Have you ever come across old photos and want to cringe at your style choices? Those sunglasses you thought were so cool, the hairstyle that made you and the family dog look like twins? It’s amazing how fashion can change.
The same is true of your personal brand. Your thinking, experience, and practice evolve and grow over time. But have you taken the time to reflect these changes in your branding?
Many health coaches start with a loose brand identity when establishing their business, but then don’t tend to give it much thought again. So ultimately who they are in-person isn’t reflective of what is on their website. The tone of voice could be different, or it doesn’t speak to the knowledge you’ve gained and your experience.
Eventually, this can create a huge disconnect between your brand and in-person services, and clients stop coming. If your branding no longer reflects who you are as a health coach, it’s time to rebrand before it’s too late.
Changing my brand is scary – what if my current clients don’t like my rebrand?
Rebranding is a rigorous process of reviewing your audience, your coaching business, services, and your core message. Maintaining the status quo is always going to be an appealing option. But it didn’t work for the dinosaurs, and it’s not going to work for you!
Revisiting your personal brand can be a cathartic and energising experience if you allow it to be. Think of it as a way of acknowledging how you have developed and refined your business. Taking your clients on your journey with you will allow them to feel part of the success, and hopefully, attract more clients.
Breaking the process into manageable steps can prevent it from overwhelming you.
Step #1 Establish Whether a Rebrand Is Necessary
A year into a global pandemic, the answer is almost a guaranteed yes. The coronavirus has impacted every industry. For health coaches, it hasn’t only changed the way we engage with clients. It has fundamentally altered the way many people think about wellness. If you haven’t changed your branding since the arrival of COVID, it’s likely owed a refresh.
Under normal conditions, several other reasons can indicate a rebrand is necessary. They include:
- A need to differentiate yourself from the competition. The health coaching business is becoming more and more saturated. To attract clients today may require you to be more specific about the advantages of your services.
- Your driving mission and vision have changed. Many coaches have moved from an exclusively physical focus on health to focusing on general wellness. Whatever your shift, your branding should reflect it.
- You’ve established or changed your niche. Appealing to different audiences will almost always require a rebrand.
- You’ve lost relevance. You’ve had to redesign your service offering to keep up with modern thinking and trends.
- Your clients’ needs have changed. The pandemic is a good example of changing client needs.
Step #2 Create Your New Ideal Client Avatar
A client avatar is a conceptual view of your “ideal” consumer. When you first started your business, you probably took any client that came along (everybody does!). But trying to be everything to everybody can be spreading yourself too thin.
A few years down the line, you should have a better idea of the kind of clients you can best impact and the ones you love working with the most. Understanding who they are is essential to establishing a brand they will identify with and how to connect with them.
Consider the following aspects of your ideal clients:
- Demographics – age, income, gender, and other relevant attributes
- Values and beliefs
- Interests and hobbies
- Their sources of information – what social media do they partake in, do they read newspapers, listen to podcasts etc.?
Top Tip: If you struggle to get started on this exercise, create some prompts for yourself by finding pictures of people, places, and things that look like your ideal clients and their lifestyles. Create a vision board and tell the “story” of your client to a friend.
Step #3 Update Your Brand Story
Your brand story encompasses your values, vision, and mission. It should evoke an emotional reaction from clients such that they connect with your business. A good brand story must be authentic and consistent.
To successfully transition your new brand to your existing clients, you must tell the “story” of how you have evolved. Map your current clients against your new ideal client avatar. What percentage of them fit? Will your rebranding come as a surprise to them?
For your brand story to be authentic, every experience of your service must confirm it. Do you have existing clients that are not a good fit for your new brand? Ask yourself why this is, and consider that it might be time to help them find someone to suit them better.
Step #4 Rebuild Your Brand Identity
Your brand identity is the visual elements that communicate your brand. Does your business name still suit what you have become? Do your logo, tagline, brand colours, and marketing collateral represent your new brand?
Many personal services brands start off using standard templates and free images for their brand graphics. It makes sense at that stage to keep costs down. But professional graphics can help you connect with your target audience in subtle and effective ways. They can be money well spent.
However, you can help make the process efficient by having your client avatar and brand story polished and ready. A professional designer will convert your ideas into a visual story that connects with your target audience.
Top Tip: If you’re changing your name, remember to confirm the availability of new domain names (URLs), profile names and other “handles.” Don’t rely on names being available; they may require time to acquire.
Step #5 Preparing to Rebrand Your Online Presence
You should now have everything in place to rebrand your online presence. But with multiple platforms, this can take some careful planning.
- Select your platforms. Decide on the social media platforms that will best target your ideal client avatar. You can find statistics on all the major platforms here. Don’t try to be on everything – choose the top three that best represent your target audience.
- Prepare your audience. If you’ve done your homework right, chances are, people will love your new brand. But most people don’t react well to being surprised. The lead-up to your rebrand is as important as the launch itself.
If you have existing social media accounts that aren’t going to make the cut, they must be shut down – transition followers on these platforms to your new platforms with adequate warning. But remember, if they are not your target audience, don’t be disappointed if they elect not to transfer.
For followers you want to transition to your new brand, prepare them with little hints and “teasers” leading up to the switch. Your reveal lead-up is the start of your engagement campaign for your new brand.
Top Tip: Polls are a great tool to lead up to a rebrand. Consider paid advertising like Facebook ads to ensure they appear in your followers’ feed. Polls provide a quick, easy, and fun way for people to engage, which will drive up your organic traffic too. You can test elements of your rebrand, and later, promote the launch as a response to followers’ requests for change. Learn how to run a Facebook poll here.
Step #6 The Big Launch!
Your rebrand launch needs to happen at the same time across all your platforms. So choose a date and work backwards from it to ensure you can manage everything. A scattered release will destroy the value of all your hard work.
The most critical element for a successful rebrand launch is to make it relevant to your clients and prospective clients. Ever been woken up in the middle of the night by your bank/insurance broker/supermarket chain telling you they’ve changed their name? Could you care less, right?
Think about the emotion you want to evoke in your clients with your new brand. Do you want to inspire them? Energise and excite them? Then tell them what your new brand means for them.
Top Tip: Celebrate your launch by running an online competition that focuses on an element of your new brand. It will provide an opportunity for you to engage with your followers on new material. Provide some branded gear or services as prizes and feature your winners flaunting it.
An Engaging Ending
The more you engage with your new brand, the more it will find its way into the feeds of your target audience. But always remember to keep your engagement authentic and consistent with your brand story and relevant to your audience.
There’s no shortcut to a rebranding, but when entered into wholeheartedly, it can feel like shedding old skin. And the results will speak for themselves.
If you need help rebranding your health coach business, drop me a message, and we can work our way through to find the new you!