The end of the year is the perfect time to slow down, take a step back, and think about how to breathe new life into your brand. As busy business owners, it’s all too easy for us to get so caught up in the day-to-day operations that we neglect to zoom out and look at the bigger picture. Are you still on track to reach the goals you set earlier this year? Do those goals even still resonate? Did you stick to your plans or veer off in a different direction?
There are no right or wrong answers to these questions, but it’s important to ask them nonetheless. Chances are, your goals and plans did shift somewhere along the way this year because that’s simply the nature of running a small business during an economically turbulent time. For example, I saw a lot of designers, myself included, release new, lower-priced intensive services this year because many business owners are hesitant to invest heavily in design with the threat of a major recession looming over them.
But even if you did commit to your goals and plans this year, it’s still worth taking some time to review your brand and see where you can freshen things up. I like to think of it as a deep cleaning for your brand. Everyone wants to start the New Year with a clean slate to some degree, and your brand deserves no less. In no particular order, here are 5 meaningful ways to refresh your brand for the New Year.
1. Clean up your content.
The thing about sharing content online is that it never goes away unless you make the effort to hide or delete it. That’s not such a bad thing. In fact, it’s fantastic if content you created years ago is still working hard for your business today. But the small business world is a dynamic place, and therefore there’s a good chance that some of the content you put out in the past is no longer relevant today.
Now is the perfect time to skim through older content on your website and social media platforms and do a bit of clean-up. If this feels daunting, set yourself a timer for an hour and do as much as you can, starting with your most popular posts. In most cases, you may just need to edit a sentence here and there. Things to look out for include outdated stats, broken links, and irrelevant CTA’s (calls to action). For instance, make sure you’re not promoting services you no longer offer or freebies that no longer exist on pieces of content that are still getting fresh traffic.
2. Curate your online influences.
Whether consciously or not, we’re influenced on a daily basis by the content we’re bombarded with on our phones and in our inboxes. Although we can’t control what other people and businesses decide to share, we can control who we choose to listen to. If you haven’t curated your inbox and social media feeds in a while (or ever), why not now?
If you’re really honest with yourself, you may be surprised to find that some of the accounts you follow on Instagram for inspiration actually make you feel worse about yourself. That may be completely unintentional on the account owner’s part, but that doesn’t make the feeling any less valid. You may also find that there are certain newsletters you’re subscribed to that you haven’t opened in months. For whatever reason, you feel compelled to stay subscribed even though it’s literally no longer serving you. The New Year is a time for new beginnings, but it’s just as equally a time for letting go. Whose influence are you ready to let go of?
3. Elevate your brand visuals.
Elevating your brand is a surefire way to breathe new life into it, at any time of year. But this doesn’t have to involve a complete rebrand, although it can if the time is right. Elevating your brand could be as simple as upgrading to a nicer font, refining your color palette, refreshing a few key website pages, or even creating new social media templates. Small details like these can greatly impact how your brand is portrayed.
If you’re looking for expert support in elevating your brand, I’d love to hear from you! My day rates are perfect for updating “the little things” that could take you days or weeks to do on your own; and of course, I love supporting business owners who are ready to rebrand or revamp their website through my intensives and signature services. Click here to explore the options for working together.
4. Revisit your core messaging.
If you’re one of the many business owners who decided to pivot this year, it’s important to make sure your core brand messaging still aligns with the new direction you’re headed in. Are you now serving a different type of client? Did you develop a new process or framework for delivering your offers? Maybe you simply have a new perspective on your industry that you haven’t really talked about yet.
Whatever shifts or changes you made this year, it’s never too late to revisit your messaging. Even if you didn’t make any pivots this year, there may be room for some fine-tuning. Personally, I hired a copywriter to audit my site to help me figure out how to make my messaging more clear after I restructured my design services. The importance of clear, strong messaging can’t be overstated, especially if you’re currently struggling to stand out among competitors and grab the attention of your ideal clients.
5. Survey your audience.
Last but not least, one of the most impactful things you can do to refresh your brand is to gather real feedback from your audience. Relying on guesswork to figure out how your brand is perceived can only get you so far. Whether your audience is mostly on social media or your email list, there are many ways to gather feedback. You can post polls in your IG stories, share a link to a short survey, or even reach out directly to your most engaged audience members.
Before you do so, make sure you have a clear intention for surveying your audience. What information is actually going to be valuable for you? For instance, asking for feedback on your logo or brand colors is not always helpful because it’ll get you a lot of subjective opinions. Instead, you can ask more open-ended questions like why they were attracted to your brand.
Hopefully, this post gave you some ideas on how to refresh your brand for the New Year. As you can see, this doesn’t have to be an intense, weeks-long process that you partake in every year. The point isn’t to do more for the sake of doing it; it’s simply to breathe a bit of new life into your brand so you can start the New Year feeling more energized and excited about your brand than you did before.
For more ideas and inspiration for elevating your brand, check out the following: