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Hey friend! Welcome back to the second blog installment of my “Content Creator Chats” series. I put a poll on my stories last week on Instagram, and you all have spoken. So, this week we will be discussing content planning.
Content planning is something that I struggled. When I was starting out as a content creator and even now as a multi-hyphenate. Being a blogger / influencer is a lot of work, and a lot of thought and preparation goes into it. Specifically content planning. Before I became an influencer I was under the impression that you take pretty photos while you go about your normal day. You post them to Instagram and you get a million likes. Now I know all too well that is the exact opposite of true. Many of the photos that I post on my timeline were taken week before they actually hit the feed. It can be hard to keep up and remain consistent in this field. Keep reading to learn about the three things that I believe go into successful content planning.
Content Planning: Inspiration
There are many fantastic examples of what content creators are putting out into the internet universe. I’ve said many times before that I derived my greatest inspiration from seeing other creators in their element. I see something that someone creates, and dream up how I can recreate it in a way that is authentic my brand. However, there is so much on the internet that we can experience overload. We end up not knowing which way to turn. Or, we end up feeling like we are being pulled in a million different directions when content planning.
My personal favorite way to compile what others have created and use it later for inspiration is Pinterest. Over the years, I have turned to Pinterest for all of my other inspirational needs. Why should it be any different when I’m content planning? I created a private board where I store all the images that inspire me. It encourages me to take a fresh look and re-imagine how to use the spaces available to me. Whether it’s my living room, my backyard, or the downtown in my tiny city. Someone somewhere has done it and I can search Pinterest specifically for those keywords.
Having photos of what I want to accomplish also come in handy when I get out with my photographer. Doug, my husband, frequently doubles as my photog. It’s helpful to be able to show him exactly what I’m wanting to achieve. That’s as opposed to just trying to magically beam my thoughts into his brain. When I’m able to show him exactly where our shoot is going it makes us that much more efficient. It also makes me much happier with the turnout.
If you’re old school, cutting out of magazine, creating a mood board, that all works just fine too. The goal is to create something that inspires you and also helps you when it is time to execute. That brings me to my next point.
As I mentioned, Doug takes most of my photos. However, I will also set up the tripod and take photos of myself. I know this is similar for many content creators. Still, whether we’re doing in ourselves or working with a photographer we have to set aside the time to actually execute our vision. Daily, I am responsible for many different roles including that of a wife mother, employee, small business owner, etc. I unfortunately don’t have the luxury of flying by the seat of my pants (as I would like to).
It is imperative that I actually schedule out time for me to take photos . Now I know that might sound crazy. Why do I need to schedule time to take photos of myself or even with my husband who lives in the house with me? I should be able to just pick up my camera and go right? No! Wrong! Setting aside that designated time keeps you true to your schedule and helps you to plan in advance. That way you are actually getting the work done and you are able to show up consistently across your channels.
Another thing that I would recommend is batch creating. Batch content creating is essentially taking lots of different photos in different looks or spaces. at once. You can then utilize those photos across an extended period of time. This is honestly the way that I have survived as a content creator. With a busy schedule I’m not able to take photos every single day. So having those images ready to go to post when scheduled helps me to show up consistently for my audience. That brings me to my final point.
Okay, at this point, we’ve been inspired. We set aside the time. We got out there and created the content, Now it’s ready to post. However, your audience is most online smack dab in the middle of your work day. You’re caught up in this project or the other and you totally forget to post. You missed your sweet spot. I know that we’ve all been there and it can be super frustrating. Thankfully there are now a number of auto posting schedulers that are approved through platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. (Note: Please make sure the scheduler you are using is approved for the platform you’re using it for.) Which means we don’t have to miss those prime posting times. We can put all the elements of a magical post into the scheduler, and have it ready to go without any effort on our part.
There are a number of schedulers out there that can do the job, but for me Plann has been top-notch. What I love most about Plann is the content prompts. Bringing it full circle, Plann has also been an integral part of keeping me inspired. It has helped me decide the kind of content that I should be creating to fulfill my duty as blogger/ influencer I have positioned myself as. Plann has this cool function called “Strategy.” It allows you to enter in your particular niche and get content ideas. These leads help you decide what to to create. That way you can consistently show up on your feed and fulfill all the pillars of your brand.
Plann also gives you those key analytics. You can check engagement rates, when your audience is online, the best times to post, hashtags that perform the best on your page, as well as colors that perform the best. Colors yall! They’ve really put a lot of thought and consideration into helping to make influencers, small businesses, and bloggers be successful across social media platforms. Plann does have a free version but I would highly recommend the paid version if you are serious about growing your brand and your business.
Content Planning: Wrapping Up
Content planning is no joke. Being a content creator is a full-time job in itself, but it’s not impossible. I’d love to hear some ways that you have remained consistent as a content creator. Let me know what has worked best for you in the comments. In the meantime, if you missed my latest blog post, check it out here.