With a new year comes new goals and opportunities.
Maybe you’re feeling refreshed and ready to hit the ground running with projects and working towards those revenue goals you calculated at the end of last year. Great!
But before you get carried away by your increasing workload, there are some simple (super necessary) steps you can take to set yourself up for successful months ahead. And the steps are all centered on – you guessed it – branding. These branding updates are often overlooked; however, I’ve found them to be essential to tidying up your brand’s foundation so that you can elevate your path forward.
1. Update Your Website’s Copyright Date
You know that copyright date is ever-so-subtly displayed at the bottom of a website? It protects the owner’s rights to the website’s content and signals to visitors that it’s an active business. So, I bet you can guess what I’m going to say next.
Yes, you’re going to want to update the copyright disclaimer date in the footer of your site every time a new year comes around.
For Olive Fox, I regularly update areas of my site (think the blog, brand database, and portfolio). So my website footer reads, “OLIVE FOX DESIGN, LLC© COPYRIGHT 2018-2023.” You’ll also want to incorporate a year range if you contribute to your website on an ongoing basis. The “start” year should be the date of your oldest piece of content. And the “end” year is obvious – it represents the current year.
To help you remember to do this annually, I recommend setting up a repeating calendar reminder. Or, depending on your website platform, you can incorporate a custom code. DM me on Instagram to see if this is a possibility.
Disclaimer: While I’m not qualified to give legal advice by any means, I know from experience that while it may feel seemingly insignificant, your website’s copyright date is something you simply cannot (and should not) let slide. My trusted lawyer, Rachel, explains why in this podcast episode.
2. Update Your Availability, Contact Information & Other Need-to-Know Details
Do you display your office hours and things like project availability (ex. “Now booking October-December”)? Sure, this might be geared more toward my service-based business people. Either way, you’ll want to guarantee this information is relevant and up-to-date in areas such as your contact form and social media profiles.
And on that note, if you’re a service-based brand, this is also a good time to reflect on your service offerings. Are the deliverables listed still accurate? What about rates, turnaround times, and even FAQs? Save yourself the headache of having to explain updates to new leads by checking your “Services page” copy for accuracy.
3. Update Your Apps
Whether you use applications made for managing clients (like Honeybook, Dubsado, or the like) or sharing products, you should always set aside time for updating those spaces. Chances are, you have open projects that need to be closed out, client follow-ups to be completed, forms that need refreshing, and even product collections to create (or delete). Give these apps the attention they deserve – especially as many are client-facing and engaging. Put your best foot forward with your brand, always!
4. Update Your Brand Collateral
Just like your website, your brand collateral is a living, breathing element of your overall identity. And each year, you learn what’s working and what needs improving to serve your community better.
Here are some pieces you may need to put through an audit:
- Guides – Whether they’re geared towards pricing, welcoming a client, or even individual projects, review for your brand voice, logo usage, brand colors, availability, services (and accompanying rates), and any other details for consistency and cohesiveness.
- Headshots, brand photography, and bios – Have some space in your budget? Work in a fresh set of headshots to breathe some new life into your overall visual identity. Remember to also update your social media profiles (read: your bio, contact information, etc.).
- Proposal templates – Take a read through them to be certain they’re in line with your updated standards and strategy. You’ll save yourself the headache of having to explain a blunder in pricing or other important information to potential clients.
- Emails and/or automated responses – If you have a designated email workflow, sequence, or automatic replies for your brand, make sure any and all content is relevant for the upcoming year.
- Portfolio & Testimonials – If you don’t currently have a process in place to add to/update your portfolio and testimonials (if applicable) once a project comes to a close, there’s no better time to do so than now! Also, take a look at past projects and reviews that live on your site. You may want to hide any that are no longer relevant to the services you provide or even to clients you want to serve.
5. (Re)Evaluate Your Business Goals for Potential Brand Updates
Have you set some goals for the new year? If so, cross-reference them between your other brand clarity items (not familiar with the term? Get a refresher!).
You’ll want them to align.
If they don’t, dig deeper to see where the disconnect is. Maybe you need to (re)evaluate your service offerings depending on your goals, your visual (read: brand design) and verbal strategy (read: website copy) depending on your vision and story, and your full brand experience depending on your values.
Always remember: you know your brand best. When you thoughtfully walk through this list – step by step, you can confidently move forward with the brand updates you need to show up and grow throughout the year ahead.
Want to pursue a brand refresh?
But you’re not sure where to begin or if it’s the right investment for you? I can help!