Earlier this week, we dove into the very first step you have to take and the truth you must believe before walking through any sort of pivot within your business. But let’s take that conversation even further, boss lady! There are three big mistakes I’ve seen creatives make while pivoting their business and I want to share how you can avoid them.
After you give yourself permission to pivot and start intentionally chasing after this new season, you may wonder what steps you should take next. What’s the right way to do this? (I use the term “right” loosely here because, let’s be real, there’s no “right” or “wrong” way! There’s only what works best for you, friend.)
Today, let’s dive into what not to do when walking through a pivot and how you can ensure you never wrestle with these sticky situations in your own journey.
Mistake #1 – You’re tying your brand too closely to a specific product or service
Which means when you attempt to veer even slightly off course, confusion and chaos will ensue! Okay, maybe not chaos, but you know what I mean. When you associate your brand too closely to your product or service, or to the specific audience you serve, then you unintentionally leave no room to grow. What happens if you want to serve a slightly different audience? What happens if you want to diversify your offerings? Then your brand loses some of its equity and you can end up confusing your existing audience along the way.
Solution #1: Build a brand that’s centered on the heart of your work, not just your work or your audience alone. When you build something that’s centered on the very foundation of your brand, then you give yourself the space to grow in any direction that ties back to your brand’s foundation. Plus, you’ll be attracting your ideal clients to the heart of your brand, not just the work that you do.
Mistake #2 – You forgot to educate your audience about this pivot in the first place
Woops! You did what many struggle to do. You took action for change in your business, which is so exciting. But through that action you’ve started making big changes to your offerings or your brand as a whole, only to realize that you never really let your audience know what was going on. From their end, it looks like a whole bunch of change is going on, but they don’t know why all that change is happening. Again, this can result in all sorts of confusion and, at the very worst, a sense of distrust in your brand.
Solution #2: In order to bring your audience along with you on this journey, and to protect the trustworthiness of your brand, educate your tribe about the intention behind the pivot. You don’t have to spill all the beans, but give them an idea of why these changes are taking place. Share what you’re most excited about for the future and what positive benefits your audience can expect as a result! This will only generate their own excitement and totally get them on board for this transition.
Mistake #3 – You pivoted without really looking where you were going
Let me share a fun little story with you. When I was little, my parents wanted to instill me with a good sense of sportsmanship. Which of course meant I had to try everything from basketball to ballet to swimming! If we’ve met in person, you’ll note that I’m 4’11” and I have never been particularly tall for my age, which meant me playing basketball was laughable. And although I didn’t win any trophies for my team and I spent the majority of each game (gratefully) on the bench, I did learn one valuable lesson that totally applies to business – if you’re going to pivot, look first to see where you’re going before taking that step.
In the game of basketball, a pivot is one of the most important fundamentals. It means you anchor one foot in the same spot while protecting the basketball in a triple-threat position and rotating through the opposite foot. The focus of a pivot is to give yourself a better position for a clear pass to a team member, help avoid that nagging defensive player, or even to position yourself for an open shot. But if you choose to stop and pivot without looking to see what your options are, you can actually find yourself stuck in a trap and most likely turn the ball over.
In business, pivoting means you have to first look to where you’re going in order to choose the best path to get you there. Change for the sake of change will get you started, but it may require a few course corrections along the way that could easily be avoided if you look before you take action.
Solution #3 – Look at where you want to go before you begin to pivot your brand. Identify where you want to end up, what that final result should be, and then step into action.
Pivoting doesn’t have to feel like a complicated minefield to navigate, friend! Instead, if you take thoughtful steps along the way, you can absolutely transition into a new season of business that honors the heart of your brand and empowers you to do the work you love.
If you’re walking through a season of transition and you’re ready for your brand to speak to this season of growth, then let’s chat about how you can create an elevated brand that authentically reflects the heart of your life’s work. I’m currently accepting new branding clients for late summer and early fall projects, and it would be a joy to craft a visual brand that reflects not only this new season for your business, but also honors how far you’ve come along the way.
Get in touch here to schedule your complimentary consult call!