With the end of Q2, we wrapped up work for some of our clients whose grant funding had dried up and others who were implementing some new marketing strategies. Whenever a client rolls off our caseload, we hold a debriefing meeting. During this meeting we make sure offboarding tasks are assigned to the correct team members. We also take the time to talk about the “gems and opportunities”, or perhaps, what some of us might call “The good, the bad, and the ugly” of the project. This is a time to look inward as a company and as an employee so we can take what we have learned and apply it to future projects.
On a personal note, I have to admit I am someone that can sit in my feelings; I lean into perfectionist traits and have a tendency to overanalyze. (This can be a good thing when attention to detail is needed, but once in a while, I can fall into a rabbit hole over something that really wasn’t that complicated).
This time around as I began my own reflection, a question came to mind.
“Is this your best work?”
This can feel like an intimidating question. The more I reflecteded I realized that it:
1. It should not feel daunting.
2. This question can be asked many times, not only when a project is done, but at the beginning of a project as you start to create, and then during the duration of a project.
3. I don’t want this to turn into a “What did I do wrong” or imposter syndrome situation for anyone, including myself.
Here are a few things I am trying to develop as a process for when I ask myself this question:
1. Get your ego/feelings out of it.
As someone who is experienced in content creation, it’s hard to not let my personal opinions cloud what has occured in good AND growing situations. What I think is best, may not be what the client wants to pursue. I am not saying feelings don’t matter-but look at the work objectively.
Questions to ask:
Did you give the client what they asked for?
Did you create something that is in line with your company’s philosophies? What about the client’s philosophies?
If these answers are yes, take the sense of accomplishment and move forward. If not, take some time to examine why and create a plan for growth.
2. Give, Get, and Keep the Receipts.
When you have left your ego behind, you can appropriately measure what was wanted and needed.
Do you provide benchmarks or reports?
Each month we provide reports to our social media clients. These show what went well, where we can tweak and how we can do it together by offering tips and tricks. If you choose to use reporting, the next step is to actually reflect on whether or not you are using the reports to inform your current work for the client, if yes-great job. If no, how can you make sure you are doing that in the future? You can influence your clients by offering your suggestions. But remember that you are only in control of what you are creating or managing for them.
Reporting and vanity numbers are not the only time you should connect with your client.
Have an open dialogue with them. Does your company have a feedback system? We schedule monthly check-ins with our clients but also send over surveys to make sure that we are all staying on track with what the goal of working together was. Plus, with regular touch points you have the opportunity to shift your work as goals change.
3. Move Forward with Curiosity
I ask A LOT of questions of myself and others but that doesn’t always mean I’m being curious, I may just want an answer. Being curious isn’t a checklist. Moving forward with curiosity means that you’re willing to keep learning constantly and change accordingly.
If something is working, take note and keep going. But don’t let mental resistance derail you from moving forward. Be willing to try something new if your current approach isn’t working; research new trends in your field; get yourself refreshed and remotivated. Whenever I need a curiosity reset, I love going back to our blog on what fills our team’s creative cups.
In future blog posts, I will share how I stay curious while working in social media day-in and day-out. But for now I would love to hear from you. What constitutes your “best work” ? How do you get there? How do you stay there?
By Ryann Marlar
Senior Content Creator, Stratos Creative Marketing