I know what some of you are thinking!
It’s only June. It’s summer.
Okay, it is summer even if we’ve got the heating on.
But it’s definitely not Christmas time.
Now is just the time to be planning the last three months of the year. This is particularly true if you have a business with a big seasonal spike in sales. You’re going to be right in the thick of it, so now is the time to get into getting organised.
You won’t be heading into such an important quarter without strong planning for your business, so there is no reason why your content for your business blog should be treated any differently. Not convinced? Here are the key reasons why I would be creating a content calendar:
You’re less likely to forget key events.
A bit like your personal calendar, it’s much easier to remember stuff when you have a visual or digital reminder. I know it’s hard to miss Christmas Day, but what other days are right to create content around? What role does Halloween play? We might not celebrate Thanksgiving here, but can you tell appropriate stories for your brand around it? And let’s not forget National Nachos Day on 6 November. Planning means you can make sure you tick all the essential boxes.
You can think about what problems you can solve for customers
You can think about what your customers might be going through, and what problems they might be wrangling with. Maybe it’s gifts for teachers. Perhaps it’s how to calculate how much wine you need for Christmas lunch for a table of 12. Think about what problem you can solve is, and when the ideal time to solve it is. By planning, you can think about what you are posting when, so you don’t get into a panic, and neither does your customer.
You can balance stories with sales messages
You can make sure you have a flow of stories that are fascinating and remarkable. Then you can see where you drop in much more direct sales messages. There is nothing wrong with asking for a sale, just don’t make it all you do. If in doubt about that, read Gary Vaynerchuk’s Jab Jab Jab Right Hook.
You can start writing now.
If you’ve got a plan, then it’s easier to start thinking about the post and the content. And if you can get on and start writing and just get ahead, it’s going to mean you can concentrate on the rest of your business without losing your content conversations. It probably also helps you to avoid the panic of not being able to think of anything to write about.
You can brief someone else.
You may look at this and see plenty of opportunities, and also see that there is no way to fit this in. By having a calendar of what you want to achieve and when then you’re halfway to creating a great brief for a freelance writer to pick this up. Not everyone thinks you should hire a writer, here’s my view on pros and cons. You have to decide where it’s best to spend your time.
Of course, a content calendar is not just for Christmas. The same thing applies to the rest of the year. It’s never too early to get into good habits though. Your calendar doesn’t have to be anything technical, it can be a paper version, it can be a Google version. It only needs to work for you.
Are you a planner or a last-minute writer at the moment? If the latter, think about what you might gain from a bit of planning now in the summer sun.
When it returns.