As the ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” And habits are what all the most successful people have. You only have to Google the phrase “successful people” to find that the majority of them follow daily habits. These habitual routines often begin in the early hours of the morning when their homes are at their quietist and their minds are at their clearest. As the founding father of the United States, Benjamin Franklin, famously said: “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” And this has been confirmed by study after study with the latest coming from a biologist from Harvard University who said that early risers are more proactive – as a result they are better at making decisions, planning and setting goals.
Here we’ve suggested seven daily habits that you can adopt to help you become the most successful content marketer in your field.
Set goals for the day
Ask yourself a daily question: what do I want my content to achieve? More leads, increased sales or elevated brand awareness? Whatever your answer – the content you set out to create that day should align with your wider business goals. Entrepreneur and author of the four hour work week, Timothy Ferriss, warns about the temptation of setting too many goals. In his Ted Talk he recommended a maximum of two per day to ensure that productivity and accomplishments align together.
Write something down
Setting aside just half an hour a day to write something down will make a difference to your week. It may not be the finished prose of a blog or more than a page of a whitepaper – but it all adds up. Jotting down your thoughts on daily basis has a dual purpose – not only does it clear your mind so you can concentrate on other tasks - it helps you to collate and store your ideas for when you have more time to dedicate to the writing process.
Read the news
Whether it’s a trade journal, a business news site or social media channel like Reddit - you need to check in daily with what’s happening and being said in your world. This will keep you abreast of current trends, help you to understand common problems occurring in your field and will inform your latest piece of content. Reading on a daily basis has the added benefit of making you a better writer too.
Finds out what’s happening inside your business
By logging on to your organisation’s intranet and reading the notices, attending the daily staff meeting or unofficially checking in with friends around the business you’ll be able to understand what the prominent issues of the day are. Perhaps the public facing members of staff have repeatedly received the same complaints from customers or someone from another department has written an interesting report, commissioned a piece of research that has yet to be disseminated… whatever you find out this should help to inform your next piece of content.
Every day you should make it your mission to send a Tweet with a useful piece of information in it or link to content that you’ve either written or read that’s relevant to your field. You should search for #hashtags that are relevant to your area and retweet the Tweets you find interesting. It can be as simple as that. If you’ve just produced a whitepaper or written a blog, pick out the key line, or the most interesting part of it, and Tweet that sentence along with a link to the bigger piece.
Check the analytics
Analytics are the key to understanding your audience and their behaviour. You need to find out who has visited your site, where they came from, how long they stayed, where they went, what they read, whether they bought anything and were they a first time or repeat visitor – all this data can shape and influence the type of content you will create next or where you post your content. You should aim to repeat successful formats.
Listen to your audience
Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter are all great places to find out what is being said about your brand, company or organisation. They all provide you with the ability to search for your brand name, a trending topic or an influential person. You’ll hear what the general public are saying, how they feel towards issues and what they dislike about products, services or policies. The talk boards, the Facebook posts and Tweets give you a valuable insight into the world outside your organisation. You should create some meaningful, relevant and informative content on the back of what you find out about.