By: Shama Hyder
1. Kill the resolutions, and stick to one word– Christine Kane wrote a great post on Resolution Revolution about this very thing. Every year we create long lists of resolutions for ourselves, our families, and our businesses. But somehow, most of us give up along the way or beat ourselves up for not accomplishing what we thought we should. This year, stick to ONE word (two at the most) that sums up what you want. For example, "more clients" or "focus" or "patience." You can then frame all your activities around this one word. If you choose "more clients", every marketing activity you do should revolve around getting you more clients. You won’t be working on mundane tasks that you can outsource. You will simply ask yourself- "Is this activity getting me more clients?" This is a simple but powerful technique. My personal word for 2007 was patience. It was a long year! = ) My combo word for 2008 is service/integrity. What will yours be? (This is also a really neat technique to teach your kids. It’s so simple, they may get better at it then you!)
2. Hire a coach- It’s true. Coaching is not the most regulated industry in the world. In fact, there are no regulations to becoming a coach, so it can be hard to find the right one for you. So, do your research and find a coach who really understands yours needs. Coaches are great for keeping you on track, holding you accountable, and for providing constant inspiration. I have had many coaches along the way, and each has helped me with a different aspect of life. If you are looking for a coach, I highly recommend Larry Hochman and Jeannette Maw. I have known Larry for a long time, and have heard nothing but rave reviews from all his clients. Truly a great guy! As for Jeannette, she is THE go-to gal for big dreams. I have been coached by Jeannette in the past, and can honestly say she knows her stuff.
3. Don’t read so much- It’s not a typo. Reading will not get you very far in life. However, implementing what you read will help you achieve your goals with speed. I used to read so many books that by the end of the year I couldn’t remember which ones I had read. Now, I try creating action steps from each book. If I can’t get at least one action step, something concrete I can implement, I consider it a waste of time. I read less now but implement more.
4. Clear the clutter– Success and mess don’t go together. Take time out during the beginning of the year to clear your clutter. File your papers, organize your files online, clear your work area, and create a system to keep it like that for the rest of the year. When I got my first computer (in the early 90’s), I used to save all documents in the documents folder. An obvious choice, right? But, that’s the same as putting all your papers in one folder. What a mess! I now have folders within folders, and a computer organization system that constantly saves me time and money.
5. Find one more way for clients to get in touch with you- You have a contact us page (hopefully), and you regularly ask for client feedback. Add one more means of contact this year. One more door through which people can get in touch with you. I learned this lesson this year when our contact page was down. A potential client contacted us through Facebook to let us know! If something did go wrong with your website, how would clients contact you? I remember an incident last year where one of Aaron Pott’s blog pages was down. Luckily, he had his phone number on the site and I was able to call and inform him. How would someone reach you in case of an emergency?
6. Remove an energy drainer- We all have things that drain our energy. Whether it’s an uncomfortable chair or a friendship that has run it’s course. We may have even gotten so used to the energy drainer, that we now see it as a part of our life. It’s time to let it go! Just take a few minutes and reflect upon what it is that you have been simply "putting up with" and remove it.
7. Find one social network and participate in it fully– Sure, you may belong to LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and some other networks whose name you cannot pronounce. But, are they really helping your business? This year choose one platform and work on creating your brand awareness. I recommend Facebook. Want to know how to market your business on Facebook? Check out this article-Ten Ways to Use Facebook to Market your Business.
8. Check your email half as often- I know this one is hard, especially when you want to constantly be available to all your clients. But trust me, you CAN afford to check your email half as often. An AOL survey reported that in 2007, the average person checked their email 5 times a day. 2 times will do just fine.
9. Create your marketing and media plan in advance- What conferences will you attend? When will you submit press releases? Which blogs will you read? Which groups will you network with? Create your marketing plan in advance and you will find yourself at an advantage over those who didn’t.
10. Get a Virtual Assistant- For 25 dollars an hour, you can have your website updated, your accounts kept in check, your email replied to, your newsletter sent, and your appointments scheduled. Get a VA, so you can focus on the more important things-like getting and pleasing your clients! Contact Us, and let us set you up for 2008. You can leave a thank you note in the comments below next year!