When it comes to building a personal brand and establishing yourself in the minds of the audience you’re trying to reach, your message and positioning is really important.
Not only do you need clarity in the message you want to share about your brand and your business, you also need to get that message out there consistently over time. It’s a tried and true method to becoming known and memorable around something.
You can share your message in many ways—a blog, email your subscribers, or post on your social media platforms—but no matter which of these options you choose to use, the key word is always consistency.
Consistency builds relationships.
Consistency connects you to your message.
Consistency turns unsure prospects into customers who are willing to give you a try.
Consistency creates a body of work.
Yet, consistency can be difficult for many entrepreneurs to achieve.
As I’m sure you know, there are a LOT of moving parts to running your business. Often, it’s a miracle you make it through the day, let alone consistently follow through with everything that needs your attention, like prospecting new clients, marketing your biz, communicating with clients, and—yes—sharing your message.
Enter the editorial calendar!
An editorial calendar is a document that serves as a system for scheduling, planning, and outlining the content you want to share across your connection platforms over a given length of time.
Editorial calendars are living documents—often a spreadsheet—that can be easily updated by you or other members of your team.
Not only is an editorial calendar a crucial tool to help you share your message consistently over time, but it also allows you to see the points or topics you’re sharing from week to week so you can be sure you’re keeping things fresh and interesting for your readers.
The more organized and detailed you can be on your editorial calendar, the better. It’ll help everyone working on your content to be on the same page, and it’ll also make it more likely that content will actually be produced on time and make it online where it needs to be.
When things are disorganized or unclear, they tend to be pushed back, or forgotten altogether. It’s when procrastination starts to rear its head.
So, how do you create an editorial calendar?
Start with a spreadsheet that includes the following fields:
- Post date
- Topic of post
- Final copy due
- Post status
- Link to post
You can see an example of an editorial calendar template we’ve created for you below.
If you want to add more information to your calendar, you can include fields for each of your social media platforms, or your email sequences and campaigns. That will help you align your message across all of your media channels to ensure you’re speaking with a consistent voice.
After you’ve created your calendar, fill it in as best you can. You’ll notice as you use it over time that you’ll get a sense of what you might need to add, delete, or tweak to make it the document that’s going to best serve your content planning needs.
Here are a few key things to keep in mind as you fill yours out:
1. Allow for some spontaneity.
Planning is fantastic—and a must for consistency—but make sure you leave room to be flexible in case a content opportunity pops up that needs to take precedence over what’s on the schedule.
2. Vary your content.
The same thing week after week gets predictable for your audience and easy to ignore. Mix things up with articles, memes/quotes, or news about your business. It’ll help keep things fresh.
3. Consider what action you want your reader to take.
While sharing your message is definitely the purpose, the point of a consistent content strategy is to move your reader toward a defined goal. Think about the goal of the content you’re sharing—is it to pull your reader further into your website, establish yourself as a thought leader in your field, encourage the reader to book an appointment, or comment on a blog post? Whatever the end goal is, make sure you’ve defined it, and have created content that clearly directs your reader towards the action you hope they take.
Creating an editorial calendar is an important first step on the road to consistency with your content. Take the time to develop one that works for you and your business, and you’ll find that the content—and the resulting relationships with your readers—will flow easier than it has before.
To download our FREE editorial calendar template, click here.