All, Community, Content Creation, Content Tips, Cultural heritage

New Year, New Directions: CBA Content in 2020

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A new year means unmarked pages waiting to be filled with exploring, learning, growing and creating. It also represents a fresh and refocused start – a time to reflect, set goals and channel positive energy into the next phase of the business.

At the end of 2019, we kickstarted our reflections and ran a series of our ‘5 Favourite Things’ across our social media channels to explore the best bits of 2019, and some things to get excited for in 2020.

Now as the holiday season wraps up, we are ready to pinpoint and share our biggest goals and brightest visions for the next twelve months.

Join us as we begin the best year yet! 

1. Develop our niche

Uncovering the stories we are passionate to tell is essential to the next stage of CBA Content. This year, we’ll be focusing solely on the UK’s arts and cultural heritage sectors!

Leonardo da Vinci exhibit
Admiring Leonardo da Vinci’s work at the Queen’s Gallery.

We believe in the power of art and cultural heritage to preserve the history of a place and enrich the future of a people, so by honing our niche and writing about what we’re really excited about, we can help provide resources for people who want to learn about the UK through cultural experiences.

How are we going to do it?

When it comes to art and heritage, there’s nothing like first-hand experience. Being based in London, one of the most prominent cultural and historical hubs in the world, we are incredibly fortunate to have world-class exhibitions, museums and galleries, and lovingly-maintained heritage sites with centuries of history on our doorstep.

By getting out and about, being the eyes and ears of cultural happenings, and connecting and collaborating with London’s arts and culture writers, we can immerse ourselves in the beating heart of this city’s cultural scene.

2. Have more meaningful conversations

Since launch, CBA Content’s client base has primarily been built by word of mouth and personal introductions, which has resulted in some truly amazing partnerships and creative content.

This year, however, our goal is to initiate more conversations in the arts and cultural heritage space, with everyone from historians and culture vultures to content marketers and creative producers; that way we can better understand their problems and help them come up with valuable, one-of-a-kind solutions.

By opening up these conversations, we’ll be able to learn about what really makes our dream clients tick: What are their aspirations and goals? What do they fear, and what are they most excited about?

Asking these important, humanising questions will give us a richer picture of the world they inhabit, so we can get to the heart of the challenges in the arts and cultural heritage sectors and offer the best services to tackle them.

Which brings us to another cornerstone of our business…

3. Pitch, write, pitch, write!

At the start of 2019, our director and content producer, Celeste, wrote that she aimed to pitch “more articles to more publications in the hopes of getting rejected more (yes, rejected!) and published more. The fear of being rejected is what usually held me back from not pitching articles in the past, but those days are over.”

We’re hanging onto this attitude in 2020, doubling creative ideas and getting our name out there. (Without giving too much away, our earnest pitching and engagement with publications we really care about is already starting to pay off…)

Blickling Hall in Norfolk
Take a seat, you’re in for an exciting adventure this year!

This year, get ready for more informative and intriguing blogs, eye-catching social posts, creative collaborations and content experiments with video and live streaming. 

Currently, Celeste is working on an illuminating article for her alma mater on the London Arts Experience – a guided tour of museums, galleries, theatres and private collections organised for alumni in December.

Over the coming months, we plan to bring fresh ideas to publications such as KCW Today, Time Out and The Guardian, connecting with strong leaders in the arts and culture world on both a local and national level.

4. Launch a new website for our new direction

CBA Content has undoubtedly transformed since we launched the site which means our corner of the internet is in need of a revamp. This year we’ll be refreshing the look and feel of the site from blog to portfolio and putting together a new menu of content offerings.

While we’ll be providing largely the same services – marketing strategy, content creation and social media guidance – we’ll be changing the way these services are packaged. Our new packages will be tailored to overcome the challenges organisations face in the arts and cultural heritage industry.

A nifty brochure of our services is coming soon – sign up to our newsletter so you don’t miss the launch!

5. Look beyond the horizon

The journey is just as important as the end goal in our view. After all, if you don’t enjoy the path to your ambitions, is it really worth it?

That’s not to say everything we do is fun and games (invoicing and backend coding – no thanks), but when you are solely responsible for the direction and success of your business, it’s essential to do something you love. 

Celeste in front of the London Eye
Looking ahead to the new year.

That’s why we are concentrating on things we are extremely passionate about, and helping people who are just as interested in arts, culture and history as we are to tell their stories.

So here’s to 2020 – a year of exploration, meaningful conversations, learning and writing about the art and culture that expands our horizons, and the history and heritage of where it all began.

All, Content Creation, Content Tips, Marketing, Writing & Editing

The Crystal Ball of CBA Content: 5 Bright Visions

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It’s only natural, or supernatural rather, to look at the year ahead each January.

In the past, I kept my goals largely to myself, but now that I’m fully responsible for the direction and success of my work life, I’ve decided to spend some time reflecting on the past year and set goals for this one.

So let’s gather around the crystal ball of CBA Content and look into the future. With a little imagination, you will see five visions have already appeared!

So, what are they and what do they mean?

Here are five bright plans for CBA Content this year:

1. Pitch more articles

Writing is at the core of CBA Content. Whether it’s in the form of proposals, brainstorming sessions, compelling headlines or marketing materials, writing is how I communicate, create and bring ideas to life.

While writing will remain the foundation of my business, I plan to use it more as a research, reporting and journalistic outlet. That means pitching more articles to more publications in the hopes of getting rejected more (yes, rejected!) and published more.

The fear of being rejected is what usually held me back from not pitching articles in the past, but those days are over. My “Pitch Log” gained its first entry of 2019 yesterday and will soon see its second.

*scribbles down “New story idea” on to do list*

2. Be patient

Failure and success — landing that byline or new client project — require patience.

The first part of the equation, not hearing back or being turned down, is all too familiar to the seasoned freelancer. But for me, someone who is still learning the ins and outs of this independent work life, understanding that the next collaboration will take time to secure and get off the ground will be key in 2019.

In the early days of CBA Content, I was quick to say yes to anything. Even after a client project was in motion, I’d accept new responsibilities and take on more without batting an eye because that comes with the territory, right? Be flexible, balance your time, be the solution even if you don’t have one yet.

Yes, those are important, but so too is patience. This year, I will remember that you don’t have to jump on every single opportunity. Instead, I will practice putting myself out there more, worrying less about silent prospects and dedicating more time to building quality partnerships.

Which leads me to my next goal…

3. Focus on quality over quantity

The most obvious way to grow a freelance business is to take on as many clients and new projects as possible. Jump from one marketing campaign to a social media update to a blog post, whether for the same brand or not.

Because the reasoning goes, the more work you do, the more money you’ll make. But, there is another way.

Instead of piling on each request that comes your way, take a moment (read: be patient) and list out the pros and cons of the project. Ask yourself: How will it benefit you in the long run? Can you leverage this type of work to win new business or grow your existing partnership? Do you have the bandwidth to take it on? etc.

It’s easy to be distracted by the numbers game, thinking because you have more to do, the more successful you are; however, this year I will be more discerning about the types of projects I take on. Having one quality client partnership with a clear path forward is better than having three short-lived ones.

4. Embrace my creativity

This vision is based on another astrologer’s predictions which means it’s doubly important (stay with me!).

Time Out London, one of my weekly tube reads, published a 2019 cultural horoscope this week and I love the way CBA Content’s stars (aka mine) have aligned: “Expect new-found courage and creative energy over the next 12 months, Leo.”

So besides visiting the National Gallery and V&A more often, I plan to use these artistic adventures as opportunities to think in new ways, connect the dots and grow my work.

I’ve got my notebook in hand. Now, time to follow the stars, explore and absorb.

5. Celebrate!

After all, how are you supposed to achieve your goals without celebrating along the way?

The kind of celebration I’m talking about is showcasing my work and sharing it with all of you more often. Whether that’s through my website or on social media, this is something I really want to get better at.

In the short term, that means creating a portfolio of the marketing projects I have worked on so far. It also means keeping my list of published work up to date.

In terms of the big picture, I want to celebrate the fortunate opportunity I’ve had to start CBA Content and pursue my passion for helping others tell their stories, all in a city that I love — London.

Now that’s something worth celebrating. Cheers to 2019!