I often hear versions of this concern from my clients. They are hesitant to define their brand because they are worried, they will be trapped by their own definitions. What if I position myself as a thought leader in one thing, only to change my mind down the road?
Regardless of whether you’re playing big or small with your brand, it’s ok if it changes. In fact, you should evolve your brand over time. Stagnation often leads to boredom, disillusionment and apathy. I advise these clients that evolving your brand is never a wrong choice if your evolution remains authentic to your core values and goals for the future.
This is the beauty of living and communicating your authentic brand. If you build a relationship with your audience based on your real values and vision for the future, they are more likely to stick with you as your passions and interests evolve over time.
Now, if you take a sharp turn from say, building a platform on the life changing effects of clean eating to singing the praises of eating fried food every day, you’re likely to surprise, and possibly anger, some of your fan base.
Does it matter if you do anger people? No.
Yes, it might create business or professional challenges. Yes, you might lose paying customers in the short term. Yes, you will have to work harder to reframe how people know you in your career. But I repeat; honest, authentic communication is never a mistake when it comes to building your brand.
Don’t let your fear of greatness hold you back from getting started. Don’t let the “what if’s?” distract you from the opportunities before you. Take the time to define what you value now, and where you want to go in the future and work that plan every day.
When the “what if’s” start to creep in, promise yourself that when the time comes to evolve your brand, you won’t hide from the challenge. When the time comes, you will build a new plan for your brand. Then quiet those nagging questions and get back to work on building the brand that excites you today.