First, Deal with the Clutter

I was organizing my closet today as part of my New Year’s Resolution when I realized how much clutter that I deal with in marketing. Especially when you’re just starting out, carving out a place with a company, creating a marketing plan and organizing everything can seem overwhelming.

Perhaps we should take this one small step at a time?

I spoke earlier about the importance of having a photo and image library, so let’s start there.  Here is a one-month set of goals for tidying files into a photo library.

Week One: Create a set of folders for your new library. This is like labeling the shelves for books.  If your images are time sensitive (children that grow up, etc) then you might start something like this:

Photos and Images

> Photos
– 2010
• Children
• Equipment
• Landscape
• Other
– 2011
• Children
• Equipment
• Landscape
• Other
– 2012
• Children
• Equipment
• Landscape
• Other
> Clip Art
(Similar inside folders as Photos)
> Logos
(Similar inside folders as Photos)
> Misc

It will take some time and thought just to get the organization set up a way that makes sense.  Each company will have different types of images and needs, so this is more a sample than exactly what folders you should have. For another place I worked photos were timeless – usually of equipment and staff so my photo folders were broken up into the brands of equipment, then the different types of each brand and then down to the various models in each type.  So If I was looking for an Agilent (brand) Mass Spectrometer (type) 5973 (model) I could easily find the photo I was looking for.

Week Two: Go through half of the photos you can easily find and start putting them in your photo library. Create a ‘trash’ folder to throw what you think are useless photos in.  If you don’t use those photos in 6 months you can go back and delete them confident you didn’t accidentally delete something important.

Week Three: Go through the other half of your photos and organize them into your photos library. You may find you need to add more folders or categories, that’s ok, just remain consistent!

Week Four: Start digging around you computer for those hidden photos you put in weird places and organizing them too. Purchase some DVD-R discs or an external hard drive and back up your new photo library.

Voila! One photo library in one month, ready for new photos as they come in.  I would also recommend doing a variation of this for marketing materials (Organized by year, then type ‘Brochure’, ‘Flyer’, ‘Email’ etc.)

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