shannanscott.com 2.0 loading…
This might as well have been my status for the past year because let me tell you, this re-brand has been MONTHS in the making. But, it’s finally here!
Today I not only hit publish on a brand spankin’ new website, but I hit play on a new season in my life, one where I begin to take on clients again.
I never imagined I’d take so much time off from my business after having my daughter in November 2019, but I suppose that’s the beauty of embracing each chapter of life for what it is. I found myself wanting to immerse myself into motherhood and be fully present for this new little human that needed me in every kind of way.
Add in a global pandemic, another big move, living out of a suitcase for months, and being an ocean away from family, something had to give. And for me, that was any thought of client work. I simply did not have the mental capacity or time to support anyone other than my family of 3.
But slowly over the past year, I felt the itch to get back into the work I’m passionate about, to be creative, to drive new ideas (or iterations of old ideas) forward. So, I started to take steps toward not only reviving my business, but reinventing it. After all, my multi-faceted self had a few new layers and simply couldn’t operate in the ways that I used to. So many of us experienced immense growth and change after the events of 2020 —myself included.
At times, it felt like I was starting from scratch, but I also knew that the foundation I built years ago was still holding up and that I could use it to guide all of the thoughts, ideas and decisions that would follow.
So, you’re probably wondering what’s so different. The most obvious change? Fully embracing my expertise in experiential marketing (finally!) You’ll notice this clearly articulated throughout the entire website and in the restructure of my services, too. It feels really good to focus and plant myself here.
Besides niching down, the look and feel of my personal brand has been elevated visually. New colour palette, new fonts, new imagery! More on this below…
As I mentioned above, this re-brand has been months in the making. And with that amount of time, comes a few lessons learned along the way. Whether you find yourself in a similar season or are planning to re-brand in the future, I hope these five lessons of mine will help you to approach the process with confidence and ease.
01 — If your budget allows, hire help!
While not always feasible, if you do have some capital to spend, choose to work with professionals.
When I decided that I was going to embark upon this project I began by addressing the thing that I was struggling most with —articulating my expertise. Let’s be honest, experiential marketing is complex and can look like many different things. I knew I needed help to describe my particular approach as well as make it easy for others to understand. Plus, the idea of writing my own website copy again overwhelmed the crap out of me so it was either done-for-me or bust!
I was hesitant to invest in someone after being burned by a former coach that didn’t take the time to truly research and understand my field. But, after a phone meeting with Kaitlyn from Copy Uncorked, I felt seen and heard for the first time in a long time. I trusted her to assemble all of my bits and pieces of ideas, words and phrases and turn them into something captivating and she did not disappoint. Frankly, I wouldn’t be here without her support. Her brand messaging & website copywriting service has been the best investment I’ve made in my business to date, hands down.
Secondly, I also budgeted for a photographer to produce some new brand imagery. I hadn’t done a brand shoot since 2018 so it was long overdue. Lucky for me, I was able to work with my photographer friend Elana Jadallah again since I recently moved back to Hawai’i. I created a detailed shot list (more on that below) to communicate the vibe I envisioned and she executed it beautifully.
02 — Templates are your friend.
I love how templates provide a great starting point; it’s almost as if you’re a third of the way done (ha!) This was one of the reasons I decided to purchase a website template vs. do another custom website design. I utilized a template from TONIC Site Shop called Paper Planes that I loved! Their templates are built on the Showit platform (which I was already used to), and customizing the templates are suuuuper easy, even if you’re not that tech-y. While I did a lot of customizing, having the base of the template saved me countless hours in the end.
Website builds and re-launching a business is a big project and one that I don’t suggest you tackle without some sort of project management software or system. I’m a long-time user of ASANA and created a critical path listing out every single project, task and sub-task with realistic timelines in order to keep everything moving forward. Getting organized in this way prevents anything from slipping through the cracks —no need to keep anything in your head.
Lastly, as I mentioned above, I created a detailed shot list for my photographer so that we could make the most of our time (and the natural light available) when shooting. We had a lot to get done in a short window, so having this document kept us on track. Not only did it communicate the overall look and feel I was going for, but also styling guidelines, a prop checklist, and image inspiration for every shot needed. Peep a few pages below!
03 — Be OK with altering your original vision.
While I awaited to review the copy Kaitlyn was writing, I set out to update my visual brand identity. I wasn’t looking to do a complete overhaul, only a few minor tweaks and changes to brand colours and fonts, so I took a DIY approach.
You’ll notice that the brand colours listed in my shot list above are reflected differently on my website. I probably spent a little too much time perfecting these colours in advance, even going as far as sending them to a couple design friends to review. Welp, they ended up changing! Some colors were eliminated altogether, and others I pulled lighter or darker tones.
So, if you end up DIYing some design work like me, let this be a lesson to you to not get hung up on finalizing a colour palette until after you start designing —whether that be your actual website, social media graphics or marketing collateral. That being said, a professional brand designer could very well finalize this for you in advance since they understand the proper balance of color tones needed. Bottom line, be fluid and open to as many iterations as it takes to get your brand to where you want it to be.
04 — Go at your own pace (and do it with intention).
I’m all for setting a date and creating a realistic timeline, but I also believe that rebranding shouldn’t be rushed. Instead, approach the process slowly, yet steadily.
As the wildly intentional person that I am, every word, every page, every decision was carefully considered. Even with limited hours to work on this project, I still chose to take my time. I’ve done my best to enjoy the process and embrace both play and rest in the midst of it all.
The launch of a rebrand creeps up quickly (and is over before you know it), so take the time to soak in this season, this space in-between, and be sure to celebrate along the way.
05 — Share before it’s ready.
The truth is, no one is going to be nearly as excited about your rebrand as you are. Unless you bring your audience along for the ride, they likely won’t care as much as you think they will.
So, provide opportunities for your audience to become more invested by co-creating with you. Take them behind-the-scenes of customizing your website template, ask for their opinion on which header photo looks best, or invite them to vote on your final logo. I’ll admit, I could’ve done a better job at this, but I did share a few design time-lapses and created a poll or two to give my audience a peek into what I was up to and they loved it!
After months of sharing snippets here and there, when it came time to launch, people couldn’t WAIT to see the final product! By sharing before it’s ready, your launch will feel like a way bigger deal and the excitement just might linger a little longer!
Ok, cue the confetti! I’m thrilled to share shannanscott.com 2.0 with you and can’t wait to meet my next clients. If you haven’t already, be sure to join the Wildly Intentional Club, grab one of my free resources, or even check out how we can work together.
Cheers to doing the common things, uncommonly well… together!