Life is a funny thing! As humans we all want to be successful and happy. Each year goes by (faster than we would like) full of goals, failures and accomplishments. Ultimately it is up to us as individuals to reach for the stars and fulfill our desires.
Below you will find a list of five things that you can do to end this year in a way that will make you happy, successful and ready for the New Year! But remember, it is up to you and no one else to make it happen.
If you are reading this, more than likely you are a Business, SEO, or Social Media minded person; and for that very reason I have focused the items below on you.
1. Life – The number one item that you need to do today to end this year with a bang is to evaluate your life. The reason why this is number one on my list is because if you can’t take care of yourself, then how are you going to take care of your family, job, or business?
Focus some time today on going back through notes, files, and papers, really anything that you can find that has your 2009 resolutions or goals that you set earlier this year. If you can’t find anything or you didn’t put anything together then that is just fine, stay with me though.
Next thing you need to do is review your resolutions or goals. (If you don’t have any, then take a minute to think of some things you wanted to accomplish in 2009.). Take your list and review what you have accomplished this year. Don’t get down on yourself if you didn’t do as well as you would have liked. It is an effective process to evaluate yourself once and a while.
Now what I want you to do is throw that list in the garbage. You don’t want to focus on these items anymore. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have some of the same goals and ambitions that were on this year’s list. However, the list needs to be updated and reevaluated to make sure you are on the correct path to achieving your goals.
It is time now to motivate yourself. If that means writing down more goals, then do that. If it means putting together a vision board, then you can do that. Just inspire yourself to do whatever it takes to be successful.
2. Family – All of us have some kind of family in our lives, and if your family isn’t happy then it is very hard for you to be content with yourself and successful. Spend some time the next couple of weeks to show sincere love to those who matter most!
Notice I used the word sincere above. I find that my mind wonders a lot even when I am with family. Take some real heartfelt time this holiday season to show your appreciation to those in your life that make you who you are.
3. Business – Whether you work a 9 to 5 job or you own your own business, we all want to improve our bottom line (revenue). The problem is that most of us are chasing money when we should be focusing on relationships.
The world has become a recommending society instead of a searching society. Just take the search engines for example; they are changing their search results to focus on recommendations of others. If you are building relationships of trust (or what I call Building Social Equity) then more people will recommend you via their social networks. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, reviews and recommendations play a huge role in Consumer decision making. Check out these stats:
- 62% of shoppers read consumer-written product reviews online.
- 80%+ say their purchase decisions have been directly influenced by reviews.
- 70% of shoppers share product reviews with their friends, family and colleagues.
- 18% of consumers say they look for more product information online or in other locations in addition to looking on the product’s packaging.
So now is the time to make that shift from following the cash to really understanding your target market and giving them what they desire and need. One simple way that you can do this today is to create a survey or poll and send it to all your customers, prospects, friends, family, etc. Ask questions that are focused on the person and what you can do to help them. This will show the individual that you care about them and that you genuinely want to help them. Once the feedback is received, do everything in your power to give the people what they want and desire. You will be surprised at how much people will appreciate your efforts in trying to help them. Your relationship with them will begin to blossom.
4. Search – Most of the people that read this blog are involved in one way or another with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Whether or not you are involved in this community or even interested, I personally believe that any business or entrepreneur can benefit from having an online presence.
Here are some SEO activities that you can do today to end 2009 on the right foot. First, links, content, and relevance are key to having a successful presence on the search engines. This is where you need to focus much of your time and efforts. Build a plan of attack to help you fulfill your objective which should be to rank number one or at least on the first page for your desired keyword/phrase. To help you get on the right path, check out my recent article at SEJ called “The Top Ten Reasons Your SEO Sucks”
The most important thing to remember is to be consistent in your efforts to produce valuable relevant content and then attract related inbound links from the World Wide Web. Loren Baker wrote a great article on Natural Link Building that everyone should check out. There is another amazing Link Building Evaluation guide by David Snyder that I suggest you read it.
5. Social – With the revolution of Social Media, it has become more important than ever to learn and understand the ins and outs of this evolving marketing path. I believe social media is simply another channel that individuals and businesses should use to grow their business. As I mentioned in #3, growing your bottom line these days is all about the relationships, and with social media in play it has never been easier.
Here are a couple of warnings and tips if you choose to use social media as one of your marketing methods:
- Don’t forget to be a part of the conversation.
- Provide value.
- Be authentic.
- Don’t focus on yourself, focus on others.
- Use social media tools and sites that fit your business.
- Consistently spend time building your reputation and brand.
Now, today, this instant, is the time to fulfill your dreams and attain your passions. You can’t do this sitting around hoping it will just easily come to you. Hard work always trumps good luck. As the 2009 year comes to an end, make sure you reevaluate your path, focus on the ones who matter most, build relationships of trust, and provide valuable relevant content by being part of the conversation.
Garrett Pierson is Founder and President of New Generation Consulting, a consulting firm specializing in search engine optimization, social media, website conversion, and success. He is the creator of Building Social Equity 2.0 a “SEO Meets Social Media” training course. Garrett can be followed on Twitter @garrettpierson