How many times have you sat down to write a blog post or newsletter only to realize you had no idea what to write about? Or, even worse, you aren’t sure what’s coming up next in your business, so you’re not sure what direction to take with your content?
The reality is that you know you should have a purpose to tie into your writing or video– a product, program, service, or course to mention– but if you don’t know what’s next in your business, the tie-in is next to impossible.
Don’t fret. Strategic planning can help with that.
The key is to start by painting a big picture plan for the next 6 to 12 months. When that’s done, you’ll always know the next big milestone in your business. And, that means, you are always strategically marketing your next offering.
Now, this doesn’t mean it’s always a pitch-fest in every post or video. But, a mention here, and a “PS” there in the weeks leading up to your offer primes your audience for what’s next.
This also helps you decide topics that will appeal to your target audience. If your next offer is all about Facebook ads, but your content leading up to it is about traveling on a budget, you likely won’t be attracting the people who would be inclined to buy your offer!
So, here’s how to get going:
Start by mapping out the major offers you want to execute in your business in the next 6 to 12 months. If you’ve been in business for a while, and already have a few items you like to consistently offer, start by deciding when you’ll launch those. You don’t have to pick exact dates at this point, but nail down the months you want to launch them so you can start filling out your calendar.
Then, see what “holes” you have in your calendar. Consider any new offers you want to create as well as any joint ventures or affiliate offerings.
It is also important at this point to block off any time you DON’T want to launch or offer anything. If you have any upcoming vacations, busy seasons for client work, or personal obligations that will take priority, block off those months so you aren’t tempted to fill them with launches or offers you won’t have time to execute properly! This doesn’t mean you won’t be marketing, but rather, you won’t be prepping for a specific upcoming offer! Or, you could use that time to build up to a larger launch.
You want an appropriate lead time before any offer, so you can have a soft lead-up and a more focused marketing period. Depending on your price point and offer type, we’re talking about anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks.
Your end result will end up looking something like this:
Month 1: Market Group Program A
Month 2: Offer Group Program A
Month 3: Market Group Program B
Month 4: Market Group Program B
Month 5: Offer Group Program B
Month 6: Market Affiliate Program
Month 7: Affiliate Webinar/Market 1:1 services
Month 8: SUMMER VACATION – NO OFFER
Month 9: Market Passive Product
Month 10: Market Passive Product
Month 11: Passive Product
Month 12: Circle back to Group Program A
Now remember, you aren’t picking exact dates here so once you have the big picture plan, you can nail down the specifics of the next 1 to 2 big items. This will help prevent overwhelm by feeling as though you have to make all the decisions about all the things today!
Once you’ve identified what the next big thing is and exactly when you want to launch it, you’re going to use it to brainstorm some topics.
Let’s use Group Program A as an example from the list above.
If we assume that Group Program A is a 90 day program where you show people with a side gig how to build their business to the point where they can quit their day job. This program includes five major modules that will guide them on building a solid business foundation and offer as well as deciding who their target audience is going to be.
Start looking at each of the five modules and pick 2-3 topics that directly relate to the main goal of the module. This should give you 10-15 topics to start.
Then, think about other topics that would attract your ideal client for this program. Since this one is for freelancers wanting to quit their day jobs, you could talk about topics relating to:
- juggling a side gig
- when to know it’s time to quit your day job
- how to build a business with limited time
- why quitting your job today may not be the answer to building your business
- and on, and on…
By focusing on the exact program you’re leading up to you, it’s easier to ensure you’re creating content that will seamlessly lead your readers to the program! It also helps you focus your brainstorming efforts on one major topic which can help you come up with content faster and easier.
So, sit down with a calendar and map out your offerings for the coming months so that your content thoughtfully aligns with what you’re selling. That means: more sales and less stress!