Like many of you I have read Stephen Covey’s book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Number 3 of Covey’s 7 habits is ‘Put First Things First’ where he references the Eisenhower method. As it is President's Day on Monday this got me thinking....
The "Eisenhower Method" stems from a quote attributed to Dwight D. Eisenhower: "I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent."
We are all overwhelmed with too much to do and evaluating tasks like this can be useful. We can evaluate if something is important/unimportant and urgent/not urgent, and simply divide tasks into:
- Important and urgent
- Important and not urgent
- Not important and urgent
- Not important and not urgent
So, what has this got to do with content creation? Well basically like me those of us who are having a go at this social selling/content marketing thing we have to make a choice.
For me content creation fits into a task that is number 2 - important but not urgent. I know content marketing works – I sell software as a service for a living and not only do our posts and newsletters help keep our clients and prospects engaged with us as a team but we have had direct leads from the content we create. However, quite often it is not the most urgent task I have. So I need help - and this is the important bit:
I make a plan and I execute
To ensure I create content and get into the habit of regularly writing posts the following helps:
- By far the most useful thing I did was to make a commitment to my team. I promise one post every two weeks. I decided this. I was not told by anyone else. It is my commitment.
- On the back of my commitment, I get a reminder/congratulation email letting me know if I have achieved my commitment or not. It also tells my boss :)
- Every week we have a newsletter that goes out to clients and key prospects. This acts as a deadline event for me. I know that my post has been factored into the success of this newsletter being created. I don’t want to let everyone down.
- WIth our marketing team we have designed my quarter's content calendar. This helps me with ideas for posts as does listening to my clients on LinkedIn, Twitter and of course face to face.
- I target posts specifically at people I want to influence and then I make sure they see it (I user Passle'sI STATOY tool for this). This is important. I create deliberately and share strategically.
Finally, I have 'decided' that creating posts regularly is important for my job and my 'personal brand'. This is the key. Content marketing is definitely a marathon not a sprint and I believe it helps me every day with my job and those tasks that are important and urgent.
If you remember one thing, and one thing only, about the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People book, here it is: At the start of every week, write a two-by-two matrix on a blank sheet of paper where one side of the matrix says "urgent" and "not urgent" and the other side of the matrix says "important" and "not important." Then, write all the things you want to do that week.