Have you ever found yourself hesitant to go after an opportunity or put something new out for your audience because of that nagging little feeling that all your ducks aren’t in a row? That something’s just a little bit off inside your business? As a business with a social, environmental, or community focus, do you feel like maybe you’re not showing just how much you care?
It’s a big enough problem that you’re afraid to waste the chance for more exposure… maybe you’re even afraid to start blogging or sharing your new product on social media. You’re waiting for everything to feel just right before emailing those ideal clients you’re dying to work with….
That is NOT a good situation to be in as a business owner, especially when you’re trying to make a difference. And yeah, I know how it feels – kind of like you’re trapped, watching everyone else get the recognition, clients, and sales that you want to use to make the world a better place.
Sometimes we just have to get over ourselves and repeat “done is better than perfect” each morning. But other times that disconnect we feel is real. That’s what we’re going to dig into today – how to know when it’s time to upgrade your brand.
What does upgrading your brand really mean? Well, there are different levels of revamping things. The most intense is to do a rebrand, which is the direction you would go in if your audience has drastically changed or you’re switching your business direction completely. It’s also the direction you could take if you’re worried your brand doesn’t reflect your philanthropy. But today we’re going to stick to upgrading your brand, which I like to think of as re-approaching certain elements of your band that need a bit of a refresh.
You’ll know your brand needs an upgrade when you feel growing pains or resistance to visibility.
When you started your business, you likely made baby steps with your brand. Maybe you got a recent design school graduate to do your logo and you DIY’d a website. Your business has grown since then, though, and so you’re feeling the disconnect between how you present your brand and the type of customers you want to attract.
Your branding is going to feel off when:
- You’re not reaching the right customer
- You’re not reaching ANY customers
- You don’t feel like yourself whenever you’ve got your business owner hat on
- You don’t feel like the causes you support are getting their deserved attention
- Doing any kind of marketing feels yucky or pointless
- You need to raise your prices
- Your brand’s visual identity is dated
- Your brand’s visual identity is no longer suited to your business
If this disconnect is strong enough, you might even be avoiding contact with your dream clients. Maybe you’re considering turning down a chance to guest post on a really great blog or be a podcast guest because you feel like you’ll waste the opportunity for visibility by presenting something that doesn’t feel like you.
Upgrading your brand starts with identifying the area that needs the most attention.
The parts of your brand that often need extra attention as you grow are:
- Your brand platform
- Your brand visuals
- Your website
- Your products or services
- Your copywriting and written content
Each of these areas should be carefully crafted to attract the person, places, or causes you’re actually in business to help and to serve. So let’s dig deeper into each of these elements to explore how you might upgrade and refresh them when those growing pains start holding you back.
Your brand platform no longer connects with your ideal client.
Oof. This is probably the single biggest reason to upgrade your brand. Your brand platform is what you stand for and how that gets expressed through words and visuals. It’s how you talk about your ideal customer and even how you talk about yourself. If you’re attracting the wrong customer (or no customers) then there might be a disconnect between the purpose behind your brand and the audience you want to attract.
Your brand visuals feel off.
If your logo, graphics, or photos don’t create a strong connection between your brand and your ideal customers you could be leaving money on the table. Let’s say you want to charge premium prices but the leads you’re getting are always trying to negotiate you down. This very well could be because your brand visuals are outdated, too DIY, or don’t relate strongly enough to your brand platform. Another pitfall? If your brand visuals are all about you without enough consideration for what would attract your ideal customer. You’ve got to find the sweet spot between visuals that fit your view of your brand AND ALSO fit what your ideal customer is attracted to.
You have website shame.
You may need someone to upgrade you if website shame is holding you back from really blowing it up. If you can identify what it is about your website that makes you too embarrassed to link to it anywhere and everywhere, you can start to do something about it. You want your website to be a strong part of your customer’s experience with your brand. If they land on your site and buy from your (or book a discovery call, for example) but what they thought you were all about online doesn’t translate to the real world… well, let’s just say that does NOT strengthen your know, like, and trust factor.
Your products and services don’t suit your ideal customer anymore.
Maybe you saw early success with what you offered but lately you haven’t been seeing any real traction. Maybe you raised your prices but now the dollar sign on those old offerings doesn’t seem to attract your people anymore. Perhaps you WANT to raise your rates but can’t figure out how to do that without adding value somewhere. In this case, you need to upgrade your brand’s offerings by packaging your services up in a new way, adding more value, and repositioning your products in a stronger way to reflect the customer best suited for it — and the impact their purchase will make.
Your words just feel all wrong.
The copy on your About page. Each and every blog post. Your weekly newsletter. Your sales page copy. Those pesky Instagram captions. All of the words you use to express your brand should connect with your target audience and their emotions. When those words you spend so much time on are completely ineffectual, it can be really demoralizing, right? To fix your brand voice, you can hire a copywriter or rewrite those key parts of your brand presence by stepping outside of yourself a bit.