Does what you do for your customers apply to your business?
Say you're in an industry that practices in the marketing area, then you should be able to apply the services that you apply to your clients to marketing for your own businesses. You probably already use several of your own services or methods when marketing your business. But, do you walk through each step of your own process (which you developed for a good reason) when you develop your own marketing materials? Or, do you shortcut or cobble together the process, even though your processes are developed to avoid just that? Or even just throw something together, knowing that, since you're the expert in the area, whatever you create first must be great?
I'm currently working on a big website redesign/ recode/ rewrite. This is a project that's been on my table for months now, and I've been doing it in dribs and drabs. But I put my foot down last week and decided to throw a big "website weeding" party. Now, what that meant to me was that I was going to pull all the old, irrelevant content off the site and then start laying the foundation for a whole new site.
So I sat down and actually got out my own branding and website process forms and documents. I thought about what I was doing before I really got into the look of the site, and realized that it was going to take a lot more than an adjustment to the look and feel of this site to get it to match my current business plans. Took my slightly changed business direction and created a Brand Definition with my own workbook. Then translated that into a site map based off of a combination of the old site and new brand, plus customer questions I've been having the site generate lately.
The new site will be different from the old one – a brighter, spunkier feel, and will break the navigation down in what I hope will be a clearer way. And I couldn't have gotten there without taking my time, thinking through my processes and really taking the process seriously. Once I did that the project because simple. (I knew I made these processes to make designing things easier for my clients – I just had no idea it would work for me too!)
It did turn out that some of my pages were closer to flowers than weeds, and they just needed a little pruning and polish. Others really need to be clipped back and regrown. And there's a lot of new pages that need to be written as well – to fill out the questions and to make the website make more sense to visitors.
So, that's what I've been working on. It's a lot of solid effort, but in the end I'll finally have the fully updated site I've been wanting for years and years It will more accurately represent what I really do for my clients instead of talking about what I thought I might provide – which was what the first draft of the site covered.