No days off! Snow Days Are for Kids.

5 ways to strengthen your brand during snow days

By Kia Jarmon of MEPR Agency for 12th & Broad

So my Monday went like this. Daycare is closed. Streets are pure slush. Car doors are frozen shut. Snow covers at least a ½ inch of ice. Gush of wind blows me back inside the house. But this means nothing more than my foot rocking the swing chair, my iPad is propped up on the dinner tray, and a blanket to stay warm. I’m not going outside but I must go on with my day.  

Most people have trained themselves to take the day ‘off’ when there is a holiday or when schools are closed. And while I am a huge advocate of finding time for fun—I did pick up my knitting needles in my ‘down’ time—I am believer of working when it’s not fun. Days like this leave so many of us entrepreneurs working alone while the world posts snow angel selfies and snow/ice measurements on local meteorologists’ social media pages, namely twitter.

Now I must admit, this snow day was different than those of the past. I'm a mom now and that's a game changer. Have you ever tried to type an article with one finger while bouncing, singing, and playing while your baby is occupying the other hand? It's a challenge. And comes with a fair share of distractions.

This is where discipline comes in and has to be far more potent than desire. You can't really decide on a day like this that you are going to hunker down. It has to be a part of your personal or professional DNA. A part of your culture of sorts.

I remember working a 9-5 job and spending many lunch breaks in my car with my laptop on my armrest following up with potential clients for my growing boutique firm. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t comfortable. It wasn’t ideal. But it was necessary.

I learned early on was that until I got to the outcome that was most pleasing to me I would need to outwork myself. That means work and then work some more. Again, I want to interject that you MUST have fun with life. Take breaks, as you need them. But just remember that the harder the work, the harder you can play.

In a previous post I asked you what would set your resume apart from someone with a similar work experience? While the answer isn't always black and white your work ethic and decision-making skills may be a deciding factor. Those are the intangible parts of the brand building process that one must adopt. What decisions will you make during your snow day that will set you apart? 

Here are five ways to take advantage of your snow day.

1.   Update your website. I am always changing something with one of my many sites. I like to do this when I know I won’t have much traffic and disturb someone’s experience on the site.

2.   Write an article or a blog. Content creation is a great way for people to recognize your expert. Even better, send an email to a publication—online or print—that can use your content and will provide you with an online footprint. Remember, to take a peek at their submission guidelines.

 3.   Build a new relationship. Introduce yourself to someone you need to know. The great part is that they may not be in the office so it takes the pressure off of them having to respond immediately. You may even consider scheduling it to send at 7am the following morning so that it’s at the top of the inbox.

4.   Speaking of the inbox, clean out your email. My goodness, this is the THE most daunting task. I have gone from a thousand or so to 60 and I am trying to stay close to that number. That is manageable…well, kinda. But respond to things or put them in their proper folder. Don’t leave them hanging.

5.   Send a thank you! Thank someone who you have had a meaningful exchange with. Their time is worth a thank you and it doesn’t take long. As a matter of fact, for those who have sent me new business recently they have received an online thank you gift. It doesn’t take long and it’s so unexpected.

Bonus: if you are brave, find yourself outside enjoying the cold. I am not that brave and truly like being warm but I have looked outside many times, picked up my knitting, and took time to play with baby Teddy. That’s a snow day well done. 

Cheers to being on even when off feels better!