content

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.

 

Need An Editorial Calendar Template For Your 2020 Marketing Strategy? (Hint: The 2020 Diary Is It!)

You know you need to be more consistent with your content but you’re struggling to get into a rhythm. And you often struggle to come up with ideas for social media updates and for your blog/vlog and email newsletter.

Sound familiar?

I’ve struggled with this in the past too. I’ll admit I’m not the most organised person in the world but I’m very productive, publishing hundreds of podcasts, blogs and social media posts every year, and rarely missing a deadline.

So what changed? I put systems in place to help with content planning. I now know exactly what I’ll be publishing, where, when and – most importantly – why.

This is what led me to create the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner , an A4 desk diary designed to help you hit your content goals – not just for a few weeks, but for an entire year. The diary takes you through your annual, quarterly, weekly and daily planning with the help of templates, planners and hundreds of key dates and awareness days to inspire your content. Read: How the 2020 Media Diary Can Help You Create 52 Weeks of Content.

Just as it has for me, the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner will save you time on your content planning and creation, and give you tons of content ideas for the coming year, allowing you to create multiple pieces of content from a single blog post, video or podcast.

If you prefer a little more support, guidance and accountability to stay focused and on track, the Media Diary Owners’ Club is ideal. Read more about the difference between the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner and the Media Diary Owners’ Club.

Here’s how to use the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner to create your 2020 editorial calendar. 

Create your annual content plan

Start by blocking off some time, undisturbed, to take a longer-term, broad look at the whole of 2020.

Whilst you won’t know exactly what’s happening every week - or even every month - there will be some key business activities you have planned at various points throughout the year.

Next, list two to three things that are happening within your business in each quarter of the year. If you run an online shop it might be that you already know which time/s of the year you’ll be running sales so you can plot those in. If you have stands at expos you can put in the dates of the events you’ll be exhibiting. Or maybe you run your own live events and/or are a speaker and already have some dates booked in.

There’s a handy planning sheet in the diary to help with this and if you’re in the Media Diary Owners’ Club it’s available as a printable.

Next, look at what’s happening in the wider world and in your industry as a whole.

Pick two or three awareness dates per quarter that are relevant or could be connected in some way to you and your business.

Plot these in the diary and use them as inspiration for content. In the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner we’ve included hundreds of key dates connected with sport, food and health and so much more.

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.

Create your quarterly plan

Now that you’ve formed an overview of your year, it’s time to focus in on each individual quarter. If you struggle to work on all four quarters in one go, I'd suggest starting with Q1 and making a note in your diary to work on Q2 in a few weeks’ time.

If you want your content plan to be manageable, it’s best to plan one piece of cornerstone content for each week. This one key piece of content (whether it’s a video, blog or podcast episode) can then be broken down into multiple pieces of repurposed content for each day of the week. This means you’ll only need 12 ideas for each quarter. Sounds more manageable already, right?

Plot these pieces across the weeks of your quarter/s, based on your business activities and the key dates and awareness days you’ve chosen to focus on so your content will be timely and engaging.

Plan your weekly content

Now it’s time to zoom in even closer in on 2020 and look at each individual week.

Take each piece of content you’ve planned for each week, and work out how you can break it down in several smaller pieces of content. This is the beauty of repurposing. A video can become a blog, you can strip the audio from it and put it out on your podcast or you can work with a graphic designer or use a tool like Canva to create some eye-catching images based on key points and quotes from the video.

Content repurposing - combined with a creative mindset - will make every piece of content work harder for you and your business. You’ll no longer be stuck for fresh ideas for content when you’ve got this content repurposing plan in place.

Schedule your daily content

This is where you plan the detail of what content is going to go out on which platforms each day.

The 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner contains a planning template for each week where you can jot down the content you plan to publish on all of your channels.

I recommend using a tool such as Buffer or Hootsuite to get your content written out and scheduled in advanced, which will take away the day-to-day pressure.

If you want to make 2019 the year that your content really starts working for you, drawing in business and converting sales, then the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner is what you need. If you like the idea of more support and accountability, as well as further advice on how to use the diary, we’d be delighted to give you that in the Media Diary Owners’ Club.

Nine reasons to attend #2020 Sorted

Taking time out from your business to attend a conference or workshop is good for you. You develop new ideas, learning and relationships that can have a big impact on the bottom line of your business.

But deciding which conferences and workshops to attend can be a challenge. Not only is there the price of your ticket to consider, you may also need to think about travel, accommodation, food – and time spent away from your business.

A quick bit of background: #2020 Sorted is a live content planning masterclass that will walk you through the steps you need to create a year-long content plan for your business.

It’s specifically designed for coaches, creatives and entrepreneurs who want to publish consistent content but get easily distracted and overwhelmed (it takes one to know one)

Included with your ticket will be your 2020 Media Diary, packed full of awareness days and key dates you can use to plan out your content across the year. No more trawling the web for inspiration for blog articles, social media updates or ideas for your email marketing.

Here’s nine reasons to attend #2020 Sorted in Northampton on 14 and 15 November 2019. 

1.You’ll learn how to put together an annual content plan for you business (saving you time and money)

If you’ve ever found yourself struggling for ideas to post social media, on your blog/vlog  or in your email newsletter (if you have one) this is the event for you. You’ll learn how to use key dates/awareness days - alongside your own launches and busy periods - to plan your content up to a year in advance. 

If you opt to stay on for the VIP mastermind session, you’ll get personalised feedback on content strategy from me and the other speakers.

2.You’ll get inspiration for content (you’ll never run out of ideas again)

You’ll learn new approaches to content creation e.g. themed months, seasons and series that will help you generate ideas you can adapt for different purposes e..g blog/vlog, email marketing, social media. You’ll be full of ideas when you leave (and they’ll just keep coming).

3. You’ll get to learn from the best

You’ll hear from some of the world’s leading content marketing experts. You’ll also hear from six inspiring content creators who are making their mark on a specific platform, including Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn & Facebook. are (all current former clients and/or members of my team).  There’s no fluff at a Janet Murray event. All of our speakers will share practical advice you can apply in your business straight away. 

Learn how I chose the speakers for #2020 Sorted

4.You’ll find out how to create multiple pieces of content from one idea

You’ll learn about content stacking i.e. taking one idea and turning it to multiple pieces of content e.g. blog post, social media update, video, presentation, infographic. Making each piece of content go further will save you tons of time and energy in the long run.

5.You’ll learn how to plan content ahead of a launch 

You’ll learn how to plan content ahead of the launch of a new product or service. You’ll get checklists of the key pieces of content you should create for each launch e.g. blogs/vlogs, marketing emails, social media updates, images and infographics - along with guidance on how long each launch period should be.

6.You’ll learn how to create a content promotion strategy

You’ll learn the exact steps you should take every time you publish a new piece of content to get the maximum return on investment. You’ll also learn about social media scheduling and management tools to help save time. 

7.You’ll learn how to generate content ideas from topical news stories

Planning ahead is great, but it’s good to plan for spontaneity too. You’ll learn how to ‘piggyback’ on topical news stories to create timely content for your blog/vlog, email newsletter, social media updates and to pitch into the press (including how to execute your ideas quickly, which is crucial).

8. You’ll be learning with like-minded business owners 

Not only will you come away from the event full of ideas and ready to create your content plan for 2020, you’ll also make new friends and meet people you may want to collaborate with in the future. Most delegates will be staying at the venue, so you can continue conversations beyond the more formal parts of the day. 

9. You’ll have a lot of fun

It sounds corny...but I believe the best learning happens when you’re having fun. Which is why we arrange plenty of social events (drinks, dinners, cocktails etc) during the two-day event.  Find out what it's like to attend a Janet Murray event.

Want to attend my annual content planning masterclass #2020 Sorted on 14 and 15 November 2019? You can book your ticket here.

[341] How to use stories to attract your ideal clients with Marsha Shandur

Do you want to attract more of the right clients? Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to build an audience and to establish trust and credibility.

But many people either lack confidence in their storytelling ability or are scared of revealing too much of themselves.

In this episode, I talk to story coach Marsha Shandur who teaches others how to tell their own personal stories to build audiences. She explains the power of storytelling, busts the myths surrounding it, and gives practical advice on using stories to grow your audience.

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode}.

Why storytelling is important

Storytelling makes people who encounter you – a potential client or somebody you want to subscribe to your email list  – feel like they already know you.

As Marsha explains: “Given the choice between hiring someone who we knew was a friend of a friend, or hiring someone who's a total stranger, we’re more likely to go for the friend of a friend because there's some trust value there. Telling stories is a way to make strangers feel like they're your friends instantly.”

Myths about storytelling

“There’s a myth that either you're a good storyteller or you're not, like you're born with the talent for it or you're not. We all tell stories when we're kids, but we forget that,” says Martha.

She believes storytelling is a learnable skill and that there are a set of rules to follow that anyone can learn.

Another myth is that people think they have to have a fascinating life to be able to tell engaging stories. In reality, it's not about the story you tell, but about how you tell it. In fact, if your aim is to build an audience or to make a connection with people who don't know you, the less outrageous your story, the more likely people are to connect with it.

Marsha uses the example of people who quit corporate life to follow their dream career for entrepreneurship. Typically these kind of people believe their story isn’t interesting or dramatic enough to attract their ideal clients.

But Marsha believes a story like this can give you credibility. There will be other people out there who want to quit corporate life because they want to be an entrepreneur. That story will resonate with them and give them confidence that you understand their problem.

It also offers hope – you’re showing them there’s a way out of the situation they’re in.

It also shows prospective clients that they are not alone - that there are other people out there who feel the way that do. This is really powerful.

Whether you want people to hire you, to buy from you or subscribe to your mailing list and get on board with you, you need to create trust in them, and that’s what personal stories do.

The importance of sharing vulnerabilities

Many coaches, consultants and entrepreneurs are terrified of sharing personal details of their life - particularly if they have previously been in corporate life.

Janet’s clients often tell her they are worried about oversharing, being boring and/or being laughed at by former colleagues.

But being vulnerable isn’t about sharing huge life-changing events. It’s about showing small vulnerabilities and being honest enough to admit that your life is not perfect.

In fact, Janet believes being vulnerable can help you create a stronger connection between you and your audience.

For Marsha too, showing vulnerability is a crucial part of helping people connect with you. She explains, “When we meet someone, vulnerability is the last thing we want to show them but it's the first thing we look for. The reason we want vulnerability is because we feel inadequate if we're around people who don't show it.”

Leadership and vulnerability

Many coaches, consultants and entrepreneurs also worry that being vulnerable will compromise their status as a leader.

But this is rarely the case - as Janet found when she accidentally went live on Facebook page recently. In fact, people contacted her afterwards and said that seeing her mess up made them feel so much better about things that had gone wrong for them in the past.

As Marsha points out, “Telling a story about a time that you were imperfect, shows people that you’re not a perfect robot.”

If you’re worried about oversharing, Marsha recommends choosing stories that allow you to maintain emotional distance. Sharing too much – for example, that you’ve had a fight with your husband  –  could mean that your audience won't feel safe. But sharing that you accidentally went live on Facebook is unlikely to have the same effect.

Janet Murray Speaking at Youpreneur Summit 2017

How to be a good storyteller

It’s tempting to think that being a good storyteller means sharing all the details: the beginning, the middle and the end. Actually the opposite is true. It’s the small ‘moments’ that help your audience connect with you.

A great story consists of two things, says Marsha.

  1. How you felt
  2. What happened next

For example, Janet recalls being sat at a speakers’ dinner with her entrepreneurial heroes Pat Flynn and John Lee Dumas sat beside her. A woman came up, knelt down beside her and said ‘are you one of the speakers’ wives?’ (Janet was also a speaker at the event).

The fact Janet refers to them as her ‘entrepreneurial heroes’ tells us she was excited [how she felt] and the woman kneeling down beside her is the ‘what happened next.’

One story can be told from different angles - allowing you to repurpose your content. For example, Janet has already used this story in her social media marketing in a number of different ways.

Angle 1: How Janet can’t help getting starstruck when she meets her entrepreneurial heroes

Angle 2: How difficult it is for women speakers to be taken seriously

Angle 3: The curse of being British and polite (Janet almost pretended she wasn’t a speaker so she didn’t hurt the woman’s feelings)

How to deal with criticism

One of Janet’s clients had an unsettling experience after going live on Facebook and receiving some unsolicited criticism from a friend, discouraging her from doing any more video.

Marsha think this is difficult to avoid when doing anything in the public eye and has had similar experiences herself.

And, as marketing is generally about attracting and repelling people, if some people don’t like what you’re doing, it can actually be an effective way of flushing out timewasters.

“Even if your story offends a bunch of people or makes them think badly of you, it also will have helped a load of other people. So if someone is mean, remember that's not the person that you're trying to effect. That's not the person that you want on your mailing list. And that's also not the person who’s going to relate to your story - or become your client.”

Podcast show notes:

  • Marsha’s business story
  • Why people are scared of storytelling (and why you shouldn’t be)
  • Why it’s good to show vulnerability (without airing all your dirty laundry)
  • How to get to the point and pick out ‘the moment’ that will hook people in
  • Why you shouldn’t worry if your stories are not for everyone
  • How sharing your mistakes or fears helps people to feel comfortable

Resources

Marsha’s Website: Yes Yes Marsha

Marsha on Twitter and Instagram

Purchase the ‘How to create coaching packages’ masterclass here

Join the waitlist for the Build Your Audience Programme here

Janet Murray’s Audience Calculator

Join the priority wait list for Build Your Audience Live Event here

Apply for a place on the LinkedIn Content Strategy Masterclass here

Get your hands on the ‘How to write awesome sales copy’ course now

Register your interest in the Build Your Audience programme

Order the 2019 Sorted Content Planning Toolkit here

Order the 2019 Media Diary

Order the 2019 Media Diary and Media Diary Owners’ Club

Order the 2019 Wall Year Planner

Janet Murray’s Love Marketing Membership

Love Marketing, Make Money Income Goals Checklist

The Janet Murray Show Podcast Guide

My YouTube channel

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional

Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn

How I chose the speakers for Build Your Audience Live

If you’re thinking of coming along to Build Your Audience Live you may want to know more about the speakers – and how I chose them.

A quick bit of background: At Build Your Audience Live you’ll get to meet some of the world’s most inspiring marketing experts – all of whom have built a large online audience on a particular platform (or several). And you won’t just get to meet them…you’ll get to hang out with them for the full two day event.

We keep the event deliberately small (80 delegates max) so you can chat to them over, coffee, lunch, dinner – and during our dedicated table talks where you can get personalised advice on how to promote your business. Topics include: video marketing, podcasting, social media strategy, Pinterest marketing, traffic generation, Facebook ads, Instagram marketing, content strategy, SEO & traffic generation, Twitter marketing & more.

There’s absolutely NO queuing at the side of the stage for a selfie…these guys are all yours for the ENTIRE two days.

Janet Murray (that’s me)

In 2015, I was a journalist with a blog about how to get featured in the press. Today I’m a content marketing expert, author, podcaster and speaker who speaks all over the world about building online audiences. I run my business from home, generating income from a membership community, mastermind groups, online courses and related products. I’m passionate about helping entrepreneurs, coaches and consultants build online audiences because I know it’s the quickest route to making a decent income (without having to trade time for money). I also know how hard it can be, which is why I’ve created this event to help you build, grow and scale your audience.

Ian Anderson Gray

I first met Ian when we were both speaking at New Media Europe back in 2016. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with him at various marketing conferences, including Social Media Marketing World in San Diego where he has spoken for the last four years. You may also have spotted me taking part in Ian’s fab Christmas Carol Of The Day project and virtual choir. Ian - who is also a singing teacher - is an expert in live video confidence, but is also a successful blogger whose popular posts receive over 2m views a year - meaning there is tons for you to pick his brain about at Build Your Audience Live. Ian is great fun and I can’t wait for you to meet him.

You can listen to our podcast interview here. 

May King Tsang

I first met May King when she attended one of my live events Media Influence Live.  I was impressed with her social media coverage of the event - particularly her live tweeting - which really put her on my radar. May King has live tweeted for events all over the world. She now specialises in social media FOMO* creation for live events offering live social media coverage that creates a buzz around the event and recently worked on Atomicon 2019. As well as speaking at Build Your Audience Live, May King will be delivering her FOMO* creation package...so watch and learn people!

*Fear of missing out

 

Jeff Sieh

I first heard of Jeff when I was looking for Pinterest advice and came across his podcast The Manly Pinterest Podcast. I invited him to be a guest on my show and recently had the pleasure of hanging out with him in Nashville, where I was speaking at the Tribe conference (in fact he took it upon himself to be my personal photographer/videographer).  Jeff, who is based in Texas, is a regular speaker at Social Media Marketing World (in fact he’s part of the Social Media Examiner) team. I’m so excited for Jeff to share his Pinterest tips with you, but also his wisdom on developing a strong niche. It’s his first time visiting the UK, so I can’t wait to introduce him to you. 

You can listen to our podcast interview here.

Jessica Dante

Jess has built up an 88k following for her YouTube Channel Love & London - an online travel guide for visitors to London. This has helped her build an email list and generate income through the sale of her travel guides and partnership with brands. I can’t wait for her to share her tips with you on growing and monetising your YouTube channel. Even if you don’t have a YouTube channel  yet - I know you’ll get tons of inspiration from her on what kind of content you should be creating to attract your ideal clients, growing an audience for your blog/vlog and monetising your content. She is also one of the most approachable experts I know. 

You can listen to our podcast interview here

Colin Gray

I first met Colin back in 2015 at New Media Europe. Since then, we’ve gone on to share a stage at numerous events together, including the Youpreneur Summit in London, CMA Live in Edinburgh and Inbound in Boston.  Colin, aka The Podcast Host, is an authority on all things podcasting.  He’s also a successful blogger, whose blog gets 2.5m visits a year, app developer and is brilliant on time management and productivity. Colin is one of the nicest guys I know and I can’t wait for you to meet him. 

You can listen to our podcast interview here.

Kirsty Merrett

I discovered blogger Kirsty Merrett (aka @labelsforlunch) on Instagram when I was looking for interesting accounts to follow. I loved the content she was sharing on shopping, fashion, beauty and interiors and was intrigued by how she was working with brands. I’m excited to introduce her to you so she can share her tips on creating a beautiful-looking Instagram feed, compelling Instagram stories and how to find your ideal clients/brands to work with on Instagram.

Find out more about Kirsty here.

Gavin Bell

I first met Facebook ads specialist Gavin at CMA Live in Edinburgh and have had the pleasure of hanging out with him at various marketing events. Gavin is one of the UK’s leading experts on Facebook ads who works with brands all over the world to get them great results. He’s also a vlogger and speaker (we recently shared a stage at the Marketing Business Summit over in Milan). What I love about Gavin is that he makes Facebook ads sound so simple. He’s also an utterly nice guy and I can’t wait to introduce him to you. 

You can listen to our podcast interview here.

 

Create 52 Weeks Of Content For Your LinkedIn Business Account (in just a few hours)

Do you find it hard to think of creative content ideas for LinkedIn 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 2019 Media Diary is designed to help you do. It’s an A4 desk diary that includes hundreds of awareness dates and key dates to help you plan your media content for 2019. 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 2019 Media Diary and, not only will you save time and money on your content planning and creation, you’ll never run out of ideas again. If you need more accountability and support to ensure you actually stick to your content plan, you can join the Media Diary Owners’ Club - the LinkedIn Edition.

With that in mind, here’s a step-by-step guide to planning 52 weeks of content using the 2019 Media Diary.


1.Block out time for your 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 – your favourite cafe, a quiet hotel foyer - anywhere where you can focus on this task uninterrupted. You’ll be amazed how much you can get done when there are no distractions.

2. Create your annual content plan

With the diary in front of you, think about the key things that are happening in your business in each quarter of the year. Are you attending or speaking at any events or industry conferences? Are you launching a new coaching programme or consultancy offer?

Aim to list at least three key things for each quarter.

Timesaving tip: There is a planning sheet on page 10 of the diary to help with this. If you’re in the Media Diary Owners' Club - the LinkedIn Edition - 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.

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 inspire content ideas.

For example, if you’re a relationship coach you might plan some timely content around World Marriage Day (February). As a diversity consultant you could plan content around Disabled Access Day (March) or Global Accessibility Awareness Day (May). If you work as a coach or consultant in the science/technology sector, British Science Week (March) or International Women in Engineering Day (June) could spark some interesting content ideas.

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, museums expert and 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, it’s important 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 2019. If this is the case, you have a business problem not a content problem. This means you'll need to plan 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. My best advice? Just apply your best thinking right now.

3.Create your quarterly content plan

Once you've created your annual content plan, you can move onto your quarterly content planning.

To make life easy for yourself in 2019, I suggest you create one key piece of content a week and repurpose it into multiple pieces of content (more on how to do this later). Ideally you’ll do this on your own website (as a blog/vlog, podcast, infographic) and repost it on LinkedIn. This shouldn’t negatively affect your ranking in Google (posting duplicate content sometimes can have this affect) - but it’s best to leave a couple of weeks between posting an article on your website and on LinkedIn.

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?

If you don’t yet have a blog on your website, a well thought-out weekly article on LinkedIn - supported by two or three posts promoting your article - could help you generate leads and sales for your business.

Want to see an example of someone who is doing this really well on LinkedIn? Check out the technical copywriter John Espirian. He publishes regular LinkedIn articles and posts that answer his prospective customer/clients questions, including:

How to create LinkedIn document posts

LinkedIn view counts explained

LinkedIn Quickstart Guide 

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?
  • Is it ok just to post content on LinkedIn? Or should I be active elsewhere?

There’s six content ideas right there.

They also ask me quite specific questions about the 2019 Media Diary:

  • What are benefits of buying the 2019 Media Diary?
  • What’s the difference between the Media Diary Owners’ Club and the Media Diary Owners Club - the LinkedIn Edition?
  • Can I see inside the 2019 Media Diary?
  • I am a coach/consultant. Will the 2019 Media Diary work for me?
  • Is the 2019 Media Diary suitable for business owners based outside the UK?
  • I bought last year’s media diary 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.

Six compelling reasons to buy the 2019 Media Diary

Common concerns about the 2019 Media Diary

Read this if you bought the 2018 media diary (and didn’t use it as much as you hoped)

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

The digital marketing expert 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 get more engagement on LinkedIn or how to create a content strategy This is awareness content - because it’s raising awareness of the problem and how I might be able to help.

I wrote a blog post about my content planning toolkit - 2019 Sorted, called Six Compelling Reasons to Invest in 2019 Sorted. This 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 this video I created showing you around the 2019 Media Diary and introducing The Media Diary Owners’ Club - the LinkedIn Edition.

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 launch a new 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) the 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 - the LinkedIn Edition there are printables and proformas to help you do this.

Pro Tip: 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’re ready to create weekly content plans for your LinkedIn content.

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 blog, 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 LinkedIn (using a graphic design tool like Canva), audio trailers (using a resource like Headliner) and video trailers (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 piece 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 what you’ll be posting when.

In the 2019 Media Diary, 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 2019 Media Diary sitting on your desk.

Get a copy of your 2019 Media Diary here 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 2019 Media Diary and Media Diary Owners’ Club.