The fall is a great time to start thinking ahead to the new year. Unless your business is seasonal, this tends to be a slower time of year–perfect for planning and creating content that will take you into the new year.
Before you sit down and start creating blogs and videos for the sake of creating content, you need to think about what you’re going to create and why. Content without a strategy won’t get you any traction in business–whether you’re looking to grow your list or make the sale.
Here you’ll find some of the first steps you should take as you get geared up for planning your content for the new year (or new quarter).
Survey your audience
It’s important to know what your audience is looking for from you. What do they know already? What are their challenges? What are their goals? I recommend surveying your audience before any big planning session to help you get started on the right foot. Be sure to check out my post about how to create a survey (which includes a bonus template so you can create your own).
Know your goals
You also need to have a good handle on where you’re going as a business. Think big picture, a few years out, to start. Then start to narrow down your ideas to two years from now, then this time next year.
[bctt tweet=”Before you plan your content, know where your business is going & plan your content around that.” username=”AbbyMHerman”]
Do you have a big product or service launch? Will you be making changes inside your business? Know in advance what’s coming up in your business so you can plan and position your content around that. For example, if you’re looking to do some speaking the future, video content will help you get more visible and show off your personality to conference organizers (giving you a leg up in scoring that speaking gig).
Map out coming months
If you have a plan for your content, it’s much easier to execute on it. Once you know your goals, sit down and map out your content for the coming months. All of your content. Think about your blog posts, videos, emails and social content all at once so you can tell a complete story across all your platforms. This encourages your audience to follow you in multiple places and interact with your content everywhere.
Planning all your content together also allows you to create content that doesn’t overlap. I’m firm believer in creating original content on every platform, rather than just regurgitating the same information everywhere you have a presence. This isn’t engaging for your audience and it discourages them from opening emails, watching videos and reading blogs.
As you map out your content, create outlines for each piece so when it’s time to sit down and create you remember what you were thinking when you decided on the topics. Then you’re one step closer to having fresh content!
[bctt tweet=”Batch create your content. It’s faster and tells a much better story.” username=”AbbyMHerman”]
Set aside time to create in batches
Batch creating content is one of the best ways to get ahead on content creation so you can spend your time on other parts of your business (like, sales!). Think about the content you need to create and set aside time for each content type.
- Give yourself half a day to create outlines for videos and half a day to film.
- Figure out how long it takes you to write a blog post and multiply that by the number of blogs you need to write. Then put it in your calendar!
- If the thought of writing all the blogs in one day gives you hives, spend one time block outlining a batch and another time block writing.
- Outline and write your nurturing emails at the same time as your blog posts for the week.
When creating content, remember that you’re repurposing and building on ideas (not repeating content).
Prepping your content for the new year doesn’t have to be stressful, but it often is for business owners who would rather be doing anything other than creating content.
If all else fails, hire it out. There are plenty of business owners (myself included) who can help you strategize and create. Heck, there are parts of the process that I hire out too. I stopped editing my own videos a few months ago and I hired out loading and formatting by blog posts a year ago. If you don’t love doing it, someone else does!