How to Build a Content Calendar (with free template)

business plan on wall

The vast majority of things in life that are wildly successful can be traced back to a plan.

You know the process – an idea is born, or a need for doing something differently arises, and then  – whether in your head or on paper – a strategy for creation and/or change begins. Whether it’s a written to do list, or a full business plan, the idea goes from concept to finished product with accountability and execution.  

When don’t things get done?  When there is no plan. When there are only good intentions. When there is no accountability.

We all have good intentions. Those intentions can be around money, or weight, or relationships, or travel, or growing our business – but it’s amazing to realize just how often few of those good intentions actually turn into something.

When it comes to your business, like fitness, you have to have a plan. You just can’t willy-nilly it to success.  And, the marketing of your business is no different. You can’t cross your fingers and hope people will find you. Far too many people open their doors with the “if we build it, they will come” mentality. And then they wonder why “they” aren’t coming to check them out.

The results of our 2016 Annual Affiliate Survey show that 60% of gym owners (520 of 866) said the area they needed to invest more marketing dollars was in online marketing – developing content, investing time on social media, creating automated emails that work when you’re sleeping, etc.

Graph1

It’s now June, we’re halfway through the year… and I’m curious how many of those 520 folks have followed through.

 

 

 

We asked in the same Affiliate Survey, “How often do you publish free content to help your clients (and future clients) get better?”  

The answer?

66% said they publish content once a month or less.

Graph2

Honestly, this is crazy.  Once a month… or less??

This statistic is significant. If you fall into this camp… how do you expect to be found? You want more members? You have to get in the content game. No more excuses.

 

But you have to have a plan. And you just really have to stop saving this critical piece of your business until tomorrow.

If the old adage is true that it’s never too late to start, then now is as good a time as ever to follow through on what you know you need to do. Content is critical. As we talked about in this article a couple weeks ago and on this podcast, creating content establishes your credibility. It gives you the permission to invite someone to try your product or service. It presents you as the expert.

Because good intentions, we all know, rarely win in the end. Before you know it, a month (or six) will go by and you’ll realize you’ve been virtually silent. And marketing silence doesn’t bode well for growing a business.

This month all of our content efforts at 321Go are focused on Content Marketing and Strategy. Our MOMENTUM Gyms will receive a pre-built content calendar to share with coaches and staff, keyword planners for SEO, and step-by-step instructions on how to execute on a robust content strategy.

As part of that campaign, our MOMENTUM gyms will receive a version of this Content Calendar template. Feel free to download this simple form and begin to populate it. If used properly, it will serve as an accountability tool to begin getting your content out there. To publish. To let your voice be heard and show the world you know what you’re talking about. And to let them see that you have a good thing going on.

It doesn’t have to be hard. Don’t make “publishing” something harder than it needs to be. Even if you publish two things a week, that’s better than where you are now.

And once you start, consistency is key. Much like working out, lack of discipline is not your friend. Make a plan, and stick with it.

Healthy things always grow. But it takes time and disciplined commitment to make something different than it is today.
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