content planner

How to get the most out of your 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner

 

Investing in the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner is a great way to save time and money on your content planning and creation - and ensure you never run out of ideas.

The diary is jam-packed with awareness days and key dates you can use to plan out your media content across the year. Not only will this save you time (no more trawling the web for inspiration for blog articles, social media updates or ideas to pitch into the press), it will also make it easier for you to produce content in batches and repurpose your content.

But when you’re running a business single-handed - or even in a small team -  it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. And when things get really busy, content planning and creation can end up slipping further and further down your to-do list.

With that in mind, here’s a guide to making the most of your 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner. 

1.Set up a dedicated email folder for the 2020 Media Diary 

Redirect any mail relating to the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner into the folder, so you can find emails easily (we’ll email every you month with new dates to add to your diary).

While you’re at it, do whitelist my email address (i.e. add it to a safe list of emails) to ensure they don’t end up in spam. The method for doing this will vary according to your email provider, but if you Google ‘how to whitelist an address with [INSERT NAME OF EMAIL PROVIDER]’ you can easily find instructions.

N.B. If you use a different email address for PayPal, that’s the one we’ll have on file for you associated with your diary purchase, so let us know which address you’d like us to use to keep in touch with you.  

2.Bookmark the Media Diary Owners' Club membership site (if applicable)

If you’ve also joined the Media Diary Owners’ Club bookmark the URL for the membership is www.janetmurraymembers.com (this is where you’ll be able to access the digital resources when they're available). Please bookmark this.

We will also email you dates of our four quarterly coaching calls as soon as these are available. Add these to your diary (a replay will be available, but it’s always better to attend live if you can).

If you've purchased your 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner but didn't join the Media Diary Owners Club, you can upgrade to add the membership here.

 

3.Schedule time to create your content plan

Block out half a day (or at least a couple of hours) for an initial planning session with your diary. Take some time away from your usual place of work if you can - ideally somewhere where you feel relaxed e.g. a favourite cafe or hotel lobby. If you try to do it in fits and starts, not only will it take you longer, you’ll struggle to get into that creative zone where your ideas are flowing (which is exactly where you need to be).

Your diary includes detailed instructions on how to personalise your media planning (i.e. selecting which awareness days/key dates to add) and create yearly, quarterly and weekly content plans. But do remember that your media diary is not a static document (you should be adding dates to it throughout the year).

4.Schedule regular time for planning and content creation

I wish I could tell you there was a magic solution to your content challenge. But while the 2020 Media Diary is a fantastic resource, it is not a magic solution. You do need to put in the work.

That means setting aside a good half-day, with no interruptions, to mark up your media diary for the year and creating quarterly, monthly and weekly plans. Ideally you should be working on your weekly plans at last a couple of weeks ahead, so block out time in your diary to do this (ideally at the same time each week).

You’ll also need to set aside regular time for content creation. I’ve created dozens of podcast episodes on how to create engaging, shareable content, including how to write social media posts that sell. 

Follow the steps I lay out for you and you’ll publish much better quality content in 2020 than you could have imagined (and you’ll do it more regularly).  

But if you miss steps out - particularly in this all-important planning stage - then you’ll be right back where you started in no time. And I don’t want to sound all schoolmarmish...but I don’t want to have to say ‘I told you so’.

5.At the same time, be realistic

It takes at least a year of consistent work to build an audience and create a content strategy that really works for your business. So set realistic goals, be kind to yourself and try not to compare yourself unfavourably to others.

In my experience, ‘comparisonitis’ is the biggest threat to your business success. Comparing yourself to others you perceive as more successful is not helpful: they may be further on in their journey, have more money and resources at their disposal, be working in a completely different industry...the variables are endless. Focus on your own content, on your own improvement and get there in your own time.

6.Ask if you need help

If you’re stuck on something, please don’t struggle in silence. If you’re a member of my Build Your Online Audience Programme, post your challenge in the Facebook group, tag me in and I’ll jump in and give you some help. You’ll also get support and advice from other members, which can be invaluable. My assistant Jo-Anna Francis is also on hand to help, so tag her in too (in fact you’ll probably get a speedier response). If you’re not a member, drop us a line on [email protected]

If you're reading this and haven't yet bought your 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner or joined the Media Diary Owners' Club, then you can find out more here and grab your copy of the diary.

 

Bought the 2019 Media Diary but didn't use it as much as you hoped?

If you bought last year’s media diary, but didn’t use it as much as you hoped, you may be wondering if it’s worth buying the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner. 

With that in mind, here are some points to consider when deciding whether or not to buy again.

1.Don’t beat yourself up about it

We’ve all bought resources or signed up to online training programmes we haven’t used as much as we’d like to. Sometimes life or business (or both) just gets in the way. That doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t be able to create a media plan for 2020 - and stick to it.

2.Identify what went wrong (and how you could put it right)

If you bought last year’s Social Media Diary & Planner and didn’t use it as much as you hoped, it’s important to pinpoint why. Perhaps you didn’t set aside the time for an initial media planning session (highly recommended) which set you off on the wrong foot for the whole year. Or maybe you did some initial planning but didn’t make time for regular content planning/creation sessions (also highly recommended). It could be that you intended to make content planning/creation a focus in 2019, but something else took priority. If you can identify exactly what set you back, you can put strategies in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

This year I’ve created a blog post on how to get the most out of your 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner which should help you get off on the right foot.

3.Get support

If you’re worried you won’t be able to stick to a content plan, consider joining the Media Diary Owners’ Club for extra accountability. In addition to your A4 desk diary, you’ll get:

  • The Content Planning Masterclass (includes a workbook and online classes on content planning/repurposing plus creating shareable content)
  • digital version of the diary (so you can print off specific pages/sections)
  • Additional printables for use alongside the diary to help you plan your content
  • quarterly group coaching call with me to generate ideas for the following quarter and keep you on track.
  • A weekly content inspiration email (full of content ideas using upcoming dates from the diary)

All of which should help you stick to your plan.

4.Don’t be afraid to try again

Just because something didn’t work out the first time round, doesn’t mean it won’t work on your second try. I’ve tried and failed at least once with most things in my business e.g. email marketing, Facebook advertising, content strategy (to give you just a few examples). Each time I’ve just picked myself up and tried again.

The real game changer for me was starting a podcast. Committing to turning up every week - regardless of whatever else is going on in my life and business - has helped me take action (and keep taking it). If you’re committed to publishing quality content in 2019 that generates a constant stream of leads and sales for your business, you can and will make time for it.

If you’re still not sure, ask yourself this: ‘Will I be happy if I’m still struggling with content creation this time next year?’

If the answer is ‘no’ you should definitely consider trying the media diary again.  Read six compelling reasons to buy the 2020  Social Media Diary & Planner. 

5. Don't get hung up about how you use the diary

As this is the fourth year I’ve published the Social Media Diary & Planner, I can tell you with some confidence that people use the diary in different ways.

  • Some people write in it every day - using it both as their personal/professional planner
  • Others just use it for business - alongside a personal diary
  • Some people it in conjunction with a number of diaries and notebooks
  • A few (not many, but there’s definitely some) just use it as a reference book - specifically for the awareness days and key dates. 

And some environmentally conscious diary users who don’t want a hard copy of the diary have just bought the ‘digital’ version the Media Diary Owners’ Club.

All of which is absolutely fine.

Getting a return on investment is not about how much ink you add to the diary - it’s about the value it adds to your business (by saving you time, money, hassle and so on).

Create 52 weeks of content with the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner

Do you find it hard to think of creative content ideas and stick to a content plan for more than a few weeks at a time?

It all starts with content planning and that’s exactly what the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner is designed to help you do.

It’s an A4 desk diary that includes hundreds of awareness days and key dates to help you plan your media content for 2020. There’s also useful planning tools to help you with annual, quarterly, monthly and weekly planning (and save you tons of time in the process).

Invest in the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner and, not only will you save time and money on your content planning and creation, you’ll never run out of ideas again.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to planning 52 weeks of content using the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner. 

1. Block out some time for content planning

First things first, set aside some dedicated time for your content planning. If you can, go off site. Find a cafe you like to work in – a quiet hotel lobby - anywhere where you can focus on this task uninterrupted. You’ll be much more productive and creative this way.

2. Create your annual content plan

It can be helpful to approach your content like a videographer. Start with ‘wide shot’ of your business - looking at how to shape your content across the year - and gradually zoom closer, until you’re focusing on quarterly, weekly and daily content.

So let’s start with that ‘wide shot’ of your year. Think about the key things that are happening in your business in each quarter of the year. When will you be launching new products/services? Are you doing any speaking? Will you be attending any industry events? List at least three key things for each quarter.

There is a planning sheet in the diary to help with this. If you’re in the Media Diary Owner’s Club – perfect if you want some extra training, support and accountability to help you make the most of your diary – it’s also available as a printable. Find out more about the difference between the 2020 Media Diary and Media Diary Owners’ Club.

Once you've written down what you're going to be doing each quarter, see if you can find two or three awareness days/key dates in the diary you can use to spark content ideas.

For example, if you have a pet business, you might want to create some timely content around Crufts dog show in March. If you design clothes or accessories, you could create some content around London Fashion Week in January. And if you run a food business, you might plan some content around National Doughnut day in June.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking some of the dates in the diary aren’t ‘serious’ enough for your business. With a bit of creative thinking, it’s entirely possible to make them work for you. For example, parenting blogger Jenni Fuchs turned Hedgehog Day into a round-up of hedgehog picture books for children - which turned out to be one of her most popular posts that month.

Read: how to double your web traffic in 10 easy steps.

In this phase of your content planning, try not to overthink things. There’s no commitment; just because you write something down doesn’t mean you have to do it.

Some media diary owners tell me they struggle with this first task because they don’t know what they’re going to be doing in their business in 2020. If this is the case, you have a business problem not a content problem. This means you’ll need to go back to the drawing board and plan out what’s happening in your business in each quarter before you move onto your content planning.

Others say they fear writing anything down in case their business plans change in the future. Again, it’s important not to overthink this. You’ll always have to factor in change in any business and it’s much less time consuming  to tweak a plan you’ve already worked on than to start from scratch. Just apply your best thinking right now.

3. Create your quarterly content plan

Once you've created your annual content plan, you can zoom in a little closer and start your quarterly content planning.

To make life easy for yourself in 2020, I suggest you create one key piece of content a week, whether it’s a blog/vlog, podcast, Facebook Live or infographic and repurpose it into multiple pieces of content (more on how to do this later).

This means you only need to come up with a list of 12 ideas for each quarter - ideas that complement the key business activities and dates you’ve already identified in your annual content plan. Simple when you put it like that, right?

Here’s two methods you can use to create your list of 12 ideas (or you can combine the two).

Method 1: Base content around your customers’ questions - Start by making a list of 12 questions your customers ask you regularly - both generic questions and specific ones about your product/service. Then look to answer these questions through your chosen content form.

For example, my prospective customers often ask me questions like this about content planning.

  • Why do I need a content plan?
  • How often should I be publishing new content?
  • What kind of content should I be creating for my business?
  • What are the biggest mistakes people make with content planning?
  • How far ahead should I be planning my content?
  • How flexible should I be with my content planning? Is there any room for spontaneity?

There’s six content ideas right there.

They also ask me quite specific questions about the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner:

  • What are benefits of buying the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner?
  • What’s the difference between the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner and the Media Diary Owners’ Club?
  • Can I see inside the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner?
  • Will the media diary help me if I have a product-based business?
  • Is the 2020 Media Diary suitable for business owners based outside the UK?
  • I bought last year’s Social Media Diary & Planner but I didn’t use it. Should I buy it again?

There’s another six content ideas - some of which I’ve already turned into blog posts.

Method 2: Create content for each stage of your customer journey

Knowlton Digital Marketing founder Dan Knowlton talks about the need to create three types of content designed to attract customers at each stage of the buying journey. These are:

  1. Awareness content
  2. Consideration content
  3. Purchase content.

For example, my podcast episodes tend to address a specific problem listeners are experiencing e.g. how to make more sales in their business, how to get engagement on social media or how to generate passive income. This is awareness content - because it’s raising awareness of the problem and how I might be able to help.

This blog post on the difference between the 2020 Media Diary and Media Diary Owners’ Club  is an example of consideration content as I’m addressing prospective customers’ concerns and helping them make a buying decision.

An example of purchase content would be the Facebook Lives I hosted to launch the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner. They were aimed at those who were interested in buying the diary, but wanted more information - including how and where they could buy it.

There are no hard and fast rules about how much of each type of content you should create - it really depends on what you’re selling and when. For example, if you’re launching a new product/service in February, it makes sense to focus on awareness content in January and create more consideration and purchase content in the weeks leading up to (and during) your launch.

I’ve now shared two possible approaches to creating a list of 12 content ideas for each quarter of the year. If you're part of the Media Diary Owners' Club there are printables and proformas to help you do this.

Most people struggle to plan content in great detail beyond 90 days, so put a date in your diary to plan for the next 90 days. Just being able to look across the first 90 days will really take the pressure off.

4. Create your weekly content plan

With your quarterly plan complete, you can zoom in a little closer and create a weekly content plan for your business.

This is where content repurposing comes in. Now that you’re focusing on creating one key piece of content a week, start to think about how you can break that down over a week.

For example, you could record a video, strip out the audio and turn it into a podcast. You could use a resource like rev.com to generate a transcript and turn that into a blog post. Then you could pull out some soundbites from the transcript and turn them into infographics for social media (using a graphic design tool like Canva), audio trailers (using a resource like Headliner) and video trailer (using a tool like Kapwing). If you focus on making that cornerstone piece of content work as hard for you as possible (by repurposing it in different ways), you’ll soon have enough content for every day of the week.

And don’t be afraid to post your content more than once. People are busy and may not see it the first time round (or even the third, fourth or fifth).

5. Creating your daily content plan

Now that you know which key pieces of content you’ll be producing each week and how that can be broken down into lots of smaller pieces of content, all you have to do is work out which piece will be published on which platform each day.

In the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner, there’s space for you to plan what content you’re going to post on each of your social media channels on different days of the week – perfect for visualising how each week of your social media content will look.

If you've always found content planning an overwhelming, arduous job, you'll love how easy it becomes when you have the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner sitting on your desk.

Get a copy of your 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner and if you need more support and accountability you can get that in the Media Diary Owners' Club.

Find out more about the difference between the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner and the Media Diary Owners’ Club.

Common concerns about 2019 Sorted

Thinking about buying 2019 Sorted the online toolkit for entrepreneurs and creatives?

It’s natural to worry about whether you’re making the right decision (and what might happen if you make the wrong choice).

If you’re not familiar with 2019 Sorted it’s an an online toolkit for entrepreneurs and creatives. It will walk you through the steps you need to create a year-long content plan for your business - in just a few hours.

It’s specifically designed for entrepreneurs and creatives who want to publish consistent content but get easily distracted and overwhelmed. Which is why it's broken down into four easy steps.

You can find out more here.

Here are some of the most common concerns prospective customers raise about about buying 2019 Sorted - an online toolkit for entrepreneurs and creatives (and my response).

Some prospective customers say they love the idea of the 2019 Sorted - the content planning toolkit for entrepreneurs and creatives. But they feel it won’t work for them because they’ve never managed to stick to a content plan in the past.

My advice:

Just because something didn’t work out the first time round, doesn’t mean it won’t ever work for you. I’ve tried and failed at least once with most things in my business e.g. email marketing, Facebook advertising, content strategy (to give you just a few examples). Each time I’ve just picked myself up and tried again.

The real game changer for me was starting a podcast. Committing to turning up twice week – regardless of whatever else is going on in my life and business – has helped me take action (and keep taking it). If you’re committed to publishing quality content in 2019 that generates a constant stream of leads and sales for your business, you can and will make time for it.

If you’re still not sure, ask yourself this: ‘Will I be happy if I’m still struggling with content creation this time next year?’ If the answer is 'no' you need to give this topic some attention.

Some small business owners tell me they love the idea of 2019 Sorted - the content planning toolkit for entrepreneurs and creatives. But they are too busy running their business to create content.

My advice:

If you want to generate a constant stream of leads and sales for your business - and not be constantly wondering where your next customer is coming from, you need to give people a reason to visit your website. That means publishing regular content - on your blog/vlog, for your email subscribers, on social media and, ideally, in the press (all of which can be can be outsourced if necessary).

It’s great to be busy, but if you’re firefighting at the expense of marketing, in a few months time, you may find you haven’t got a business.

Are you really so busy you can’t spare a few hours to invest in the long-term health of your business?

Some prospective customers tell me they love the idea of 2019 Sorted - the content planning toolkit for entrepreneurs and creatives but they can’t afford it.

My advice

If you’re not making much money - or are in the very early stages of your business - it’s understandable to be nervous about spending on training.

But investing time in learning how to create a content plan (and actually doing one) will not only save you time, it will also help you make sales in your business.

Investing in 2019 Sorted, works out as less than 47p a day. So if you’re on a budget, it’s actually a really cost-effective marketing spend.

If you’re reading this post, you’re clearly an entrepreneurial sort. The the first thing you need to do is change your mindset. Instead of saying ‘I can’t afford it’ ask yourself ‘‘what could I do to make it affordable?’ This list of ten things you can do to raise the money for training/business development should help  you generate some ideas.

Some prospective customers tell me they love the idea of 2019 Sorted - the content planning toolkit for entrepreneurs and creatives. But they already have my media diary and/or belong to the Media Diary Owners’ Club.

My advice:

The Media Diary Owners’ Club is a year-long membership for those who want ongoing support with their content planning and creation. This includes a 2019 Media Diary, four online group coaching calls and a Facebook group

2019 Sorted is an online toolkit that will walk you through the steps you need to create a year-long content plan for your business. This does NOT include any ongoing support. It is, essentially, an online course you can work through at your own pace.

So if you already belong to the Media Diary Owners’ Club unless you specifically want access to the bonus content and some of the additional printables (you can check it out here) I would advise you NOT to buy 2019 Sorted.

Some prospective customers tell me they love the idea of 2019 Sorted - the content planning toolkit for entrepreneurs and creatives, But they don’t think it’s suitable for them because they have a product-based business.

My advice

If you want to attract traffic, leads and sales for your business you need to be publishing regular content on your website -  regardless of whether you run a product or service-based business. Which means you need a content plan.

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. You can do this by sharing relevant advice/tips, for example.

This is exactly what Redhound for Dogs founder Debbie Humphreys does on her blog with posts like how to make camping with dogs successful, 10 frozen treats to delight your dog  and how to cope when your dog is in season. By creating valuable content that solves peoples’ problems, Debbie can attract traffic to her site. It also helps her build relationships with prospective customers. So when they’re looking to buy stylish dog attire, they know exactly where to find it.

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.

If you'd like to start 2019 with a killer content plan for your business then you can grab 2019 Sorted here.

Six compelling reasons to invest in 2019 Sorted

When you’re running a business single-handed it can be hard to stay consistent with your 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...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. Sticking to a regular content schedule can be one of the hardest parts about running an online business.

That’s why I created 2019 Sorted - the content planning toolkit for entrepreneurs and creatives.

Here’s five reasons why it could be well worth your investment.

1. You’ll create a content plan for your business... in just a few hours

2019 Sorted is an online toolkit that will walk you through the steps you need to create a year-long content plan for your business….in just a few hours.

It’s specifically designed for entrepreneurs and creatives who want to publish consistent content but get easily distracted and overwhelmed. This is why it’s broken down into four easy-to-follow steps.

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, you’ll also be able to produce content in batches and repurpose your content. You can find out more about repurposing your content here).

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 podcast editing, it’s generally more cost-effective to commission multiple pieces of content at one time.

Get tips on how to make your content go further.

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 can share at any time.

My 2019 Media Diary is full of key dates and awareness days you can use to plan out your content. You can buy it alongside 2019 Sorted - the content planning toolkit for entrepreneurs and creatives.

4. You’ll create better quality content

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.

2019 Sorted will help you plan further ahead so you can be more creative in your content creation.

Planning content ahead allows parenting blogger Jenni Fuchs to plan timely, seasonal content, such as five happy hoppy books for Easter, Halloween pumpkin window pictures and our top five Christmas movies for kids.

Find out how she’s doubled the audience for her blog here.  

Planning further ahead will also allow you to tie your content in 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 2019 Media Diary (which you can buy alongside 2019 Sorted). 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

If you're publishing more regular content which is getting shared on social media, you'll move up the search engine rankings quicker (so you appear on the first few pages of Google). This will help you 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.

If you'd like to start 2019 with a killer content plan for your business then you can grab 2019 Sorted here.

 

[220] How to create a planner or journal for your industry

If you’re a fan of my 2018 Media Diary, you might be wondering if you could create a similar planner or journal for your own industry.

In this episode, I share my tips on launching a diary or planner you can sell to your customers.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • Why you need to start by working out who is going to buy your planner - and tips on building the audience you’ll need
  • How to make sure you are creating something your audience actually wants - and how to test your ideas before you spend any money on design or printing
  • Advice on working out the price of your planner or diary

Key resources

Register your interest in my course to create - and launch - your own planner

Order the 2018 Media Diary or join the Media Diary Owners’ Club

The Soulful PR Studio

Video of Soulful PR Live

Soulful PR for Starters

A PDF guide to navigating the podcast episodes

The new speaking page on my website

Podcast How to get started with email marketing (episode 216)

Podcast How to build raving fans through livestreaming (and why you need to) with Livestream Katya (episode 195)

Podcast How to build a thriving online community with Emily Quinton from Makelight (episode 197)

Podcast How to test your business ideas (episode 184)

Soulful PR Podcast Community on Facebook: chat about the show with Janet and other listeners

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

My FREE Soulful PR Facebook Community: tips & advice for promoting your business

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

What to do next

If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it using the social media buttons at the top of this page.

I’d also love it if you could take a few minutes to  leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes. I read every one personally and may even read yours out on the show.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live.