By Laura Husson
As a website developer, launching websites is a part of my daily routine. But when it came to unveiling my own rebrand earlier this year, it was a whole different ball game.
The rebranding process was involved. All told, it took eight months to go through the stylist sessions, the personal shopping, the photo shoot, the design process, and finally development of my new website baby. With this much invested, naturally I wanted results. Could I have predicted the way that events unfolded after this puppy went live?
To give you an idea, here’s how things rolled in the first hours of launch:
• 935 unique visitors in the first seven hours of the site being live
• 14 hot enquiries in the first 24 hours
• List growth of 25 percent in 24 hours
But, were those quick wins worth the long time investment and considerable financial investment? Let’s take a look at what I invested in and whether it was ultimately worth it.
The big rebranding picture
Rebranding is a long, arduous process. Here’s the lowdown on the various elements that are typical of the rebrand process:
Before setting off in any direction, know that the key to your success is in developing a thematic concept that will run through your new brand. You may wish to consider hiring some input in this area if it feels like an impossible thing to lock down on your own.
Your concept will provide that consistent reassurance factor for your audience—no matter where they encounter your brand, if you have your concept right they’ll know that it’s unmistakably YOU.
Budget allocation: $1,000-2,000
This part is scary for most of us. Entrepreneurs spend months fretting about their photo shoots. How will it go? Will I get the results that I’ve seen in the photographer’s portfolio? How should I stand? And the biggie: How should I wear my hair? Luckily for us, professional photographers have the answer to all of these questions’s and more—ask for recommendations, look around at other people’s sites, and speak to your shortlisted photographers on the phone before committing.
The recipe for jaw dropping photos is all in the chemistry between you and your snapper of choice. Make sure that your personalities and brand vision click and that you’re sure they understand your business and, most importantly, your audience.
Budget allocation: $2,000-5,000
To take some more assertive control, you might hire a personal branding stylist to prep you for your shoot. Together you’ll come up with some awesome ideas and, potentially, the whole concept for your rebrand if you choose the right person (two birds with one stone anyone?).
You can work with a stylist virtually or get up close and personal and hit the streets for a day of retail therapy. Both options work well if you choose someone who knows how to dress your shape and understands the message you are communicating to your peeps.
Budget allocation: $1,500-2,500 (plus shopping money)
You’re no doubt familiar with the concept that content is king; in this big old rebrand puzzle, never a truer word was spoken. No matter how great your shiny new online home looks when it’s finished, without decent communication, you’re never going to see results from all your blood, sweat, and tears.
Make your words count. Speak directly to your perfect customer. Imagine them as just one person and really connect in a way that matters to them. If they read your words and feel like, “Hey, that’s me!” your work is done.
You can invest in a copywriter to do the hard work for you, although my personal recommendation for a longer term smart business owner option is to invest in learning to write in your own words. I recommend checking out A Course About Copy.
With your concept in place and your shoot in the bag, you’re all set to start putting it all together. Here you’ll team up with a web design and development team who will take your jigsaw pieces and work some pixel-shaped magic together.
While it’s super important that your brand looks awesome on your website, make sure that you’re working with a team who understand that user experience matters, too. If the website doesn’t draw people on a journey through your website, then all of this effort will have been in vain.
Invest in the right pro team who have a proven record of experience creating digital homes that matter. Ask for referrals from your buisness buddies and check the links at the bottom of the page on sites that you love. Any respectable web team will offer you a non-obligation chat; book in a few of those and relax into the experience of trusting that you’ll choose the team who just get it.
Budget allocation: $5,000-20,000 (your website price will depend on a long list of criteria. Book those chats and find out what you need to set aside. Ask about payment plans to spread the cost.)
You’d think that with all of the above checked off you’d be ready to go, right? Wrong.
Invariably, we all hit the rebranding wall at some point in this experience. The wall appears when the end is in sight and we start to freak out that the public are going to be judging us. Common panics come in the shape of “Eek, how did I spend all this money?”, “What if no one likes it?”, “Maybe my old site wasn’t so bad?”, and “Who do I think I am showing off like this?”
ALL. TOTALLY. NORMAL.
Bust through the wall and get it out there my friend. If you need help to do this, reach out to some trusted biz buddies or get some positive mindset coaching
The end result
You made it! Congratulations! You worked your way through the myriads of decisions, doubts and dramas and your new brand is ready for the world to revere.
But wait … is there such a thing as a finished brand? I am DELIGHTED with the end result of my own unveiling, but I already have more in store.
More pages, more ideas, and more fun ways to help my audience. And that’s OK.
Here's what my site looked like before:
Here's what it looks like now:
Was the rebrand worth it?
Beyond a shadow of a doubt. Now, five weeks after the launch here’s what the new brand has resulted in:
- Monthly income has more than doubled
- The total investment in the whole rebranding shebang has paid for itself three times over
- I have 20 percent more inquiries hitting my inbox
- The caliber of clients that we are attracting has increased significantly; the new enquiries coming in are from far more established business owners serious about investing in their businesses (bigger budgets)
- List growth is over 47 percent
Rebranding has grown the business in EVERY way imaginable. Not just financially but we’ve established ourselves firmly on the map as the go-to experts in our field. It’s the stuff the entrepreneur dreams are made of.
And it’s not just me who says so; here’s what others who have rebranded have to say about the return on their investment: (The first quote is from one of my clients, the rest are not my clients.)
"Since investing in Laura to rebrand my new website, my entire biz has taken a huge upgrade. Before the new site even went live I had tripled the amount of people I was reaching with my message.” –Mel Wells
"Will never forget the "take my money! LOL" email. She became a customer just as soon as I put a purchase link up a few months later” –Nikki Elledge Brown
“Since I rebranded at the end of last year things have seriously taken off! I've booked more strategy calls than I had previously, I have made more money from my coaching (in three months) than I did all of last year. An unexpected side effect of the rebrand is that my confidence in myself and my business increased. I used to feel so amateur and embarrassed by my website so I never sent people to my site (just my blog). The rebrand gave me confidence to start promoting myself more and be more visible because now I'm damn proud of my digital home and want to show it off to everyone.” –Jennifer Blanchard Williams
“My rebrand skyrocketed my biz like woah! Went from no clients to having a two-month wait list. Went from struggling to find my ideal client to having an almost $40,000 month. The total alignment that came with the rebrand and mindset shifts is what I credit to my success.” –Jenn Scalia
Laura Husson is the founder and driving force between Husson Media Ltd. Together with her team she creates irresistible websites and devises savvy online strategy for entrepreneurs who are ready to put themselves on the map and then some. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.