Plan a Year's Worth of Content for Your Coaching Business

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Content Planning System for Coaches

Content planning can appear daunting. With a million things demanding your attention and a priority list as long as your arm, planning content might feel frivolous and time-wasting.

However, content marketing is more than just writing a few blogs or social media posts; it's your entire communication strategy, how the world learns who you are and what you stand for.

Consistency in your message helps build recognition and trust with your audience.

In this blog, I’ll explain why content is so important to your marketing strategy and provide you with a simple method to plan a year's worth of content quickly.

Why Prioritise Content Marketing

Content marketing is crucial for several reasons:
  • Skill Development: It's an opportunity to practice and hone your skills in your profession as you repeatedly communicate it to your audience.
  • Finding Your Voice: It allows you to discover and develop your unique voice.
  • Learning from Mistakes: Content creation put into practice making mistakes, learning from them, and understanding what works.
  • Evergreen: Even years after publishing, people can come across and read your content.
  • Client Decision-Making: Potential clients use your content to decide if you're the right fit for them.
  • Communication of Values: It's a means to organise and communicate your thoughts and beliefs to those who care.
Your content, whether it's a blog, podcast, video, or social media posts, should reflect a consistent stream of consciousness based on the outcome you want to achieve. For example if your aim is champion women leaders in business, this is the outcome and your content is your thoughts and ideas around this.

As long as you're not being offensive, you won't be trolled. Content creation isn't about achieving perfection; it's about continuous experimentation to understand what your audience wants.

A Three-Step Authentic Content Framework

I want to introduce you to a content creating framework from George Kao from his book Authentic Content Marketing to get you thinking differently about how you create.

George Kao's content creation process involves three steps:
  • Start with informal daily posts on social media, sharing quick thoughts or ideas without overthinking it.
  • After a while, identify which ideas gain the most interest and develop them into longer-form content such as blogs, podcasts, videos, webinars, or masterclasses.
  • For the longer content pieces that get the most engagement, consider turning them into books or online courses.
This process allows you to experiment freely and learn from the results. 

Where to Start When Planning Your Content

Begin with your audience. Identify the key questions they consistently ask, not only directly to you but in their communities, such as Facebook Groups, WhatsApp groups, or Slack channels.

These questions mark the initial step of the buyer's journey when individuals seek answers. Your content should provide those answers, whether found through Google, friends, peers, or online communities.

Next listen to your discovery calls and extract key questions, challenges, frustrations, and feelings your audience experiences.
And lastly conduct interviews with your existing clients or your audience that fits your niche audience.

The Journey of Consciousness

The journey of consciousness, inspired by Better Bolder Braver, focuses on the thought process and needs of individuals as they decide to work with you. It consists of the following stages:
  • Unaware: Individuals are unaware of their problems or need for change. You must help them see their situation differently.
  • Problem Aware: People have just realised they have a problem or opportunity for change. Your role is to support them in understanding their situation.
  • Solution Aware: Individuals are actively seeking answers to their problems. Your focus is on educating them about what a good solution looks like.
  • Product Aware: Once they're committed to addressing their issue, they begin searching for products that meet their criteria. You should demonstrate why your coaching services are the best fit for them.
  • Most Aware: Individuals at this stage believe you are the right fit and are ready to engage with the coaching process.
By tailoring your marketing and communication to address each stage, you can guide potential clients through their journey effectively and comfortably, without rushing the sales process.

Exercise: Draw five columns on a piece of paper and write each stage at the top. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes at each stage and write ideas about how you can answer their questions for each stage.

Below is an example for a female leadership personal development coach.

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Tip: Remember you are several steps ahead of where your audience is. Write to your audience where they are now, which might be a few steps back from where you are now. Try to think back to a time when you didn’t know the knowledge you have now and how you can guide people gently into knowing what they need to in order to achieve their outcome.

Your Company Values

As well as content that tells the audience what you do and how you do it, you also need to be telling them more about you and what your mission, vision, and values are. This is the thing that's going to solidify the "know, like, and trust" elements that help people understand why they want to work with you.

Exercise: Get a piece of paper, or a spreadsheet, and draw the number of columns for the number of values you have. Then under each one, write 2-3 ideas for content you can create that communicates this.

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Other content opportunities are you supporting causes and charity work within these areas that you value and want to have an impact on.

Seasonal Events or Awareness Days

Now I'm not saying you should start celebrating every awareness day under the sun like "donut day," but if your company and values align with a particular annual event, for example, if you are a coach that advocates for women's confidence, then International Women's Day is a big event in your calendar.

Write down your key dates for the year and for each one, write ideas for content or even mini-campaigns or challenges you can do for each one.

Putting It All Together

To plan your content, create a visual representation with rows for:
  • Key sales dates or launches
  • Seasonal key dates
  • Events you're attending
  • Podcasts you're appearing on
  • Blogs, podcast episodes, or videos
  • Personal/values-driven social media posts
Organise these elements month by month from January to December. Your key content should align with product launches, sales, or key seasonal dates. Break this key content down into social media posts, including educational, personal, and sales posts, with a heavier focus on the first two categories.

By following this structured approach, you can streamline your content planning process and ensure consistency in your message and communication.