Claire – our head of content marketing – sent us all an email yesterday with our content calendar for 2017. Each month she has a theme for us to think about and write about. We don’t have to adhere to this but it can be very useful when – like today after the Christmas break – I need a little help with inspiration.
The theme for January is ‘Good Habits’. That made me think of the post I wrote a while ago that referred to a nice little video summarising Covey’s book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Number 3 of Covey’s 7 habits is ‘Put First Things First’ where he references the Eisenhower method:
The Eisenhower Method is simple – divide tasks into:
- Important and urgent
- Important and not urgent
- Not important and urgent
- Not important and not urgent
So, what has this got to do with content creation? Well basically like me those of us who are having a go at this social selling/content marketing thing we have to make a choice.
For me content creation fits into a task that is number 2 - important but not urgent. I know content marketing works – I sell software for a living and not only do our posts and newsletters help keep our clients and prospects engaged with us as a team but we have had direct leads from the content we create. However, quite often it is not the most urgent task I have. So I need help - and this is the important bit. I need to make a plan and execute.
To ensure I create content and get into the habit of regularly writing posts the following helps:
- By far the most useful thing I did was to make a commitment to my team. I promise one post a week. I decided this.
- On the back of my commitment, I get a reminder/congratulation email letting me know if I have achieved my commitment or not. It also tells my boss :)
- Every week we have a newsletter that goes out to clients and key prospects. This acts as a deadline event for me. I know that my post has been factored into the success of this newsletter being created. I don’t want to let everyone down.
- The aforementioned content calendar helps me with ideas for posts as does Google Alerts (I get an email weekly with useful articles)
- Every so often I take part in a competition we run internally as a team. This is a bit of fun but with prizes to be won and a bit of banter to be had this works well to keep the habit of regular content creation going.
- I target posts specifically at people I want to influence and then I make sure they see it (I user Passle'sI STATOY tool for this)
Finally, I have 'decided' that creating posts regularly is important for my job and my 'personal brand'. This is the key. Content marketing is definitely a marathon not a sprint and I believe it helps me every day with my job and those tasks that are important and urgent.
The "Eisenhower Method" stems from a quote attributed to Dwight D. Eisenhower: "I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent." Using the Eisenhower Decision Principle, tasks are evaluated using the criteria important/unimportant and urgent/not urgent, and then placed in according quadrants in an Eisenhower Matrix (also known as an "Eisenhower Box" or "Eisenhower Decision Matrix". Tasks are then handled as follows: - Tasks in Important/Urgent quadrant are done immediately and personallye.g. crises, deadlines, problems. - Important/Not Urgent quadrant get an end date and are done personally e.g. relationships, planning, recreation. - Unimportant/Urgent quadrant are delegated[e.g. interruptions, meetings, activities. - Unimportant/Not Urgent quadrant are dropped e.g. time wasters, pleasant activities, trivia. President Dwight D. Eisenhower.