Creating Content Calendars for ALL of Your Content

Welcome to episode 350 of Hit the Mic with The Stacey Harris.

Content calendars, content calendars. Yes, I love them. Yes, I talk about them a lot. It’s because of very, very important reason. Are you ready? They are critical to your consistency, and thus your success when it comes to not just content marketing, not just email marketing, not just social media marketing, but all of these things. When you can be consistent with your content, you can impact more people, you can grow your reach, you can grow your business.

Why Use a Content Calendar

Here is why content calendars really matter, because not only do they allow you to be consistent in execution, they let you be consistent in messaging across these different types of marketing, meaning I’m able to really easily keep the same consistent message across my social media channels, across my content, across my guest content meaning podcast guesting, guest posts, LinkedIn Publisher stuff, as well as my emails. All of it really relies on each other.

We talked about this on a Facebook Live last month. Really these pieces work best together when they’re reliant on each other and they’re feeding off of each other. Building a content calendar really, really helps that because again, they’re all spending time supporting each other instead of my email list gets one message, and my social media channels are getting another kind of message, and my content’s talking about this other third thing over here, and none of these things support each other. It’s really hard to fully convey a message because yeah, multiple touchpoints, that’s right. You knew I was going to say it. You probably said it already out loud. Maybe people in the coffee shop are looking at you strangely, or that guy you just ran by, or wherever else you listen to this show.

When you have a content calendar, it’s really easy to say, “Oh, these all say the same thing,” or, “Yeah, I need these guests posts to out this month because this is what we’re talking about on the podcast,” or, “This is what we’re doing the Facebook Lives about,” or, “This is what the email series is going out.” That’s why I want you to take the time to figure out your content calendar. It really comes from your marketing plans, your larger marketing plans, your larger launch plans. When we are doing a push for Hit the Mic Backstage, our content all supports that.

Spoiler alert. This fall, I’m going to have a big, cool thing to share with you guys without that spoiler because I’m not going to tell you what it is yet. I’m going to have some cool things happening this fall. The content will start supporting that and priming you guys for that probably, let me look at my calendar here, in September. In September, you guys will start getting more information about this because in October the first phase of this cool thing we’re doing in the fall is going to roll out and it will roll right into some cool stuff we’re doing in November, and then we will build off that momentum for a launch we’re doing in January for another round of the Backstage Amplifier Mastermind, which is happening right now as well. All of this stuff will feed off of each other, and I know that because I have my launch calendar, I have what I’m doing for the next 12 months already laid out.

In addition to that, I have my content calendars, yes, for already next year laid out to support those launches so that I can, again, I can have content start going out in September priming you for what’s happening in October. All of my content will be priming you for that because I know what’s coming. Then when it launches in October, it will continue to get you ready for what’s happening, evolving through October and into November. I know I’m being annoyingly vague here, but I just want you to understand the premise. I want you to understand one fundamental step. All of this is possible because I sat down and figured it out.

However, however, it doesn’t mean it has to execute that way. If something crazy happens and I need to share with you guys a change to a network or who knows, maybe a brand new network that’s going to take out all of the current networks will launch in November. Then guess what? One of the episodes that I have planned for you will probably be about that instead of whatever is planned. It’s the way it is, and it happens that way for a reason. I have that flexibility there for a reason, because I do share content from an industry that changes all the time. That’s one of the things I love most about it.

However, that doesn’t mean I have to live not knowing. It doesn’t mean I have to live episode to episode going, “Okay, so what should I talk about now? Okay, what should I talk about now? Okay, I’ve got to figure this out because we’ve got podcasts going out Tuesday. I need to figure that out.” No, I can still have a structure in place that supports my larger business goals and launch plans while making space for things that come up. For you, maybe you’re in an industry that doesn’t change all the time. But you know what? Sometimes inspiration strikes. Sometimes you have a conversation with a client and you’re like, “I need to tell all the people about this. All the people need to know,” and that’s okay. You can make space for that.

Tools to Create a Content Calendar

I’ve talked a lot about why content calendars are the bee’s knees. What I want to talk about now is tools because one of the most common questions I get when I do one of these episodes about content calendars is, what do I use? I actually keep it really simple. Full transparency, this is not going to be high tech mumbo jumbo here. I use a Google Calendar. Legitimately, guys, it is a Google Calendar. I don’t use my primary calendar. I have several calendars set up in Google Calendar in my account, one of which is called an editorial calendar. All the Facebook Lives go in there, all the guest posts go in there, the LinkedIn Publisher stuff goes in there, the podcast goes in there. Podcast guest appearances, when those episodes are going to go live, they go in there because that’s what feeds my social prep because I know I need to promo certain things at certain times. I even put in affiliate pushes in there because hey, guess what? If we’re doing a launch as part of an affiliate program or for supporting an affiliate launch, that’s got to go on the editorial calendar because I’m going to need to create content supporting that affiliate promo. It’s just a Google Calendar.

Now, it doesn’t have to be a Google Calendar. For a long time I used a paper planner. I had a physical paper planner that I used as my editorial calendar because I liked being able to write things down and move things around. I know people who use wall calendars and Post-its. They’ll have content on Post-its and they’ll just move it from month to month, or week to week, or whatever works for them. When I did the old structured YouTube show, Hit the Mic TV, we ran that show for about a year, we used Trello to manage the editorial calendar because it worked best for the team as far as our video editors and things like that. I have clients that use Trello with their team and it works really well for us. I really encourage you to find the tool that works best for you.

I’ve even experimented with, and I couldn’t let go of my Google Calendar, I like the idea of this but I couldn’t let go of my Google Calendar because it works so well for me, is actually doing it inside of my project manager. We use Asana as our project manager. Instead of just podcast for Tuesday, it would be podcast, and the name, and the episode number. It worked really well, it functions really well. I really like having it in my Google. It’s a comfort to me, I guess, in a weird way. I don’t know. It’s what works for me, and that’s all I want you to care about when it comes to choosing how you’re going to manage this. Again, and I can’t stress this enough, for years, multiple years, I used a paper planner. It was all in there. I just got sick of physically having to erase and rewrite things. It’s easier in Google Calendar. I can just move it from date to date when it needs to change. Really it’s just laziness. Pick what works for you.

Create Your Content

Remember that this is only a part of your content puzzle. You also need to schedule a time to create the content. Listing out the 52 episodes of your show or the 52 blog posts you want to write because you want to do one a week for a year is great. Making time to record those things or write those things and then promote those things and repurpose those things, that’s valuable. I mentioned earlier, on my content calendar we have guest posts and we have the LinkedIn Publisher stuff. That’s not new content I’ve created. Honestly, I don’t touch it. My team does it. They take my transcript and repurpose that content into guest posts and the LinkedIn, but it’s still on the editorial calendar so that I know this is what’s going out where all the time.

Again, on the social side of things I know what to promote, but I also know we’ve made space for this content. We have content going out all the time, but it’s not all brand new, crazy, exciting … It’s always exciting, I shouldn’t say that. It’s always exciting content, but it’s not always brand new from scratch. Oftentimes, in fact more often than not, it’s a repurposed piece of content. Factor that in as part of your puzzle. You need to make time to repurpose. You need to make time to create. I probably should’ve flipped the order of that. Create and then repurpose, not only XYZ’s going to go on XYZ. Just putting, “I’m going to run on this day and this day,” does not actually mean I’ve gone for the run. It just means I’ve allotted the time for it. Make sure you are actually going on the run, to keep the metaphor going, all right?

You have more questions about stuff like this, be sure to come over to the private community at Hit the Mic Backstage. It’s the best way to connect with me and the rest of the community of listeners to this show and members of that community, all right? I will see you next week. Have a good one.

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