What Does it Mean to Rebrand?
Rebranding is a frequently misunderstood business term. If done properly it can send your business to new heights; however if done improperly or for the wrong reasons, it could be the start of the end for your business as you know it. To further highlight this concept, I interviewed Kelly McCausey, who has made quite a name for herself within the freelance and work at home community.
One of Kelly’s many successful endeavors was WAHM Talk Radio. I say was because she recently rebranded. What was formerly enjoyed as Work at Home Mom Talk Radio is now known as Solo Smarts. Read below for insightful information on the recent, exciting change. As you are reading the interview consider if it may be time to rebrand your own business.
TCB: I’ve known you for a long time, and when I need to give a quick elevator speech who you are when referencing your talent, skills and abilities I generally say something along the lines of Awesome Internet Marketing Coach, focusing on the WAHM community. But now that your baby is grown up and moved out of the home do you still consider yourself a WAHM? What is a good quick way to describe who you are or what you do?
Kelly: I fell in love with the WAHM community back in 2002 and feel grateful for my years as a work at home mom. When Sean first moved out, I didn’t feel that different about myself. It wasn’t until this past Spring that I realized how much my life had changed and how little I could personally identify with the life of a work at home mom. I don’t juggle work with taking care of kids or car pools or late night feedings, it’s just me and me and me.
Of course I still have a big heart for moms who want or need to build a business at home and I still hope to engage and inspire as many as possible.
How long did you consider the idea of rebranding and was there something or someone who helped confirmed you were ready for the change?
I started feeling the need for a change about three months ago. I have operated with complete authenticity from the beginning and felt I was losing that. As I sat down to record Work at Home Moms Talk Radio, about 10 minutes in nothing I’d been talking about had anything to do with work at home moms. I stopped the recording, hit delete and started over – but it didn’t feel right. I had to admit it was time to call it quits.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want to podcast anymore, I never want to stop – I love it! What I needed was a new brand that I could feel genuine about. If I’m not a ‘work at home mom’ anymore, what am I? Who would I be for a long time into the future? My decision? I’m a Solopreneur. This fits me perfectly and that led me to my new brand, Solo Smarts.
This new brand lets me be myself and reach out to those who share my passion for building a business using the internet.
We’ve seen our share of women who give up too early because their business isn’t as successful as quickly as they initially hoped. They can’t seem to define a target market or decide what they want to be when they grow up. Do you think there is any general rule of thumb as far as time frame that independent business owners should stick with their chosen niche or branding before considering alternatives?
I hate to see anyone give up on an idea before they’ve given it a solid effort. Too many give up too soon for sure. I would also hate to see someone trying to make a go of a bad business idea. The best rule of thumb I can offer is to get advice from an expert. You need their experience and perspective on your business plans, they’ll help you cut your losses if need be or go for it with all you’ve got if you’re on the right track.
One last question about rebranding because this is a new concept for some who are new freelancers or independent consultants. Can you explain the difference between updating your website to give it a new look and rebranding.
Interesting question Laurie, as you know, an independent consultant is connected to the brand of their company, so they’re representing and promoting that brand. Anything they want to do to supplement their company marketing tools have to be pre-approved to assure that they’re not misrepresenting the company’s brand.
Freelancers on the other hand should create a brand and communicate it well. Who are they? What’s their unique skill set? Why would a client want to work with you or be loyal to you? How would a client describe you and recommend you to others? Your website, content and marketing materials should convey your brand in a consistent way. Your brand may be that you’re the perfect ghostwriting choice for direct sellers and that you’re ridiculously dedicated to meeting client deadlines.
The last part of your question is important. A brand is communicated by a website – but giving a site a new look isn’t technically ‘rebranding’ yourself. My recent rebrand involved a new name, a new domain, a new site design and a newly defined target market. I should mention that a rebrand doesn’t have to involve a new name – lots of great companies rebrand themselves without changing their business name. If you’d like to learn more about branding, I recommend the resources here. (http://marketing.about.com/cs/brandmktg/a/whatisbranding.htm)