I have been trained since I was 15 years old, to love writing. To use writing in a whole host of formats – long essays, Q & A, short paragraphs – you name it, I’ve done it. Exams, papers and assignments have utilised and refined my ability to write. As part of my personal mission to move on from being a Type A person, I’m researching ways to help myself express thoughts, ideas and knowledge, using other formats. One thing that is working for me, is using images as a way to inspire and also, restrict myself – to stop myself having outpourings on here!
So, this post is now multi purpose. It is allowing me to show you a) how great the Pablo tool from Buffer is, b) challenge myself to write more succinctly on three things that I want to write about and c) share how images really are powerful things in your content.
1. Questions, questions, questions…
If you want to work out what your audience wants – ask them. Encourage your community to vote with their feet – to like and share what they like, to message you if they see something that feels off key. No really, it can be that simple. I want to write posts and teach about storytelling and how it works in the social media context. What our audience wants is to know how they can get their voice heard online, and how to measure what’s working. We deliver what our audience wants – that’s what pays our bills. We’ll try to weave the storytelling in there as well, because we know it to be a successful way to get your voice heard in the noise, but we won’t position as that, because that’s not what we’ve been asked to do. And how do we know this? Because we’ve asked people – what do you want from us.
2. Have a plan. And then be ready to change it.
In my head, I sound like Harvey Spectre in Suits, when I’m writing this. Have. A. Plan. But don’t spend too long on it, because the best plans are those that are specific enough to mean that we know what we are working towards and how we’ll measure success, but fluid enough for us to still provide opportunities to evolve within it according to the unexpected things that happen whilst implementing it. This could also be referred to as expecting the unexpected. We’re always expecting the unexpected. It’s scary stuff, but also means we get to fully exploit and be responsive, which is a brilliant thing to be doing, to get the most results for our investment of time and money. On re reading this paragraph, I’ve gone totally from writing about plans, to the benefits of going off plan. The irony.. If I were Abraham Lincoln, I’d maybe spend a couple of hours, or three, sharpening my axe. But not four. What if his axe handle broke? What if the axe got stuck in the tree?
3. Take time to think
I’ve reused Abraham Lincoln here because the other side of this quote to me, is that thinking is a good thing. It’s something that we do all the time. We never stop thinking. It can be annoying and frustrating, but we do it. I encourage the team to spend time reading, researching, challenging established norms, working out what we can flip on its head, seeing what’s working and, what’s been a total non starter, because it’s all good fuel for our thinking. It means that when you are spending your two / three or even four hours sharpening your axe, it’s going to be time that draws upon your previous thinking. By thinking and making time for it, it means that when you need to be quick off the mark, your thinking will be uber trained, and able to react – you’ll not need Berrocca, because you’ll already be on it!