In my world, October never, ever fails to be a ridiculously busy month.
For starters, there are two October birthdays – my girlfriend and my niece – that I wouldn’t dare miss in any given year. In each of the past three years, I’ve had at least one October wedding to attend, and I like to pick up extra hours at my part-time gig at ArtsQuest before the winter doldrums set in. Add all of that together with a full-time job, and it can make having time for anything else – like, say, effectively building a growing local music news source – quite challenging.
October is a month where I know all about being busy, and even more about being tired. Often, we creators will use those two notions as the crutch – the excuse, if you will – for why we didn’t do something. It’s not often, but I must begrudgingly admit that I’ve done it myself.
However, sometimes you need to find a way to push past the fatigue and find a little bit more focus through the busy haze of life. Our brands won’t build themselves, and we need to be the ones to keep those wheels in motion.
Last week, I mentioned that the life we sign up for when we resolve to turn our passions into reality is one of hard work and sacrifice. What I may not have mentioned is that the beat goes on, with or without you. Every. Single. Day.
In this digital age, where information comes and goes at the blink of an eye, creators can’t afford to rest on their laurels. If you don’t stay on your goals, and if you don’t let your followers know what you’re up to, your brand will quickly be swallowed up by all of the people who are getting their messages in front of more eyes than you. This is especially the case when you consider humanity’s shortening attention spans. It is in your best interests to continuously work toward having a presence.
The good news? While we all have endless to-do lists, you don’t have to cross every item off of yours at the end of each day to feel like you’ve accomplished something. There are ways to take small, progressive steps toward becoming and remaining relevant every day.
Here are some things that I’ve found to be helpful, both in building the LVU brand and maintaining what’s left of my sanity.
- Resolve to take at least one step each day: This step may vary depending on your day. Sometimes, you’ll have the time to knock out an important item. Sometimes, you’ll go for something smaller and easier for the sake of time. Whatever it is, it’s all progress toward your goal.
- Be strategic: Not only do I mean this in a marketing sense, where upcoming events and trending topics can give us opportunities to have a voice. I mean this in a “daily life” sense. Although life throws us curveballs from time to time, we often have a good idea of what a given day, week, or month will hold for us. Plan your activities around what you can anticipate, and you’ll find it much easier to stay afloat in more chaotic times.
- Don’t let people forget about you: Obviously, this one has its limits. You don’t want to shove your brand down people’s throats to the point of annoyance. However, a message every day – whether it’s on social media, via email, or otherwise – will keep you at the forefront of your followers’ minds.
- No new content? No problem: As much as I hate to admit it, there have been days where I just can’t get a new post up on LVU. If that’s the case (which is rarely is), I’ll share something else, just to let our followers know we’re thinking of them. Sometimes, I’ll see what our partners at com are up to, or share out other external content that I find interesting and relevant to our audience. The important part is to keep the conversation going.
- Know your limits: If you’re in it for the long haul (like us), the last thing you want to do is burn yourself out. Sometimes, we all come to a point in the day where we just can’t work anymore. Plan breaks – whether they’re leisure activities or good, old fashioned sleep – to break the madness and decompress.