One of the most difficult things in life is to start, take action. Start eating healthy, start writing the book, start doing sport, start being kinder … What if that taking action meant deleting everything you have done before and re-start from scratch again?
In our daily lives, it might mean changing the city, circle of friends, job, house, style. But what does it mean to start from scratch in our communication strategy and how do we survive it?
Let’s start by defining what I mean by deleting everything you have done before. For about ten years I have worked as a freelance journalist covering human rights, migration, international development. My social media accounts were a reflection of that interest, especially Twitter. So when I changed my career and moved to help changemakers and good businesses reaching their goals through communication tools, my specific interests changed as well and so did the people I wanted to reach. My previous blog covering women’s issues wasn’t sufficient anymore, the people I was following weren’t active anymore or weren’t who I wanted to connect with.
I needed a makeover.
- New website and blog
- Updated connections
- New brand
The idea of having such a huge makeover gave me headaches, especially because I’m doing all my content production and branding by myself and I didn’t want to spend all the time doing that. I had my actual work to think about. And even if I was going to hire someone else to do it, I needed to spend time explaining to them my needs. It wasn’t going to work. Along the way, I found five simple rules to have a makeover and survive it.
1. Ask why
This is rule number one. If you are going to spend lots of your time having a makeover, you should know what will be the benefits of this effort. Why do you want to completely change everything? Is it necessary? What is it going to bring you and your business? Answering these questions save us a lot of time because they help us focus on the final objective because communication without a purpose is a waste of energy.
2. Think before you do
Have you noticed that when you actually sit to do whatever you have to do, much time goes into thinking and not doing? Thinking about what you want to change, the new you to present, the images, the colours, the connections. We don’t have to do all that thinking while staring at the computer. Ideas and inspiration come at any time so take your mobile phone and get used to recording notes as you go. This way when you sit down to do your makeover you’ll actually do the work.
3. One foot after another
When having a makeover there are two ways you can approach it. The “I’ll destroy everything and start from scratch” way or the “I’ll put one foot after another” way. I’m a huge fan of approach number two: putting one foot after another means tackling one thing at the time. If you need to redo your entire website don’t just let the site empty for weeks. Take notes, write the new content and structure on a doc/pages file and when you’re ready to update one section of the site at the time. It might only be that you have found the right way to describe the work that you do, edit that on your site and go on.
4. Be realistic
When I wanted to have a makeover of my website I wanted it to look like the professionals I was following who had spent quite a great amount of money on their website. But guess what, that wasn’t the first website they had. Before having their kick-ass version, they had a rubbish one and then an improved one and a better one and eventually the kick-ass version. They waited until they had the right income to invest in the makeover. Think about that the next time you want to film your new video with a drone in France with 100 dancers around you. Being realistic doesn’t mean crashing your aspirations but being mindful of your possibilities both financially and in terms of the network. If you know someone who’d be able to exchange favours and help you, that’s great. But don’t aim to where you can’t reach right now, walk before you run or you’ll be disappointed and leave it be all together.
5. Don’t get stuck
When you are having a makeover the best way to survive it is thinking like the Matrix
Everything that has a beginning also has an end
You can’t work on your makeover forever and even if you spend hundreds of hours working on it, it might never look as perfect as you think it should be. At some point, you have to let it go. Let someone else check it (I usually ask five people for feedback), edit again and launch it.
There you have it, five tips to have a makeover and survive it. Feel free to share yours before and after pics with me. I’m happy to snoop!
I’ll be doing a live session on Facebook and LinkedIn so we can have a live chat about this and any questions you might have. If you don’t want to miss the chance to ask me some questions about your makeover, register here.
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