Have you ever sat staring at your phone or computer feeling stressed and overwhelmed at coming up with content for your social channels, website, blog or newsletter on the fly? You know you should post, but can’t think of anything to say in that moment. So you fall back on the same messaging you’ve used time and time again just to get it over with, but then lack significant engagement when it goes live. “Why do I bother?” is a feeling I hear from so many other business owners just like you. Here’s what you need: a simple content plan to follow and one day a week to execute. Are you ready to break the cycle?
Let’s break down how you can plan for a year’s worth of content in advance by taking today to get yourself organized.
Download my free 2021 content calendar template and we can walk through the process together!
1. Identify your main focus for each month
Make note of any already predetermined significant dates in your business plan. Sales, events, relevant holidays, external media features, collaborations etc. and decide what it is that you are looking to achieve that month. Are you just starting out and looking to grow awareness of your brand? Get sign-ups on your email list or registrations for an upcoming event? Launch a new product or service? Get hyper focused on one or two goals to make it easier to build a theme around your content and keep your audience moving towards your end goal.
How can you select a theme for the month? Ask yourself what kind of headspace your ideal customer or client is in during this time of the year:
- What are the problems they’re having that you can help solve? Or a need that you can meet?
- Is there a cyclical theme in their life that happens during that month? Example: January many people are interested in fresh starts, healthy habits, organization etc.
- How can you provide value to them?
If you already have an audience – get them involved! Ask what they want to see from you, or what problems they need help solving. If you’re starting from scratch, understanding your audience (updated link once on root site) is a key to producing valuable content.
Not every piece of content has to follow the theme but having that framework helps to get your creative ideas flowing and create continuation in the story you’re building around your brand, product, service, or event.
2. Decide on frequency & platforms for sharing your content
Ok so you’ve decided on your goal & theme, now consider where you will be sharing how many of each content piece you will require for the month. Focus on one or two platforms and really maximize your efforts in those spaces. I know marketing is not the only hat you wear as a business owner, so be realistic on how much time you have to dedicate to each platform. Yes quantity of content will help you grow your reach, but it is quality of that content and your ability to demonstrate your value that will turn followers into customers.
So how do you choose the platform to concentrate on? Understand where your audience are spending their time online, and then focus the one or two that get you excited to create!
3. Do a brain dump
Jump right in to creating content by doing a brain dump of topics and associations that surround your theme of choice for each month. Some of your initial ideas may never see the light of day, but just through the act of writing them down you’ll find that often more concepts will be sparked by your initial thoughts. You may have more content ideas than you had originally anticipated. Which concepts would be ones that people would want to share or refer back to the most? Plug your ideas into a calendar based on the frequency you set out for yourself in step 2, and see where you need to fill in the gaps. You will likely see how there can be a natural continuation in your content as the days and weeks go on that help you build up to your goal!
4. Start writing (longest form first)
I know writing can be where a lot of biz owners get stuck, but if you start from longest form of content then you will have to do less! Work on your longest form content first (blog/website content or email newsletter) and then use that piece broken up to create smaller pieces of easily digested content for your social media platforms that point back to your original source.
The age-old marketing “rule of 7” states that it takes at least 7 interactions with a brand’s message in order for a potential customer to consider taking action. In the age of digital, this is likely even more, however there are also so many more opportunities for you to interact with your audience for free!
For example: The blog post you are reading today is easily going to be broken down into several instagram posts, reels and stories along with content for my monthly newsletter. Follow along on Instagram to see an example of how it all plays out.
5. Block off time one day per week to finalize & schedule your content
“Batching” content – scheduling in the time on one day per week or even per month to finalize your written copy and photos – is the key to maximizing your marketing efforts and harnessing your creativity. You have your plan, now it’s time to make it happen! Get your posts and captions written, your images selected selected or created, and your videos recorded. It may seem like it would take a lot of time, but it is so much easier to pump out content once you are in the uninterrupted flow!
And there you have it! Never again will you have to panic in front of your phone thinking “what do I post today?”. Download the template and get started on your 2021 content plan now!
If you are still getting stuck and need someone to bounce ideas off of, I’m here for you! Send me a DM on Instagram or
BONUS: Set yourself up to make the process even easier next year
Learning how to set up and read insights from your website, email and social media analytics can help you to see what content your audience has found the most value in over time. This can help you speed up the planning process by giving you a guide to serving your followers even more informative content, along with knowledge of which messaging converted those followers to customers. Would you be interested in seeing how you can set this up for your business? Let me know in the comments!