deserve to work with people who get what you do and are excited to work with you.
6. Trust your own judgement
This is your rebrand and the most important thing is that you love it. Of course, you want your dream clients to love it too, but if you’ve done the deep brand work then they will.
What doesn’t matter is whether your friends or family love it. I know you care about their opinions but they aren’t your clients.
I know it’s tempting to ask their opinions on colour palettes, website designs and logos, but I compare this to asking peoples opinions on baby names; you’ll get a dozen different opinions and you’ll end up more confused than before! But if you wait until you’ve had the baby then everyone will tell you they love the name – it’s exactly the same with your new rebrand!
7. You need great branding photos
I know as a branding photographer you’d expect me to say this!
However, I get emails from many clients saying their web designer has told them they need branding photos urgently, then they can’t get the photographer they want as it’s such short notice.
Gorgeous branding photos make a huge difference to your website and your rebrand launch, so make sure you plan your shoot well in advance.
I suggest you book your branding shoot in for after your brand identity has been agreed (you don’t want to have to re-shoot with a completely different style and colours!) but before your website design starts.
If you’re about to embark on your own rebrand, I hope you find this useful. I’d love to help you with your rebrand to make it the most successful it can be; from guiding and inspiring you with my 121 personal brand mentoring to creating magnetic brand photography that will bring your rebrand to life.
PS. Grab my new and FREE 12 page guide with my 8 ways to help you get visible in your business with confidence.