If you’ve found this post, odds are you’re a photographer who’s tired of constantly content planning and creating multiple times a week to promote your business. You’re in the right place. And you’re right to feel tired. You’re doing too much, Queen!
Yes, strategic content planning is essential to your marketing success. But what you’re doing is not strategic, it’s more like walking a 5k. You’re still moving, but you’re spending more time doing it for the same (or worse) results.
What you need is a system to strategically plan and create content to attract your ideal client, quickly. Because let’s be real, you’re busy. So, I’m going to share three tips that totally transformed how I market my photography business. Not only do I spend way less time creating now, but the inquiries started coming in and booking! No more posting and praying someone inquires. These three things got me to a place where 70% of my business comes from social media.
And it doesn’t matter what type of photographer you are or which platform is your favorite.
How to plan your content more effectively as a busy photographer
1. Start content planning quarterly
You may have tried to plan out your content before (and fallen off the bandwagon) but I want you to know it’s not your fault. For many of us, when we first decide to start planning our content in advance, it’s because we’re tired. We’re busy, we’re wearing too many hats in our photography businesses as it is, and we need to find a way to be consistent. Without consistently being tied to Instagram.
The big reason why so many photographers fail at being consistent with content planning in advance is that we fall into one of two categories:
- You planned for a month, ran out of content, and never circled back to planning ahead again.
- You tried to plan too much, too far in advance. We’re talking 6 months to a year. It was probably a great plan but too ambitious and unrealistic to follow. (Especially once you remembered you still had to sit down and actually write the content after you planned it all out.)
If it does, don’t worry. You are not alone! Both of these plans sound like they’re the answer – until they’re not. Neither of these methods are actually strategic for long-term growth or fair to you. One sets you up to be on the content planning wheel too often and the other is too much. Too much planning, not enough freedom for life, creativity, and spontaneity.
If you’re going to start content planning effectively, you need to plan quarterly.
Content planning a quarter at a time is the perfect time frame. Three months is enough time that you’ll be able to make advanced content planning a habit without planning too far into the future that you box yourself in. You’ll also be giving your marketing strategy time to notice if it’s working or if you need to change things up.
Plus, three months gives you plenty of creative space to brain-dump fresh ideas for the next quarter without feeling rushed.
2. Plan your content around your business goals
I should have mentioned this before, but I really want you to understand we’re doing this quarterly first. That’s the most important hack to consistently creating content. My second hack that drives new inquiries is around goal setting. I know you probably already have big yearly business goals, even if you’re just starting out.
Maybe you want to make X amount of dollars this year, replace your 9-5 income, or want to do mini sessions only for Spring and Christmas. Whatever your business goals are, it’s ok to plan those a year in advance. I do a big annual strategy session to plan my goals every December.
Having those goals actually makes planning your content even easier. Take your big yearly goals and break them down into smaller, more achievable quarterly goals. Pencil into the appropriate quarters your major sales promotions (like when to market your mini sessions), holidays you can make content around, and more.
Once you have all your major promotions (only) planned, you can start creating a brain dump.
That’s where you purge all your ideas for blogs, emails, social media posts, etc in one area. Since you have the list of major promotions and dates you need to plan for in front of you it will be easy to hyper-focus on creating content each quarter to drive those goals/dates. Flesh out your ideas as much as possible, but don’t worry about going overboard. That’s where tip #3 comes in.
3. Use time blocking to batch your content
Now, let’s talk about how to take action on all this planning you just did. Because remember, you’re still tired and busy. Too busy to consistently squeeze time in to write your emails each week or come up with topics on-the-fly to post to Instagram that will drive your goals.
I’m a huge fan of batching. Since you’re planning quarterly, you can start blocking a time on your calendar to come up with topics for all the content you’ll create that quarter. Enough for social media, blogs, emails, or going Live if that’s your thing. I use my Quarterly Content Planner to plan, brain dump, and map out all the pieces of content I’ll create each quarter. It keeps everything in one place and makes it a lot easier to ensure I’ve planned enough for each type of content made.
After mapping all that out, you may want to block off another date to actually sit down and flesh those topics out more. Doing so will speed up your content creation time. This is also nice because you may feel too burned out after fleshing out 38+ pieces of content and going through your Rolodex of client photos to pair with each idea, to actually create that content in the same sitting. Or you may be like me, where you have a team that creates some elements of your content and you create others.
If these are you, do what I do. Block off time on your calendar each month for a separate content creation day. I can usually batch my content creation in sitting, using the outlines and captions I already wrote. YouTube videos, photoshoots, social media posts, blogs, emails, etc. Whatever your marketing strategy calls for, you can batch it all in a day using this system.
**Side Note: Yes, that means I change my shirt, hair, and earrings multiple times so it looks like I’m recording myself on different days. Unless you out yourself like I’m doing right now, no one will ever know! Trust me, it is so much better than trying to create every single day!
Suddenly you’ve gone from the photographer who’s constantly having to create Reels and captains daily to someone who only has to worry about it 3 days every 3 months. I’ll take that! What about you?
Need help with content planning?
Content planning in advance is a habit. Just like going to the gym or starting a new skincare routine. It takes practice and sometimes guidance.
If you need help, I got you. I took my own system for content planning + creation and designed a reusable Quarterly Content Planner that walks you through how to plan and schedule quarterly. It’s a large reason why 70% of my business comes from social media.
Pick up your copy here and start reclaiming your time back from marketing.