*please note: we have referral links to programs we use to help the bri creative thrive!
Here’s the things about content calendars - everyone likes their own system. Some like the blank monthly calendars where they write in what they want to do that day. Some like an excel spreadsheet. Some like actual planners.
What do I like to use? I like actual planners.
It took me a while to get to that point. I tried a blank 30-day monthly calendar system. Couldn’t get into it. An excel spreadsheet? Nope. Trello? Nah. But an actual paper planner? That did the trick.
For some reason, planning content that way made sense to my brain. I can’t tell you why, but the lightbulb clicked *ding* I made the switch to a paper planner last year and have been very happy with how I plan content for the bri creative. I also utilize Trello to help keep track of all of my content ideas and the process of each idea until I make these ideas public.
Let’s dive into why content calendars are essential for your business. When I began blogging and in the early stages of the bri creative, I didn’t have a set content plan. I flew by the seat of my pants. Throughout that time I tried different content calendars hoping that would spark an interest in keeping track of my content and help me plan for the future but I couldn’t get into it. I used Trello as an in between which helped - but once I decided to try a paper planner, everything changed.
At the beginning of the year, I sit down and write down all the holidays - both official and those fun “unofficial” holidays. As a service-based business, I write down all of the days I know I won’t be available. I also write down important dates I want to mention on social media (ie. business anniversary, national bosses day, etc). From there, I fill in additional dates with content I know I’ll be sharing (ie. Friday Introductions, blog posts, videos, etc). Once I have the “big” items in, I’ll start by planning content week by week. As a photographer, week by week makes sense to my business because a session could pop up earlier than I anticipated. Depending on the type of business you have, you most likely will be able to plan for at least two weeks up to one month worth of content - which is great! It takes a load off of your plate of what you’ll have to post throughout the month. As we’ve mentioned before, automation is your friend.
I use my planner to jot down ideas of potential content I might want to share. If I decide this content is something I want to move forward with, I’ll add it to my Trello board. My Trello board is just as essential for content planning as my content calendar. I know what you’re thinking - they have a calendar plug-in, why not use that for your content calendar? Because it overwhelmed me! AH. But in all seriousness, like I said earlier - it didn’t click with my brain.
Within Trello, I create cards with my content ideas. These cards then have lists and options to attach links (hello, google doc draft!), comments, etc. Basically, I can keep track of all the work I’ve done with this content idea on one card. I can look back and see what I’ve done or what I need to do. It’s a lifesaver. I will be honest - it took me a while to figure out Trello. After sitting down, testing different things and reading many, many (many) articles on Trello, I love it. I have set up my boards in a way that makes sense to my brain. Plus, it’s constantly evolving.
Let me get back on track - if you want your business to succeed, figuring out your content calendar system and sticking to it is very, very essential. If you’re wondering how your favorite brands are constantly on their social media game - it’s because they plan out their content (and automate!). Their campaigns, sales, ads, blog posts? All planned out ahead of time. Trust me - it relieves a lot of stress when you sit down to post on social because you have it all planned.
As you may have heard time and time again - if something doesn’t work for you, you’re not going to find joy in doing that task or activity. Trust me. I didn’t really enjoy content planning but once I figured out my system I love it. Content planning really has made my life so much easier. Take some time to figure out what works for you. It’s also okay to change your process now and then. It means you’re growing and figuring out your process.