“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”- Dr. Seuss
Too many people in both small and large organizations create a lot of extra work for themselves. They pump out content, send a flurry of mass emails, and rapidly develop services or products. I see lots of activity without enough planning, thought, or research. This often leads to poor results. Busyness isn’t productivity.
In 2016, I hope you do less, not more. Do whatever you do with care, thought, and deliberation. Make sure what you are creating will have impact. Don’t create unnecessary work for yourself.
Before creating an article, a product, a service, or anything else, ask yourself critical questions such as:
- Who is this for?
- How do we know they want it?
- How long will this take to make?
- Does this help us reach our business goals?
- Is it worth the time?
- Do we have the time?
- How will we measure results?
Here are my other hopes for you in 2016:
Have a communication plan for this year. It doesn’t have to be long. A one page document with goals, target audiences and key messages can be sufficient. Plan what you are doing instead of taking haphazard actions. I did my communication plan for the year the other day in an hour. Download an example of a simple communication plan template here.
Go for quality not quantity. Whatever you plan to do online, go for quality not quantity. With digital content, especially for professional services organizations, this will serve you well. I encourage you to have short headlines, clear navigation, and straightforward language. Keep it simple and meaningful. Dump the marketing fluff. Here are 5 ways to give your website some love. Or check out my 2015 website tips that are still super relevant.
Don’t guess what the people you serve want. Talk with them, ask them, and study them. You’ll be much better at delivering items that are valued. Many companies create services or products based on intuition or false assumptions. I haven't seen it work well.
Be choosy about what ideas you execute. Ideas can be a dime a dozen. Next time you have a great idea, do some research to try to confirm it. Is it really great? Are you able to do it? Is it worth the effort? Remind me to tell you about my company called Recycled Sequins sometime. Great idea (I had a awesome tagline!), never executed (it saved me hours of work and frustration.)
Aim for joy. I hope you like what you are doing with your work life. If you don’t, what can change? Life is short, the first few days of 2016 are already gone! How are you going to spend your time?
I'll be doing more UX research and content strategy this year. Let me know if I can help you.
Wishing you a thoughtful, careful, and deliberate 2016!