Consistency Requires Planning
It happens all the time. A small business owner starts an e-newsletter, or sets up a Facebook page, or builds a blog with the best of intensions. They are enthusiastic and have lots of ideas. They are determined to post or write something every week.
But, after a little while, a week goes by without a post or an article. Perhaps they catch up again, but then another week goes by and then another.
This is such a common story. And it makes me sad because it is so detrimental to the growth of your business.
There are lots of reasons (or excuses) for it…. “I was too busy.” “I didn’t know what to write.” “It takes too much time.”
The killer thing is that, once you miss one deadline, it becomes easier to fall into a pattern of putting it off.
But, the truth is that content marketing requires consistency. Just like any relationship, if you don’t communicate with your prospects, they are going to lose interest. To be honest, if you only have enough content to write something every few months, it may seem like you don’t have enough value to offer.
If consistency is a challenge for you, you are not alone! As a small business owner, self discipline is critical. The only person holding you accountable for your actions and your output is yourself. If you expect to do your content-creation whenever you “feel inspired” or have some free time, it won’t happen.
Consistency requires planning. You are much more likely to be consistent if you plan things ahead of time and set deadlines for yourself. Schedule your newsletters and posts in two ways:
First, make an editorial schedule that outlines your topics and post deadlines for at least the next 6 months. (Schedule the whole year if you can.) Know when you will send or post new content. It may take some time to fill the list of topics you want to write about. I keep a running list of topics that I add to whenever inspiration hits. That way, I can open it up when I need to write something and have a treasure trove of ideas to choose from.
Next, build time into your schedule for content marketing. Schedule your working days so you can prioritize your tasks, focus on them one at a time, and check them off! Plan for 2-3 hours per week (at least) spread over one or two days for creating new content. Don’t schedule anything else during that time. This helps eliminate some common excuses and gives you the best opportunity to be consistent.
It is a bit ironic that I am writing about this topic today, after letting nearly a month go by without a new post! I have my own excuses, of course (summer, kids…). But the important thing is that I am renewing my commitment to consistency, and I hope you will too!