Hello everyone, welcome to the Balanced Business Leaders Podcast hosted by yours truly, Claire Jones, owner of Liminal Clarity. We are a business development agency that helps small business leaders scale and grow without burning out.
This is the next podcast in a series where we will be discussing the various trials and tribulations that lead me to creating my Three Pillars of Business Success, a framework that represents the foundational systems that contribute to sustainable business growth.
If you’re interested in learning more, please join us in our free Balanced Business Leaders Facebook Group at facebook.com/groups/balancedbusinessleaders.
Ready? Alright, let’s dive in.
So I started this podcast as a way to tell my story, particularly when it comes to the many, many different lessons that I have learned over the years when it comes to founding, developing, running, and growing small businesses.
This particular episode is about Content Management, because you need to use the right tools that will save you time and energy as you implement your marketing efforts.
So your Marketing Strategies journey started with figuring out what marketing platforms are going to be best for you and your business so that you can intentionally target your ideal audiences. Remember, there is no cookie cutter solution for this – it is directly linked to who, specifically, would be most interested in your products or services and figuring out where they would be best reached.
Then, we went over Websites & Google My Business so that you can take control over your digital presence. These two things are more important than a brick and mortar location nowadays, people are always going to look you up online so you might as well lean into it.
Then, we figured out how many times you need to have contact with your potential customers in order to engage them with your products or services. This will directly influence your content strategies, remember consistency is king here.
That leads into Content Creation, and knowing what kind of content is going to be ideal for the marketing platforms that you’ve chosen to use in order to reach your ideal audiences. Because we don’t want to waste time by making content for platforms that aren’t going to reach the people we want to reach.
And, finally, we wrap it all up with Content Management. Now that you know where you’re going to market, how often you’re going to market, and what content you’re going to market with – you now need some systems and infrastructures to help organize it all and keep you on track.
This is often the part where people get overwhelmed. They have an idea of where they’re supposed to be posting, they have some ideas for what they’re supposed to be posting, but they’re suddenly overwhelmed by how often they need to post and the sheer amount of content they need to create and manage in order to develop those consistent touchpoints with their audiences.
That’s okay – remember that you’re not alone.
This is where Content Management structures come in so that they do all of the tracking for you.
There are many different types of content calendars out there and many different types of softwares that will help you with this. I’m not going to go into all of your options today though, because I want to provide you with the basic structure of how to use content calendars so that you can apply that knowledge to any calendar or software you may use.
Personally, I use a Google Spreadsheet that I’ve customized (because I love spreadsheets and I find that it has more flexibility than some of the softwares available) but you need to find out what works best for you.
A content calendar is basically going to track what content you plan on posting, on what platform, on what day, and in what order. This way, you can plan out your content in advance, so when the time comes to actually make and post the content – you’re not wasting time trying to figure out what the content is supposed to be.
Think of it as your past self taking care of your future self. Your past self is going to take some time planning out your content so that your future self doesn’t have to make any decisions when the time comes, they just have to do the things.
So I update my content calendar yearly, quarterly, weekly, and daily. These are regular, recurring time blocks that I put on my calendar – check out my podcast on Flexible Time Blocking if you want more information on how I plan out my time.
On a yearly basis – usually in October because that’s when I do all of my big picture planning for the upcoming year – I plan out the year in my content calendar so that I know which holidays are happening on which days plus any big launches or events that I need to plan for.
On a quarterly basis, I plan out my 3-month plan – I go through my general content template (basically the types of content that I know I want to post, like videos, testimonials, or pre-launch posts) and then assign the pieces of content to the next 90 days. This is where I get specific about what the topic of the piece of content is going to be, not just the theme of the content.
So for example, if I know I want to post an Instagram live every Tuesday, I plan out what those IG lives are going to be about based on the launches that I’m doing during that period of time.
So, say I planned to launch a Sustainable Schedules group program in November when I was doing my yearly review of the calendar. Then, when I’m doing my quarterly review, I’m going to plan for my Tuesday IG lives to be about Sustainable Schedule topics in the weeks leading up to that November launch.
So, when a particular Tuesday comes up and I see IG live on my calendar to-do list – I already know exactly what to make the live about so it only takes me 30 minutes to actually film the video instead of spending time planning out what I’m going to say. Past Claire already decided what to say, so I’m going to just do the thing.
Then on a weekly basis, I pre-schedule my weekend posts. And, daily, I create and post my weekday posts and engage with my audiences.
Is this making sense with you all? That’s the overall framework that we’re working with here, when it comes to content calendars.
Now, when it comes to content publishers, these softwares are useful when you are automating all of this wonderful content that you’ve now planned out.
Alright, so, again, there are a lot of different softwares out there that will handle content scheduling for you – it seems like everyone has their favorites.
There are some that will integrate with your content calendars, there are some that will integrate with your CRMs – customer relationship managers – there are some that will integrate with your website. It pretty much depends on how much you want to spend and what kind of user interface you’re comfortable with.
My favorite, for now, is Hootsuite because the free version allows you to connect up to 3 different platforms and schedule up to 30 posts at a time. It also has some great features that will allow you to track the engagement that happens on your platforms as well as hashtag tracking and all kinds of cool stuff.
You can track your posts on the platforms that you link to your Hootsuite account, you can track your mentions on your different platforms, you can track your timelines, your messages, your unpublished posts, your general activity, and your scheduled posts.
Again, there are similar features on most content scheduling platforms. Some of the most popular are Buffer, HootSuite, Sprout Social, CoSchedule, Edgar, and Zoho. Everyone has their favorite, so it’s difficult to determine an industry standard for this category of softwares. You just gotta find the one that works best for you, but, at the end of the day, anything is better than nothing.
These tools allow you to basically keep track of what all your profiles are doing in one location. This prevents the time suck that is switching between all of the different platforms in order to post, review, engage, etc.
Now, this is where I want to remind you about the previous podcast when we talked about social media captions.
Remember that the format of the captions are going to be different depending on what platform you’re posting to.
For Facebook, you CAN use URLs in the captions and it allows more text than other platforms.
For LinkedIn, you CAN also use URLs in the captions – but they will automatically be reformatted to look like LinkedIn URLs. So liminalclarity.com will turn into something like lnkd.in/gDbcRZE. Also, LinkedIn has a text limit in their captions – I believe it is 1300 characters per post.
And, for Instagram, you CANNOT use URLs in the caption – it’s recommended that you use the “Link in Bio” call to action and direct them to the URL that is showcased on your Instagram profile bio instead.
Additionally, with Instagram captions, they often get reformatted when they are published so it is highly recommended that you use a tool like IG Line Break Caption Maker. If you write your caption inside of this application, copy the text and then paste it into your Instagram post here in HootSuite or other schedulers – the paragraph breaks will remain.
It is recommended to keep your paragraph breaks because Instagram users typically do not want to read big blocks of text. Since it is an image-based platform, users want to see images primarily – not a lot of text. Users tend to scroll fairly quickly through Instagram and so there is a general tendency to scan read the captions. So make sure that your Instagram captions are easily scannable with each sentence having its own paragraph break.
For example, if you were to post an Amazon link to Facebook, the URL would be easily recognizable as an Amazon.com link and would be clickable.
If you were to post it to LinkedIn, the URL would still be clickable but would be reformatted to present as a shortened LinkedIn URL (not as an Amazon.com link).
And if you were to post to Instagram, the URL would be easily recognizable as an Amazon.com link but IS NOT clickable. Keep in mind that you can’t even highlight and/or copy and paste a link like this from an Instagram caption. The viewer would have to open a separate browser window (either on their phone or on their computer) and type out the link manually in order to access it.
OR – they could just click on your Instagram profile to access the URL that is in your profile bio section. This is why the “Link in Bio” call to action is so important on Instagram, because you want them to intentionally choose to learn more about you and your business.
So, to recap, when it comes to marketing strategies, what we’re really talking about here is intentionally and strategically developing your know, like, and trust factor so that you can inspire your audiences to buy from you and become loyal fans of your products or services.
In order to do this you need visibility and systems for maintaining that visibility.
That’s why I’ve put these 5 steps in a particular order, because they all add up to a Marketing Strategy that provides you with consistent habits of success.
Imagine what it would feel like if you could have the right systems in place to create, plan, and manage all of your marketing content? It would feel good right?
That’s what we’re aiming for here. Now, I know that there was a lot of ground covered in these podcasts, so please feel free to reach out to me if you have specific questions. Comment below, email me, or message me on social media – I’m here for you.
So next time, we’ll be going more in depth into the first step of Processes & Systems, Business Plans. I hope to interweave my personal experiences with the business lessons I learned along the way so that I can paint a full picture for you guys.
And please let me know what you think! I am always open to feedback and love connecting with my audiences.
If you want to learn more, I personally invite you to join us in the Balanced Business Leaders VIP Group Program. In as little as one hour per week, you will walk away with a clear action plan to grow and scale your business sustainably.
Please visit linktr.ee/liminalclarity for more information.
You can find the episode outline, video recording, transcript downloads, related links, etc. below.
And, until next time, love you all, take care, and I hope you have a good day wherever you are.