Ep 160: Ways to Rebrand Yourself as a Writer – Cold Turkey

WritingEp 160: Ways to Rebrand Yourself as a Writer – Cold Turkey

Ep 160: Ways to Rebrand Yourself as a Writer – Cold Turkey

My dad started smoking when he was a teenager and smoked like a chimney all the way through college and into adulthood. He worked in the newsroom of a major metropolitan newsroom, where smoking cigarettes and cigars was the norm—almost expected. Isn’t that the stereotype from the movies?

Well, in the 1960s, when my mom realized she was pregnant with my brother, Dad quit smoking. Cold turkey.

The overnight switch must have been strange for his colleagues at the paper, with their coworker showing up to work the next day no longer shrouded in smoke. Overnight, unannounced, he changed a huge part of how others perceived him. He never smoked again.
Rebranding Cold Turkey Can Be a Shock
If you would make a sudden decision like that, it’s great for your health, but a bit of a shock when it comes to rebranding.

Yet, people do it.

I’ll bet we’ve all seen people suddenly stop writing with barely an announcement. They essentially shut down their blogs and social media accounts and walk away from whatever they’ve built. A clean break. No ambiguity. One hundred percent certainty. Then they begin with a new project, a new focus, a new tone.

They end one thing so they can start the next thing.

They move on to new ideas, new projects, new topics.
The Type of Person to Rebrand Cold Turkey
They may be the type to rip off the Band-Aid all at once. Or they leap into the cold pool without even pausing at the edge of the diving board—one bounce and splash!

Perhaps they leave up one blog post or article explaining their reasoning and that leaves their readers without any question or confusion as to what happened. It can tell people where to find them as they launch the new space for the new brand. That way it may be sudden, but it’s spelled out.
Reasons People Rebrand Cold Turkey
It happens. People rebrand for lots of reasons.

Maybe they grew weary of the subject matter. They got tired of the storyline. They felt drawn to something new. They ran out of energy or ideas. They changed in core ways and wanted their brand to match.

For whatever reasons, they decided it was time to move on.
Cold Turkey Rebranding Benefits
Rebranding in a sudden way certainly offers some benefits.
A cold turkey switcheroo can throw faithful readers for a loop, but at least they have no question what’s happening. It’s clearly out with the old, in with the new.
Readers See If New Content Feels Relevant
If you rebrand cold turkey instead of choosing a slow transition, your long-time readers, while perhaps surprised, even baffled, at first, will see right away whether the new brand is relevant to them.
Writer Can Focus Right Away on the New
Another benefit of a sudden switchover is that the writer gains immediate freedom to focus completely on the new brand. He doesn’t have to drag it out over days, weeks, or months. If he’s excited about the new possibilities of the new look, feel, and content, he can get started right away building that.
Cold Turkey Rebranding Disadvantages
Rebranding in a sudden way may result in negative repercussions.
Upset Readers
An unpleasant possibility is that readers who felt they had no time to prepare or say goodbye leave with a bitter taste in their mouths. You can explain your reasoning sympathetically, trying to see it from their perspective.

And you can explain your reasoning clearly, trying to help them see your perspective. But you can’t control how they’ll feel or respond. Hopefully they see your logic and understand your decision and direction. Even if they stop following your work, I hope they wish you the best.
Writer Loses Momentum
Another challenge of rebranding cold turkey is that it takes time to build the new audience of new readers if you haven’t already gathered them in creative ways prior to the rebranding. In that in-between time, if the writer loses readers, he may also lose momentum. The excitement he felt at the new vision may fade as he feels he’s starting from scr…

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