It’s the start of 2018, and we’ve been reading loads of ideas, quotes, suggestions on how to make it YOUR year, right? I am guilty of that too, so don’t you worry, it’s just the way it is.

It’s really inspiring to get down to planning (I love planning), however, you won’t see me going crazy over a 5-year plan anymore.

I believe in big goals, incremental upgrade and consistent tracking (what gets measured will increase pretty much seamlessly). Enough of my motivational speeches, let’s dive in 3 practical steps to prepare you for this year!

Ok, I swear I am done now.

Milestone Planning

Where would you like to take your brand in 2018? According to your stats, what were the most successful blog posts in 2017? What are the emails with the highest click rate? If you haven’t answered these questions, you totally should.

Grab an ol’ piece of paper and jot down the most important dates in your calendar (read a new e-book, your first live event, an e-course you are launching). It’s really important to have these dates handy, in order to work your marketing strategy, guest posts and features accordingly.

So, if you haven’t already, answer the aforementioned questions in order to prepare you for 2018.

Cleaning up Social Media

Blogging and social media are king and queen. They’re the perfect combination of beans and toast (love this one) if used properly.

In order to prepare your brand for 2018, comb through your social media accounts. Be merciless (and I mean that). Use your analytics to determine which accounts are most productive to your brand then downside.

Let’s take Facebook for example: being part of many online masterminds and participate in engagement threads can be the reason behind this. If you’re like me, consider the groups that are most beneficial and productive and eliminate the others (I remember one time, 2014, I was engaging in about 30 groups). One of the biggest barriers to success is distractions.

I also tended to neglect Pinterest – quite a lot – it has been a game changer in the past two weeks thanks to my own course and another workshop I am working. If Pinterest is a heavy hitter for you, take a look at the popular pins to see what your readers like. Have a good spring clean through your boards and delete pins that no longer represent your brand and interests. Established clear, concise boards for pinning.

Please update your blog and bios!

Your branding, Instagram or blog are representations of you. When people come to you, they don’t want to use Google Maps to find the information that they’re looking for. They are coming to get the information and/or services that you provide. Make this easy for them, please.

When was the last time that you’ve updated your design? Is your bio up to date on social? When’s the last time you updated your links?

When it comes to your blog, you are most likely to have on average 10 broken links lying around, I recommend using tools like W3C Checker to spot them. I tend to revamp my website once a month, to be sure all the dates are correct and my bio is not dated 2014.

Bonus tip: what’s your word?

Think about the year ahead and ask yourself what one word would best represent your dreams and direction for 2018. This is a powerful practice because no matter how busy or scattered we may get at various points in our 365-day journey, we’ll always have our word to hold onto and guide us through.

This month we are sharing with you our SMART goal workshop alongside your word of the year.

Here are some examples of words to consider (you can also think of them as themes for the year): Freedom, Love, Thrive, Value, Elevate, Fierce, Flow. You’ll find that more and more, your thoughts, decisions, and actions in the new year will flow in harmony with your word.

What about you? What’s the one thing you are doing to prepare for 2018?