Building and then deciding when it’s the right time to reinvent your brand, with pocket money, is no easy task. It takes time and effort to build your brand, even the one around your name as a freelancer. So when you do decide to change things on it, it needs to be done well. Scratch that, it needs to be done perfectly! Gabriel Iosa is not just my name, it is also my label.
In order to reinvent your brand and become so much more than you’re now, you need to first understand why brands are important. And what makes them great in the first place. Then, we’ll move into the idea of brand reinvention, and why and when you should do that. Finally, we’ll break down the actual steps you need to take in order to get there, with little to no money.
What makes a great brand?
A brand is something people recognize and trust without much headache. When you brand something, you give it an identity, a story, a thing people can relate to. People don’t relate to Coca Cola and the taste. They relate to the fact that it’s cool to drink it, that everybody does it, and that it is so nice and refreshing after a day in the sun. That’s branding, in a phrase!
Making your brand great is surely not an easy thing to do. It takes time, effort, planning, trying things and testing. Adapting to what the people are looking for from it. When I decided to brand my freelance writing gigs into a “work-from-anywhere-writer” website, I wanted to make sure people knew what I liked and what I’m good at. That’s my brand’s foundation.
Knowing when to reinvent your brand
Before moving into how to reinvent your brand, let’s figure out an even more important trait. When it’s the right time to go for a rebranding? Or reinvention of your brand? While not an actual science, I’ve found it great to look for three main indicators for when it’s the right time to change something about your personal brand. The main focus? Listen to the people!
When people stop interacting
If you’re doing the same thing you’ve done for a while now, and are seeing a decrease in interactions with your followers, then it’s time to give them something new. While your content might still be great, the problem is with your followers seeing too much of the same design and graphics. It’s time to change things when interaction is on a constant decline over 3 months.
When clients forget about you
The main idea behind putting up a brand and constantly interacting with people is to turn them into clients. This will surely work after putting in some work over it. Good content, comments, free stuff, and so on. But sooner or later, clients will simply stop showing up. It means your brand is not telling the right story. Change your brand when clients forget about your existence.
When followers tell you
Probably the best time to change elements of your brand is when your followers or clients tell you. When feedback is coming, either good or bad, the best thing to do is to take notice, and act on it. Maybe your font is hard to read. Or maybe your website is slow. Maybe your brand story is offensive to a group of certain people. When people tell you to change, you have to act.
How to reinvent your brand
Reinventing your brand does not mean changing it 100%. Your story and purpose stay the same. You just want to present yourself and your product or service in a new, better, more up-to-date way. That’s basically it. I’ll use my own branding technique that I’ve applied on this website and for my services to show you just how you can reinvent your brand with basically no money.
Break it down into small tasks
-Define what’s working – Reinventing your brand is exciting. But it does not mean changing your brand, no. You love and have worked hard for your brand. Something though stopped working, which is why you want to change it. Define what’s working, the first time around. Ask fans, and colleagues. Make a list of the pros. See why your current brand is so popular, and interesting.
-Point out what’s wrong – Just as you did with the pros, come up with a list of why this brand needs changes. What’s not working anymore? Is it the main logo, which is just outdated? Is it something about your story, or how you present it to the people? Are your customers under the impression you’re not credible enough? What makes your brand wrong, right now?
-Enhance the good, remove the bad – Now that you’ve got the good and the bad, it’s time to work on both. Don’t exclude the good and focus on just changing the bad. No, you need to enhance the good elements of your brand, while removing the bad ones. It’s that simple! When the fire goes, just add some wood. When there’s too much soda in your punch, remove some.
-Pay for help – It’s no secret we people can’t be good at everything. We may think we are, but we’re not. When dealing with a brand change, be it for design or whatever else, if we can’t face it on our own, we can simply pay someone for help. Retouching your logo, for example, can be as simple as adding a new line or two, or as complicated as requiring an actual designer.
-Make it your own even more – What a personal brand tells your customers is your success story. And when you read a story that’s motivating you, you want to read a story about personal experience, struggles, and overcoming them. This is what your new brand should look, read, and feel like. Make your story and brand more of your own, than anything else.
Use Canva for designs
Canva is amazing. I’m not great with any professional photo editing tool because guess what? I’m not a photographer or a designer! This is why, when the time comes, I use Canva to get me out of my trenches. Canva is free, and a great tool for freelancers, but also a great way to reinvent your brand. Thousands of examples and premades await in the web app, to boost your creativity.
Use social media exposure
Make sure you define what social media is doing for your brand. If you want to reinvent your brand, you should also reinvent your ways. For years, I’d used Instagram and Facebook mindlessly. Just posting and then not being able to see what the benefits were. There weren’t any! Because my posting was sporadic, uninteresting, and simply lame and repetitive.
Now, I use all of my social media channels to build upon my “content creator working from anywhere and getting paid with plane tickets” brand. I post freelancing advice, content tips, photos from my travels from all over the world, and I do it on a regular basis. I have a schedule now. This means growth on the social media side of my brand. Discipline. Results.
Become the best customer support person
90% of my long term clients have stayed with me because I’m a great communicator. Exactly their words. It’s not so much as a constant need for my articles or content. It’s more a thing of being there, speaking my mind and solving problems, whenever they need me to. When it comes to communication, it’s the most important thing you can do to elevate your brand.
Become the very best customer support person you can be. No, responding to a message from a client at 10 at night is not unprofessional. It shows them you’re there, when nobody else is. It proves to them you’re invested, and ready to jump in, regardless of the time of day or night. Talk to them. Be their partner and content creator, but also their friend. Learn to care about them.
Test, test, test
Don’t just go for the changes you’re about to make. Heck, even something as simple as a new social media strategy, which I’ve mentioned before, needs testing. Whatever it is that you do, you need to test it. Feedback is crucial, regardless if your community is 30, or 30.000 people. Test and read the feedback, these two are of great importance when changing your ways.
Stay true to your brand’s core
Finally, the most important thing when dealing with a reinvention of your brand is to keep the core of your story and branding alive. Don’t forget what you’re doing, and why. Don’t change your soul and motives. You’re just wearing some new clothes, not changing your entire body. It’s just a new and improved appearance, but the statement you’ve made to your followers stays on.
Three key rules for rebranding
Brand reinvention is not about changing the name, or the logo of your actual enterprise. It’s not about creating a new campaign, be it organic or paid. It means a ton more involvement on your part, as you can see, while still keeping the nature of your business the same. If done right, reinventing your brand will have you winning more followers and therefore clients. Here are the three most important rules for when you do a rebrand without shortcuts.
”New campaigns” won’t work
New campaigns are good for when you’re not rebranding yourself. Reinventing your brand is your personal campaign. A new campaign or a launch will not respond to your “who am I?” question. Just changing a logo and tagline, and launching the new website in a campaign, will get you your compliments. But authenticity, and keeping it 100% with people, is key here.
Prove your worth
The best rule you need to keep in mind for brand reinvention is how you’re going to prove it to your followers and clients that you’re worth their time, and then money. Look deep within your brand story, and tactics, and point out the most valuable things you bring to the brand-client table. Interact with people, send them goodies, keep them close. They’ll know you’re worth it.
Keep your authenticity
Finally, probably the most important trait of any brand is authenticity. This is why brand reinvention is such a powerful, but also dangerous task. If you lose your authentic self, your original story, mingled between details of the new and the better, you’ll lose your core. Whatever you do to your brand, keep it authentic, and let people know why they stayed with you for years.
Hei, just a quick thing before you leave:
First, nice of you to read thus far, it means that you’ve enjoyed my writing!
I’m not here to ask you for any likes, shares, or comments, although that would be cool of you! Instead, I’m offering you a chance to have an even better piece, sort of like this one, but better, written for you by a content creator. That would be me! Check out my Services, Portfolio and Testimonials pages for details. And then shoot me an email at the address you’ll find on the Contact page.
If you’re a freelancer like me and are confused about learning how to make money online, especially through writing but also programming, design, or social media management, you can buy my book. It’s called “From 0 To $2543 A Month With A Crappy Laptop – The Freelancing Course From A Self-Made Content Creator Boss” and you can find it on Amazon at 50% off!