I thrive on the creative energy of change. It’s what drives my interest in entrepreneurialism and technology. It’s also what’s behind this new design of my blog.
The old design was dated—“long in the tooth,” as they used to say. Beyond that, my brand has grown beyond leadership, and I wanted a design that served readers by better representing me and what I do.
If your branding doesn’t represent you, you’re not serving yourself or your audience.
Time for an Overhaul
I’ve been blogging here since 2004. My interest and focus has changed along the way, but one thing has remained the same. While I’ve worked with designers and programmers, I’m the one who has primarily handled the look and layout of the site. But I figured it was time to up my game. And that meant a thorough and professional overhaul.
This is it! Brandon Triola, who’s worked with my friend Andy Andrews, handled the new logo and design work. And Andrew Buckman, who created the Get Noticed! Theme™ for WordPress with me, handled the coding.
Most of the core features and functionality of the site are the same. If you’re new or want an overview, check out the new Start Here page.
But one thing that really excites me is the process my team and I used to reimagine the brand and create a user experience to match our new vision. Here’s a summary of what we did, so you can see the exact steps we followed.
7 Steps to a Fresh New Look
- We listened to my audience. As I worked through the small-but-growing disconnect between the heavy leadership bent of my previous branding and the greater productivity and personal development direction of my business, I turned to my audience for insight. The word they kept using to describe what I do was mentor. It encapsulated all of what I do, including leadership. But this was just the beginning.
- We created a brand script. This is a marketing innovation we learned from Donald Miller. His StoryBrand team helped us take our feedback and intuitions, clarify the findings, and create the “story” of what we do. The key insight—and it’s one that lined up perfectly with the mentor concept—is that the real hero of the story is you, the reader.
- We refined our core value statement. Clarity on the real hero and my role meant we could get clear on our core value proposition. What is it that I offer my audience? It came down to this: I help high achievers acquire the leadership skills necessary to win at work, succeed at life, and reach their potential. All three of these are important to me and to my readers.
- We took new photos. Images are a key part to building your brand, as I teach in Platform University. The exceptionally talented Jeremy Cowart took a whole new set of head and action shots. I couldn’t be happier with his work.
- We designed a new logo. The previous logo—a talk bubble—represented influence, speaking, and platform. All good things for a leadership blog. But it didn’t quite work for the new direction. This took months, but we finally landed on the compass idea. It worked perfectly. “It’s the logo we were always meant to have but didn’t know,” my daughter Megan said.
- We executed the new design. Brandon created the new look and Andrew created a child theme for the Get Noticed! Theme™ to execute it. We actually started the work when Platform University redesigned Jackie Bledsoe’s site last fall. But the team had a lot of internal debate about the direction for my site. Once we were clear, we were able to use the incredible functionality and flexibility of the Get Noticed! Theme™ while creating a compelling new design that better aligned with the brand.
- We created a new opt-in incentive. Email opt-in magnets are crucial for extending influence. I could have continued to use the existing opt-in magnet, Inside My Toolbox, but I wanted to create an incentive specifically engineered to help you win at work and succeed in life. Here it is:
Shave 10 Hours off Your Workweek: 4 Proven Strategies to Create More Margin for the Things That Matter Most is packed with proven strategies and tactics to help you create more margin in your life. If you’re already on the email list, check your inbox. We’ve sent you a link to download. If you’re not on the list, register above and we’ll send you a copy!
That is how we did it—seven steps to a fresh new look.
Change for the sake of change often results in sideways motion—you’re moving but you’re not going anywhere.
But change that aligns the brand and mission, utilizes a more contemporary design, and improves the reader experience, results in forward motion—exactly what I was after.
Question: What’s your take on the new design?