|Creating a schedule helps keep your message consistent and makes the task feel less daunting.
|Who should do this:
|Social Media & Email Marketing
What is a content schedule?
A content schedule is a written plan that tells you what content to create, when to post it, & what platform(s) to use.
It helps take your content strategy, and turn it into executable, bite-sized pieces so that you ensure that your goals are being met consistently.
When you get into the habit of operating from a schedule, it can dramatically reduce the stress you feel around creating content!
And who doesn’t want that?
Why does it feel hard to stick to?
The number one complaint I hear from my clients about scheduling is that it doesn’t feel as authentic as posting “in the moment”.
I think we need to break this down because there are a couple of different things happening here that are playing into this feeling.
1. Scheduling your content in advance doesn’t deliver the same hit of dopamine that posting in the moment does.
When we have a post idea that we’re excited about, whip it up, post it immediately, and receive instant positive feedback from it, we’re getting a major dopamine hit. It feels so good to receive that immediate validation that what we’re doing is good.
Scheduling content in advance, on the other hand, forces us to forgo the instant hit and wait to send it out when we’re less attached to the content itself. It’s keeping our dopamine levels more even over time, which is ultimately healthy, but less exhilarating. (Think about it like eating a salad every day instead of chowing down on a bag of candy. The salad is going to better support your good health, but it won’t give you the same hit as the sugar rush would from the candy.)
2. The other piece is that it doesn’t feel as real because you’re not actively making the content on the day you are releasing it.
And for some, that can feel inauthentic. But I’d challenge you to think of it this way:
When you create work to sell at the market, you don’t create every piece the night before, or live, there at the market. You will have a variety of pieces that were recently made, but also pieces that you’ve had for a longer amount of time. Perhaps from past collections or even previous designs that you don’t continue to make anymore.
You didn’t have to make the product on-site at the market for it to be original, hand-made, or unique. It’s still a true image of you, even if you created the piece months ago.
The same rings true for the content you make. As long as the message you are sharing is relevant on the day you are sharing it, you could repost content you created last year, and it would still be just as authentic as on the day you made it
Developing a new habit
Ok, so we know that working from a schedule is every bit as authentic as planning in advance, but how do we start doing it?
First off, acknowledge that if you aren’t already working from a schedule, you have to develop a new habit, and new habits take time and repetition to stick.
So, start small and build up.
- Try sitting down at the same time every month (I like doing this on the third week) and start with planning 1 post for each week of the following month.
- Write down your post ideas, the content you will need to organize for the visual element of the post, and the message you want to get across in the caption.
- Then block off time in your calendar when you will gather the elements & write your captions. (Maybe you do it all at the same time, or maybe you choose another date that you will complete these pieces.
- Save your work in a place where you will be able to come back to every month and have everything you need in one place. (I really like using Asana or Click Up for this, but a simple Google Drive folder will also do the trick.)
- Then, commit to the schedule!
The next month, you can try adding a second post to the plan.
Why it’s worth the effort:
Scheduling your content in advance makes the task of content creation and posting feel less daunting because you already have a foundation to start from. It’ll also majorly help with the feelings of being overwhelmed & frustrated in times when you don’t know what you want to post.
And, if that’s not enough, a content schedule can also:
- Help you prepare for holidays and special promotions in advance
- Keep your audience engaged
- Improve your creativity and efficiency
- Help you stay organized and
- Keep your messages consistent
- Save you a ton of time!
Grab a calendar and decide when you’ll block time to make your content plan for next month. Block off a couple of hours on that date, and bookmark this post, so you’re ready to be efficient when it’s time to plan.
As a bonus, you can even use this cheat sheet for planning your social posts.
Do One Thing to organize your content creation process, and watch your stress melt away!