I have a confession to make…
I have not posted here for a while or sent my email newsletter in a while.
So I haven’t added fresh content to my website or stayed in touch with my subscribers…not smart.
In the past I have talked about the importance of consistency. (I know…this is the pot calling the kettle black.)
I’m going to be honest. Life got in the way, it was summer, I was focused on client work, and I was struggling with my newsletter somewhat, so I let it fall to the wayside. (I know…these are all excuses.)
Even those of us with the best intentions, who know the importance of staying in touch regularly, drop the ball occasionally.
If that’s you and you’re not sending your newsletter on a regular basis you should consider hiring someone for the task. (Whether that’s me or someone else, and by the way, I don’t drop the ball on client projects!)
It will keep you on track. It’s easy to let your own marketing fall to the bottom of your to do list if you go it alone.
Even for a marketing professional. What’s that saying about the shoemaker who has no shoes?
So here’s what I’m doing to get back on track…
I was never quite comfortable with my newsletter.
Not the content, that was good stuff.
It was more the layout. I was modeling someone else’s newsletter. A newsletter I get twice a month and really enjoy. It is written by someone who is witty and has been writing newsletters for solo business owners for years. He even teaches a course on how to create newsletters.
The problem is that his style and layout works for him. It didn’t feel authentic for me. I sometimes felt like I was forcing my “welcome message” at the top. Sometimes it took me longer to write that than the rest of the newsletter.
So guess what, I’m not doing it anymore. It doesn’t mean I’m not still going to be personal, I am. I mean seriously, I’m airing my dirty laundry in this message.
But moving forward I’m just going to do it in a way that’s more comfortable for me.
Will this work better?
I don’t know, but I’m going to find out.
My newsletter tagline states you’re going to be reading “marketing morsels”… and you will be. (Unless you haven’t signed up, which you can do here.)
Sometimes I might cover a topic that has more to do with copywriting/business writing. Other newsletters will cover website design, WordPress or email marketing.
It might be something new I learn or read or find interesting that I want to pass on because it will be helpful to small business owners and professional service providers.
I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist. I spend too much time trying to get things “just right”. For example, I have proofread this article too many times.
What I need to get better at is “shipping”.
The concept is simple, but not easy for us perfectionists.
Put your stuff out there, even if it’s not perfect.
Here’s a great post by Jeff Goins that goes into more detail about shipping.
With that said you may notice a few tweaks along the way.
Why? Because sometimes you have to course correct or simply refresh to avoid stagnation.
However you can’t do that if you’re not shipping, and moving forward, which leads me to…
The Bicycle Principle
I’ll share an analogy I read the other day that has really stuck with me.
It’s called the “bicycle principle” and it goes like this…
If you are riding a bike you can steer more easily the faster you are going. On the other hand if you are on the bike but not moving and you try to steer you’ll probably fall down.
Essentially it’s easier to make changes in life, or in business, once you’re moving. It’s the staying still that gets us stuck.
So I should have made the changes I wanted to make while I was still moving. Once I stopped moving (a.k.a. writing my newsletter) and the longer the bike didn’t move, the harder it made it to get going again.
I think there are some valuable business (and life) lessons here.
- Be yourself. You won’t appeal to everyone…that’s okay. The people you and your message resonate with are the people you want to be doing business with anyway.
- Be accountable. When you drop the ball, (i.e., stop doing your newsletter) and we all drop something at some point…own up to it, correct it and move on.
- Ship it. Let go of perfection. Nothing will ever be perfect…send it out into the world anyway. Whether it’s a new product, service or your marketing. Fall in love with good enough. You’ll actually produce more and get better results.
- Steer your bike. You can course correct as you go, but you won’t get anywhere if you don’t start pedaling. So take action. It doesn’t have to be the ultimate action. Just keep moving. You can improve and make any necessary changes as you go. The important thing is to keep your momentum going.
So there you have it. I’ve come clean about why you haven’t heard from me for a while and lessons learned.
Has there been a time when you’ve dropped the ball with your business? What was it and how did you fix it? Share your experience with us in the comments below.
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