5 steps to take when preparing for a rebrand

5 Steps To Take When Preparing For A Rebrand

Two weeks ago I launched my new ebook, Craft Your Brand, and in it I cover like all of the topics you could think about when it comes to branding your blog. From what “branding” means to common branding mistakes, how to craft your blog’s brand from the inside out, and then where to go next. I even talked about how to know if it’s time for a rebrand (you can see a smidgen of that section in this blog post from late last year).

The one thing that I didn’t talk about, though, is what to do when you’re preparing for a rebrand. Regardless of whether or not you’re branding your blog or your business, there are a handful of things that you should do prior to just going out and hiring the first person you see online that does design work.

It doesn’t matter if you’re going to be doing the work yourself, or if you’ll find a professional to do the work for you, here are five things you need to do when preparing for a rebrand –

Ask what you want out of the project
Before you even get started, take the time to sit and figure out what exactly you’re hoping to get out of the rebrand process. It may seem, at first, like this is obvious. You might be thinking, “Duh, Kory! I want a new design for my ____!” Well, obviously! Dig deeper than that, though. Are you hoping to reposition your brand for a new audience or customer base? Are you hoping that a rebrand will help convey the value of your products or services so you can raise your rates or sell more? If you can’t figure out the deeper reason behind the rebrand, then it might just be that you’re bored with things, in which case – it might not be the right time for a rebrand.

Can you do it or should you hire out
I’m a designer, but I realize that it’s not always in the client’s best interest to spend a ton of money to get a design or a rebrand. When you’re in your first few years of blogging or business, it might be worth saving your money and trying to see what you can create for yourself – if you have the patience to learn how to do things. It’s important that you only try to take on a job like this if you’re able to give it your full attention and energy because otherwise it’s going to look like you phoned it in to you and your readers / clients.

Research potential designers to work with
Before you decide you need to DIY your branding or if you’re ready to hire a professional, you obviously need to research potential designers before you get started. This is great for you if you’re DIY’ing because you need to know if you’ve got the budget to work with a professional before you strike out that option. When you’re ready to hire out your rebrand, you really need to make sure that you’re hiring someone who you are confident can create the branding that you really want for your blog or business. Don’t just hire someone because you’re friends with them online or feel obligated to. Reach out to those you’re interested in working with. Ask about their process, their rates, and even their experience if you don’t see a lot of work in their portfolio. You want to know that your money is going to be well spent.

Get an idea of the style you want
While you’re researching the designer you want to hire or before you get started yourself, it’s very important to start with an idea of where you want to go. Nothing is harder than working with a client who doesn’t know what they want. A great way to start figuring out what you want for your brand is to create a Pinterest board and fill it with inspiration for your rebrand. Most designers will have you do this anyway as part of the moodboard phase, but doing this before you hire someone will help you figure out which designer would be the right one to make that style come to life for your brand. It’ll also help you explain to your designer what you’re looking for.

Be patient and open-minded
The rebrand process can be long and difficult. It’s testing to figure out what you like, where you want your brand to go, and what would work for those goals. That means it takes time and a lot of patience. You have to be able to clearly communicate with your designer or know when to give up on a design if you’re doing things for yourself. Regardless of which path you take, try to relax during the process.

Rebranding your blog or business can be a great way to reposition your brand or take things to a whole new level. Whenever you’re getting ready to do a rebrand, though, I hope you’ll take these steps into consideration!

launch | Postmark Society

Whew! It’s been a while since I’ve shared some new work with y’all, and for that I’m truly sorry! All of my current projects are in the middle or just starting to finish, and I have two projects I’m starting this week and next. That means I just don’t have a lot to show! However, last week I decided to completely rebrand Postmark Society and redesign the website, so I thought I’d share that with y’all today!

postmark society | logo design by kory woodard

In case you’re new around here and don’t know, in 2013 I partnered with Kate Wong and Christie Jones to launch Postmark Society, a pen pal group for bloggers! We all had a love for snail mail and at the time were really just starting to get our blogs and businesses going, so we were excited to be able to dedicate our extra time to something for our peers. Two years later, both Kate and Christie have stepped aside, and I’m now the sole person who runs things!

I can’t tell y’all how much I love sending and receiving mail! It always brings a smile to my face when I find a letter in my mailbox, so when Christie realized she didn’t have time for things anymore over the past couple of months, I just knew that I couldn’t let PS go away. I had to keep it going!

So, I rededicated myself to running things, and in part of doing so I decided the look need a total overhaul!

postmark society | brand design by kory woodard

I’m so happy with how things came out! I feel like the previous branding for the site was sort of boring, with just monochrome colors and kraft thrown in, so with the new design, I wanted to liven things up! I knew I had to if I wanted people to be as excited about joining and participating as I was, so the new branding was born!

The one thing I kept in mind during the process was Ban.do‘s motto: “Have fun, okay?” I definitely feel like the branding and the website is a lot more fun and better suited!

If you’re interested in checking the website out, you can do so here! Also: if you’re a blogger who’s loving snail mail as much as me, please feel free to sign up! The next match up will be August 14th, and I’d love to have you join us!

learning and moving on from a failure

learning and moving on from the f word: failure

There’s one thing that will always be looming in the dark corner of your blogging or entrepreneurial journey – failure. It’s a scary thing to think about. In fact, you probably fall into one of two categories: the thought either keeps you from doing certain things that you dream of or you just never think about failure and how it could happen to you (or may have already happened to you).

Regardless of which side of the fence you find yourself on, neither is a good one to be on. Although it’s hard to face the fact that failure can and might actually happen to you, but it’s something that you must consider. You have to know what you’ll do when failure strikes – how will you handle it and how you’ll move on.

Over the course of the last few months I’ve opened up about my biggest failure thus far in my journey: Brand Catalyst. It was hard to admit to something that I thought might actually damage my reputation or in general put me in a vulnerable position for my peers… and my competition. The thing is, though, ultimately I decided to do a few things with my failure: learn from it, move on, and do better with my next idea.

So how can you learn and move on from failure if it hits your?

Start with a list of what you did
If you’ve launched a product or service that was a miss with your audience / clients, start by making a detailed list of what you did during the process. You don’t have to say things like, “I wrote content,” obviously. Instead, think about your marketing techniques, your sales page, your design, et cetera. While you’re making your list, make sure you’re listing specific details about what you did. Did you write one blog post a week up until the launch? Did you send two emails to your list in a month? To gain as much as you can from the process, you absolutely have to make sure that you’re really thinking about what you’ve done.

How could you have done those things better
So obviously to learn from a failure you have to make a plan of what you can do better for the next launch. Take your previous list and start making notes on what you can do better. Should you write more blog posts? Schedule more tweets? You may not know right away when looking at your previous list what went wrong, but take a look and really think about it. For Brand Catalyst, I had a list of almost a hundred people interested in the course, but obviously it was either not the right people ready to invest, or there was something wrong with my content / price model. I took the idea that it wasn’t the right people and the price wasn’t right, and created the marketing plan for Craft Your Brand!

Create something new or try again
Whatever you do, don’t let failure hold you back. Instead of sulking with the failure, give it some time to rest and then get back to work. You can always try to create a new product or service if you feel like something is missing from what you’ve already done, or you can simply try to launch your product or service again! Since you know what you’ve done and how you can do better with the next launch, there’s nothing wrong with trying again! The key thing here, though, is to make sure that you’re product or service didn’t fail because of the content or lack of knowledge / experience. Your customers / clients want to know that you truly know your stuff before they hand over their hard earned money!

Regardless of where you plan to go next, just make sure that if failure hits you that you learn from it and move on. Don’t let it get you down in the dumps for too long and try not to let it discourage you from getting back up and trying again!

Let’s be vulnerable for a second: have you ever experienced a failure? How can you learn from it and move on?

a day in my life as a business owner

a day in my life as a business owner

Over the course of the last three years, I’ve been honored to have been interviewed for some really amazing blogs. I won’t list them all out here, but with each interview I noticed that many people wondered what a day in my life was like as a business owner. As someone who loves seeing how other people do things, I love sharing what my days usually look like! I truly believe that by getting a peek into how your peers or those you may look up to do things so that you can maybe figure out what will work for you!

Since the last time I shared my daily routine in an interview, things have changed a bit! So, here’s a look at what a typical day as a business owner looks like for me:

06:00 – 06:30: Wake up When I was in high school I used to sleep in like crazy. I would stay up late and sleep in late. However, as I’ve gotten older things have changed. In the last few years of college, D and I were getting up around 08:00, but now he’s starting his days a lot earlier, so I wake up with him or after he gets back from his workouts. Around this time, I’m just getting up, getting Zoey out, and chatting about the day ahead and what’s for dinner.

06:30 – 07:00: Walk with Zoey Since the weather here in SC is crazy hot + humid, we’ve had to move our mid-morning walk to first thing in the morning. This means shortly after we get up or after D leaves for the day we’re out walking! We typically walk six days a week, so even on the weekend this is when we’re getting out. Depending on the weather we walk anywhere from 1.75 – 2 miles. Some days I come back and jog a few miles on our treadmill after walking, and some days I just shower and we have breakfast.

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how to collaborate to grow your brand

how to collaborate to grow your brand

It’s no secret that collaboration is a great way to grow your brand, for your blog or your business. Regardless of what you’re goals are for your brand, collaborating with people in and outside of your niche is a valuable way to get your content or services in front of people that might have never seen them, and vice versa for your collaborator.

Maybe it’s not super obvious how you can partner with your peers, but here are a few ideas on how you can do just that with an important tip on contacting those you want to collaborate with!

Do a swap: guest posts, buttons, or tweets
This one may seem obvious to you as far as guest posts go, but have you thought about swapping buttons or promotional tweets? A lot of times our peers, especially outside of our niche, have audiences that may need our services but either don’t realize it or don’t know who to turn to for what we do. Something as simple as a guest post on a topic related to your business, a button in your sidebar, or a friendly tweet about your friend’s services is a great way to swap the love and potentially grow your brand!

Combine services + do a sale to your audiences
Okay, so maybe you’re trying to grow your business, but you’re struggling to get clients. A great way to get your services out to people who may not have heard of you or realized they need you is to partner with someone outside of your niche and either do a sale of your services together or create a new joint service. If you’re not sure what I mean by this, Brandgasm (aff link) is a great example of a designer and copywriter combining their knowledge to create a joint service.

Offer + sign up for affiliate programs
A genius way to grow your brand through collaboration is by utilizing affiliate programs. Whether you sign up to help make some extra cash or someone else signs up to help promote your product or service, you’re without a doubt helping your brand. Even if you’re just promoting someone else’s products, you’re teaching your audience that you care about helping them, which means they’ll tune it to what you’re saying on your blog and on social media to see what you have to say that might benefit them.

An important note: When you’re thinking about collaborating with someone, it’s worth your time to go the extra mile when contacting them. Make sure you’re contacting people whose audience will benefit from them working with you, but make sure your audience can benefit from their products or services as well. When sending your email, make sure you’re clear on what you want to do with them, how it will benefit both parties, and as many details about the collaboration as you can. Keep your email short and to the point, but make sure you’re conveying the value of working together.

Have you collaborated to grow your brand? How has that worked for you? If you haven’t collaborated yet, would you be interested in doing any of these things?