Go to the gym every day! Never drink gin! Delete Facebook!
No. I’m not a big fan of wildly optimistic New Year’s resolutions either. With the notable exception of January 2001 when I gave up smoking as a student (it was either that, or give up electricity) I’m just not very good at sticking to them. Also I don’t do the gym and wouldn’t want to live without Tanqueray or Facebook.
However I love setting goals because, like most other humans, I love to do new things, create new things and get better at the things I love.
The problem is I’m not the most naturally organised human.
My mind is never linear; it tends to shoot in twenty different directions. Great for creative ideas, crap for sticking to plans.
This is why I swear by systems and shortcuts that do the organising for me.
This month, one of my big goals is to plan out all Inkspiller’s content for 2017 and create as much of it as possible, as I did last year. I’m planning to do this for a few clients, too.
Having content written for the months ahead frees up creative head space, leaving you free to book in client work without neglecting your own business, to spend more time creating new things and learning new things.
My secret weapon for achieving this is the Inkspiller Content Calendar. So many people found it valuable last year that we’ve made the new 2017 version available in Google Sheets.
So how do you go about creating a year’s worth of content?
First get the basics right and answer these questions:
What is our message? What does our business stand for? How can we best get this across?
What products and services do we want to promote and sell with our content marketing this year?
Who are our audience? Who are we talking to? What questions do they need answering? What content will they find most useful? Hint: check out this post to answer those questions.
What is the purpose of our content marketing? Do we want to grow our audience or convert the audience we already have into customers?
- Are we running any campaigns or events that we need to plan content for?
When you know what you need to communicate, who you’re talking to and why you’re doing it, then all you need is inspiration by way of themes and hooks to hang your content marketing on.
You’ll find daily, weekly and seasonal prompts in our calendar that will help spark timely ideas. Use these to brainstorm ideas for your key topics and audiences every month, scheduling them into the calendar as you go.
You can also allocate tasks to team members and track the progress and results of each piece of content. Overall, speeding things up, reducing overwhelm and sharpening your focus. Always a good thing.
And if you really want to reduce overwhelm? Have us create your content for you. In a week or so you’ll receive over 10 pieces of hardworking, creative content ready to publish over the next 3-6 months.
That way you’ll have a whole lot more time in your life for the things you enjoy - including but not limited to - exercise that is actually fun, drinking Tanqueray and refreshing Facebook.
See you there ;-)