(prefer video over text? click here to watch the Facebook Live instead)
So you’ve got a bookkeeping business you’re trying to promote on social media.
The problem is, every day that you’re in business, you need to post something on social media. And if you post just once every day, that’s 365 posts.
That is a LOT of posts to make. And a lot of time and effort writing, researching, and creating. But if you’ve decided you want to market on social media, there’s no way around it.
So how do you figure out what to post? And how can you cut down on that time and effort?
Two words: CONTENT. CALENDAR.
So what is a content calendar? And why should I care?
A content calendar is a tool for planning any content you’re putting out there for your business: this includes everything from blog articles to videos to Facebook and Instagram posts to a bank of gifs and/or images to go with those posts.
It doesn’t have to be laid out in a traditional 7-day week calendar format (see this section below for more ideas) BUT if you’re a visual person like me, it really helps.
Here’s other benefits I’ve personally encountered while using and make content calendars:
- Task batching is a time-saver – Multi-tasking (or “task switching”) slows you down significantly – it’s easier and faster to create a week’s worth of posts in one afternoon when you’re in the zone, rather than try to switch over to creation-mode every day of the week (I’d suggest scheduling a 3-4 hour time block for content creation about once a week)
- Themes are easier to create and build for the whole year – Is your social media feed an unpredictable hodge-podge of vaguely bookkeeping-related content? Start doing monthly themes with weekly subtopics to provide content and that’s more uniform and of a higher-quality. For example, maybe “Budgeting” is the overall theme for April, and the first week you can focus on content specifically about how to budget during your business’ slow season
- Repeat content types on the same days of the week – For myself, I share a link on Monday, a Facebook live and blog entry on Tuesday, and a writing-related app on Wednesday; all of them (in a single week) are on the same subtopic. This also makes task batching easier – I can (and do) schedule links and topics weeks and months into the future
- And it visually makes sense – Again, I’m a visual person, and seeing everything laid out in days of the week makes more sense to me, and it’s easier for me to see the gaps of what content I still need to add.
OK, I get the ‘why’ – but what do I put on there?
You can get all sorts of crazy-detailed on a content calendar – like multiple posts per day scheduled at specific minutes for different buyer personas and stages – but please don’t worry about that level of detail right now. I don’t want you to get analysis paralysis or freeze up from well-intentioned perfectionism.
You know what’s most important?
Just getting started and being consistent with some quality content – that’s the first goal. Let’s start with a reliable Honda Civic to get us where we need to go – you can fine-tune it into a Maserati later if you really want to.
Now the end goal of all this, of course, is to (ideally) end up with paid work and loyal repeating customers. But keep in mind – while content marketing is an effective and affordable strategy, it’s also one where you’re “in it for the long haul”. It takes time to build trust and relationships to the point of a sale.
The easiest way to think of this process is like dating.
Let me ask you – what do you do and how do you act when you go out on a date with someone you really like? You’re helpful, you’re enjoyable, you get to know each other better, and you consistently show your interest in advancing your relationship.
Guess what? The kind of stuff you post on your social media feed is a business-version of that same attitude. Here’s some examples of the kind of posts to include:
- Write value posts with things like tips, tricks, and app recommendations – anything that quickly solves a problem you know your customers run into (Bonus tip: do this in a Facebook live for higher engagement)
- Share links to helpful articles and videos that other reliable sources created (this is called “content curation”)
- Ask questions to encourage people to post comments and engage with your business
- Open up on personal posts to help your audience get to know you and like you as a person
- Screenshot testimonials from previous and current clients to show the difference your business makes
- And don’t forget to add a few sales posts with a clear call to action, like “call us today”, to help close the deal for those who are ready
I actually have post categories on my personal content calendar to help me balance and plan these different types of posts. (For example, only 20% of your content should include a direct sales pitch; using the calendar, it helps me spread out those sales posts evenly throughout the month, and keep the number of sales posts under that 20% budget.)
And be sure to stay tuned – later this month I’ll be going into these elements in more detail, including detailed tips on how to write these different types of posts and where to find good information for them.
I think I need to bootstrap one of these ASAP – so how do I start making one for myself?
Once you have the general concept, there are a lot of places you can house and organize your calendar, depending on your work flow and favorite apps:
- Google Sheets or Excel (this is my personal preference)
- Google Calendar or other calendar apps
- Task management apps like Todoist, Trello or Evernote
- Paid social media scheduling services like Buffer, CoSchedule, Loomly or HootSuite.
Thankfully, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel on this one. If you just need an example of a spreadsheet version to start from, there are plenty of websites out there (linked below) that you can download a free template from (in exchange for your email address). Here’s just a couple of many:
- CoSchedule’s 2020 Content Calendar Template
- Firefly Marketing’s 2020 Content Calendar Template
- ClickMinded’s 2020 Perfect Social Media Calendar
Each calendar template and style is a little different, so it may take a couple tries to find one that’s comfortable specifically for you.
(Speaking of which – I’m also in the process of finishing up a 30-day content calendar, and it’s specifically for bookkeepers! Once I have that completed, I’ll include a link here to the template I created so you can download that to work from, too.)
It’s very simple:
JUST. GET. STARTED.
The name of the game here is consistency, not perfectionism, so don’t overthink it – set your phone to “Do Not Disturb” for a couple hours, open up a new spreadsheet in Google, fill in the days of the week across the top row, and start typing ideas. The first month will be the hardest to make, but press through – after that, once you get your patterns down, it gets SO much easier, I promise.
If you want more detailed information about how to make these specific kinds of posts, be sure to tune in over the next couple of weeks – I’ll be talking more in depth about how to write them and where to find good information for them.
And if this feels like too much and you need some done-for-you help creating this content calendar stuff, you know how to find me – just reach out and schedule a call with me, and we’ll work together to make great consistent content for your business.
Last Week’s Post: How to Humanize (And Talk to) your Ideal Client Avatar
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