Start next year right now.

2020 has been bonkers. Start next year right now.

We know. This year has been absolutely crazy, and you are done with it. All you want to do now is hide behind various screens all day and hope for it all to be over. 

But there’s still a couple of months to go this year. And things may not return to normal for a few more months. That’s a long time to do nothing.

Especially when you could do something.

After all, with a world out of control, wouldn’t it be nice to accomplish something positive? Wouldn’t it feel good to take at least one tangible step toward one of your goals?

There’s no reason to wait for next year. Not when you can start next year right now.

Start next year’s big project early.

If you know you have a big project starting soon, what the heck are you waiting for? 

  • Revamp your marketing strategy into a marketing flow. You just can’t wing it these days. Make sure you have a realistic strategy and a plan for producing and posting useful content on your website, digital marketing, and social media – and a plan for making the best use of that content across all member communications.
  • Update that website into something you can actually use. Whether you want to blow-it-up-and-start-over or just make it easier to update, the important thing is to make sure that your website functions in today’s digital world. Start with a wishlist to build your RFP, before you get locked in with a vendor that can’t give you what you want.
  • Compare your brand to your reality. Dive into the data of your current members and your potential members. Does your brand still connect to potential new members in your market, or is it simply a remnant of your history? How can you give it new life?
  • Find those brand/behavior mismatches – Pull up your NCUA FPR and Call Report. Do your CU’s numbers match your brand? Are you truly helping those that need help, or are you just paying lip service to that ideal? What do you need to work on to make your true brand shine through? How do you present that information to those making the decisions?

Starting smaller is still starting.

  • Get to know your members a little better. Whether it’s an online focus group, a survey, or spending some time in the branches, what can you do to find out more about your members? What are they thinking about? What are they worried about?
  • Start building visual content for your website. Credit union services are a little abstract, so good visual or video content is tough. Challenge yourself to use more high-quality visual and video content on your website, in social media, and in your digital marketing.
  • Get Googly. Do a deep dive into your website’s Analytics. But be careful – Google doesn’t quite get credit unions. What are the behaviors and patterns you see? Is your content attracting Search traffic? Does it look like members are getting what they need? Does your website help you stand out from your competition?
  • Nurture your network. Pay attention to your professional relationships. Check in, catch up, get to know each other a little better. Talk about where you’ve been and where you want to go. Share resources and contacts, bounce a few ideas off each other. The more connected you are, the more effective everyone becomes.
  • Get local. Whether you are community or SEG-based, your members are connected in many ways. Celebrate the events that add to life. Support the causes that mean so much. Share their joys. Lend a hand when they need it. 

Just get started.

Pick your most important project and get it rolling ASAP and PDQ. If you need help with anything, don’t hesitate to ask. (I can’t speak for all agencies, but we’re always happy to be flexible with schedules and invoicing.)

This year more than most, the best time to get started is right now!

Kent Dicken

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