Do you have a question about rebranding? It’s something I get asked about often. And because I personally went through a rebrand in 2020, I want to share my experience with you.
Now, there are a few signs that will pop up and signal that it might be time to rebrand your business. You might feel like you’re attracting the wrong clients, your current branding might not feel like “you” anymore, you might have made a major shift in your offerings or you might have just uplevelled in your business.
And to be honest, they are the exact reasons that I decided to rebrand my business.
Before we jump into some steps of the rebranding process, I do want to preface that you don’t need to go through and do every single step that I’m going to share. If you are just starting out in business, your brand doesn’t have to be perfect to start growing and you don’t need to invest in all of the ‘done for you’ services straight up. In fact, there are so many amazing DIY programs or even free information out there on the internet and YouTube to help you get started. Plus, by going DIY in the beginning, you will learn so many valuable skills you can apply in so many different aspects of your business! So please don’t feel like you have to dive in and spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to get started. Also if you’re not at the stage in you’re business where you’re super clear on your offers on direction, you don’t want to pay out all the money for someone to do your rebrand only to realise you’d like to take your business in a different direction.
To be transparent, my rebrand did cost quite a bit. I also invested in areas where I felt were most necessary to areas where I felt like I didn’t have the skills to be able to complete them myself. You might also choose to have parts or the entirety of your rebranding process done for you as well if you’ve uplevelled in your business. If you are super clear on your ideal client, you’ve tested out your offers to figure out which ones are the best for you, you have a marketing plan in place and you’re making money in your business, then you might like to enlist some rebranding experts to help you take things further.
So please keep in mind what stage your business is at, as we dive into these tips. And please also keep in mind that I’m a copywriter. While I have gone through this rebrand process myself, I’m not a website designer and I’m not a branding specialist. But I have done a lot of my own rebranding research and want to share the process I went through and would recommend to someone who is also going through a rebrand.
With that said and done, I have nine different steps of the rebranding process to share with you…
The first step is to get inspiration for your rebrand. You probably already know, but my absolute favourite place to get inspiration is Pinterest! It is such an amazing place to get the wheels turning, especially if you’re a visual person. Or if you prefer to write down your ideas, you might want to make lists and map out all your thoughts.What I did was create a ‘branding’ Pinterest board and let my imagination run wild. I did have a little bit of an idea about what theme I wanted for my rebrand- french luxury, which felt really elevated. For you, you might want something that’s boho, or beachy, or minimal, or super creative and out of the box.
So with a theme in mind, I searched terms like ‘elegant fonts’, ‘luxury branding’, ‘French photos’, ‘French interiors’, ‘branding photoshoot’ and ‘colour palette’. I also knew that I wanted to be wearing gold jewellery and get some celebration photos, so I searched for those things as well. I even searched for website design inspiration. And then I let Pinterest take me down the ‘suggested photos’ rabbit hole, to see what other inspiration I might come across. Any picture that I came across that caught my eye or drew my attention, I pinned to my ‘branding’ board.Sometimes it can be hard to articulate exactly what your style is until you’ve created a mood board. And then when you look through all the pictures that you’ve pinned you will be able to clearly notice a pattern of which theme you’re drawn to. For me, there were lots of roses and champagne glasses and gold, and very specific styles of photos. There is always a recurring pattern, and once you’ve identified yours you can use it as a base to develop your branding.
Now, like I said, you could either take your inspiration to a branding specialist and pay them to develop your branding for you. Or you can DIY it yourself, which is what I did.
So for your branding, you’re going to need colours. Not a million different colours, but a specific colour palette. You’re going to need a logo. And you’re going to need specific fonts. There are definitely more aspects to your branding, but these are essential. Starting with colours, I made a mood board with my favourite Pinterest pictures, and then I drew out the main colours that would make up my colour palette. Canva has some great templates for creating a colour palette. And you can use the eyedropper tool from ColorZilla to grab the exact colours form your pictures and add them to your colour palette. So that you can use the specific reds, pinks, oranges, and neutral tones (or any colour you loved!) in your brand colour palette. Once you start adding the colours to your palette, it might take a little bit of tweaking to find the exact shades you want to use. To help you finalise your colour choices, you should also consider what colours you’re going to use for the different parts of your website. What colour do you want your headings to be? The bulk of your writing? Your backgrounds? Then you can decide which colours will be your primary colours and which will be your supporting colours.
Next you want to consider your logo, and this is in regard to if your logo is simply going to be a font (you will need a designer’s tips for an out of the box logo!). So you can create a logo using a font, and all you have to do is purchase a font. Super easy, but you do want to make sure you don’t pick a generic font. Your logo should be timeless and last you for a very long time, if not the entire lifespan of your business. Some good places to look for fonts are Creative Market or Adobe fonts and you should hunt around for something that is unique and not used very often. Once you’ve picked your font then you can choose a colour form your palette. If you’d like to get an idea of creating your own font logo, you can check out mine here.
Aside from your logo, fonts also play a huge role in contributing to the overall look and feel of your whole brand identity. So it’s really important to get them right. I know it can be tempting to choose lots of cool and funky fonts to use, but you really shouldn’t use more than three on a regular basis. This is so that your brand will come across as elevated and professional, rather than confusing and amateur. So think of finding a font for your headings, subheadings and paragraphs. Also remember, your fonts exist to bring your content to life. So you want to make sure that your fonts are clear for your viewers to read, so that they get the most from your content.
The next part of the rebrand process is hiring a brand photographer. You may even look at having some videos captured. I did, and now I have video content to use as a banner and in so many other places on my website, plus it’s super engaging. Videos aren’t a necessity, but more and more people are starting to include them in their branding.
So first of all, when booking a brand photographer it is really important that you book a photographer who has the style that you are looking for. Don’t hire a photographer and expect that they will morph into what you want. Look for someone who is already creating the kind of style that you want to have in your pictures. You can also book an inquiry call with them to make sure they’re definitely a good fit for the brand photography you want to create.
Then once you have locked in the photographer, and you’e got a date on the calendar, you can start prepping. You want to put together a shot list so that you can let your photographer know exactly what images you’re after (make sure you communicate this!). For my photoshoot, I wanted pictures at a desk, podcasting, pinning images to a wall, writing and editing, celebrating and even some lifestyle pictures. But there’s also the aspect of letting your photographer have their creative freedom, because they are the expert after all. Secondly, you want to decide on the space where you will shoot. Do they have different areas that you can shoot in, so that all of your photos don’t end up looking the same. They might have indoor and outdoor areas, but don’t forget to consider the time of day you’re shooting at and what the lighting might be like.
The next step is super fun and you can make it really special for yourself… Curated outfits! If you’re doing a whole branding photoshoot, you don’t just want to be pulling random outfits from your wardrobe, you want to be strategic about what you wear.
So, how did I curate my outfits?
I looked at my branding Pinterest board and took inspiration from the outfits I had pinned. Then I had to consider how long my photoshoot was booked in for and how many outfit changes I could realistically have. Once I had decided on four to five outfit changes, I made a list of everything I’d need: tops, jeans, skirts, shoes, jewellery, dresses and jackets. And then, looking at my Pinterest board, I got specific on exactly what kinds of pieces I was after: a gold necklace, red and white boots, black and white blazers.
When it came to shopping for the pieces I wanted to wear, I made sure to have my colour palette up on my screen while I was shopping, so that I could see if the piece matched the theme I was going for. And this is why it’s super important to create your colour palette first so that you can curate cohesive outfits.
Hot tip: I bought my clothes from the Iconic because they have free returns! Which meant I could easily return anything that didn’t quite match the theme of my photoshoot.
For my photoshoot, I was looking to have a pop of red in my pictures, as it’s one of my primary brand colours. So aside from choosing red pieces for my outfits, I also incorporated red lipstick into some of my makeup looks.
I also included props that matched the theme of the photoshoot: desk props, a coffee mug, croissant.
And then to be super prepared for the photoshoot, I tried on my outfits and picked the props I wanted for certain images and took pictures, so that my photographer and I could easily reference them on the day.
During your rebrand process, you also want to do client research. This is so important.
Now I recommend you do this, not by simply observing, but actually interviewing and talking to your dream clients. This way you will get to know what they’re thinking and really understand their pains and desires without having to assume anything.
Your client research should be done before you do the next steps as your dream clients’ answers will act as a guide.
Next, you want to revise your offerings, whether they are services of products.
First, you want to think about your offers from the point of view of your clients. Do you have too many offers? Is it clear what your offers actually are? Is it confusing for you clients to navigate through your offers on your website?
Then for you and your team, can you streamline your tasks to make things easier? Do you need to review your pricing and payment plans?
You want your offers and processes to be as straightforward and efficient as possible.
Then you will create your brand messaging. This involves creating your mission statement, your brand voice, voice of customer data, brand storylines, and so much more. This blog post gives you all the specifics >>>
I’m a copywriter, so you knew this step was coming… write your website copy!
If you have done your client research and created your brand messaging (which you really should do!), this step which actually be super quick and easy. You could honestly write all of your website in two weeks!
Hot tip: don’t write your copy directly onto your website platform! Your platform could crash or shutdown and you’d loose all the copy you’ve written. So write your copy in a Google doc first and then you can add it to your website. Plus, it will be way easier to edit your copy in the future if it’s in a document.
With your copy written, you can then DIY your website design. You could totally hire a website designer instead, but make sure you are super clear on your dream client and offers so that you don’t make the investment only to change the direction of your business soon after.
If you do DIY, there are so many website design templates to help you! They usually even come with videos and walkthrough of how to personalise them to make things really easy. I personally used a Showit template.
The most important thing to note here though is that you shouldn’t DIY your website design until after you have written your copy. Website copy should always direct and dictate design.
This is because during the copy stage, you actually decide what pieces of information need to be highlighted. Things like headings, subheadings and body text. You decide on the hierarchy of information and you map out what it will look like on your website.
Lastly, you want to create a relaunch strategy so that you don’t launch to crickets. This doesn’t have to be a big thing either, but it is an opportunity to showcase your new site, your offerings and book new clients.
Here’s what I did. I made some teaser posts. I had three little videos that I shared with language that I crafted in my brand messaging phase, to create anticipation for the launch. Then on launch day, I shared three photos from my branding shoot to my Instagram feed, with my new tagline and links to my site which I directed people to go to. I also shared the news directly to my email list, and invited them to check out my new offerings.
At the same time I was also launching my podcast. So the next day I also posted about and shared the news with my email list.
Overall, this was a very simple launch and there are so many other things you could do to launch if you’d like to. You could share content before the launch that speaks more to your audience, shifts their beliefs and calls them to take actions. You could also showcase your services and offers and share past work that you’ve complete.
Just remember, your launch doesn’t have to be perfect. If you don’t get it completely right, it won’t have been a waste or cause your business to fail. Launch day is just one day, so have fun with it! You’ll have plenty of time after the launch to employ other strategies to attract and convert more of your dream clients.
There you go, the nine steps I followed in my rebranding process and that you should consider following as well.
Thanks for reading this post! I hope you found it valuable. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment down below and let me know what you found most helpful or surprising about the steps of my rebranding process!
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