Are you utilizing social media to its fullest potential? So many solopreneurs know the power of social media, yet they don’t harness it for themselves due to lack of planning. Spontaneity may be fine when you’re looking for a dating adventure, but social media is most powerful when there’s a plan in place.
Set some time aside this weekend to plan out your social media calendar. We’re getting detailed here; the more details you can flesh out, the easier it will become to create your social content. Winging it is not an option anymore. You need to wake up each day knowing exactly what’s posting, where it’s posting, and when. You should be ready to interact with your tribe instead of being stressed about what to post.
To be clear, this weekend is about planning. Don’t force yourself to create a year’s worth of content right away! Let’s focus on the initial plan, then you can start creating next month’s content. As you keep working, this process will become easier each month. You might even get crazy and plan two months of content at once!
And let’s not forget the power of evergreen content. Timeless, high-value content can always be recycled months down the road because the lesson will always be relevant. Also consider repurposing some of your social content into different formats. Some people prefer written posts while others love video. The same lesson can be taught via two different formats.
Remember, this is not a race or a competition. Use others as inspiration of what you can accomplish rather than as competitors. Your audience will be different and have different needs than another coach’s audience, so keep them foremost in your mind when creating your plan and your content. You can’t go wrong if you work from a place of serving others.
One of the best ways to reach more clients and help your business grow is to use social media. Creating social media content on a routine basis is a fantastic way to engage with your consumer base while also making it easier for you to find many new customers. Marketing on social media is also a much more cost-effective option than spending large amounts of money on traditional advertising methods.
But let’s think about your daily schedule for a moment. Do you know what you’re posting on your social platforms tomorrow? Or is it a mad scramble to post SOMETHING because you know you’re “supposed to”?
That’s not effective marketing. While there’s room to be spontaneous, having a social media plan makes life easy during that morning rush and makes it possible for you to use a scheduling platform or to assign this task to your VA every month. If you’re “winging it” every day, there’s no chance for outsourcing.
Here are a few simple tips that can help your business get the most out of social media marketing (and save you time in the long run):
Consistently posting social media content each week is a great way for your company to rise above the competition. A social media calendar allows you to stay on track by helping your business reach as many potential clients as possible. Creating your social media posts in advance makes it easy to post content on a regular basis without feeling the pressure of tight deadlines.
Taking the extra time to review your current social media marketing strategies is essential for any company. These strategies can cover a wide range of topics, such as your short-term and long-term goals, types of content you post, and which social media platforms are the most effective for your business. Reviewing and revising your social media strategy on a regular basis is a great way to stay proactive and maximize the outreach of your organization.
One of the most effective ways to understand your audience is to conduct a social media audit. An audit gives your company access to detailed marketing information, such as finding the platform with the most growth and identifying which type of content works best for your business. You can also learn about the topics people are most engaged by while also comparing data from previous weeks or months. All of this information allows your company to make well-informed decisions in helping you develop an effective digital marketing strategy on social media.
The use of in-app analytics makes it simple for you to track your most popular social media posts for each platform. Understanding how to find this information on each social media platform is essential in helping maximize the outreach of your marketing campaign. For example, you can find in-app analytics on all of the most popular social media platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. All of this data allows you to stay proactive and help your company maximize your client base with social media.
Once you map out your social media calendar, the process will become much easier in coming months. Remember, nothing is written in stone and changes to your calendar are bound to occur. But having a solid social media foundation will make the monthly process much easier.
Focusing on specific themes each month for your social media marketing is a great way to create effective content to give your business a competitive edge. Understanding your marketing goals allows you to create impactful themes on social media that can help you grow your business and become even more successful.
Once again, choosing themes is a time saver. Choose a theme and fit the content into the theme. Sounds pretty simple, right? Themes also allow you to outsource this task to your VA, who can submit some ideas for the month for your approval before she schedules the posts.
Here are a few simple tips to help you find crave-worthy content themes on social media each month:
One of the main keys to a successful social media marketing campaign is to understand the needs of your audience. Gaining a better understanding of your target audience allows you to create much more impactful theme-specific content each month. For example, an IT security company can focus on producing cybersecurity themed content during October, as it is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Similarly, a health organization can focus on health-related topics between May 10th-16th because it is National Women’s Health Week.
Taking the extra time to plan specific topics in advance is another key factor in creating top-quality content. You can easily organize your posts into various categories, which makes it simple to find topics that perform the best with your audience. The topics with the most likes or client engagement can help you understand the most impactful themes on each social media platform. Over time, all of this data will help you create much better theme-specific content for your business.
Creating a posting schedule for all of your social media accounts is essential in helping you to maintain contact with existing and future clients. Consistently uploading new posts is a great way to develop the brand of your company while also helping you to gain additional traffic to your website. Creating these social media posts in advance will also ensure that you meet your quota each month without feeling the pressure to create new content that needs to be published on the same day.
Once you’ve established the type of content you’ll be focusing on, it’s time to take a look at the upcoming month and forge the right plan. In particular, you’ll want to look at time-specific events, trends, and other elements that can make your content timely and stand out.
Evergreen content is always great to have, but at least some of your social media content needs to be related to relevant events to truly reach a broad audience. Furthermore, month-specific content helps complement the content themes you’ve worked on in the previous lesson. Planning out your social media calendar demands a holistic approach, and content relevant to the time of year is an essential ingredient.
National holidays are perhaps the clearest case where you can combine date-specific events with your social media content, so plan accordingly. Also take note of international holidays, which have become more well-known over the years. Consider taking advantage of Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, for example, by appealing to elements of parenthood. When the nation’s schools open for the new school year, feel free to add some social media content related to the excitement that comes with sending the kids back to school. Holiday-related promotions are a great way to add a bit of easy-to-remember time pressure.
In recent years, a growing number of fun and quirky holidays have swept across social media. World Chocolate Day, as an example, offers you a fun way to add some sense-stimulating content to your social media calendar. As a solopreneur, you probably know the importance of self-care, so use your experience to show how your offerings can help potential clients better balance their lives. These quirky celebrations occur frequently, so make sure to see what’s coming up, and have fun flexing your creativity.
Industry events provide people in nearly all fields an opportunity to gather together and exchange ideas in a fun environment, and the news that comes from these events and conferences will shape their fields for the following year and beyond. Take a look at which events are coming up in the next month and make sure your social media calendar incorporates them. You may also want to budget some time to read news related to industry events and post relevant content. If your business deals with fashion in some way, for example, you’ll definitely want to have a few posts addressing New York Fashion Week.
Is there a national election in the upcoming month? Have some fun by hosting polls or other content on your social media feed. Is a new superhero movie set to come out? Encourage your followers to be heroes in the real world while explaining how you can help. People love using social media to keep up with current events, and your planning will help you get in on the action.
Fill in your social media calendar with the most obvious holidays and events you want to incorporate, then fill out those ideas by doing a Google search for “social media holiday calendar [plus the current year]”. You’ll find thousands of ideas but don’t let this become a distraction. Go one step further and create your own holiday with a customized hashtag for added fun.
Looking ahead at the next month is important for making your social media feed fun, engaging, and relevant. Make sure to fill out your calendar in a way that’s easy to see visually. Each month will present various opportunities, but you’ll inevitably have some gaps that need extra care. By planning ahead for the month, you’ll be better equipped to make your social media feed content consistent.
An essential part of planning out your social media calendar for the next month is to plug in your promotional material to capture attention, drive interest, and produce sales. Although you may occasionally have a month where you aren’t offering any promotions or launching something new, this will likely be the exception rather than the rule; and even a relatively small event, such as a simple flash sale, needs to be incorporated into your social media calendar.
Here are some of the factors you’ll want to think about adding to your calendar:
What new offers or services are you launching in the forthcoming month? Even if you aren’t exactly sure when you’ll be ready for your launch, make sure to add some reminders to your social media calendar in case you’re ready before the month ends. Also think about any updates to existing offers and services that are coming up. If your calendar looks sparse, think about whether you have anything you can tweak to serve as a relaunch of sorts.
Do you have products or programs that open up membership on a quarterly basis? Is this enrollment period coming up in the next month? If so, make sure you’re using your social media calendar to build excitement and engage your audience. Do you have a new program coming online next month? Plan ahead so you can make your followers eager to sign up when it’s ready.
Flash sales and other time-sensitive promotions are great ways to get a quick boost in sales, and you’ll want to ensure your social media followers know when they have a chance to save some money. Is your birthday coming up in the next month? Consider celebrating the occasion with a 24-hour flash sale. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are times when your followers are likely on the lookout for savings. A brief promotion, which you’ll share on your social media platforms, can be especially effective.
Have you been working on a book that’s ready to launch next month? Now’s the time to start planning out your social media strategy. Use a series of posts during the next month to build a bit of hype. Apply this strategy any time you’re launching something new. A forthcoming podcast, for example, can perform better if you’re including information in your monthly social media calendar. If your new website is almost ready to come online, make sure you’re integrating this launch with your social media platforms.
Affiliate marketing is a valid alternate stream of income so join affiliate programs of tools or programs that you love and trust. By simply telling others about their awesomeness, you can earn a small commission. Build these offers into your monthly themes or when you need to fill some space.
Too often, entrepreneurs fail to promote their long-form content as much as they should, especially on social media. If you’ve been working on a new YouTube video, make sure to generate some excitement across the next month to reach a wider audience. New podcast episodes are worthy of extra promotion, so fill in your social media calendar accordingly. Your long-form content can be a valuable tool for reaching out and attracting attention, so make sure to give it the promotion it deserves.
Once you’ve taken holidays and other promotions into account, you can take a step back and see what the month looks like. You’ll need to fill in the remaining blank days of your calendar based on your posting schedule. Take a look back at your content themes to come up with value-based, original content that will capture social interest and drive clicks.
The keyword here is value. Your aim is to create share-worthy content that helps your future customers. Write out a list of potential topics you feel would educate or entertain your audience. Review the following questions to help you determine what types of content to create.
Doing a search through forums such as Reddit and Quora is a great way to find frequently asked questions that would make for exciting or informative posts. This is your opportunity to shine and show your potential customers how much expertise you have in your niche. As an added bonus, answer-based articles often do well in search results as they address a real need in almost any industry: clarity.
Some niches can be more complex than others. There may be things within your niche that customers should know ahead of time. For example, it may be standard practice for your industry to charge a consultation fee for the first meeting. Consider including that information within your content strategy to help educate the client. It will make your life much easier if they know what to expect from you.
There are some excellent opportunities here for self-promotion if you know where to look for them. You can include these results organically throughout your content or focus an entire post on highlighting why your product works and what people are saying about it.
Tout the dramatic changes your life coach customers have been experiencing with your 7-day “Parenting and Partnership” seminar or discuss how your financial clients have been saving a ton of money with your 10 step “Penny-Pinching Program”. Your previous customer reviews can have a huge impact on future customer decisions.
Ask one or more client if they’d be willing to serve as a case study, where they would answer questions about the coaching process (or your course specifically) and would then share their results. You may have more people volunteering if you keep their real names and business out of the final report or use a pseudonym instead.
Bringing a personal feel to any piece of content will increase the wow factor. It gives your audience a chance to connect with you as they recognize parallels between your life and theirs. This can help increase engagement and help you stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Storytelling is a common marketing tactic but for it to work, it must be authentic and honest. Making up stories just to make sales will hurt your credibility in the long run. You should also know when to cut the story short so you don’t lose people’s attention. However, stories can be powerful when used correctly.
Everyone has their own challenges whether in business or life. Sharing some of your struggles with your followers and how you’ve overcome them can not only help your audience avoid similar mistakes but can also deepen the connection they have with your brand.
One way to accomplish this could be to open up your planning process to them and show just what it takes to prepare the incredible content they get from you every day. Another could be to interview one of your well-known team members who interacts frequently with your clients. This can help them become increasingly invested in your company by sharing those more personal details.
Pro Tip: Each of these topics should fall into your overall content strategy. It should strike a balance between promotion, education, and entertainment wherever possible. Don’t just answer one of these questions because you have space to fill on your calendar. Always think of your overall goal.
Variety is the spice of life and this is especially true in content marketing. No one wants to join an email list that provides information on only a single topic or through a single medium. Your clients are looking for a mixture of educational material that helps them better understand your particular niche along with entertaining content that they can share with friends and family. This will make them more open and receptive to any promotional materials you include because they will know that you always over-deliver on value.
Creating a social media calendar makes it easier to turn your strategy into a detailed schedule. The best part is that you can create or download a calendar using a wide variety of tools, such as Google Drive, Evernote, Google Sheets, Excel, Trello, and Hootsuite.
A paper calendar is a traditional option but working with a digital calendar allows you to access it easily from any internet connection and allows easier editing. However, those who prefer the physical feel of a paper calendar can achieve the same results of a digital calendar. The key is actually USING the calendar itself, not so much the format.
The Hootsuite Planner is a practical calendar tool for your solopreneur social media planning. It provides a convenient way to schedule the posts by publishing content directly from the calendar. Furthermore, the planner provides a visual overview of your content and links.
Trello offers a simple interface that enables you to add relevant notes, links, and files to your calendar. It comes with a calendar view add-on designed to make your planning simpler. This tool is ideal for coaches or solopreneurs who are just starting out because it has basic features.
Google Sheets, on the other hand, is the right option if you are looking for a dynamic tool that can grow and change. However, it lacks visual appeal and you may need extra time to set up a planner if you’re new to this platform.
Of course, outsourcing this task to a virtual assistant or social media manager is another option so you can free up more time to create your content and develop your next product.
As you develop your social media strategies and content plan, you’ll notice a need for a social media planner that meets specific needs and helps you plan your content easily. A basic calendar tool can handle your planning and scheduling but be prepared to customize your planner as you see fit. A planner that makes sense to you and has all the features listed in one place will be the best tool for your coaching business.
If you do a quick online search, you’ll find hundreds of “social media calendar templates.” The most common seems to be a month-at-a-glance, with color codes for the different social media outlets. One glance lets you see what platform is posting what specific content.
The ideal template is one that you will use. Some prefer spreadsheets, which allow you to create a new tab for the week or month so you can prepare your editorial schedule more efficiently. Downloading a template eliminates the need to start from scratch, thus saving you valuable time. On the other hand, creating your template makes it easier to customize the calendar to suit specific needs. Your calendar will look different from others because of those different needs.
For many solopreneurs who use social media calendars, the easier plan is to schedule your broad topic calendar for several months in advance. Once the broad topics are laid out, you can go back to the monthly calendar and plan specific posts for those topics. It helps to map out your educational and promotional posts together so there’s an even balance. Too many promotional posts will seem like you’re spamming your followers. High-quality content and actionable advice are what will keep those followers flocking to you.
Make a list of all the details your calendar needs to track. Mapping out this type of information is crucial to ensure efficiency.
Some of the common categories include:
If you have an outsourcing team, consider adding whose responsibility it is to complete each form of content.
Pro tip: The best way to compose your social media content is to use word processing tools like Microsoft Word and Google Docs. These programs come with useful features like style and spell checkers, which enable you to craft highly polished copy for your coaching business without mistakenly publishing it. Once you complete writing the content, simply copy and paste it into the calendar. If you’re embracing efficiency, ask your VA to schedule that content in your scheduling platform once you’re happy with it.