Spring. The season of cleaning. Starting fresh. At home we revamp lawns and gardens, clean cupboards and wash windows. It gives clarity and a sense of accomplishment. You just feel more organized and “together.” The same is true at work. With various content channels out there, it’s important to make sure your files and information across all channels are spiffed up and ready for summer.
File away and back up
The best way to start this daunting task is by date. Move your 2014 files into their own folders and away from your new invoices, content and images. Get rid of duplicates and unnecessary files you may not have used. Finally, be sure to backup your system. The backup process is essential, so don’t procrastinate! If you’ve ever experienced a computer malfunction, you know the value of your files and data. Back up your systems regularly and frequently.
Clean up your lists
Over time our lists grow. A contact or resource that seemed intriguing a year ago may no longer be relevant. Some you may not even remember! We rely heavily on source lists, email lists, sponsor lists and the like. Review your contacts and make additional comments about interactions and specialized skills. Have contacts that you haven’t used for more than 2 years? Ask yourself how valuable this contact may potentially be in the next 12 months. If unsure, it may be safe to dispose or at least move to an area where it’s not clogging your hot prospects list.
A reliable source list will show consistency over time. Review these resources annually at minimum. New players emerge often and can disappear just as quickly. Key lists to keep familiar:
- Like-minded or like-valued organizations/companies
- Partners and supporters
- Top influencers on social media
- Trusted news sources
- Industry magazines, blogs, websites
Take inventory of images
Images take up a lot of storage. Image repetition is a faux pas. It’s like wearing the same dress to two dinner dates. If the image has been used on one channel but could be a resource elsewhere (ie: blog versus print) create appropriate file folders so you don’t duplicate the image when it’s not necessary. Organize images by category to help you locate those essential images.
The same holds true for videos. Organize your social media channels by category to find the videos that you may recycle and reuse. Know your inventory and chuck the rest.
Dedicate attention to content calendars
A huge chunk of time is spent planning content calendars. We recommend working 1 month in advance, marking down important dates for the year ahead. It’s just as important to look back on your past calendars. Are you reviving previous posts and blogs? Or are you creating fresh ideas that will capture attention? It’s always possible that new content will link back to older content. Be aware of past posts that allow you to build on an idea rather than reinvent the wheel.
Review your resources
What subscriptions are you currently paying for and have not used (or read) in months? Do you receive electronic feeds? Are you to the point that you just line them up alphabetically in a list, choose ‘select all’ and then ‘delete’? If you are guilty of these actions, it may be time to review your subscriptions and those you follow.
Revamp your website and double-check links
Has it been while since you perused your own site? Google Analytics gives you a ton of information about what your audience likes. Know what works and what gets lost. Maintenance of your website will pay off ten-fold for you and your clients. Spot checking links and viewing your content through a client’s eye will spark new content ideas.
In addition, be sure to take a fine-toothed comb through your site to check all links, content and forms. Is everything working as it should be? Are there any dead links? Do you have old information on your site that should be pulled off? Look through your site through the eyes of your customers to assess what changes should be made for the remainder of the year.
What other tips do you have when it comes to spring cleaning your content files? Share in our comments, below!