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What’s Your Planning Style?

Are you like me and the idea of resolutions makes you a bit queasy – especially talking or thinking about them before January? Join the club – and celebrate that January is just a month like any other. If and when you are ready to make some plans for your new year, then take a look at some of my favorite resources and experts below.

I basically take a little bit from each one of these approaches to mosh up “my plan” that feels good and aligned with what I want to accomplish and how I want to feel at the end of this year.

Kate Hanley / Better Than Resolutions Week – check out her episodes 89 – 94 of her “How to Be a Better Person” podcast. Each less-than-5 minute episode gives you an easy task to get started on planning and goal setting.

One Word – yes, there is actually a book and helpful approach to finding your “one word” for the year. I always think I know what it is going to be until I actually go through the process and then I am always surprised when my word finds me. The year it’s PRESENT.

Laura Vanderkam / Best of Both Worlds: Goals 2020 – This annual episode provides helpful insight on how to map out what you want to and actually put some time frames and accountability around it. Laura’s approach also helps to prevent the overwhelm that comes when you front-end your goals, but instead shows you how to pace them out over the year in simple categories.

Patty Lennon / Marketing Planner For Coaches & Consultants – If marketing is where you get stuck, then check out Patty’s easy and simple 5 Step Planner to take the overwhelm out of promoting yourself and your business.

Miriam Schulman / Art Journaling – Call all creatives who hate the idea of planning. Take advantage of Miriams’ FREE (for a limited time) Art of Journaling video series. Yes, doodling really can make you productive.

Jen Lehner / Content Planner – Another favorite of mine is Jen Lehner’s Content Planning System. Her holistic yet very tactical system ensures your content actually sees the light of day. It’s one of the many many overwhelmingly valuable tools she shares with her Front Row CEO group.

Nancy Sheed / Content Planning templates – I also have simple, customizable content planning templates to help you bring structure and schedule to your content and marketing planning. You can download them for free here – and learn more about how use them here and here.

Happy purposeful and productive planning!

Online Marketing Advice You Need To Know Now

Marketing Tips and Takeaways from INBOUND17

Still spinning from INBOUND17, an annual marketing conference in Boston, where I spent four days with 20,000 other fellow marketers, I am excited to share some of the top takeaways and immediately actionable insights. These ideas will help you be strategic about what’s trending in online marketing, so you can stay ahead of the curve and become even more connected to your clients and fans. Dive on in.

1> “Instagram is Facebook’s next Facebook”

So says Facebook’s (owner of Instagram) CEO Jeff Zuckerberg. Straight from the horse’s mouth, Facebook expert Mari Smith advised it is imperative to include Instagram in your social media strategy. When Facebook is putting their energy there, so should you, with opportunities for the fastest growth in growing your followers and increasing your brand awareness.

TAKEAWAY TIP – Connect your Instagram profile to your Facebook page for analytics about how to be more strategic with the right audience. Make sure that your Instagram is “on brand” with the rest of your social media profiles.


2> Video, video, video!

Yes, video continues to be the content darling with social media, especially with Facebook TV and video ads. Also from Mari Smith’s presentation, we heard how Facebook is (still) giving priority to videos created in Facebook—not only for posts, but also for ads. It is getting easier and easier to create more professional ads without having to spend a fortune on video production. Some of the video tools Mari recommended were Wave and Animoto.

TAKEAWAY TIP – If you haven’t started, start RIGHT NOW! Start experimenting and post something THIS WEEK! If you have started, take it up a level – especially if you have a great idea for video or television series.


3> Less is more. Quality over quantity.

20% of your content (the unicorns) is bringing in 80% of your traffic. Work it, be smart, be strategic. This message was repeated in many different forums with varying degrees of statistics. But the general message from all of the speakers I heard (Dharmesh Shah, Hubspot; Larry Kim, Wordstream, and Garrett Moon, CoSchedule) was that you should focus your growth (10x growth, not 10% growth) on these really big content ideas and winners.

TAKEAWAY TIP – Find your most popular content (check the analytics from your website and social media) and make a plan to make it work harder.

 


4> Be human and connect.

We all want to belong – but we need to be solid in belonging first to ourselves. With a new book out, called Braving The Wilderness, Brene Brown kicked off the conference with a most powerful call for everyone to be more engaged with their fellow humankind. Fresh from the front of the Houston hurricane disasters, she had real life stories and proof that we are capable of being humans together – not apart.

TAKEAWAY TIP – Call, touch, hug and/or really look at someone today and everyday! But also as we think of our companies and brands, it’s imperative to be OK and even stand out or stand alone in our authenticity.

 


5> Creativity happens whenever we solve problems.

I took comfort in being reminded that being a creator doesn’t mean you have to be an artist or designer, or really good at making things pretty. Specifically, Wharton professor and author Adam Grant had some very pragmatic suggestions no matter what you do or who you are for how to bring creative ideas to life …which often involve working with your grumpy outlier cohorts.

TAKEAWAY TIP – Have a plan for bringing your next big idea to life. Don’t assume the people who are like you or who like you are always going to be your biggest advocates and the people who can most help you succeed.


Check out my LIVE FB video from INBOUND here. And if you want more insight in how to apply these trends and tips to your online marketing strategy, set up a clarity call with me now.