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Short, visual daily posts on listening to the right voices in your head about marketing and business.
November 02, 2020 Daily Post
Most of us have them.
Our businesses and projects are held back by them.
Let’s look at some examples:
“Who’s your target audience / what message do you deploy methodically for that particular target audience?” More businesses are afraid of this one than you can imagine. Our Creative team witnesses this on a near-daily basis.
“How many referral systems do you have in place and methodically use?” Answering this without bending the concept of a referral ‘system’ and the use of the term ‘methodical’ doesn’t count.
“Where are your standard operating procedures located?” This assumes they exist, are up-to-date, and are a good representation of your body of work.
What questions are you afraid to be asked? How could addressing those questions yourself help your work move forward?
November 01, 2020 Daily Post
A ‘busy’ day doesn’t mean an ‘effective’ day, or a ‘better’ day.
After all, if we spend all day working on things that don’t move the needle, we earn the redundant badge of “productive”.
Similarly, an ‘effective’ day doesn’t mean a ‘busy’ day either. If we spend just enough time to drive things forward, without the rest, we create compounding mental margin for an even more ‘effective’ day tomorrow.
‘Hustle’ tries to draw parallels between two things that have no parallels at all. ‘Busy’ merely leads you to wasted time, whereas ‘effective’ leads you to both time and progress. More of one does not create more of the other.
‘Focus’ tries to separate the two poles of ‘busy’ and ‘effective’. It’s the opposite of ‘hustle’ and one that has become quite unpopular in recent years.
If you’ve fallen victim to ‘hustle’, you may want to revisit ‘focus’ to ditch the ‘busy’ and gift yourself and those you work alongside with real ‘effectiveness’.
October 31, 2020 Daily Post
Ever caught yourself thinking (or worse, saying) “I know that” when someone is speaking or sharing insights with you?
Check yourself: you only know if you can answer “Yes” to all of these things:
Our Creative team often hears things like, “We know our target market really well”, and “We’re really clear on our marketing messaging.”
Yet when pressed to share the things they know, the answers are decidedly less confident. They didn’t do the work to really, truly know.
We only ‘discover’ when we ‘do.’
So we only ‘know’ when we ‘did’.
Doing the work separates the deluded from the enlightened.
Over to you: in the areas that matter in your pursuit of important work, what things do you know for sure? Are you sure about that?
October 30, 2020 Daily Post
Unless it has stewards.
Process needs stewards. It goes stale when you think you’re done making process. When it’s ‘done’, it stops getting better, it stops reflecting the best of your knowledge. Stewards represent the results by ensuring the process reflects the greatest your team has to offer.
Products need stewards. They go stale when you think they’re the best on the market. When it’s ‘done’, it slows while others reap the rewards of your coasting. Stewards represent the market by ensuring the product reflects the needs of those it serves.
Technology needs stewards. Projects go stale when maintainers think it’s finished. When it’s ‘finished’, tech moves on, as do the contributors who made it possible. Stewards represent the developers who use and contribute to it, so that the project stays alive and healthy.
Every part of your company needs a steward. Someone to stand in the gap, representing the work, committed to making it better, whether it’s you or someone else.
Do you have stewards in place, to ensure your greatness doesn’t go stale?
October 29, 2020 Daily Post
To be confident in your work is to tell the truth:
Lacking confidence while applying skills, product development or engaging in sales conversations means the truth is suppressed. There is meaningful, ethical advantage that a project, company or individual could benefit from that you wilfully withdrew, because of that lack of confidence.
An equal but opposite concern is when over-confidence appears, which augments truth with delusion. Here the same meaningful, ethical advantage is still available, but misrepresented so the project, company or individual can’t critically or clearly assess a situation, because of that over-confidence.
Being truly confident in our work avoids both of these pitfalls. From confidence comes a clear, accurate representation of the truth, impeded by neither suppressions or augmentations. The work is what it is, it’s merits accurately and completely articulated.
Are you (truly) confident about your work and your wares?
October 28, 2020 Daily Post
What do you revere at work?
Small businesses often hustle in hope of becoming large corporations, even at the expense of sacrificing their advantages as a SMB. But SMBs that own the work, innovate methodically serve people with care, ultimately get to outlast the corporations who forget the things that matter.
Digital marketers often hustle for a transaction at any cost, even at the expense of their own integrity. Web practitioners that revere the work of helping others with technology and language that lasts, ultimately get to outlast the flash-in-the-pan names we see temporarily in ads.
Your company or project may be in pursuit of something you’ve spotted others doing, even at the expense of your own customers. But those who remember to focus on those they serve (profitably) – making all else secondary – rarely seem to find themselves coming up short.
Again: what do you revere at work?
October 27, 2020 Daily Post
What is “good communication”?
Is it saying the right things? Partly, but what if those words don’t land on those who needed to hear them?
Is it saying the right things to the right people? Closer… but again, what if those words don’t land because those right-people weren’t truly listening?
Is it saying the right things to the right people where those things will be heard? That’s more like it. The environment matters. The state of the listener (or reader) matters. We don’t often think about it, but it’s a huge part of what makes good communication, good communication.
Consider the environment you create or contribute to. If you’re stressed or panicked, good communication goes away for everybody. You can break it, or you can make it better for everyone.
October 26, 2020 Daily Post
It all comes together, in its timing.
The brand vision you share with your team may be great, and the elements you’ve prepared may all look super. But it all comes together when it’s been lived in, and it’s personality reveals itself as an reflection of those it exists to serve. Rushing it doesn’t help.
The new product you’ve worked hard on might be excellent. The value and results might be great too. But it all comes together when those it was made for have had the opportunity to spend some time with it, and it receives some key tweaks that really make it sing. Rushing it doesn’t help.
The trajectory your business is on might look strong, the forecasts promising and the deal flow healthy. But it all comes together when the business gets better at truly listening to its target audience, and it’s message echoes the message in the hearts of those it’s best equipped to serve. Rushing that doesn’t help.
Those we’re creating for hold they keys. They make everything come together. If we let them.
October 25, 2020 Daily Post
Do you understand your target market?
A ‘hermeneutic circle’ depicts the way we interpret information when we read.
It depicts the cycle of understanding and context that leads to, well, more understanding and more context.
The fact that it is a cycle suggests that it continues to rotate; understanding begets context, context begets understanding.
Many of us don’t cycle when it comes to truly understanding those we wish to serve.
Rather, we decide that we have come to understand, and that’s it: “we understand.”
We can learn from the hermeneutic circle: understanding isn’t an end. It produces context which, if wielded, produces yet more understanding.
Did you stop understanding?
October 24, 2020 Daily Post
Reproducing the office in remote-work-land reproduces it’s problems:
Real-time voice/video calls are vaults of exchange where nobody outside of those present knows what went on (call recordings don’t count, who listens to those, really?)
Synchronous creativity where “you had to be there”, where great ideas were missed because they were on a slightly different timezone, where the thinking behind the genius is left to folklore rather than documented fact.
Heroes who heroically save the day with a great plan or last-minute solve, because the process behind collaboration wasn’t suitably organised to let the ‘heroes’ all retire.
If you have a physical office, embrace it and all it’s flaws.
But if you’re fortunate enough to have a remote office, leave those flaws behind by embracing the principles that make remote working effective, efficient and calm.