Navigating Changing as a Personal Brand

April 5, 2024

Navigating changing as a personal brand is one skill you must have in your toolbox, especially if your brand is to promote a business. The stakes of a pivot are slightly lower if you are building your profile in a corporate career, unless you are already at board level in which case it’s as if you owned the business.

Change is scary at the best of times, but it’s even more so when you have a public platform, which is most of us. You don’t have to have 4.1 million followers on IG like Marie Kondo, who has changed her mind about the standard of perfection in cleaning the home that have made her whole career. Even in the days before social media people contended with the neighbourhood gossip about everything they do in life.

Part of thought leadership, which is part of personal branding, is owning up to your thoughts evolving. I was listening to a transmission from Jocelyn Kelly Reid just last night about how she evolved her thinking in things she used to say earlier in her coaching career. I have made two entire podcast episodes recently talking about how I changed my relationship to the idea of divinity and, as a result, magic.

Personal Brands Are Always Evolving

The breadcrumbs are everywhere if you look for them: people who are intentional in how they present themselves are intentional about changing their personal brand. Because they are intentional about their personal development and evolution.

There are domains where it’s wise not to innovate too much. Coca-Cola creating Diet Coke took a major gamble, and it would lose them a whole demographic of customers if they changed their recipe (myself leading the charge on that one).

But for most of us, the good business sense is in adaptability. If we grow we can take our community with us, and people who are new and align to older versions of ourselves can connect to whatever of our old content and work we feel aligned to leave available for people to engage with.

There are brands who burnt it all to the ground in their pivot like Eden Carpenter, brands who retired offers into one signature programme like Kristina Licare, and I can’t think off the top of my head of someone who’s selling historic programmes they have run. I’m sure that’s just my memory and not that nobody is changing personal brand but keeping their past versions available.

All Change Needs to Feel Safe

But it can be scary and vulnerable to find yourself itching for a new uplevel, especially bleeding heart entrepreneurs who want to make a difference in the world. It’s like leaving a partner that is not aligned, or ending a long-time friendship, except our sense of security is tied to it because our business makes us money. And my ex was my livelihood, so I’m not being flippant. I know first hand how these things impact our nervous system.

In fact, I am an Ambassador for Dr Linnea Passaler’s Heal Your Nervous System, and if you want to know whether you are experiencing dysregulation you can take her assessment at this link. For transparency, I don’t get paid to promote it, but it’s a programme that gives me extra content and benefits if you use my link.

When we are led by purpose and impact, it’s hard to leave people behind even when we aren’t leaving money on the table. Changing personal brand when the new direction impacts the bottom line in some way it’s a big deal for us. But it’s inevitable when we are committed to growth. Here are my tips for how to navigate this pivot.

4 Tips for Changing in Your Personal Brand

Don’t Resist It, but Don’t Just Surrender to It

The first step when dissatisfaction in our current brand arises is to stop and ask two questions: “Why?” and “What for?”. For some of us the need to change impulsively is less about growth and inevitable evolution, and more about a need for an adrenaline fix, or not wanting to lean into a growth edge and levelling up the way we do the business we have. Or maybe there’s something else in the deeper layer. underneath it.

Approach the early signs with curiosity, like you’re watching Spring emerge from the cold soil of Winter. And this is a great time to go Virgo on it, and make a plan. You don’t even need a placement in the sign for the archetype to be in there to tap into.

Do the Inner Work

Sarah Mac (who will be on the podcast on April 18th, stay tuned for that) calls money mindset work “money hygiene” to drive this point home, and it’s applicable to all forms of mindset and energetic work. It’s a daily habit, like brushing your teeth and washing your armpits. We don’t keep clean without regular maintenance.

Of course there are rhythms, and they’re fine if they genuinely are your rhythms and not born out of resistance. If you drive you don’t fill up the petrol if the car is park and you go nowhere, so if you are in your own energy a lot, and mostly engage with people who raise your vibe, and are watchful against negative thought patterns then you may last a week like I do with washing my hair.

Part of doing the inner work is getting to know what’s really us and what’s conditioning. Take your time and explore this new direction and why it’s emerging.

Change Incrementally

I’m admittedly bad at this. I tend to shift a lot behind the scenes and then rip off the bandaid. But even I, if you look closely, leave red herrings. A subtle change to my brand colours here (I changed my white in the colour palette from #FEF9F5 to #F2F2F2), some less subtle changes in the conversations I’m having or the spaces I publicly associate myself with. Other people start dropping their next level self in their personal branding photos long before the new offers drop.

There is no right or wrong way, and even the size of the increments depends on both the size of the change, and how comfortable you are with it.

Just Have Fun

I feel like my mission this past week has been telling people to relax and don’t take things too seriously (tell me we’re in Mercury Retrograde without telling me…). But it’s true. Often a lot of our problems are problems we create by projecting meaning onto things and then compounding the issue by responding to the problems we created from a negative energy.

But having a personal brand just means that some of your professional life is built with intentionality in order to connect with the right people and opportunities, which means we can (and I dare say must) approach change from a place of openness and curiosity.

You may lose people you care about, I lost my entire social circle leaving my husband and the Catholic Church so I know that’s not an appealing prospect, but also I met so many wonderful people I would have never known about otherwise.

As my favourite Oscar Wilde wrote in his play Lady Windermere’s Fan, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” And why wouldn’t we? They’re beautiful.

Do let me know if I can support you in your transition, either with more content on this topic (you can also hear more from me about building a personal brand in my newsletter) or with a photoshoot to bring out your next level self.

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The character Amy Sherman-Palladino would write in a series about a traveling witchy photographer obsessed with Hakuoki
Currently in: London 🇬🇧
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