In the last post I talked about the twists and turns of finding a firm to help me rebrand. Yes, just getting to the starting point was a struggle.
I had envisioned looking for a firm to help me and then finding one quickly. The exact opposite happened. I found firms that stated they believed in the concept of branding; we even had good talks about what I currently had and my concerns. But when the professionals sent me bids . . . well, they didn’t include a rebranding process. They offered services like posting on social media or even doing bigger projects like redoing my website. They were even willing to manage a project to have me spend money on google ads. But somehow they forgot about my rebranding request — my request to have a solid base to start with. They never included that in the bid.
But, I finally found hope and the story finally takes a good turn.
A firm that helps with Branding?
I ended the last post with finally finding a firm that I thought could help me. But, by this time I was very cautious. Were they also going to push me towards social media posting services or an expensive website design right away? Would I have a meeting that would be hopeful but lead to a dead end? I didn’t know, so I didn’t jump in.
I had put rebranding on a long pause, but now I was ready to slowly step back in.
By this time creating a website was a hobby and I knew how to work with a website behind the scenes. I had also researched social media, SEO and how to rank on Google, and many other things. The phrase “I know enough to be dangerous” was changed a little for me. I kept thinking “I know enough to be really frustrated!” It seemed that the more I learned, the more ideas I had, and the more I knew I needed a firm path. I once again thought: “I need a plan so everything I am going to do in marketing will tell the same story . . . I still think I need a to rebrand”.
Start with learning
I read about the firm, met a rep at a conference, and saw the owner on a webinar. I then found out that they were giving a free 4-week live webinar called “Marketing Masterclass”. I signed up, took it, and it was great.
On to the next step: they offered a paid 12-week live webinar called “Accelerator” where they talk about marketing concepts, branding, blogging, social media … wait . . . did they say branding? OK, I’ll pay.
I just didn’t attend the live webinars, I threw myself in to the class and learned – plus I was checking out the firm. Then the day came with the topic: Branding. This was the first time I was beyond frustrated. I had enjoyed the free 4 week course and was on a roll with the 12-week series, but I was now miserable. How could I be miserable when there was a class on the very topic I had searched for? The reason: it confirmed that I did want to tell a consistent story. I did want to rebrand. And I did need help! On my notes I wrote “Hire Karen”.
Yes, I “knew enough to be frustrated”. I was tired of having a ton of ideas but feeling that there was no “plan”. I emailed Karen and she said what I had wanted all the other firms to say. She told me
we’ll start with a two-meeting branding session.
She explained that after the branding session, I can take the information we work through and leave or I can do a longer project with them. Yes! I was in. I wanted to start down the road to marketing clarity.
- Choose a firm that gives you something free upfront.
- Let them show you who they are and what they know. This firm gave 4 weeks of classes and continued to give additional information.
P.S. I liked this process so much I am following this path by writing blog posts and giving away business and accounting tips so businesses can see who I am and what I know. I like the concept.
Hire the firm
The firm I chose: The Profitable Firm out of the UK. If you would have told me a year ago that I would choose a company out of the country, I would have been surprised. Why? Because I thought you had to have in-person meetings to get started; I thought you literally needed to be in the same room — at least for the first meeting. But I have changed my mind.
Main lesson and tip: If you want to rebrand and get clarity, don’t start with throwing money in to social media posting services, Facebook ads, Google ad-words without a solid plan. Keep looking for a firm that will help you with branding clarity.
The first meeting came and their first questions for me:
- Who are you trying to brand? Is it Barb Brady or Simplified Accounting Firm?
- What are you trying to convey?
We talked and I firmly realized among other things: I didn’t like the company name I originally chose!
I answered some tough basic questions
No firm had asked me those questions and here it is their opening questions: “Who are you trying to brand? Is it Barb Brady or Simplified Accounting Firm?” and “What are you trying to convey?”
I had second guessed my firm name before, but today I explained:
- I meant the name to mean “I will do the hard work. I will trouble-shoot and use my years of accounting experience to simplify for clients”.
- But many times potential clients were acting like “Can you do a few simple things for me and it’s probably no big deal.”
They didn’t realize that many times it was a big deal. It was going to take massive work to dig them out of the mess they were in and help them move forward. I could simplify . . . but it was because I had the experience to do the complex work before I simplified. I had a message but the problem: my message wasn’t consistently clear.
Stop by my next blog as I continue my journey to rebrand. . .