Monday, June 5, 2017

2017 Content Excellence Challenge: The June Prompts

2017 Content Excellence Challenge: June Prompts

There’s something about June … maybe that it’s the sixth month, so you have that reminder that the year is half over. Or maybe it’s the June sunshine (at least in my hemisphere) that makes you want to be ultra productive so you can sneak out for a before-dinner walk.

In any event, I’m feeling rather conquer-the-worldish at the moment, and I hope you are, too. To help with that, here are our community prompts for June.

Each month in 2017, we’re giving you a pair of prompts — one to make you more productive and one to improve your creativity or writing skills.

You can jump in anytime — and let us know about your experiences in the comments!

The June Productivity Prompt

Weekly outreach

Last week I wrote a post about the two ugly problems that plague freelancers, especially when they’re starting out: the lack of clients and the lack of good clients.

One solution to these terrible woes is to put a marketing system into place — a regular, consistent process you follow to find more of what you want.

This could apply to …

  • potential clients
  • potential customers
  • potential blog readers
  • potential podcast listeners

… you get the idea.

Your productivity prompt for this month is to decide on a day of the week and a time. Maybe it’s Thursdays at 10:00 a.m.

Then, every Thursday at 10:00 a.m., do one outreach task. You might use June to experiment with tasks and find one that works for you.

What’s an outreach task? It’s a repeatable process to find and connect with new people who don’t know you yet.

Some possibilities include:

  • Logging in to LinkedIn and connecting with potential customers
  • Setting up or tweaking a low-cost Facebook ad campaign that sends traffic to a strong content asset on your site
  • Cold-calling five good prospects (not a good fit for me, but it is for some — just be sure you do your homework first)
  • Reaching out to a solid web publisher to propose a guest post
  • Participating in an online group in your topic and making yourself useful (not spammy)

The point is to make a weekly habit of reaching out to find your audience, rather than creating content and hoping someone stumbles across it eventually.

I do have an ebook that could be helpful. It’s called Effective Content Promotion, and it’s free when you register for the MyCopyblogger library.

If you’re in our Authority or Certification communities, we’ve also been focusing on outreach (Beth Hayden did an amazing session with us in late May), and we have more workshops scheduled with techniques that will help you actively get out and grow your audience.

Outreach is often one of those tasks that lives outside our comfort zones, so it really helps to figure out precisely what you’re going to do, and then schedule a fixed time to do it at least once a week.

Here are some resources for the whole comfort zone thing:

And a shout-out to Mark Butler, the Budget Nerd, for his recent comments about outreach at a live event that sparked this prompt idea. :)

The June Creativity Prompt

Find your alter ego

We all have areas where we just don’t feel very strong. Like I mentioned above, cold-calling is one of mine. When I’ve needed to do it, I haven’t felt confident or capable — and it showed.

This month’s creativity prompt is to invent an alter ego who’s great at the thing you’re not good at.

You’re going to imagine this person as a character in a novel or a film. Know what they look like, how they talk, what they wear, where they live.

Then, when you’re doing the challenging activity, you’re going to write as that character.

You don’t have to be a fiction writer to pull this off. It’s much easier to do in writing than it is to try face to face or on the phone, although those are also options if you feel ready for Expert Mode.

  • Are you too timid when you discuss your services with a client? Write a pitch using the voice of an ultra confident alter ego.
  • Are you too blunt when you email colleagues? Write an email using the voice of a nurturing, benevolent earth mama.

You don’t have to share what you write — but you may well find that you want to. When it’s time to be tough, or patient, or steely, or suave, it’s handy to have a well-developed alter ego who can handle those states effortlessly.

Let us know how you’re doing with these!

What kinds of outreach have you found valuable? And what will be your day and time to schedule them this month?

What’s your alter ego amazing at?

Let us know in the comments! I’d love to hear more. :)

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