The Key to Getting Content Batched, and Staying Ahead

Welcome, welcome, welcome. I am really stoked to have this conversation because so often it comes down to finding traction and rhythm with your content, with your email and with your social, maybe most of all. So I want to talk about the two words that are really the key, that are really the lifeline to this way, where you don’t constantly feel like you’re playing catch up, where you don’t constantly feel like you’re chasing something, as far as this idea of being batched and head and staying that way, because I talk to a lot of clients and I have 1000% been guilty of this myself, where I get ahead and then I’m like, “Awesome, I’m ahead. I don’t have to worry about it.” And I set it aside and next thing I know I’m out of wiggle room.

And I either almost where I had … like to the end of where I had batched or I’m already going, “I have to do content for today.” Especially on social. These two words, these two pieces are how we got out of that, and how we get our clients out of that. And I think that this will be a really powerful conversation for you, if you’re currently feeling like it’s just not going the way you want it to go. All right? So those two words, we’re not going to like tease you with this anymore, these two words are strategy and scheduling. And yes, they have to go hand in hand. On the strategy side of things, you need to know a couple of pieces before you jump into building your strategy. We launched last week, on Friday, Build Your 30 Day Digital Marketing Strategy, so you have the tools of the how. But before you jump into that training, there are some things you have to figure out. You need to know what it is you want your clients, or listeners, or leads, or subscribers, or social media follower, however, you want to refer to them, where you want them to go.

What do you want them to do?

What is the goal? And we talked about this last week and we talked about it in the training, but it’s one of the most important pieces, what is it that you want them to do? Because if you don’t know, you can’t tell them. It really is that simple and that clear-cut. If you don’t know what you want them to do, you cannot tell them what to do. And that’s going to be critical, is that you are telling them what to do.

The second piece is, who are you talking to?

Are your current social media followers … And this comes up so often with, “I have X amount of followers and I’m just not getting any sales. How can I convert my community into customers?” I want you to make sure that your customers and who is following you online are the same people. Because they may not be. You may have somewhere along the line ended up with the wrong people following you, and this happens for a ton of reasons. It happens through lackluster targeting when you’re running ads. It happens from sort of throwing ideas at the wall as far as content in the past or opt-ins the past or even like where you shared your expertise, like your Facebook groups you spent time in or the speaking engagements you had, where it wasn’t the right audience.

And so slowly but surely, bit by bit, person by person you ended up with a community who’s not the right audience. It also comes from and I think this is probably where I see it the most often when your audience just changes. I mean there’s no … I’m trying to find the nicest way of saying this but I’m just going to say it flat out, you no longer want to work with the people who you wanted to work with before. That’s not necessarily saying that those people were bad but it’s just not where you’re at right now. This can come from somebody who maybe is a fitness instructor and now they have transitioned into a health coach for a different age group or a different demographic. This could be somebody who was a business coach and they’ve shifted and transitioned into a role focused on sales or marketing or negotiation. Or instead of being a more generalized business coach, they really have honed in on a specific expertise, and so their audience isn’t the same.

For me, this came when I shifted from On Demand Virtual Assistant which was my first business, if you’ve been listening to the show for a while you know that, my first business. I transitioned to Hit the Mic Marketing, which did social media management. I had some overlap but not a ton, because I had ended up with a lot of clients on the virtual assistant side of things who maybe already had a manager in place or didn’t have any interest in having a specialized social media manager, they just wanted a VA. who could do it all? And that’s fine, that’s their prerogative, that’s not who I worked with when I launched Hit the Mic Marketing and we did management. Even more so, when we shifted from Hit the Mic Marketing doing social media management to The Stacey Harris as it is now, where we did training my audience shifted, because no longer was I talking to people who were potentially looking to expand their team, now I was talking to people who maybe weren’t ready to expand their team yet and wanted training, or who wanted to be on someone’s team and wanted training.

We absolutely have people in the Rockstar Guides, when they were available individually, and now in backstage who offer these services to other people. And they use this as a way to stay educated and at the top of their game and learning their best practices. So this has happened in my own business. And then, I’m sure it’s been salted over the years especially early in my Facebook ads game, a lot of it was just not great targeting and so I ended up with people who were not a fit. So when you’re coming down to look at your strategy and you’re trying to figure out, “Okay well, how do I build a strategy when my current audience isn’t even doing anything?” It may not be the content side of things, it may be the audience side of things. Make sure that you’re really clear on who your audience is. If that’s currently who is following you, and you can do that by looking at your insights, looking at your analytics, that’s going to be your most valuable asset when it comes to making sure your audience is who you want to be.

And then, when you’re building out that strategy and you’re thinking about that goal, we’re thinking about the language, and the demographics, and the problems, and the situations, and the decisions that are ideal clients are making, are experiencing, are using. This is what we want to make sure we’re focused on, so that as we’re building our audience, and we’re implementing these strategies we are talking to the right people. Either the section of our current audience that is the right people, but also the expanding audience is made up of those right people. Okay, so that’s the strategy side of thing. And I really want you again, before you even dig into the 30 Day training, although definitely prioritize that, look at what is your goal? Where are you trying to get them, but also who are you talking to? It’s so important that you have that piece down.

On the flip side of things, let’s talk scheduling.

This is really the part that makes the strategy and the batching once become a more than one thing. So we don’t feel like, “Okay, so I got all these podcast episodes recorded, I’m good. Oh no, I don’t have a podcast episode for next week.” I have absolutely been there, this was, in fact, a really big problem when I started taking December off, four years ago … five years ago now. Is in November I would spend time getting December content done, but I never looked at January. And this really bit me like … Oh my Gosh, I guess it’s like six years ago, I’ve been doing this now. Six years, I’ve been taking December off now. I think this will be the sixth one. But when Colin was 3, so this had to have been … Oh my goodness, ’04. So this had to have been sixish years ago, yeah. Maybe seven years ago, we went on a vacation over the holiday break. I took December off so it was fine.

I had content done until the first episode of January, we came back really, really sick. And so I started the year behind, and I spent the entirety of the first quarter of that year chasing getting my content done, chasing getting the social scheduled, emails written, all of that done because I hadn’t batched far enough ahead, and that was a big lesson up front. And so I started doing December and January. What would happen then though is I would come in and I would have December and January, and I’d be like, “Oh, I have January so I’m set. I can prioritize kind of getting in my rhythm,  building out this plan, kicking off client plans, launching something,” whatever that is. Then February would show up, and I’d still have that chase that I had to do or I’d have a much smaller buffer than I usually had.

So now what I do, not just on my side of the business with my own content, but on the agency side of our business, with our clients we actually keep structured tasks as far as when content needs to be created so that we keep that buffer in place. So if we have an episode going up January first, that’s always done by December 15th, or if we’ve got an episode going up December 15th, it’s always done by November 30th, so that we make sure we keep that two-week buffer. Now, in a lot of cases, our clients are working ahead of that. In a lot of cases I work ahead of my own buffer so that I know I have a little extra room should I get sick or something happen or technology fails or whatever, I try to keep a little bit of a buffer. But because it’s scheduled that way, I’m working ahead on content always. So my actual schedule keeps me buffered. Does that make sense?

So what I want you to do is once you build the strategy, calendar your time for the maintenance of the strategy. Calendar your content creation days, your social scheduling days, your email writing days, however, that best works for you. Personally, I like to record as many episodes as I can one time, and then we submit everything to Rev, that’s what creates the transcript, is Rev. We go through and we edit the transcript. That gets broken up into social posts and uploaded to Libsyn and all of those things, and then I write the email. So for me, that’s the structure that works. For you it might be, sort of front create the content, create the social, write the email and then work on the next episode or the next piece, so that you’re in one thought process as a time.

Personally, I like batch recording. I like knowing I’m done with one section. More than anything though, I like staying in the flow of one kind of thing. So again, whatever it is that works for you though, but actually, put that time on your calendar. The same as said for engagement. Go in and schedule that time to engage, that’s how you show up consistently and engage with your audience, is because it’s scheduled. All right, so that’s my soapbox one today. But I want you to be really, really aware of where you are strategically and where you are schedule-wise, and if what’s currently being represented in your strategy and your schedule are in line with what you actually want. If you want to make a shift, make a shift. You have the ability to change the direction of your ship.

I’m cliquey today, but you have the ability to make those adjustments, so make the adjustments. Don’t worry about sort of revolutionizing everything in one day, start making incremental steps. Start scheduling your engagement time, five, 10, 15 minutes a day, every day with a specific goal, and that’s where you start with scheduling. And then it’s time to do one piece of content or two pieces of content per week so that you’re starting to work a little bit ahead. Building out your strategy is going to be a really impactful way to be able to schedule and maximize that schedule time. So build out that 30 Day Strategy, check out the opt-in that we have in the show notes, the Build Your 30 Day Digital Marketing Strategy training. I’m still working on the name, so after you do it, if you really love it, tell me what you think we should name it because I would love to hear your thoughts.

We’ve gone for clarity over cuteness with the name right now. But check that out and that’s going to help you figure out, “Okay, so what needs to go on my calendar when?” Because then you’re going to have a really clear picture of what’s happening over your next 30 days and just start with 30 days. Don’t worry about doing all of 2019 tomorrow, don’t worry about doing all of Q4 tomorrow, just worry about October, just worry about the rest of September, that’s cool too. But just start making a change, okay?

If you enjoyed this episode, I would love to hear from you via reviews on iTunes. So reviews on iTunes are … my friend Tara Neumann of the Bold Leadership Revolution talks about this in the close of her podcast and I love the way she does it. But she talks about it as podcast currency, and it really is. Not just because as a listener it’s your way to show appreciation to your favorite podcast, but also because as a podcaster, it’s our way of showing, “Hey, this podcast is worth listening to.” There are so many podcasts that it’s easy to lose track of some really great ones when they don’t have a ton of reviews, and that’s one thing I’m really working on changing here for Hit the Mic, is we’ve been doing the show for five years now, we’ve done … I think this is 415, this episode and so I would love to see reviews reflective of that amount of time. And that’s not what I’m seeing now.

So I’m really making a conscious effort to make the ask more often, so if you could head over to iTunes, leave a review I would greatly, greatly appreciate it. I love reading them, they totally, totally light me up and get me excited to record. So thank you for those and if you’ve already left one, thank you and go to another podcast you really love and leave them a review. This is something I’m actually trying to build into my like end of the month thing routine as I review my month, what content that I really love and did I show them appreciation? Whether that’s via sharing it or reviewing it or reaching out to the person who created it, it’s been really, really fun to get to think and appreciate the people who are creating such epic content for us. Cool?

Also, if you haven’t yet, again go grab the training. The brand new training just launched Friday, I’m super excited about it. Already hearing really great feedback, already hearing people taking action and feeling a ton more clear, it’s a good one. And the last thing is, we are booking VIP day spots through the end of 2018, and I’ve actually opened up the beginning of 2019. So right now my calendar has spots for October and November, I will not be doing any in December. And then in January, February, and March, so that’s my calendar availability is now. We do two of these, maybe three of these a month, if I like really stretch my calendar but really two of these a month, I need to stand firm on that. We do two of these a month, so I work with two businesses to spend the day together and build out exactly what is your content, your editorial and your social calendar for an entire quarter.

So it could be sitting down together in October and figuring out Q4, it could be sitting together in November and figuring out November, December, January. It could be sitting together in October or November and figuring out the first quarter of next year, whatever makes the most sense for you. In the past we’ve had people use this to build out their launch plans, to build out evergreen funnels, it’s been a really great way to sit down with me, and get really clear on what’s happening with your marketing and in your business for 90 days. All in all, it’s about six hours, we do three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon. If you’re here in Southern California or you want to get yourself here to Southern California, we do them in person in my office and we have a lovely, lovely lunch in the middle the day together. One of my favorite spots, right here by my office.

So again, I would love to have you, so head over to thestaceyharris.com/VIPday or to the show notes for this episode, at Thestaceyharris.com/episode415 and get a preview call. Submit an application to get a preview call and see if it’s a fit. Or if you’ve been listening to the show forever, or you’re already in backstage, or you’ve already worked with me in another capacity and you’re like, “No, I don’t want to mess around, I just want to book my call. Book my day.” There’s a link on that page to also just book your day.  So I know for some of you, your decision has already been made in which case get on my calendar for the day that works best for you. Sound good?

All right, thanks for listening. Thank you for being a part of the community. I am so excited for the rest of this year and moving into 2019. There are some big things happening on this side and I know there are big things happening for you too. I’ll talk to you very, very soon.

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