Is it time for a rebrand?
My question for you today is, “Is it time for a rebrand?” So, you have been in business for whatever length of time. I've been in business since 2001 in my current position, which is 16, going on 17 years. Over the course of that time, my business has changed and evolved quite a bit. As a matter of fact, when I first started, I was doing business card CDs because at that time there wasn't a lot of website development work. I was a programmer. I knew how to use Macromedia Director, which turned into Adobe Director because Adobe bought it, and that's what I did. I produced CDs, business cards CDs, and that was the brunt of what I did, and also DVDs, and I mean big DVDs that were basically digital hard drives.
Has Your Business Evolved?
From that time, the business has really evolved. Back then there was no such thing as WordPress websites. Starting in 1997, I was creating websites. Most of the ones that I did were of the static HTML variety, and I used Adobe Dreamweaver and built websites based on templates and all this kind of things and they were hard to maintain, hard to develop, and the cost of doing them was relatively high. At one point, there were websites being built in the millions of dollars. Then as time evolved, something came across called WordPress, which, even then, had its difficulties, but things evolved.
These days, if you want to do a WordPress website, you can easily go to your hosting company and get web hosting for your WordPress site. I recommend A2 Hosting. I love A2 Hosting. They are based in Michigan. Their tech support is fabulous. They speak English. They pick up the phone. It's a little bit more expensive than, say, Bluehost, DreamHost, GoDaddy and things like that, but it's a much more stable platform, less hacking, less junk on shared serves. So I consider it a great opportunity. If you want to check it out, go to BrianLabs.info/A2.
Anyway, with most web hosting companies, you simply click one button and it'll install WordPress for you. So, the ability to do WordPress sites or do websites now is super simple. But, doing a really good quality website is a whole other ball game. One of the things that I've done recently is I've taken a little bit of time off to rebrand my business. My website was six years old. Now, I can tell you, I don't do what I did six years ago. I mean, there are portions of it that are still relevant. Do I still build the websites? Yes. Do I still do Google? Yes. However, now the brunt of my business is really about doing online strategy, and part of that online strategy is developing websites that really speak to the audience.
First and foremost, how old is your website? Is it older than three years? Chances are, if it is, the technology is outdated, and chances are the themes and the plugins are outdated. More importantly, the message will probably be outdated. So I want you to ask yourself three key questions.
- Does your website really represent what you do today?
- Does your website speak to your audience in a way that differentiates you?
- Is there something that you need to get across that helps you differentiate your business from every other business?
Standing Out From The Crowd
Let me give an example of this. I do a lot of networking. I belong to a BNI group. If you're not familiar with BNI, it stands for Business Networking International. They're all over the world. It's probably the largest networking conglomerate out there. In these groups, you have a bunch of people from different industries and sometimes there is a little overlap. I belong to other networking groups where one person will cover health insurance, another person will cover home, auto and business insurance. You can have people that are in the same industry, but really focused on different niches.
In the case of the BNI that I joined and belong to, there are two other people in the group. One of them is a designer who is a traditional designer who does print and those kind of things, banners. There's another person who's an SEO person. Now, both of those people create websites. I'm not saying that they do them great or they do them bad, I'm just saying they do websites. So for me to go in as the website guy, A) I couldn't do it; B) I would be going head-to-head with these people on what they sell. They have predefined categories, so I went in under the only category they had for me: the social media guy. But really, what I am is an online marketing strategist.
So, could the SEO guy call himself an online marketing strategist? Yes. Could the designer call himself an online marketing strategist? Yes. There is a fine line between really differentiating myself and not stepping on people's toes. Very important. There's a book out there called The Blue Ocean Strategy. The book says that in the ocean, there is a place where all the sharks are feeding and there's blood in the water because all of the fish are bleeding; bottom line, when they got eaten. Then there's the blue ocean where there is less competition. The key thing in your branding is, can you define a brand that is going to separate you from the other people in a way that makes sense to the audience so that they want to use what you have?
Does Your Website Speak To Your Audience?
Again, does your website represent who you are today? Is it super, super clear to your audience what you do? Then, can you define within what you do a differentiation between yourself and other businesses? That's the key. What I want you to do is look at your website today, look at your branding today. I spent a ton of time coming up with who I am now, which is the online marketing strategist. How do I know it's working? Because other people in my industry are starting to call themselves online marketing strategists. They are trying to compete directly against what I do, so they don't call themselves marketing people.
That's essentially what it boils down to. I also do a lot of coaching. I have a weekly mastermind, I have group coaching, I have one-on-one coaching, and I work hand-in-glove with people to teach them how to do these things. So what I want you to do is go and look at your branding and see if you can find a way to make yourself the person that stands out from the crowd, that makes the difference, and that makes other people's businesses grow.
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this subject. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions on building your perfectly updated brand. Has you or your business evolved and are ready for a change? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?
To learn more about this and other topics on Internet Marketing, visit our podcast website at http://www.baconpodcast.com/podcasts/