I'm in a quandary about re-branding. I started The Confident Marketer in 2005, while I still owned another business (which I eventually sold). At that time there were not that many women marketing coaches and almost none knew how to teach Internet marketing. I started with a wide variety of clients (mostly women). The big issues I saw at the time were these:
- Many solo professionals and small business owners were not marketing their businesses because they didn't know how to organize their marketing.
- Because they weren't organized, they lacked confidence to get out and market, so they avoided it.
- They either tried halfheartedly to make a go of it for a year or two and then quit, or they were trying to support themselves but just barely scraping by.
- They didn't have a big vision for what they could create – in fact most of them had no vision at all, they were just trying to survive.
It's a different world now! Saying I'm a business coach for women is pretty blah – that's not really a stake in the sand anymore. There are hundreds of thousands of business coaches who work with women and a good portion of them understand how to effectively market on the Internet and off-line. I'm thinking I need to re-brand or at least shift my brand a good quarter-turn.
While there is still a group of prospects who are just trying to make it in their business, there is also now a group of business owners who have been moderately successful. They want and need these things:
- Continued support to take their business to a higher level
- Learn how to create multiple streams of income in their business
- Continue their own personal development
So, I've spent the past few months thinking about re-branding. That's a big decision for someone who has spent almost 9 years establishing a business. If you research re-branding you'll find helpful articles that lay out the pros and cons. One article, from DBD International's blog, gives 19 questions to ask before you start on a re-branding project. Click here to go to their useful article. A second article from UK's The Marketing Donut asks 4 key questions “do you need to re-brand?” For the full article click here.
As I considered these questions and talked about my decision with my own coaches and in a few mastermind groups I changed my mind back and forth more than once. So I decided to lay out some of the parameters here and ask you, my readers, what YOU think about whether I should re-brand. After all, you are the ones my brand serves.
Here's the down-low for you. Over the years of coaching, I've learned that I work best with clients who are serious about building their business, conscious about how their actions play out in life and business, and are not part-time or hobbyists business owners. In every case, the presenting question a client has for me is never what we end up working on – there's always a back story that got them to where they are and that needs to be addressed. Often this back story is more about life than about business.
I work best with clients who will make decisions and implement. I'm particularly good at using my intuitive skills and experiences as a business owner, blended together, to work with my clients. I pay attention to the energy of things. I'm an extremely creative marketing strategist. I can look at a business model and tell immediately if it's going to work for that particular client. I can tell where someone is stuck in less than an hour. This is why I do best with people who are decisive and ready to move ahead – I see their path forward very quickly, and when they see it, they are on fire to make it happen. I don't work well with clients who are so fearful and doubtful that they refuse to decide things and move ahead.
I'm hesitant to put a stake in the sand that says “I work with healing practitioners” or “I work with CPAs in private practice” because what I teach works across industries. But remaining a “generalist” doesn't work well – it isn't easy to market and I am far more than a general business coach now.
Here are some of the questions I've pondered:
- Should I change the name of my business to better reflect what I'm doing now, or keep it because it is so well known? Does The Confident Marketer still sound compelling?
- Should I keep The Confident Marketer but use a tag line to call to the more specific ideal client I serve?
- If “marketing” is so broad now that it doesn't make sense to still offer that as my core service, what do I say I do (because it truly is much more than marketing).
I know that staying the way I am feels like I am limping along. But how to change seems hard to parse apart. So I'm asking YOU, my readers, to chime in with your comments and opinions below. I'll keep you posted in the coming weeks about what I decide to do. Please take a stab at the 3 questions above – or anything else you'd like to say. Thanks!