You’re going for it. You decided you’re going to rebrand yourself.
How will you go about it?
We already discussed one option: the trial run.
Rebrand Yourself: Integrate
Today we’ll see if choosing to integrate will work best. When you rebrand yourself in this way, it’s almost a continuation of your trial run in that you integrate the new brand with the existing brand. Instead of completely changing, you actually absorb the new and expand the old.
If you like the brand you’ve built and you love the people who read your work, this may be the best approach for you, because you don’t have to completely abandon what you’ve built or turn away from the people who know, like, and trust you.
New + Old
This isn’t a true pivot in that readers will still recognize your brand. When you rebrand in this way, they’ll get new content—possibly in a new tone—alongside the old. It’s like a merger takes place.
If you’re the type to set more places at the table for a dinner party and try new recipes every time, maybe this is how you can rebrand. Cook up new content and invite new people to sit at your table.
Last time you heard about my food integration—how I launched Food on Fridays and added it to the lineup of articles I published at my website. Existing readers thought it was fine and some of them loved it. Then I gained more readers, which was fun. To top it off, the Friday feature provided my website with much needed rhythm and focus.
So after my experimental phase, which lasted about a month or two, I kept it. I integrated Food on Fridays with all the other content I created. In fact, this new content served as a highlight of the week that many readers looked forward to more than any other stories I might publish.
I would have abandoned it after the trial run if readers hated it, because I wasn’t completely married to the idea, but it turned out to be a good move, a good experiment, a great addition. I avoided jolting faithful fans and longtime readers and I added new ones by integrating content that didn’t clash with the existing brand.
Rebrand Tone and Attitude
But it’s not just content that inspires a rebranding effort.
I’ve seen some online professionals shift from an edgier tone to one that sounds more professional. They don’t dress dramatically different if you compare old video footage of them with more recent clips, but I noticed a few have dropped their bravado.
In some instances, when I first encountered these brands, they were perfectly comfortable dropping the F bomb. Later, as they rebranded, they reduced and in some cases completely eliminated it.
Now, I don’t know their reasons, and I don’t feel I should point them out by name, but I do wonder if they lost any original readers who liked that edge of the original brand’s tone and attitude.
At the same time, I wonder if, with the rebranding, they gained new fans who might not have felt comfortable learning from the previous persona?
Whatever the outcome, I witnessed their brand shift from one “feel” to another, even though their content remained basically the same. They train and teach in the same field, so the rebranding was less about what they wanted to talk about and more about how they’d talk about it. They integrated a different approach when it came to their tone.
Set Up Your Rebranding Experiment
If you’re itching to rebrand in any way, whether content or tone, and you haven’t set up a trial run yet, do it now.
Decide on a simple experiment to test out new content with your existing readers. Your readers like what you’ve been doing. That’s why they keep coming back for more. Try new content with them a few times in creative ways without stopping what they love.
Write a blog post on a new topic and publish it. Gauge their response. Do they love it, hate it, ignore it?
Slip in the new “feel”—add some humor and sassy bits if you’re trying to jazz it up, or soften your sharp critique if you want to tone it down. And then what do your readers think? Do they send emails begging you to return to the “old” you they’ve known and loved?
The two brands can coexist during this trial period as you decide your next move and determine whether to abandon or integrate the new brand.
If You Rebrand Yourself, It Can Lead to a Pleasant Surprise
If they hate it and you aren’t fully committed, you can walk away without losing what you’ve gained.
But who knows? Your existing base of readers and followers might love the new you, even if you surprise them a little.
Their responses to this new topic or tone or attitude may point to a way the two “brands” can complement each other. As I said earlier, maybe the new approach ends up simply expanding your existing brand—even strengthening it.
Finalize the Integration
Decide what you could retain from your current brand that still feels true and right and good. Continue that. It may represent the core you, your vein of gold.
At last, you can see that it’s time to integrate some of the new ideas and passions rising in you. Thanks to your experimentation during the trial run, you’ll have plenty of information and ideas for what that can look like and how to go about the process of finalizing the merger, fully integrating this new brand.
And then…you will have rebranded yourself. I hope that both you and your readers feel great about it, and you might gain more and more new readers who love what you’ve become.
- Posts about Author Brand
- Ep 136: What Do I Write Next – Enjoy Your Vein of Gold
- Ep 137: What Do I Write Next – Experiment and Expand Your Repertoire
- Ann’s Patreon account
- All podcast episodes
* * *
You can subscribe with iTunes. If you subscribe, rate, and leave a review, you’ll help others discover this content and grow as a writer. You should be able to search for and find “Ann Kroeker, Writing Coach” in any podcast player.
I remember Food on Fridays!! I loved it. I’ve done a bit of rebranding myself. Would love to see you in Indy sometime!