Last week, I blogged about what to do before you start, but I also want to share some ways I’m initiating a fresh start this fall season. Here are a couple “to dos” on my list as I continue to strive to grow as a communicator:
Notice I didn’t say “Read Resources”. I used the word “mine”, because I want to dig deep, go below the surface and implement. Too often I have the habit of reading through books, blogs and websites, thinking “Wow! That was great!”, and moving on without any change.
This summer I found out that a friend and I are both reading the same book, Platform by Michael Hyatt. She suggested meeting every two weeks to discuss, make an action item list and stay accountable. It’s been wonderful! Instead of racing through the fantastic content without any implementation, I’m taking a few tangible steps toward growth every week.
Here are the other books on my list right now:
The Catalyst Leader by Brad Lomenick (If God’s given you a message, then you’re a leader! I’ve started the book, and it’s wonderful.)
Resonate by Nancy Duarte
Saying It Well by Chuck Swindoll
Start by Jon Acuff
Have you got any resources you’re ready to mine? I know we’d all love to hear about resources that are helping you learn and grow.
Work on My Website
These days when I’m working with Next Step clients on biosheet and website development, I always beg them NOT to look at mine! There are two dynamics going on here. One, my online presence is sorely in need of updating. Two, the more I teach other people, the more I learn myself. I’m DYING to rewrite lots of my own promotional materials.
I have limited financial resources (and you probably do too), but here are the pieces of my plan to update my personal website:
- Study some well-done websites to see how people with professional help are setting up theirs. I look for creative elements to get my juices going too. I don’t want to copy anything that makes their site unique, but it helps with my own inspiration. For example, Renee Swope has photo albums on her site. I love how she’s included a very personal way to allow people to know her better through pictures. Take a look by clicking here. I’m not going to copy her albums, but I’m thinking and praying about my own way to allow visitors to know me well. I do plan to copy effective website elements that help with social network sharing, enlisting subscribers, graphic techniques, etc.
- Have new photos taken. I’m very blessed to have a super-talented niece with a fancy-schmancy camera, and I’ve decided I’m going to pay her instead of a professional photographer. She has an artistic eye, and I’ve seen pictures she’s taken for family and friends that exceed many of the professionals I’ve seen. Yay for digital cameras!
- Write new content for each page. I’ll have several friends in ministry give me feedback.
- Hire a professional graphic artist. This is where I’ll invest, and I’ve found that it’s an investment that can’t be beaten. Be very, very careful about working with a friend who is doing it “for free”. I won’t say that it never works, but very often you get what you pay for. Paying a professional ensures that you can see a portfolio, get multiple samples to choose from and say honestly what you like and don’t like. Working with a friend can get sticky on many levels, and I’ve seen a few websites developed this way that just didn’t measure up.
- Get feedback and make changes. I’ve got one friend in particular who is in ministry, savvy and brutally honest in the loveliest way. She’s the one I’ll ask for feedback before I launch the new site.
I’ll let you know when I hit “refresh” on my new website by the end of Oct. Maybe we’ll do some kind of fun sharing party there to celebrate!
What are your plans for the fall? Let’s make a list and start together.