If you want to generate a constant stream of leads and sales for your business, you need to be publishing regular content – on your blog/vlog, for your email subscribers, on social media and, ideally, in the press.
But when you’re running your business single-handed it’s hard to be consistent with content.
You’re ‘good’ for a few weeks at time: posting regularly on all your social media networks, blogging/vlogging, sending out your email newsletter, reaching out to journalists…then things get busy.
Before you know it, it’s been days (or even weeks) since you’ve published any content. And it’s not always because you’re busy – sometimes you just feel like you’re all out of ideas.
If this sounds like you, please feel reassured that you’re not alone. One of the biggest challenges of doing business online is being consistent with your content.
That’s why I created the 2018 Media Diary – an A4 desk diary that’s packed with awareness dates and key dates you can use to plan your media content.
Here’s five reasons why it could be well worth your investment.
1.You’ll never run out of ideas again
The 2018 Media Diary is packed full of awareness days and key dates you can use to plan out your media content across the year. No more trawling the web for inspiration for blog articles, social media updates or ideas to pitch into the press.
Let’s say you choose Ditch New Year’s Resolution Day on January 17 (one of the dates included in the diary). You could use this is create the following content:
- Content: a blog post on which New Year’s Resolutions you should drop or keep in 2018
- An email with tips on how to stick to your New Year’s resolutions for your list
- An engaging question for any of your social media platforms e.g. ‘What’s the most unusual resolution you’ve ever made? ‘What are your tips on sticking with your New Year’s resolutions?’ or ‘How many days do you typically keep your New Year’s resolutions for?’
- Press: a pitch on ditching/keeping New Year’s resolutions to a magazine/newspaper you’d love to be featured in. Just make sure you do your research first, so you’re pitching the right kind of ideas to the right publication
You can use this approach if you have a product or service-based business. For example, if you’re a public speaking coach, you might create content about New Year’s resolutions you should drop/keep if you want more speaking gigs in 2018. If you make/sell skincare products, you could blog about the resolutions you should drop/keep if you want healthier skin in 2018.
If you run a product-based business, the key is to position yourself as an expert. Instead of ‘selling’, think about how you can add value to your prospective customers – by sharing relevant advice/tips, for example.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s fine to create some content that explains what your product is and how people can buy it, but if all you’re doing is ‘broadcasting’ about your how brilliant your product is, people will soon switch off.
2.You’ll save time (and money)
Planning your content ahead of time will not only save you time, trawling the web for content ideas (we’ve all been there), you’ll also be able to produce content in batches and re-purpose your content.
If you use tools like Canva or Picmonkey to create content e.g. images for social media, it’s much quicker to design a template and create multiple images in one ‘hit’ than do it as and when you need them.
If, like me, you outsource some of your content creation e.g. design or video editing it’s generally more cost-effective if you commission multiple pieces of content at one time.
For more tips on making your content go further, listen to: how to 10x your content.
3.You’ll create more shareable content
Content that taps into a current trend and/or something everyone is talking about right now (e.g. a new film, awareness day or a significant world event) generally performs better than generic content you could share at any time. This is particularly true when it comes to press i.e. coverage in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV.
When you pitch an idea to a journalist they’ll always ask themselves ‘why do people need to hear about this now?’ They may even ask you that question…and if you can’t answer it, you’ll probably get a ‘no’.
For example, during Baby Loss Awareness Week 2017, I approached the Guardian to see if they’d be interested in me writing an article on what to say to someone who has miscarried (they were). While it’s a good idea, I doubt it would have been accepted any other time of the year – the fact it was Baby Loss Awareness Week made it relevant and timely. How did I know that? Because it was in my media diary.
4.You’ll be able to plan ahead
If you’re constantly in a rush, creating content the day it’s due to be published, you’ll almost certainly have to compromise on quality.
Your 2018 Media Diary will help you plan further ahead so you can be more creative in your content creation.
For example, knowing it was National Punctuation Day (one of the dates in the diary) gave Beth Searle, founder of baby box business Be So Baby enough time to create this stop motion video for Instagram.
And planning her content ahead allowed Kate McQuillan founder of PetSitters Ireland to create a number of engaging pieces of blog content, including easy Pumpkin carving stencils, Halloween events in Dublin and Halloween dog costume ideas.
You’ll also be able to tie in your content with upcoming launches in your own business. So if you sell children’s pyjamas, you might choose to launch your new Kangaroo design on Australia Day. If you make handbags you might launch on National Handbag Day or during London Fashion Week. If you’re a tennis coach, you might decide to run your online coaching challenge during Wimbledon. All of these dates are included in the 2018 Media Diary. And once you start mapping out your content like this, you’ll find the ideas just keep coming.
5.You’ll be more consistent in your content creation
You’ve heard the phrase ‘what gets written down gets done’. Taking the time out to map out your media content for the coming year – and create quarterly and weekly plans – will ensure your content creation actually gets done.
6. You’ll make more sales (yay!)
If you’re publishing more regular content that’s getting shared on social media you’ll move up search engine rankings quicker (so you appear on the first few pages of Google), attract more traffic to your website and add more email subscribers to your list. All of which will result in more leads and sales for your business.
Would you like 2018 to be the year you finally get on top of your content planning? You can buy a copy of my 2018 media diary here.