Over the past few months I’ve been thinking that my business name didn’t accurately reflect who I am or what I do. This feeling got stronger and stronger, and eventually I took the big decision to change my name and rebrand.
It’s been an interesting experience, and I’m sharing it with you in the hope that you will:
- enjoy it, and
- pick up some tips for starting or changing a business yourself
Cost is an important consideration in a rebrand. To do it properly is not cheap, although prices vary considerably from one supplier to another. It’s up to you (and your budget) to decide whether to the use experienced, tried and tested individuals or companies, or new entrants who may be cheaper. Rather than quote exact prices, I’ve given an indication of my relative costs in £, ££ and £££.
STEP 1 – pick a name
I knew what I DIDN’T like about my old name – it had always felt a little soft, perhaps more appropriate to a life coach or someone who has a gentle and reflective personality – definitely not me!
It also didn’t reflect the fact that I am a business, coach, and that I pride myself on helping small business owners to think more clearly about their business, their goals and their strategy, in order to become more successful. (Check out my small business help workshops page for more).
It took a while to realise that the strapline I had been using for my workshops, Business made Simpler was a perfect description of what I do.
STEP 2 – get the domain (£)
I felt it was important that my website name was the same as the business, so I googled domain names and checked mine was still available. It was, so I bought it!
STEP 3 – develop the new branding (£££)
It’s sometimes possible to get your web-designer to help with branding, but I wanted to work with a brand expert, and was lucky to have one in my networking group. Come in Aarti Parmar (https://aartiparmar.com).
Aarti worked with me via a brand discovery session to understand what personality I wanted my brand to have, what values were important to me, and what kind of colours and imagery I liked. From this she developed three options, and we quickly settled on one. This gave me my logo, fonts and colour palette.
Aarti also designed my email signature, letterhead and business cards, as well as images for my social media pages.
STEP 4 – design the website (£££)
I had had a bad experience with my previous website, so I was careful to use a web designer I trusted. Tracey Rissik (https://thesimplewebcompany.com) had done some repair work on my previous site, and I knew she was efficient and knowledgeable.
I also checked out the examples she had on her website of other sites she had developed, and liked them very much.
She did a very thorough job of understanding what I wanted from my new website before she gave me her proposal, which gave me added confidence.
That confidence was well placed. The whole project has been a pleasure from start to finish. Tracey has held my hand and guided me through it– sharing progress and inviting comments, and asking for input as and when needed.
Tracey also helped with setting up and testing new email addresses, enabling me to add my new email signature so it was all ready to use once the website went live (oh, and I set up a rule to redirect email from my old email to the new one too).
STEP 5 – write the copy (££)
I chose to write my own copy, and then get it edited. For me this feels like the best option because I know what I want to say. I like writing, but am not an expert. The wonderful Fiona Mocatta (http://mocatta.org) has helped me with various projects over the last few years – blogs, ebooks, web content – so it was a no-brainer to call on her again.
STEP 6 – get new headshots (£)
My photos weren’t that old, but felt dated and a little colourless. I wanted something more modern and vibrant for my new look! I booked Alex Taibel (http://alexandraphotography.co.uk) because she had previously done my daughter’s headshots, taken photos at an event for me and receives rave reviews from everyone she works with.
We had a wonderful morning at her home, taking conventional headshots and ‘lifestyle’ shots of me at work. I used to hate having my photo taken but her photos are stunning – and she gave me so many to choose from, too!
STEP 7 (optional) – get a video (£££)
Everyone talks about the power of video. People are far more likely to click on a video than read words. My daughter has built her successful online retail business through her YouTube channel. I decided it was time to stop being a dinosaur!
I know my limitations! The handful of ‘Facebook Lives’ and self-filmed videos I’ve attempted have me cringing. It was time to call in the professional.
The incredible Angela Robson (http://www.pearlworks.co.uk) stepped in. As a former BBC producer her experience and expertise are awe inspiring – and yet she manages to offer top quality short videos for small businesses at quite an affordable price.
We spent an enjoyable two days of filming – and the result captures who I am and what I do in a way no words could describe. I’m ridiculously proud of it!
It’s on my home page so do take a look.
STEP 8 – organise printed materials (£)
In due course I’ll need flyers for my workshops, etc. but for now the priority is business cards. I could have used one of the many online options, but after a very useful conversation with Emma Christophii (https://www.cascadelondon.co.uk) I asked her to print them for me.
Emma was able to talk me through the implications of selecting different weights of card and different print options so that I made the right choice for me. What’s more it cost almost the same as my usual online suppler, and she delivered them to me personally!
STEP 9 – Plan the launch
Apart from ensuring that I had my new business cards ready to hand out, I needed to decide how to announce my new brand. After some debate with my own coach, I came up with the idea of this blog – a way to share my journey with you.
I have a mailing list too, and issue a newsletter every Tuesday, so I picked a launch date that coincided with my weekly mailing date, and prepared the newsletter to showcase my new branding and link to this blog (maybe that’s how you got here?)
On top of this there was lots of stuff to do behind the scenes, updating my Mailchimp account, social media accounts, Paypal account, Eventbrite account and all the websites where my work is featured. I divided these tasks into ‘before and after’ tasks – those needing to be done immediately before I launched, and those that could wait a bit longer.
STEP 10 – go live – Yay!
And finally, I’ve gone live! I’m so excited to share this lovely new website with you.
Please do take the time to have a look around (don’t miss the video). I’d love to hear your feedback, so do let me know.
If you have any questions I’m happy to also answer those. You can email me or post them on my Facebook page (@businessmadesimpler).