Monday, February 02, 2009

Focus for February: Communication Tips

Have you noticed that the light is growing in our days? Mornings are a bit brighter; evenings stay light a little longer. Nice! How can you connect this "growing light" with your business communications and add some refreshed energy to your messaging? Whether you work for yourself or for someone else, here are three quick tips you can try this month:

  • Notice where your energy goes. Are you spending lots of time, effort, money, and attention trying to push out messages that feel boring or dry to you? When you sit down to write something new (or send an e-mail message, or make a phone call), take a slow, luxurious breath and exhale completely, and then ask yourself What do I really want to say here? The thing that comes to you is the true message you want to say--now you can be creative in finding just the right how.

  • Think simple and quick--with potentially big returns. So if you notice that your energy goes flat when you think about writing the monthly newsletter, what can you do to engage your customers and still share your message? Today there are all sorts of possibilities--Facebook, blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more. I'm using all of these right now, and they are fun and effective because they are fast, high-energy, and engaging. With a little thought, you can work them into your overall communications approach. Where can you reach the biggest audience? How can you share what you do? The answer doesn't have to be a big dinosaur of a communications plan. I think those are extinct now, anyway. :)

  • Keep at it. In any kind of communications, consistency is key. Don't expect miraculous instant returns when you send out a hundred Facebook updates to fans of your business. It's likely not going to happen all at once. But look around you--the natural world doesn't work that way either. There's a wonderful process of growth that will happen in your messaging if you stick with it. Keep an open heart; communicate honestly; let people know what you do. Consistency in your messaging doesn't mean you never change course or launch a new product--but it does mean you are always authentically speaking to your customers and clients. You're not just trying to grab what you can from them and let them go--you care about them, you care about your products and services, and you care about sound business practice, and that message comes through loud and clear in every message they receive. That kind of consistency builds relationship and benefits everybody gradually, just like the light returning in the month of February. :)

Have a great month!