The end of a year, and subsequently the beginning of the next one, is always a hectic time. There’s always so much going on that it’s easy to continue on with the previous year’s processes, systems, strategies, softwares, and so on. You’re busy busting your butt trying to deliver the best product and service for your clients, and tending to your own business will take the backseat if you let it. And it’ll definitely be tempting to let it.
So, we’re here to say, “Um…hey, don’t do that, okay?”
It may seem like a daunting task to re-evaluate so many of the routines you’ve gotten used to, but think of it this way. There was a lot going on in 2014 and you made a lot of progress. You were moving and shaking so fast, you probably lost track of all the great things you were doing. Why not maximize all of your progress by documenting it, learning from it, and keeping it organized? Here’s some tips that might not sound earth-shattering but will probably inspire you to light a fire under it.
Pull reports. All of the reports. All of them. It’s not fun and it can be time consuming, but there is so much insanely valuable data in those reports that you’d be crazy not to. Not only do you need to see how much time and money you’ve spent on certain things, but pulling year-end reports allows you to evaluate each strategy or technique you tried all at once. By plotting the success and failures of last year’s campaigns, you’ll be able to more effectively achieve your goals this year.
Re-evaluate each and every platform, service or software you pay for. Whether it’s reporting software, a social listening program, an email-marketing platform, or a magazine subscription, it’s important to stop, step back, analyze the benefits (and the not-so-benefits), and decide if it’s worth anymore of your time or money. Obviously, you need to evaluate if the platform is still cost effective, but products and services that you use have changed and improved and need updates and maybe have even remained disappointingly stagnant in their capabilities. Poke around and see if there are any new features that you can take advantage of to provide value for your clients or utilize to improve productivity. Or dump them. (“Hey Hootsuite, it’s not me, it’s definitely you.”)
Actually write down your plans and goals for 2015! Duh, right? Well, maybe not. This is one of those tasks that seems so obvious and self explanatory, but many people either get busy and procrastinate this task or set goals that are broad, intangible, and thus, unattainable. After looking at all those reports, you should have a good idea of where you’re excelling and where you’re floundering. Establish one main goal, and then set several smaller, uber-specific goals that will ultimately help you achieve that big daddy goal. Example: You want to get more involved with your community and give back in 2015. That’s your main goal. In January, you’re going to do some research. In February, you’re going to set meetings with two non-profits you found. In March, you’re going to meet with an event planner. Etc.
Get organized. Those piles of paper and files and post-its and legal pads scattered around your office are going to kill your 2015 vibe. Clean it, file it, store it, trash it, whatever. Just do it.
Get inspired. Maybe you’re already inspired. Good for you, do your thang, boo. But maybe your enthusiasm has dwindled. It might feel like 2014 sucked the life out of you. But you have people, brands, companies, local figures, etc. that you look up to for some reason or another. You have clients that you’ve hit home runs for. You have competition that you’ve blown out of the water. You might even have some haters (hi haters!). Use all of it. Never lose sight of the reason that you do whatever it is that you do.
Here’s to 2015. May it be a productive year filled with happy customers, successful marketing tactics, and puppies.