Have big plans to update your content? You have all the ideas about your content but you don’t know how to put those into a succinct plan to market your business. What do you create? Where? When?
Content creation is time-consuming if you’re doing it yourself and expensive if you’re hiring it out so you want to make sure that you’re creating the right stuff. I get it, and this is one of the biggest struggles that I see clients go through (aside from generating ideas, of course).
Well, if you’re on the content planning struggle bus, this episode is for you! I’m literally walking you through the process of how to take all your content ideas and put them into a 90-day plan so you can get the visibility you want and need for your business.
Mentioned in This Episode Podcast
Welcome to episode 212 of the Content Experiment Podcast, a podcast for podcasters that supports the idea that content and marketing are ever-moving targets in any business, and it’s okay if you don’t feel like you’re doing it all right, all of the time.
Here we talk about podcasting and creating content for your audience that they want to hear in a way that’s sustainable for you, the business owner. Because I know that you have a lot on your plate. So I’ll give you the ideas and tools and tricks to publish your podcast consistently in a way that works for YOU.
I’m Abby Herman, former teacher and current podcast manager. When I went full time in my business in 2013, I struggled to find the help and support that I needed that also fit into my budget. That’s what this podcast and my membership, Podcast Ease, are all about. To help the business owner with a tight budget whose podcast is their primary marketing tool.
This episode is being released mid-December 2022 and if you’re like most business owners, you’re deep into 2023 planning. That’s where I am too. You’re going to find a few shifts in the podcast and The Content Experiment the business in the new year, and as I was developing what that looked like, I was struggling with what kind of podcast content to put out there for you.
Well, if you listened to last week’s episode about publishing episodes year-round, you know that I’m not planning to take a break. As much as I’d like to!
So instead, I’m leaning back on a few oldie but goodie episodes. The three episodes to cap off the year, 211 last week, 212 today, and 213 next week align very well with what’s coming for us here in the new year AND they’re actually re-recordings of some of the podcast’s most popular episodes.
I opted to re-record because they were originally released in the very early days of the podcast, when the name of it was Stories in Small Business. The website addresses I mention are different and I also wanted the opportunity to make a few little updates to the content.
But the meat of it is really the same.
You know you need content to put out to the world to sell your products and services. But do you know WHAT to create–WHERE and WHEN so you can sell your products and services? That’s the key! On today’s episode, I’m going to walk you through how to take all your content ideas and map them out in a 90-day plan.
You need content to gain the visibility you need to grow your business. But what should you create? Where do you publish it? How do you make sure each piece of content is purposeful and achieves what you want it to? And how can you get the biggest bang out of each and every content idea?
It’s all about creating a plan. Too many content creators and strategists tout 12-month marketing plans. I get it. It feels good to have an entire year of marketing and content mapped out so you can just focus on doing the work.
But you’re a small business. A micro business. And so much can change over the course of the month or quarter. How much can change in your life over the course of a YEAR!? A new baby? A move? A health scare? Marriage? Kid going away? A long vacation? Just the need to unwind? A revelation that you want to do something different?
SO much can change, whether you plan for it or not!
That’s why it’s important to only work in quarters. Sure, you can have long-term goals that you’re thinking about in terms of marketing and business growth, but it doesn’t make sense to have an entire marketing plan developed for the year. It makes it difficult for you to shift in your business–not to mention that it’s a waste of your time and money when you do shift (and it WILL happen…trust me).
So let’s talk about what you need to do in order to develop that 90-day plan
(episode 211) – we talked about zones of genius and your content ideas. If you haven’t already listened to it, I want you to pause here, go listen to episode 212 and then come back to me here. It’s SO important to know what kind of content you want to create–the big ideas–before you start mapping it out.
In that episode, I also gave you a template to use when surveying your audience so you know exactly what they’re looking for–which is SO important. Go to thecontentexperiment.com/ask for that download.
Know what content you need to get the outcome you want
Think about your goal in the next 90 days. What are you launching or trying to drive more traffic to–90 days from now
This isn’t what you’re trying to sell NOW; all content needs time to make traction so you need to plan in advance so you can get the visibility you’re looking for
You need to think 90 days in advance to launch or sell something
Ask yourself–what does your audience need to know or be able to do in order to make a good purchasing decision 90 days from now
If you’re selling a coaching package or a group program–a course or a 1:1 intensive, think about what will help your audience get prepared to say yes to that thing
Sometimes this means giving away some of the content INSIDE that package or program or 1:1 offering; many of the things I talk about on this podcast are things that I do 1:1 with or for clients or help them with in an intensive, but I believe in giving away free value in order to educate and inform my audience–so they can see my teaching style and the way I communicate. I believe that this will help them make a more informed decision down the road, when they’re ready to buy
Sometimes this means agitating some of your audience’s pain points so they can see that YOU can solve their problem
Is there something you can teach through your content that will give your audience a quick win–and make them wanting more
List out all the ideas that help you to this end–every idea that might help them reach a decision to buy whatever you’re selling
Like any brainstorming, no idea is a bad idea. Get it ALL down
Decide what your primary content platform will be – I call this your pillar platform
Youtube, blog, podcast
You’ll probably have more than one of these, but it’s important to identify which of these platforms will be your PRIMARY platform
You’re going to build out all your content ideas for other platforms around this primary one
Determine other must-haves
Email, social media
What other content do you need, in addition to that primary content?
Everyone needs an email list–EVERYONE; I won’t get into the importance of this now, but know that information is coming in a future episode. Email your list consistently. Period. And you need to do this well before you try to launch something or sell something. Your email list is going to be a key part of any 90-day content plan.
Think about the social media platforms your audience is on. I recommend everyone have a business Facebook page. Some businesses benefit from Instagram, Facebook groups, IGTV, LinkedIn, Twitter. Which of these do you need to be on to stay in front of your audience?
Well, you need to know where your audience is and where you can reach them. And to do that, you’re probably going to need to do some market research and survey them.
If your primary content platform is a podcast, think about whether you need a YouTube channel or blog as well
Decide on your cadence
It’s important to really think about how often you’ll publish content
Don’t commit to something you can’t maintain – too many people decide they’re going to produce a blog, podcast episode, YouTube video, Facebook live, email, you name it–every single week, without really thinking about the amount of time and energy something like that takes
You should publish your primary content at LEAST every other week; every week if you can. But that doesn’t mean you should publish ALL the content, everywhere, every week.
You can create the content yourself or outsource some or all of it, keeping in mind the time and energy it takes to create your own content and the money it takes to outsource it.
How often will you publish your primary content
How often will you post to social media – You NEED to share your content + you need to share it again and again; not just once
How often will you email your list – every other week at LEAST (weekly, if possible)
Again: Make sure whatever you decide is manageable–and keep in mind the cost if you decide to outsource so you can remain consistent with it
Print off 3 months of a blank calendar
This gives you a visual as you’re mapping out your content. Sure, a Trello board or Asana will work, but I find a calendar to be much easier to plan around. You can really SEE where the content is going to go and when
I also use a table in Google docs for clients; hand-write on a calendar for myself because that’s how my brain works
Set up the calendar or table with the content types along the top; the “week of” on the far left
So where you’d normally see the days of the week, you’re going to cross that off and include BLOG or EMAIL or SOCIAL MEDIA (or the specific channels you want to use) and so on
Know that once you’ve gone through some of the upcoming steps and have your 90-day plan mapped out, you can transfer to your project management tool of choice (I highly recommend this to keep you on track!)
Determine the topic for your primary piece of content
You’re going to pull from your long list of topic ideas that you have handy (or developed in episode 212)
I like to think about how the pieces of content will fit together from week to week. Use the first post as a big, introductory idea, then funnel in on smaller ideas throughout the 90 days. Choosing topics around a big theme helps to generate more ideas too.
As you publish additional content around that big idea, be sure to go back and link to content internally so you can drive your audience to different pieces of content. For example, if you’re a brand photographer and you’re writing a blog about the importance of branding and you create a LinkedIn article about speaking to your brand values, interlink them once they’re both published.
Make sure that what you choose fits well with the platform (not all topics do well with all platforms). A how-to might need a visual platform like YouTube and a topic that’s more big-idea might make a better podcast episode or blog.
Develop complementary topics for your other must-haves (email, social media)
Never regurgitate the same information across multiple platforms
Don’t take your podcast script and post it as a blog post
Don’t copy and paste your blog post as an email
The content you create on multiple platforms should COMPLEMENT your other content, not repeat it
Here’s why: When you post the same information in multiple places, your audience gets smart on you. They will quickly learn that if they open your email, they don’t need to click over to your website because you’ve already given them all the information they need.
They don’t need to watch your YouTube video because you’ve already given it to them in a transcript on a blog. You’re not adding any more value, other than giving them a new place to consume the same content.
The goal of your content should be to give your audience VALUE
You’re not giving value if you’re publishing the same thing everywhere
Another goal of your content should be to drive traffic to your other content
You’re not driving traffic anywhere if you’re publishing the same thing everywhere
Create your plan in themes
I already talked about this briefly, but let me dive into it deeper
Themes are big ideas you create content around for weeks or even months at a time
They’re usually centered around a big idea that has to do with something you’re planning to launch or want to draw attention to in your business
Creating themes will help you generate ideas because you’ll be able to brainstorm topics and ideas around one big idea. Think about it: When someone tells you to write about your business, your mind probably goes blank. But if they ask you to write about your biggest win this week or how you started your business, it’s probably easy to do–themes give you more direction.
It will help you become known as an expert in your industry or around a certain topic. Because you’re publishing a lot of content around that one big idea. People will remember.
In episode 212, we talked about zones of genius (I’ll link to it in the show notes–can you tell that episode 212 is a really important episode to check out?)
Try using one zone of genius or one big idea and approach it from multiple (complementary) directions
If you’re struggling with ideas, think about the who, what, when, where, why and how of your topic.
You’re creating a podcast about how to develop systems for your product business.
A video could include the top 3 systems every product business needs OR a video of you working through the systems for YOUR product biz
Your email could talk about what happens (what happened to YOU) when you don’t have systems
Your social media could include photos, talking about clients who have had success, how you’ve had success
You can repurpose content you already have, ideas you already have, and make them all work together
Congratulations. If you walked through this process with me, you now have your 90-day content plan.
I know what you’re thinking: That was a lot of work. But I promise you, if you do it, it does get easier. This is a process that I go through with clients–both in strategy intensives and something I do for them. And since we’re not creating a year-long plan, it’s something that we do multiple times throughout the year.
It’s also something I with with clients on in 1:1 VIP intensives. If you’re listening to this episode in real time, I don’t have any more 1:1 sessions for the year. In fact, I’m done with client work for the year. But you can still book a time in early 2023 so you can get started on the right foot. Head to thecontentexperiment.com/vip
If this episode resonated with you, I’d be so grateful if you’d share your takeaways on social media. Take a screenshot of the episode and tag me at thecontentexperiment if you do! The more you share, the more we can get the podcast into the earbuds of more business owners, just like you, who need to hear the message that they are not alone.