Welcome to the start of Q2.
How did your Q1 go? Did you do some year-end planning and get a jump on things in Q1? Or did you spend Q1 reflecting and planning the year ahead? Maybe it blew by so fast you can’t even believe it is already April.
Me? Oh, you know… there was planning, but things didn’t go as planned. Imagine that.
Whatever you did or didn’t do, it’s OK. One of the things about 90-day or 12-week planning is that each is a “new year” unto itself. There are many benefits to 12-week year planning — in a nutshell, it is a more efficient way to stay on track and motivated. When goals are made and achieved within a shorter time frame, we are less likely to procrastinate and more likely to accomplish the task at hand.
A fresh new start
I can’t believe I am about to quote Taylor Swift, but it’s a good one:
“Just because you made a good plan, doesn’t mean that’s what’s gonna happen.”
Things change, including our plans. A good plan is a good start, but to finish what you started, you might have to toss your plan aside and make a new one.
Especially this Q2 which is at the center of a confluence of things — April Fools Day. 4-3-21. A new moon. Everything points to new beginnings. A fresh start feels inspiring, doesn’t it? And creating a plan provides the necessary foundation for our new 12-week year. Now, where to begin…
Yes, yes, we begin with our goals… but as I’m sitting down to write this I am thinking about the fact that I spent time each of the last three mornings unsubscribing from SH$%tons of email lists because I was tired of the noise. I think we can all relate to this.
I have a love/hate relationship with content marketing. On one hand, I love how easily any of us can share our ideas with the world. On the other hand, much of it useless, uninformed, unentertaining, self-obsessed, overselling, etc. How does that happen? I mean, nobody PLANNED to publish a bunch of rubbish. Or did they? hmmm.
Planning to provide value
When I create content, I really try to stay focused on 2 key things: 1) connecting with my reader and 2) providing value. Now maybe you think this is rubbish, too, and that is fair. LOL
In order to provide value to my reader I have to understand who they are, why they are reading my content, where they are in their journey, and what their aspirations may be. That’s a lot to suppose to know about someone I have likely never met, isn’t it? If we approach it from a customer journey perspective, it is easier to come up with content ideas for each stage of that journey.
I have an idea…
Leaning on my desk is our Creators Manifesto. (I have the mug too) 🙂
Which got me thinking about an idea for you, for all of us… this can be applied to any industry, topic, customer journey stage, etc. What if we drew inspiration from each statement in the manifesto and used it as the foundation for a single piece of content?
- Be bold.The internet is a crowded place. What can you do to stand out? Be provacative. Be succinct. Don’t hold back, put it out there.
- Have an opinion. Bust a myth, take a stand, share your point of view. Opinions inspire conversations. This doesn’t mean you must shout in people’s virtual faces, it can be subtle and respectful. So tell me, what do you feel strongly about?
- Be helpful. The great thing about publishing and sharing content is that it allows us to interact one-to-many. Think of ways you help others 1:1 and adapt it to a 1:many piece of content.
- Always be teaching. What do you know how to do that you can teach others? Often people are afraid to do this because they think people won’t buy your service if you show them how to do it for free. Funny thing about us humans… most won’t implement it themselves anyway so you really have nothing to lose.
- Build relationships. How can you build relationships with your content (other than with your reader)? Maybe you can interview an expert in a related field who also works with a similar audience as you. By showcasing their expertise you help both your readers and the expert interviewee. And further you establish a connection with the interviewed expert that you can begin to nurture.
- Share your passion. This can take so many forms, it’s fun to think about. Maybe you are into photography or cooking, or kayaking or cycling… How can you share your adventures with others in a way that is inspiring, entertaining or of value to others?
How does that sound to you? Sounds like a plan to me… 🙂
P.S. If you feel unsure where to begin with your planning, you might want to take a pause and perform a marketing check-up to help you gain some clarity which will influence what you do next.