As some of you know, this is a revision to a post that I wrote on December 4, 2020. December (and January) are the times of the year when companies and people publish end of year posts. Frankly, I didn’t really feel like writing an end of year post for 2020, so instead I shared my goals for Bredemarket for 2021. And now I’ve revised those goals by adding a new goal, and explained other goals in more detail.
Goal 1: Help my clients to communicate and reach (and understand) their goals. My chief goal, of course, is to help my clients reach THEIR OWN goals. Bredemarket aims to thoughtfully and strategically provide marketing and writing services that align with client needs.
If I may briefly look back at 2020 in a positive light, I have helped clients establish themselves as subject matter experts, I have helped them to attract customers in the best possible way, and I have helped them to win business. I’m not sure how much additional business I’ve won for any of these firms, but hopefully I’m helping them lay the groundwork for securing future opportunities.
Part of my services involves determining WHAT clients actually need. Some of my clients simply ask for a blog post, but there’s often a need to dig deeper. For example, several small businesspeople and I were recently discussing how to use the “five whys” to elicit underlying needs from clients. What is this deliverable (white paper, blog post on 2021, whatever) supposed to accomplish?
I’d like to add a comment about this general “customers first” goal. When I was helping a client communicate his company’s goals for 2021, the client did not want to include this as part of his list of goals. The client preferred to talk about unique goals, and frankly putting the customer first should be a goal of every company. (OK, Sir Richard Branson disagrees with me.)
But there are times when it is wise to state the obvious. Schlitz achieved image differentiation by emphasizing the cleanliness of its brewing process. All brewers were doing this…but only Schlitz was talking about it. (Plug: I heard this story from one of the participants in a Jay Clouse Freelancing School online meetup.)
Goal 2: Pursue multiple income streams. This is really an internal goal for Bredemarket, but it affects my approach.
While I know WHAT I want to do—I’m not going to quit marketing and writing and start selling nutritional supplements—I’m exploring HOW I want to do it. In some cases I’m approaching potential clients directly, while in others I’m using one of several intermediaries to do it.
There are advantages and disadvantages to direct vs. intermediary solicitation, but it’s wise to have multiple options. Some options may perform better at some times, while others perform better at other times. We’ll see what happens.
Goal 3: Pursue multiple communication streams. This is a goal that I explicitly added to the list in January. I’ve been working on it all along, but I believe that I need to dedicate myself to it more.
I’m already communicating on dedicated platforms on the Bredemarket website, on LinkedIn (three separate pages, one of which has over 100 subscribers), and on Facebook.
But I can always do more.
I need to make a renewed commitment to my podcast.
I also have to ask myself whether other communication streams will be valuable to disseminating Bredemarket’s messaging.
- Do I need dedicated Bredemarket pages on Twitter or on Instagram?
- Should I launch a TikTok channel?
- Should I fly a plane over Los Angeles with a Bredemarket banner?
The questions should at least be asked.
Goal 4: Eat my own iguana food. (Dog food is boring.) The original version of this very post originated from this particular goal. I wanted to pitch clients on writing 2021 blog posts for them, so I thought it best if I wrote my own. And as I previously noted, I was able to help a client enunciate his company’s 2021 goals.
Some of my other activities, such as my establishment of LinkedIn Showcase Pages for identity and technology, also satisfy this goal (and originated from another pitch idea).
Goal 5: Have fun. Years ago, when I was working for a large company (it might have been the original pre-Solutions/Mobility Motorola), I told a group of people at work that I was going to “play” with something. Use of the term “play” in relation to work did not sit well with some of the group, who thought I wasn’t taking things seriously. Others in the group knew exactly what I was talking about.
When work is fun, and you can approach it with a sense of play, it not only isn’t work, but you’re more energized about doing it. Obviously not everything can be play, but when there are opportunities to enjoy what I do, I’m going to take advantage of them.
Goal 6: Be prepared to change. This is the point where perceptive readers interject, “But John, the title only mentions FIVE goals! You goofed!”
Consider this sixth goal an added bonus! (And I’m, um, playing with your perceptions…)
Obviously I was prepared to change, since I added a new goal in January 2021 about communication streams. However, this change was relatively minor compared to the changes that many of us went through in 2020. For me, I had to pivot early in 2020 when COVID forced my employer to re-evaluated its business lines, then I pivoted again a month later when I had to start working from home, and then I pivoted three months after that, etc., etc. You’ve probably had to pivot a few times yourself.
So I recognized that these goals as of December 4, 2020 at 11:00 am could change, and they did change on January 8, 2021 at 9:30 am. “But,” as Stuart Smalley would say, “that’s…OK.”
What are YOUR goals for 2021? Oh, and can I help you express them? And what do you want to accomplish by expressing them?