Friends, it’s time to take an in-depth look at what happens when you choose to take your business in a new direction! The longer I am in the creative industry, the more often I see creatives expanding into new levels of service, drastically refining their offerings, or exploring an entirely new product or service. As we grow as creatives, it’s only natural that our businesses may transition into something slightly (or drastically) different. And while we celebrate that growth, it’s important to take a look at the strategy behind reflecting that kind of growth to your audience, your industry peers, and to your team!
Maybe you’re looking to focus on a deeper niche within your existing services, or maybe you’re feeling the pull to serve a completely new audience with a completely new set of offerings. Regardless of which direction you’re headed, you’re definitely pivoting within your business! And it’s important to approach that change thoughtfully in order to avoid confusion, missed business opportunities, or poor brand perception.
First of all, let’s celebrate that choice to pivot within your business. You’ve been doing things the same way for a long time now, and you’ve bravely come to the conclusion to step into something totally new. That takes courage to dive into a new target market, a new way of doing business, or a new set of products or services! And in order to get to that place of the new-found pivot, you initially have to give yourself the space to grow. Acknowledge that you aren’t tied to one way of business for the rest of your life. The business you have today probably won’t be the same business you have in five or ten years. The work that you’re doing now probably won’t be the same work you’re doing in ten or fifteen years. And that’s okay!
With this idea in mind that you, inevitably, will pivot within your business over the years, it’s crucial to craft a brand around a sense of Why that’s deeper than the work you do. What I mean by that is build a business that operates from a clear place of Why you do the work that you do, not from a place of products, services, or specific outcomes. Technically, this happens years before you ever pivot! When you make your business about the heart behind your work, if you ever choose to change the type of work you’re doing, it won’t make a huge different to your clients, fellow vendors, or even your team! Because instead of uniting people around a product or service, you’re uniting people around something deeper — a set of values, a way of life, or a clear mission. And that sense of Why could ultimately take shape through all sorts of outlets! So if it ever comes time for you to switch from being a wedding photographer to a public speaker, you can navigate that pivot gracefully if you’ve built your personal brand around your unique sense of Why (and you can invite your audience to come along for the joyful new journey!).
Any endeavor within your business should be guided by a clear plan and a measurable definition of success, and an intentional pivot within your business is no different. Identify the new direction you’re heading in and establish a measurable standard for success. It’s impossible to recognize success if we don’t first define what it looks like, so create an internal guide for your business to keep you on track. Take a realistic look at where you want to go. Outline the milestones you’ll pass as you enter into this new season of business, and make intentional plans around the goals you’re now striving for. And, of course, don’t forget to celebrate those milestones as you pass them along the way!
As you’re pivoting away, it’s important to take a look at your visuals and see if your visual brand identity reflects this new direction. Does your logo and coordinating marks resonate with your new services? Does your website evoke the type of experience or inspire the specific emotions that resonate with your ideal clients? If you find there is room for strategic updates, then it’s time to craft a visual identity that reflects your brand’s transition. Outline what you think needs to change, and then schedule a consult with a professional brand designer or strategist and communicate where your business is headed and where you need your brand to help you go. A seasoned pro will be able to weigh in, help you identify what you should revamp, and educate you on the best design decisions moving forward.
During a season of pivoting within your business, now is the time to take a proactive role with your messaging and educate your audience on what’s to come! It’s important to let your clients, your social media community, and your industry friends know when you’re pivoting within your business so you can raise awareness about this new season, lay the foundation for future business, and reinforce brand equity. There’s nothing more disheartening than walking through a heartfelt re-brand as part of pivoting only to launch your revamped business and hear crickets in reply! Use warm, friendly social media posts to let your audience know that you’re walking through a pivot, what this pivot means for your services, what this pivot means for your audience (like what they can expect from you in the future!), and small peeks into the heart behind this exciting decision. Personally, I recommend breaking these topics into a series of social posts or a handful of educational blog posts so you can invite your audience into the behind-the-scenes and make them feel like they’re truly along for the journey!
Are you thinking of changing directions within your business in the near future, boss lady? What are you most excited about this new season ahead? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to cheer you on!