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The Right Time to Move On (Redefining Your Brand)

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Mastery requires endurance. Mastery, a word we don’t use often, is not the equivalent of what we might consider its cognate — perfectionism — an inhuman aim motivated by a concern with how others view us. Mastery is also not the same as success — an event-based victory based on a peak point, a punctuated moment in time. Mastery is not merely a commitment to a goal, but to a curved-line, constant pursuit.

Sarah Lewis in The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery (public library)

Working within your comfort zone can be one of the easiest things to do. Deciding when to change however, is always hard, especially when it comes to your business, website or brand. When we put ourselves out there, we create an image for our visitors, a reference that they will recognize.

There are many brands that started out as a simple idea and escalated into inspirational success stories. However, fast forward a few years down the road and you’ll see that many of them feel out of sync with their current state. Their websites have become hard to update and are not laid out well enough for the type of content they’re sharing. In general, it feels like its time to move on.

Should you create a new home for your business and forget about the early stages of your brand’s life?

OR

Should you create a plan to make it better and fit your goals and vision?

The answer is: it depends.

It depends on how many visitors you have and how involved you want them to be in this new stage. After all, they’ve been there for you all this time (or little time, it doesn’t really matter) and the fact that they have followed, bookmarked and shared your website is something that you need to consider. When someone visits your website, they’re taking time out of their lives to read and learn more about you. This is gold! We need (and should) respect them, so the idea of discarding that old (and sometimes embarrassing) site might not be the best move for you at the moment.

Businesses evolve in the same ways that brands and audiences do. You need to give each element of information, each product and each service the time and energy they deserve in order to give your audience an experience they will remember, recommend and enjoy (tweet this!).

How many times have you gone somewhere expecting to find one thing yet found another? On one hand, it might have been a nice surprise or discovery, however your intention for that visit changed and your plans will no longer be the same. Now you’re faced with the idea of searching in unfamiliar places to fulfill your needs. Not fun!

Before you decide to move on to your next stage and share your new brand and website with the world, consider your users. The people who have been there since day one should not be left staring into a storefront window wondering what happened. Reach out!

Send your followers/customers/clients a quick email, tweet or even a Facebook message. Make it personal and let them know how much you appreciate their time and support and how you’d love them to be a part of the new business image and experience you’re building for them.

Keep in mind that if you decided to radically change your business or retarget your audience to serve other people, let them know as well. Let them know when are you starting your new adventure and when the current one will be done. Share a list of places and/or services that will suit them and be there for them once you part ways.

Finally, be thankful.

The online world is very busy and noisy. Once you have passed the “crickets stage,” be happy, be present and always keep an open line of communication with your audience. You’re here for the long haul, so you want to build long lasting relationships.

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