As a year draws to a close, it becomes oh so tempting to review what we have achieved in our lives and businesses. What have we done that we are proud of? What should we have done more of?
Why will next year be different?
This can be an exciting time as well as a daunting time in our business lives. We may have to face some hard truths (and even if it is painful, it is better that we do).
We may also want to take some time to celebrate our achievements.
It is a funny time when you think about it. It is just another new day. Not really more special than 1st December or the 9th November for that matter. However, we use this day to take stock.
So, in the spirit of the season, here are 10 New Year’s Resolutions that you should make for your business as we enter 2015.
Treat Yourself To A New Logo
I think it is time don’t you? If you have always meant to upgrade your logo, the New Year is the perfect time for a change. A new year a new look! The good news is that the design process does not have to be onerous or expensive.
I would really recommend you take a look at Pixellogo. There you can find lots of great designs that you can customise to fit in with your brand’s fonts and colours.
Alternatively, you can consider 99 Designs. Simply enter a basic design brief, choose your design package (based on your budget) and launch your contest. Then sit back and relax as the 99 Designs community of 932,000 designers set to work on a design brief for you. You can log into your account and see the ideas that the designers are coming up with. At this stage you can offer feedback or more information. After seven days, you choose which design you like the best and sign an agreement.
Create A Stunning New Website
If you haven’t got a website, make 2015 the year in which you launch into the online world. It is not scary – honest! If it is your current website that is scaring you or if you feel a bit embarrassed about your online presence, make that change.
You can either develop your website yourself or instruct a website designer to create one for you. If you decide to build your site yourself, I would really recommend using Jimdo. (Click the link below to start building your website in Jimdo for free). Jimdo’s templates are stunning, intuitive and easy to customise.
If you are nervous about going it alone, or if you do not have the time - consider hiring the services of a web designer. If you would like to find out more about Jimdo or if I can help you in any way, please feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Develop A Blogging Or Content Schedule
Blogging should not be a haphazard affair. Yes you should be flexible and responsive; however, you should also have a firm structure. The best way to achieve this structure is by creating and implementing a blogging or content schedule.
This schedule can take many forms depending on your own preference. You can use a physical diary, a wall chart, or you can use a digital diary or calendar to help you. Start by noting down all of the areas that you want to cover in any given month. Plot those on your calendar. Then look at the individual months. Will any events, anniversaries or conferences take place in these months? If so, you can tailor your content to fit the occasion.
Looking at your blogging or content schedule over the year will also help you to see how it fits in with your sales goals. If you have a promotion in March, you can create content in January and February that supports it.
Once you start using one, you will soon see why an editorial schedule is a powerful tool for your business.
Create A Lead Magnet - Build Your Email List
It is so important to be strategic. Nowhere does this matter more than in social media. It is great to have informative posts, educational posts and entertaining posts. However, you should also have traffic driving posts. After all, an email list is still an extremely powerful tool in business.
This New Year, why not create an irresistible giveaway that you can promote via social media and use to help build your email list. This lead magnet has to be relevant, valuable and free. You could consider creating a video series or an eBook. You may want to give away a free service or offer a generous product discount. All your audience needs to do to receive this amazing gift is part with his or her email address.
Now, people are becoming increasingly wary about parting with their email addresses. No one wants an inbox full of junk that you have to click/delete your way through. As a result, we should all respect our email lists and continue to give value to our subscribers. Don’t forget to come in with that right hook though! After you have given your subscribers all that value, they won’t mind a well-timed, sensitive sales pitch.
Use More Visuals
Make 2015 the year that you rock the visual world. Take a look at your website, your social media stream and your blog. Could they all do with more images? Well now couldn’t be a better
time to start. By using sites such as Canva and Picmonkey you can create stunning images for your business in next to no time.
Produce A Video
Video is becoming an increasingly important part of business marketing. Statistics show that if you include a video on your website’s homepage your visitors will stay there for longer. Whether you decide to use online software such as Animoto to make your own business video or decide to hire someone to create something for you – make sure you harness the power of video in 2015.
Engage More With Your Audience
If you take a virtual stroll down your social media streams you will find lots and lots of media and precious little social. It is time to engage people – what are we waiting for? Let’s jump into
conversations, find out more about our followers and react to what people post. Don’t be shy. Let’s see more @replies.
Use More Cool Tools
It is all well and good having a New Year’s resolution to be more engaged on social media. Sadly, this is often easier said than done. Of course we would all love to spend our time chatting away on Twitter. However, there is just a small matter of time to contend with. Quite simply, there isn’t enough of it.
This is where our next resolution comes in. In 2015, why not make more use of automation? Use a social media scheduling tool such as Edgar or Buffer to post out your content where you want and when you want. This frees you up to get more social.
Meanwhile, make use of the many tools out there that will make your life easier and your business sleeker.
Ask Your Audience
Do you sometimes wish that you could see inside your customer’s heads? What would you give to know what they are thinking or what they need? The good news is that you don’t have to become a brain surgeon or psychotherapist to find out. You can simply conduct an online survey.
Using online tools such as Google Forms, PollDaddy or Survey Monkey, you can pose all of the questions that you’ve been longing to ask.
Get Productive Not Distracted!
Finally, let’s all make 2015 the year that we focus on being super productive and not getting distracted. Distractions are the bane of my life and I am the number one culprit responsible for their existence.
Sometimes I think the only thing for it is to close down all but the most crucial elements necessary to complete a task. Indeed, recently we upgraded our broadband to a new, super-fast, service. I had to set up our new router as our old one went offline.
I was about to do this when I decided that, no, I would finish some blog posts that I was writing. Every so often, I would find myself straying over to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or a news channel. No go – and it felt good.
I got so much done and decided that I would make this a key New Year’s Resolution for my business in 2015.
What will be yours?
Thanks for reading and may I take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for 2015! Jane x