Welcome to the new series of weekly blogs called ‘Connect the Dots’ that will feature all the nuggets of advice I offer during my weekly Facebook Live sessions but condensed down so you can easily bookmark these pages and refer back to them whenever you need to.
This debut print edition of Connect the Dots is about just what this is, content. Whether that be content for your social media, your website or whenever you’re online conversing with customers – all in a really easy, simple way.
As with all content tasks it will require setting by a little bit of time, but it’s totally worth it, I promise. Try to mark around 30 minutes a day for a week to sit and brainstorm, have a pen and paper, possibly some sticky notes and a white board, then let the ideas flow! It will probably be a little tricky to start with, even the best creative minds have spent time staring at a blank piece of paper, but soon you’ll get into a groove and before you know it you’ll have a year’s worth of content planned out.
The best place to start is with a wide view. Look at what happens in your business annually.
Here’s an example template that I use –
Divide the year into quarters, so three months in each quarter, and for each of these sections write down three key things happening in your business. For example, maybe it’s an anniversary for your business – the day you opened or the day you launched a product. Perhaps you have a new service launching, you are running a sale or have an event. Plot out three things for Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4.
I think it was Janet Murray who shared a quote, where it says, “If you don’t know what’s happening for the rest of the year in your business, you’ve got a business problem, not a content problem.” – so it’s really vital to have a clear idea for the 12 months ahead of you and you’ll find it will give you a much more motivated outlook.
Once you’ve got these jotted down you can then look into specific key date related content. This will be content inspiration themes for each month. It could be obviously things like –
December – Christmas
January – New Year, New You
February – Valentine’s
March – Perhaps there’s an industry specific convention for example.
Or it could be slightly more obscure ideas like “International Barista Day” or “National Hug a Cat Day” – there’s a day for pretty much everything so there’s bound to be lots of opportunities to tie things back to your business . Here’s a great site for grabbing ideas along those themes – https://nationaltoday.com
Once you have three key events happening within your business each quarter you can then intertwine these with themes that relate to your customers. Within the template example I have screenshot above and provide a link to below, you will now be able to start padding out the weekly content for each month of each quarter.
So, for example…. Thursday 18th June is International Picnic Day, here are some ideas for various industries to be able to link it back to their product.
- Maybe you run a café – you could offer a picnic hamper as a product to buy or perhaps a giveaway for a competition, or offer up recipes to customers in a blog.
- If you have a fashion label you could promote an outfit that’s perfect for picnics or any alfresco dining.
- If you run a dog walking business you could write a blog suggesting great walks for dogs and places to have a picnic.
- If you run a campervan hire company you could suggest routes that take in the best picnic spots.
And so on and so forth, you get the idea!
Another great way to create content tightly linked to your business is to draw focus to questions your customers frequently ask and mould the content around getting those answered. This could be very specific questions like “Where are you based?” “How do I find out about this product / service?” – I mentioned how to go about researching all that in a previous livestream which you can find here – KEYWORD RESEARCH VIDEO
Having a monthly feature relating back to an FAQ gives you a simple way to think of subjects but also a great way to make sure your customers know you’re listening to them and their needs. This in turn can create little nuggets of content for all your channels. For example, you can write a blog mentioning a question often asked, or you could broadcast a Facebook livestream discussing it. From these you can then use quotes, snippets and screenshots on other platforms through that month referring back to the original content. From one content seed many content shoots can grow!
If the idea of creating something for each week seems a bit daunting, you could reduce this down to once a month and focus on making that the best it can be. One of my clients is concentrating on a monthly newsletter, within this they are featuring a blog from their website, highlighting a product and also spotlighting what’s new. They’ll create this at the beginning of the month and then each week they’ll break this down into posts that will work across their social media.
Another top tip from me would be to focus on a quarter at a time, don’t sit down one day and try to plan out the next 12 months as you will quickly feel overwhelmed, your ideas will start to lack punch and you’ll find your motivation retreating at break neck speed! Take 3 months at a time, really zoom in on what’s happening then, once it’s done have a break and come back to it another day.
I’ve then created a template for the weekly content, this is where you can start putting your ideas for each platform you use. If you’re a fan of Facebook live you can jot those down, if you use Instagram, LinkedIn, posts on your own site etc. All that can be included in this table.
Above all else, the aim of the game is to create content you can repurpose and make light work of your online strategy. Whatever you chose to create think – can I create social media posts out of it? Can I create polls out of it? Can I find a way to link this back to a product or service page? And so on…
I’m aware if you’ve never done anything like this before it can seem really daunting, you might assume it’s going to just zap your precious time and stress you out but I promise you, it will be the opposite. It will give you focus, you’ll feel much less anxious trying to come up with stuff on the spot when you know you need to post something and once you’ve filled the template, the sense of relief and accomplishment you’ll feel looking at it will be immense! By investing a little time now, you’ll save heaps of time later on.
Anyway! Hopefully this has been helpful. I will offer more training soon on the different types of content and how to repurpose it to make your lives easier, so keep your eyes peeled on my Facebook page and blog.
If you’d like to have a copy of the template, click the link below which will give you the templates in a PDF, so then you can print them out and use it for yourself.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to welcoming you back next week!