So it's that time of year, one of my actual favorite times. A time to sit down, reflect on our year, think about what we want to accomplish next year, and plan all of that out. I set out with a ton of goals for this year. Some I've accomplished. A lot, I haven't. Want to know the best part? It's okay. This year, more than anything else, I learned to be gentle with myself, to allow for failure without beating myself to a pulp mentally, and to say no. Yup, the last part is the hardest. I still struggle with it and probably always will. So here's the time where I'm going to be brutally honest with you and with myself. Here's the list of goals I set for this year:
Take time each Sunday to plan out my week. Block schedule my days and make sure that everything that needs to get done has a time to get it done in.
Hold to one full office day per week without scheduling meetings. (Mondays)
Take one whole weekend off each month. No client posts. No replying to emails. No replying to client text messages. Nothing. Disconnect and enjoy life.
Schedule one week per month to develop content calendars and have them all done by the end of the day on Thursday of that week at the lastest.
Have scheduling for clients done one week in advance. The goal for some clients can be two or more weeks.
Launch a newsletter.
Planning blogs each month and having them written in advance. One blog per week. Continuing education.
Do something once a month that teaches me something new and helps me become better at my job for my clients and myself.
Keep a content calendar for HeyGiud and stick to it. Treat myself like a client.
Okay, so here's the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The bold goals I accomplished and feel like I have a great handle on. The italicized goals I have started but wouldn't say I'm completely satisfied with how I'm doing on them. The goals that are just in plain, boring text. Not even close on those. So let's analyze the ones that I've completely failed on first. Starting with the hardest part makes the rest of the process easier.
Sure I have one client that I schedule out the entire week in one sitting. The rest of them it's basically like "Okay, today is Tuesday. Here are the posts for all of my clients for Tuesday. Now on to the next thing." That's less than ideal for me. I may be a procrastinator by nature, but I'm a planner by practice. Having everything done a week in advance takes some pressure and anxiety off of me. Newsletter. Yup didn't happen. It's making the list for 2020. I feel like sending out information to clients, like the holiday calendar for the month, links to educational blogs, and stuff like that will benefit them and in the long run, me.
Next up, the "I've Made Progress, but There is Still Work to Be Done" goals:
I'm incredibly guilty of planning stuff on my office days and days off. Want to know what that does? It makes me stressed out, feel like I'm not getting anything done, and kills my productivity. 2020, I'm sticking to that goal more religiously. My office day is Mondays. There will be few exceptions made to my No Meeting Monday Rule. I need to respect my time the way I respect my clients' time.
Content Calendar Week. It generally happens, but this year life happened in a brutal way, and part of life was Content Calendar Week getting moved around more than I'd like. This week is Content Calendar Week. It's Wednesday morning as I write this blog. I haven't started a single calendar for January. It's NOT ideal.
Oh, the blogs, how they kicked my butt this year. I admitted a few weeks ago that I realized I went from January 1 to October 21 without writing a single blog. BUT the good news is I kicked myself into a new gear and fixed that. So I'm on a roll right now. The goal is to not stop writing.
Continuing education in my area is imperative. I've been doing this for 11 years. If I were still doing what I did 11 years ago, I wouldn't be successful. Whether it's taking online classes, participating in webinars, or reading books/articles/blogs, it's crucial for me to stay on top of my game. While I've done some, I haven't done enough, and it's on the list again next year. Honestly, it'll be on the list every year. I love learning, so it's not a dreaded task but an exciting one. In fact, I am writing this while participating in a Sprout Social Webinar today that is about 2020 Social Trends. I can't wait to get more information to give to all of you.
Treating myself like a client is a rollercoaster. I do great for a while and then sort of stop. It will always be on the list, just like learning.
Setting my goals for 2020 is still in process. Along with the goals from this year that are carrying over, I have a few on my list already.
I need updated headshots. I have beautiful pictures from Lauren Campbell Photography, but they are 3.5 years old at this point. They show this beautiful, long blonde ombre hair that doesn't exist anymore. In the past two years, I've had pink hair, purple hair, magenta hair, and platinum/white blonde hair. I've also embraced myself more, and I don't look or feel like that person anymore. So while headshots are on the list, it's not a total priority.
Get out more. I don't mean that in the "Wow, I need a social life" way. I mean that in the "I need to attend more events and network more." There's a thing about that; in my 30s, I've become an introvert. In college, if you'd told any person who knew me that at 35, I'd prefer a quiet night at home with a book to being surrounded by people they wouldn't have believed you. I hosted a radio show. I was over-involved. I had a ton of friends and was always out and about doing all of the things. I did all of the things. Now I want to avoid all of the things. That's not good for a business owner. Yesterday I attended an amazing luncheon hosted by FuseDSM featuring Debi Durham from Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Finance Authority. It was amazing. So to force the issue I'm actually sponsoring and helping launch a new non-networking networking thing next year. It won't be until spring so you'll have to wait for more news on it but it will be perfect for people like me. The kind that know they need to get out and meet people but hate the idea of conversation seeming forced. It will be a way to build genuine relationships with people and not feel like you're totally out of your element.
Drink more water. It's not really a work goal but we should all have it so I'm including it here for you.
Self care! Self care! Self care! It may not seem like it but this IS a work goal. Taking care of ourselves as business owners is gravely important. If we don't, how do we succeed?
Maybe a website overhaul. It's looked like this for a while. It has beautiful photos of an office I no longer have so it seems deceptive to me. So if those new headshots happen a new website probably will too.
I have some goals that are big overarching goals that aren't necessarily for 2020 but are in my mind. Like launching some sort of educational component to HeyGiud. Whether it's an online course, in person courses, or something completely different I know that a lot of business owners really enjoy doing their own social media and marketing but often lack the confidence or knowledge to do it as well as they want to. Some day I hope to put something together for that group of people but I don't know that 2020 is the year it will happen.
I know you're asking yourself "Annie, you are a social media strategist and none of your goals are about social media. What's up with that?"
My goals as a business owner are just as important to me as my goals with my social media. They go hand-in-hand. Those goals are separate goals and the best part is my goals can help you build yours. The Sprout Social Webinar was exactly what I needed in building those goals.
Start out by auditing your social media from 2019. What worked? What didn't? What should you add? What should you do more of? What can you stop doing? If you need help doing an audit on your social media I can absolutely be of assistance. It's important to analyze what you're doing before you decide what's next.
Create content like a consumer. Look at what influencers are doing when creating content. They are showing their life on social in a way that is engaging, creative, and that gets attention. If you're low on ideas for what you should be doing look to them for ideas. Also look at brands you admire and want to be like. How are they doing social media and what can you adapt to your brand?
Are you telling your brand's story? If you are, keep up the great work! It's hard to always keep that as a focus and not get too lost in selling. If not, what can you do to make that happen? I'm unbelievably lucky, I am my brand. So posting about my coffee, my new planner, my favorite pens, or the event I attended - it's all on brand. I'm very aware of my brand and how it impacts each and every aspect of my business and life. I've had opportunities come my way before that weren't consistent with HeyGiud's brand, I passed on them. I've worked hard to cultivate a message about me and my company, anything that distracts from that isn't a priority for me.
Use your organic content to build a relationship with your audience. Don't get too lost in your sales/ad campaigns that they overtake your all of your content. If they do your audience might click the dreaded unfollow button because they feel like they are being spammed with sales, that you're not trying to connect with them, or that your brand is no longer relevant in their life.
Above all else. Plan. Plan. Plan. But be flexible. We can all plan out our perfect day, week, month, or year and it doesn't happen. Don't get down. Just adjust your sails and go.
What networks are you using? What can you add for 2020? Tik Tok had a huge year. Does that mean your brand needs to be on it? Not necessarily. But if you're trying to get Gen Z as a customer it's worth checking out.
2020 is the start of a new decade. A year that might be filled with tremendous change for each of us personally, our businesses, our country, hell the whole world. So look at it with clear vision (yup I did it again) and be determined to make the new year and new decade the best it can be.
Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose.