People depend on you to keep doing what you’re doing, but you feel it’s time for a change.
Maybe, you’re doing client service and want to focus on building products instead. Maybe, you’re tired of selling car accessories and want to be a writer instead. Maybe, you feel it’s time to explore building a business in a new area. Maybe, you just feel like traveling for the next six months.
There are many reasons to continue what you’re doing, but there’s a point when you feel strongly about building towards a new direction.
What’s stopping you?
It’s making money. Clients or bosses depend on you. Your best friend will think it’s crazy. It feels scary to do new things.
How to Proceed
Let’s talk about the real ways of rebranding. Not just facelifts like Uber’s and Instagram’s new logos. Let’s discuss how to steer to new, clearer, and more satisfying directions.
The Money Issue
Your livelihood depends on this current identity. If you’re running a company, your revenue depends on the current offering.
Should you stay feeling stuck, because of money?
Ever heard of The Law of Diminishing Returns? At some point, having so much of something stops being motivating. If you just got eight hours of sleep, getting three more hours isn’t as attractive. You’d rather do something else. The same goes for money.
If you’re having good meals and enjoying the little luxuries, the value of earning much more money becomes less inspiring. You’re better off experimenting with activities you like, at the expense of some disposable income.
You want to set your budget.
Based on how much you need to live your desired lifestyle, fund your future. If your war chest is big enough to keep you running for a couple years, you can spend more time building the brand that you actually want.
Samsung started out as a noodle company.
No rebrand is ever too big if you REALLY take your dream seriously.
— THE SLUMFLOWER (@theslumflower) August 31, 2016
Mixing Your Old and New Brand
Say clients know Jenny as the web designer for book authors. She can have a smooth transition if she related her existing reputation to her desired direction.
If Jenny wants to be a social media expert, she can transition gracefully. Using her existing relationships with book authors, she can tell them that she’s offering a new service to manage their Facebook Pages.
Jenny wants to work with musicians as their social media manager. Working with her existing book author clients will allow her to transition gracefully.
Sure, it’s not the perfect fit for the new agency she wants to build. Yet, it will allow her to profit in the interim, without risking it all immediately.
Allocating Time Between the Old and the New
Say you work five days a week. If leaving your current source of livelihood is too abrupt, consider building your pet project on weekends.
If there’s a little more flexibility, you can spend three working days per week to build your new offerings.
You can give some time for your new brand, without completely abandoning your old identity.
Schedule the Switch
As you get comfortable with your new brand positioning, give a deadline for yourself. Without a definite time, projects can drag forever.
If you’re switching from a service business, give your clients a heads up. Say you’re transitioning to a software business, let them know to expect that. For example, tell them that you’d end your client service work in two months and help them get comfortable with the software, so they can keep their operations smooth.
Over to You
At some point, you have to move on to the next chapter. Think about it as your graduation. You can’t stay in high school forever.
If you feel that it’s time to build a new brand, begin by drafting what that brand is. From there, you can reverse engineer what it takes to smoothly do the switch.