Talk It Out Tuesday: Coffee Chat
Batching Content: Saving Lives 1 Day at a Time
Ever wonder what the hell a "batch day" was, how to do it, or why people rave about them? Join us as we break down HOW to go about batching up to SIX MONTHS of content in just 1 day!
Episode 11 Coffee Chat Replay
Episode 11 Podcast
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Lauren Dragon-Cook: Hi guys! Happy snow day! First things first… I want you all to write down any questions you have about batching content. The word “batch” to me sounds like I’m making brownies! It is really intimidating if you’ve never done anything related to batching content before. So write down those questions!
This is going to be VERY informative! This coffee chat will have a lot of actionable steps.
If you have heard of batching content, if you have ever contemplated learning more about it, if it is something that has been on your to-do list… you are not alone! There is a lot of information out there. I am only offering you what I personally do. Feel free to pull from other resources, but I will be talking about what works for me and my business.
Planners, Planners, Planners!
First things first. I have tried just about every freakin’ planner known to man! Meaning… I have tried the powersheets, the day designer, Erin Condrin… I have tried A LOT of planners. They help keep me on track, but what I find is I start to use it the way it is supposed to be used for the first month and then I forget I own it… whoops!
In regard to trying to plan out your social media and blog posts, a planner like those I talked about aren’t necessarily the best to use. Now I’m not telling you to buy a prettier planner or that the one you have right now isn’t good enough, that’s not what I’m saying. But what I have found that works well for me and the type of business that I have, content needs to be planned out. That’s why batch days are the bomb!
The number one game changer for me is the “content planner”. It is AMAZING! If you have no idea what this planner is… go onto my website and click on the resources tab. It will be the first or second blurb on there. That is how much I love this thing! There is a lot of noise and shit we can buy into, but I don’t suggest or post anything that hasn’t been a game changer for me. Anything you se on that page has worked for me! Again, I’m not wanting to sell it to you.. I’m just telling you what has worked for me.
The Content Planner is amazeballs! Before each month you get a blank page and a section for you to use. You have an area for monthly goals, hashtags you want to use, hitlist and collabs…
You know, the ideas come and then we totally forget what we are thinking about! So the beautiful thing about the content planner is the calendar section. You get to track your growth, you have weekly goals, and then you have space for all your content. This is holding you accountable as long as you stick to it. This is where I create my monthly themes, where I create my ideas for our coffee chats… it has a section for “this month I will, this month I won’t”. So for the month of February my “won’t” was “I won’t criticize myself”. It was an awesome reminder to keep me in check, as cheesy as this all sounds! This past months “will” was talk about batch posts and tie into Instagram stories and consistently post in Facebook group. BEHIND THE SCENES LOOK! This is how I plan out my content.
I want to explain how I can plan out a years worth on content in a couple of days. There is a holidays and marketing dates section in this content planner. You will look like a Rockstar because it was ALL the holidays and marketing dates you could ask for! If you create hasthtags around these events you are going to look awesome and you will stand out. All I end up doing is if I see a marketing day for the month, I put it in my calendar and if I remember I will post something about it. For example, March 3rd was national unplugging day. If you go to my page, I wrote a post about it! Just an extra cool tool.
Planning Out Your Year: Themes
Here is what I do… first you want to come up with a theme for every single month of the year. I want you to think about what are topics, what are themes, what are points within your business that you LOVE talking about. Maybe your clients ask you questions about it all the time. Ask yourself, what do you love to talk about with your clients? What are you an expert in?
Example… maybe you are a planner and you get asked all the time “how do I choose a wedding theme?”. That right there is an idea for you. Take it and run! Maybe you have a month all about rehearsal dinners. Maybe you have a month you talk all about budgeting.
I have written down all my content theme ideas… so for example:
Slow month season, what you should be doing to get ready
Marketing: be a resource, not a sales pitch
Wedding business trends
The last month, what to do just before your wedding
What to do when you’re feeling burnt out
Those are just some ideas I’ve come up with for my business. But there are so many options!
Pick out twelve different themes you want to focus on for your content. When I say content I mean blog posts and social media. DO NOT create more content then you need. Let that sink in… once you create something, whether it be a post or an idea… use that for all of your social media channels and all of your blogging. You will repurpose it.
Planning Out Your Year: Posts
Once you have come up with these twelve areas give yourself a round of applause! Next, grab your calendar and label what each months’ topic will be (for at least the next 3 months). Coincide with what all your couples are planning and doing right now. You want to then focus ALL of your social media posts and your blog posts around that ONE TOPIC. This will help with shiny squirrel syndrome. This is where you are posting different things every single day and you don’t have one main focus. What happens when you do this? For me I end up falling off the bandwagon and I stop posting after a few days because I’ve run out of ideas. This concept will help eliminate this. You know no matter what you have your theme to fall back on. Any idea you have, jot done! You can use it somewhere else, you just want to make sure you are always relating to your theme for the month.
Maybe your theme for the month is “how to choose a wedding theme”. You have a post talking about how to choose a theme just for you. You can do a post all about classic weddings. You can do a post about rustic theme elements. Maybe you do a post about garden theme elements. Once you have this basis, you just go crazy with it! What do people want to know about themes? What do they struggle with surrounding wedding themes?
Consistency is Key!
Once you have different aspects of your main theme, that will be what you post about. Now I get questions all the time about how many times you need to post. The key is consistency. I know I’ve said it before but consistency truly is key. It keeps you on track. Think about when you are doing a diet, what works the best? Consistency. If you eat a salad one day and then you decide you are going to eat McDonald’s the next and then Wendy’s and come back with a salad. How does that work out? Not so good.
If you know you don’t have the time to post something six times a day, don’t do that. Six times a week? Don’t do that. Six times a month? Maybe that is more doable for you. Do what feels right for you. What someone does down the street from you and what your bestie does is going to be different. You do not need to replicate what anyone else is doing except what feels good for you. If you try to replicate what someone else is doing and it doesn’t feel good for you, will you keep up with it? No!
When you create your theme and different ideas within your theme… you have created all different ideas for posts! Maybe you’re thinking you need to create a different post for Instagram and Facebook and Pinterest… nope! When I post something on my business page, I will probably repost it in my group a week later. I just change the photo. Check it out! Look at other businesses and see what they are doing.
Lets say you’ve created 8 posts within your theme. All you need to do is find 16 different photos. You can find 8 square photos for Instagram, 8 rectangle photos for Facebook… you are just using different photos! Same content and same wording, you are just choosing a different day.
Let's say post number one you’ve created… maybe its “How to know when you’ve found the right florist”. That is your post! You will post that on Instagram the first day of the month. Then you will post that same exact wording with a different photo on Facebook on the 17th of the month. This is where your content planner comes in handy! This is how working smarter not harder is coming into play. This is how you batch.
Have fun with this. It is supposed to be fun! Your content will be based around things people want to know about and stuff you see come up again and again. Don’t be afraid to talk about what someone else in the business is talking about. You will put your own spin on it.
Plan Out Your Year: Organization
If you have Dropbox or Google Drive or Evernote you want to create three different folders. You will have a posted folder, a to post folder, and a verbiage folder. From there you will have your different monthly themes. You are creating a framework for yourself. That way if you find a photo during your batch day, plug it in there! If you are talking about wedding themes and you find a great garden wedding photo, put it in there! That way you have everything right at your finger tips. You will have it on your computer but also on your phone on the go! You don’t have to run back and forth.
If you are better at speaking than you are at writing… I got you! So many people have told me they suck at writing or it is not their strength… well okay! All you need to do is find a voice dictation feature. Go on your phone and use voice memo. There is always a work around, a solution to one of your hurdles. Trust me… I have probably found the solution in the time I’ve been doing this.
Tips and Tricks
The last thing I want to drive home… it is only as difficult as you make it. Nine times out of ten coming up with content is difficult because you feel you don’t have enough time or reality sets in and you have no idea where to start. Use this as a framework to work off of. I’m hoping I’ve been able to make it a bit easier for you to come up with ideas and a process that will work for you.
Key takeaways… think of the themes first. What are the areas you talk most about with your clients? Then think of all different ideas that fall under that umbrella. The longer the post you have regarding that idea, the better! Then you can turn it into a blog post. Then you can take a paragraph at a time and turn it into your social media post. Then link it back to your blogpost! You do not have to re-create the wheel! If your clients did not see it on Facebook, then they will see it on Instagram or your website. They won’t see it in every place. We might think they do, because we are posting the same thing everywhere, but they don’t. Remember, you are not posting all of these in every single place every single day. You are spreading it out.
By using this content planner I am keeping track of where I am supposed to post things and when. You can track how much your business is growing month by month. There is something rewarding in actually knowing the numbers!
Creating content doesn’t have to be painful! Once I started to create without the pressure it became so much more fun! I was able to put my voice into it more. Now I will run to my planner when I have an idea and in the back of it I have a list of ideas that I keep for blog posts. They are all in one place.
That is batching for the most part! We really just scratched the surface but if you have questions… get in touch with me! Thanks for joining me once again.
Q + A
Q: Have you found a particular image size to use for all platforms?
A: The problem with using a one size fit all is it doesn’t work. There are certain image sizes that work better for others. At the end of the day 800x800 is the size to go. Use Canva. I do recommend customizing for each platform.
Q: The content planner you are featuring is currently sold out for 2018. What should I do instead?
A: I would get a half inch binder. Create a space you can track your growth and create your weeks mapped out. Have a space for each of your weekly goals, your monthly theme, your wills, your won’ts, and then have a space for your wins. Then have a sheet where you can track your monthly goals, your hitlist, your collabs, and your ideas! This will at least get you on track and giving you all the tools we talked about.