What’s happening at CMA…?

There's so much going on here at CMA that it can be hard to keep up. We thought it would be a great idea to keep you up to date right here on our daily 'micro blog'.

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πŸ’‘Are you preparing for 2020?

Some of you may already be thinking about 2020 and some of you may be thinking “But, it’s only September!” Before you know it you are frantically rushing about in the last two weeks of December making big plans in 2020 whilst trying to wrap up for the year. But it’s not finished yet, now it’s January and you’re bang into the workflow whilst still finishing your yearly plans.

Why do we leave it until December to think about the deep work of our business? Why do we leave it until December to start planning for the next year?

I know, things get in the way, time flies by, then it’s on your doorstep and now you have to take action.

It doesn’t have to be this way and this year you can make that change. How would it feel if you broke off in Christmas knowing that you had sorted your goals for 2020 and all the plans were in place?

This year, we introduced into our schedules, two major development periods in CMA where we have taken three week breaks from our weekly tasks to focus on deep strategy work for CMA.

In September we broke down all of our projects and made provisional plans and dates for them in 2020. We’ve also been looking at where we can improve on projects going forward thanks to your awesome feedback in the surveys this year.

I can’t stress enough how much this has helped us to move projects forward and give them the time and attention they deserve and we’re feeling more prepared than ever. We hope that that you do the same too.

Is it possible for you over the next 2 months to take 2 weeks to focus on your 2020 plans? Or is it possible that you can look at every week from now until December to block out time for 2020 planning?

Is it possible for you in 2020 to introduce 2 – 3 major development periods in your year so that you can focus on business strategy and planning? So that you can really dive deep and look into your progress so far for the year? To see if you are on the path to meeting your goals for the year of if you need to make moves to change things?

That’s our challenge to you this week.

Let’s get 2020 front of mind for the next few months so you can go into 2020 the most prepared you’ve ever been.

New podcast coming…

This past few weeks, Nic and I have been busy planning, writing, and recording our new co-hosted podcast, which will be published on 2nd October on all major platforms.

New artwork, new intros, new topics and a new lease of life.

We’re both excited to launch the show, so look out for it in a few weeks πŸ™‚

DFTBA!

Chris.

Reading recommendations for developing your self-awareness

Over on Chris’s personal blog, you’ll find his top reading recommendations for developing your self-awareness.

“Developing your own self-awareness is perhaps the most crucial element for personal growth. It’s certainly been the most powerful and dramatic shift I’ve had in my life so far.

Think about your self-awareness like a dial on an old FM radio, just like your parents used to own. Over the past few years, I’ve been learning to dial my self-awareness into the right frequency. There’s a still a lot of noise, but there are more moments when I’m tuned into the right frequency and I feel a lot closer to it now that I ever have.”

Read more here >

πŸ”₯ CMA Development Period – Week 2

The pressure has been on this week. We’ve had full-blown deadlines and schedules to adhere to and we’ve made a lot of progress. “It’s been mental” but it’s kept us on track. So what have we been up to:

Monday

It was a workshop planning day. We’ve planned out most of our workshops for 2020 and we’re working on releasing this to you ASAP so you can get some dates in your diary and plan in advance. This was one of the feedback comments we received in the May survey and we’re on it.

There will be a slight change in the free workshops. We’ve changed them from free to donations. This is to help out with the cost of running the workshop and to help with attendance rates. It’s been amazing that we’ve managed to sell out our free workshops this year but we want to improve the attendance rates.

There will be three content marketing workshops, more WCC training, video marketing workshop and reviewing your competitors’ workshop.

The CMA Awards 2020 will be going ahead in July next year with details to be released at Kick Off in January.

We continued planning for Kick Off – this time working out the theme for next year which will feed into the branding, the speakers and the goodies for the event. We have decided on the theme which we can’t wait to reveal to you. You’ll see more of this around November.

Tuesday

Nic did some admin work around the 90DC including adding the new lives system to tracking doc and pulling together a resources page that you can tap into to help with planning for the challenge.

The development period is a good time for us to focus on improving our website. We’ve been through the website with a tooth-comb and collated a list of things we’d like to improve and update for a smoother experience. Our Storybrand project will also be feeding onto the website which we are currently working on (Brilliant exercise btw! Please read the book if you get a chance).

We started pulling together our response to the August CMA survey and decide on what idea’s are best to implement to both help you and us move forward in the membership.

Wednesday

It’s daddy day for Chris. This time Chris and the family went park exploring for the day. Luna is now a fully grown adult!

Nic worked on Podcast writing ready for the podcast recording day. You’ll see the first episode of this batch released on Wednesday 2nd October πŸ™Œ

Nic also continued work on the Storybrand project for CMA and the membership.

Thursday

Thursdays tend to be our admin days.

Chris did a lot of work on the CMA and Kick Off website, getting the small things ticked off the list. he also released new videos on our social channels, got the next Masterclass session in order and wrote the bulk of his next letter which you’ll see in your inboxes soon.

Nic’s been practicing her segment for the next workshop coming up, caught up with membership admin that needed taken care of and finalised sections in the survey response ready for release on Friday.

Friday

We had our team meeting to make sure we are on track in the development period and checking to see if we have missed anything and plan more meetings to make sure all our projects are moving along.

We’ve had a lot of meetings so far for individual projects but it has helped to split them all up into separate meetings so they can get our full focus. It’s helped us put deadlines together, plan future meetings and collate our to-do’s to make sure we’re always working on the project to move it along.

Nic continued work on podcast writing for the first batch, started the work on the next set of interviews on the podcast which will be four CMA award winners. Sneak peek? Awww go on then… we have Roger Edwards, Ahmed Khlaifa, Imogen Allen and Louise Harnby on the podcast which will be released on Wednesday 25th September. They are fabulous. More amazing people sharing their very different experiences with content marketing.

We also continued writing for our first batch podcast recording. There’s a lot of work involved in the process but excited to share them with you.

To end the day, we finalised the survey response and released it to you. Thank you to everyone for taking the time to share your experience with us and we’re super grateful for your feedback and support. You can read the full response here: Our response: Have your say – August 2019.

We’ve been reading Atomic Habits for our current Book Club challenge and one of the first things James hits you with, in the book, is “1% improvements everywhere”. It feels like it’s been that kind of week. Moving everything an inch forward. Progress.

πŸ’₯ CMA Development Period – Week 1

We’ve started our second and final development period off with a bang.

If you’re not sure what the development period is, Chris and I take a break away from our weekly commitments to focus on deeper development for CMA. It’s a chance for us to accelerate projects forward and focus on strategy.

Right now we’re making a lot of changes and planning for 2020. We did this in December last year and bubbled over into the beginning of January and we wanted to get well ahead this time.

So here’s what’s been happening:

Monday

We had a full video recording day session with Ross aka Radlad.

We used this day to record the Intro to Content Marketing course – which was a success after a couple of failed attempts from us! It’s done now so you’ll see this one released sometime in October.

Chris also recorded a couple of videos for our website. We’re developing the website to be more video focused which we’ve been building out this year. We’re happy with the progress we’ve made on this so far.

Tuesday

Chris and I had a meeting about the 90 Day Challenge and how we will develop it for the upcoming challenge and going into 2020. We’re grateful for everyone’s feedback in the CMA Survey which helped us shape the new changes. We got to work on this straight away implementing the new changes in the 90DC documents ready for release on Friday.

We also had a meeting to discuss Kick Off which is coming up in January (Book your place here).
We discussed the theme, idea’s for speakers (you guys) and who we’d like as a Keynote this year – not striking off the big names! We’ve still much planning to do for the event and we’ll be working on it every week up until the event day. Keep an eye out for announcements starting in November.

Wednesday

It’s Daddy day for Chris. He spent time with Luna and Spencer and took them to visit the Museum of Transport in Dundee.Beep beep!

Nic spent time on Podcast writing for the new changes coming up and more prep for the 90DC, getting the final bits in place.

Thursday

Chris started off the morning interviewing the lovelies that are Imogen and Louise for the CMA Podcast Show – sharing their journies with content marketing and their recent CMA Award win! You’ll get to listen to their interviews at the end of September πŸ™‚

We had our final 90 Day Challenge call of the current challenge. Great to discuss with you and reflect on the challenge. We were blown away by your reflection documents and seeing the journey you have been on in the challenge. Your results are incredible and you’ve truly worked for it. Well done!

Chris and I spent some time on sales and marketing planning for the WCC online training. We’re excited to see how this develops and hope you can join us in the future. There have been big changes including making the course super practical.

Chris also spent a bit of time making some changes to the CMA website and adding in new details.

Friday

We kicked off the morning with the Live Training for the next 90 Day Challenge starting Monday 23rd September. In this training, we discussed getting prepared for the challenge and announced the new changes taking place. You can catch up with the training here.

Nic’s been preparing a marketing strategy ready for the re-release of the podcast and Chris working on the consultancy projects for CMA.

Chris also announced a Twitter challenge in Slack where you’ll post a tweet every day for the next 14 days where you’ll share your experiences, opinions, and wisdom to help your audience. If this sounds like something you’d like to get involved in, check out the deets here.

In the style of Gordon Ramsay – Week 1 – Done!

What’s going on with the CMA Podcast Show?

You might have heard us talk about reviewing the podcast over the last couple of weeks on the weekly call.

Chris and I are reviewing the podcast at the moment and it’s going to be getting a bit of a revamp which we’re proper excited about.

We’ve got a bit of work to do though.

So what’s happening?

πŸ‘‰ Chris has asked me to join him on the show, so you’ll soon be hearing both of us on there. Super cool opportunity! πŸ’™

πŸ‘‰ We have a bit of work to do on changing up our artwork and the itty bitty details of the podcast.

πŸ‘‰ We have some planning to do. It’s important that we get ahead of ourselves and be proactive so we create the best content for you guys and turn up every week.

πŸ‘‰ We’re changing up the structure of the episodes a bit to bring in more value to the episodes – we’re looking to bring in a small section where we discuss questions that have been asked in the community. If you’d like a question involved – ask away!

We’ll be back at the beginning of October with the re-vamp and brand new episodes on The CMA Podcast Show. πŸ™

Let your neurons dance πŸ’ƒ

How do you feel when you get stuck in a rut? When you’re trying to solve a problem. When you’re trying to figure out what to write next.

That’s your brain knocking on your skull telling you to walk away. To give yourself some breathing space. It’s saying “Geez, will you leave me alone until I try to figure this thing out!”

It’s time to walk away.

Walking away is part of the creative process. This is called the incubation period.

It’s the next step in the process once you’ve eaten a tonne of information surrounding the problem and now you are trying to figure out what the solution is.

Sometimes the solution can come to you pretty quickly, or sometimes you just get stuck.

What’s the science behind this incubation period?

During the creative process, your neurons are all dancing together. Melding information together from all the information stored in that awesome brain of yours. Knowledge, experiences, what you’ve heard, what you’ve seen, what you’ve listened too. They are bringing this together to come up with ideas, with solutions.

Sometimes your brain just needs a little more time to figure things out. So by walking away from the problem for a bit, your subconscious is doing the work around this problem in the background.

Then one day, AHA! that’s it. That’s what I need to do.

Studies have shown that people who take some time away from a problem come back with more solutions, better solutions and more creative solutions to the problem.

There’s nothing to suggest what the ultimate time period for this may be. It can be anywhere from a nights sleep to many months.

The melody for Yesterday by The Beatles came to Paul McCartney in his sleep.

Henri Poincare, a great mathematician, was trying to solve a complex math problem but got stuck. He left it and went travelling for a few months. It was in the middle of this travelling that the solution came to him out the blue.

The next time you start to feel the frustrations of being stuck, not knowing how to move forward. Leave it. Go for a walk, sleep on it, meditate, go away for the weekend, do a jigsaw, paint, get on with other work for a couple of weeks and come back to it.

If you still feel like you are getting nowhere… ask yourself, have I done enough research around this? Have I given my brain enough information to try to figure this thing out? Have I discussed this problem with other people to see what they think? To see what their experiences are?

The next time you feel stuck in the midst of the creative process, give your brain the space it needs to let your neurons dance.

We’ve moved podcast host! Hello Captivate πŸ™Œ

Our good friend Mark Asquith is about to launch his new podcast hosting platform Captivate. Because he’s super cool he let us in a wee bit early and it is sexy AF!

The analytics are amazing, we love the players, the move was smooth and they helped us so much.

I’ve spent some time today moving the podcast over and updating the podcast players on our website so you may notice a change there.

Gav Bell is about to launch his new podcast on Captivate too. Watch out for that one – he’s been interviewing some incredible people.

If you’re interested in checking out Captivate – head here to keep up to date with the details of the launch πŸ™‚