Perfectly curated Instagram feeds. Content rich, active blogs. An engaging and active Facebook group. My goodness how is all of this to be done? Can I do that? I’m out of my league.
Sound familiar? We’ve all been there. The online business world is a freaking scary place with so much things and all the stuff you have to do. It can seem like an overwhelming idea that just makes you want to dive back into bed, snuggle your fur baby, and resurface when social media isn’t a thing anymore. I get it. You have all this information (causing overload), you have conflicting points of view (work til you’re dead, invest in self care), and above all else you’re not exactly sure what content marketing is or what it entails (B2C, B2B, WTF!?) No wonder you want to hibernate!
Don’t panic, sweets. Today we are talking about the bare bones basics of content marketing, which should take some of the AHHHHH factor out of it; content creation.
Juggling More Than One Outlet
In the Pinterest perfect online world, you may find yourself having desk envy, fraudy feelings, and above all else hibernation feelings. And that is ok. But take a deeper look at what these successful folks are doing. Let me bust a couple myths here. 1) They work their tails off to make it look easy. It’s not easy for anyone to juggle everything and make it look good. That’s hard work at it’s finest, dear. 2) It doesn’t happen overnight. These people have invested the time and work into what you are seeing. Need some proof? Go back to just about anyone’s first posts on Instagram. You’ll see my point.
So How Are They Doing It?
Two words. Hardcore planning.
We are talking about to the day planning and content creation. Creating content that is done days, weeks, and maybe even months in advance. What!? No kidding.
So let’s talk about the elements of hardcore planning.
- An editorial calendar. Oh yes, friend, this thing will save your behind. You need at least one. Now tis can be in a paper planner, a project management system, or Google calendar even. But having it all planned out and written down in advance means that you take the guess work out of what you’re creating and when. Now you might be thinking that for blogs this is great, but the best part about social is doing it on the fly. That’s true and not at the same time. Posting on the fly with what you’re doing can be great but do you want to have to type up that Instagram caption every time you make a post? Have it written and save yourself the time.
- Scheduling tools. We are talking about blogging and social media here. Pick you favorite (there are tons in every price range and need range) and load it up. My advice is to start free and make sure you like the platform you’re using. If you don’t like it, you won’t use it.
- An overall plan. If you are posting to your blog every Monday, have a scheduled post go out for all of your social every Monday directing people to the latest post. Basically speaking, the editorial calendar you have for your blog should walk hand in hand with your social plans.
To Batch or Not To Batch
You might be hearing a lot in the online world about batching. Batching is when you take similar tasks and sit down to focus all of your energy there until either the tasks are completed or until a certain amount of time has passed. Here is an example of what batching out your week may look like.
Monday: Two blog outlines, week one of next month’s Instagram captions
Tuesday: Two blog post drafts, week two of next month’s Instagram captions
Wednesday: Two blog post editing/review sessions, week three of next month’s Instagram captions
Thursday: Two blog post graphics and formatting, week four of next month’s Instagram captions
Friday: Two blog posts scheduled, take and edit images for next month’s Instagram posts
The following week, you can create the two blog posts, but then write out Twitter content for the next month using the same format. Batching tasks has been shown to keep productivity up because multi tasking is a myth. I’ll say that again. Multi tasking is a myth. Your brain is wired to focus on one task at a time and do it well. The more tasks you focus on, the more your brain has to literally shift gears and make the switch to something else.
Now batching may not work for everyone, but a way to manage your content creation is setting deadlines for yourself. So that blog post is going to come out sounding like Klingon if you try to write it today. That’s fine, just have it done by Friday so you don’t fall behind. Batching doesn’t work for everyone, but that leads us into the next section.
Creativity on Demand
This is a terrifying thing for most people. And we have all written Klingon blog posts or sounded like we don’t speak our first language in social drafts.
But creativity on demand is not something that people are typically born with. It is a learned skill. And this skill is all about doing something. Write that shitty first draft. Write it in Klingon. That is what the editing and review process is for. If it sounds stupid or not like your first language, then that can be fixed. But putting the work into producing something, anything on a timeline is super important. And the more you do it, the better you’ll get at making something from nothing.