JANUARY: SET YOURSELF UP FOR THE WIN...
I am almost purposefully late in writing this as I feel the first few days and even weeks in January you are bombarded with people giving you advice on what you should and shouldn't be doing, eating, saying, feeling.. the list goes on, and quite frankly you have probably already been swimming in advice from better placed people than me.. so if you still want a few little tit bits to add to your list, here is my 'purposefully late' list of things to get you over the first months hurdle...
1. GIVE YOURSELF SOME T, P, C
The first few items here are the basics, a bit of business admin. Terms, Privacy, Contract.
2. UPDATE YOUR COPYRIGHT DATE
This should state the year you started sharing imagery to the current year. You can even state '2012-present' if you want to be able to skip this step in future years. This then protects your copyright from the moment you uploaded imagery.
Check it on your email footer, website, contracts etc..
3. SUBMIT YOUR SITEMAP TO GOOGLE
If you have a website then January is as good place as any to begin your regular sitemap submission schedule to google. If you don't know what this is, its a bit of code found within your website which you can copy and paste into Google Search Console which helps tell Google what you are all about.
Most website platforms will have a very simple way of doing this and if you simply google 'how to submit my sitemap on.. wix / word press / squarespace etc..' you will likely get a step by step result to follow.
If you haven't done this before I can guarantee if you have the right alt text on your site you will see immediate results.
If you have a wix website and want some help with alt text / sitemaps please get in touch and I will gladly have a chat.
4. REVIEW YOUR YEAR & PLAN
Its useful to know what kind of a year is ahead of you, any holidays you have booked, or weeks where you don't have childcare which may affect productivity.
Get an annual wall planner where you can clearly see everything laid out, and I also have an annual work spreadsheet with all my jobs and their timescales plotted out so I can clearly see when I am busy and when I have availability for new enquiries. Let your followers know your availability, if anyone was sitting on the fence to hiring you knowing you only have one slot left this quarter may kick them into gear. This will also help with planning down the line if staff want to book time off or you need to take on help for busy periods.
5. UPDATE YOUR E-TEMPLATES
I am a sucker for a template, but in all honesty with multiple enquiries from 2 different businesses popping in my inbox on a daily basis sometimes the key to efficiency and quick responses is having a template. Keeping me, my clients and my prospective clients beaming from ear to ear.
Now don't be hasty here, just because you have a 'template' it doesn't mean you are giving a less personal customer experience. I am still tweaking each email and making sure the narrative of a project is flowing.
For example, I have saved jpeg headers for each of the key touch points of my customer journey. A 'hello, thanks for your enquiry', 'Heres your proposal', 'Invoice Due', etc.. and with each of those goes a tried and tested email template which I can customise for each response which I know will prompt me with all the key points I need to raise at that stage. I have an invoice template, and a review request email template.
If I didn't have these I would forever have to worry about making sure I had asked all the right questions and given all the relevant information which would take longer, create more stress, and probably result in even more subsequent email threads answering the questions I should have asked the first time.
If you have time, maybe give your newsletter templates a little makeover too so the new year is looking fresh and up to date.
This is MY word for 2022. BREATHE. The next 12 months are looking like my busiest to date, with 2 years worth of weddings over at Deabill & Quince to cram into one season, multiple branding jobs and the kids getting more demanding I can quite honestly say I feel like its going to be SOME year!
I also feel like its going to be MY year.
So breathe, believe in yourself, you cant do EVERYTHING, but you can do SOMETHING, and small steps each week will help build your empire step by step, leap by leap, long jump by long jump!
If updating or scheduling in a re-brand for your business is on your TO DO list then please do get in touch. I have some availability in the first quarter, summer is fully booked and then I am ok for Autumn and Winter at the moment but things are getting booked in each week so don't miss out. Happy to hop on a zoom call just send me a note!