Transcript: Rebranding: A Candid Conversation


Megan Martin 0:00
This is talking small business with Kat Schmoyer. And Meghan Martin, a podcast for creatives who like to keep it real about what it actually takes to grow an online business.

Kat Schmoyer 0:09
We’re competitors turned to biz besties, who chat daily, and now we’re bringing you into the conversation.

Megan Martin 0:20
Hello, and welcome back to another episode of talking small business. Today we are going to talk about rebranding and specifically how to know when it is time to approach a rebrand in your business. And hopefully, our goal is to help you make a decision if the investment and the time and the emotional energy is worth it right now, in this season of your business. Cat, I feel like you’re in the hot seat a little bit today, because you recently had a rebrand. So I would love to hear a little bit about why you decided to make this decision to rebrand. And yeah, what were your thoughts behind it.

Kat Schmoyer 1:00
So I did not make the decision lightly. It was definitely something that I thought about for a long time. And honestly, I think with any sort of big investment in your business, it should be something that you think about for a while this should not be like quick. Oh, yeah, I’m ready to do it. And we do it. So first tip, I guess is take some time to like really think through the pros and cons of what the rebrand would look like. Because most brands, designers, web designers, all of that, like it, it does become an investment. Like it adds up quickly. And so you just want to make sure that you are in a season of your business where that feels doable for you. I felt like I needed to rebrand because we’ve talked about this in like past episodes, but I feel like in the last two years in particular, that Kat Schmoyer brand has made a lot of pivots. And I have you know, I had DIY some things slash everything on my website with think faily with Megan’s templates, and with using a system like a web system, like show it, I was able to, you know, be able to go in and like tweak what I needed. But even like, my logo wasn’t something that I was initially like in love with like it was just let’s just throw my name up there just to have something like it was all very like, just throw it up. And just because I wanted to see what would happen. And so I felt like I was in a point in the business where I knew the messaging was sticking, like I knew this was the direction I wanted to go. So now I was ready to put some more skin in the game, so to speak, and to say like, Alright, I’m ready to hire an expert, to walk me through the brand process to get a web designer in here and really make this visually look like where I feel like the business is going,

Megan Martin 2:49
which I think brings up a really important like, first point that your business should be profitable before you approach a rebrand. Absolutely. Well, what’s really interesting about your situation cat is that you have had a business for a long time. What are you at like your seven or something?

Kat Schmoyer 3:09
Yeah, I’m a fear eight. Yeah, okay.

Megan Martin 3:12
You’re you’ve had a business for eight years, like you’re not new in the game, but you were new to the direction that you were at in your business. So every time you pivot, and when you make a major pivot in terms of like, who you serve, and what you do, you’re essentially starting a new business at that point, right? Like you’re starting from ground zero. And so when you pivoted in 2020, you were essentially like starting an entirely new business with new messaging, new target audience new focus, even though some of your offers came with you, your your focus shifted. And so I think it’s awesome that you DIY two years ago, because you didn’t know what was going to happen with your business, you didn’t know where it was going to evolve or where it was grow to, or where it would grow to, or like you said, if it wouldn’t even stick the offers that you were putting out into the world. So anyone’s who’s listening here, like, if you are just approaching a rebrand because you feel like your logos, not pretty enough or whatever, like that is not a good enough reason to invest our dollars into a rebrand.

Kat Schmoyer 4:19
It’s not at all and if that can be hard because we our industry, in particular, gosh, we want things to be so pretty, like we want everything to be like tied together with this nice little bow we want everything to look cohesive and it’s there’s nothing wrong with that like there again, there’s like value in that like I decided, Okay, I’m ready to like really move in this direction and make sure that I have a solid foundation for the brand messaging as well as the visuals of the brand. But in the beginning it’s expensive to do all of that and I think that there are plenty of options to DIY specifically when it comes to your A website with so many website templates out there that you can grab one, you can even grab one on sale to get even cheaper than like what it might be. But you can grab one and be able to watch some YouTube videos and figure it out yourself and get something up and running that at least gets the initial messaging out there talks about what you’re doing, who you’re serving, and sees, okay, is this valid in the industry? Like, can we put some more money behind this and go all in with, you know, an official brand, so to speak?

Megan Martin 5:30
Yeah, I mean, it’s never been easier to put up a website like no, you talked about show it is. So it’s the platform that I sell templates on. And literally, anybody can figure it out. Like there is a learning curve, just like there’s a learning curve to all technology that you jump into. But you don’t need to get a logo made, you don’t need to do anything, you literally just need to pick some colors. And you can buy any template, and most all of them have it to where like literally, the logo that’s built into the template is just a text box that you can put your name in, right? Like yes, and I, I’m a website and brand designer, and I’m telling you, like do that option, like save your money when you’re starting out. Use the template, it doesn’t matter if it matches somebody else’s website out in the world like No, like the chances that somebody is going to randomly find somebody else in a random different niche that has your same exact website is so low, it really doesn’t matter as much as you think it matters when you’re starting out.

Kat Schmoyer 6:31
It doesn’t and again, it just lets you start to put that content out there. I again, I’m glad I did it for the last two years and was able I’ve been able to see both on the shop side of things like what worked well there. But then on the server, but more importantly for me on the services side with integration and new messaging around coaching and the mastermind like, again, are people resonating with this, like, Is this really the direction I want to lean into? And do I like it? Because we’ve talked about this before when I first started the pivot, it was out of necessity. It was like, We need to get scrappy, we need to bring in income, what can we do? And the Lord blessed and blessed me in that low season and gave me a lot of aha moments and like heartfelt moments where I realized where my true passions were, but you want to know in your business, like, are you still going to be into this in five years? Or why are you investing in? You know, a five 810 $1,000 rebrand process?

Megan Martin 7:30
Yeah. So I would love to hear once you decided, okay, this is successful, this is what I love to do. How did you start approaching this rebrand process.

Kat Schmoyer 7:41
So I knew that if it was successful, the next step would be a legitimate rebrand. Like, I knew that only because I’m one of those people that struggles with if things aren’t tied together with a pretty bow, like it like made me cringe to like, just type my name in the textbox on the website versus have a logo, you know, right. And then as we started creating a lot more content and like with this podcast, and with YouTube, and I didn’t have a brand like it was like, I guess here’s my color palette, like it just nothing was really consistent. And I didn’t love that. So I knew that I kind of had it in my brain of Alright, if I hit this point, revenue wise, and this is how I’m feeling about things, I’d love to then put some money back into the business invest in, let’s get a brand designer, let’s hire a web designer and really see what we can do when it looks a little bit more official.

Megan Martin 8:35
How did you choose who you wanted to work with when it came to branding.

Kat Schmoyer 8:40
So I hired Kelsey of kindly by Kelsey and I have known her for years. So I didn’t really reach out to a lot of people. I didn’t reach out to anyone else. But she was like who I mean I follow others on Instagram and things like that. But Meghan and I have actually worked with Kelsey before she attended a business intensive that Megan and I hosted years ago, that was how I first connected with her. I started following her on Instagram, and I love her work. She’s really playful in her design, which was important to me, especially because a huge chunk of what I do is on the agency, and agencies can feel really cold and corporate. But that’s not me. That’s not my ideal client. And so I wanted somebody who could really see that in our brand, and be able to bring out professional but also keep it playful and fun. So I just love so many of the brands that she’s created in the past and I knew she was the one I wanted to reach out to first,

Megan Martin 9:37
which I think is another really important point to bring up that when you are doing your research for brand and website designers. Yes, technically, as a designer, I could create lots of different style things, but a lot of designers have a signature style that kind of runs through their work in their portfolio. And it’s really, really important that you don’t Just choose based on price alone, you really need to dig in and look at these designers portfolios and determine, do I see my vision for my future brand reflected in this portfolio? And if the answer is no, it’s not to say that person can’t design that for you, but you’re probably going to like it better if you do find a designer that fits your vision. And also, like Kat said, your target market, like, my, my design style, as a designer might not fit somebody’s target market, like I’m a very bold, you know, colorful, geometric type designer, and that might not fit your aesthetic if you are a like boho, light and airy photographer, I’m saying. So it’s like you really do need to connect on a visual perspective with your designer that you’re hiring. And don’t

Kat Schmoyer 10:55
be afraid to, like ask questions about the process to like, it was it was a little bit different for me when I hired Kelsey because I felt like there was somewhat of a personal relationship because I’d worked with her before. Granted, there had been years in that gap. But I knew her. Um, I have been following her in those in that like, interim period. And so I did feel very comfortable with her. But I was still able to, like ask a lot of questions about the process. So that I fully understood like the timeline and what’s included and what I needed to like, expect from her, but also what she would need from me, so I could make sure like, I’d carved out the time to be all in on this project with her.

Megan Martin 11:39
Yeah, Kelsey is a fantastic brand designer. And I know she has a waitlist when it comes to working with her. And so I’d love to hear from you. Like from the perspective of like reaching out finding out she has a waitlist, what you thought at first when you got put on the waitlist and like what happened? Like, did you actually appreciate the waitlist time period? Like tell us a little bit about that process?

Kat Schmoyer 12:02
I really appreciated the waitlist. At first I didn’t at first I was like, oh, man, you know, because you’re like ready to start like yesterday, you know, you’re ready to go. But I was put on I think I’d reached out. It was like last August or September, I think and we said then the start date would be January. So it was several months. Wait. Yeah, yeah, several months of waitlist. And when I initially reached out, we knew that the agency was a forefront. But I was also really wanting to focus on my digital products too. Like it was kind of like a 5050 of like, I wanted both to be premium in terms of what we were thinking about with the web design, or excuse me with the brand design. And I just worked with Kelsey on the branch design, not on the web. And then when we got to January, we actually ended up I emailed her and said I need another month like Do you happen to have availability like in February, like can we start in one more month, we just had a lot happening in that particular month that it filled. And thankfully, she could put me off about four weeks. So then when we did officially get started, I had shifted a lot over the last couple of months in that waiting period. And the digital products are still forefront, but the agency was top of mind. And so in every event and just me filling out her questionnaire, like it provided so much clarity, like I just can’t even begin to say how much clarity I got personally of just working through those questions and thinking about like, Who do I want to work with? What do I want my brand to personify? And not the typical like, this is her Starbucks drink order. But you know, like going even deeper than that, like initial client avatar that I’m sure we’ve all done before. And it was really, really helpful for me to then see like, no, actually like, this is the direction that I want the brand to speak a little bit more heavy handed into, and digital products are still going to be there. But maybe not, it’s not going to be 5050 anymore.

Megan Martin 14:04
Yeah, I think that’s really interesting to think through the concept of a waitlist and the clarity that you get through time. Like, I feel like one of the there’s a lot of designers who are doing like VIP days or it’s like a website and a day or a brand and a week or whatever, and that seems really enticing. And I see the purpose in it. And I’m not knocking any designer that does that offer. But I almost think as a consumer it’s it would be really beneficial if you are working with someone who’s like, I can do this in a week or I can do this in a month like let’s start right now. Like I would almost as a consumer say hey, like I love the concept of you designing my website in a week but I want you know, I want to spend the next month or two focusing on like the prep work portion just myself. So can we like push this book date out a couple months? Because you need time as a business owner to marinate on these thoughts and these processes, and if you rush it just because you’re trying to launch a website in a week, you’re going to regret it in a year, like, really need that time to work through the strategy portion of branding, to make sure that you’re like setting yourself up for a strong foundation. Mm hmm.

Kat Schmoyer 15:18
Absolutely. And Kelsey was really, really intentional about even the brand presentation process. So like, once we started working together, when she presented the initial brand options to me, it was on a zoom call, it was literally with like, slides, it was like, were like we’re here. But I appreciated that. Like she wanted to go in depth on why she picked certain things that she picked with, like each of the brands that she had kind of created, and like the visuals that she had created. And so it helps me to understand her thought process from a designer because I’m hiring her for her expertise. So yes, there are things that like we joked and like my first call with her, I was like Kelsey, you can’t take the pink away, like pink has to say. So yes, there were things that like I wanted to still be around. But I’m also I want to lean into her expertise. And I want to hear what she has to say, I don’t know the psychology behind colors mixed together or what typefaces work, best fit, like, I don’t know any of that. And so I needed her to guide me. So having that call was really helpful. But then to speak to your point of like the processing Meghan, like, then I loved being able to like, react on my gut instinct to some things, right? Because some stuff you just look at, and you just know right away, like yes or no, whether it’s brand design or web design, you can just feel it for you. But then other things I needed to process, then I needed to go back and keep looking at it, and then wait a day and then look at it again. And then whether it was because I didn’t love it. And I was trying to verbalize why I didn’t love it so that I could best help her to help me. Or I was like on the fence for some other reason. And I just needed that time to marinate on this process.

Megan Martin 16:53
I would love to hear from your perspective as a customer. How did you approach like the budget for this project?

Kat Schmoyer 17:05
That was hard. So I I didn’t know what to expect. I really didn’t I hadn’t done anything like this in a long, long time. So I was very naive to what is even like, quote unquote, industry standard for this. So getting her quote back. And again, she’s the only one that I reached out to so this was different for me versus some of you guys might be comparing and contrasting several different ones. So for me, it was just getting her quote back and then saying like, okay, like, I need to look at my numbers now, you know, and make sure that like this is going to work. And then talking with you because Megan, I pulled her out of custom web design retirement. I pulled the best friend card and I was like, Yeah, I have to do my website and pulling her out of that. But just you know, being able to talk through like, what what does this look like? Like what is quote unquote fair, and feels good for you know, for both for Kelsey and then what feels good for Megan,

Megan Martin 18:09
on the other side of making this investment How do you feel?

Kat Schmoyer 18:13
I feel great. I was really nervous at first I think that is a negative to the waitlist I will say like to piggyback off of that is you have time to get almost buyer’s remorse just because it hasn’t happened yet. Like you’re like and I’ve already put down like a down payment. Like I’m like waiting. And but I to go back to what at the beginning when Meghan and I said, I think you should be doing a rebrand when you have a profitable business. So then me starting to have these doubts of when my business is still profitable. I’m still booking clients, I’m still bringing in income like, man, should I really be spending this amount of money right now? Like I felt kind of guilty for like spending that amount of money when I was making money, like just all of those thoughts, because I had several months to think about it. But you know, I was contracted in with Kelsey, I wasn’t backing out of it. And I’m so pleased with the results.

Megan Martin 19:02
I’m super excited for you. Your brand is gorgeous. Seriously, when I saw it, I was like okay, Kelsey.

Kat Schmoyer 19:12
The icons are my favorite. The little to do list. I like love so much.

Megan Martin 19:16
What else? What else? Like are you loving about your new brands,

Kat Schmoyer 19:20
it just feels like me it feels like very cohesive. I look at it and it makes me smile. And I think that’s what you know, I want I feel like that’s how we should all feel about our brands when we go to our own website, you know, to just feel like okay, this feels unique to who you are and what you’re doing and who you’re serving. And again, going back to that I want things kind of tied together in a nice little bow. It makes me feel like that’s a direction that we have now with not just the brand but the website and then all content marketing channels like everything just looks a little bit more elevated and that’s what I wanted

Megan Martin 20:00
Well, and it’s easy to Now like with your team and the people that are working for you and creating content for you, creating graphics for you like now they have a really cohesive directive to help them get their jobs easier. And then you can just pass things off. But I feel like back to your comment about like, how it feels like you I feel like that’s like every brand designers like dream to hear like that your brand feels like you and I think that’s another thing like, yes, your business needs to be profitable. Your offers need to be like, spot on, you need to be like loving what you’re doing confident what you’re doing. But I think another you know, point to say is, you can know it’s time for a rebrand when like, it just doesn’t feel like you like it just, you almost like have that cringe feeling when you send somebody to your website, because you’re like, oh, gosh, this is not what I want. Yes, yeah. No, like, if you’re feeling that, then that’s probably time for a rebrand. And I think I kind of like, I’m literally recording this podcast in my closet, y’all. So I’m like looking at my clothes. But I think about it as, as in like our clothing, right? Like, yes, the purpose of clothing is to clothe our bodies. So we’re not walking around naked. But it’s also like, most of us buy clothing, from a, you know, perspective of aesthetics and what we like, right, like we put on your favorite dress or your favorite, like, whatever outfit, there’s a shift in competence that happens when you put that on, right. And so I think, while branding goes much deeper than just the looks alone, there is a confidence shift that happens as a business owner, when you do have a brand that feels like you. And so I would just encourage you that if you’re like looking at your website, or you’re looking at your brand, and it just something just doesn’t feel right, then it’s probably time for you to think about hiring someone to help.

Kat Schmoyer 21:58
Or at least have some conversations with people, you know, to understand the process. Because like we, like we said in the beginning, and I definitely want to make sure it’s reiterated and like the big takeaway of this, you guys is a rebrand isn’t a bandaid. Like it’s not the quick fix, it’s not just going to automatically bring in more revenue into your business. I do think that it can help with again, the overall look and just aesthetic and messaging that your brand is portraying to your ideal customer, but it’s not just all automatically going to make you more money overnight. And so don’t don’t do it if you feel like it is in Quick Fix mode. But if you feel like things are going well, but you’re starting to sense some of these internal changes like Megan is talking about and you feel like you need that new dress. To really take it up a notch like then it could absolutely be like the best time to do it.

Megan Martin 22:52
Yeah. All right, friends, well, we will make sure to link to Kats new website, and we’ll link Kelsey as well because she’s an amazing brand designer. But yeah, if you’re considering approaching a rebrand I definitely like go listen to our episodes, we should also link some of the episodes about like mid year review and of your review. Like maybe it’s also a time to do one of these review processes as well to make sure that you’ve got a really good pulse on like, what your numbers are, where you’re at how you’re feeling before you jump into a big investment like a rebrand so we’ll link those below. But thank you again for tuning into another episode and we cannot wait to catch you in the next conversation.

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