Well, sort of. Here in the Berkshires, we have 60 degrees one day and snow the next. But there’s a potential for spring.
Spring motivates a desire to clean house and freshen things up. As you do this to your physical space, don’t forget to do that to your virtual space, too. What should you do and how?
Visit your websites as though you were a stranger. Read through every page and take notes. Does the content make you want to hire this individual?
If the answer is no on any of the pages, rewrite the content on the site so that, if you were a stranger looking for someone in your field to hire, you would hire. . .you.
Take out passive language, and make it active and engaging.
Update clips, samples, portfolio pieces, rates, and the scope of your services. As our careers grow and change, we want to focus on different services at different times. Update your website to reflect that.
Are there visuals you want to add? Is there information that’s no longer relevant and you can take off? Anything you remove should be saved in a file on your computer or a flash drive, in case you need to refer to it, or put it back on.
Is your contact info updated? If you have a sign-up for any goods, services, or a newsletter, does the link work? It’s time to fix all of those.
Is it time for a website redesign? Is that something you can do yourself, or something you want to hire out? Take time to think about what you want and how you want to communicate it. But spring is a good time to refresh.
Hopefully, as you’ve created new work these past months, you’ve kept samples as hard copies in your clip file, and also saved or created digital copies that you can use on your website, your online portfolio, or Google Drive.
If you haven’t, now is the time to catch up. I keep several hard copies in a file folder in my filing cabinet. I also keep digital files (PDF and .doc, where appropriate) on my hard drive, my flash drive, and my backup drive, so I can use them as needed.
I check my online portfolio to see if I need to add, remove, or rearrange my samples.
At this point in the game, I have a Master CV that is about 30 pages long. It is for me, not something sent out.
From that, I’ve crafted my Freelance Resume, my Theatre Resume, and my Writing Resume, which are relevant to my work. There is some overlap between these resumes, but each is geared toward the type of work in its name.
When I moved last summer, I updated all my resumes. It’s time to take another look and do it again, especially since I’m entering a grant cycle.
What do I need to add? What’s old enough it can fall off? What’s old, be relevant and stays on?
I have a version in .doc format and one in PDF. The PDF is the one I send out.
This is a good time to clean up social media accounts. I’m not a muter; I’m either all in with people’s facets of personality, or all out. I either follow for everything, or unfollow and/or block.
I cleaned up my Twitter feed a few weeks ago, and it was wonderful. I could have actual conversations again, and I promised myself to do this more often.
Clean up feeds/followers/posts. Decide what you want the accounts to achieve. I have a personal Twitter where you take me as I am, or bye. I have a business Twitter that’s more focused on business writing, but not to the exclusion of my integrity.
In spite of knowing better, I have several Facebook pages for the different series I write. I have a LinkedIn account for business only.
My Instagram account is for fun. Not much book promotion; no business. It focuses on cooking, gardens, cats, travel. There have been a lot of creepy accounts showing up lately on that feed, which I’ve steadily blocked, but it’s giving me pause as to whether or not I want to remain on the platform.
Cleaning up my Pinterest pages will be a long process, probably pushed off until summer, because it’s got too many tangents right now, and I’m not using it to its full potential.
Are there any memberships, professional organizations, or other groups in which you participate? Do you need to renew any of them? Drop out of any of them? Recalibrate your relationship with any of them? Put aside a few hours to go through all the paperwork and make those decisions.
If you work in the arts and apply for jobs and/or grants, you need an artist statement. It’s a good idea to revise it at least once a year (or twice a year). As your work evolves, your need to communicate how your vision evolves.
No matter what your profession, a good bio is a must. You submit it with guest blog posts, speaking engagements, conference presentations, etc.
I try to keep three versions up to date: one at 50 words, one at 100 words, and one at 250 words. I often have to tweak the versions to align with a specific usage.
Time Now Saves Time Later
Making the time to do this cleanup now will save you time and aggravation later, as opportunities arise and you have everything you need at your fingertips.
Go forth and clean!