In this post, I’m walking through the single best way to overcome overwhelm in content creation.
The biggest challenge most people face when staring down the content machine is how to be consistent.
You know when you look at the calendar, or open Instagram, and feel like you have no idea what you’re doing?
You agonize over what to post, what to say, when to say it, where to say it…
You post something to social media one day but don’t have time the rest of the week so it sits there on your to do list, taunting you…
You post again a week and a half later but feel like things are disjointed and not leading to or accomplishing anything useful…
Trying to figure out how to show up online every time you need to is a recipe for burnout, and for feeling like content “just doesn’t work” for you.
If this sounds familiar, there’s good news.
If you’re struggling to show up consistently online, feeling overwhelmed by it all, or just don’t even know where to start—you don’t need to dance in more reels or take on an all-new app for “exposure.” You need a plan to follow—a roadmap for what to share—an annual marketing plan that informs your content calendar and generally makes showing up online so much easier.
Here’s how to create your annual marketing plan:
1. Get the big annual picture.
Think of your favorite magazine. The editors there don’t show up each morning and say, “What should we post about today?” They follow a content strategy that allows them to work well in advance of what is going live today, which allows space to create with ease.
And yes, while they have an entire team helping to create content and it is their entire role (not yours, I know), you can follow a scaled-back version of the process to benefit from sharing valuable content.
The key? Keep it simple. Reduce the friction as much as possible so your content process feels easier for you. And that starts with having a roadmap for the year.
Print a calendar of the year or get a dry-erase one and look at the year in full. Block off any holidays, big elections, tax season and any other “loud” events—things you don’t want to compete with. Then block off any personal events, vacation weeks, and so on. Get a big-picture handle on the time you’re working with.
2. Set your quarterly campaigns.
Next, determine the one big thing you want to promote each quarter. If you do live launches, set those dates on your calendar, too. Look for any natural openings to highlight mini-offerings, partnerships and so on.
Know what you are going to be driving people to each quarter, and set a goal you can measure—whether it’s sales of a product or service, new subscribers to your email list and so on.
That target is the basis for your content plan and informs what your call to action is going to be.
3. Zoom in on next quarter.
Now we can get a little more granular with specific content concepts.
Looking at next quarter and what you plan to promote, consider the problems or challenges that your offer solves. Add them to this content matrix with different angles of the problem and various ways to solve it in connection with your offer.
Think of it this way:
Problem = Why you want it
Solution = What to do
Offer = How to do it
For example, I offer the Content Launch Plan to walk you step-by-step through creating a simple and sustainable content strategy and system that allows you to be magnetic with minimal content. I could fill in the matrix for next quarter as follows:
Each of those solution boxes then becomes a core content piece for the next quarter. Note, however, these are extremely rough ideas—something to get you started. You can then follow your content workflow to create a blog, podcast or video that provides that solution to the problem—the answer to the question someone is asking and direction to your offer for the details of how to do it.
Not sure where to find the problems?
Look for the questions people are asking in your DMs, in community groups, in YouTube comments and more. Use suggested search results on Google or Pinterest. Try Ubersuggest for keywords. And definitely get on the waitlist for the Content Launch Plan—I’ll teach you how to create a new, ease-filled approach to getting your work in front of the right people, zero marketing experience required.
If we haven’t had the chance to *virtually* meet yet, hi! I’m Christin—professional editor and content strategist (aka word wingwoman) here to simplify content for creatives. If you want to show up consistently online, this NEW 5-day email series will show you how to plan your content for next quarter (and feel less overwhelmed doing it). It’s 100% free—you’ll be making better content (with less actual content) in no time! Get on the list for CONTENT CAMP.