Every Wednesday I have an appointment in my diary that is not negotiable. It is not at a cafe, far from my computer and it has become the fulcrum point of my business weekly scaffold. A simple hour of quiet, a time of reflection and recreation.
My weekly appointment is one with my local gym. Right in the middle of my week, I drop my kids into the crèche and attend an hour-long stretch class. During this time of quiet contemplation, there is only one thing that distracts me. No matter what I do, no matter how much I concentrate and switch off, there is one noise that cuts through the walls, music, the gym full of banging equipment and many walls.
And I am so glad it does.
The sound is that of my little boy Maximus, in the creche. I am so finely in tune with his voice, that I cannot ignore it. No matter how far he is from me, I cannot un-hear him.
Most of my working week, I spend time mentoring and consulting companies in their online footprint. I am a writer, a speaker and a creative coach, that specialises in helping not for profits, community foundations and creative entrepreneurs find their voice. It surprises me so often, how many businesses do not have a sharp clarity in their online voice and struggle to express the simplicity of their point of difference in our social media saturated culture. Social media is fast and cheap, so it is easy to saturate your feed with anything and everything in the pursuit of quick instant gratification. Most times when I sit with a client, they begin to explain what they are needing and eventually we get to this question.
How do I cut through the noise of social media and find my voice?
Define your sound?
If you could explain your business as a genre of sound, what would it be? A sultry jazz lounge, a spritely beach pop or a clean contemporary greatest hit. We need to be able to explain our business voice with such clarity, that no matter what noise surrounds it, that people can draw out and be drawn to your sound. What are you bringing to the market that no one else is? What surrounds the impression of your unique definition? Until you can describe this clearly it will be difficult to engage people in a meaningful and lasting way.
How do you bring reflection and re-creation to your brand?
When was the last time that you took time in your calendar to re-create? Often in business we spend our days responding reactively to the pressing needs of our business. Especially on social media and email, I encourage clients to take time to retreat and re-create in business. Taking time to envision for the future of your business and especially unplug from the saturated noise in our culture, to be quiet and refresh. Every time I take one hour in the quiet of my Wednesday morning, I come back to my computer and am so much more productive. Maybe the brand and sound that sets your business apart is shouting in the background and all it needs is some space to cut through into your present.
Are you curating a creative culture in your workplace?
Social media has forced businesses to take the creative entrepreneur more seriously. We can see how quickly that the online presence of your brand can take a serious dive, when the wrong impression is created by your staff or someone who shouts loudly with criticism on your feed. How do we respond to the ever-growing needs of our social online voice? We need to resource our businesses creatively for the future. Are you creating a culture of creativity in your company? Are you taking time to create room for creativity and innovation? If you are not doing so, you will be falling behind every day in the rapid re-invention of how technology has emancipated the freedom of speech and brand development. Resourcing professional development in the area of creativity and communication is no longer a luxury it is a core part of any contemporary business plan.
Your voice is needing to cut through the noise that plagues our screens daily. If you don’t prioritise its nurture, no one else will. How do you cut through?
Make hearing the clarity of your voice a priority today.
Speaker, Author, Creative Coach and Novice Mum
Amanda Viviers is a writer, speaker, creative coach and novice Mum. She has published three books and can be found in her beach shack, writing her fourth. Her daily blog is a CMA best digital media project award winner. She is a presenter on radio across New Zealand and Australia and is the co-founder of kinwomen; a network created to inspire women to start conversations that matter. Along with her husband, she is co-owner of surf brand, ‘Maximus and Liberty’. They manufacture surfboards, stand up paddle-boards and merchandise to fund youth surfing projects globally. Driven by a passion for social justice, she loves supporting projects for children in developing countries. Teaching children to live creative lives, beyond the circumstances, is something she pursues daily. Wife of Charl and Mum of Maximus and Liberty. She lives a creative life, longing to see people find their voice.