Bloggers are proud of our blogs. They are like our babies, only this baby won’t poop or puke on me. Well, at least not literally. So announcing that I’m making a change to my baby is both thrilling and terrifying. I’d say that’s exactly how I feel when I ride a roller coaster. Yep. Exact same sensation. My self titled blog SherryBoswell.com is now (drumroll)…Travel Plans in Mom Hands! Here are some rebranding tips I learned in this process and what you should and should NOT do whether rebranding or starting a business from the ground floor.
I’ve been blogging for several years as SherryBoswell.com. While I love my name and thought that would make an excellent and hard to forget blog name, it doesn’t tell people what I’m about.
A friend from church and I had an impromptu moment before service, and his first question was, “Where are you off to next?” I kinda like being associated with traveling and going places. Even though I haven’t gone outside a 100 mile radius of my home in the past few months, we do love us some travel.
I surely cannot complain about last year’s vacations with trips to Yellowstone, cruising to Alaska, duding around on a dude ranch, and playing with my minions at Universal Orlando. We were excited to check Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana off our states visited. (Hawaii, I’m coming for you. It WILL happen).
So I wanted my brand to speak to what I am most about. Which is travel, being a mom, and handling stuff. I’m a handler. But boy, coming up with a name that hasn’t already been covered in the travelsphere wasn’t easy or didn’t somehow sound too much like another blogger’s site.
After some time and a lot of effort, here’s the result. Say hello to my brand spanking new brand:
Why does this make me think of the “you’re in good hands with Allstate” tagline? Sorry I digress. It incorporates some of the old (globe and fonts) with the new (hands). I have to say that I’m very happy with my friend Carol Jones who whipped this right up!
Reflecting on this rebranding process, there were several takeaways that I think will help people starting a new business or attempting to rebrand an old one. I’ve come up with 2 Do’s and 2 Don’ts when faced with rebranding or
Tips on What to Do and NOT to Do When Starting a New Business or Rebranding
The 2 DOS:
Work on YOU and figure out what sets you apart. Then start.
What are you about? Not what’s your job or who your family is or any of that business. We are talking you. Especially when you and your brand are interchangeable.
I am not someone who finds this an easy task, so it took me a while. Heck, I’m not at all sure I have it totally figured out even now after taking the time to reflect and do it! But I did go over what my elevator pitch sounds like and what things need to be in those few precious seconds.
It reminds me of the season of life I’m in now with my kids. We are smack in the middle of my oldest daughter’s junior year of high school Yes, looming ahead is COLLEGE. This is no small decision. I was expecting to be scared or freaked out, but I’m actually really excited for her. And one of the best things she’s doing to prepare for applying is to think about what she wants in a school. She also needs to know who she is and what sets her apart from all the other applicants. She’s going through the same process that I did in identifying what I want my blog to be and how I want it to be different from all the other blogs out there.
Just like my family is touring many colleges and universities and taking in what they have to offer, look at other brands and see what they are doing. Not to copy them, but to be inspired. See what’s working and what is worthy of emulating. Notice I did not say copying. We all have a list of people we admire who are slaying it in their fields. Let them be your inspiration. Notice who is in the same space so you can find ways to STAND OUT.
Have fun brainstorming.
Boy, this is the fun part. I’m AWESOME at brainstorming. It’s the execution that is my devil in the details. But boy, I could sit in a room and think of fun, creative ways to do things or how I could turn a sponsored post into a commercial and write a jingle for it. That stuff is my JAM! The same goes for coming up with a new concept for your blog or business. In fact, I dare say it’s even harder when rebranding because you have the OLD way of how it was done. Get some fresh eyes and think of some off the wall ideas. And write them all down. Even if they don’t stick, filling up a sheet or screen with audacious ideas is good for the soul. Then let it ruminate for a while. See which ones stand out after a few days. Oh, they will be obvious, I assure you!
And the 2 Do NOTS:
Do NOT try to do this alone. Ask for and/or hire help.
I couldn’t be luckier than to have tons of great friends and mentors in this space. They are willing to listen to my crazy thoughts and whims and also offer their take on it. Which keeps me on course. So share your vision with those whom you admire and see what reaction it gets. Believe me, your tribe will tell it to you straight. We all need sounding boards. Use them.
Another key to my progress is I’m also part of a Facebook group called Courage to Earn. Brainchild of Brandi Riley, this group is taking me places, y’all. I’ve learned more in a few months than I have in probably the last 4 years. A few seconds chatting with Brandi about my blog and I’m all ready to leap tall buildings Supergirl or Wonder Woman style. She is a blog whisperer and an amazing resource.
Finally, here’s one of the most important things I’ve learned: if I can’t do it and easily learn how to do it, then hire it done! (Yeah, so what if that’s also my justification for having help cleaning the house.) Case in point: I had no clue how to do my Google Sitemap. Yeah, wasn’t happening. I simply reached out to my buddy Allison Taylor and she made it happen. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Find the go to person with the requisite skills and let them get it done!
Do NOT make it worse when you done goofed. Drop back and punt.
My first concept at a new name for my blog, I went all in. We quickly did a search to make sure no one else had the name (they didn’t). My techie husband helped me grab 3 URLs for the website and paid for them. And then in conversation with a friend Leslie who also happened to be a former copyright attorney, she suggested that the names could be too similar to existing sites.
This was me.
I done goofed. I rushed in so fast that I didn’t do my due diligence and think about this improtant question: where do I fit in this space and how do I stand out? Hard to stand out if you are getting your butt kicked by someone who already owns the space and has significant SEO game.
But the important takeaway: be willing to talk about it and get advice. And if you face plant, own it and be willing to wipe the pie off your face. In my case, it’s a $ 40 life lesson. Do your homework first. Sleep on it. Don’t get in so much of a rush to get to the finish line that you forget to do the training along the way.
Heck, I’ve waited this long to rebrand. It could have waited one more day. But I got excited and twitchy and I wanted it now. Like Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka, I wanted my candy NOW!
Yeah, not pretty. (And that didn’t work out so well for Veruca, now did it?)
Anyway, the one thing I would ask of you since you made it this far in reading this is, keep following my shenanigans. Ask questions and post comments. I’m wanting to grow this as a business and this is so much more than a hobby. I’d love for you to be a part of the conversation, and that requires a two way street. Tell me what you think! And if you wouldn’t mind, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. I’m getting close to 5,000 followers on Twitter and I would love to roll that number over! Subscribe by email. However you will put up with me, I am grateful.