One of the things I use in my own business and and when working with clients is what I like to call a “content framework”. You may call it a content map or plan but essentially it is a content publishing schedule for your business - what your audience sees and when. It can change (and has for me!) over time or get put on the back burner (oops!) but it is also one of the most helpful things you can write out for your business. I will be creating one for my case study, which you can read more about here.
So how do you do it?
Determine your content capacity
This will be different for everyone based on your client load, personal life, and personal preference. The main areas of content to consider are your email list, social media (IG, FB, Pinterest - sometimes this is separate), blog, and video. Are there any of those you love doing and any you’d rather not do? I personally don’t use Pinterest as much as I should, but I just don’t have the capacity for it right now, and I am ok with that. I used to try to get a YouTube video out every Friday, but when I started working at a co-working space, the time for creating those videos just wasn’t there. So that is off my list for now.
Think through all the steps that go into creating each piece of content. It is great to want to get a blog out each week, but when you think of all that is involved - drafting, editing, graphics, formatting & scheduling, then sharing socially - do you have the time for all of that each week? You can totally do batch days, but we’ll get to that in a minute. If you only have time to get one or two blogs out each month or newsletter, that is ok. Be honest with yourself, because if you try to do too much, you may (like me) stop all together.
Schedule out your content plan
When I was at max capacity for content, this was my publishing plan:
Every week day: Instagram and cross posting to Facebook
Monday: The Social Briefs
Tuesday: Instagram Live “Tending List Tuesday”
Wednesday: New blog posted
Friday: New video out
If you don’t have a plan like this, please write one ASAP. It can seem like a lot, but when you’re running a business without a content plan, you’ll just be posting willy nilly and won’t be set up successfully for a marketing plan. Yep, I think those are two different things that need each other. Once you have your content framework, you can use your marketing plan to help you determine the topic / theme for the week and what you are writing about in each caption, blog, email, etc.
You don’t have to do all of that. I don’t right now because of my capacity for some of it as mentioned before. What stage are you in? A newly wed or new mom? Do you have a full time job? Are you a photographer who isn’t always behind a computer? I suggest even writing down a ‘dream’ content plan, and then starting smaller. For example, emailing your list 2x month instead of 4x, and blogging 2x/mo. The greatest thing is you get to choose! There is no right or wrong, but there is a ‘didn’t do it at all’. Let’s not be in that last category okay?
Do the work
Okay, great, you have your content framework but now what? It is time to get to work! Ideally, you want to get to the point where you’re not writing something the same day you’re publishing it. I am writing this on a Friday, but publishing it on a Wednesday. This is where your Daily Business Hour comes in. Schedule out at least one hour per day to work on your content.
Here is what mine typically was/is:
Monday: Draft Blog Post
Tuesday: Create blog & video graphics
Wednesday: Record video
Thursday: Schedule next week’s social media
Friday: Draft and schedule Monday’s Social Brief
This is crucial for your business. Why? Because if you and I don’t schedule time to actually do the stuff, it will always get pushed to the side. Honestly, there’s no if, ands, or buts about it. It happens to us all, too! But you can combat that with your Daily Business Hour.
Want to know the last and best part?
Having your content plan and a marketing plan in place and then using your Daily Business Hour to do the work - YOU WILL BE ABLE TO ‘GET AHEAD’ WITH YOUR CONTENT! Truth. You can create multiple blog graphics on one Tuesday (like for the whole month). You will get in writing mode, and may write multiple blog drafts at one time. This post is currently taking me 30 minutes to write, which means if I wrap it up quickly, I have 30 minutes left in my Daily Business Hour to work on another blog outline or draft - getting me another week ahead.
Do you know what getting a week or two ahead means? It means not being stressed and it means you can take time off! Last Friday, I spent the whole day with my sister which we decided on late Wednesday night. All my client work for Friday and most of this past week was taken care of and my own content was ready, so it was an easy decision to go wine tasting with her.
Speaking of clients, most of my clients work in this manner. We have a content plan incorporating their marketing plan and then we all work in batch days and to get the content done. Some of them are already ahead on March and April content which makes all of us happy people.
Okay, I’m at 33 minutes now. So tell me below what questions you have about creating your content plan or even marketing stuff. You can also grab my Daily Business Hour checklist to keep you on track. I’m off to put this on Squarespace, format it and maybe even draft my next post for the case study!