Which content planning tools should I use for my small business?
Batching content can feel a bit overwhelming at first. You may think, “I don’t have 8 hour days to devote to creating and scheduling content.” And the thought of writing enough content for a full month of blog posts, social media posts, newsletters (and maybe more), can seem impossible.
As a mom of 6 who is running a successful photography business, I completely understand where you are coming from. I don’t have time to waste. I need whatever work time I can manage to count.
Which is why I have worked hard to streamline the way I batch my content. I strive to work smarter and not longer (I know, I know, the phrase is work smarter, not harder, but we also want to work less, right?!). I use specific content planning tools to help me batch my content more efficiently and effectively for my business.
Before you dive into these content planning tools and tips I’m sharing, make sure you have a solid foundation on How to Efficiently Schedule One Month of Content.
My favorite content planning tool is a blank monthly calendar.
This could be as simple as typing into Google “free monthly calendar” and printing out the next month’s calendar. Or you could get a monthly planner devoted just for content planning. I’ve used both ways. It just matters you have something.
With your blank calendar you will map out your content for the month.
(Here’s where you’ll want to refer back to those goals you set when you were setting your foundation for Scheduling One Month of Content). Start simple with what types of photos you will need.
Personally, I write a letter in the corner of every day for which type of photo I want to do. For example, N for newborn photo, P for personal, F for family, etc. This helps me visualize what I’m sharing and helps me to see what I might be missing. For example, if I hope to book more newborn sessions, but only have 3 newborn photos for an entire month, I’m not going to reach that goal likely.
You can also include days you’ll have a carousel of photos or which days will be blog posts. Don’t forget to share photos of yourself. You are your brand and people need to see your face!
Another tool is a folder of portfolio worthy, shareable photos.
There is nothing that slows down the batching of content like stopping to search for photos. With your calendar of photo types mapped out you can pull together all of the photos you will need for the month.
To clarify, go back to the previous step of mapping out your content and count how many of each type of photo you need. For instance, maybe you will need 5 newborn photos, 9 family photos, 5 personal photos, and 3 maternity photos. Pull all of the images you want to use together into a folder. Then when you’re ready to write, you can simply select from the images you already have set aside and go from there.
With your blogs written and your photos decided, you’re ready to start scheduling your content.
Your final content planning tool is a platform for scheduling your content.
There are various companies out there (personally, I use Later.com) where you can schedule your social media. There are pros and cons of each of them, so find one that works for your business. I use Later as it allows me to schedule Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest all from the same platform.
With your content calendar in hand, the list of blog posts you’ve written for the month and your folder of images, you are ready to officially start scheduling your content.
The process of batching content will be easier as you have prepared everything in advance, and you’ll have fewer interruptions.
The most important content planning tool is just that: a plan.
By breaking down the process into manageable steps, you will be more efficient with your content. You will find the process less intimidating and thus be able to show up more regularly, without actually having to show up. And bonus, if you started with setting goals for the month as I had suggested in How to Efficiently Schedule One Month of Content, you will start to see that needle move in your business. You will start to notice growth and goal crushing!
Now grab all of your content planning tools and get to batching your content!
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