Have you got a better plan?

Happy New Year! I hope 2016 will be very successful for you and you’ll achieve whatever you want to.

[bctt tweet=”Probably one of the things you want from 2016 is greater awareness of your business, and more sales as a result. So how are you aiming to achieve that?”]  Probably – since you’re reading this – one of the things you want from 2016 is greater awareness of your business, and more sales as a result. So how are you aiming to achieve that?Have you got a plan? You know the old saw “If you fail to plan, …”.

Content planning

So if you haven’t done it yet, now’s the time to set up your Editorial Calendar. It sounds very grand but, if there’s just you doing the marketing, it needn’t be anything more fancy than a note to yourself every Wednesday (or whatever day works for you) to write your blog, or every morning to do some updating on LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram/pick-a-platform.

The point is to get it in the diary so that you don’t forget, because if you forget to do something once or twice it suddenly becomes much harder to do. On the other hand, if you do something every day for 30 days, it becomes a normal part of your routine so you don’t even have to think about doing it. And if it’s in the diary and it’s part of your marketing plan, it definitely doesn’t count as “wasting time”.

The time when a proper editorial calendar really comes into its own is when more than one person is involved in the marketing. The left hand has to know what the right hand is doing, or you’ll waste time and energy (and therefore money) doing things twice – or not doing them at all.

A wall planner is a good start. You can get all sorts of fancy-schmancy editorial calendars online, but they’re really not necessary unless you have a cast of thousands falling over themselves to write your content. All you need is something everyone can see, with enough space to write on.

Once you’ve got it, and stuck it up somewhere nice and visible, you need to fill it in. So bat some ideas around until you’ve got enough to get started, and write them in, preferably in some sort of logical order. I wouldn’t advise trying to do a whole quarter’s worth at once: it’s too rigid, doesn’t give you scope to react to items of interest. But do have a theme per quarter and use it as a hanger for relevant, newsworthy ideas as you go along.

Don’t be afraid to go off-topic from time to time, if there’s something in the news that’s relevant to your business but doesn’t fit the quarterly theme. As long as it’s still relevant to your business and your clients, it’s worth writing about. It makes a pleasant change from time to time for both you and your readers. Just don’t rely on the news to give you ideas instead of making a plan, because there will come a time when the news lets you down. I’ve seen some desperate shoe-horning in my time – I’ve done some, too. Trust me, a plan is worth spending an hour or two on!
And if you’ve been putting off starting writing a blog until the perfect moment, that moment’s arrived. There’s never going to be a better time to start.[bctt tweet=”If you’ve been putting off starting writing a blog until the perfect moment, that moment’s arrived. There’s never going to be a better time to start.”] It doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect when you start, or you have to re-write the whole thing three times before you think it’s fit to be seen. (You think I don’t edit? Think again!)

Just start.

Then do it again next week, and the week after. By the time you’ve done it 30 times, it will be part of your weekly routine (see above) – and you’ll have done more than six months’ worth. That’s more than most people ever get done, so you’ll be one of a small elite and can pat yourself smartly on the back.

But only if you start. Now.

P. S. If it still feels too daunting, give me a call. I do monthly blog packages at a surprisingly reasonable cost – I’ll even do the research for you. If your editorial calendar is on the back of an envelope at the bottom of a pile of stuff that needs doing some day, get in touch today and let me take that burden off your shoulders.