In today’s world full of social networking and profiles, a simple picture goes a long way.  It is the first impression to your online business card that is your social profile.  You may try to cover all bases for your profession by setting up a Facebook page, Twitter accounts and LinkedIn pages.  While having more outlets will overall expand the amount of exposure you get, these pages represent your brand and if you change one then you have to change them all.  Inconsistency looks sloppy for any profession or brand, so you want to take the necessary steps when changing the “face” of your brand.

Get Your Profiles in Order

Most businesses have more than one outlet for their brand.  It’s not out of the ordinary to see a brand with a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and any number of social networks that are currently in vogue.

If you’re looking to rebrand –even just your icon – the first thing to do is to list out each place where the old image is. There are various apps to help keep track of your profiles and passwords, but sometimes simply keeping a list of the social networks you have makes things much easier.  Once you have everything in order, you can update your new photo without missing anything.  Consistency is key!

Keep Your Fans Informed

shutterstock_3640921When you decide to build a brand or promote your profession, image is something that you want to continually build.  An easy way to build your image is to let your fans know that you’ve changed – or are about to change – your photo.

A simple message that says, “Hey I have a new photo up, what you do think?” both starts a conversation and informs your audience. Fans like to think of themselves as your friends, and you should think about them in the same way. Take their advice, engage with them and find out why they like or don’t like it.

If you respect their opinions and thoughts, they will respect you even more.  Word of mouth is a beautiful thing, and if you have positive rapport with your fans, they will surely tell their friends about you and help build your following.

Avoid Rebranding All at Once

One major mistake is a total rebranding all at once.  Instead of taking the time to transition into a new direction with a new name and look, the process is rushed and everything is changed over at one time.

This is the easiest way to lose an audience and fans.  You want to avoid a loyal fan going from totally supporting you to wondering who the new name and icon is. The best way to pull off the total rebrand is to take baby steps through the process.  Take your time and remember to communicate with your fans throughout the transition.

After you take their feedback from the picture change, let them know about the direction you are headed and that your brand name may be changing as well.  If they know what to expect, it won’t come as a shock when you fully transition and you won’t lose your following based on fans not knowing who you are.

Accept Early Resistance

With a new look and direction you may experience fan resistance. “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” responses are something to look out for.  Fans have connected with you based on your image, so to see it change may bother them. Keep your head held high through the initial transition period and be open to hearing all input, good and bad.

You want to show that you respect everyone’s opinion, because they deserve that much respect.  If it weren’t for fans, no brand could survive.  Let the dust settle, and remember that you can’t please everyone.

Overall, changing the images in your social icons isn’t a difficult transition if you keep it organized.  Plan everything out and commit to it.  Keep your fans informed and take their advice.  Most importantly, stay strong and show confidence in what you do throughout the transition.  Believe in the changes you are making, and your fans will believe in you.