It happens every year – the weather starts getting warmer, and we start eyeing that cluttered garage, or investigating those boxes in the basement. Spring Cleaning is a yearly rite, one that brings a freshness and cleanliness to our homes.
(hey – I know it’s Fall here in the Midwest, but it IS Spring on the southern half of the planet..)
But when was the last time you had a spring cleaning for your website, your brand, or even your own sense of self?
Weather aside, how do you know that it’s time to start uncluttering the garage of your soul?
Here are 3 signs that it’s time to re-brand, re-design, and re-invent yourself and your business:
- Your income takes a nose-dive.
- People look at your site and make a face (and it’s not a happy face )
- You are bored with your own work.
I know these 3 tell-tale signs intimately. As a true do-it-yourself-kinda-gal, I have always been able to update and sometimes add pretty bells and whistles to my website/blog. But even do-it-yourselfers hit a wall, and I hit it face-first.
Everything I tried to do to prop up my blog looked like some 55 year old grandmother was doing it. And before you get all – well, that’s ageist – I am a 55 year old grandmother. (yeah yeah – I know I don’t look that old…you were going to say that – right?)
While I was feeling doomed by my inability to present myself as anything other than an “oldster,” my good buddy Amy Porterfield introduced me to her friend Rachel Gogos. Rachel has this fabulous company called brandiD, and one of the nicest-looking websites I’d seen in a while. But what was really cool about her business process is she takes you through a few internal processes to determine how to develop your outer website.
Some of you might remember when I was branding my business as “socially congruent.” This is where your inner soul is congruent, or “in line with” how you present yourself online. So Rachel’s work process felt deeply congruent to me.
She uses a system called a 360 Personal Brand Assessment developed by Reach, in which your friends, family, and business connections take an evaluation, producing descriptions of you and how you work. As more and more people go through the process a set of words rise to the top. She takes these words and interprets them into your colors, shapes and elements of the website design. Once Rachel gets super clear on your business and personal goals, target audience and what makes them tick she then develops the architecture of your website! Rachel has another site where you can explore that concept on your own. Go to iDentityShoppe.com and click the link for “Take the 360 Brand Analysis.”
Some of the words that rose to the top for me included; energetic, positive and self-motivated. These words are associated with particular colors and shapes. Rachel has developed a great team of designers and developers who understand this process. Between the example sites that I love, the sites that she has developed, and these personal design words, a fabulous new website was born.
I think this website captures my spirit and is completely focused on what I am promoting. What a great process she provides for people looking to re-brand, re-design and re-invent their online presentation!
Let’s go back to those 3 signs it’s time for re-branding.
If your income has dropped, do a little inner work and find out if you are being congruent with who and what you are. For example, I am an “edutainer.” I learned that word from my buddy Andrea VahI, who I once thought was her alter-ego “Grandma Mary.” (I’m not too proud to say that I actually thought Grandma was real for a while.) When the reveal was made, and I met the woman behind the glasses (and the fake boobs…those are fake-right?), I realized I had met a social soul-sister. I had spent the better part of my adult life in the field in entertaining and educating young people as “Miss Phyllis,” but I have re-invented myself since those days. Now I have gathered up those bits of me; the entertainer, the educator, the online enthusiast, and the writer to be fully integrated into – me — Phyllis Khare – speaker, trainer, and author.
The one big element in a re-design and brings up this “clearing the clutter of your soul” bit is the new profile photos. Can I see a show of hands of those over 50? When was the last time you had your professional photo taken? When you were in your 30’s? If so, you better be ready to accept your current stage in life all the way down to those wrinkles and grey hair! I was extremely lucky to find a local photographer who completely captured the energy (and not so much of the wrinkles) of my previous life as “Miss Phyllis” with the current reality of being a speaker and author. I came to Josie Hannes with a list of wants and she turned it into a fantastic series of photographs. I had a tough time choosing the ones I wanted. I hope these serve me well into my 80’s (just kidding…). It’s nice to be out of the latest cocoon.
Hey… can we talk about your website for a moment?
I teach a lot of social media marketing classes. My students tend to be second or third career baby-boomer “soloprenuer” women, trying to take their passions and turn it into revenue. Most of these people learned how to market in 1985, built a website in 1992, and have stayed there for the last two decades. When I first view their websites my face (even though I try really hard not to show it) usually has a big “whoa” as I see the outdated left-aligned-tiny-font-left-column-20-item-menu, with the same tabs across the top in purple and green, built in HTML, by someone who has since moved to Canada.
And those are the good sites.
But if I am looking at your website and you see me making a face, it’s probably because (despite the ancient design) you don’t have social sharing or social connection icons on your site. And the really sad part is many of my peers don’t know the difference between those two types of social icons.
Rant start: Most small businesses run by people my age are just now figuring out how to be on Facebook and have no idea how to use Twitter. Their LinkedIn profile is bare and they don’t have a company page. They are scared of YouTube, and forget trying to explain Pinterest and Google+. Come on people. We built this city, for crying out loud. Rant end.
The last sign that it’s time to shake things up: you are bored with your own work. If your own business is boring you, sit down and have a conversation with yourself right away. Life is short; don’t spend it doing things that make you unhappy. But don’t go and metaphorically jump off a cliff without some due diligence. Organize yourself. Gather your goodwill and change direction. And here’s my biggest piece of advice: Fear is an illusion – do something – anything.
Knowing it’s time to re-brand, re-design, and re-invent is a great thing. If any of this resonates with you I’m happy to comment and offer advice, and to point you to some wonderful resources. Please connect with me here or on any of my social accounts.
And thank you for reading to the end of the massive post! This subject must be important to you, so explore the possibilities and let me know how it goes…