DAY ONE – Where do I start?

(reading time 4 minutes)

One of the first questions a client will ask once we complete any design project is “What do I do now?”

I respond by encouraging them to make a plan either with ourselves, or independently to position their brand/business in front of their target market. The best way, I would suggest, would be to raise their online profile. In doing so, they should carefully consider which social media platforms to use and focus on driving traffic to their website through purposeful social media activity and blogging.

So here I am, advising my clients to get blogging. However, when I try to blog myself, it’s like trying to get a cat in a bath!

So in November 2016, I made a stand and decided, I was going to preach what I teach! (I don’t ‘teach’ blogging but stay with me). Before I could possibly start writing for our first long overdue blog for the JemDigital website I discovered a brand new list of critically urgent jobs in my bid to avoid the task at hand. So, here we have it, the studio has never been so tidy, blitzed from top to bottom – all documented on Snapchat for clear content marketing purposes of course. I then found myself late one Friday evening, shifting every piece of furniture around in my attempt to balance the Feng Shui. This resulted in my desk now facing the window, which apparently goes against “my personal Chai energy and dedicated attention”. If you follow the actual rules of Feng Shui then I think I might be in trouble, but it had to happen, I simply couldn’t sit still and I’m loving the new layout so I’ll let you know how this rule break pans out.

So what’s the problem, why am I avoiding this so much? And do my clients feel the same? I’ve narrowed it down to three key points that I feel are relevant to the situation:

1. FEAR

It would seem fear is one of the most common reasons people will ultimately avoid putting the digital equivalent of pen to paper, then hitting the dreaded PUBLISH button. So what are we scared of? To alleviate some of my own fears I asked and answered some of my own concerns:

 

Perception – “No one’s interested in what I’ve got to say”
Reality – “If that was the case, you wouldn’t have any clients. To get the best out of this project you will have to plan what you’re going to blog about, how to distribute the content then assess and react to the results… got it?”

 

Perception – “I really don’t know where to start”
Reality – “Just START and don’t give up!”

 

Perception – “What happens if I sit down to write my blog and I fall off my chair, knock over Aileen’s tea and it spills all over Morgan’s MacBook?”
Reality – “The chances of said scenario actually happening is really slim and that’s what insurance is for”

 

So my research made me realise my fear just has to be conquered.

 

2. I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT

This is something I’m sure everyone worries about. I’ve researched and determined my target market and really tried to establish what they look like, to help me understand their motivators and requirements. Our target market, fortunately resembles our existing clients. Therefore, I reviewed various projects we have worked on, identified the questions we are not currently answering on our website and existing marketing materials. This isn’t where I’m starting though – the first seven days have been mapped out to tell the story of where we’ve come from and where we’re going. Our most visited page on our website is the About Us section. I feel this is a topic of interest to people and therefore, a great place to start.

 

3. I CANT FIND THE TIME, TOO BUSY

Oh, I’ve banged this drum myself. It’s just an excuse to avoid stepping out of your comfort zone. If you don’t have time to market your business, you cant be disappointed when no one wants to engage in what you offer. Marketing isn’t just about getting your name out there, it’s an activity that educates your target market on what you deliver/offer and which products and services your market needs.

 

So, now I have a better understanding of what was holding me back. The fear being my main concern, I decided to face it head on, and set myself the challenge of writing 28 blogs in 28 days, concluding the final day before our first birthday.

I’m announcing this challenge to enforce accountability to make sure I stick to it. Although I am a very tenacious person, when I say I’ll do something, I do it!

Just like that time I accepted a job that took two buses, a ferry and a 15-minute walk. However, it would have only been a 20-minute drive. At the time, I boldly declared, I would get my head out of the clouds and finally pass my driving test. So, 185 driving lessons and only two and half short years later, I was on the road driving like a pro in my purple VW Polo… just like that!

Taking my second point on board, I have really battled with what I should write about. I knew I really didn’t want to blog about a topic you can easily Google. Such as, “what type of file you need to send to a printer?” (we do that bit btw). 

I want it to be engaging, interesting, personal and let people see what we do and why we do it cos I’m really proud of what we’ve created in here and I want to shout about it.

Our first year has been a rollercoaster of emotions – from extreme highs to the unavoidable lows. These are to be expected in business, regardless of the industry. I’m happy to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly. In every lesson there was a blessing for us, and I’d do it all over again the exact same way.

We wouldn’t have made it to our first birthday without the pearls of wisdom bestowed onto us by colleagues, clients, connections, and mentors. Also, very importantly without the relationships we’ve built with our clients. Therefore, I would like to talk about that and show off a bit every now and then. I know I’m blown away by the standard of work that is produced by the team and very grateful to have everyone in here in my squad.

This is now the end of blog number one and I made it without harm to myself or others. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought, once I got started… also the business didn’t fall apart because I was buried into my MacBook for a bit… imagine that!

Thanks for reading the first instalment of the 28 blogs in 28 days challenge.

Lots of love,

Victoria.