I never used to make New Year’s resolutions. They seemed like a forced, trite way to make a change in my life. If I really wanted to change, why would I wait around for January First? I figured I’d be better off just making sporadic changes throughout the year.
Well, that strategy hasn’t always served me well. Waiting until I “felt ready” to change often enabled me to push aside goals that were important to me but not time-sensitive goals — like learning photography with a new camera I was given — in favor of more time-sensitive goals, like making next week’s brunch plans with friends.
But I got fed up with constantly pushing my goals back. I really did want to change. So one December, I decided to really commit to creating solid New Year’s resolutions … and it actually worked. By putting specific, time-bound goals in place, I was much more likely to achieve them.
The great thing about resolutions is they don’t have to just live in your personal life; they can be a powerful aid to help you grow your business, too. If you’re looking to set resolutions for next year but are struggling with coming up with some solid, achievable ideas, keep on reading. Here nine resolutions you could pick for next year, and give you additional reading and resources to help you actually accomplish them.
It might seem like an old-school skill, but knowing how to use Excel can come in handy far more often than you think. The next time you have to create a custom report based on two data sources, track the growth of your marketing, or make a chart to prove a point to your boss, you’re going to wish you knew how to use the program.
You’ve probably heard all the hype about visual content already — you just haven’t buckled down to start creating some yourself.
Well, 2015 is the year to do it. As more and more content on the web becomes visual, you’re going to need to be able to create the content yourself — or, if you have a bigger budget, learn to better communicate with contractors and agencies to create it for you.
I’d venture a guess that most marketers are strapped for time and resources — which means you’ll be looking to hire new talent in the upcoming year.
If you’re going to choose this resolution, be sure to take your time. It’s all about hiring the right candidate, not a warm body that can tweet on your company’s behalf. You need to ensure that you have a solid job description and a vigorous screening process to ultimately find a solid teammate. This process could take weeks, months, or even a full year, so get started as early as you can.
For several years, you’ve heard about mobile becoming an important focus for marketers … but have you truly invested the resources to learn about mobile, and adapted your marketing strategy accordingly?
If not, spend some time next year developing a mobile strategy and overhauling your website, emails, social accounts, blog, and any other online content to be mobile-friendly.
Blogging is like working out: You’ve got to do it consistently to see great results. You can’t just publish once every few months and expect to rack up the views, lead, and customers.
If you’re struggling to keep a tight editorial calendar, then commit to blogging consistently this year. It doesn’t matter if you decide to blog every two weeks, every week, or every day — the point here is to pick a frequency you think you can accomplish, and stick to it. Once you develop a solid, reliable cadence, then you can work on increasing the volume.
If you already have a solid publishing cadence established, you might want to take the New Year to look back at your well-performing content. Take time to identify the posts that perform best for you, and then figure out how you can squeeze even more juice out of them. Next, apply those experiments’ findings to the posts that are “second tier” — the ones that are decently successful, but could be even more so if you optimized them.
Spending time optimizing content you’ve already created can be a great way to keep your evergreen content fresh for readers and search engines.
Many marketers tend to run small, haphazard tests — a subject line A/B test here, a CTA color change there. But all of these incremental tests might not really make a difference in your marketing.
In the new year, think about running larger, more strategic tests to get to the heart of what your audience enjoys. Challenge conventional best practices. Make big changes to your marketing. Make your experiments as statistically valid as possible. By doing bigger experiments, you’ll have a better chance of getting big results.
Ahh, marketing ROI … one of the most notoriously difficult things to measure, but also the key to unlocking career growth. So why not make it your New Year’s resolution next year?
If you’re going to tackle this in the New Year, I’d highly suggest setting up a coffee meeting with your counterpart in Sales within the first two weeks of the year. To justify your department’s impact, you’re going to need to tie your activities to the bottom line — and your Sales team can help you do just that. Meeting early and often in the process will be key to your success.
Regardless of what “next” means for you — changing your title, getting more responsibilities, starting your own thing — you can set out to accomplish it this year. While it may take longer than a year to fully accomplish the career goal, setting up a plan for yourself to make big, life-changing moves isn’t a bad thing. If your goal is really really monstrous, try breaking it into a year-over-year plan, and using the first year plan as the basis for your resolutions.
Which of these resolutions will you make — and actually stick to? What else would you add to the list?