I’ve been reading up on the practice of mindfulness, which, by definition from Mindful.org, is “the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” Some of you may stop reading now, thinking that this is a bunch of mumbo jumbo that doesn’t apply to you. But mindfulness is a very important part of mental health. Mindfulness is also a very important part of marketing messaging, and I’m here to tell you why. Before I start, though, if the word mindfulness seems scary or hokey, just consider this a tip in learning how to think about and articulate your message on a daily basis. :)
We’ve reached a day and age where nearly anything goes – every opinion brought to mind is shared (and often re-shared and re-shared) to thousands. So, as a business owner or marketer, before you go deliver words into the universe about your products or services without giving them much thought, it may help to put some simple practices in place to make sure you’re making the most of every word you say to your audience. I’ve listed below a few things I believe keep us from being mindful in our messaging and how we all can do a better job at it.
What Keeps Us From Mindfulness
Here’s the number one thing that keeps us from thinking before we speak – busyness. We get so busy that we forget our priorities. When it comes to marketing content, we don’t think it through, then we feel as though we have to post something, so we develop last-minute content that isn’t thought through and communicates the message poorly.
Mindful.org calls mindfulness a “bicep curl for your brain,” saying, “When we practice mindfulness, we’re practicing the art of creating space for ourselves—space to think, space to breathe, space between ourselves and our reactions.” If you’re creating content for a brand or business, you must leave yourself space. This means no last-minute moments of, “what do I say?” posts to social media, a blog or elsewhere. If you find yourself in this place, my first suggestion would be to not post anything at all.
The second thing that that keeps us from being mindful in our messaging is competition. We try so hard to keep up with what everyone else is doing that we lose sight of what we are doing. This is a very dangerous place, and it’s also a sure fire way to destroy your business. Do you think Michael Jordan stayed focused on his goals by regularly worrying about what other professional athletes were saying about themselves? Umm…no. Now don’t get me wrong, I certainly believe that small dose of competitive awareness is healthy, but I do not believe a spirit of reactiveness to competition will get a business very far.
Using a competitor’s website, social media platforms or other tactics to drive decisions in your business is a fast path down the drain. And if you create content by looking at what others are saying, you’ll stay in a constant state of “keeping up with the Joneses” when you need to be keeping up with your owns-es (see what I did there?).
Lack of Preparation
As we continue to talk about mindfulness, the third and final thing that gets us every time when it comes to marketing messaging is lack of preparation. I write about my favorite tool for planning Instagram posts in a previous blog post here. I may be a bit overkill when it comes to planning, but I recommend at least planning 12-15 pieces of content prior to the month even starting. Yes, I know that may seem crazy to some of you last-minute folks, but when you get in the habit of it, it really will change your life.
Lack of preparation means lack of thinking through and about your business plans for that month. It means you’ll always be in the hamster wheel of doing things off the cuff and halfway. It means you won’t ever feel really 100% confident in what you’re doing as you promote your business.
If I can challenge you with one thing, it would be to start next month with at least 12-15 pieces of content written out and pre-scheduled. If it doesn’t make you a better person, I’ll give you your money back. J And although mindfulness may seem like a contradiction since it’s the concept of being where you are in the moment, I would argue that advanced preparation in some things like social content or blog posts will leave so much more room in your life for mindfulness in other core business areas.
How to Be Mindful as a Business Owner, Marketing Guru or Creative Professional
As marketers, social media managers, content creators and creatives, sometimes grasping to find the right words to say about what we’re promoting or selling happens regardless of how far in advance. We’re often wandering aimlessly trying to figure out how to say what we need to say in a way that people will want to read it. Or, better yet, buy it.
Here are some key ways that you can practice mindfulness, specifically as it relates to your business, on a daily, weekly or monthly basis:
1. Create space and time to think about your ideal customer. Their wants, their needs, what they did the day before, what kind of bed they sleep in, what perfume they wear. I mean really think about them and what troubles them each day.
2. Create space and time to think about what else is going on in your business that might coordinate with other things. This means programs, launches or upcoming events in your business or your area (connect the dots). Even events put on by businesses around you that you may be able to collaborate with them on. Stop and think. There is opportunity everywhere.
3. When you think about something you sell, ask yourself, “what is it about what I’m doing that genuinely makes people’s lives better.” Center your content on this thing, whatever it is. Think about it daily, and the content will flow easily.
If you’re not mindful daily in your business, you’ll likely find yourself three years from now wondering what in the heck you’re doing and why. It’s mindfulness in life that keeps you in charge of what you’re doing in your business, where you want to go, and it leads you to doing great things. Don’t miss opportunities because you were frantic or frazzled. We all can use a little mindfulness in our lives. Share or comment on this post if you agree! :)