Updated: Sep 22, 2021
I know what you’re thinking- it’s impossible.
There’s no way to write a good content plan quickly. It takes hours, tears and stress.
Even if you write it, you never stick to it. So what’s the point of even doing a content plan, right?
Wrong, my friend.
A content plan is essential. They can be as complicated or as simple as you want them to be. They’re your marketing foundation; a plan to help you communicate with your customers. Putting some thought into your social media posts, emails and blogs is never going to be time wasted.
I’m here to tell you it can be EASY.
Don’t believe me? Let me tell you my secrets of content planning.
Problem One: You don’t have time to write a content plan. This one’s a quick fix.
Your content plan takes as long as the time you have. If you have an hour, it’ll take an hour. If you give it a whole day, it’ll take a whole day.
There’s a very real chance that when you’re faced with making decisions about your business (which you don’t enjoy or you find difficult) you’d rather put it off. Totally normal, just ask my accountant.
You’re likely to be overthinking your content.
As in, you make a decision- “On Monday, I’m going to do a LinkedIn post about why I started my business” and then your brain/ imposter syndrome/ anxiety/ perfectionism makes you question yourself.
- What will people think of this?
- Is it actually going to help my business?
- It’s just the same as everyone else is posting, I won’t stand out!
- It’s totally different to what everyone else is posting, I’ll look crazy!
- Who am I kidding, I can’t write that…
One of the best ways to complete your content plan quickly is to silence that voice of self- doubt. Don’t give it time to make you question yourself.
Make quick decisions and then move on to the next decision before you can over think the first. Give yourself 30 minutes to smash out your decisions of when you’re going to post and where, with vague idea of the topics. Allow yourself to make mistakes and just wing it. Trust your gut.
THEN, after you’ve “completed” your content plan, review it. Can you spot inconsistencies, errors, duplication? You can improve a bad content plan. You can’t improve a blank page.
Problem Two: you can’t decide what should go in your content plan. Another easy fix!
Content planning can take you ages is because you don’t have a clear goal for that content. You don’t know why you’re posting.
Before you put pen to paper, or fingertips to Canva, you need a goal. What do you want the people seeing this content to do?
- Buy a particular product to have excess stock of?
- Sign up to a course?
- See you as an industry leader?
- Trust you?
- Understand your service packages?
- Book your services as a VA?
- Buy a ticket to your webinar?
Great. Goal worked out. Now, WHEN do you want your customers to do this thing? Do you have three months to slowly build up their awareness and their interest, or do you need some sales/ bookings right now?
Your decision on this will help you decide what content you choose. For example, on Instagram right now reels are getting better reach than posts are. So, if you need sales quickly, get out of that comfort zone and plan some reels. Target them to your audience, use relevant hashtags, and get some gorgeous clips of your product out there.
Likewise, emailing offers and deals to your customers creates a sense of urgency, rather than, say, a newsletter teasing something which is coming soon.
When you’ve worked out WHAT you want and WHEN you want it, you can make sure all your content in your plan is designed to make that happen.
Problem Three: everything’s a bit overwhelming. Also an easy fix!
Organise your content to follow a system.
You decide the system which works best for you, one that fits in with your life. Once these decisions are automated, you can forget about them.
For example, you can make sure you go live on Facebook every Thursday afternoon for 20 minutes. Put it in your diary, pre-decide your topics (perhaps with a poll in your FB group?) and then go for it!
Make sure you post on your IG grid every Monday morning, so you can sit with a coffee and respond to comments. OR, perhaps you want to Monday morning for admin, or sleeping (no judgement here!) then make your posts get published every Wednesday afternoon when you have a little productivity slump anyway.
If you have the same thing happening on each day of the week you can relax. It's taken one more decision off your plate. And, when you come to plan your content for the next quarter, you know you need 12 live ideas, 12 posts and captions for IG, 12 blog ideas, 12 LinkedIn posts, and it all seems far more manageable.
Did you just think “how the hell am I supposed to think of 12 live ideas, 12 captions, 12 blogs, 12 LinkedIn posts, ARE YOU CRAZY BONNIE?!
Breathe! I’ve got you!
Who said all these ideas had to be different ideas? Choose one topic for your blog, shorten it for LinkedIn, post a snippet on your IG grid, talk about it in your live… you get the idea. Here’s my blog on repurposing your content in 7 different ways, full of tips.
Problem Four: you never stick to your content plan once you’ve written it. Guess what- easy peasy!
One you’ve followed the previous steps you ARE going to stick to your content plan.
You just are.
You will have created a streamlined content plan, geared towards your business needs and you’re going to want to follow it.
If you’re worried, you could take a day every quarter to plan AND create your content. This is called batch content creation and is a super handy way to get it all done.
Alternatively, you could take a morning every month, or a couple of hours every week to focus on your content. Write it in your diary, protect that time, and suddenly all your content will be a breeze.
There are also content schedule apps which you can pay for, or you could use a Virtual Assistant/ Social Media Manager. They’ll organise your posts for a fee. If you don’t want to write the content itself, this is something you can delegate to a copywriter (like me!).
So, there you go. Four content plan problems you’re facing and four practical solutions.
Personally, I love writing and planning content (I’m in the right job!) so I love nothing more than planning it all out on a word document. I use that as a guide for each piece of content, and then I print the plan. I usually keep it in my planner or stuck on my desk and I tick each bit of content off as it goes out into the world. Is there anything more satisfying?!
Do let me know if you found anything in this blog helpful- that’s what it’s for!