How to Rack Up Cool Points by Talking About Your Editorial Calendar at *Some* Parties

(*Some, not all, or there won’t be any more invites, Brenda.)

I used to get a little weird at parties. And it’s not just my tendency to hover alarmingly close to the chip bowl (Geez, lady, just take some on a plate maybe …).

I would get weird because I didn’t always feel comfortable telling people what I do.

Does this happen to you too? Or did it, early on, before you got your beautiful business wings?

For some reason, it was hard for me to say, “I run a copywriting business.” Like somehow it’s still not legit to just big fat work for yourself, by yourself.

Instead, I would end up talking about the other work I did on contract (for “legitimate” businesses) or skillfully rerouting the convo back to how darn tasty those chips were.

I spend a lot of time with many of you online, so I knew I wasn’t the only one having trouble owning it, but it sure felt lonely.

But Something Changed

I recently had a big shift in that part of my identity, and I noticed (you guessed it) around the chip bowl at a party last weekend.

Someone asked, and it just came out: “I run a copywriting business.”

Did I just say that?

I sure did!

It turns out, I’m starting to feel like more of a legitimate business owner. And it’s not just at parties! I’m engaging face to face, inbox to inbox, and thread to thread. About my business! And of course it’s paying off.

One of the things that has ushered in this shift is that I’ve sobered up about having a strategy for publishing on my site and social media channels. I got serious with my Editorial Calendar.

Curious? Pull up a Chip.

Entreprenerds really are my favorite people. We are some of the most unusual, creative, and courageous people on the menu.

Many of us, however, are also creatives. And, being creatives, we are often not the best at planning, strategy, and the really bad S-word …. Spreadsheets. (Arg! My eyes!)

But, strangely, we aren’t too bad with calendars.

Apparently, when the boxes aren’t just tiny rectangles -- and are instead lovely squares -- we can handle looking at, say, 3 to 30 of them at a time without any struggle whatsoever.

This general OK-ness when it comes to calendars is actually really good news for us creatives, because ... Editorial Calendars?

They are POWERFUL.

What iz deez Calendar of Which I Speak?

I didn’t know what an Editorial Calendar was for a long time, but it’s not rocket surgery. It’s just a calendar to plan out your publishing.

Editorial Calendars are big and fancy and complicated for businesses with a lot of publishing going on, but small and simple (and, well, possibly non-existent) for others that don’t do so much publishing.

For small businesses, online entrepreneurs, and other “neur”-otics like us, editorial calendars can sometimes seem superfluous.

Which is unfortunate. Because these babies pack a punch when it comes to strategy.

Editorial Calendars can be moderately helpful when used even just to pencil out content for the month or the quarter.

That’s really no small feat when you’re just getting started. Just doing that much will bring you some incredible clarity and peace of mind.

It will also get you excited about what’s coming up next -- what you will create in your business in the months to come. That’s really nothing to sneeze at.

But the REAL power of the editorial calendar is when you strategically tailor it to the rhythms of your ideal client’s life. That’s where things get interesting.

Your Client has Rhythm

Anyone can pencil in content for Black Friday, International Donut Day, and the Interplanetary Day of the Pirate. (Again, those are all good things to think about at the beginning. They are better than nothing and a legitimate step in the right direction for any business.)

But if you’ve been in business long enough or have done the work to know a bit about your ideal customer -- the one you speak to in your copy, the one whose problems you are hoping to help solve with your products and services -- it’s very likely that you also have an idea of the events on the calendar that she may be attune to.

If she is thinking about those days…. You should be too. And your content should be published accordingly.

  • Is your ideal client attuned to astrological events? Publish accordingly.

  • Is she likely to be considering the summer festivals in your area? Publish accordingly.

  • Is he on a health journey that would make International Donut Day especially hard? Well, then you get right on it and publish accordingly.

The Fun Begins

Are you thinking about it already?

You should! It gets real fun, real fast when the light bulb “dings” above your head on this. Oh, the places you’ll go with it!

And the best part?

The tools needed to begin your Editorial Calendar Strategy Journey-to-your-TED-talk are really simple. Or they can be.

It’s literally just a calendar. Pick one, any one, and use whatever school supplies make your heart sing.

You can also get really techie with this, which is what I’ve been enjoying. I started just using my Google Calendar, but then I discovered Airtable. It’s a fluid database tool that allows you to add your topics, writing/reviewing/publishing dates, and anything else you want (for example, I added other writers I may assign to) and then view them as a table, calendar, or grid. You can just re-arrange the whole look with a click of a button. SO FUN.

So, as you’ve been thinking through this, what’s a date that matters to your customers in the next few months?