Rebranding doesn’t have to be expensive and complicated. Read the story of how I discovered my brand with a DIY Rebrand. It improved my business and my entire life!
Today’s post is mostly blogging related, but may be of interest to anyone who owns a small business. I will be back with some decor posts shortly- all of the Fall goodness starts up this week! :)
I mentioned in my recent post on finding my personal style and self-confidence that I had been also working on rebranding. As with most things in my business up until now, I had no idea what I was getting into when I started this process, and I wish I had planned it out better. I announced back at the beginning of the year that I was taking the leap and changing my business name to my actual name. I get a lot of questions about that process, which I will talk about more another day. It will be a long post by itself because there are a bunch of things I wish I knew before I started and would love to share with you! Today I’m going to talk about my DIY Rebrand.
First, I have to take you back to what sparked this journey. Along with the name change, rebranding, and all of the technical aspects of both- I decided to tackle a Blog Audit this year. After the name change, I had a strong feeling that I need to have all of my old content maximized before moving ahead. My solution was a Blog Audit. You may have already heard of this concept- but if not, it essentially it means that I went into old blog posts and updated the writing, most of the photos, added relevant links and affiliate links when applicable, optimized the SEO, and made sure that there were Pinterest-friendly graphics in case someone wanted to save my post. It was and continues to be a process. I started with a few hundred posts, but I actually got rid of over half of them. I know that may seem like a scary concept, but I adopted a concept of quality over quantity. I had very ruthless criteria of whether a post stayed or was deleted. Did it fit my brand? Did it give value to my readers? Did it add something to the overall story of my blog? If the answer was no, I found a similar topic and redirected the URL to that high-quality post or page instead, then I deleted the post.
Part way through, I began to think about the first question on my list- Did the post fit my brand? What was my brand? I suddenly realized I had a lot of things going on: multiple logos that weren’t cohesive, multiple formats for Pinterest graphics that gave no indication that they came from the same person, multiple colors from different phases I went through. I knew I needed to pause the audit and lock down what my brand actually was before I moved forward.
This post is not sponsored, but it does include affiliate links. Please see my disclosures here for more information.
I had created a new logo when I changed my name, but I quickly fell out of love with it. I couldn’t use that as a starting point. The one thing I was sure about was that I loved my new blog theme from Restored 316. I had made a promise to myself (and Mack, who was looking over my blog finances and was like “How many blog themes can you possibly NEED?”) that I wouldn’t purchase any more themes for a year. When they released the Market Theme, I had to break that promise only a few months into this year. While the theme wasn’t technically custom, I was able to manipulate the elements quickly and easily, and I made it unique enough that it felt custom to me. When I began to think about rebranding, I reflected on what I loved about the theme, and why it felt so “me”. I loved the out-of-the-box fonts, as well as the cute little branch icon that came with the theme. It also had a vintage feel with the texture behind the logo area. That was my starting point. Since the branch wasn’t vectored, I redrew a similar branch in Illustrator so that I could resize it easily. I used the cursive font to create my logo after double-checking that it was free for commercial use (it was). So I had a blog theme and logo I loved- that was one step, but I didn’t really know where to go from there.
I quickly became overwhelmed and began to contemplate hiring out my rebranding. Long story short, there are some incredible companies out there for that process, but it wasn’t in my budget. I decided I had the graphic design skills and knew myself well enough to mostly DIY it, I just needed some guidance. Amidst my research, I stumbled across Fiona Humberstone, a.k.a. The Brand Stylist. Once I had soaked up all of the free resources on her website, I knew I was going in the right direction, so I purchased her book How to Style Your Brand. I can only say that I wish I had found her sooner. Although I had already completed some of the steps sheerly by luck (albeit at a much slower pace and roundabout way), her exercises helped me dig deep and fill in the rest of the puzzle pieces. This was what I came up with:
I can’t even fully describe how much I love the new look. It is utterly and completely me. As you can see, I took cues from what was right in front of me, in my home, which I felt was my area of expertise.
This overall discovery has certainly had a positive impact on my business. With the newfound knowledge, I was able to move more quickly through my blog audit, and all of my new content has a cohesive feeling even if the topics vary. Furthermore, I know I’m making changes and choices that I won’t regret in a few months. I’ve committed to not making any major branding changes for several years. As scary as that seems to a recovered blog theme and logo addict, I know that I need this stability to build brand awareness.
Not only has this process provided clarity for my brand and website, but it has helped to simplify the other areas of my life. I know that may sound strange, but I already touched on this in my recent post about Self Image. There are so many things that I like, but they aren’t me. In the past, I would just recklessly buy these impulse items. When it came time to wear the item, or put it on display in my home, I balked because it didn’t actually fit in with my style. Now, with these guidelines I know when a piece of clothing will actually be worn and will make me happy, and I have a reference for purchasing home decor that will be displayed and enjoyed. Ultimately this will save me time, money, and prevent clutter. I have started to audit not only my blog but also my whole life using this concept.
My new business cards are Luxe by Moo. I love how thick and expensive they feel (but they are actually very reasonable in price!).
All in all, if you’re on the fence about a rebrand- I highly recommend it. You may find you aren’t actually as far away as you imagined, but it will provide you with clarity to move forward confidently with your business.
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