I used to have trouble planning my content ahead of time. 
 
For starters, it felt very overwhelming. That’s a lot of topics to come up with in one sitting. 
 
Also, it felt kind of like sucking the creativity out of writing content. 
 
But the other day, I sat down and planned my content calendar for the year. In about 30 minutes. And I fricken loved doing it. 
 
Because I realized that content planning, like most marketing strategies, isn’t an all or nothing thing. 
 
Here’s the skinny. Content planning is just that. It’s PLANNING. It doesn’t mean you have to follow it exactly. You can still be creative. You can expand and grow.  You can even switch things up if you want. 
 
I look at content planning like a business tool, not a specific calendar you must follow. It’s a great way to remind yourself of your message and what you teach. 
 
Here are some benefits of planning content in advance: 
 
  • Creating themed weeks or months can be linked together so you can keep people engaged, longer.
  • It ensures all your content shares your big, overall message. 
  • You never run out of things to create, which keeps your posting and your visibility consistent. 
  • It allows you to create with your goals in mind. Plan content around launches to drive even more interest.
 
Okay. There are definite benefits of creating a content plan. 
 
But I get it. It still feels kinda like you’re closing the door on creativity. 
 
What if I told you that you could plan your content for the year … without being held down to a strict schedule? 
 
Here’s how I do it. 
 

Step 1: Evaluate your overall message.

 
Content planning starts with your message. Because everything you create should go back to your message, your big vision. This is a good time to remind yourself what it is you stand for and what you want to put out in the Universe. When it comes down to it, what do you want the world to know? 
 

Step 2: Decide what you need people to know to work with you.

 
You know what you want to share, but what do you need your future, most aligned clients to know? What type of information can you give them to prep and prime them before they work with you? 
 

Step 3: Get to know your aligned clients. 

 
Next, think about your clients. Call them ideal clients, your avatar, soulmate clients, whatever term you use. I kind of like aligned clients, because that’s what they are. You want then to be perfectly aligned with your offer and your energy. 
 
Think of these people. What is it that they most desire? What do they feel the issue is? 
 

Step 4: Create your themes. 

 
Now that you’ve reminded yourself of your message and what you need to tell your audience, start creating your big themes. These are overarching themes that help define your business and what you do. Think of it this way, if you were going to create a course that encompasses everything you teach, what modules would you include? For example, if you’re a business coach, you could create themes around mindset, business planning, marketing, outsourcing and finances. 
 

Step 5: Create post ideas, but leave room for expansion and creativity.

 
Here comes the fun part. Sticking with the course analogy, your topics are like the individual lessons. 
 
Basically, just start brainstorming. Let your creativity lead the way. This shouldn’t be hard, because you’re not going to be held down to these topics if you don’t want to be. If you find you’re creating on a certain theme later in the year and you come up a new (and better!) topic, add it in or switch something out. 
 
Go back to the first 3 steps and think of what you want to share about each theme, what your audience needs or know about each theme and how your potential clients feel and what they think about each theme. 
 
If you’re having a hard time coming up with topics, ask yourself these questions about each theme: Who? What? When? Why? How? Then see where you go from there. Don’t over think it. In fact, journaling it out might be a great way to let your creativity lead the way. 
 
I’ve always felt like content planning was too hard. Like it just so overwhelming. But when I started to look at it as something that wasn’t so strict, it became a lot easier. It actually became fun. 
 
Use these same steps to brainstorm and plan out your content for the year. Use your topics for blog posts, live videos or podcasts. It really doesn’t matter what type of content. What matters is that with your content plan, you know that everything you create is helping attract the right people, share your big message and move your business forward.