Creating content is one of the best ways to position yourself as an expert, attract dream customers, and really become known for what you do best. But if you’re not doing it consistently or cohesively you could confuse your reader and potential customers. And if you’re not leveraging that content to its full extent, you could be leaving a lot of money on the table.
It might surprise you to hear that if you have a content problem you have a branding problem—because your brand is the impression you leave and what makes you memorable, and your content is one of the best ways to define who you are and what you want to be known and hired for. In this article, I’m going to share a step-by-step on how to create an editorial calendar that supports your branding goals.
STEP 1. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE KNOWN FOR?
The most important thing you need to understand before you begin creating content is what you want to be known for. If you want to be known for your artistic hand-lettering, your content should support that expertise. If you want to be known for your methodical and strategic thinking, you should be sharing it in your content.
Try this: pretend as if you’re writing a book.
This is the exercise we use with our one-on-one clients to help define what they really want to be known for.
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You can download the worksheet that will help you outline your book title, chapters, and topics. Your book title is your expertise. Your chapters and topics are the content you will write, speak, or share—every single time you hit “publish.” The content boundaries you create with your “book” will give your content (and brand) so much focus.
STEP 2. WHAT ARE YOUR SHARING PLATFORMS?
Once you determine the kind of content that will help your readers, listeners, and viewers understand what you’re all about and begin to trust your expertise, you need to pick your sharing platforms. I want you to consider your PRIMARY sharing platform and the SUPPORT platforms.
Your primary sharing platform
Whether you’re writing, designing, speaking, filming, or streaming, your primary sharing platform should be where you put the most effort into your content.
Your support platforms
Your support platforms are other places your content may show up—but the trick is you always want your support content to point back to the primary platform.
Here is a list of just a few sharing platforms to consider—these can and will change as your brand and technology trends evolve! That’s okay. Choose ONE as your primary sharing platform and a FEW for your support platforms.
- Blog: if you love writing a blog is for you—also populating your website with new content on the regular is great for SEO
- Podcast: podcasts are a great place for your audience to get to know you (and your voice!)
- Newsletter: your newsletter can include blog material or podcast show notes. A newsletter is also a great place to “own” the relationship with your following
- Video: YouTube is one of the fastest growing search engines!
- Social Media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest (just to name a few). I think of social media as “support” platforms, but you can always pick one as the primary place you share content. However, these platforms change and evolve the most and leave you with little control over your content.
Here’s an example of how your sharing platforms might work:
PRIMARY PLATFORM: Blog
SUPPORT PLATFORMS: Newsletter, Facebook Live (streaming video), Twitter, Instagram
Let’s say you post once a week—your most impactful and generous knowledge—to a blog.
- Then you tweet 5x a week pointing back to the blog post.
- You share Instagram images 2x a week with a link in your profile directing your Instagram feed back to the blog post.
- You go live on Facebook with streaming video to talk about the blog post you wrote and include a link for your viewers to follow back to the blog post.
- You also email your newsletter list and let them know why the blog topic you wrote about that week is so important—you conveniently show up in their inbox to share a link to the blog post so they don’t have to remember to check your website once a week for your blog post.
As you can see in this example, all the support platforms always point back to the primary content you created. Your primary platform could also be a social media platform like Instagram, for example. In that instance, your support platforms always direct your audience to follow you on Instagram. I’m always being asked for my opinion on the best “primary” platforms, and my best recommendation is that it is a “place” you have control of (like your own website or newsletter) and something you enjoy creating—whether that be video, writing, podcasting, or simply sharing impactful images.
STEP 3. CREATE YOUR CALENDAR
Now you know what kind of content you want to share, the platforms you want to share it on, and the frequency with which you’re sharing, it’s time to systemize your content creation! My favorite way to do this is to open a calendar—digital or physical are both great. I like to get nerdy with it and color code my sharing platforms. So for example, I might highlight every Tuesday yellow indicating a blog post. Then I might fill in my support tweets in blue and my Instagram posts in pink.
Sometimes I’ll build flexibility into my editorial calendar by simply knowing I need to publish a blog post or send out a newsletter on a certain day OR I’ll begin filling in my content calendar with specific topics I want to share. I also like to take into account program launches, seasonal themes, or special promotions I want to include in my schedule and wrap my content around those in a way that feels cohesive.
I want to tell you that there is no wrong way to create an editorial calendar, and you might try out a few different platforms and sharing frequencies until you find something that works for you. Now get to creating and sharing!