Wellspired.com is an inspiration and information haven where health-conscious working parents can find balance in the things that matter most: health, family, and career.
After an evolution years in the making and months in design and development, Wellspired has just been released into the world. Here's the backstory to my personal brand development...
It all began when I joined the staff team at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. It was a dream come true that allowed me to be surrounded by wellness-loving people, and to experience the school's Health Coach Training Program for myself, graduating as a Holistic Health Coach in 2012. I created a blog called Living Body Wellness to share wellness tips and offer my services as a part time Health Coach. I worked with some amazing clients and grew both personally and professionally as an entrepreneur on the side while working full time at IIN and raising a family.
After a while, I fell in love with blogging and content management and began to formulate ideas for where to take this venture next. In 2014, I was ready for a more professional redesign. I was still using a basic Wordpress theme after all and wanted a more visually pleasing user experience,
so I did some research on modern website designs - specifically avoiding what other Health Coaches were doing - and used PowerPoint to design a brand new look myself (yeah really, I bet any actual designers reading this are chuckling right about now but hey it worked!), hired a developer to build it, and the most recent version of LivingBodyWellness.com came to life. It helped increase my blog traffic, acquire more private clients, and get all sorts of offers for promotion, freelance gigs, and other projects.
I got loads of compliments on the site and it was great, however the nature of entrepreneurship (and life!) is never static. In 2015 I left my full time work at IIN in order to move my family from New York City to Western Massachusetts and had to do some real soul-searching about the future of my virtual baby while I began to pursue content management on a freelance basis.
While I loved working with private clients to help them incorporate healthy habits, something in my heart told me that this was not my life's true calling. I wanted to create a wellness brand focused on the reader, her challenges and aspirations, her entertainment and information; a rich resource that would bring to life many voices beyond my own. I also wanted to expand the scope of "wellness" to include other things that are equally important: family and career.
Health, family, career.
This is what matters most.
That's when I had my my EUREKA! moment. I'm a health-conscious working mom, that's what I know, that's what I want to write about, balancing my kids, my health, and my work. I want to inspire others in bringing greater ease to this delicate balancing act so many of us struggle with. I want to have articles, wellness guides, meditations, challenges, and even inspired merchandising, all with the goal of uplifting our collective mindset. Not all of that has been created at this point, but we're well on our way!
I also wanted the site itself to have multiple contributors and perspectives, with myself as a tribe leader but not the role model, because to be honest, I'm still figuring out this balancing act just like everyone else. And this is an approach that would allow me to enjoy some of the behind-the-business things I like to have fun with: content creation, social media strategy, marketing, writing, gathering and organizing.
so I invited some wonderful bloggers to contribute regularly, with more contributors planned, so that Wellspired and our readers benefit from a greater diversity and abundance of content.
I also wanted the users/readers/fans of the site to have a voice and to experience a personal sense of joy every time they visit our virtual space. That's how I got the idea for the Daily Thanks comment stream. I don't know about you but daily gratitude always makes me feel good so I figured let's give this a try and see if the community likes it!
Members can post what they're thankful for in the "Daily Thanks" section of the home page.
This feature presented the biggest functional challenge because in order to avoid spam, the site had to have a "membership" component, requiring members to log in in order to post, but I think we worked it out so that the flow is simple and easy to use. Plus it creates a great foundation for future exclusivity of offerings to members only.
Once the new site was ready, it was time for the fun part:
Announcements and generating excitement!
I created some graphics (using personal photos and styling elements from the site for cohesion) to spread the word, and sent these to my immediate circle of friends and family so they can craft announcements in their own words, using their preferred media channels. This is a nice way to bring a personal touch to the communication strategy, so the news isn't just coming from me.
Since I knew I wanted to maintain my existing audience (and redirect LivingBodyWellness content to Wellspired), I had already begun hinting about the upcoming rebrand in my newsletters and social media months in advance. I showed snippets of the new site, mentioned it in comments, and otherwise just planted the seed to both generate interest and avoid confusion when launch day came around.
On the big day, I sent the personal email to friends/family, a newsletter announcement to my subscriber list, created posts on social media, and notified a few "influencers" I know in the hopes that they'll share it with their larger audiences as well.
And here's the cherry on top.
In order to create even more excitement and encourage people to not only subscribe to the newsletter but become "members", something that requires an extra step and calls for a bonus incentive, I created an exclusive guided meditation on gratitude (fitting, since I'm grateful they signed up, and since signing up allows them to post in the Daily Thanks stream) for the first 50 members only.
Creating meditations is something I've dabbled in before and wanted to do for a long time, plus it just so happens that my husband is a musician who knows how to set up a proper home studio recording. Making this an exclusive offering for the first 50 members only creates a sense of excitement, desire, and scarcity.
Just in case that wasn't enough to spread the word, I also created a paid but inexpensive Facebook ad campaign, targeting my audience of health-conscious moms.
I have overseen countless launch and announcement campaigns in the past, but this was my first 100% solo operation launching something that is mine, and it was a great learning experience. Next step, SEO and growth strategy, streamlining content creation, and incorporating graphics, meditations, and other fun content assets into the ongoing creation strategy beyond wellness articles. Wheeeeee!