In August, I went to TJ Maxx on the prowl for an inspiring 2019 planner. A pink one with rose gold letters and inspirational quotes throughout caught my eye. Of course, I moved on to buy 30 other things I didn’t need.
Oh, but the planner! It was blank and full of undiscovered opportunities. I loved the idea of physically writing down my goals and keeping track of their progress. To be honest, I really liked the idea of being organized — something that’s always out of my reach.
Now, in January, it’s still basically empty.
Life moves at a pace that makes me dizzy — and it moves on with or without my blue-inked goals. But 2019 is just getting started and I still have time check-off items from my content marketing bucket list.
For all those procrastinating creative content marketers who have dreams of a new and improved 2019, here’s what you need on your bucket list:
Unplug your computer
As someone who works remotely, this one is at the top of my personal bucket list. Not simply because I’m told I could use some sun and adult interaction.
What’s really important is the inspiration that comes from the world around us. By unplugging your computer and getting outside, you’ll find new ideas in unexpected places. It could be in the interaction you see between a customer and the barista or how the curved road on your drive reminds you of your customers’ journeys.
Take a stance
Last year was packed full of controversies. This year, according to LinkedIn’s “50 Big Ideas for 2019: What to watch in the year ahead,” there will be plenty of new issues popping up. From a second phase of the Me Too movement to focusing on humanity in the workplace.
Now is the time to take a stance on something close to your heart. You’ll want to find a middle ground between being passionate and overly aggressive. Find research to back up your opinion, offer examples, and make your point. Your readers will appreciate your fearlessness in standing up for what you believe in.
Weed out old but comfortable strategies
Content marketing is evolving and there’s no time like today to let your strategy grow alongside it. Start with small changes.
Go with a different blog post style or shake things up by sharing content on Wednesday rather than Thursday. Once you start discovering how your target audience has changed, it’ll be time to find bigger, more dramatic ways to break out of your shell.
Shake up social
Social media will continue playing a key role in content marketing, but in a whole new way. According to the LinkedIn “Big Ideas” post, people are well aware of their screen addictions. In 2019 they’re backing down on social to rediscover themselves.
Of course, this doesn’t mean social is disappearing. What it does mean, though, is that content marketers must be even more critical of their social strategies. It’s time to perform a full and honest evaluation of our social accounts. There’s no time to waste posting on every social channel possible, just to show you’re there.
Research where your target audience hangs out most and the type of content they want to see on that platform. Be deliberate every step of your way.
Step out of your comfort zone
As a self-proclaimed introverted extrovert, this is a tough one for me. I like spending time with people and making connections — but only when and where and with whom I’m comfortable.
Unfortunately, this isn’t an effective way to form the best strategic partnerships. It’s time to find out what type of connections will benefit companies most. Understand how the relationships will be mutually beneficial and then put all hesitations aside and simply reach out. Really, what’s the worst that can happen?
Invest in your talent
This is one of those, “Oh yeah, I’ll make time for that next month” types of bucket list headlines. But let’s remember, the true point of a bucket list is to live like there’s no tomorrow.
So, take time to invest in yourself. Schedule time specifically into each month for a course or meeting with a mentor to enhance your skills. Whether you feel a writing course would help you break bad habits or a visual media class will give your content the extra pizazz it needs, you deserve the chance to improve your skills.
Perform a random act of kindness
Random acts of kindness are good for every soul — especially the creative ones. It’s all about setting time aside to do something that doesn’t benefit you directly. Get out and put your skills to the volunteer test.
You can use your writing, social media, or even puppy snuggling skills to brighten someone (or something’s) day. Your career and company may not see a monetary benefit, but your spirit and future increased productivity will thank you.