Fact: The 4 AM Report was created after a time when we were all suffering from interrupted sleeps, and we kept asking ourselves what in the HECK is keeping us awake!?
Well, we took that idea, and really ran with it! You might have noticed our 4 AM Report marketing is…what do the kids call it… “on point!” 😂😂😂
Yes, we do like to poke fun at ourselves – in fact, we’re soon releasing a special project all about the power of injecting humour into your marketing (watch this space!!) – but seriously, back when the 4 AM Report was born, we never anticipated the sleepless nights to come.
We certainly didn’t have “Covid-19” on our 2020 bingo card!
What’s been keeping you up lately? 😴 The looming holidays? 🎄🎁🕎 Covid-19 cases rising? 🦠🛑🦠 Year-end approaching? 🗓🗓🗓
😱😬😱 2021? 😱😬😱
✅ Check ✅ check ✅ check. AND ✅ CHECK!
Let’s face it, this year, we’re all just muddling through, learning, adapting, and evolving as we go. Us humans are pretty good at that. 🙏
As business owners, we have to keep our businesses afloat – and our clients’ businesses successful! Yearly planning has to happen – socially distanced, via Zoom call, whatever works best for you.
And while team-building getaways and boozy lunches 🍷🍾🥃 might be over (for now 😭😭😭), that just means taking a slightly different approach to your strategic goal setting.
Seven Steps to Pandemic Planning
In the latest edition of the 4 AM Report, we mapped out seven key steps we’re taking, Covid-style, as we look toward 2021 and beyond.
They might not ALL work for you – so mix-and-match – and let’s all get prepped to kill it come the new year!
Here’s a bit of what we chatted about:
Audit the Heck Outta Yourself
“No surprise, coming from us, do an audit of your content. We know that that’s something you should be doing regularly, looking at the numbers behind the content, how different pieces were received, also what pieces you just loved (in general), see what you can dust off and get ready to repurpose or regroup into different subgroups of material. Have fun and play around with the content you already have. But beyond that, why not look at auditing as the other side of the business, right? So, ask your audience. See how your team feels about the content that you’ve produced, or the marketing things that you’ve done this year. Kind of like a ‘team emotional audit.’ That’s just as important. As you’re moving forward, you don’t just want to audit content, you want to audit how everybody’s feeling, basically, especially right now. Definitely. We’re big on the ‘feels’ around here, while also checking on a business level. And whatever level you’re looking at – what is the impact of the content you’re producing? Is it achieving what you set out to do when it comes to vision and goals? And how is everything you’re doing getting you there? We find auditing quite calming. Really. It helps you see the wins, helps you declutter, too. Do that Marie Kondo thing, ‘Does this piece of content bring me joy? Nope. Let’s get rid of it.’”
“I think we started to talk about this way back, when we did the first of the episodes with our writing team, where we talked about how the biggest part of writing, is reading. You’ve got to read a whole lot of things, fiction, non-fiction, articles, history – you name it – not just the material to do with what you’re writing. That’s how you draw the metaphors. And that’s how you find the stories to tell and the references to add value to your writing, and such like. So, really consuming on that reading level is quite important. Also, converse! We all sort of called ourselves introverts at one point, but since the pandemic, we’ve gotten quite comfortable chatting with people, a lot of people, people who wanted help, people who wanted to do business with us, people who want to…who knows… chat about the market, random strangers on the internet – we’ve really gotten comfortable talking to people. And that’s where the input comes in. Keeping that curiosity alive is the second part of any planning process, and looking for sources of inspiration, which will come from this consumption, right? Our best ideas are always sparked by you know, seeing what other people are doing. Not taking that idea and copying it, just being inspired by it. Using it as a way to trigger a thought, and say, ‘Well, what if we did this with that…?’”
Draft Your Vivid Vision
“The other pillar of what we’re doing is some serious visioning, re-evaluating where things are going. This is inspired by Cameron Herald (of 1-800-Got-Junk fame) when we were listening to Cameron speak, he started by saying, ‘Take that pen and paper, and get offline. Get away from your distractions, close the laptop, grab a pen and paper, they do exist!’ Then think about where you want your company and your teams to be in three years. Don’t think about how to get there, don’t worry about ‘Oh, we’d have to do this, this, and this to get there!!’ Don’t think about dependencies, start by saying exactly what you want your company to be in three years. And then of course, you know, more work goes into it from that. We often get stuck in the ‘Okay, but in order to get there, we’ve really got to think about all these other things, too.’ Kind of practicalities. Instead, think of it as reverse engineering – starting with where you want to be. Often, we block ourselves by saying that’s not possible. Consider the financials. I know that many CEOs and founders don’t love the numbers, because it’s quite a harsh reality. But you really need to look at it to see if frugality is necessary, what are you willing to give up? And what is like an absolute No! How long can you survive? People like to talk about how we’re in a recession. But that’s not factual. We’re not in a recession, the recession will come. Because of all the pandemic stuff, and 60 percent of small businesses closing, and all of that doom and gloom, that’s going to make an impact for the next few years. So, you really have to sit down and think about the viability of your plans? Is it possible? And then you break it down, right? You break it down for yourself and your team. Yeah, yeah, no. We’re going to do our own planning session. We haven’t decided how exactly yet, you know, with COVID cases on the rise and more announcements coming from our government. It could be via zoom, maybe we’ll break it up into a few smaller sessions as opposed to one long day session, we’ll see. But after that, we’re gonna put together something for the team and get the team buy-in, obviously, you need the team buy-in for all of this. Then we’ll gather everybody on the zoom call, present, talk, discuss, get feedback, and BOOM – planning done!”
LOL Of course, it’s not going to be that easy. But we hope that some of our tips and strategies for our own pandemic planning (plandemic?? 🤣) will inspire you to get cracking with your own!
We didn’t share all the steps here, obvs. So, get over to the podcast and have a listen to the entire episode!
You can find us on Apple Podcasts – subscribe to us – you won’t regret it!
Plus, if you’re losing sleep over a particular marketing/business related problem during this Covid-19 economic uncertainty, or if you have a guest idea on the topic, let us know. Drop us a line at C+P Digital.
And as always, sweet dreams…well, hopefully!