You've been told, probably bordering on a bazillion times, that in order to get people to pay attention to your different marketing platforms, you need to be consistent.
You need to publish your blogs consistently. You need to post on social media consistently. You need to email your community consistently.
Am I right?
So you try to get organized by creating a shiny, color-coded editorial calendar.
You post that baby above your computer and the first few days you are ON FIRE.
Facebook and Twitter on Monday? No problem.
Facebook and Twitter and Instagram on Tuesday? Got it.
Blog and email and Facebook and Twitter and Instagram on Wednesday? Ready for it.
But you wake up that morning with a barfing kid, and you're on carpool duty, and you need to finish a client proposal by noon, and you have two standing calls scheduled for an hour each but end up taking four in total (because they always take four in total), and then it's dinner time and you haven't even showered yet and that social media calendar can go f@^# itself.
So, news flash: That editorial calendar was never going to work for you. Why?
Because it wasn't built for you.
One of the hardest things about being an entrepreneur is creating your own frameworks and structures. But the best part? You get to create those frameworks and structures any damn way you please.
So, here are three ways to create an editorial calendar you'll actually love, use and not curse at:
1) Get realistic about your schedule
If you create an editorial calendar that has you distributing a blog, a newsletter and three social media posts on the day you have carpool duty and two standing calls that are scheduled for two hours but always take four, that's not being realistic.
In your next version, find the day in your calendar with the most white space and plan to publish your bigger content pieces then.
2) Focus on the type of consistent conversations you want to have with your community
Don't focus on this as a marketing activity. Focus on where you want to talk to the people who most need your help. On your Facebook group? On your blog? Figure out where you're most comfortable, and plan to publish the most content there.
3) Find a framework that works for you
Color-coded calendars aren't the only way to keep organized. Here are two alternatives:
- Assign specific days specific topics. For example, if you're a business coach who works with entrepreneurs, you might decide that on Mondays you post about entrepreneurship, Tuesdays you post on your blog and Thursdays you post coaching tips and tools. You decide what type of content to publish on those days, as long as it's related to the day's topic.
- Assign specific days specific content types. A variation of the above is to assign specific types of content to specific days. So instead of Monday being entrepreneurship day, it could be video day. Instead of Thursday being coaching tips and tools day, it could be curated article day.
Last tip, then you can rip up that color-coded behemoth and do the Snoopy dance:
Create and gather as much content as you can beforehand.
I schedule 1 - 2 hours a week to find and create content I love, so that when I hit a day that used to fall in the it's-so-not-happening-today bucket, it happens.