A few weeks ago I got on Periscope and talked about how to rebrand a business in 90 days. Unfortunately, the technical gods were against me so the entire thing didn’t record. Womp womp.
The good news is that means I get to write an in-depth guide that will live on the internet…forever!
Why I’m Talking About How to Rebrand a Business
Everywhere I go lately people are asking me about how to rebrand their businesses.
I was at a brunch a few weeks ago where one of my friends was thinking about rebranding her wedding planning business.
I saw a colleague and friend post something in a Facebook group about how to undergo a rebranding of her business.
I was talking to a colleague of mine who got a new job at a publishing company and she was saying how she needs to rebrand herself online for her new job.
I’m currently working with a private coaching client and helping him brand himself online.
Maybe it’s because we’re heading into the end of the year, so business owners have their eye on 2016 goals with a rebrand being at the top of the list.
Either way, the conversation keeps popping up, so I’m taking it as a universal cue to teach you how to rebrand your business in 90 days.
Can You Really Rebrand a Business in 90 Days?
How do I know this?
Because I did it.
If you were around earlier in 2015 you know that I pretty much shut down all blogging operations in order to focus on rebranding my business.
We started the process on January 15th and relaunced a new site complete with entirely new backend systems on April 15th, 2015. Ninety days to the minute.
I’m not going to lie, it was a lot to take on. There were moments where I thought I’d lost my mind – especially as I saw money flying out the door. (Rebrands cost money, yo!)
But, now that it’s been a few months I can tell you the investment of time and money was totally worth it.
For example, we recently had our highest grossing month ever! We went well beyond the $5,000 mark in October. We also already surpassed the revenue from last quarter.
(Truthfully, I pinched myself when I saw that on Mint and kept running the numbers over and over again to make sure. After so many years of trying to figure out this online business thing it feels damn good to see it starting to pay off!)
I know that a big part of the reason why our revenue has increased is because we took the time to rebrand and do the work!
Marketing, branding, sales and strategizing are not everyone’s favorite topics (they sure as hell weren’t mine for many years), but they are integral to making sure you can run a successful business online.
Why You May Need to Rebrand a Business
There are several reasons a business may feel like it needs a rebrand. I covered most of them in my column over at Kabbage Small Business Loans, but for the sake of simplicty I’m going to cover a few reasons here as well. Or, well, I’m going to cover why my business needed a rebrand.
- If Your Business Has Changed: After launching Make Money Your Honey in early 2014 my entire business changed. I went from being this general millennial life coach to being flung into expert status for personal finance and online business overnight. My branding at the time didn’t match the new direction, so we needed an update.
- If You Have Changed: I’ve changed a lot since RKA did my website in 2013 and I quit my job. I’ve embraced a more feminine way of being in life and in business. Once again, my personal branding, which at the time had a very bright and in-your-face feel just didn’t match up. This was causing some brand confusion.
- If You Are More Clear About What Your Business Offers: 2014 was the year I got crystal clear about what it is I actually offered. I embraced the fact that people would read my blog for personal finance content. I also embraced that people were coming to me for business and online branding advice. I began to drop everything else. I also simplified my business and took a hiatus from coaching so I could focus on my content marketing clients.
- If You Are More Clear About What Your Market Needs: This is the real key to being successful in business. You have to be in tune with the needs of your market and you need to deliver solutions. Once again, 2014 was the year this became more clear for me, and once again my branding did not match up with my market.
These are just a few of the reasons why you may need to rebrand. Sometimes it’s also just a matter of getting with the times or recovering from bad press. Regardless, there are instances in which a rebrand is necessary.
How to Rebrand Your Business in 90 Days
Okay, now let’s get into how the hell you can possibly take on such a massive undertaking and finish it in 90 days. Truthfully, it’s just a matter of proper planning and research. In this blog I’m going to walk you through everything – from the planning stage to the budgeting to the implementing.
Pre-Work Step 1: Research and Brainstorm
This is before the actual rebranding. In fact, if you’ve got a rebrand on the brain for your own business for 2016, this is the step you want to focus on now. Don’t wait until January to do this or you’ll be behind the eight ball!
Over the next few weeks research and gather intel. First, start with your market. Around this time last year I got on the phone with about 50 blog readers, coaching clients and colleagues and asked them what they needed from me. I asked them what they were struggling with in business and in terms of personal finance. With what they told me I was able to get crystal clear on what kind of content they wanted to see.
(If this sounds familiar it’s because it’s the same process I used to write my book).
Next, start talking to your team. I spoke with my web designer about a rebrand a couple of months before I actually signed on the dotted line and hired her. This helped me brainstorm and get clear on what she would need from me to get the process started. It also helped me with the next couple of steps…
Pre-Work Step 2: Figure Out What You Actually Need
A rebrand doesn’t necessarily mean you take everything apart and put it back together again. Some people may just need to update their website copy and be done with it. Other’s may need to redo the entire site and their branding across social media platforms. That’s why it’s so important to figure out what you actually need when rebranding a business.
There’s no right answer here so I’m just going to share my story. I needed to redo my entire website. Because my reach had grown online I also needed to upgrade our business systems. We moved from using a bunch of different programs to consolidating to an all-in-one system like Infusionsoft. Since we were redoing the entire site, it seemed like the perfect time to do everything else as well. Two birds, one stone.
The good news was I’d been updating my copy and content as I went along, so that was already taken care of.
Pre-Work Step 3: Create a budget.
You know I can’t discuss a rebrand without discussing how much it costs. To give you an idea, redoing the website and upgrading our systems cost me thousands. While there were some moments there where I was like “How the f*ck are we going to pay for this?” the truth was that was just my ego and I’d made a pretty detailed budget.
The reason you want to create a budget is because cash flow problems will get in the way of being able to rebrand quickly. It’s the same thing when you’re remodeling a house. If you don’t have the money to keep going, the contractors will stop working and everything gets delayed.
In the research phase of the pre-work, you (hopefully) got some quotes from web designers, developers and if you’re getting new software, salespeople. Put all of these into a spreadsheet so you know exactly what the numbers are looking like. You may realize you need to wait and save money, you may realize you can go ahead with it, or you may decide to take on debt to pay for it. Totally up to you and successful businesses of all kinds do all three (though personally I am debt averse. I’m a bootstrapper all the way.)
Next, I want you to allot extra money for unexpected expenses. Trust me, they will come up. In my case, I ended up spending a nice chunk of change on an attorney and application to register the phrase Make Money Your Honey. I had not expected to do this so my savings took a hit.
Rally Up The Troops!
Alright! At this stage the pre-work is done and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what this rebrand is going to look like. This is the part where you rally up the troops! Hire that web designer! Tell your VA what’s up! Build your team to help you bring this rebrand to life!
I’m big on outsourcing and working in teams. There are things my web designer and VA excel at where I have challenges (and vice versa). The truth is you cannot undergo a huge task like a complete rebrand by yourself – especially if you’re like me and are also upgrading all your back-end systems at the same time.
Create a Timeline With Deliverables
My web designer is really good at creating a to-do list so that I know exactly what she needs from me. I knew that by X day she would need my new photos so she could have the new site up by April 15th. This allowed me to really plan out the process and deliver stuff on time.
Same thing happened with Infusionsoft. My VA and I did the training immediately and since we were in the middle of tight deadlines we knew we needed to have some pretty quick turnarounds. In fact, our consultant was impressed with how quickly we managed to get stuff done. It’s because we were clear on deliverables.
Truthfully, this may just go back to hiring awesome people on my team. We’re all hard workers and we all get stuff done.
Figure Out What You Have to Stop Doing
This is very important. Rebrands are extremely time-consuming. This means you’ll likely have to get stuff off your plate so that you can finish it quickly. In my case, I stopped updating this blog and being as active on social media. Something’s gotta give when you’re in the middle of massive projects like a rebrand.
Get Shit Done!
This is the part where you have to bunker down and actually do the work! There will be times you want to quit, times when you will question your ability to make good decisions for your business and times when you will doubt everything. Ignore them and do the work anyway.
The only exception is if your body is giving out on you. I was so overloaded I compromised my immune system and got strep throat. However, that had more to do with poor planning and procrastinating than the actual rebrand.
Enjoy The Ride!
While it is a lot of work, rebrands can be a lot of fun! It was an awesome feeling when my web designer sent me a mood board with her vision for the new site. It was a relief when Infusionsoft was set up and ready to go! Enjoy the little victories and try to love this creative process.
Launch & Pop the Champagne!
Unveiling a rebrand to the world is very exciting! Celebrate with your people and share the awesomeness with them! When the new site was up and all systems were go I sat back and had myself some champs. I basked in the glory that we were able to get the entire thing done in 90 days.
This is probably an overlooked but very important step. Once the rebrand is done move on to get back to hustling. The branding itself isn’t what gets you paid, it’s how you leverage it.