By Personal Branding Blog, Published November 14, 2014
Why should a business get your services? Why should a company hire you? What makes you so special? Think of yourself as a product that you’re marketing to an audience – why should they buy you?
Though you may have defined your personal brand earlier on, having decided on the niche or industry you want to pursue and built an image around it, it shouldn’t mean that you should feel confined to that particular image. On the contrary, most people have realized that their first attempts at personal branding aren’t very successful, and so they have continually adapted and evolved until they finally find the image that really suits them. Products actually do this a lot as well – changing or evolving for the better (or sometimes worse) in order to cater to their chosen clientele better.
Is this what rebranding is all about?
So you may have started with a personal brand that you soon realized doesn’t exactly fit the image you want to portray now. You’ve already exerted a lot of effort in this branding campaign, only to find out that it just doesn’t click. So does this mean you need to rebrand yourself?
Actually, when you think about it, your personal brand is still all about you. Maybe you want to change your focus, redefine your message, or you want to target a niche that’s more specific, but in the end, it’s still your story, your ideals, your values. That doesn’t change – and so as a personal brand, you don’t really have to rebrand per se, but you grow, evolve and blossom as you find a better focus on what you really want to stand for.
Let’s face it – brands, whether they’re personal or business ones, constantly need to adapt to the changing times to survive. Brands who remain stagnant, those who are unwilling or unable to budge from their current focus even as the rest of the world evolves, are the ones who gradually die out and lose their customers, because they are unable to adapt.
People continually reinvent themselves as they take on new challenges, get new jobs, or find better pastures in other fields. There are times when the changes are small, while some also have to make major changes in their lives so they can fully embrace what’s about to come.
But as your brand changes and evolves, how do you ensure that the transition is smooth and hassle-free? How do you keep your current audience while opening yourself up to new ones in your evolved personal brand?
Take small steps
You don’t have to do a complete 360-degree turn from your current personal brand. Actually, as you adapt to your newfound focus, it’s a lot better to take small steps and gradually change aspects of your brand one by one until you finally get to where you want to be.
First, make sure to define where exactly you want to focus your energies. Do your research, take classes, talk to people, make sure you understand the industry, and look for mentors within it. Ask yourself what you need to know, and what you can do to learn it. Then go from there.
Let your audience know what you’re doing
Though you may want to surprise your audience with the change in your personal brand, that may not be the best way of retaining their attention. Some of them may not take it well, especially if you’re really moving away from your current focus. The best way to ensure that you don’t alienate your audience is to let them know what you’re doing. Let them know that there’s going to be a change, but that it’s going to be for the better, and you hope that they stick around for it. They’ll surely be curious enough to wait around for the change in your personal brand.
It’s not about abandoning your old brand, but making sure it adapts to what you picture it to be
Truly, it’s not like shedding off your skin for a new one; it’s simply about making sure that your personal brand is what you really want it to be. Honestly, it’s not really about rebranding, but evolving and transitioning to an image that better represents you and what you do. The previous experiences you have can actually enhance what you can offer in the future, so make sure to use that to your advantage.