As part of my new (finally) push to work on an online media presence I’ve been spending a lot of time organizing my thoughts into some sort of plan of action. I've been thinking about how I can translate what I've learned into useful tools for others, and figuring out what sorts of specific help I can offer potential, and existing, clients. The key is to establish an outline that encompasses all of my ideas in one place and yet is flexible so I can adjust it as I go. I’ve been reading a lot of how other people have gone about it, have researched templates that others have sworn by and looked at charts and schedules that others have used for this.
None of it seemed to work quite right for me. Maybe because I'm a designer and don't think in quite as linear a fashion as many, the templates seemed clunky and didn't suit my purpose. Also, as a solopreneur (love that term) and as a designer, my audience is different from many others. I’m selling a service, not a product (although watch out, I hope to come up with some idea of a product I can market eventually, I’d love to be able to share my illustrations). Most of my work is done in InDesign and the templates I was looking at were in Excel which to me is cumbersome and awkward.
So I decided to do it my own way (no surprise) and create my own template of ideas and content and schedule, using my favorite software program. I use ID for everything, even my illustration; it's my go-to, feel-good program. It's easy for me to work with and it works for ME.
In order to be authentic with my content, what I show and say about my business, I realized it truly needs to be about me from the get go. Right down to the way I organize what I'll be presenting, even if nobody else ever sees it.
That age-old adage, "To thine own self be true" trumps everything yet again. Even if it means it takes a little longer to get it all organized, it is absolutely essential that my plan of attack makes it easy for me to use and ultimately to show what my business is all about.
Some Lessons Learned on Creating my own Editorial Template
1) Be true to yourself. Starting with the way your business systems work.
2) Don't hesitate to create your own way of doing something, even if everybody else is doing it a different way.
3) There are multiple ways of doing things, the way you do it might not work for somebody else but as long as it works for you, go with it.
4) Create something that you will be able to use, easily.
Last thought on all this:
Make it fun. If it's a pain, you won't continue with it.
Here's to a sunny day.