How many times has this happened to you?
You get into a good groove planning out your social media posts monthly, then you forget to plan for one month, or you keep shoving the planning to the bottom of your to-do list, and suddenly, you’re creating posts the same day you want to post them.
It’s not a good feeling. It’s inefficient. And it prevents you from creating your best content.
I’ve been in this place many times both with my own content and with content I create for clients. So I want to talk about how I avoid this situation and show that smug little blinking cursor who’s boss.
1. Figure out your core content.
Writer’s block is that “I don’t know what to write” feeling. But paradoxically, the feeling of not knowing what to write actually comes from being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of content you could write. What helps here is creating some guardrails around your core content.
Ask yourself some questions:
- What are the biggest challenges my clients face?
- Where does my audience need more education?
- What unique opinions or die-in-a-ditch beliefs do I have?
The intersection within the Venn diagram you create by answering these questions is your core content. You may even want to create separate Venn diagrams for each of your products or services.
For example, one of the challenges my LinkedIn content marketing clients face is getting distracted by vanity metrics (e.g., post views) on LinkedIn. They also need more education about the LinkedIn algorithm. And my die-in-a-ditch belief is that we need to set our own goals for LinkedIn, figure out what metrics to watch, and ignore the rest.
Now it’s clear that my core content is about including the metrics that work for you within your LinkedIn content strategy. I can dig into the why and the how and offer success stories around this one topic, giving me an endless buffet of content ideas.
This is only one branch of my content tree, though. I can do the same exercise for ghostwriting, ghostblogging, and developmental editing. From here, I create blog articles around my core content and repurpose these for social media posts. I also follow a similar system for my clients.
2. Make planning your content a top priority.
When you are successful, it’s inevitable that you find yourself with weeks where you’re not exactly sure how you will be able to do all the things. And, let’s face it, pushing planning down the list can be an easy way to buy yourself some time. I am one of the biggest culprits here — always rationalizing my refusal to plan by proclaiming that I’m “just not a planner.”
But at the beginning of the year, I dug into that claim and discovered a hard truth about myself: I was letting myself off the hook about planning.
Sure, maybe some people enjoy planning more than I do, but that I don’t enjoy planning doesn’t mean that I’m not capable of doing it or that I should get a free pass. Once I realized this, I asked myself what would happen if I made planning a top priority.
I discovered that while it’s hard to plan in the moment, since the gratification is not immediate, it feels so good to know that I’ve thought ahead, especially during those weeks when I’m not sure how I will get everything done. Not having the pressure of planning on top of the doing is such a relief.
So once you’ve figured out your core content, plug those topics into your monthly content calendar and then try to work a week or two in advance. Your future self with thank you!
3. If you need a breather, take it.
When I first started using LinkedIn, I had only one goal: I would post every Monday-Friday. I maintained this level of posting consistency for a couple of years (with the exception of the few weeks when I was on vacation). This is a good way to build momentum on any platform, but the challenge is that routines like this can take over and suck all of the joy out of social media.
Yes, I want you to have a consistent posting schedule on LinkedIn, but I also want you to have fun because you’ll create better content, and more importantly, you’ll develop a healthy relationship with content marketing that gives you longevity. So if consistency means posting only three days per week or revisiting your strategy every few months to make sure it still resonates with you and your goals, then give yourself permission to feel your way into what works for you.
It’s always valid to ask about the return on your investment. Using social media for your business is an investment of time and you have to pause to ask yourself whether it’s a smart investment. If you need a breather, take it.
Yes, your metrics will take a hit and that should be part of your calculation. But I’m all for experimenting and sometimes we need time away to miss the things that once lit us up. Remember, the goal is to create the best content. So it’s always okay to ask, “what do I need to be my most creative?” Sometimes the answer is that I need a break.
These three tips certainly aren’t the only way to keep showing up and creating your best content. But when you know your core content, make planning content a top priority, and listen when your gut tells you it’s time to change gears, you’ll be in a better position to figure out what you need.
And if you want to brainstorm about your content marketing on or off of LinkedIn, I love a good brainstorming session! Contact me and let’s find some time to chat.
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