Feeling a little lost when it comes to content planning?
It’s easy to start feeling stuck and frustrated when it comes to planning content for your business. You do have a business to run, after all.
Maybe you decided that this year was going to be different – you were committed to content planning so you could show up more consistently and get more visibility for your online business.
And you’ve been doing the content planning thing but the results just aren’t there.
Join the club.
Today I’m going to be sharing with you three huge content planning mistakes that might be sabotaging your success. Spoiler alert – they’re not earth shattering and you might be surprised at just how simple they are.
What is Content Planning?
A content plan will give you everything you need to show up online for your business. Let me just say that I know this is a touchy subject for some. Content planning in it itself can feel really frustrating and hard.
A lot of times my clients will come to me because they know they just don’t have the skills they need to effectively plan their content.
If you are running a business online you simply must have a content plan because without one your results and growth are not going to be consistent. A recent article written on HubSpot shares some really staggering statistics about the role of content marketing in online business.
Content planning is your process of outlining what topics and themes you will cover in your content.
But one mistake a lot of entrepreneurs make is that they stop there. They think all they need is a list of ideas that they can make posts about and that’s good enough.
But when it comes to creating content that sells your offers – it’s going to take more than random ideas on a list. It’s going to take strategy.
How Do You Create a Content Plan?
Creating a content plan starts with your goals. Why do you want to create this content in the first place? To sell an offer? Do you have a group program, membership or course? Creating a content plan will only make sense if you are clear about what you offer and what your goals are around that offer.
After that, decide what topics you will cover that relate to your offer and your goal. These content pieces will need to also serve your audience by helping give them a solution to a problem they have. Remember this as the perfect trio; the offer you provide, your content goal and your clients goal.
What about a Content Calendar?
You need a content calendar that will work for you because everyone has their preferences. I’ve worked with a lot of online entrepreneurs helping them plan everything from blog content, Pinterest, and social media content. Because of this, I’ve seen a lot of what works and what doesn’t. Which is how I was able to put together the Profitable Content Calendar that I share with my 1:1 coaching clients and students inside Blog Like a Boss. A lot of my clients were creating so many different types of content that were being planned all over the place that they needed a hub to house everything content related all in one document.
Inside the Profitable Content Calendar, there are multiple ways to view the content you’re creating. There is an overall calendar view, then a blog view, and an Instagram & Pinterest view. The PCC takes the Profitable Content Formula and shows you how to apply it in real time.
It’s one of the most popular things inside of Blog Like a Boss and I’ve got some incredible feedback from clients saying that this document has been transformational to their approach to content planning.
Content Planning Mistake #1 – Not Aligning Content to Your Offers
First – you have to be confident in the offer you provide. If that’s not true, you won’t be attracting any clients.
Second – once you’re confident in what you offer, then your content should be positioned to help your readers see how it is the answer to their problems.
It took me two years to figure out what offer I could stand behind confidently. I knew I had the skills for content creation in general, but I bounced around trying social media management and Pinterest before realizing that it wasn’t one single platform or type of content that I felt strongly about, it was the entire content ecosystem. When I was able to see my offer clearly, I finally started getting confident in what value I shared. And not just that, but because I’m confident in the transformation my offer make – I have a clearer understanding of how to position my content to align with it.
If you’ve been creating content without results then it’s likely that your content isn’t aligned with your offers. Or at least not the right way.
Aligning Content With Your Offers
Whether you’re planning content or just posting on a whim – without a clear strategy, it’s going to be difficult to get results.
You’re going to want to be able to explain how your offer can provide the transformation that your readers are looking for. A lot of times we are too close to our own expertise that it can be hard for us to extract the transformation ourselves. That’s why in the first few calls with new clients, we work through a few very strategic exercises designed to help extract the transformation. We can’t go on without it and it becomes the foundation for everything we do together.
Want some help aligning your content to your offers by getting clarity around the transformation you provide? This is exactly what we can do on a free 30 minute clarity call. These calls are designed to help you figure out the one thing you should be doing to create content with confidence and sell your offers. Book your call here today.
Check Out an Example
I have a client who is a home staging professional. She’s developed a program to help other home stagers grow their businesses. Her offer allows her clients to have financial and time freedom while running a successful business.
However, much of her content is targeted at homeowners and real estate agents rather than other stagers. While it’s important for her to have this kind of content to show her experience in the field – she also needs to be creating content about having a staging business so that she begins to grab the attention of other home stagers.
So one of the first things we did to create her content strategy was to map out the transformation that she provides inside her staging business program. Then we used that transformation to develop clear overarching content pillars using the Profitable Content Formula. Inside of this formula we created content pillars or buckets that relate directly back to her main offer. This not only aligns the content with her goals, but it also gives her a bank of content to pull from when she needs it.
It’s pretty amazing and so far my clients are loving it. They’re blown away when they see how easy it get’s to be. Yep – that’s right, I said it GETS to be easy. Booked that free clarity call yet?
What is the Purpose of a Content Plan?
You wouldn’t start a brick and mortar business without a marketing plan. So why would you launch an online business without one? A content plan is what you use to drive marketing efforts around the value you bring through your offers.
The purpose of a content plan is to purposefully and intentionally map out the content and messaging you want to create. A content plan will ensure that you are aligned with your offers, solving your clients pain points and are presenting content in a way that will capture their attention.
Content Planning Mistake #2 – Trying to Recreate Content for Every Single Platform
The biggest mistake I see online entrepreneurs making is creating content from scratch every week for every single platform. They use up all of their creativity and time and wind up exhausted and burnt out. Who has time for that?
Definitely none of the entrepreneurs I know.
You likely are here because you want to get better at planning your content. Because being better at content planning means showing up more consistently and showing up more consistently means being known in your industry as the authority. From what you can tell, being known as the authority means being super active online and on social media.
You’re not wrong.
But the thing you probably aren’t seeing is that other entrepreneurs who are seemingly everywhere, all the time, aren’t really everywhere all the time. They’ve created a systematic and sustainable content system to allow them to repurpose and reuse content for all of the platforms.
Want content repurposing ideas? Read 27 Ways to Repurpose Blog Content here.
Right now, you’re creating content in silos. Each platform is a silo with its own content and messaging. What happens when you create content this way is that your messaging becomes inconsistent and you’re having to constantly be churning out fresh content. It’s not sustainable.
So what can you do about it? That’s why I created the Profitable Content Formula. To help overwhelmed entrepreneurs declutter and simplify their content messaging to show up and make a bigger impact. Within the Profitable Content Formula, I teach a very simple system for creating a single piece of content every week (your blog) and repurposing it’s contents for your other social media platforms.
Content Planning Mistake #3 – Looking at Other People’s Content to Reverse Engineer Results
This might be a touchy subject but I’m pretty sure we are all guilty of doing this at some point. It’s hard not to see someone else’s success and think…okay, how are *they* doing it? You think if maybe you could just look at the content they’re creating and reverse engineer it – you could have that type of success too.
I hate to break it to you, but it won’t work.
The only thing you’ll guarantee is imposter syndrome. Have you heard of it? It’s an awful ugly thing that will very likely suck the life out of your business if you let it. I used to sit down to create content and tell myself I would hop on Instagram really quick just to see “what other people are doing” and before I knew it an hour had passed and I had nothing to show for it but a massive case of imposter syndrome. It can be paralyzing.
Mindset Matters in Content Planning
One of the things that has shocked me the most as I’ve worked with clients is how much impact your mindset has in your content planning.
When you look around at what you think is working for other entrepreneurs so you can get it to work for you…the only thing it does is make you question your own approach to creating content.
A lot of times my clients will tell me that they feel like they just don’t know what to say. But what is really happening is that they’re second guessing themselves, worrying about if what they have to share is good enough.
Rather than comparing yourself to other entrepreneurs (because it isn’t healthy and almost always causes imposter syndrome), try creating content buckets or pillars and brainstorming content ideas from there. You can even ask your readers what specific things they are struggling with. Plus, asking your audience will earn you major bonus points because people LOVE sharing their opinion.
Learn More About the Profitable Content Plan
It’s not too late to implement a solid content planning system. What’s so special about January 1? Your new year can restart right here, right now. Maybe you’ve been making these mistakes and they’ve been keeping you from believing in the value you bring.
If you’re not confident in your offers, it won’t matter if your content is aligned to them or not. Take care of that part first. You’re not a content machine, don’t try to be one. Keep your messaging clear by repurposing a single piece of content each week. Don’t let others shiny success kill the vibe. Protect your mindset at all cost.
Take it from me that making these three changes will make a huge difference. I share more about them in my Profitable Content Plan Challenge that you can sign up for right here. Inside the challenge I will show you my simple 3 step system for planning content and avoiding these common mistakes.
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