You know all entrepreneurial advice says you should constantly be marketing your business.
But holy cow, that’s a lot of work! Finding time to do this seems impossible:
- Logging on to every social media profile and posting updates is time consuming.
- If you don’t like to write (heck, sometimes even if you do!), creating content is torture.
When are you supposed to fit that in with all of the work you bring in?
And what’s “constantly” mean, anyway?
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Overwhelmed yet? Don’t worry, I’ll make it easy. 🙂
First things first: create a plan
There’s no magic bullet for online marketing success. Rarely will clients stumble upon your website and hand over their hard-earned cash before you earn their trust.
Furthermore, the world is creating an endless stream of new trends, tools, and news. It’s important for you to join the mix! Providing new content helps keep your name at the forefront of your prospects’ minds.
Ultimately, a solid marketing plan is all about earning trust. Relevant content through email, blogging and social media establishes you as an expert in your field.
(This is called content marketing, and it’s one of today’s hottest business trends.)
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Pro tip! The pros create a content calendar to plan their month…and you should, too! These are essentially the same as the editorial calendars used by major publications for decades, and they range from handwritten calendars to standalone apps. I personally can’t live without them.
(We here at Millo use CoSchedule, which started as a WordPress plugin but is now available as an application for social media as well.)
How much content do I need?
Shoot for at least one update on 3 social media channels of your choosing, 5 days a week. If you blog (and you should), throw in a weekly blog post and social media promo for that blog post as well.
Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? Impossible even?
Not so! Here’s my one-day plan to create an entire month’s worth of content.
Hour 1: Research
As a content strategist, I spend about an hour per day reading content.
You don’t need to do this every day, but you should begin your “content marketing” planning with it.
If you dedicate this time to learning about what your peers and competitors are talking about, you’ll find it easy to come up with a list of topics for your marketing content.
Here’s an example for a print designer:
- current design trends
- design news
- how to choose a commercial printer
- case studies
- freebies (fonts, vectors, etc.)
- before and after
Pro tip! Write everything down, no matter how ridiculous it seems.
Need more help finding great topics? Read more here:
- How to brainstorm 4 blog topics in 4 minutes (or less!)
- The best blogging advice I ever received and how it transformed my blog
Hour 2: Plan
This is where your calendar comes in.
Take the 5 broadest topics and plug them into your calendar once per week. Writing about the same topic once a week makes it easy to create themes like Marketing Monday or Freebie Friday.
Hour 3: Curate
There’s a lot of great content on the web. Instead of creating every update and blog post from scratch, find great content from others and share it.
Use a browser extension like Hootlet to schedule social media updates while you’re researching to save even more time. (Just make sure you schedule topics according to your plan.)
But be careful! Don’t give away valuable leads to your direct competitors.
Hour 4: Recycle
Once you’ve been creating content for a while, you can start repurposing it for other needs.
Turn blog posts into graphics, infographics, videos, and whatever else your little heart desires.
(View this cool video Millo made using a quote from April Greer.)
Hour 5: Create new content
Use those cool things you found during your research as inspiration to create new content. Quote, add depth to, or compare / contrast others’ ideas to put a new spin on previously published content.
Pro tip! Every piece of content should have at least one original graphic.
Hour 7: Schedule
If you use WordPress for blogging, the Jetpack and CoSchedule plugins allow you to promote your blog posts on social media.
Once everything’s set up, your blog posts and social media updates post themselves without you having to lift another finger. 🙂 🙂 🙂
Wrapping it up
While marketing content creation can be overwhelming, sticking to a plan makes things much easier.
Once you’ve been at it a couple of months, begin using analytics to turn your highest-performing posts into content for the following months.
How do you use blogging or social media to earn trust and grow your business? Tell me about it in the comments; I’d love to hear from you!
Still struggling to find time for marketing?
Check out these posts:
- Sell out or starve? How to reconcile your inner artist and inner marketer
- Overwhelmed? Outsource any of these 10 tasks to free up valuable creative time
- A Simple 4-step digital marketing plan for busy entrepreneurs
- How our agency uses email marketing to find new clients fast
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