Can You Change Your Online Brand?

This is a guest post by Mary DeMuth. She is an author, speaker and book mentor. She has published twelve books, including her most e-book recent, The 11 Secrets of Getting Published, and her most recent novel, The Muir House. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

Sometimes we think our world is set in concrete, that to alter it means wielding sledge hammers and heavy equipment. Particularly on the web, we feel stuck in the persona we’ve shared with our cyber-friends.

U-Turn Sign - Photo courtesy of ©, Image #12166037

Photo courtesy of ©

Here’s a joyful, scary, invitational truth, though: God is always at work.

I’ve experienced the sledgehammer of God this past year, though His blows felt more like a rainstorm of grace. It started with several unrelated people (some strangers) who shared a word with me: “Abundance,” they said. “God is steering you toward abundance.”

After so many people from so many backgrounds whispered the same word, I realized God wanted to reshape me. For several years my tagline has been “turning trials to triumph.” I lived there, sometimes too much. In my introspection and looking back, I did heal (thankfully), but I tended to look backward. Living with the pain from the past was my comfort zone, my way of living.

But God said abundance. Which connotes anticipation. Expectation. Forward thinking.

And the word “trials” didn’t seem to define me as much anymore. Nor did I like the word triumph, as it connoted a personal triumphalism, as if I bootstrapped myself.

In my last post for Michael on passion I shared how I found my passion. I used similar methods to discern my new direction, look and tagline. You can follow these steps too, if you sense it’s time to change your online presence:

  1. Investigate the past twelve months. Scavenge your journal, the words of others that took you aback, the persistent message of your spouse or kids, the thoughts that keep you awake at night. What are the patterns? What keeps jumping out at you? What do you try to ignore, but God keeps pestering you about?
  2. Ask your friends. I sent an email to my prayer team, and I also tweeted and Facebooked my new adventure, asking people to give me feedback on my new direction.
  3. Find dominant Scriptures. One thing that really helped me was looking back over the year and seeing the verses that God spotlighted for me. The similarities were shocking, actually. God really did want me to change directions!
  4. Pray about it. Ultimately, after all the investigation, inquiries, and Scriptures, it was God’s voice that whispered my new tagline into my heart. It came unexpectedly, but perfectly.

If you’d like to read more about my journey and find out about my new tagline, click here.

You’re not off the hook, though. It’s one thing to delve and discover your new direction, it’s quite another to implement it. Don’t be so caught up in what is easy that you fail to risk for the next task God has for you. Don’t be caged by your current brand, look, and presence on the web. It cost me relatively little to change my tagline and look. But I had to decide to.

I’ll end this sledgehammer-of-grace post with my favorite Oswald Chambers quote. It embodies my new direction, and it speaks to our fear of letting go of the past and moving forward. He writes, “Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ, and go out into the irresistible future with Him.”

Questions: How has God changed you over the past year? What holds you back from changing your brand/tagline/online presence? What convicted you about this post? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • Joe Abraham

    For the past six months, my wife and I have been sensing ‘divine signals’ about taking a major new step in our life. Even this morning, we seriously discussed about it. And this post has come as another solid confirmation to that! Thanks Mary for writing this prophetic post. Also thank you Michael for posting it today than any other day!

    • Mary DeMuth

      A prophetic post! :) Well, I can at least attest to its truth in my own life. Glad it blessed you in your journey!

      • Joe Abraham

        Yes, it does – with precision. That’s why I called it prophetic.

        • Mary DeMuth

          Well, thank you kindly. Oddly when I take those spiritual gift inventories, prophecy comes to the top.

          • Joe Abraham

            Wow! Isn’t that interesting?

    • Joe Lalonde

      Joe, go with God’s leading. Change can be scary but it leads to a lot of great things as my wife and I are going through some at this time. God will guide you and get you through it.

      • Joe Abraham

        That’s really encouraging! I surely needed that. Thanks Joe. May the Lord continue to shower His favor on both of you in your new situations and endeavors. 

        • Joe Lalonde

          Joe, glad it was encouraging. I pray that you and your wife are able to step out and follow God’s divine signals. It’s a wild but great journey. Enjoy!

      • Jim Hardy

        I agree, It can be very scary, but no risk, no reward.


  • Leah Adams

    How has God changed me this year? I guess you would call it a settling in; a becoming comfortable with where God has me in this season and being ok if He never changes it. I suppose everyone hopes that their ministry call will lead them to a great and glorious ministry for the Lord. I was no different. I hoped that I would have opportunities to speak a couple of times a month. I hoped that my Bible study would sell well and impact thousands of lives. I hoped for a greater stage on which to walk out this ministry calling. Yet, this year God has worked in my heart a comfort with whatever stage God sees fit to place me on; whatever size ministry He knows I can be trusted with. As long as I know that I am in the sweet-spot of His will….I’m good with His plan.

    • Mary DeMuth

      I hear you, Leah. I struggle with that too.

  • David Barry DeLozier

    Beautifully said! For me, interestingly enough, I believe God has nudged me (through writing, journaling, contemplative prayer) to look backward a little more than my natural tendency is to do.  I was raised by gypsies – went to 9 schools in 12 years; I’m a self-employed entrepreneur who takes frequent risks.  Forward thinking (I like to think) is my game.  But one of the biggest risks that I’ve avoided is looking at patterns and people in my past.  Eventually, this may lead  to a new brand of “me,” online and off.  We’ll see. Thanks again.

    • Mary DeMuth

      Raised by Gypsies! Wow! But, yes, you’re right. Sometimes God calls us to look back so He can heal us. We don’t need to stay there, but we do need to go there once in awhile.

    • Jim Hardy

      You bring up a good point, I think God has nudged me with forward thinking also, I think that God has put those tools in place for me, partly with the support of Mike and the great value he adds through this medium.


  • Gina Holmes

    It’s such a “duh” moment ) when I’ve realized, time and again, that the only person holding me where I am is me. I’m not a fan of those catchy author brand taglines for this and other reasons. 
    Great post as always, Mary!

    • Mary DeMuth

      It’s that we need to stop our lives and really listen and discern what He is saying to us, not our perception of what we want to project.

  • Jennifer

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time. God has been whispering to me to change my course yet I have been stuck in my comfort zone….even thought His nudging has been quite persistent. This post is just another confirmation that it is time to step out in faith….God’s got me! Thank you!

    • Mary DeMuth

      By His strength alone you can step out.

    • Jim Hardy


      Read the book Jolt. It is great and maybe it will encourage you to make a change.


  • Gina

    Great post, Mary!

  • John Richardson

    Great post, Mary. I always enjoy your writing. For me, if I had to distill it down to one word, it would be “organize.” I’ve always had a lot of material, but it has become increasingly clear that I need to organize it in a way that I can share better with others. I’m having to work on a fitness program for my “Left Brain.”

    • Mary DeMuth

      That’s a great sentence: work on a fitness program for my left brain… Love it.

  • bruce crews

    Such a timely post Mary – thanks!  At the end of last year I felt comforted in knowing God had a new direction for us as a family.  He wanted 2011 to be a year of preparing for what He has for me in 2012.  I’m still not fully sure what He has planned, but I am confident in my being prepared.  I am also free to dream, and am seeing some changes taking shape as I look towards what I want 2012 to include, under His leadership and guidance.      

    • Mary DeMuth

      How gracious of God to prepare your hearts for what is next.

  • Anonymous

    At first I didn’t think the title matched the article … still not sure. But this is a powerful message for those of us undergoing significant change. I’ll be entering (hopefully only temporarily) the ranks of the unemployed at the end of the month. It’s taken a toll already on my relationships; friendships, professional relationships, family, and what I have most surprising … God.

    • Mary DeMuth

      I’d love you to re-title it, George! :) But maybe it is speaking to identity issues, not just externally (like job, vocation etc) but internally. Who are we?

  • Janellrardon

    Michael, thank you for this heaven-sent word from dear Mary DeMuth.
    Mary, I have followed you for so many years. This post speaks volumes.
    This past year, actually the last two years, have been extremely difficult for
    me as a writer and speaker. A strong catalyst for change has been firing within.
    Yes, I am resistant for several reasons: 1) fear of the unknown 2)money to change website/etc
    3)people pleasing 4)not knowing how to actually make the change
    My gentle God has used several things to reveal His desire for change:
    1) God has used rejection, which I now lovingly say “rejection is mere redirection.” Book rejections. Friend rejection. Church rejection. Family rejection.
    2) God has used my Graduate Studies, particularly one class on LISTENING in which a course-long project assessing my communication patterns revealed what I had always suspected: my true self vs my expected self. I have honestly been living a life based on what others “expect” me to be. Ugh.
    What on earth do I do with that?
    3)God has brought wise people into my life to walk with me. Not many, just a couple, who speak life and truth into my weariness and depression.
    There, I’ve said it. I am taking your words straight to the throne of God. Desperate to hear his voice, yet knowing his silence perhaps is often my answer.

    Mary, thank you. Oh, and yes, one of my new words is AWAKENING. You’ve inspired me once again and given me such hope.

    Here’s to growth!

    • Mary DeMuth

      Awakening is a terrific word and aptly shows where you’ve been and where you’re going. May you be brave, by God’s grace, to move forward.

    • Jim Hardy


      Great post and I agree, the fear of the unknown can really hold you back, no one wants to fail. Remember that God is there for you and he loves you and if you ask for his guidance, he will not let you down.


  • Janell Rardon

    Another nudge by the Holy Spirit. Why do we resist forward movement? Help us change, Lord!

    • Mary DeMuth

      It is hard. We don’t like change.

  • Cathryn

    This post seems to have come at a very opportune time for me…God is faithful to put things in your path so you run into it…like Grace!

    I started a blog a year ago, almost to the date, and then moved it to my own website.  I have been through quite a bit of sorrow through the past year and blogged about it and then moved on to blog about how I am going to get through it all (Hence my tagline of “Moving Beyond the Thorn Hedge.” 

    I am thinking about all of the things I have been asked to work on, as far as writing and voluteer work is concerned, and feel that perhaps I am THROUGH the hedge.  However, moving on and changing course seems so daunting!! 

    Thanks for writing this…it is so helpful and I love the Chambers quote…it fits my new journey perfectly…I’ll keep up with your new tagline, too!


    • Mary DeMuth

      What a good, hard journey, Cathryn! Keep moving beyond…

  • FemmeFuel

    What a refreshing post, Mary! I can’t wait to hear God’s tagline for my life. Thank you for reminding me to listen for His whispers.


    • Mary DeMuth

      Glad you liked the post! I look forward to hearing what tagline God whispers over you!

  • John Bergquist

    Abundance indeed Mary. Here is to even more.

    • Mary DeMuth

      Amen, John. Amen.

  • David Adeola

    All I can say for me is that it’s time to change and redefine who I am!

    • Mary DeMuth

      That’s so exciting, David.

  • Amy K. Sorrells

    Absolutely beautiful, Mary. A much0needed and so-true reminder for me. Not only did Jesus turn water to wine, he multiplied it abundantly to quench the thirsting crowds, which is exactly what He’s doing with you–with each of us! Praising God for your victories, triumphs and abundance, and how you so openly and courageously share them with all of us! Super post, friend!

    • Mary DeMuth

      Thanks Amy dear! You’re an encourager!

      • Amy K. Sorrells

        So much of an encourager that I think I just posted here twice! lol! (I thought cyberspace ate my first comment–sorry!)

        • Mary DeMuth

          It’s always nice to have more of you, Amy.

  • John

    Good insight. Many times, I hate being the “cancer guy” and hate that it’s often the first thing people want to know about. I’m so much more than that but it’s been a powerful platform (though small) to share my faith with others. I’ve already moved beyond the fear and struggle I had during cancer but I’ll stick with this tagline for awhile.

    • Mary DeMuth

      So the cancer is past, John? What a hard journey. May God continue to be your strength and stability.

    • Jim Hardy


      Thank you for sharing your site! I will be praying for you and hoping for the best.


  • Amy K. Sorrells

    Absolutely beautiful post, Mary. And for me, so timely and true. I didn’t think I’d ever write fiction again, but after hearing God whisper a story to me and taking a stab at it, I’ve changed my course and direction. Your thoughts here remind me of Jesus turning water into wine–He not only transformed it, He then multiplied it abundantly to quench the thirst of so, so many. That’s what you do, Mary. So grateful for your triumphs and how God leads you every day to abundance, friend!

    • Mary DeMuth

      Thanks Amy dear! Can I just say I love your fiction?

  • Tyler Bream

    “Don’t be so caught up in what is easy that you fail to risk for the next task God has for you.”  Truer words have never been said.  If I have experienced one thing in life, it is that God does not call us to an easy or comfortable life, but a difficult, arduous, and exciting one.  

    • Mary DeMuth

      Yes, and we won’t have the excitement without the risk.

  • Joe Lalonde

    Mary, I always enjoy reading your guest posts. You offer a lot of refreshing wisdom.

    God has been working a lot of change this year in my wife and I. For myself, he’s been guiding me more and more towards physical well being, reading, and writing. However, I’ve been resisting the writing. I don’t know when I’ll break that but I feel like it’s coming.

    For my wife, God just changed her work situation and what she’ll be doing career-wise.

    It’s a lot of scary but exciting changes. I’m excited to see what He brings us in the next year.

    • Mary DeMuth

      Perhaps God is stirring the nest for all of us so we don’t rely on what is comfortable, but rely on Him instead.

      • Joe Lalonde

        I can see that being the case for me. I get into these times where I’m just comfortable and sailing along. Finances are good, job is good, life is “good”. Then God reminds me that He is the one we need to rely on and changes life all around.

  • Anonymous

    I am building from the experience of losing my father, my son and my job all within a few months.  I have spent some time to enjoy the hurt.  I am in the process of finalizing our 1st product from a company I started one year ago.  It is a new and innovative way for
    grandparents to participate and share Bible stories with their grandchildren
    and provide a valuable source of revenue for partner churches.
    Your post moved me.  The word abundance and it’s meaning.  I am thankful, Christ has been putting overtime into me in the last 4-6 weeks, I am always looking for the signs of His words and guidance.  I almost did not read this post, but as I was about to move on to something else, I was moved to open it.  We both know who inspired that action.

    Thank you for your wisdom.


    • Mary DeMuth

      Wow, that’s a lot of loss, Walter. I’m sorry.

      But I’m thankful the post ministered to you. Humbled, too.

    • Jim Hardy


      Loss aways hurts, but I am sure you have great memories that you can share with those that you love.


  • W. Mark Thompson

    So much of it is my own story. That’s what my site was about. I also am redirecting my direction. Going to brand another site with another tagline. More to come.

    Thanks for the post. Good thoughts.

    • Mary DeMuth

      What’s your old site? Your new site? Would love to see the transition.

      • W. Mark Thompson

        Hey Mary,
        Old site is Got some functionality challenges on it.
        I’m planning to phase this out into a nice site to sell my ebook.
        I’ve got more to say these days (consistent with your post today) and going to build a brand/blog on my name where I’ll broaden the conversation. It’s not ready yet. I’ve got old Internet Marketing site on it currently

        I know that all may sound vague. But it’s clear in my mind.  :)

        • Mary DeMuth

          As long as it’s clear in your mind! Thanks for sharing the links.

          • W. Mark Thompson

            Not much that’s clear in there. But that is.  :) 
            Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • Jack Lynady

    There seems to be a pattern God uses. It involves Discovery, Development, and Delivery. He leads us to Discover more of what is true about ourselves. But that alone is insufficient. He also has to Develop us more so that we can Deliver our calling well for the benefit of others. What you are describing is an Alignment phase. Where you had discovered more, you had developed more, and it was now time to align your life more so that you could deliver more. And by ‘more’ I mean ‘more of Him’.

    • Mary DeMuth

      Very, very good words, Jack! So true.

  • Alex Humphrey

    ” It’s one thing to delve and discover your new direction, it’s quite another to implement it.”

    Amen! That’s truly fantastic!

    I struggle with this. I do all the other stuff, the research, the looking back, the planning, the hoping, the dreaming, and then I stop short of the doing. It’s a struggle for me that’s not really a struggle at all.

    God has revealed to me that I have a lot of idols that are in His way. Thinks that stop me from acting, stop me from doing.

    Thanks for the great post and the great reminder!

    • Mary DeMuth

      That’s a great point that we can serve idols rather than step into the identity Christ has for us.

  • Katie Dale


    This resonated with me on a few different levels.  First, I think having an online presence and tagline is great…and reflecting God’s impression on me onto that is probably even better; it’s His Glory I want, not mine.  Secondly, I hope I don’t settle into the presence of that past of mine.  Like you and others have mentioned, reflecting on our past trials can be keeping us from moving forward into what abundance and revelations God wants us to experience.  Third, on a personal note, after reflecting on what God has been trying to tell me this past year, I think I’ve heard Him pressing on my heart how beautiful I am to Him, regardless of how I feel or think.

    Thanks for sharing your insight on this with us.  It’s always a pleasure to hear from you and I look forward to seeing what God will further reveal to you through His abundance. 

    • Mary DeMuth

      Great words, Katie. I love this:

      I’ve heard Him pressing on my heart how beautiful I am to Him, regardless of how I feel or think.

      You are!

  • Matt Walker


    I really enjoy and appreciate your blog. As an aspiring Christian Speaker and Apologist, I find your techniques to be very helpful. I couldn’t find an email address for you on your blog, so I just thought that I’d share this link with you. It’s very informative on how one can improve their skills in many different areas. Hope you enjoy it, and God Bless!


  • Anonymous

    My “brand” has definitely changed over the past three years.  I went from the “math teacher who is a part-time youth pastor” to “full-time pastor”.  To borrow an analogy from Francis Schaeffer, changing your brand is a little like jumping off of a train as it’s moving.  You’re going to get a few bumps and bruises along the way.

    • Anonymous

      Sorry. I was interrupted while typing and couldn’t finish my thought…

      I’m currently reading The Letters of Francis Schaeffer.  It fits right in with this discussion. Francis and his wife decided to resign from their denominational association in order to begin L’Abri.  The letters provide insight into their thinking as they changed their “brand” from that of traditional pastor in the U.S. to their rather unique ministry in Switzerland.  If you’re going through a time of searching for God’s directional change in your life (as many of the comments indicate), this book might be extremely helpful to you.

      • Mary DeMuth

        Thanks for the heads up about that book, Karl. I appreciate it. May the Lord invigorate you as you minister to youth!

  • Beck Gambill

    Always love what you have to share Mary and I love watching God’s grace unfold and shape his dear ones! I know I’m in that process of change but more at the beginning or middle, it’s still hard to see clearly. But I’m collecting little pebbles along the way and turning my ear to listen. I know in time those pebbles will build an altar of grace that shouts glory to Him!

    • Mary DeMuth

      Great imagery, Beck. Pebbles to altars!

  • Parker Glenda

    I really appreciated your post. It really touched me. God has been dealing with me this year in trust. He has gave me many chances to trust Him to make his point. the hardest would have been the death of my 34 year old daughter two months ago. Don’t get me wrong God didn’t cause her death, it was a drug interaction problem but it was a hard time. I received news that she had overdosed and was at the hospital. When I prayed God just said trust me. Imagine my shock when she died but God gave me a vision of her healed an whole in a long white gown. Her long blond hair was blowing in the wind and she had so much love and happiness in her eyes. God gave me total peace and grace. I have never known God on that level before. God is good, allow Him to move in your life today. 

    • Mary DeMuth

      Wow, that’s very hard. I’m sorry to hear about your daughter. But I’m thankful you had a deep/profound moment with the Lord.

  • Cynthia Herron

    Since I’m just getting started with the whole “branding” concept, I’m not thinking about changing anything at this point, Mary.

    What I loved about your post…”God’s always at work.” May He continue to bless your efforts as you strive to serve Him!

    • Mary DeMuth

      Thanks Cynthia.

  • JD Eddins

    Great post.  over the last year I have worked  a lot on writing my life plan, particularly on my last vacation, but I am still getting hung up on implementing many of the things that I wrote only two months ago. Thanks for this challenging post.  It gives me a lot to think about it regards to make the changes that have been put before happen.

    • Mary DeMuth

      Go JD! You can do it (with God’s strength)!

  • Laurie Wallin

    Mary, I love that you shared this, and that you courageously stepped in to this new direction for your own ministry and online presence. This past year I’ve switched gears too, and it’s been discouraging to see some consistent readers move on as I got more and more bold in what I knew God was calling me to do (through those avenues you mentioned in #1-4). But the joy and energy is immeasurably greater in my focus now – helping women know and grow their strengths – than it was as a parenting blogger and coach. It’s like living the Braveheart cry of FREEDOM every day! Totally worth the effort of the change.

    • Mary DeMuth

      Very cool, Laurie. You’re right. Some people may not like the new direction…but if it’s what God calls you to do, do it.

  • Vcradlebaugh57

    It connected me with a pattern I encounter when convicted of wrong doing, mistakes I currently make or the hurt I cause someone. I dredge up my past failures, mistakes and the encompassing ugliness of what I hang on to, of how I diminish the work Christ has done or is doing in my heart and how it holds me back from living in the abundance Jesus wants me to be living in. I can now successfully help lead others with the tag line He created for me. “Leading women to pursue the abundance of a closer walk with Christ” Thank you Mary, for allowing God  to use you to help others and myself be free in Christ.

    • Mary DeMuth

      What a great tagline!

  • Tlm65

    insightful. thank you

    • Mary DeMuth

      You’re welcome, Tim.

  • Uma Maheswaran S

    Thanks for the post Mary! Although my conviction is not directly relating to changing my brand/tagline/online presence, I have felt the need to be more consistent in my life. I am happy that I am more organized in the recent past. This have given me emotional confidence too. This was possible because of some intentional changes in my life.

    • Mary DeMuth

      Sounds like a good turn for you, Uma. I love being organized (when I am) and can relate to what you’ve said here.

  • Leslie

    Thanks Mary!  I will be pondering this for a while.  I can see how God has moved me through the last year but not enough to quit my day job!  Twice I’ve had people tell me not to “chase two rabbits”.  Still waiting…

    • Mary DeMuth

      Hang in there. May there be one rabbit in your future.

  • Diane Yuhas

    I have no problem changing my brand to match what God is doing in my life.  I look at it as I look at life – dynamic, transformable.  Being relatively unknown makes it easy, but even if I were famous I would still make changes, being careful to think it through and take steps to ensure  that the expectations of my followers would be change with me.  

    • Mary DeMuth

      Way to be flexible!

  • Robert Ewoldt

    Mary, thanks for your guest post.  I like your new “Live Uncaged” tagline.

    • Mary DeMuth

      Thanks Robert.

  • Poppy Smith

    I’m in the same place.  Sensing a new beginning, more focus, more intentional pursuit of God’s purposes–what He wants me to do for Him in the years ahead. His words are: “Press On. Risk. Break out of familiar paths.” Poppy Smith

    • Robert Ewoldt

      Poppy, that’s a great exhortation.

    • Mary DeMuth

       Love those words, Poppy!

  • Jim Hardy

    I have learned a lot from Your Blog Mike. How to do a three year plan. How to have a life plan. How to stay organized through avenues as Evernote.


    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Jim. I’m glad to be of service.

  • Indianapolis Web Design & SEO

    We’ve done this and will continue to do this. Any company whose brand remains stagnant over time faces insignificance in the market. In other words, the market they thought they were in may change under their feet and unless they change with it.

  • Jeff Goins

    i like #2

  • Tamara Vann

    Great advice that works as well for an individual as it might an entire company. If it is time to change an online brand for a company, remember the importance of making it personal. Customers don’t like to deal with machines all the time. This video offers great insights for building a culture of service that could help change an online brand image –

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