how to tell if it’s time for a rebrand

Is it time to rebrand? Tips on how to tell when's the best time to overhaul your blog or business's brand

One of the big no-no’s in business (and blogging) is that you don’t rebrand too often. Many of us have talked all over the web about how one of our pet peeves is when you go to a site, a blog most of the time, and see that someone has yet again rebranded. It’s a total overhaul. Sure they’re using the same colors, and maybe they’re even using the same fonts. But it gets old. It’s like watching someone go through an identity crisis. It can be tiring trying to keep up with who they are this week.

But maybe you’re not that girl (or guy). Instead of struggling to keep the same branding and design for more than a month, you never change. You think you’ve outgrown your brand, but you’re not sure where to go next or when the best time to do so would be. The uncertainty keeps your rebrand on the back burner while you struggle with your good-enough-for-now branding.

No matter which category you fall into, I’ve got a few simple tips to help you figure out when it’s time to rebrand so you can stop stressing about your look, and focus on what you’re delivering to your readers (or clients)!

Is it just plain outdated? A pretty simple way to start off: is your branding just plain outdated? Maybe you fed into the trends two years ago so your blog is covered in floral prints or some outrageous font. You find yourself with heart eyes looking at blogs with sleek, simple designs. You’re brand is gravitating to a more holistic vibe, but your design is stuck with bright colors and a few different fonts. If you’re feeling like your brand is stuck in a different time period, it’s time to get a new look.

Has your message changed? Of course, we know it’s not just about the look, so take a deeper look. Has your message changed? Are you getting better in touch with who you are and what you have to offer? Uncovering your purpose and values can help you dig deeper in your brand, which can lead to a perfect time to rebrand.

Are you doing something completely different? Maybe you were a fashion blogger, but now you’re building a PR business. Maybe you had been selling homemade candles, but now you primarily coach business owners. Simple changes (like you added a new category to your blog or started selling to a broader client base) aren’t signs you should rebrand, but if you’ve taken a major left turn it’s time to consider overhauling your branding.

Obviously there are more times when it’s totally right to rebrand, these are just a few of the most common feelings you’ll run into. And look, don’t worry if you’re feeling this way, even if you just rebranded six months ago. In my opinion, it’s better to be in the best alignment with your brand than totally disconnected.


 

Ready to take on a rebrand but have no idea where to start? Brand Catalyst is launching in just a few weeks, and it’s all you need to craft your best brand while learning simple and fun design steps to translate your message into a look that can take you to the next step. Sign up here to be the first to know when the course launches.

streamlining my process

I streamlined my process, and I think you should, too!

I’ve talked a little bit about how when I started my business I wasn’t organized. Like, at all. I didn’t organize my files other than into a folder for each individual client, and I didn’t have much of an idea of what I was doing (like, I didn’t use contracts my first year in business, I did all work via email, and I had no idea the benefit of creating a system for work). Like most people, I learned as I went, and I would still be learning if it weren’t for some really awesome freelancing bloggers who’ve shared their process online and the Stress Less and Impress ecourse.

It was January of this year when I really started trying to take better control of the business since I knew that I was going to pursue it full time after I graduated. I started using contracts, keeping better track of income and expenses, and even started organizing things a little differently. It was making a little bit of a difference, but there wasn’t a huge change, until I signed up for Leah’s SLI course in April. That’s when things started changing. In fact, it’s been five months since going through the course, and I still go back to review the material to see how I can have the best streamlined process for me. Here are a few main parts in my process:

Hire Me Form I had never thought about having one of these until taking the course. It’s a much easier way for people to get in touch when they want to work with you. So, instead of having someone email saying they want to work with you, they’d fill out a form that would mention what they need, their budget, timeline, and aesthetic they like, all things that can be a major factor on if you’ll work with someone. I don’t have all clients fill these out, but most of them do.

Contracts + Invoices This is a no brainer. As soon as I’ve worked out the project quote with someone and established a date when we’ll start, I send them a contract and invoice. I still create contracts manually, but I send them all electronically to my client. I used to create pretty invoices in Illustrator and send them over, but that can get time consuming. Now I send a simple invoice via PayPal. It’s much faster and easier than creating them manually.

Project Management Ninety percent of my clients are set up in my project management software. I use Basecamp for this, and it’s much, much better than doing everything through email. I have templates for all of the projects I do, so I can easily go in add a new project and invite the client to join. The only time I don’t use this with clients is if the project is fairly small or will be done quickly.

Brand Package Only recently have I streamlined the end of my projects. All clients get a few things: a check in email and a nice handwritten note straight from me. Clients who get new branding as part of their package also receive a really simple brand package. It’s a digital folder with all of their logo files, the brand board, and even fonts. I started sending these additional files to help them stay on brand without having to hire someone to help and they obviously need their logo files.

So, those are just the most important parts. Obviously things are tweaked a little bit depending on the project, and I also adjust as I go. However, this is a much more streamlined process than I had before, which has honestly helped me grow my business as quickly as I have.

Streamlining your business, getting to the point and making sure you have a simple, easy to follow system can change your business in the blink of an eye. It allows for better organization, which makes the client experience better. It allows you to save so much time since you already know what you need to do next, which gives you time to take on more projects or work on your own things (like growing your social media or relaunching your blog).

If you’re ready to stop feeling lost in your business and literally stressed every time you take on a new client, I’m really encouraging you to check out Stress Less and Impress. Leah is currently offering the course for $197, only until November 9th, though. Then, it’ll go up to $247. Don’t miss your chance to save yourself some stress and time for a very affordable price.

Note: This post does contain affiliate links. I took the Stress Less and Impress course in Leah’s first run, and I truly believe that it’s beneficial for all business owners. As you know, I only promote things that I really believe in around here, and I’m a firm believer that this course can and will change your business for the better. 

traveling with a freelance business

traveling with a freelance business

So, as many of y’all know I’ve spent a few long weekends out of town over the last several months. I’m so blessed that I’ve not only been fortunate enough financially to be able to do that, but also that my boss let me take a few extra days off of work around those weekends… Haha! But seriously, not many people are able to take time away from their business, especially when it’s just getting started. Those who are fortunate enough to do so, most often, find themselves fixated to their work and emails even while they’re away. So, today I wanted to share a few simple steps to help you enjoy your vacation while you’re running your own business.

Let your clients know ahead of time This is something I didn’t really give much thought to the first time around, but it wasn’t until these last two trips that a few clients actually mentioned they appreciated the heads up. We all know that traveling puts a bit of a kink in your project timelines, so it’s important to let your clients know that you’ll be stepping away from work for a few days. For this most recent trip, for example, I was letting both incoming and current clients know that I would be out of office, what day I would be returning to work, and when they would see new work from me. This is much better than just leaving them high and dry while you’re posting selfies on the beach on Instagram for a few days. Also, just before I left this last time I also noticed that my gal pal, Alison, had a super awesome addition to her email signature mentioning that she would be going out of town and when. That’s genius in its own right because it lets everyone you’re chatting with know!

Set up your autoresponder So the autoresponder is a no brainer. I usually write mine the week I’m heading out of town, and I turn it on the afternoon before I leave when I’m done with work. I like to keep my autoresponder short and sweet with a message just letting the emailer know, similarly to what I tell my clients, that I’m out of office, when I’ll be returning, and that I’ll aim to get back to them within 48 hours of returning. I like the added touch of when they can expect an email back from me. Let’s them know their email won’t get lost in the mix.

Prepare before and for after I think it’s obvious that when you know you’re going out of town you work like crazy before you do so, but do you prepare for when you get back? I think most people come back to work with overflowing inboxes and to do lists, which is why people are so overwhelmed. Prep yourself for when you get back. I like to do this by having a half work load the day I come back so that I can clean out my inbox (or at least work on it), get some things done, and not hate myself for enjoying a day off. Knowing that’s how I want to come back to work, I work my schedule accordingly. You don’t have to tackle every project the first day back. Remember that!

Bonus tip: If you’re not just a business owner, but a blogger as well, you might consider scheduling blog and social media posts for the days you’ll be away from the computer. I looove to do this because it truly lets me enjoy my time without worrying whether something is going live around here or being promoted on Twitter. This is also an awesome time to have guest bloggers write for you so that you’re don’t even have to stress about what you’ll write about!

Have you found yourself traveling as a business owner or blogger? I’d love to hear how you manage! Share in the comments below!

moodboard | rose + photography

moodboard : rose + photography | by kory woodard

I am so super thrilled to be back, starting this week off sharing some work. This month I took on several clients who were interested in just getting some branding done. This moodboard is for one of those clients. Obviously she’s a photographer, and I’m so thrilled about working with her because her work is super awesome! Also: of course I love that I’m sharing work by a fellow designer in this board! Shout out to Liz who created the D.Lillian piece!

This week we’re working on finalizing her color primary logo, and I’m really excited about where we’re going. She picked some awesome variations out of what I shared, which I may share around here soon. After we pick the final primary logo, we’re off to the secondary mark. How fun!

Can’t wait to share more of this project with y’all!

P.s. If you’re interested in getting some branding work done or a blog redesign, just a reminder: I’m not taking on any new work in December. So, if you’re looking to get some work done for the new year, now’s the time! Let’s chat about what you’re looking for!

weekend reading | 10.24.14

weekend reading | grab a cup of tea and check out these posts!

TGIF! I can’t believe it’s already Friday again, oh wait I can! I’ve had a busy week working hard on projects to get them wrapped up before the end of the month. I’ve got tons of design work to share, and I can’t wait to share it all with you!

In the meantime, thank y’all for your kind comments on Monday’s post. I truly appreciate everyone’s well wishes. I truly do feel so blessed to be a part of such a great community here online.

But enough with the sappy stuff, let’s get to some of those great posts from this week, yeah?

loooved this post on compromise in relationships from Jess. This is definitely something I think about with my own relationship. Sometimes you just have to do what’s best for you and your loved one regardless of how tough it might be for you.

Have you guys heard of Brand Week? If not, it’s a new series over on the Vidaluxe Studio blog. Keizra has been killing it, sharing tons of awesome posts to help you with your brand. Check them out here!

Along with that branding post, Kelly shared a few things to think about with your own brand.

One of my friends from college started a blog recently, and she’s already sharing great stuff like this post of 5 things to help you get through the week.

Struggling with coming up with things to write about for your blog? Alisha has 4 awesome tips to help you continually come up with new content.

Someone shared this on Twitter, but I had to share this with y’all here: if you have a business, you should be blogging.

Thinking about making the leap from your 9-5 to full time freelancing? Vanessa shared a few important things she considered before making the leap herself.

Two of my favorite people, Tori and Trina, paired up to write a beautiful post about the blogging community around a quote. I can definitely relate to what both of them shared, and I’m so touched each day by this community!