How many times have you sat down at your laptop, opened a new document, then stared at the blinking cursor while your work minutes slipped away? “Writer’s block” seems like an inadequate description for such a time- and resource-sucking problem.
Oh, and while you’re at it, don’t forget to consider whether you’re:
- Writing in your brand voice?
- Avoiding clichéd phrases?
- Putting in enough current events references and GIFs into your content?
So, what’s the cure for blinking cursor syndrome, never enough time to get a content plan together or writer’s procrastination? Let me tell you what’s worked for me: quarterly content writing.
Here’s what implementing this process can do for you:
- No more panic that your last scheduled post ran out last week.
- Save massive amounts of time writing, creating social media posts and editing graphics
- Major writing credit in your mastermind or biz membership.
- The ability to plan out your promotion(s) over the next quarter.
Too good to be true? Not at all. Let’s take this one step at a time:
Do The Prep Work
Your first task is to pre-prep as much as you can. Here’s how to do it:
Step One: Every quarter has 13 weeks, right? So all you need to do is grab 13 rough ideas. What would you like to talk to your community about over the next quarter? You’ve probably got a couple of burning themes already.
Step Two: Look ahead at the calendar. Do you have a promotion during that time? What topics would organically promote your business? Pencil in a few of those.
Step Three: Are there any holidays coming up or newsworthy events? Something you always talk about in fall or winter? Add those placeholder topics as well. How are you doing with those 13 working titles? I bet you’ve got half or two-thirds of them covered by now.
Step Four: Now it’s time for a brainstorming session to fill in the rest of your content. And if ideas tend to percolate up for you after you’ve taken a bit of a break, by all means, come back to this step after a few days!
Use Your Workflows to The Fullest
You’re doing great! Now for your second step in content nirvana. (Pssst… this is where HoneyBook comes in!)
When you’re batching a quarter’s worth of content at once, sometimes we forget how to format something in WordPress or need additional graphics for those new story pins. HoneyBook workflows (using client workflow automation software) help you get everything right by doing the remembering for you.
Pro tip: Name all your quarterly content workflows with the same format, “QC + whatever content you’re working on.” For example, “QC email workflow” for when you create your email sequences or “QC YouTube script workflow” for when you plan out your video content. You get the idea. That way, you can easily find those workflows in HoneyBook when you need them.
Whatever you need, personalize this to your content strategy! I’m doing a blog and YouTube channel; you may be vlogging and podcasting. HoneyBook provides a convenient storage place for all your can’t-forget-what-do- guides, aka SOPs, to live.
What if you haven’t got many (or any) standard operating procedures (SOPs) set up? Here’s an easy fix. The next time you sit down to write a caption, open another document to capture each step of the process. Go back and expand on that initial document so that anyone on your team can understand what you meant and follow your process.
Pro Tip: If you had a bad night and your head just isn’t in the right space to create content, it’s totally fine to pivot. Just switch up which workflows you’re using (HoneyBook won’t snitch on you!) and get back to writing tomorrow when you’re feeling up to it.
Get Back to Business
Can you believe it? You’re done! A whole quarter of content whether it’s podcast episodes (plus graphics and quotes), list emails, social media posts (graphics and captions) and promotional calendars are all teed up and scheduled out. Now you can go back to focusing on your clients or start working on that back-burner business project.
Pro Tip: Set a reminder for when you need to knock out another quarter of content again. Look at how long it took you to do this quarter’s content and back plan that many weeks plus a couple extra for wiggle room.
You just made a huge dent in your to-do list. Not to mention a huge boost to your biz-owner self-esteem!
Now you’ve got the space to focus on something else in between workflow batching rhythms. The time to work on that dream client’s deliverable. You can go all-in now because you don’t need to break for a frantic “what am I posting today?!” work session. Nope, you’re in the flow and staying there because you pushed through each content task multiple times over and it’s done.
Would quarterly content batch give you more security in the scheduling-and-posting process? If so, I bet you’ve got some of the SOPs you need already. What other HoneyBook workflows could you set up today? Use HoneyBook’s client management software for small businesses to find out.
Ready to perfect your process? Get our Systems & Automation Ultimate Guide.