Weeknotes, 22nd September

From weeding to wording, my week in review.
Weeknotes

Here’s what I’ve been up to this week:

Weeding

I spent Monday morning weeding, composting, and having a bonfire at a community garden project, as part of my campaign to stave off winter blues. The torrential rain kind of ruined it, but I’m going to try again next week.

A shift to mentoring/coaching/support/advice work

This week I signed up another coaching client and had a call with a potential client about some upcoming work that’s in a coaching vein.

I’ve also been reflecting on a shift in the kind of work that I’m doing. I used to do 100% project work, where I got a brief and did all the work (albeit with a lot of collaboration with clients). But now it’s probably in a 50/50 split between project work and work more on the mentoring/advice/coaching side of things, where I provide support and guidance as clients tackle big projects themselves.

I think it’s partly that I’m talking about and inviting this kind of work more now. But I think it’s also partly about a shift in the nonprofit sector. I’m seeing more interest in doing projects in house, and spending budget on things that build capability, skills and confidence, rather than on farming work out to consultants. (I’d love to hear what other people think about this though.)

A 50/50 split suits me just fine. I want to keep doing project work to keep my skills sharp, but I’m really enjoying the advice/support work too.

Looking at product and membership models

I also spent some time looking at product and membership models for my business.

I’ve been offering paid toolkits for a while, but I feel like I haven’t got the model right and it’s time for some tweaks. Rather than selling single products, I’m thinking of moving to a membership model – potentially with a community element too – all focused on nonprofit content. I have a lot more work to do on this, and it’s going to be a huge investment of time and effort. I’ll be doing some research soon – probably a survey and some calls – and I’d love to hear from you if you think you might be interested.

Supporting a charity with messaging

I had a working session with a client that I’m supporting on their a brand messaging update. They’re doing all the work – my role is just to help them reframe challenges, spot assumptions, and leave behind any institutional baggage.

It was a reminder that charity brand messaging is tough. Trying to nail the essence of who you are, what you do, why you do it, and the impact you have is a challenge – fun and frustrating in equal measure .

More tricky content design work

My legal-adjacent content design project is ongoing. Feedback is starting to come in on the first few pages we’ve written, so we’re starting to get to the middle period where we’ll work out the kinks in the process, understand more about what works and what doesn’t.

More conference stuff

I spoke at the AMA’s digital copywriting day, and spent more time getting ready to record my Button talk next week. This weekend is probably going to be spent practicing until I’m hoarse. I find it so hard to get the right balance between knowing the message I want to deliver well enough to a natural way, and over-preparing to the point that it feels like I’m reading a script.

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