Or how I went from a gazillion post-its to a strategic, easy to implement plan of attack.
You know the plumber with leaky taps? A year ago, that was me, but swap ‘plumber’ for ‘word nerd’ and ‘leaky taps’ for ‘abandoned content marketing.’ I was simply too busy doing client work to get my own content marketing under control. I blogged, but sporadically, and of course having ‘write god-forsaken blog post’ on my to do list again, and again, and again, week after week, month after month, wasn’t good for my control-freak/finisher personality. I was in constant danger of being seriously injured by my pile of blog post ideas scribbled on scraps of paper and post its- any second they could topple over and crush me. OK, so I’m too much of a neat freak for that to have ever been a possibility, but the thick file they were neatly stored within was bulging at the spine. Plus, it felt pretty totes awks (as my nine year old would say, much to my chagrin) to be directing clients to embrace content marketing as an essential communications tactic when my blog was neglected and my social media was ad hoc. Something had to change, y’all.
Here’s how I tamed the beast:
I went through each and every post it note in my file of ‘Awesome Content Marketing Ideas’ and grouped like ideas into themes.
As the themes emerged, I thought very clearly about my business goals and my business communications, and I narrowed my themes into four distinct categories.
Consistency is key to successful content marketing, and fitness, and parenting, and pretty much everything, really! I made a commitment to myself to blog weekly, and use that blog to inform and support my social media strategy. This also correlated nicely with the four themes I’d determined from sorting my post-it dump- each week in the month would have it’s own theme. Easy peasy!
From here, I’d like to tell you that I opened a spreadsheet, set some categories and formulas, but that’s a big fat lie. Instead, I went to Kikki-K, bought myself a gorgeous monthly planner like this one, and physically allocated each post it/idea into the relevant theme in the relevant month across the year. Yes, you heard it here first, I scribbled out my content plan for an entire year, by hand on a physical piece of paper. OK, I did then move this into electronic format, in a spreadsheet *she shudders at the memory* but bottom line- for the whole year I knew exactly what I was going to write about, removing any chance of writers block. Of course, if needed I moved topics around to suit what was happening with my business and the outside world, but the framework remained the same.
And that’s how I tamed my unruly, slightly aggressive content marketing beast! I use strategies like this with my communications advising clients to remove the overwhelm. Of course, more than a handful of these clients decide that whilst they’re happy to set the editorial calendar for their content marketing, the actual copywriting they’d like to outsource, and I’m happy to provide that service as well. If content marketing is a strategy you’d like to include in your communications, please get in touch and let’s see how we could work together.
This is a post in my blog series about freelance life. Each month I share information, hacks and ideas about running a freelance business. If there’s something specific you’d like to know, please shoot me an email or give me a buzz, and I’ll do my best to help, or address it in an upcoming blog post or on my social media platforms- follow the links!