Rather than write a post talking predictions about the new year, or a round up of best posts for 2011, I thought I’d share some bits of advice on the things I think businesses and solo-preneurs need to start doing today to step up their game. It’s a short list, but an important one. And if you execute it well enough, you’ll build a better brand and a bigger business.
…caring about your customer(s). Remember the saying “people may not remember exactly what you did or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” Showing that you care turns bad customer experiences into good experiences and breeds a tremendous amount of loyalty and word-of-mouth. Sure, this sounds obvious. But you’d be surprised at the level of bad customer service in businesses everywhere. Don’t be one of those businesses.
…working on the things that matter. Ask yourself, “is this helping me move closer to my goals?” If the answer is no, drop it and move on to the next thing. Period.
…understanding the underlying motivations behind why you’re doing what you’re doing. Starting a blog or a Twitter account just because “everyone else is doing it” is not a good reason. What do you hope to accomplish with either one? What does that blog post you’re writing aim to accomplish? What does that Tweet seek to accomplish? Why are you doing what you’re doing? What’s the point? What’s your goal? What’s your expected outcome? If you can’t answer any of those questions, you’re wasting your time.
…keeping your promises. Good business, and good relationships are kept by setting expectations (making promises) and them meeting or exceeding those expectations. Do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it. Like Seth Godin said, “we’re judging you by what we expect from you in the future.” (Read Seth’s article and it’ll make more sense).
…creating more. Curating content is great. It’s a good way to add balance to your marketing messages. Finding good content that’s relevant and interesting to your network is a good way to stand out and establish credibility. It shows that you’re “in the know” and it says that you’re a constant source of great information. BUT… Focus on creating more and curating less. No better way to establish yourself as an expert than to write your own content, sharing your own knowledge and expertise instead of someone else’s.
…doing more. The quickest way to do something is to just do it. Talk less, do more. Stop thinking about doing, that gets you know where. Instead, simply do. (Related reading: Do Epic Sh*t).
…charging more. Or put another way, start valuing your worth. Charge too little, and people won’t buy because they don’t see the value in your work. Charge too much and you price yourself out of the market. Charge a price that you think is fair and that will make you profitable. Don’t be afraid to charge your worth, stand your ground, and earn a profit.
What else would you add?