I know there’s nothing overly “special” about January 1st.
This isn’t a New Year’s Resolution, rather solutions for my New Year.
Every time December rolls around, I can’t help but look forward to the fresh start that a new year brings. Especially 2019.
2018 was a year of many firsts for me; launching my website, online gallery, online booking system, blog and making the switch to shooting with a Sony Mirrorless Camera System. I think I underestimated the time I needed to set aside to get my website launched and ensure it met my standards as well complete my other day-to-day projects. Learning a new camera system three-quarters through the year, provided challenges of their own.
I have been completely focused on growing my brand over this last quarter of the year. The new year couldn’t be coming at a better time.
But before I dive into some exciting new opportunities and projects, there are 5 things I’m doing to close off the year, and start 2019 with a clean slate.
1 | Reflection
This gives me the perfect time to assess what worked and what didn’t in 2018 to work harder in planning for my overall client experience in 2019 and my overall stress level.
If I’m being honest, I don’t enjoy taking a neutral approach when I look back at my business over the course of a year.
It’s not so bad thinking back on the things that went well, but thinking about the things that didn’t, is pretty nerve racking and stressful at times.
But it’s very necessary in seeing growth and progress.
So in preparation for the year ahead, I took a look back at 2018 and evaluated six areas of my brand:
Are my current services in line with the mission of my business?
How are they performing?
How can I improve them?
Are there any I need to consider getting rid of?
Are there any that I could potentially add?
Which platforms am I’m currently using to market my business (blog, social media, etc.)?
How am I spending my time on each platform? (too much, too little, etc.)
How can I improve on each platform?
Are there any platforms that aren’t beneficial to my progression?
Are there any platforms that I could potentially add?
Which channels am I using for communication?
How can I improve communication with my clients?
What did my schedule look like this past year?
Which tools did I use for time management this past year? How effective were they?
What boundaries do I need to put in place this upcoming year?
What can I do to make more time in my schedule?
What were the main categories I spent money on for my business this past year?
Which expenses can I get rid of? Cut down on or completely?
Which processes were most effective this past year?
Which processes were least effective? How can they be improved?
Which processes need to be created and implemented this upcoming year?
There are many other categories and questions that can be asked, but this was a helpful starting point as I reflected on my 2018 year as a whole.
2 | Plan out my schedule
I may dread the reflection step, but I always love taking a look at the upcoming year and writing down my schedule for events and important dates I do not want to miss coming up.
I find it helpful to look at the entire calendar year when I plan out my schedule, so I can account for each of my services, spend adequate time planning for them, and space them out accordingly.
Here’s a peek at this year’s schedule in advance:
January + February - Trade Shows
March - Start of Race Season
April + May - Free
June - Free
July - PA SpeedWeek
August - Free
September - Month of Money
October - End of the Race Season
November + December - Brand & Website
You’ll notice that I set aside a full month to plan for the end of race season, and two full months to plan for my Brand and Website.
The full month at the end of race season will allow me to set aside time to make sure my online galleries are fully updated and ready to go for clients viewing and over winter viewing purposes.
The two months that I have set aside for Brand & Website will help better direct my attention to focus solely on necessary updates to my own website and brand, that I don’t normally get to make during the fast paced race season. As well as, I’ll be able to focus on client projects that may come into my workflow in the future.
I eventually will create more concrete dates, as racetrack schedules are released in early January, and beginning of February 2019, and plug them into my schedule, accordingly.
This outline will help me have an idea of what the year will look like before 2019 begins.
3 | Map out content
There are always things that happen and can get in the way of posting consistently, as far as blogging.
I am focused on growing my list of helpful and useful resources for 2019 to provide value to other creatives, clients, fans, and friends. I have started coming up with a list of valuable ideas for the start of 2019.
Once my services are planned out, I try to come up with relevant content for the blog, newsletter, and social media that correlates to the blog launches.
I don’t map out every single blog post and email for the entire year. I do like to create a detailed content schedule for the upcoming quarter based on the product or service I’m trying to promote.
For January, you can expect to see posts on organization, productivity, and processes to help you prepare yourself, as a photographer or graphic designer for the New Year.
In February, you can expect some reflection posts, or coverage posts on the Motorsports Industry Trade Shows that are going to be happening in the Central PA region. Those events I’m very excited for!
I would like to stay ahead of the ballgame, and this will help myself stay on track. You can never be too prepared!
4 | Wrap up projects
There is nothing worse than starting the New Year with a bunch of excitement and motivation for new projects… but having to put them on hold because there are still a bunch of items left to do on old projects.
I’m currently finishing up my last 2018 client project, so I can focus all of my attention to the exciting opportunities in store for 2019.
5 | Getting a head start
I normally gain a lot of motivation and excitement as I plan out my schedule and organize my content for the upcoming year.
So as my 2018 to-do’s wind down, I like to capitalize on the excitement and get a head start on my to-do’s for 2019.
I have already started planning for 2019. I cannot wait to see it shape into the year and I want to bring you along for the ride!
What kind of projects and content would you like to see from Killer Mile Motorsports in 2019? Are there any specific posts related to organization, productivity, and processes you’d like to see in 2019? Drop a comment, below!