What does the new year have in store for you?
2021 turned out to be the year I connected with more people than any other in sixty years!
From a business perspective, I learned a lot. To do business, one connects with people, not CEOs, managers, or entrepreneurs.
Nurture and build trust with fellow human beings. They may come across as complex or straightforward people. People with faults and strengths, making everyday decisions based on the values, ethics, and emotions that drive them. People like you and me!
How do you get them to listen to you?
I realized that it’s not about doing business in the business sense!
Understanding your client’s business takes time. One should take the time. And finding the ideal solutions to their problems takes honesty. The key is not about redesigning the website, structuring SEO, or implementing marketing automation.
The way forward is to help passionate people already in business scale to new heights and inspire others to set up new businesses. Make it easy for your clients to conduct business by assisting them to cut through the marketing jargon and maze of technology.
Provide the highest level of service, so your clients become and remain your best ambassadors.
How do you attain clarity in communications?
You think your lines of products or services are complex, and it will take a couple of pages to list them. A sign that you need to simplify things!
Can you describe the advantages your clients will have when they do business with you? Or the benefits of your product or service in three or four short lines?
After writing that short paragraph, pin the paper up on a wall. Revisit it the next day. And the day after. Let it seep into your subconscious. Refine it. To do that, one needs to dig deep and shorten your message to a single line. Three to four words? Even better!
Then you need to push yourself and figure out how you can do better. I now focus on three things. A) Find the stories for my clients to spread their message. B) Clarify the message to communicate with clarity. C) Help clients by structuring and automating sales and communications channels.
Look for the niche in the business sector you occupy. Dominate that niche.
I have worked in related sectors for more than three decades, including journalism, publishing, advertising, IT, and digital marketing, besides volunteering for two non-profits. The tricky part was choosing one skill and developing it as a viable business. It took the better part of 2021 to narrow the message down. I am still refining my message!
Easier said than done! But if you consistently make that effort to go above and beyond and stay transparent … that itself is a good start. It is not about advertising, social media, tech stacks, or marketing and sales jargon. It may not be a website or a magazine that’s the solution. It’s always about the keys to your client’s problems.
Own your content
Own your content and publish them consistently on your website. Websites and magazines happen to be the ideal vehicles of communication. Provide links to content in social media to bring them to your website.
Solutions to communications problems are what I offer my clients. I help them weave it into stories to communicate it better. Much better. And then, I help them structure their website to find information clearly and efficiently with clear actions to make the sale or establish a connection.
Snapshots from our outdoor activities in 2021.
From a personal perspective, I am maintaining my health. As the year wound down, I heard about more and more people getting sick. As I am writing this, the daily COVID19 cases in Ontario crossed 3,000. The premier is clamping down on indoor and outdoor gatherings to stem the tide of the virus.
My wife and I have been walking, canoeing, kayaking, and hiking. No matter the temperatures outside (the lowest we recorded was minus 19 degrees centigrade). We have been going on weekly hikes since June 2020. Every week save for a couple of misses!
The crowning glory of all hikes was The Crack, a vertical climb, scrambling and slipping over boulders for 30-odd minutes at the end of a two-hour walk. The view from the top, the fall colours, has to be marvelled in person. No photograph can capture mother nature’s splendour.
Meaning in life
In May 2021, we became empty-nesters. When your child moves out to occupy their own space in the world, there is always a feeling of emptiness that will never be filled. Perhaps our outdoor activities have helped stave off some of that vacuum. Netflix and streaming content (British crime stories are our favourites) have helped fill in the evening and weekends.
I celebrated my sixtieth birthday this year. Not sure if 60 is a milestone or a psychological millstone. Age may be a product of the mind, but some of my joints have received the message! I’ve read that the decade from 60 to 70 is the most creative for men. I will strive to maximize its potential.
I wish you all a very healthy and happy holiday season. You do not have to wait for the new year to make or break resolutions.
I wish you all a very prosperous 2022. I will try and help another human being, a stranger perhaps, find their potential. Perhaps you can as well.