I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m “Type A.” I love lists. Like some of you, I add things I’ve already done to my lists, just so I can check them off. In college, I used to write out my plan for nearly each and every moment of the day: 6:30am – Wake up, 6:35am – Shower, 6:55am – Breakfast, 7:11am – Brush Teeth… (My college roommate still hasn’t let me live down “Brush Teeth” yet…).
My co-workers have mentioned being mortified by my Google calendar. If you ever want to know what I worked on yesterday, last week or month, what I am currently doing or plan to do in the future, check my calendar. It’s all on there. (Almost) Every. Single. Thing.
Although it stresses some people out, for me, it makes sense to have a plan and be as prepared as possible for the day. I know the top three or four things that I have to accomplish for the day and I (generously) allot the required amount of time to do so.
Anything that doesn’t make the cut this morning still gets taken care of, just perhaps tomorrow. If someone calls and wants a meeting, I can clearly see when I am next available, or, if it’s a higher priority than my current task, I can easily adjust my calendar to accommodate the new task.
It takes a bit of elbow grease ahead of time, but streamlining my tasks frees me of (some) stress.
I was listening to Build Your Tribe, a personal and business development podcast by Chalene Johnson, and I don’t remember the exact episode of her quote, but on a daily basis people now take in as much content as reading about seven newspapers front and back each day.
We don’t have the time or space in our minds to try and remember all the little tidbits that pop up over the course of a day. One thing I’ve learned that works for me is, whatever it is, write it down. Better yet – save the sticky notes and organize it on a calendar.
Still, honestly, there are a couple of things that are on my calendar that stress even me out. One being writing this blog.
While I actually really enjoy writing and am excited to have the opportunity to share what I’m learning and what our company is doing within this industry, I usually have 5-10 client projects going at once. It’s tough for me to just sit down, focus in and think, “Hmm… what should I write about this week?”
My current method could use some work. I’m on about 30 marketing trends e-mail lists. Over the course of the week, any new messages I receive are filtered together in a folder. Then, when I’m ready to write my weekly blog, I read through the ones that appear interesting and decide what might be helpful to share with our clients.
Another approach is to answer questions from clients that I see come up a couple of times or more. Or, if we know there is going to be a major change, like Google’s “Mobilegeddon,” I try to write something in line with the associated marketing implications.
Regardless of my approach, it’s very challenging for me to have to come up with ideas week after week after week.
Maybe you feel this way when your account manager asks you to share a page of your website or an interesting article weekly (or more!) on all your social media platforms?
Maybe you feel like your marketing message is a bit random and you’re not sure how to keep those engaging with your online presence moving down the steps of the Customer Journey toward becoming clients?
It’ll take some effort, but here’s something we can all try together. In the marketing world, it’s called an Editorial Calendar.
Garrett Moon of CoSchedule.com put together some really great background information on content marketing and tips for creating your very own plan in a recent blog post, including free, online, interactive calendar templates.
An editorial calendar will help in so many ways:
- The team will be working together to drive toward the company goals = GROWTH!
- Your marketing message will be aligned, more cohesive and, therefore, more effective.
- Events will be promoted well in advance to boost your attendance.
- You’ll have record of your marketing efforts to compare with your success.
- Clearly identify what works (to continue more of) and what doesn’t.
- Increased efficiency lead by a guiding direction of goals, instead of guessing.
- You can delegate and assign tasks and set deadlines.
- Team members can easily see what has already been written about or what is already scheduled – no more staff covering the same information twice.
To begin your Editorial Calendar, start by outlining a rough draft of activities and goals for the rest of the year. Are you hosting any upcoming events? What are things that you hope to accomplish before 2016? Do you want more clients coming to your workshop, downloading your eBook or “Liking” your Facebook Business Page? Whatever it may be, grab a pencil and some paper and start making your timeline.
Now get with the other members of your team and brainstorm some ideas of how you can accomplish those goals. You may not be able to come up with a plan for your entire year right now, but you can at least start with what’s coming down the pipe and meet again next month.
If you have an upcoming workshop, research some articles or take note of in-house resources that would provide people with information about that topic. Find photos, songs or videos that you can share (legally) to engage your users. Or perhaps gather client testimonials of those who attended a similar event.
Then, mark on your calendar the dates you would like to start your “campaign” or promotion. For the workshop example, you can share an article on Facebook weeks in advance about the topic you’ll be speaking on.
Continue to think through different ways you can provide information to your readers and set dates on the calendar. You’ll need to allow time for researching as well as time actually on your social platforms posting, etc.
- Always include a “Call to Action” when sharing articles. Introduce the subject of the message you are trying to convey and wrap it up with, “Click here to register for our upcoming workshop on [Topic],” and link back to your website.
- Be sure to note on the editorial calendar who is responsible for gathering the content and posting it online.
Is this something you and your company already have in place? Do you have any questions? This is really right up my alley, but did I just create more stress for you?
If you need help getting started, please feel free to contact Integrity Marketing today. It may be that the goals you outline could be incorporated into your Essential Solution pieces as well – including your e-mail or print newsletter, website, or video.
We would be happy to discuss your ideas – and maybe even host you here at our office for a Private Firm Retreat!
Reference: CoSchedule Blog - "Create Consistent Content With A Content Marketing Editorial Calendar"