I’ve had a plan since I was born.
Okay, maybe not that early. But I started planning early on.
I was the girl who planned my birthday parties and planned out my life course in detail (even when I wanted to be an elephant). I always knew where I was going.
The funny thing about these plans is they rarely came out how I expected. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t work. These plans set me up to go further, to meet goals and when I was feeling flexible, they even brought me to places I wouldn’t have dreamed.
So as a type A personality with a love for planning, there is no surprise when I tell you that I plan out all my marketing and content too. And the further out I can plan the better.
Planning your content allows for intention (my word of the year coming through yet again!)
You have control of what you are telling your audience, what you are promoting, and how you can better engage with your customers. Even better, by having a plan, in the beginning, you save time, in the long run, to work on engagement or other business strategies. Having a plan is worth it.
I have my plan broken up into three parts.
Monthly Content Calendar
The first step is to sit down with a monthly calendar and write out all the important dates. Fun holidays you want to make posts for, days you are having sales when you’ll publish blog posts and what the posts will be about. All the big picture stuff goes here.
I’ll write down the fun holidays that go along with my business (margarita day goes with everyone’s business – February 22nd), then I’ll write down the day’s I’m going live on Facebook. Finally, I write out the days I’ll be publishing a blog post and what the theme of that post will be. This way I can visually see everything that is happening throughout the next month and better have an understanding of what I need to be marketing.
Now that you know what you need to post this month it’s time to start creating the content.
This is also the time to come up with any photos that you might need for your posts this month. You can either hire a photographer to get the exact shots or break out your handy smartphone and some great lighting to capture the images you need.
You can pre-write all your blog posts at one time too. Or schedule them in your calendar to write them when it works best for you.
The key here is to get as much of the creation done at once so that each week you can focus on scheduling content and engaging with your audience.
Weekly Content Calendar
This is when you get into the details.
I’ve planned out an entire month of posts before and scheduled them and forgot about them. However, this doesn’t leave room for the things that happen at the moment that you want to share. You also forget what content you created or what questions you’re asking on social and then fall behind on engaging to the highest degree on these posts.
Instead, I’ve found that having an idea of the month and planning out by the week works best for me. But if you are crazy busy and just don’t have time, then maybe spending a few hours in 1 day to plan out all your content and schedule it for the month will work best for you.
In my weekly content calendar, I decide what photos will be posted on what day and on which platform. When it comes to social media planning, keep in mind that you don’t want everything to be the same on all your platforms. Something I posted on Instagram Monday, I could save till Thursday for Facebook. This way your audience is always seeing something new and the likelihood of overlap is pretty slim.
Remember what events you have for this week. If there is a holiday make sure to have posts that fit with it (in this case you can share the same content on multiple platforms). If you are publishing a blog post, feel free to be sharing that on Facebook and writing about it on Instagram. If you’re using Pinterest, don’t forget to schedule some posts on there too.
By breaking down my content calendar into these three steps, I can more easily manage all that is going out each month. As a one-woman circus, it’s important to make sure I don’t get overwhelmed and have a sense of everything that’s going on.
But most importantly I want to make sure I’m providing the highest value to my audience.
Whether they are reading a blog post or scrolling through Instagram, by having a plan in place to provide high-quality content, I know they’ll keep coming back for more and engaging with me. And when they’re ready to start investing in photography for their business, I’ll be here, prepared to help them stand out in the noise.
Want some help with your content calendar? Download my free weekly content calendar template to make sure you are showing up for your customers.