Happy new year friends!
Buckle up because my friend, Robyn Graham is back and she is a POWERHOUSE when it comes to brand marketing strategy and personal branding. Trust me, when I need help or clarity on my brand, I turn to Robyn. She’s here today to share her experience and expertise on rebranding and pivoting. And what’s the difference between the terms brand, branding and brand identity? She dives into that too.
Using the power of brand strategies Robyn Graham helps women build personal brands that attract clients. Robyn helps her customers find clarity, confidence, and connection with their brand messaging to build relationships that convert to profits. She also assists her clients with identifying their niche and incorporating their core values into their brand and business. Using her six pillars of brand strategy, Robyn helps her clients build brands that stand out and make an impact. Robyn’s work includes brand marketing strategy, personal brand coaching, branded photography content development, professional headshots, and fine art photography. Her signature “The Brand Marketing Insider” program is a highly customized done for you brand-building experience that combines her expertise with that of a team of vetted professionals to build comprehensive brands that include attractive and functional websites, copy, social media management and more. She is an awarding winning photographer, wife, mom to three, woman of faith, and passionate about serving others. She is on the executive board of directors for Face to Face Germantown, an organization in the greater Philadelphia area serving the marginalized population. Robyn is host of The Second Phase Podcast and enjoys speaking on the value of brand marketing strategy and personal branding.
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/thefemaleentrepreneurinsider
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Full transcription available at the bottom of this blog post
Before you go, I’d love to connect with you and give you some gifts to help you grow your online presence!
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Personal Branding Workbook: https://bossladyinsweatpants.com/rock-your-personal-brand/
I’m chatting with my friend and fellow podcaster or Robin Graham. Robin is the queen of photography and branding. She’s amazing at helping women build personal brands that attract clients. Robin also hosts the podcast. The second phase podcast each week, she shows up with amazing guests and pours so much value into her audience. So do me a favor and make sure you listen to her podcast after this episode without further ado. Hi Robin. Hi, Alison. How are you? I’m good. How are you? And I’m super excited about our topic today, right? Robin, this is like your jam. We’re going to be talking about branding and we’re going to get into the meats and potatoes about really like pivoting and rebranding because Robin, I think you would, with me 2020 really threw a monkey wrench and a lot of businesses, especially online entrepreneurs, female entrepreneurs, especially the mompreneurs were at home balancing the kids and the remote learning and they have their online business. So we are going to tap into your brain today and we’re going to talk about rebound, rebranding and pivoting, cause I’m sure there’s a lot of entrepreneurs who probably may have done it at the end of 2020, or now that we’re into the new year, maybe they’re thinking about doing it. So my first question out of the gate is when is it a good time to rebrand? And on top of that, what is a rebrand? Like what does that look for for an entrepreneur?
Oh gosh, these are great questions. So I would definitely agree with you to start that 2020 was a kick in the pants. And you know, I recently did a show on my own podcast related to this topic because as someone who is in her second phase, like, like you are as well, you know, there’s a lot of people who lost their jobs in 2020 they’re corporate jobs or, you know, maybe they as a small business owner. And so they’re looking to shift into an entrepreneurial role or even start a side gig to supplement income for a time, a time period. They weren’t being paid in 2020. So when we, I think we have to include that population as well, when we’re talking about pivoting or even, even rebranding, because what did their business look like before? What did their lives look like before? So the one thing that I, I always suggest is that before you make a decision to rebrand and pivot, you have to look at the status of things as they are, or as they were before this thought of making a change occurred to you.
If you had a business and you were plugging away and getting nowhere, what were you doing that wasn’t working? You know, if you were spinning your wheels and you were doing all of these things, but you weren’t attracting your clients, how was your brand messaging? Did you even have a brand to market because you can’t market without a brand first. And so many people think that, you know, your, your brand is what you say it is, or your brand is, you know, what the, the products and services you offer and that’s not it, your brand is what other people say, think and feel about you. It’s how you differentiated yourself so that they can have complete clarity on what you do, the problem you solve for them, your why, and then, you know, how, how you can help them be the hero of their own journey.
And so it’s really important to break that out. Whereas branding is telling your story, you know, what is your story? What got you to where you are today, so that they can fully understand how you can, you are an expert and an authority in your space. And then your brand is your, your fonts, you know, those assets to your brand, that aren’t necessarily part of your personality, but they help you be recognizable online. You know, those colors and fonts that you use on your website, your social media feeds those kinds of things. So it’s important to look at all three of those, um, or really break down the terminology. So you can look at what you’ve done in your business to start with, like, what, how have you created your, your brand? Or if you haven’t back up a little bit before you pivot and look at those things to see like, well, where was the breakdown that caused me not to get clients?
So let’s maybe dissect that a little more because I was going to jump into the question about what questions we should ask ourselves if we’re going to jump into a rebrand or a pivot. But I think before we even get to that, let’s break down. Let’s you, you were tossing out some terms of brand branding and brand identity. Let’s break those three down for our listeners, because I think understanding the difference in those things might help them consider if they need to do a rebrand or a pivot, or it might even lead to the right questions to ask. So what is the difference between
Between those terms? Okay, so your brand is, is your brand it’s what other people think, say and feel about you and the products and services that you sell? It is not what you think it is. It is that gut instinct that people have when they see your business or your brands online, or even in person. I like to associate it with, you know, you go to you, you get on zoom. I mean, you could say a networking event, but the reality is it’s all on zoom now. Um, you know, you, you meet someone and your, you just get that feeling in your stomach. Like, uh, I don’t jive with them. I’m not sure I trust them. So that’s what your brand is. It’s, it’s that feeling that people get in response to the content you’re putting out. So, and then, or, you know, your brand, you as a whole, as a person and then your, your brand Dean is your, your ability to communicate your brand, like your story.
What makes you, who you are, where did you get your expertise from? What is your why? And how can you help other people? So that’s the, that’s the branding component of it. And, you know, with that, there has to be strategy because you have to know where you should be, what platforms you should be on. You have to have complete clarity around your brand, which is at the top. And then, you know, you’ve gotta be able to communicate that effectively and cohesively and consistently so that your audience really can connect with you, build a relationship with you and then trust you because buying decisions are all based on trust. So that’s where you start with that introduction, which is your brand. Then you have your brand Dean, which is that story and building the trust. And then your brand identity is simply those other assets. The things that yes, you have control over them, but they aren’t emotionally necessarily connecting with your audience. They’re the fonts, the colors, those types of things.
So the brand identity is more, the visual aspects of your overall brand branding is how you communicate. It’s your, your message that you’re putting out there. And then your actual brand is really how others feel about you. It’s that emotional part of your Oliver brand. All right. I love those distinctions. That was awesome. So now that we really understand the differences between brand branding and brand identity, what questions should we ask ourselves before we jump into the idea of a rebrand or a big pivot?
Okay. So what I like to start with is ask yourself first, do you have a brand? And is your brand really representative of who you are? Does it, does it demonstrate, or does it show your values, visions and your passions? Can people connect with it in a positive light? You have to have a brand before you can market. So you can look at your business and say, I’ve done all this marketing. Why didn’t it work well, did you have a brand? And did you communicate your brand story effectively? Was it clear if you don’t have clarity on your brand and your messaging, then your audience, isn’t going to have clarity on your brand and your messaging. So really looking at, okay, have I niched down, am I putting out too many different messages that are conflicting and confusing? Or is it that I’m targeting the wrong audience?
Maybe I think that this is the audience that I’m serving, but in reality, I’m serving this audience because they’re the population that actually have the problem that I am really an expert at solving. Or maybe it’s taking a look inside deeply to see if you have really married your values, visions, and passions, to see if they’re truly what you’re working on. Are, are those really what defines the problem that you’re trying to solve for other people, because maybe they’re not aligned. And if they’re not aligned, you’re not going to be effective. And you’re going to be confused yourself. I always say clarity gives you confidence. And when you have confidence, people are more confident in you and they, that confidence builds trust and it builds trust for you internally. And it builds trust externally for your ideal audience. So you have to have that clarity in order to build a foundation of trust, to convert your audience to clients.
I love that. Now I do have a bit of a follow-up question because maybe you’ve seen this online a lot. Robin, I see a lot of women entrepreneurs loosely use the term, I’m going through a rebrand. And then what happens is all I see is there. They just change their visuals. Is that really considered a rebrand? Or are they just kind of switching up their brand identity?
You’re switching up their brand identity. They’re just giving a new flare, a new feel to the aesthetics of their brand, but unless they have redefined their niche, unless they’ve changed their brand messaging, they haven’t really rebranded as an entirety. I mean, you have to think of, you know, all three components. Um, they’re definitely, you know, we say the brand is, is, you know, what other people think, say and feel about you, but you know, it is kind of all encompassing because those things are going to influence. I mean, if somebody had an all black, you know, brand with maybe a little bit of gray, I think, or they friendly that it might intimidate me a little bit. I would think that they’re, you know, they’re really strong, but who. They might scare me. So, you know, you have, or where, if it’s like all hot pink and, and sequence and feathers and boas and things like that, I’d be like, ah, that’s over the top for me. I can’t do that. So those assets are very, very important. And maybe they had assets that weren’t connecting with their ideal audience, or maybe like you did in the, into 2020 where you, you had a feeling shift, you know, you wanted to, to give a different persona in terms of those colors, because color psychology is very, very powerful. And if we’re not using the right colors, then sometimes it, it does shift the feel of our, of our brand because we live in a visual society.
I’m so glad you said that. Yeah, because that’s how I felt at the end of the year, because I knew my brand was on. And I knew that my branding, my messaging, the way I communicated it was correct. But then as I was going through the whole 2020, I realized that my brand identity, my visuals were just not representing how people felt about me, my messaging. I wanted it to come out, you know, a little punchier, a little brighter. So you’re right. I did change my brand identity, but I’m not going to say that I did a complete rebrand. So I love that. How we broke down those three terms today. Now I do have one more question for you because I think a lot of people might be wondering, well, what’s the difference between a pivot and a rebrand.
It’s funny because as you were talking, I was, I was thinking, you know, in my mind about what I’ve watched with your journey and even with my journey as well, right? So I’m going to use my own business. As an example, in 2020, as a headshot and branding photographer, there were three months where I could not meet with clients. I could not photograph that meant zero income from that wine in my business. And so I had to pivot to put more focus and more emphasis on my, the coaching side of my business. To me, that’s a pivot. A rebrand is when you look at your business and you, you really dive deep into the fact that, you know, this isn’t serving me anymore and it’s not serving my clients anymore. So I’m going to shift gears and I’m going to start like for me, you know, my ideal audiences is similar to yours, but more on the like 40 to 60 age group.
And they’re literally in their second phase, they’re left corporate or stopped being a stay at home mom. And they are an entrepreneur. Maybe they’re starting as a side gig, or maybe they’re full on, you know, jumping in full both feet, you know, to be an entrepreneur. But I had, you know, that, that stayed the same for me. That didn’t change. Now, if I had changed and thought, you know, I’m going to start working with gen Z and the younger side of the millennials, because they like entrepreneurship and I’m going to help them build brands. Then I would have been completely rebranding because my entire message would be different. People know me as the second phase, you know, working with people in their second phase, helping them identify what that second phase is. It’d be completely different if I would literally be rebranding versus just pivoting.
I love that distinction. And you pretty much described what I did in 2020, where I’d made a big pivot. I went from, you know, a stock photography membership, helping women grow on Instagram. I pivoted to coaching, but I’m still helping women grow on Instagram. So you’re, you’re just pivoting or tweaking an aspect of your business. But a rebrand is almost your entire business as a whole.
Okay. Yeah, because like in 2017, I think it was when I, I literally shifted, I added coaching to my website. I add my builder brand programs and my website, whereas before it was only photography. So I rebranded myself as something new. I kept the photography component, but I rebranded myself as an overall expert in branding versus a branding photographer. So it’s more of a, of a dramatic shift versus saying, Oh, I’m, I’m tweaking a little bit and changing a few things, but I’m not doing an overhaul. Whereas I, you know, when you change your emphasis and you change your client base, that’s a rebrand.
So think of it like a house you’re not knocking down your entire house and rebuilding, you might just be like doing a whole new room or just adding, you know, a new add on to a house, but you still have your existing brand. You’re just making it a little bit.
Right. You’re moving, you’re still from one side of the kitchen to the other, you know? So you’re, you’re, you’re literally pivoting how you cook, you know, it’s kind of like
That. That’s awesome. Now,
Now I’m going to say like, this is not textbook stuff. This is, these are my, my opinions and how I view branding. Um, but I think it makes a lot of sense if you, if you look at it that way, now some people might use the term, Oh, I’m going to pivot. And I’m going to leave photography and start coaching. But you know, to me, that’s completely switching the identity of who, who I am and what I do. So to me, that’s a complete rebrand because everything would have to structurally change for my business.
Got it. So I know that we’re going to have listeners who really want to clarify and dig deep into their brand. I know that you offer something, your five components or your five CS to branding, where can our listeners find that and connect with you?
So that’s on my website. My website is http://www.therobyngraham.com. If you go to forward slash resources, all of my downloadables are there. Um, another great place is my Facebook group, the female entrepreneur insider. I do a lot of lives. Um, we have the live trainings all the time. So we, we focus on branding of course, and personal branding, but we also have guest speakers. Um, we have a lot of really great speakers coming up and you’ve been in the group. And, um, today we did one on, um, chakras, which is totally not necessarily related to branding. However, when our energy centers are right, it makes a big difference on our focus and everything in our business. So that was interesting, but we have, you know, legal trainings and social media trainings, everything in that to help you build an overarching business for success.
I love your Facebook group. So if you’re listening, please get into Robin’s Facebook group and don’t forget to listen to her podcast. The second phase podcast, I’ve learned so much from your show, and I think you have the most incredible guests on your show. So Robin, thanks again for being on the show.
Thank you. I’m honored Allison.