Our rebrand from XOSarah to Dare to Grow is now underway! Our IG handle just switched over the weekend (you can now find us @daretogrow.co) and our new website (also daretogrow.co) is launching on May 10th.
We’ve got about a million and a half things that need to be updated, moved, and changed, and because it’s more than just changing our logo and domain name, this process actually started last year.
In today’s episode, I’m sharing the process from decision to launch day and all of the things we worked through in between.
Links + resources
Website host + design platform: ShowIt – get a free month
Website template: Tonic
How long did it take to decide
I actually went back and looked and I applied for the Dare to Grow trademark in Oct 2020 (I did that through Legal Zoom) got the final paperwork in Nov 2021, but didn’t 100 percent commit to rebranding until the end of 2021/beginning of 2022.
Getting myself to 100% decide to change the business name was the first part of the process. It wasn’t a snap decision once the trademark was filed or even approved. That was what opened the door to the idea and then I had to work through all the issues my brain was coming up with that might make changing the name a bad idea. For months I had that feeling of “Oh shit, I think this is a good idea, but I’m scared”
What if people connected more with XO Sarah than Dare to Grow? What if we switch the Instagram and lose tons of followers? What if moving our blog content screws up our SEO? What if I miss being XO Sarah after we make the change?
I felt like it’s gotta be permanent – I always say you can do whatever you want, but a long process like this, with all the time, energy, and money invested, I didn’t want to screw over my business or just personally regret it.
I spent a lot of time mulling it over, journaling, and making lists before I committed to it myself. Problem solving before any problems came up. Making lists of what would need to change or be updated. I needed to get myself on board first so that I would be able to bring this change to you with excitement and confidence.
This is why I didn’t tell anyone about the rebrand until about March. Like, not a single soul. The first people to know were my Dare to Grow members and even then I was like “ohh man. I think we’re gonna do this.” When they reacted positively, then I was 100% in.
Giant list of everything that needs to get created, updated, changed
Once I decided the rebrand was going to happen I pulled out a notebook and started making a list of every little thing that would need to be updated.
From the website to our email address and Instagram handle. Landing pages, worksheets, and even the video covers for the lessons in the membership. As I was making the list I was noting the things that my VA could do and taking them off my plate from the start. Things like switching our email address. She’s been spending the last couple of weeks figuring out what the best options are for that because I don’t know how to, so I gave that task to her.
Once I could see the scope of the project, had my giant list, then I put dates in the calendar for things that need to happen at certain times. Transferring blog posts will take a # of days, switching IG handles took 14 days, I picked a date for the website launch (which is May 10th – coming up next week), and then I worked backward to figure out when I needed to have new photos taken, buy the website template, etc.
To give you an idea of what order things happened in:
- Trademark – I stated the trademark in Oct 2020 and got the final paperwork at the beginning of 2022. Now I will say I was a little slow on responding to things so it could go faster than that, but it does take months because an actual person at the trademark office has to review it.
- Once I made the decision – end of 2021/Jan 2022 – I picked a launch date for the website so I could start planning. This is something I see lots of people avoid – when D2G members tell me they want to launch something I immediately ask for / make you pick a launch date because that will get you going. I decided on May 10th which allowed me to plan my calendar and start taking action.
- Scheduled my photoshoot for the month before (to be honest I could have done it earlier but I was still figuring out what I was doing with my hair – which is ridiculous but true) so I waited a bit longer for that.
I knew I wanted to start from scratch instead of transferring over all the content and copy on XOsarah.com and just changing our logo. I created a doc near the start of the year and started adding ideas for the homepage, about page, and things I wanted to change on the membership sales page. I had a good amount of random phrases and bullet points and then about 2 months before the launch I sat down and wrote out the mission, values, and purpose based on the feedback from our Dare to Grow members.
I have two surveys that help me get this info -first is an onboarding survey that asks new members why they joined, the first thing they want to work on, and what’s holding them back from doing that on their own.
I also have a survey that we send to members once or twice / year to check on how they’re using the membership, what’s benefiting them most, and what else they need, and I use their exact words to create our brand messaging. Someone said the podcast was “bite-sized and super actionable” which is now in the podcast description. I took all that info to write the homepage copy, and I actually wrote a manifesto that will be the main content on the about page.
When writing copy for longer pages, I start in a google doc because 1. I want to avoid taking forever by fucking with the design while I’m writing and 2. because I want it to read like a story, so everything flows together instead of just stacking boxes of information. This is how you get people to stay on your website for longer and actually read the information.
Now, depending on how long you’ve been following you may or may not know that I started out as a web designer. I’ve actually been building websites since I was a teen and that’s what I did for my corporate job. I’ve built every version of the xosarah site from scratch for the past 10 years. While I can code an entire website, I decided I wanted to make it easier on myself and start with a template instead. Just because I can do something, doesn’t mean I have to.
I’m using a ShowIt template from Tonic. It’s a premade template that you can use as-is and just add your copy and colors, but I’m changing a lot of the design elements (because I have more time since I’m not coding everything) and really making it our own. I have to say, I’m very into the Showit website builder. I was legit nervous because I’m used to having immense control over the design, but I’m really happy with how flexible and easy it is to use. (I will add a training into Dare to Grow once the launch is done so you can see how it works)
One other thing I did before diving into the website was research the top marketing companies + competitors in our industry to see what they’re doing vs what we do differently or how we show up differently and make sure to put extra focus on those things. What makes people join our membership or watch our videos or listen to our podcast vs others? People are going to get their info from somewhere – what makes them choose you over someone else?
The new website
Now – we’re about 10 days away from launching as I’m recording this podcast and the main thing I’m focused on is finishing the website.
I keep reminding myself that it’s going to be great, not perfect. I know from experience that there will always be something that I miss and I’m letting that be ok. I’m moving forward knowing that on May 11 or 12 I’m going to find a mistake or someone will send me a missing link. I’m releasing my grip a little so I’m not working until 11pm every night and burning myself out. I’m really paying attention to my own bandwidth so that I don’t launch this site and then feel so exhausted I can’t bear to look at it ever again.
To help myself with this I’m already making a list of things that can be finished after the launch. For example, the legal page can be added a few days later – we’ll all survive – and I have some updates for the shop page. A few things I want to do differently, but right now it looks great and it will launch like that and then I’ll make those changes next month. I’m letting it look damn good, maybe even perfect from the outside knowing that we’ll add and update a few things later.
Also, to help myself stay focused because there is still a big list of things to do and my ClickUp looks a little intense – I grabbed a notebook and hand wrote day by day (like a countdown) what needs to get done. I know tomorrow I’m finishing the homepage copy, Tuesday I’ll add in the new photos and send the site over to my assistant to double check every word and link. Blog posts are going to be transferred from the old site on Wednesday. I can see that nothing important is falling through the cracks and how it all flows over the next week.
Then all the million places that XOSarah needs to be changed to Dare to Grow will happen over the next month. Freebies + landing pages, and email sequences will be updated first because they’re actively being promoted. Then things like old blog post images – that does not need to happen before the site launch or even this month. That will be a side project for my VA throughout the summer as she has time. We will not update every single image – we’ll update images for popular posts or anything we share on a regular basis.
We’re keeping track of everything that needs to happen so I don’t feel like it all needs to happen NOW, which allows me to focus on just the website so that it gets launched on time with minimal stress.
I hope that gives to a good idea of how the process flows. If you have other questions or want more details you can always hop into the Dare to Grow membership and ask me anything. OR send me a DM on Instagram at our new handle…@daretogrow.co and I’ll share the answer in a future episode.
Thanks for hanging out with me today – talk again next week!