How to Create a Content Calendar - and FREE printable content planner!

Such as with everything in life you can never go wrong if you have a plan. Even if the plan gets thrown off the rails it’s nice to have something to come back to. And when your Instagram strategy is in the question, planning is a definite must.

So let’s talk about creating a content calendar. Laying it out ahead of time allows us to see the big picture of the content we’re putting out into the world and allows us to identify if there is an even balance between, for example, teaching and selling posts. #GiveGiveGiveSell . With our calendar planned out we can also see all content we need to create for the month.

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When to post

Since I’m sure you already have a consistent posting schedule ;) let’s start there. Identify the dates you post if it’s mon/wed/fri or sun/tues/thurs etc. Go through the month and pull out all of those dates.

December:

Monday: 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

Wednesday: 5, 12, 19, 26

Friday: 7, 14, 21, 28

Pro Tip: If you don’t have a posting schedule right now you can look in your Instagram analytics under the audience tab to see when your audience is most active and create your schedule based on that.

Where to get content ideas

1. Refer back to your core themes - If you haven’t identified 1-7 core themes you post about you could jump back and give this blog post a read. Choosing themes keeps your page consistent, your audience knows what to expect, and you always have topics to fall back on when creating content.

2. Use National # Days - you know what I mean, like #National____Day? There are SO many of these weird days. I like to look through the calendars on the 3 links below and sometimes chose a couple of # days that fit my brand. Key words here: only chose ones that fit your brand!

Hubspot
SproutSocial
SMMT Canada

When picking these make sure you consider if it’s on brand! This is just one easy trick to get some ideas by no means do you need to try and hit them all!

3. Identify events and holidays coming up

This month we have Hanukkah, Christmas eve, Christmas, Boxing day, New Years Eve, and the First day of winter. Whew! That’s a lot.

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Assembling your Instagram content calendar

Consider what will resonate with your audience. For example, in general, on Mondays people will resinate with more motivational content, or anti-monday content (which I HATE but its a thing), or coffee cause..Monday. On Friday we generally resonate with things like weekend plans, relaxing, treat-yo-self and indulgent vibes. Additionally the 24th and 31st are Mondays in December but they are also holidays so they won’t really feel like a normal Monday (just something to consider).

Building your calendar (use page 4 of the workbook for this part!):

Here’s my example//

My themes: Me-lifestyle, Me- IG marketing tips, Coffee, Travel, Jared, Bauer

My plan:

Mon 3rd: Travel/Coffee
Wed 5th: Travel/Marketing tip
Friday 7th: Travel/career post
Mon 10th: Coffee/desk/work vibes
Wed 12th: Lifestyle - IG marketing free tip
Fri 14th: Lifestyle - Christmasy
Mon 17th: Lifestyle photo - work update
Wed 19th: Me - IG marketing
Fri: 21st: Lifestyle photo
Mon 24th: Lifestyle photo
Wed 26th: Jared & I —> post December 25th instead
Saturday 29th: Me-lifestyle
Mon 31st: Coffee


Strategize instagram photo concepts

Here are some tips for that:

1. Create a ‘Saved’ album in your Instagram and Save photos for inspiration - so when you see a photo on IG that would look great on your feed, or a photo idea you love just flag it, add to an album you’ve labelled ‘photo inspo’ and then you can go back and look through that album when you’re planning!

2. Write down your photo idea next to your theme

ex// Friday the 14th : Lifestyle Christmasy - Jo in front of Christmas tree wrapping gifts

Sounds superficial? It’s legit what the behind-the-scenes of this stuff looks like. Sorry.

3. Identify when you can get photos - whether you’re setting up a tripod, booking a photographer, working with a friend or getting pics on the fly, make a plan for this too!

Alright friends, what have we accomplished here?

-We know it’s important to have a plan because it’s makes the big question “what should I post?” a little less scary

-We know what to post by using our reoccurring themes, #National_Days, and holidays when appropriate

-We know it will take a bit more weight off our shoulders if we dig a little deeper and plan out exactly what our content will look like

Yup, I think you’re ready!!

Download my FREE printable workbook below for planning your IG calendar and you’ll be set!

Go get em tiger,

xx.

Jo