© by cathyse97

It’s been a busy day today.  I have to admit, it was hard for me to make time for this article.  However, this newsletter is one of my most important marketing tools.

I know, as a marketer, it’s critical for me to nurture the leads I get.  These leads may not be ready to buy from me right now, but if I can stay in touch with them on a regular basis, then when they are ready to buy, I’ll be front of mind.

Luckily, I have a secret weapon that makes creating this newsletter breathtakingly easy.

It’s my editorial calendar.

Magazine editors have been using editorial calendars for years.  Before each year starts, they plan out every issue for the next 12 months.  It keeps them on topic.  It helps them avoid writing too much about any one subject.  And it makes executing each issue a piece of cake.

Creating an editorial calendar will eliminate half the battle of regularly staying in touch with and nurturing your leads.  Here’s how.

 

Consistency is key to successful lead nurturing

I’ll be much more successful as a marketer if I can stay in touch regularly.  I don’t want to pester my prospects so much I become a nuisance.  I don’t want to contact them so infrequently they forget about me, either.  I have to create a schedule that’s appropriate for my prospects and that I can stick with.

(For me, I can handle about one article a month.  You, on the other hand, may prefer to go with short blog entries once a week or bigger newsletters every quarter.  It’s your choice.)

Selecting the schedule is relatively simple.  Knowing what to write about, however, is not.  In fact, it’s the biggest challenge most of us marketers face.

 

How do I know what to say?

My editorial calendar solves that problem.  Rather than waste time staring at a blank computer screen trying to come up with the perfect topic, I just look up the next article I’ve already listed in my calendar…and I get to work.

It’s actually almost silly how easy it is to create an editorial calendar.  And it will save you so much work in the long run, there’s virtually no reason not to set up your own.  Here are 3 super-simple steps to follow:

1.  Think about the questions customers ask you most frequently.  This is the best place to start; each question becomes the topic of an article.

2.  Let Google tell you what your customers are looking for.  Go to Google’s free keyword tool and type in a word that relates to your services.  Google will tell you how often people search on that word, and more importantly, Google will give you suggestions about other words and phrases they also use.  This gives you great insight into what your customers are actively looking for on the Internet.  I also like Wordtracker’s free keyword questions tool.  Choose as many of these keyword phrases as seems relevant to you and write an article around each one.

3. Consider holidays and seasonal article topics.  For example, September is back-to-school time, so last September, I wrote about getting back to the basics of good writing.  During Christmastime one year I wrote about writing meaningful messages on your Christmas cards.  What other seasonal topics make sense for your business?

Now, create your schedule.  I use an Excel spreadsheet that lists every newsletter date for the next 12 months.  Set up your dates, and start plugging the article topics you’ve identified into the schedule.

With this editorial calendar in place, you’ll always know what to write about.  Picking a topic won’t be an issue anymore – because you’ll have done that work already.  You’ll be focused, on task and on schedule with your lead nurturing.  And your marketing will be that much more effective.

That’s all there is to it.  I told you it was easy!