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Why I Haven’t Been Blogging

One of my resolutions for 2018 was to publish a weekly blog post. I started the year off extremely strong, sometimes even posting multiple times a week – or I’d get on a roll of posting on 3 consecutive days – I was really feelin’ it!

But a few things happened, and I decided to pivot & follow my instincts on blogging.

I felt as though my posts were manufactured & becoming forced just for the sake of keeping up with the metrics of my resolution – not in line with metrics of my motivation.

And then it was even more forced when I was trying to align my blog posts, with my Instagram posts, with my YouTube video. And as I’m writing this, the logic seems flawless – but the execution was lacking, it was motivated by the metrics, not the true passion.

Mostly this is my fault & the fault of my perception on it, but the pivot took me to some really interesting places and some new mediums that allowed me to test my limits & push myself out of my comfort zone.

I had already been working on my Podcast that I started on Anchor, so I kept publishing on my channel “Plant Rant”. (Check out my latest episode below or the whole channel here)

As I carried on with the podcast, it too felt like it was lacking something. It definitely wasn’t focused, but that’s how I wanted it – I just wanted to rant – Plant Rant. Sometimes it was about gardening, other times it was about social media, or my thoughts on something that was grinding my gears, or my observations & perspective on stuff. I really enjoyed it, but it was just lacking something!

The fact that it was spontaneous was probably a very limiting factor, but it was important to me so that I could practice my verbal skills, build confidence, and because I believe all the magic happens in spontaneity.

What needed to happen was a merging of all of these ideas & platforms into one – and that’s basically what I did!

And thus the Vlog was born!

Vlogging has been a great collision of everything that I want: spontaneity (because I never plan or try to manufacture content), visual content combined with an audio commentary, providing value through knowledge & experience, and documenting my process of growing my garden and my business.

From Vlogging and posting on YouTube & Facebook, I went to creating content for IGTV. I would still post the IGTV videos to Facebook, but didn’t feel like it was good for YouTube because of the vertical format vs YouTube being optimized for horizontal. I like the concept of IGTV and think that it will really take off with the time & development – especially if they can integrate it into the feed in some way.

Recently, I have been pretty terrible at producing content & keeping on the up & up with stuff! After breaking my foot, I basically went in to hyper-drive trying to prove that I could keep up with everything and that my broken foot wasn’t going to slow me down. I ran on pure adrenaline for the first 3 weeks & doing as much activity as I could handle. After the 3rd week I began driving again and that pushed the limits a little, but was necessary to rehab the foot & begin working the muscles again (I have a manual transmission and the broken foot is my clutch foot).

From that point I realized that I needed to slow down a little bit if I wanted to heal up, and I think that was the whole reason I broke my foot in the first place – to force me to slow down, smell the roses, and enjoy life without constantly trying to do 8 million different things.

I feel like that last sentence completely contradicts the whole point of this article, but when I slowed down the production of my content, I began consuming more content, observing, and realizing what would draw me into videos. Basically observing success & reverse-engineering it to fit with my personality & style.

So now that I have gotten a chance to rest my mind, had time to rethink & refine my content strategy, I’m ready to get back to executing against my master plan to ultimately buy land & begin my farm – stay tuned to the podcast & the vlog, and please! – feel free to reach out with any gardening questions or topics you would like to see covered on the blog/vlog/podcast!

 

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The Importance of Context in Customer Service

In customer service, how you say something is 800 million times more important than what you say. I am so blown away at how personally people take their jobs – or not even that, but how they take inquiries as a personal offense. Check out this response I saw to a customer inquiry in the comments section of a blog:

“Anita, we’ll try to help you—but you have to help yourself. Books have been written about growing tomatoes, and we’ve condensed decades (nay, centuries!) of advice into this website. Here are some pages to explore, note, and return to regularly. As your plant grows, you may need/want to repot it. You might need/want to stake it. You need to give it lots of sunshine and water it regularly. Here is some advice on doing so. Welcome to the garden!”

First off, what a slap-in-the-face statement. She is helping herself! That’s exactly why Anna read your article & commented! In my opinion, this would be a missed opportunity because of how backhanded it is. You begin by belittling the customer & telling them to basically suck it up. Then talk about how much work has been put into the website, the vast amounts of knowledge available, yada, yada, blah, blah, Me, Me, Me. THEN they go on to being helpful by providing links to basic, helpful info. THEN they offer simple, basic, helpful knowledge. THEN it is “Welcome to the garden!”.

This is what a little perspective does.

“Anita, welcome to the garden! Here are some pages to explore, note, and return to regularly. As your plant grows, you may need/want to repot it. You might need/want to stake it. You need to give it lots of sunshine and water it regularly. We hope this helps, but there are other resources as well. Books have been written about growing tomatoes, and we’ve condensed decades (nay, centuries!) of advice into this website. Here is some advice on doing so.”

You can just about read that first response backwards and it makes it a little less severe. But this is the perspective you need in Customer Service! Just look at those 2 words. Customer (not you). Service. Period.

Perhaps this is a little bit of a rant, but brands need to be conscious; they need to realize they’re dealing with people, not just tasks & notifications. We all need to realize that we are not just dealing with customers, clients, leads, patients – we are working with people. 

And maybe I’m being hyper-sensitive on this! I would love to hear your thoughts on this – comment & let me know what you think!