Everything you need to know to get the re-brand of your freelance business right first time!
Your brand is the personality of your freelance business and to build a strong, reliable brand that is trusted and familiar, takes time.
From day one you've been delivering messages, producing content, and using your brand as the building blocks for the success of your freelance business.
So why would you undo all that hard work in favour of a re-brand?
You've put your blood, sweat and marketing tears into building your reputable brand up to what it is today. You have a steady stream of clients who are familiar with you and your work so to start again from scratch could cost time, money and potential customers. None of which are disposable at this stage of the game!
But there are some beneficial reasons to consider a re-brand of your freelance business which will help you reach your business goals.
Appeal to a new section of the market.
A spring clean or freshen up of your brand will make existing customers stand up and take notice, as well as drawing new customers into the fold. Just as with your human personality, it's important that, as a freelancer, your businesses personality keeps growing and evolving to ensure you're meeting the ever-changing needs of those around you.
There are always new clients looking for your freelance skills so if you’ve noticed a gap in their market, now would be a good time to direct your brand elsewhere.
You've got new objectives.
Perhaps you’ve added new skills to your freelancing repertoire, you have new products you want to promote or you want to increase your market share. If your original goals have now changed from when you started your freelance business, a rebrand is the best way to re-focus and concentrate on the next stage of your development.
You didn't get it right the first time.
OK, own up! Who put their branding so far down their list of priorities when they started their freelance business that it just never came together as the priority it should have been? You had a freelance designer create your logo but you were running social media yourself, and nobody even looked at your font! Why does that all need to be uniform again?! Oh yes, now we remember!
If you muddled through those early stages without any clear direction, you have probably got a brand that confuses your audience and doesn't define who your freelance business really is. A re-brand will rectify this and allow you to claim your place in the freelancing market that should have been yours from the outset.
There are many reasons that you might want to take your freelance business through a re-brand, regardless of how long you’ve been operating, or how successful you are. There’s a lot involved in the process so if you're feeling daunted at the thought of undoing all the hard work it's taken you to get to this point; here's everything you need to know to make sure you get the re-brand of your freelance business right first time!
This essential first step will help you define everything you need to know to execute a successful re-brand. You'll define your key internal and external stakeholders which includes the market you’re now trying to capture and everyone involved in the re-brand such as freelancers in other fields who will join your re-brand team.
It's a thorough process which will help you identify how well you know your existing or potential customer or market, how well they know you, and what your expectations of each other are. This stage will give you a clear understanding of what your customers want from you and your freelance business and how they want you to speak to them.
This research phase also extends to any freelancers in your network who have client contact. It’s important that you’re all aware of, and using the same, messaging to ensure consistency when talking to relevant parties.
The research involved for a successful re-brand is a thorough process and to guarantee you cover everything required, a freelance brand adviser should support you through this critical stage.
2) Develop a communication strategy.
Because there are so many cogs in the rebranding machine, it's essential that you have an effective communication strategy to make sure that the wheels keep turning throughout the whole process.
This can be as simple as an Excel document, or as sophisticated as an all-singing and all-dancing database. Implement the best process for your freelance company but it MUST exist! In addition to that, all stakeholders MUST have access and MUST use it!
You will also use this communication document to record timelines, goals, responsibilities and research; with so many people potentially involved in the process, it's non-negotiable that everything is documented in the one place to create a complete visual.
If your freelance business has been operational for many years, this will be a more complex process than if you’re a new kid on the freelancing block.
3) Plan your budget.
You need to define your budget from the outset as this will give you a realistic representation of what you can achieve as part of your overall re-brand. While some costs will only be estimates until you've received quotes you need to plan for the following:
- Printing (if you promote yourself offline)
- Web design and implementation
- Marketing collateral
- Internal and external promotions
While that can seem like an overwhelming list of considerations, using freelancers who are skilled and experienced in those individual areas will lower your costs and workload significantly.
The beauty of re-branding a freelance business is that you can continue liaising with your established clients and work while you re-brand! This will leave a much smaller dent in your income than if you had to put the brakes on completely.
4) Create a timeline.
A start to finish re-brand can be as long or short a process as your budget and freelance business goals allow. In the planning stages, you will need to create a strict timeline which defines everyone's tasks and the required date for completion.
As a freelancer, you’re fortunate that you can allow a certain amount of flexibility in your timeline unlike a bricks-and-mortar company who may be on stricter deadlines. While your re-brand takes place you still have the freedom to continue as you were and work for your regular clients (if you choose to) which means that the timelines don’t have to be set in stone.
Once everything is in place, it's time to launch your spanking new brand!
Send an email to you database introducing them to your new brand and reassure them that it’s business as usual and your quality of service is still the same. A freelance copywriter can create a template for you for a relatively low cost.
Pick up the phone to your ongoing clients who you will continue to work with after you’ve launched and advise them the same, that it’s business as usual! They will appreciate that you thought of them and it’s also a great opportunity to discuss any upcoming projects they may have.
Prepare yourself that it can take people time to warm to your new brand. This isn't necessarily a reflection on how appealing you are now, but more an indication that people don't always like change!
DO NOT be put off by negative feedback!
Now your new brand has launched you need to remain steadfast in the decisions that you and your team made and remain loyal to the new brand that your freelance business has adopted.
As with all projects, you must review and evaluate the success of your re-brand.
You are about to take your freelance business to another level under your new brand and the sky’s the limit for your success. It’s critical that any wrinkles are ironed out, problems identified and solutions are implemented immediately.
There are many experts involved in launching a successful re-brand so to execute this swiftly and efficiently it's important that you consult with a freelance brand expert to make sure that it’s implemented smoothly.