Why You Need A Content Strategy And How To Find One That Works

I'm so excited for this because we're going to talk all things content. Honestly content can be blogs, live streaming or social media posts. What types of business should be creating content? Every type of business!! As I'm venturing out and doing some other things and looking around to see what I currently have, I realized I'm not treating my rental properties like a true business and having social media platforms, having blog posts you'll see that coming from me very soon! The reason I'm bringing this up is because you might be thinking, well I don't know that I really have a real business or it's just a hobby. If you want this to be something, if you want to make money from your business, if you want it to be lucrative, you need to make sure that you're doing this. Content is something that helps you on SEO (search engine optimization). Those are things where when you have fresh content, Google will say, this website is relevant, show this website. If you haven't touched your website in 6 months or even longer than that you aren't going to be popping up very high.

So I really want you understand that there's so many reasons that we need to have great content whether it's on our social media, website, wherever we want to make sure people are finding this and thinking wow this is really relevant content because other search engines are going to agree with that. My team and I recently did this 6 month planning where we wanted to get ahead of the podcast and start to say what's going to be coming. How can we be strategic here? How do we make this not feel like it's totally a last minute decision? There's some rhyme and there's some reason. I would say a few years ago when I started my online business I would go on a Facebook Live and 5 minutes before I jumped on I would be like, what should I talk about?? One thing that I really just wanted want to do is make sure that everything starts to feel a little bit simpler and easier this year where I'm not struggling with, I've got to do this and I've got to do that but instead we've got it under control. We know what we're doing!

I want to share with you how my team and I prep 6 months worth of topics for content in about a 2 hour meeting and even a little less than that. First of all, my team and I plan this like I said and we wanted to have a reason for what we were doing. We also have another kind of hidden agenda but my right hand Claire, who's kind of like our project manager, is having a baby in May and we really need to get ahead of that because if Claire's my right hand and she helps me with all these little things, she can do whatever I need her to.

She's going to be gone for a little bit and if she's not there and nobody else knows how to do it, I'm going to be stuck doing some of these things. We said you know what? Let's just get ahead of the game here. Let's really just  prep and prepare like I'm going on maternity leave so that we're good to go. No one is stressed, no one is flipping out, we really want to just make sure we have great systems in place and a plan in place. So that's kind of why we did this and then we secretly just all of a sudden realized, wow…this is amazing. We're going to keep doing this and every 6 months we're going to get together. We already put the next meeting on our calendars and marked them for when Claire comes back from maternity leave. I actually think we planned it right before she left so that we wouldn't overwhelm her the second she came back! So we planned one right before she's leaving with obviously knowing she could go early so we we put scheduled it with enough time and that felt really good to know that we're already planned for 6 months and now not only are we planned but we really have the next one on our calendar to move forward and keep this as a system. When you have a great idea and you want to keep doing it and then you don't put it on your calendar, you don't make a note and then you say, I was going to do that one thing but I never did.

This is how we fix that problem…so it's already on our calendar, we've already blocked out time coming up and we're going to continue to do this. How much content is 6 months worth? Like I said we're looking at coming up with weekly content for the podcast and we did 6 months so we decided it was about 24 episodes. We also came up with a monthly plan for something fun and extra to do just on our social media platforms. This could be a blog post for you or a Facebook Live or a social media post. It doesn't really matter! So we looked at what we're going to need for 24 episodes so that actually means we only need the format. We need 12 solo topics and 12 interview topics. Now cutting that down in half already is not that overwhelming. 12 different things, how do we figure out what should we talk about?

Step #2 was brain dumping. What do people want from us? What has gotten the best response in the past? We can see what podcasts are popular, what blog post people like, which social media posts got the most engagement, we can see all of that information! That is so much knowledge right there that we're able to take and then use that to decide what's moving forward. So we're thinking about what are we always hearing about, what are things I'm interested in learning and what are things I'm excited to teach about. Who would be great guests that our audience would be excited for? We did a survey back in summer of last year and on that survey we actually asked things like who else do you listen to besides me? That was really fun to see because now I know who else do you enjoy? Who else are your favorite people? Then I think, maybe I need to have them on the podcast. So that was actually a really informative survey and we of course looked at the survey to come up with topics as well. We checked our Facebook group and we wanted to see what are people asking about in there? What are most frequently asked questions inside of our paid courses? There are just so many places to get this information from and even if you don't have any of those, go in other people's Facebook groups that you know this person is something very similar to what you're doing and figure out what they're doing in there.

There's so much information out there that there's just no excuse to say, well…I don't know how to come up with topics. They are everywhere! Then another thing we asked ourself was that we have really popular topics like goal setting in January. Everybody's doing goal setting in January or how to lose weight if you're in the fitness space. So we asked ourselves how can we put a different spin on it? If everybody's doing it someone might say well I don't need a goal setting workshop because I already did 3 of them this month. So I already heard it a dozen times, I'm pretty good on this. One of the things we did for example, in January everybody is looking, everybody is doing goal setting. January 1st all you see is goal setting challenge, goal setting this, goal setting that, right?! One thing we did was at the end of January we did a goal assessment workshop so people are still in the goal setting phase, they've most likely set their goals already but now this is something that I don't really see a lot of people doing.

No one's really saying like let's assess those goals you set and figure out if this actually is going to make sense. So I want you to start to say to yourself, how can I be different, not just better? When you're different there is less competition. So that was our next step. Now we've brain dumped all these ideas, we had way more than 12 but now we needed to go, which 12 are really going to solve what our people need. We need to put them in an order that makes sense. So not only are we grabbing 12 but we have to put them in the right order and this is where people don't understand strategy and how it's so important when you're winging it you're not going to get the results you're looking for, when you can strategically put a topic in the right month because you have a program that's coming up that would lead to that program perfectly. We are asking questions like, what's the intention here? What's the intention behind this episode? What are we promoting here? What are what are we trying to get people to lead to? Is there a launch? Is there a new product or sale going on?

We figured out a call to action in every single podcast for the next 6 months which is pretty cool! Maybe again if you're doing Facebook lives there's still calls-to-actions and social media posts. What are those calls to action? So let me give you a few examples. Are we going to be talking about a freebie where we grab their e-mail? That's a call to action. Are we asking them to a Facebook group? What else can we be doing? We could be talking about our live event coming up. We could be talking about our coaching, our masterminds, a program or a flash sale. What is something specific you want them to do?

If you aren't telling your audience what to do, you need to! Don't assume that they know what to do. I think that's a big mistake that a lot of people make as you start to see more of what you want. When you tell them where to go next you'll realize I'm getting all these reviews on my iTunes. Well have you been trying to get them to go to iTunes? So I want you to be very strategic and when you come up with your topic on that back end of that sentence you're going to say…it's going to lead to this. That helped us put the right topics in the right places. Now we had way more than 12 ideas so we started to use this as extra content for Facebook lives, other social content, different posts, maybe a blog. Then we were discussing how much we loved the 12 Days of Giveaways we did on Instagram back in December where we did 12 days in a row of different giveaways. We tried it for the first time and we had no idea but it was honestly so good. Our Instagram following blew up, our engagement blew up!

You can go look for yourself to see but on our Instagram right now if you went back to an early December post you're going to see between 100-200 likes on a post. Then in January if you look at this past week we had some posts that had like 200 hundred likes. So you're talking within 60 days probably, more like 45 days, we went from 200 to 2,000 likes on some of our posts. We realized wow, we have to do some little extra fun stuff like that because it's really, really great to get engaged people, it warms them up and people stayed. Our giveaways are done but they're still there, they're still liking posts and commenting and we want to keep doing more of that stuff. We love doing challenges! We love, love, love challenges but challenges are a lot of work. This is not just something you just wing on how to do a 5 day challenge because it takes about 90 days for us to prepare for a challenge. So we are not going to just keep doing challenge, after challenge, after challenge because it's a lot of work.

It's not like I can do one every 30 days, so we decide maybe we do a challenge every 3-4 months but in the meantime what if we just did something little and fun and maybe we found a happy medium between just something a little bit more than your regular weekly Facebook live but not as intense as a challenge. So how could we do that? You might have seen us do this for January but we did a goal assessment workshop and that was just a little extra workshop, it wasn't a webinar, wasn't anything like that we just wanted to do something a little bit more than a Facebook live and make it feel like an event, talk about it, advertise it and all of that good stuff. It's not just your typical I'm jumping on and I might be planned or prepped or may not. So every single month we decided what could we talk about this month whether it's a one time, two hour workshop whether it's a 2-3 part video training. What can you do just to have an extra something? What can you do to kind of spice things up? Now what's great about all of this is it's on paper.

The best part is we can rinse and repeat. So when you have monthly rhythms you don't have to start from scratch next year. We can do this same goal assessment workshop next January and I'm telling you right now but next year of January you might go oh, I didn't even remember she did that right. So when you do something 12 months ago., it's completely fine! People don't remember and if they do remember they're excited because they liked it so much last year that they want to hear about it again. What we've been doing with our Plan2Profit challenge is it's been something where we know we're going to do our Plan2Profit Challenge every November-December depending on our dates that make sense for us. We know that it's going to be our annual thing. We're only going to do it one time here and people look forward to it. So I think last year was our 3rd annual and every year it's like getting bigger and bigger and people are like I did it last year, I did it and this is how people are starting their goal setting is they're kicking it off with us but they're planning a profit challenge. So what are things that you can do? What are topics you can bring up or talk about? As we head towards spring break, do you have a business where it makes sense to bring up spring break?!

I mean what can you do and how can you make this work. One of our preschool teachers sent a thing out saying they were closed due to the weather here and she sent a little thing she made that shares activities to do with your children on a snow day while you're at home with them….brilliant!! I wanted to message her back and say this is so smart because first of all, what is she doing? She's creating great content. She's not doing this for a business or to market or any that she's just being super helpful because she's a really nice person. But imagine if you had content like that heading into spring break or summer break or back to school, anything where you are always that go to person that people are going to go oh I want to hear what she has to say this year! Every business has seasons. If you're planning content or promotions but you're not taking into consideration the time of year, I want to stop and slow down because you're missing out on great opportunities. The best part is when you have these rhythms and routines you are not starting from scratch!

You just get to tweak what's working. So every year we update our Plan2Profit Challenge and we make notes from last year. After that challenge was over, we can say we love day 3 and they loved it. So 12 months later we're not trying to remember what worked and what didn't. We go off of last year's notes so every year we're able to make those programs better and better and better. I really want you to be thinking about that and this is how you build systems. This is where automation comes in and you start to feel like you're on top of all the chaos of entrepreneurship. All of a sudden things get easier, things get lighter. I'm not going, what should I talk about?? How can I jump on again?? I feel like I've been giving so much content and now you get to start to repurpose, reuse and make better the things you already have existing.

To recap really quickly what I want you to do is:

#1 – You're going to pick how many months you want to plan out. Are you going to do 90 days, 6 months? Maybe you're going to be like I'm going to do all 12 months of my calendar. Go for it! I want you to pick the length and then I want you to figure out in that same step, how many is that? Is that once a week? Once a month?

#2 – Brain dump all these ideas of things that you can do. This way you're not just coming up with a million ideas of what you could talk about, what your people would want to hear about.

#3 – You're selectively picking out. like we picked out 12, you're going to pick what yours are going to be and figure out what order. What call to action? Where are we leading them to? One thing I didn't discuss was we picked out 12 people we want to interview and we made sure to note what each person is great at. I would purposely make sure that the conversation heads this direction. So when I ask somebody to be on my podcast I won't just say, do you want to call my show. I'll say, I'm looking for a great guest expert in February to talk about X.

Now we can start to really make everything make sense with what we're doing specifically. Those are the 3pretty easy steps that I want you to do and I really want you just to work through because you'll start to realize it feels so much easier! I want you realize too that while we're on social media, we're focusing on what we call our Ace Framework and it's just a simple 3 part guide to turning our leads into customers. We are thinking about it every single time we do that. I have it in a free download for you. It's going to show you every time you go live or every time you post or every time you do something, there are 3 things you have to make sure you're doing or you will waste your time! Go grab that, it's completely free and I will tell you it's not the little spoiler here but when you go and put your name and email in, on the next page I have this thing called a Social Selling Starter Kit.

I've been selling this for 2 years and we just recently made a big update to it. I'm talking about  how we're using DM's and we're screenshoting some message to show you how we're selling in DM's and how we're using Instagram Stories.We're giving you a lot of templates and pictures and if you want to go grab that it's going to be that next page! Go grab that, start implementing those 3 steps and start building your content calendar out so you have the ease and the freedom and you have to worry about stressing over!!