SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION
This isn’t one of those blogs about the terrible things that happened in my life and how I overcame them, beat the odds and lived to tell the tale with joy.
I have some of those stories inside me. Indeed, some of them are here on this blog page. But this is not one of those blogs.
No, this blog is about something entirely more prosaic but just as important if you’re a business owner or entrepreneur in the modern world.
Allow me to explain.
I love words. I always have. Ever since I learnt to read I have been an avid bookworm. I devour books. I delight in stories.
And I love pictures. At dinner the other night a friend asked me to choose between literature and art. I really struggled. To live without words? Unthinkable. To live without art, without photography or painting? Unimaginable. I couldn’t choose. I asked if I could have art books as a compromise. ‘No’ came the devastating reply. I am still pondering the question several days later!
Given my passion for words and pictures, creating content for social media should always be a joy. Right?
I mean, that’s all it is: words and pictures. And after a life-long love affair with both and a 25 year career in communications, I approached the task of content creation for my new business, Actually, with pleasurable anticipation.
And for the first 6-12 months, it was a joy.
I had so many ideas.
There were so many things I wanted to share; to explore; to ask; to uncover.
I spent whole days meandering through online photo libraries looking for just the right image.
It was heaven.
Until suddenly, it wasn’t.
My business was taking off and I was more and more busy.
I had less and less time to think about my content. Less time to select the perfect image. Less time to hone and edit my words.
And as a result, I spent more and more time staring at the computer screen or gently banging my head against my desk wondering when words and pictures had morphed from being my greatest love to being an instrument of torture.
And so I entered the vicious circle that I believe may in fact be a hitherto undiscovered circle of Hell.
I HATED created content. It annoyed me, frustrated me and made me want to cry.
It showed. My content became less reflective of ‘me’. It was more formulaic. Less energetic. Less engaging.
So people stopped engaging as much as they had done.
As they engaged less, my frustration grew.
And so it went on.
Today, as I write this, I am in love with words and pictures again.
And my engagement rates are up. My reach is up. My page likes have grown by 2722% in the past month alone!
Well, I believe there are three reasons:
1. I remembered something very important: my content for Actually is about BUSINESS. It’s not personal. Sure, I share personal insights and glimpses into my life but if people don’t engage with my content that’s feedback I can use to improve. It’s not a personal slight or rejection. Once I stopped taking a lack of engagement personally and started to see it as useful data, my recovery began!
2. I was reminded by a dear friend of who I am – as a person and a business owner. I am fun and social and playful. I am informal. I am conversational. I am fascinated by people, by learning and ideas. And my content had stopped reflecting that. I spent a day making playful images, playing with words and creating posts and content just because it made me laugh or smile. I reconnected with who I am and how to bring that to life in what I create.
3. I started planning my content more clearly. From now until the end of the year I have an outline for each day’s content. And because of that I no longer have to scratch my head waiting for inspiration to strike – a surefire method for ensuring the muse flees – because I already know. And I have the headspace, the capacity for spontaneity because I don’t have to force anything.
Planning is an integral part of the Actually approach to growing your business and your impact. The Actually Planning Cycle is a series of quarterly planning workshops to help you to ensure that your business and communications is clearly aligned and properly planned.
To find out more about these workshops, click here: https://actually.world/support/actually-planning-cycle/
Let’s ACTUALLY make a difference.
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