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Starting matters

Starting matters. There’s no barometer, no baseline, no comparison. It’s 1/1, and the scale is tipped. Without the first, there can never be the ninth.

The effect shrinks when you reach 300. 1/725 hits different.

Remember that when you start: The first matters, but it doesn’t matter “the most.”

Take the pressure off and begin!

P.S. You can now find me on Instagram.

crop man getting dollars from wallet

When your product is “FREE,” is it worth it?

Price isn’t simply an amount, it’s a representation. This is how good we are, this is why you should trust us, this is the commitment, this is the value you’ll receive.

Yes, FREE can help solidify a brand and attract customers. Maybe it can make selling easier. But unless you’re using “free” to establish consistent revenue, is it worth it?

When you circumnavigate hassle with a free label, you might sacrifice perception in return.

Free could just be an easy way out.

The miracle question

The miracle question is my favorite kind of question.

These question types can reveal what you really want — what you wish you could do if fear and risk weren’t in the equation.

If I cut you a check for one million dollars, what would you do?

What would change? What is your first decision, your first action, your quickest impulse?

Write it down.

The true obstacle is rarely money or resources or time.

Be honest about your focus and intention.

Now go, set audacious goals, and make something happen.

Is it possible to connect meaningfully online?

Yes. But it takes intention and effort.

The digital world requires a bit more finesse than in-person events. Many of us grew up in front of screens —- televisions, cinemas halls, Ninentedos, and Game Boys. These same screens paved the way for productivity tools, redefining our lives and the ways in which we schedule, communicate, and do business. Now, laptops and cellphones are within easy reach from sunup ‘til sundown.

However, “the way we do things” is once again evolving, and we have the choice to embrace or reject these changes. So whether you’re trying to organize a meeting, host a conference, teach a class, or build a relationship, there are four elements to consider when connecting from afar:

Participation 

Online activities work best when people engage. Think of the lecture hall in which a student hides in the back row. Now recall a class in which the teacher prompted students with questions and lively discussion. Which scenario fosters learning?

Though direct participation may not be required by a host or organizer, you are guaranteed to get more out of the experience by taking responsibility for yourself: Turn on your camera, type in the chat box, follow up with an email, do your own research on the topic at hand.

If you’re participating, look for ways to get active.

If you’re organizing, look for ways to engage others. 

Nothing will work unless you do.

Maya Angelou

Entertainment

If you’re responsible for planning an online seminar or teaching a virtual class, remember: We want to be entertained if we’re watching something. And if we’re watching something, we want to feel. That feeling might be surprise or intrigue, curiosity or delight, disgust or repulsion, but we must feel something to be interested.

A traditional lecture won’t cut it. 

Incorporate images, videos, sounds, and unexpected elements to spark engagement and hold interest. Themes and pop culture references can surprise and delight attendees; end your meeting with a song or insert a relevant story into your presentation.

Collaboration

The greatest gift of online activities: The ability to network and share. 

Exchange opinions, ask for resources, find ways to trade thoughts, and start online conversations with others. While you can stick to more traditional chat forums and send emails, you can also get creative: Write a turn-by-turn story with a friend, watch a movie separately before sharing opinions, create a music playlist together.

Collaboration can become a tremendous pool of inspiration and insight. With a bit of creativity, options are endless.

Some people look for a beautiful place. Others make a place beautiful.

Hazrat Inavat Khan

Expectations

As an organizer, intentionally decide upon the set outcomes of your online happenings. Then make a plan. Choose whether recurring events or one-off structures will best suit your goals. Schedule the meeting in advance, or jolt an eager audience with unannounced events.

Next, consider how you’ll present to participants. The way in which you communicate establishes rapport and sets clear boundaries, establishing a framework for what will take place. Audio-only arrangements create different spaces than those with video elements. Participatory tasks with light structure can be the right amount of encouragement participants need to stay interested.

Thoughtfulness guides the most worthwhile experiences and helps provide foundations for creativity to blossom.

Meaningful content is grounded in intention.

5 tips for better creative briefs

If you want solid results, you have to start working on solid ground. The creative brief provides just that — a foundation for creativity to grow in a meaningful, targeted way. Without an effective creative brief, ideas lack focus.

Creative briefs are the necessary siphons for results. Here’s how to begin:

  1. Think carefully about your intended goals and the audience you hope to reach. Your creative brief is the container for your project.
  2. Consider your brand. Include market elements that are relevant. Brand category, history, and competition are valuable reference points.
  3. Provide details about your intended customers. Demographics, motivations, current trends, and buying history can serve as creative direction.
  4. Imagine creatives reading your brief. What must they know in order to begin working? Are any terms unfamiliar or unclear?
  5. Re-read your brief and check for clarity. Can your writing be distilled into a coherent idea? Ensure your thoughts and motives are easy to understand.

Satisfying creative projects stem from clear and thoughtful explanations. Tell me what you include in your writing @redheadlefthand.