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All posts from May 2020

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FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out – is pillaging great minds of their greatness.

Where deep work was possible, FOMO reduced it to self-imposed thinly-sliced Facebook reprieves.

Where divergent thinking was possible, FOMO diluted it to trend-following safe plays where average output becomes your happy-place.

Where evening learning and relaxation were possible, FOMO replaced with negative news cycles and stodgy nights of streaming video.

What we really need is FOFOMO – fear of missing out.

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901: The Birthday Test

How well do you know your clients?

If you couldn’t buy your client a thoughtful gift for their birthday, it’s because:

  1. You stink at buying presents
  2. You don’t know what a thoughtful gift would be for them.
  3. You don’t even know when their birthday is…

It’s not about their birthday, but about knowing your audience intimately enough to speak their language and hear their hurts. That’s where real innovation comes from.

You might think deep-dives into client research might take a lot of time and money…

Got a phone? Got a call plan? Super – this is free, and will only cost you the time it takes to make a phone call.

Whatever your budget for marketing planning and ongoing client relations, that’s something you can do today if you choose.

A key distinguishing factor in effective marketing for cause-driven work is simply caring more. Consider the birthday test above to be a crude indicator of whether or not you’ve got work to do in this area.

They’ll thank you for caring, and for the innovations, you produce that feel like they were made just for them.

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900: Wins Along The Way

This is not Post 1,000 of my daily blog.

But it is Post 900.

Sometimes, while producing bodies of work that are important to us, we can lose sight of the wins along the way.

1000 is on your mind when you hit 900. That’s natural. But if we remember that 900 was just as important when we hit 800, we create space to celebrate the win.

2000 could be on your mind once you hit 1000. There’s no finishing line. Instead of fixating on arbitrary numbers, it’s better to focus on what matters.

Who you become as a result of doing this work.

What positive change you can create for others as a result of doing this work.

Whether this work is worthy of you, not if you’re worthy of it.

Goals move. Celebrate the process, it’s all we have.

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899: Marketing and Pets

Or, “Why investing in your message matters”.

Imagine you called your mother today and then didn’t talk to her for three years.

After those three years had passed, let’s say you called her again and asked how her guinea pig is doing.

Chances are, that ‘pig is gone.

She’s got a dog now.

She walks Sparky every day, getting out and meeting new people in the park. She shops for hiking boots and travels on the weekend to explore new trails. Life is different.

You’ve known this lady your whole life. But, three years in, you’re borderline strangers.

What’s the take-away here?

The world keeps changing. So should your marketing message. Not for the sake of change, or as a dilution of focus, but as a recommitment to your audience.

If you want to sell more effectively so you can stay at the top of your choice of market, you have to continue learning about, caring about and connecting with that choice of market.

Your message is your way of showing you care.

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898: What Will It Take?

“Do whatever it takes” is a terrible guideline for important work.

“Whatever it takes” hemorrhages time and cash, pushing everything else into a similar state of emergency that put this project into “whatever it takes” mode.

“Whatever it takes” breeds freneticism in teams that won’t stand the test of time when pitched against teams who prefer to ask, “What will it take?”

“What will it take” nurtures mindful contributions of time and cash, enabling them to be efficient and essentialist with their resources. This mindset outperforms and outlasts chaotic competitors stuck doing whatever it takes.

If your work is important, don’t declare “whatever it takes”. Instead, inquire, “What will it take?”

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897: If It Creates Stress, It’s Bad Design

Many social media platforms spent countless dollars trying to make their services more “sticky” for people like us.

To produce nervous energy in their visitors which releases only once that visitor returns.

They’re effective at doing what they set out to achieve… but let’s not pretend it’s “Good design”.

Good design helps people to…

…Understand things: Nothing is really being understood on those social platforms. Instead, people are just left wondering where the last 20 minutes of their lives went.

…Complete tasks: There are tasks that get completed, but these interfaces were designed to create tasks for visitors faster than visitors can complete them.

…Solve problems: The tools are designed to prevent people from solving problems. Otherwise they’d optimize their designs for connecting with the right people and fostering relationships, instead of pandering for Likes and rewarding consumption. You’re not supposed to leave, remember? Because ads.

Some honest questions to ask ourselves about our work:

  • Was our work designed to help people understand, or stay stuck?
  • Was our work designed to help people get things done, or add to their load?
  • Was our work designed to help people solve problems or keep them hooked?

Do we like the answers we end up with?