I've recently left Hobbiton, you might say. So I thought, from time to time, I'd share some things I've been learning on this little journey of mine. Come join the ride!
- Constant Feedback is Essential. In a recent episode of The Portfolio Life, Jeff Goins and Pat Flynn discussed the need to "validate an idea before you leap." Deciding to own a franchise of a restaurant no one likes and building it in a county with only 85 residents is not a well-thought-out plan. In order to validate an idea, you have to pitch it: talk to friends, launch a beta release, pepper various strangers with questions. It's possible your idea is good, but seeking ruthless feedback and criticism can make your idea great. I didn't ask for much feedback when I designed this website. The more I learn, the more I realize I need to go talk to more people and seriously overhaul this thing. What's good about this website? What's garbage? Is the word 'curiousitive' cool at all or actually completely stupid (I'm starting to think it's the latter!)?
- Good Storytelling is Good Marketing. Don Miller and the Story Brand team basically take the essential plot of Star Wars (Hero with a problem meets a guide who sends him/her on a quest where failure brings disastrous consequences and success yields amazing results), and teach a businessperson to frame their service or product through this lens, in which the businessperson is the guide and their client is the hero. If I can tell you the story of what I do - the problem of yours that I can solve - in a compelling and understandable way, it's much easier for you to know what I have to offer and whether it truly does solve your problem. When you need photographs, what are they for? How do you choose a photographer? Does this website clearly identify how I can meet those needs?
- I Do My Best Writing In The Morning. I tried to write this post late on Saturday evening after a busy week. After a half hour of fogged frustration I gave up and watched an episode of Agent Carter. On Monday evening, I tried again, scrapping the original manuscript and going with this 'what-I've-learned' format. After choosing two topics and stalling on the third, I thought, ugh, I can't write at night! With a laugh, I realized I discovered my third topic. I am much better at writing in the morning when I am fresh and my mind is full of possibility, rather than exhausted by the events of the day. Therefore, if I am to consistently write quality content, I need to schedule time in the mornings to sit down and just do it. When are you at your highest levels of productivity and creativity?
Keep learning! And I'd love to read your comments below.