I’d like to take my personal brand in a completely new direction. What’s the first step to successfully rebranding?
The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. Build On What Works Now
Building a good brand is hard, so try not to throw out everything when you rebrand. Even if you need a new direction, you may have found things that resonated with your audience. Those successful bits, no matter how small they are, should be the foundation of your new rebranding effort. So, use the first step to examine the best of what you have now. – Matt Doyle, Excel Builders
2. Start With a Blog
Whether rebranding your personal brand or starting one for the first time, my recommendation would be to start with a blog. Writing about what you stand for is an excellent way to get yourself out there and position yourself as an expert and connoisseur on the matter, as well as earn yourself the trust and loyalty of your readers. – David Tomas, Cyberclick
3. Be Clear and Consistent
For successful rebranding, make sure your new direction is clear, and be consistent about delivery of that new direction. First spend time on yourself, physically writing out your rebranding strategy in the simplest and clearest terms. Then consistently deliver that strategy to the public through all avenues available, with an emphasis on social media channels. – Obinna Ekezie, Wakanow.com
4. Take Baby Steps
In rebranding, it is important that you do not change what people love about you. Stick with it, but represent yourself in a way that people will remember you easily, without batting an eyelash. Little by little, make steps that will reintroduce you. From tagline to photo to hashtags, everything must be memorable. – Daisy Jing, Banish
5. Create Lists, Then Circle What You Want to Focus on
Write a list of strengths and weaknesses. Write a list of likes and dislikes. Write a list of experiences you’ve had. Then circle three items from one list, two from another, two from another and then focus on those. Now you’ve got a true identity, but one that might look different if you circled different items. You can rebrand yourself by emphasizing various factors. It’s still you, but different. – Brandon Stapper, 858 Graphics
6. Focus on What You’re Best at
If your brand failed, there was a reason. Rebranding is tough, so it’s important that you start getting the new one right starting from the planning stage. When building your new one, focus on the authentic. Start with the feature or service that you’re the best at delivering, and make that the basis for your new brand. Matching your identity will give your new brand staying power. – Adam Steele, The Magistrate
7. Let Your Story Inspire
People like to hear and identify with stories or be inspired by them. Be yourself, be personal, be authentic, and share your story including the difficult times. You’ll find that it will stick more if you do have a story to tell. Then, when you rebrand, it’s still the same story, but this time it includes the personal journey and decision for why you are making that transition. – Julien Pham, RubiconMD
8. Change the Look and Feel of Your Online Channels
Revamp the look and feel of everywhere you represent yourself online, including your website, blog and social media pages. Change content and provide a definition of the new brand image that you will now be promoting. – Angela Ruth, Due
9. Find Your New Story
First ask yourself a few questions to build a successful strategy, like, “What’s wrong with my current brand, if anything?” and “What about my current brand am I looking to change?” Branding is a form of storytelling. Find your new story by building a solid structure you know you can stick to. Reinforce this story by speaking, getting gigs that align with your story and writing a lot. – Maren Hogan, Red Branch Media
10. Decide What Image You Want to Present
Ask yourself what is the image you want to present. Which of your skills do you want to be known for? Are you an expert in a certain field, a philanthropist, a designer, or a businessperson? Once you have made that decision, you will have the direction needed to rebrand yourself. Every post, article and branding step should be created to reinforce your chosen image. – Peter Bonac, Bonac Innovation Corp.
11. Make the Transition Smooth
The best personal brands I follow are now talking about things that are different than when they launched. The best of them found a way to transition out of their niche or pigeon hole without making big declarations. Find a way to flow into your new direction. Start by mentioning the new topic a little more, and you’ll guide your followers in that direction without much attrition. – Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Doorbell
12. Make It a Point of Discussion with Fans and Followers
It shouldn’t be a quick or overnight process. Provide your followers with notice about the recent changes you’ve been going through and let branding follow naturally. You will notice that your rebranding might even turn into a “series,” with other ancillary platforms gaining a boost from the increased engagement. With this engagement-driven change, there’ll be a sizable profit. – Cody McLain, SupportNinja
13. Keep Your Message Clear
Rebranding isn’t just an internal strategy. Rebranding affects your current audience, and will of course have a huge impact on your future audience as well. Developing a clear message and communicating with your current clients and customers will go a long way to ensuring a smooth transition. Your customers can often be your best brand ambassadors, so get them onboard with your rebrand early. – Blair Thomas, First American Merchant
14. Believe in the Change
Your audience must believe in your new brand. In order to rebrand yourself, you need to build on the earnest belief that you are expressing your true self. Changing your personal brand direction will only be successful if you are undergoing a true transformation, otherwise the market will see through your messages and your efforts will appear void. Your customers can sense when you are faking it. – Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors
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