Ask any small business owner how they feel about social media, and you’ll probably get a similar response from all of them. They HATE it. Like, HATE IT! But we all know it’s necessary in today’s high-tech world, and if nothing else… it’s free advertising! I think most of us struggle with knowing what to post, how often to post, and doing it in a way that doesn’t take hours upon hours. Hours that we could spend creating, or spending time with our families… or napping! Today, I’m telling you what I do to create an ENTIRE MONTH’S WORTH of blog posts, and social media posts (Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter) in 15 minutes!
Every single Monday, M.D.P. has a Pink Day (On Mondays, I work pink!), aka. an admin day. (It’s a pink day because, on my Google Calendar, Admin is in pink). This means that I spend all of my “work hours” on Mondays doing administrative tasks, that keep my business running. Is it “Wedding Photographer Glamorous?” No! Is it completely necessary for my sanity?! YES! 100%!
Two Pink Days each month are “special Pink Days.” On the 2nd Pink Day of every month, I focus solely on accounting. I balance checkbooks, make Portrait Session or Wedding fund transfers, check my savings goals, etc.
On the last Monday of every month, I have what I call a SUPER Admin Day or a SUPER Pink Day. This day is when I plan out an entire month of social media content! I plan for 2 months from “now.” For example on Monday, April 29, I will plan all of my June social media content: Blog Posts, Instagram posts, Facebook post, and Twitter. If you want to create a month’s worth of Social Media Content, you need to dedicate one day each month to be your SUPER Pink Day.
How do I do it all in one day? I decided at the beginning of this year that I want to publish a blog twice a week. So I do that on Mondays and Thursdays. I also want to post dedicated content to Instagram, Facebook & Twitter at least three to four times a week (more on this later). Anything extra is a bonus or a “filler.” You may want to publish/post more, or less, but it’s your choice, so make it. And stick to it! So how do I know what to publish and when? I have a content calendar!
If you read my blog post, How to Automate Your Client Workflow in Less than 5 Seconds with Google, you know that I use Google Calendar because I love it! I have separate “calendars” for every aspect of my business, and all of them are color-coded! It’s so dreamy. I begin my monthly content planning with my blog. First, I have created categories for my blog posts that are relevant to my industry and potential clients. Every post I write will fit into one or more of these categories. Since I am a photographer I have the following categories:
I try to keep a working list of blog post ideas for each of these categories, as I think of them (like at the grocery store, or in the shower). I keep them in Ever Note, so they’re available on my phone and my computer. For example, Mother’s Day is coming up, so I know I want to post a Personal blog post on that Sunday, or the Monday after. Having a running list of blog topics ready to go has saved me hours upon hours of content planning! Also, I try to keep my blogs short, but still appropriate for good SEO (500-1,000 words). Humans now-days have a roughly 8-second attention span, so if any one post could get lengthy, I’ll split it up into a series (and therefore, multiple blog posts! Yasss!)
Now that I know when to post, and topics of what to post, I can now fill out my content calendar for the month! Because I want to publish a blog twice a week, I need to come up with roughly 7-9 blog post topics each month.
The first thing I do is check my Photography Workflow to see if there are any posts that are “due” that month and plug those into my Blog Content Calendar (dark purple). If you read my blog post called How to Automate Your Client Workflow in Less than 5 Minutes, then you are already familiar with how I set due dates for my Weddings & Portrait Session blog posts.
Next, I look at any events or holidays that I may want to blog about that month and plug those in. Lastly, I go through my working list of blog topics, and choose one from each of the above categories until my Blog Calendar is full! If there is a series I’m working on, I’ll be sure to post two parts of the series each month. For example, in April I posted about Our Love Story on the 1st and the 11th! Tada! Your Blog Content Calendar is done!
Next, I switch over to my Social Media Content Calendar (light purple). This includes everything I post to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I use Planoly to schedule Instagram posts and even auto-post to Instagram, and from there, everything is also copied to Facebook & Twitter… That’s killing three social media birds with one stone! But for now, we’re just planning… so let’s get back to it!
To begin planning my Social Media content, I first add any and all blog post promotions or re-promotions to my calendar. I post blog promotions on the day the blog goes live, roughly an hour after it publishes. I also publish another re-promote image (as a filler) at least once later that month.
I once again check my workflow calendar and add any images I will post as a sneak peek from my Weddings or Portrait sessions. I then take maybe 5 minutes and fill in what I want to post for the rest of the month. I have categorized my social media posts into either dedicated content posts or filler images.
I strive to post dedicated content at least three times every week and classify my dedicated content posts as anything that is a:
Wedding/Portrait Session or Sneak Peek
Blog Post Promotion
Birthday/Anniversary of a #dovelyclient
Holiday or fun holiday
For fun holidays, I only post about holidays relative to my industry, or business for the most part. For example, on National Proposal Day, I posted a photo of a proposal session I’d done. On National Grilled Cheese Day, I posted an image of a dog praying [for grilled cheese]. These are fun posts, and actually, a really great help when you need a caption idea. Personal content includes #fridayintroducitons, photos of my family, home, or just me. I try to post a photo of me at least once in every 9-12 images! Yep, I like to show up for my clients!
Below is an image of both my Blog Content Calendar and my Social Media Content Calendar together in google!
Everything else I post to social media for the rest of the month I consider a “filler image.” A filler is essentially a pretty image with a caption talking about what I’m doing that day, something funny my kids said or did, or a question to create engagement. It may also be a post that has to do with current events, and I upload it in real-time.
I don’t include fillers on my Social Media Content Calendar, because I don’t need to… I just upload them directly to Instagram (and therefore it copies to Facebook and Twitter), or I’ll upload it and schedule it in Planoly if I’m not posting right away.
Here is a sample of my Instagram feed with images labeled as dedicated content or fillers.
I would be willing to bet that it takes you longer to read this blog post that it does to follow these steps and plan a month’s worth of social media content! Remember, you’re just focusing on planning, not writing blog posts, not uploading images, not adding image captions in Planoly. Just focus on getting everything down in your [Google] Content Calendar, and it shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes each month!
June 13, 2019