Earnings and Markets - Your money

Your money rebranding you five tips for a personal relaunch


´╗┐Cait Flanders was wrestling with a common life question: Who am I?Not in an existential sense, but a professional one. The popular personal-finance blogger had worked for six years on developing a recognizable name for herself as "Blonde on a Budget" as her website name and social media handles. She passed along tips on how to spend less, save more, and build a successful financial future. But then Flanders decided that her brand just did not work for her anymore because it sounded immature and pigeonholed her."So many people warned me that I would lose traffic for a while," says the 31-year-old from Vancouver, Canada. It is a problem facing many professionals. In this era of "Brand You," a sizable chunk of the workforce is comprised of freelancers and contractors, marketing themselves and their skills on a near-constant basis. By 2020 an estimated 40 percent of the American workforce will be freelance or non-permanent workers, according to a study by software firm Intuit. Brands - whether corporate, or personal - do not stay the same forever. Sometimes they need to be tweaked, or refreshed, or even thrown out altogether, says Dorie Clark, author of "Reinventing You" and an adjunct professor at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business."You need to adapt and move forward, to remain professionally relevant," Clark says. When you have been known for years by a particular handle, you have essentially been spending time and money building up brand equity. Changing that handle is similar to a company relaunch. And that can come with costs. True to her budget-conscious background, Flanders was able to pull it off on the cheap: She kept all her Twitter followers with a renamed account, reserved a new Web domain for $15 a year, did the design herself, and paid a techie friend $100 to redirect traffic from all her old posts to her new site (caitflanders.com). Here are a few tips for making that personal relaunch both successful, and seamless:

1. Go all the wayIf you are going to rebrand, then commit to it. If your new website says one thing, but your Twitter account says something else? That is the kind of marketplace confusion you do not want."You need to take inventory of all the ways your are presenting yourself, from business cards to stationery to social media," says Clark. "You want people to find only current information, rather than someone who is half-in and half-out of an old identity."2. Explain the shift

Set the tone yourself, spelling out for clients why you are making the shift. Handy places to do that, suggests Clark: The "About" page of your personal website, or the "Summary Statement" on popular networking site LinkedIn. "If you don't provide that narrative, people just get confused."3. Be patientIf anyone knows about the personal rebrand, it is Gary Vaynerchuk. For years the CEO of Vayner Media was known primarily as a wine commentator, making energetic and witty videos for followers. So when he decided to pivot toward his current status as a marketing and business guru, it was a jarring shift for some fans.

"People will struggle with it, because it is difficult for them to wrap their heads around," says the author of the new book "#AskGaryVee." "Just know that it will take 24, or 36, or 48 months for people to look at you in a different way. It requires a lot of humility and patience."4. Play to your strengthsOften people will rebrand themselves based on whatever business trend is hot at the moment, and not what they are actually good at, Vaynerchuk warns. That is a recipe for disaster."We all want to be something we're not," he says. "These days everybody wants to be an expert on entrepreneurship - even if they have never sold anything in their lives."5. When in doubt, stick with your own nameCait Flanders thought about another clever moniker, but went with a simple solution that would not leave her rebranding again in another couple years. "Your interests will change every few years," says Flanders. "But your name is something that is not going to change."

Your money what do breadwinning women want more help, less stress


´╗┐(The author is a Reuters contributor. The opinions expressed are her own.) By Lauren Young NEW YORK, Aug 20 Women are the breadwinners in four out of 10 American families, and nearly 95 percent of women will be their family's primary financial decision maker at some point in their lives. But with this added financial responsibility comes tremendous stress, according to a new study of breadwinning women from the Family Wealth Advisors Council, a national network of independent wealth management firms. The group's survey of more than 1,000 working women finds that women are spread too thin when it comes to their familial and financial duties. Reuters spoke to Heather Ettinger, a managing partner of Fairport Asset Management in Cleveland, Ohio, and co-author of the study, about the critical issues facing women breadwinners. Q. What impact does the role of breadwinner have on women? A. Sadly, it's a role of stress, stress, stress. She is caring for her kids, maybe her parents and even kids in the next generation. In fact, 40 percent of the women surveyed acknowledge that they feel pressure from family and friends to downplay their breadwinner status, and 28 percent of married or committed women reported that their parents actually disapprove of their breadwinner role. Q. How is this stress affecting her finances? A. It's not that the women don't want to be in control, they just don't have time. Women are taking on 75 percent of all family financial planning, and, in some cases, they are assuming as much as 90 percent of the responsibility for charitable giving, paying for college, retirement planning and overall saving. But there is a gap in the advisory services available: 35 percent of these women have no financial adviser. When they do work with a financial adviser, they say they are not satisfied with the experience. Meanwhile, 62 percent of women say they are leaving money on the table in terms of getting their financial house in order and taking advantage of a company's benefits. Q. What happens to breadwinning women in divorce? A. Sadly, most of them end up much worse financially than they were. That's not necessarily different than most divorces overall, but these women end up having to pay alimony and child support. It creates a bigger stress emotionally, financially and in terms of time. Divorced women are not only supporting themselves, but members of their extended family as well. That might explain why many of them report not being as knowledgeable as they would like to be about their finances. What's interesting is that divorced women in our study felt the least supported in workplace. By contrast, the widows felt the most supported. Q. Are breadwinning women taking advantage of flexible work situations? A. Nearly 85 percent of the women we surveyed said companies are doing an excellent job of providing technology that gives them the ability to be more flexible. That's really important, but 46 percent of them are also saying: 'My employer is not supporting my needs in terms of a work-life balance.' When it comes to their jobs, they are some are getting more leadership training and mentoring. But there is still a big gap between: 'I'm going to help coach you in your career,' and 'I'm going to make sure you are getting a defined career path.' There is an opportunity here for companies to really differentiate themselves in terms of talent development as well as attracting and retaining women.