This may sound really basic and simple, but it’s essential for business of all sizes and personal brand owners to get organized. The transition into the New Year makes it a perfect time to clear out business clutter and dive into 2011 prepared and ready to go. In order for you to monetize everything that you have and actually get some traction, your content and your files need to be put into folders. Personally organizing your folders is not only helpful for YOU, but for your entire team!
Here are a few helpful steps that I recommend:
Step 1: Create a “Master Folder” for each subject area of content. For example, say you are an author and you write about pets. Create “Master Folder” for all of the different pets topics you have written about. You could call it something like “Pet Content”.
Step 2: In the master folder, add a variety of sub-folders; Completed Books, Unfinished Books, Articles Over 500 Words, Articles Under 500 words, Audios, Videos, Special Reports, Pictures, Testimonials and Blog Posts.
Step 3: Sign up for a back up service for your computer, such as mozy.com. Make sure it backs up your computer (and all files) once, and continues to do so on a regular basis.
Step 4: Buy a 1TB hard drive and copy all of your files onto it. This is a second way to back up your files.
Step 5: Sign up for dropbox.com and move your content folders (and anything else you deem essential) to the account. You now have four backups of your information; your hard drive, mozy.com, an extra hard drive, and dropbox.
In doing this for 11 years and working with so many speakers and authors, I’ve found that several times a year a few of them would “lose everything” and be frantically trying to track down their content.
So, your content is organized and you have backups of everything in multiple places. Now what? Open an excel spreadsheet (or a spreadsheet on Google Docs, or the program on your Mac) and start a list with a variety of columns; Completed Books, Unfinished Books, Articles Over 500 Words, Articles Under 500 words, Audios, Videos, Special Reports, Pictures, Testimonials and Blog Posts. Under each column, list out the files you put into those folders. This is going to serve as your “Master Content Document”. I recommend using a tool like Google Documents so that it is web based. Web based is important becuase it will be ever changing on a regular basis.
Most of you have one of two things going on:
#1 You have a brand, but your customers are confused as to what you are / what you’re about. Sound familiar? Chances are you know exactly who you are and what you’re about. But, communicating that to the Online world can be an undertaking.
#2 You really don’t have a brand except for your name and have no idea where you’re headed or what direction you want to go in. The Web is a big place and finding out where you fit in can be tough. One powerful question to ask yourself is, who do you want to reach? (Try picking three niche online communities. For example: mothers, women’s health and boomers.)
Having everything organized, backed up and ready to go will only help you leverage your brand. Brands are NOT built in day, but having content organized for 2011 is certainly a good building block for a strong foundation.
Check out my blog soon, I’ll be writing on how to do a brand audit.