Simple is truly the key to success. The moment something gets complicated is the moment that overwhelm and burnout appear on the horizon. We don’t want that, which is why today I’m chatting about one simple way to improve your content creation strategy so that you can focus on what matters most – at home and in business. Sound like something you need? Let’s get started.
Links for This Episode
Podcast Episode Recommendations
- #88: Streamline Your Systems Today [PART 1]: How to Create Workflows for Success
- #59: How to Create a Workflow for Content Creation, 3 Steps for Success
- #58: 3 Hacks to a “Sticky” Content Strategy that Converts
- #46: Streamline Your Online Business: 3 Templates To Create ASAP for Business Growth
1 Way to Improve Your Content Creation Strategy Today
Well hey there and welcome back to another episode of the Mama Business Podcast. We just came back off of an unexpected but much needed week spent with family and friends celebrating the holiday and Justin’s birthday and just enjoying time together. And normally I make plans well in advance, but in this case, I just took what came our way and ran with it. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all – spending time with family and friends, enjoying the warmer weather, among other things. For most of us, that’s the reason that we got into business to begin with, right? We wanted the freedom and flexibility to make money on our own terms – without having to miss the little moments with our kids, our spouse, our extended family. So, if you find yourself coming out of this week or any other holiday week feeling guilty for taking time away – it’s time to quash that, okay? You run your business so that you can enjoy your life, not the other way around. Plus you need that time away to regroup, refresh, and come back with renewed excitement for the weeks ahead. So, I hope that you allow yourself that opportunity.
And with that in mind, I want to give you one strategy today that has made a world of difference in my own business in helping me stay on track without requiring me to sacrifice my family time. In fact, I believe this one thing is often my saving grace when it comes to remaining consistent.
That one thing is a content outline template. Essentially, it’s the exact format that gets used for each and every piece of content that’s produced on a specific platform. This is something that is thought out ahead of time so that there’s no guesswork when the content actually needs to be created. And, because that thought process is put in ahead of time, my content is consistently delivered across every platform. That means that my followers, my podcast listeners, my email subscribers – know exactly what to expect when they engage with a piece of my content.
And it’s simple, because simple is truly the key to success. The moment something gets complicated is the moment that overwhelm and burnout appear on the horizon. We don’t want that, so this simple strategy can make a world of difference.
So let’s talk about what these content outline templates might look like, why they have has been so effective within my own business and how you might improve your content creation strategy by implementing your own.
Where to Use a Content Outline Template
You can and should use a content outline template in any area of your business that requires you to create content on a regular basis, but a few of the common platforms for online business owners might include the following:
Cornerstone content including blog posts, podcast episodes, video content, etc. These templates might include your introduction, how many points you want to include in each piece of content, a conclusion, space for a clear call to action, and anything else that you routinely want within each piece of content you create. Personally, I like to include space for a teaser at the beginning of each of my episodes and blog posts to essentially reel people in, an introduction to the topic with an applicable story, if I have one, and then one to three clear points followed by action steps and a clear call to action. In written form, I always include links to additional resources, and anything else that might help my ideal client get the most out of the information that I’ve just provided.
Your email marketing platform is another place to have a content outline template. It could be as simple as a template ready to go with a few suggestions for what to include as well as a reminder to include a CTA OR you might send out a more detailed newsletter and want to know which section is for what type of information. So, you might have one space for info on your product or service, a space for a blurb about your newest blog post, a highlight of a current client testimonial, among other things.
If you’re using social media – then it’s another great place to have content outline templates in place. You might have a short template for engagement, a longer one for more salesy or testimonial-type posts, among others.
Of course, the sky is the limit.
Why Content Outline Templates are Effective
So, why are these content outline templates effective? Well, I really believe it comes down to a couple of things starting with the blinking cursor on a blank screen. We’ve all been there, right? Wondering where to start or how to break down the topic that makes sense in our head into something that’s going to meet the needs of the person that listens to the episode or reads the social media post. And because we aren’t sure where to start, it makes it easy just not to. To spin in indecision, to go down the rabbit hole trying to figure out what we did last time or the time before, and before we know it we’ve run out of time to create that piece of content and it’s pushed off to next week. Or never.
When we have a content outline template in place, there’s no longer a blank screen to look at. There’s a clear process to follow so that the information that’s in your head makes it to the screen and gets to the people that need it the most.
That, coupled with the consistency in how you deliver your content make it a win win situation in my book.
Another way that these content outline templates can be effective for online business owners is when it comes to bringing on a team member in the form of a contractor or employee to help you with your content strategy. Having a content outline template in place means that not only will that person understand how content is created, but that will help to keep consistency no matter who creates the content for your business. Plus – and this is my favorite – your team member might even know more about that platform than you do, which means that they can help to create or adjust the templates so that you can create better content as well.
Once again it’s a win win situation for everyone.
Of course there are many other benefits to having content outline templates in place, but I’m guessing you get the gist.
How to Create Your Own Content Outline Templates
So, if you want to create your own content outline templates, then where you should you start?
Consider which areas of your business you could use a content outline template. Really, any area that you are or should be consistently creating content is the perfect place to have a content outline template in place.
Then think about what pieces you need as part of each and every piece of content in that category.
For example, if your goal is to create a content outline template for Facebook posts – maybe you need an emoji to draw the attention of your reader, followed by some short bullet points to engage them in whatever topic you are discussing. You might want to have a short story endearing them to you and then finish up with a very clear CTA. What should they do next?
If you are just starting out on a given platform, my recommendation is to take a look at some of the content produced from others that you enjoy reading or listening to. Obviously you don’t want to copy exactly what they are doing because it won’t be YOUR strategy. Look at what draws your attention, consider the things that aren’t effective, and then put together a strategy that works best for you.
If you’ve already been on the platform creating content, then take a look at which pieces of content have been most effective. Was it the one that you had a clear introduction in before it cut to your podcast jingle? Was it the one-paragraph email you sent with a clear call to action? Or perhaps the social media post with the smiley face emoji? Whatever you learn, use that information to put together a clear cut content outline template.
Once that’s complete, you’ll be able to sit down with your topics or calls to action and put together many pieces of content because you’ll know exactly what format and process to use. At that point, it’s all about just sharing what you know will get your ideal client the best result – and hopefully, that best result is saying yes to working with YOU.
Take Action: Improve Your Content Creation Strategy Today
Alrighty, that brings us to the action part of this episode. And we all know that action is where the dreams turn into the reality. And today’s action step is this:
ACTION: Ideally you’d have content outline templates for each and every category of your content marketing strategy, but I know that’s not always feasible in the moment. Knowing that, I want you to create at least one content outline template. Take a look at the type of content that you create the most and then come up with a template for that category. And then…use it. Test it, change it, and rinse and repeat as necessary. But take the time to do this now so that you can easily and consistently create content in the future.
And – remember – this is supposed to be simple, because simple is truly the key to success. It might be tempting to over-complicate it. Don’t do that. Systems don’t have to be complicated to be effective. You need this system, this process, to work for you so that you can show up and be successful with the time that you have so that you can get back to the things that matter most to you.
If you need help to improve your content creation strategy, head to sarahbrumley.com/strategy and let’s get you some clarity. We’ll strategize and troubleshoot, and you’ll walk away knowing exactly what to do next – no guesswork involved. Once again, you can book your session at sarahbrumley.com/strategy.
Whatever you decide, mama, just know that I’m cheering you on. You’ve got this! Have an amazing day and I’ll chat with you next time!