Shot in the arm

This is a tough time of year. There are Viruses aplenty and the recent clock change means we don't see our houses in the daylight. Coupled with this, our social calendars are filling up with Christmas meals and carol concerts.

Until now I've spent the best part of the last 9 months working on our new company website which is now live. We're tremendously proud of it and the feedback has been generally excellent. Rewriting an entire FTSE250 website from scratch with a large amount of business input is no mean feat! We've also had the various technical aspects to oversee alongside a relentless new content strategy.

This new site boasts over 100 case studies (all filterable by sector or geography). This means for the first time current and potential clients can easily find what we do in their area. This helps us cross sell too as it now shows off our capabilities in obvious groupings. Our many offices much easier to find, our employee value proposition is showcased in the careers section and our suppliers are given the recognition they deserve.

These large projects definitely take their toll!
But all this intense work means I'm pretty burnt out. Evidenced by a pretty lacklustre attempt at blogging of late. Coming to the end of a massive project like this has meant I now need to readjust to my old way of working. The smaller tasks and projects I've been neglecting need resurrecting.

The whole reason I chose digital marketing as a career was the pace and variety of work. It's been a while since I took the lead in concentrating on one giant task and it's taken its toll. And of course, the website is still nowhere near finished. I have a roadmap of developments that stretches well into 2019. And of course this roadmap is getting even longer now we're getting meaningful data from the site.

The best way I've found to get that impetus to keep going into the winter months is to reflect on the small things I've learned during the project:

Aim for continuous improvement, instead of perfection

When we started out we wanted the best website in our sector. I think we're nearly there too. But along the way various challenges (mainly related to time and budget) have got in the way. We've had to compromise some elements and, to hit our MVP launch, we still had some small parts incomplete. 

The lesson here was to let this go. Users wouldn't notice a few parts missing that were never there before. It's like when you first invite someone to your new house. They are immediately impressed with the overall look. But you know the shower doesn't work and the door frames still need painting.

Like, trust and admire

Finding the perfect agency partner is essential. To make this relationship work you need to be open about the reasons for your methods. We haven't been the easiest client, but we have been honest about our ongoing challenges and expect our agency to be so too. This ongoing dialogue is important in making sure we are always challenging each other to make something of which we're both proud.

Get involved and learn

Being hands on with a project is essential to feeling invested and learning. Whether this be the more technical aspects of the server setup or hand coding an HTML prototype. By continuing like this is makes the project more fulfilling and you can see everything for what it is and how it works. Not only does this help plan future developments but it gives you added ownership.

Criticism means it's working

Every decision on the structure, content and design of the website has been based on evidence. Laying this groundwork early has meant we have had little or no kick-back on the final version. Every stakeholder has been consulted so if challenged we can back up our decisions from previous workshops/discussions.

Knowing that I'm still constantly learning both about the business and the latest tools for a web build are definitely going to help drive me on into 2019. Now bring on the Christmas stollen!
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