I have decided to take next week as a Sabbatical from client work in order to focus on my biggest marketing asset, my website. I realized a few weeks ago that my website was not living up to the awesomeness that I offer my clients. In client based businesses it is so easy to neglect your own marketing and branding in favor of servicing your clients. My tendency is to throw all my weight at whatever project is at the top of my docket. For my clients this means that they get my full attention and we can power through projects to publish websites and ads in record time. However, my own projects are starving for attention.
This idea was inspired by the crew that runs SeanWes. Their staff takes an entire week off of work every 8th week to pursue personal projects and recharge. The purpose of the sabbatical week is not to be lazy or take nearly 7 weeks of vacation a year. The purpose is to put in seven weeks of focused, intense, purpose driven work; to run as hard and fast as you can for seven weeks. In order to work with such intensity you have to have a break in order to keep moving forward and not burn out.
I am not going to be taking my sabbatical week to rest. Instead I will be doing the opposite. I will be using this week to focus on my own business and marketing. I recognize that I need to rest and have plans to take the entire week of Thanksgiving off to rest and indulge in lots of cooking.
My very ambitious goal for next week is to relaunch my website, completely redesigned and with new content. I fully expect this week to be challenging and difficult, but something that is definitely attainable. I anticipate the most difficult part will be writing the copy for the website. I consider myself to be a fairly decent writer, but sometimes find it hard to write for my own business.
In preparation for this week I will clearing my schedule so I can put in a minimum of 8 solid hours of work a day. I will be abstaining from social media and online communities during my work hours in order to be hyper focused. No goal would be complete without a plan, so below I’ve outlined what I will be doing each day to reach that goal.
Day 1 – Wireframe and Design Web Pages, Plan for theme structure, and 30 Minutes – 1 Hour of Content Writing
Day 2 – Review Design work and make any revisions, Set Up Local WordPress Install for Development, Set Up Basic Theme Files and Global Styles
Day 3 – 2-4 hours of Content Writing, Development for home page, blog, and contact page
Day 4 – 2-4 hours of Content Writing, Development for custom post types
Day 5 – Wrap up any remaining development work, QA testing, Port over all blog posts to date, push live site, party.
I’ve been frustrated with all the off the shelf solutions for my WordPress website. None of them seem to work quite the way that I want them too or fight me when I try to change them. I’ve recently done a couple of completely custom websites and have been thrilled with the results. I have much more control over the design work and the ability to set up template pages that match the content of the website. I felt like other themes that I used limited my ability to set up custom sales pages.
I want my website to work, to do work. It needs to sell the high level of service that I offer my clients. I also don’t demonstrate on my website that I work on a strategic level with my clients. I look at your business from every angle to make sure that we are leveraging what makes you unique and making it shine.
You can follow along, here, on my blog where I will be posting what I accomplished at the end of each day. I will be documenting the design process and sharing resources. Each post will include a list of what I completed and any revisions to my plan. If you want to follow my progress and see if it’s really possible to launch a custom website in five days, sign up for my newsletter.