I hope that you are healthy and safe in this challenging world.
As we enter the last half of August, I feel like a school child. I’m pulled between getting the most out of the fading power of summer and getting ready for the new year.
While my husband and I don’t have children, those of you with school-aged children face an array of confusing choices. Often, no one option provides the best for your child and family. In addition, your local school system may not know any more than you.
But you can control your reaction to the situation. In the process, you teach your children how to approach life’s difficult problems, an important life skill. While COVID won’t remain at this level of uncertainty, at some point in life they’ll face difficult decisions with unknown options.
Children are often more aware of what’s happening than parents give them credit for. Trained to pay attention to you since they were babies, they have special radar that lets them know something is wrong.
Actionable Marketing Lesson:
- Ask your employees and customers for their input regarding key decisions. Don’t assume that your management knows what they want.
This year, the end of August feels different. COVID is forcing consumers to adapt to and accept accelerated technological change for health and safety reasons.
Unfortunately, we live in a period of time where we lack the government leadership our country sorely needs to bring us together to build a better world for the greater good. Even worse, our language and ability to communicate and distribute information has become divisive. It reduces our ability to reach agreements.
What we need is a new way forward. A new way to come together to protect the people living in this country no matter how they got here, their race, religion, sexual preference, level of income, education or other factor.
We need a new plan in which we’re all vested.
In January, I visited Chattanooga, TN. It had once been rated one of the dirtiest cities in the US. But slowly the city government took up the challenge and transformed it into one of the cleanest. In addition, they improved the underlying technology making the city attractive to people and new businesses.
If they can do it, so can our entire country.
We can create this vision for our country. Each of us needs to be willing to put aside our old notions of who qualifies to live in the US and deserves to benefit. This country was built by the hard work of immigrants. We need to come together regardless of our past notions to rebuild this country.
We can start by focusing on improving ourselves and helping those in or lives.
During these last weeks of August, reflect on what you learned during COVID, since we may need to continue limiting our activities for a while.
What did you learn during COVID?
I learned not to focus on work so intently. Instead of accomplishing quality work, I wasted time following off-topic rabbit holes under the pretext of working.
But instead of dwelling on COVID setbacks, I took joy from the small activities that I might not have had otherwise. I had the opportunity to explore my empty Manhattan neighborhood like a tourist.
Take a page from Teresa Amabile‘s, The Progress Principle, and focus on your daily “small wins.” These are the small activities where you make progress. While they may not seem like a lot, these small successes contribute significantly to your personal sense of satisfaction.
Even better, you can control them. While you can’t control what happens in the world, you can control your reaction to it.
For example, on one of his Slate podcasts, he interviewed a woman who had lost 155 pounds through surgery. But she didn’t feel better about herself!
In contrast, Brittany, the woman who starred in Brittany Runs a Marathon, put her weight loss into a story that resonated with listeners.
By achieving small wins and telling them in a story you can feel better about how you deal with these challenging days.
Actionable Marketing Insights
- Put information into the context of a success story for your audience. By framing your content in this way, your audience can understand it better and take action. This is why storytelling is at the heart of content marketing.
- Get yourself organized for the rest of the year. Create a space where you can do your best work even if it’s the first thing in the morning or in the middle of the night when children are asleep. There’s a reason Virginia Woolf wrote “A Room Of One’s Own.”
Shout out to new readers: Mireia, Tariq, Droldham, Ana, Paul, Mariama, Salim, Andrea, Abidur, Shivam, Peter, Vaishali, Adrian, Tess, Sowe and Kiel.
Thank you and welcome to the Actionable Marketing Community!
P.S.: Want Heidi Cohen to contribute a quote or other commentary to your next article, presentation, video, research and/or book?
Then hit reply to this email and ask.
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FEATURED ARTICLE: Summer Reading
Most people think summer reading equals light reads.
Look around you and you’ll see beach disposable mysteries, love and escapist stories on many blankets (or smartphones!)
Like vacations, this type of book feels necessary to get out of your current reality and clear your mind.
FEATURED ARTICLE: Storytelling and Content Marketing
Then tell your stories better.
AND, continue to transform them into other formats to expand your audience.
Did you know that Hamilton, the play, can show you how to do this?
FEATURED ARTICLE: Influencer Marketing
How do you define influencers and how do they related to:
- Your prospect’s buying process
- Your marketing
This article provides some of the theory behind the power of influencers. Including Malcolm Gladwell, Jonah Berger, Kevin Kelly and Li Jin (Andrressen Horowitz).
As well as 10 steps to guide you to create an influencer program.
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