Tell us a bit about who you were before the change? What was your personal brand? What were you known for?
I have had a few personal brands over the past 10 years. I was Rachel Daniel, Regional Director for the Athena Network, offering a business consulting business called Improved Results. Then to Aperture Coaching both were the same career coaching offer.
I believe that I have always been seen as a warm and approachable person, and professional in my approach. I was known for connecting people and supporting others in their businesses. Improved Results was possibly a harsher version of me and Aperture Coaching a softer version of me. I’m hoping Rachel Daniel Associates is more aligned with my values and personality.
I would say that I’m still the same person, but now my focus is much more on my own business rather than other peoples’ businesses. I am also a more experienced coach with high level qualifications and accreditations. I am also more focused on leveraging myself and my brand. So now I do things that are profile building – eg, Board Director for International Coach Federation, having a brand that sounds more like a company with other associates who can work for me (this is a medium term aim), developing a niche market for professional burnout and resilience building offerings.
Tell us where you are now and how your brand has changed?
I am now Rachel Daniel Associates – an executive and career coaching offer for individuals and organisations.
The branding is designed to be business-like, mid to high end offer, exemplifying professionalism and expertise as well as approachability and trust.
RD Associates offers:
- Executive coaching – mainly for corporate leaders who are going through leadership development programmes, who want coaching for specific leadership challenges, or are high potential talent being promoted. I also coach entrepreneurs and business owners
- Career / transition coaching for individuals and employees who want to manage their own career development strategy or who are looking to career change
- Burnout reversal programmes
- Team coaching for businesses
The branding for Improved Results was more impersonal and results focused. Professional but maybe a little male. The offer for this business was around strategic HR and talent management. Aperture Coaching went for a different look and feel. The fonts were rounder and there were a range of more female style colours. The aperture in a view finder is what changes the perspective or a view and I marketed my coaching approach based partly on this. The offer was mainly career coaching for individuals and employees who want to manage their own career development strategy or who are looking to career change
What made you think you needed to change? Was it a bolt of lightning moment or did it happen over time?
I changed from Aperture Coaching to Rachel Daniel Associates for a number of reasons:
- I felt the Aperture look didn’t work for more corporate audiences. The font and colours started to feel a bit clunky and unsophisticated
- I wanted to market myself as an executive coach first and a career coach second and felt the RD Assoc’s look and name was more suitable – I had also benchmarked this against my competitors
- I wanted a brand I could add services and offers to, and which could grow with me
- I wanted to use my interest in and Masters’ research on professional burnout as a potential niche offering
- I didn’t want ‘coaching’ in the name as this limited my service offerings and put people off
- It felt like a bolt of lightning when I decided to make the change – I did the research and made the decision on name and branding after deciding to change
How did you set things in motion? Did you leap in or make the change in increments?
I made the change all at once when I made my decision, and found website designer, copywriter etc all at once.
What was the reaction of others? Did they support you or did they resist the change?
As I am a sole trader, there was no one to resist the changes. However, I did then set up my business trading as part of a business I own with my husband for financial reasons – and he supported me with this.
What was your most valuable resource/what kept you going?
My most valuable resource was my network, to whom I could turn to for recommendations, ideas and honest feedback at the time.
How do you feel now that you’ve made the change?
I feel great about the change. I can really develop my business now because I have a strong and focused brand with which to work.
What’s your advice to anyone contemplating something similar?
View your business strategy as a journey and as a learning and development process. Have regular conversations with your customers and peers as you strive to improve your service and what you offer then, staying open to feedback and aware of what your competitors are doing.
Thanks for such an inspiring interview, Rachel!