Mirror, mirror on the wall, how was 2018? Let me recall...
I believe in the power of reflection to give us creative guidance, and taking some reflection time at the end of the old year and beginning of the new can be ever so helpful in celebrating the good (which is so important!) and clarifying the areas that could use improvement. So since I look at things from the perspective of creative/tech projects, let's do a little reflection together that way. I'll ask some questions to get you thinking.
Did you start a business this year? And how's your creative representation of that business going?
If you did start a business, HIGH FIVE FOR SURE!!! That is a huge celebration!
So if you did get the business ball rolling (or even if you've had it rolling for a while), how are the creative representation pieces of your business puzzle fitting together? Have you chosen your brand colors, fonts, patterns, and images? Do you have a logo and headers and branded images for social media? Does your branding elicit the key words that you want associated with your brand? If people see your brand in multiple places, can they tell that it's your brand in each place because everything goes together well and is consistent?
If the answer to any of these questions is NO, then guess what?! You've got some fun creative projects in your future! Even though the meat of your business is your services and/or products, how you represent your business to the world is a very important aspect of your business, too. It helps link you to those ideal clients you are trying to find and help. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. And your branding can covey LOADS of information to potential clients before they ever read a word you write or hear a word you say.
And if you haven't started that business yet, getting your branding in place is a really fun part of business setup that you can start thinking about now.
How has your online presence been this year?
So much of modern business involves the internet in one way or another. So having a good online presence is essential these days, and what is a "good" online presence for each business owner is going to vary.
A website, even a simple one of some kind, lets you have an online "home" where your potential clients can come knock on your door. So if you don't have a website yet, this can be a really good place to start putting in some effort. And if you do have a website, how is it performing for you? Does your feedback from clients tell you that they are using your site effectively, learning what they need to know there, and able to take the actions you want them to take based on the information your site provides? Does your website copy need any updates? Are there additions you'd like to make to the website? Are you happy with the layout and design of your site? If it doesn't make you smile to look at it, then maybe there are some improvements to be made in that department for your site. And if you aren't already doing so, do you want to run analytics on your site to get data about your website visitors?
Social media is also an important piece of online presence, and some businesses manage to get by with social media pages instead of websites even. I'm not a fan of doing ALL the social media just because you can, so have you figured out which social media channels are most important to your particular clients? And are you posting there regularly to show that your business is alive and kicking and to get potential clients interested in what you do? Are you blogging and posting those blogs on your social media to create an important bridge between your social media and your website?
For some business owners, email marketing can be a very powerful tool, as well. So if you have the kind of business that will attract work through newsletters and special offers, have you gotten your email ducks in a row yet? Do you have your templates setup with your branding and looking nice? Is there an easy and regulation compliant way for people to sign up for your email marketing? And if those email ducks are nicely in a row, are you sending out material regularly?
Great job for any YES's here! And any NO's just let you know that your online presence can get even better in the coming year.
I'll ask you some more reflection questions next time, so stay tuned for part 2.