Content calendar, laptop, planners, and coffee

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Learning how to use a content calendar for my handmade skin care business was the biggest piece of the puzzle that (finally) resulted in a full-time income.

I spent YEARS posting picture after picture of my products on social media, pinning all the Pinterest pins, trying to perfect SEO, etc. without seeing consistent results from my efforts.

While working full-time HOURS on my business, I was not even close to generating a minimum wage.

Sound familiar? (Good news ahead…)

Once I mastered the concept of using a content calendar and how it helped in creating an actual business PLAN, everything went up.

Sales went up, productivity went up, efficiency went up, confidence went up, and the FUN I had building my business went up.

I am beyond excited to share my process so that you can experience the same in your own skin care business!

How to Use a Content Calendar (social image)

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links (at no cost to you). Please read the disclosure for more information.

WHAT IS A CONTENT CALENDAR?

In a sentence, a content calendar is a tool to organize ALL of the information you put out into the world about your business.

For a career skin care maker, this could include:

  • Product launch dates
  • Sales and events
  • Blog posts
  • Outgoing emails and newsletters
  • Social media posts
  • Pinterest pins
  • Other marketing avenues specific to your niche

Keeping all of that information organized is best achieved on a spreadsheet, as you can see in the screenshot below:

Spreadsheet example for a skin care content calendar.

WHY SHOULD YOU USE A CONTENT CALENDAR FOR YOUR SKIN CARE BUSINESS?

REASON #1:

Most skin care entrepreneurs are a business of ONE. It’s a lot to juggle.

Keeping a content calendar is a very clean, impactful way to see your business tasks all at once.

Planning those tasks all in one spot and checking them off as you go identifies which aspects of your plan are working for you and which ones you need to manage differently.

REASON #2:

If you set up a content calendar strategically (we will do that together in steps 1-10 below), you will see how all of your efforts connect together and how each cell on your spreadsheet is the piece of a larger business plan.

The visual impact of a well-planned spreadsheet is incredibly motivational and helps to stick to an actual marketing strategy.

Handmade skin care ingredients: coconut oil, aloe vera, honey, avocado, face cream, eucalyptus.

WHEN SHOULD YOU PLAN YOUR CONTENT CALENDAR?

To make and meet long-term business goals, a content calendar works the best when planned annually.

For most established entrepreneurs, this happens in November and December in preparation for the new year.

If you’re starting your business (or re-strategizing) in the middle of the year, simply have the next 12 months in mind when planning.

June to May, September to August, etc.

Flat lay picture of a personal planner.

HOW DO I SET UP A CONTENT CALENDAR?

Setting up a content calendar that works to BUILD your business (i.e., an actual strategy) is much different than simply plugging tasks into a certain day and column on your spreadsheet.

Going through the steps below to set up a business plan and funnel, an overarching view that helps you pinpoint the details, is the ticket to an efficient and organized plan.

STEP 1: SET GOALS FOR THE YEAR

  • Set a S.M.A.R.T. goal for the year (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely)
  • Example – Annual Focus: Increase sales by 25% from LY by September. I will do this by launching 3 new items each quarter and repricing my entire product line for at least a 20% profit margin on every item.
Overview of how to write an annual goal and use it as a goal-setting funnel.
  • Break this one goal down into quarterly goals based on what you already know about your next 12 months.

As makers, our busiest season is Quarter 4 in preparation for the holiday season (you may have other peak seasons depending on your business model).

Keep these in mind as you plan. You won’t be able to put the same amount of energy into a rebrand or new product formulation while also fulfilling Black Friday orders. Plan mindfully.

Visual example of how to take an annual goal and split it into quarterly goals.
  • Break your quarterly goals down into monthly goals.

Business busy-ness aside, don’t forget about your personal schedule. Do you have a vacation planned in the coming year? Or kids with full activity schedules?

Note: You should always be working towards your goals…just make sure they’re planned in a way that will set you up for success and balance.

Visual example of taking quarterly goals and splitting them into monthly goals.
  • Dedicate a certain time every single week that you will be working specifically on your goal.

Consistency is key.

Each morning from 9a-11a? M/W/F evenings from 7p-9p? Every Saturday morning from 8a-10a? Choose the one you are most able to stick to.

How to create a time block schedule out of annual goals.

Download ‘Annual Goal Setting Funnel’ here

STEP 2: ADD GOALS TO YOUR CONTENT CALENDAR

  • Copy your annual, quarterly, and monthly goals to the top of every corresponding month in your calendar spreadsheet.
  • This not-so-small detail will be a visual reminder every day of your main focus, which will help to guide all of your other content, as well as the unplanned business choices you need to make on the fly.
How to visual place annual goals onto a content calendar for best visibility.

STEP 3: ORGANIZE YOUR CALENDAR BY PRIORITY

  • Add columns onto your content calendar in order of the LARGEST (most macro) of your tasks on the left down to the SMALLEST (most micro) on the right.
  • I organize this by the actual size of the content I am creating. This way, I can repurpose content very efficiently.
  • By arranging them in this order on my content calendar, I visually know what any cell on any day will be referring to/supporting. (This will make more sense in steps 7 & 8, hold tight!)
How to arrange columns in a content calendar system.

STEP 4: ADD SKIN CARE & BEAUTY HOLIDAYS

  • This column can be done at any time, but I like to do this as a first cell-filling exercise. It helps to overcome the feeling of working on a ‘blank canvas’ – it gets some spots filled in right away.
  • While holidays don’t specifically support overall annual goals, it’s content! The goal of social media isn’t always to sell or educate, but rather to keep your business top-of-mind. Just make sure you’re keeping your holidays on-brand!
Visual example of adding skin care and beauty holidays into a content calendar spreadsheet.
Skin Care Social Media Content Calendar on Tablet

The Evergreen Skin Care Social Media Calendar!

  • 68 Skin Care & Beauty Holidays
  • 30 Industry Quotes
  • 208 Reusable Prompts
  • Skin Care Specific Categories
  • PDF Version
  • Google Sheets Version

STEP 5: CREATE A VISUAL PUBLISHING SCHEDULE

  • Create a visual publishing ‘schedule’ by deciding how often you will be tending to each of your column topics throughout the month/week.
  • Change the cell color of each ‘due date’. E.g., how often you’ll be launching a new product, which day(s) you’ll be posting to Instagram, which day(s) you’ll start promoting a Pinterest pin, etc. This changed cell color will mark that an action needs to take place.
Blocking out due date cells on a content calendar spreadsheet.

STEP 6: CHECK FOR SCHEDULE BALANCE

  • Before filling in the colored cells with actual content, do a self-check to see if the schedule you set for yourself is ACHIEVABLE.
  • Most of us are a business of ONE, meaning we have to do every task ourselves. The ideal publishing schedule isn’t always a realistic publishing schedule. We can’t do #allthethings WELL.
  • Tweak your task list and schedule as necessary to maintain balance and consistency.
Rocks and a feather balancing.

STEP 7: FILL IN YOUR MOST IMPORTANT TASKS

  • Starting on the left with your most MACRO task column (which I am assuming will be product launches for your skin care line), fill in your cells with the exact item you’re planning to launch on the corresponding date.
  • If you’re not sure when to launch an item, use branded skin care holidays as a guide (new lip scent on National Lip Day, new aphrodisiac aromatherapy roller launched three weeks before Valentine’s Day, etc.)
Visual of how to use a holiday (such as National Winter Skin Relief Day) to help decide on a product launch date (for example, Dry Skin Facial Serum).

STEP 8: PLAN IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE

Every item on the rest of your calendar should trickle down from your macro task.

My personal business model example: After I create a product, I publish:

  • 2-3 blog posts to promote it
  • a separate email newsletter sharing each new blog post
  • three Instagram posts and three Instagram Stories per blog post
  • three Pinterest pins
  • one promoted pin

As you can see in the example content calendar filled out below, every blue box shown is promoting the launch of my Dry Skin Facial Serum.

How to fill in a content calendar with promotional tasks based on a main event.
Skin Care Social Media Content Calendar on Tablet

The Evergreen Skin Care Social Media Calendar!

  • 68 Skin Care & Beauty Holidays
  • 30 Industry Quotes
  • 208 Reusable Prompts
  • Skin Care Specific Categories
  • PDF Version
  • Google Sheets Version

STEP 9: MANAGING YOUR CONTENT CALENDAR

  • Once you lay the groundwork (and you just did if you followed along in the steps above!), managing your content calendar is simple.
  • Have it up on your computer EVERY DAY to keep your goals in mind and a super-clear focus.
  • Use your content calendar as a visual to-do list by changing the color of a cell after a task has been completed.

This is motivational, as well as helping to highlight any trends in your publishing schedule – is there one platform that you’re always missing a post on? Are you having a hard time getting newsletters written by the scheduled date? That’s the cue to revisit your overall strategy.

Visual of how to change a cell color when a task is completed on the content calendar.

STEP 10: QUARTERLY SCHEDULE REVIEW

  • Planning a whole year at a time is highly recommended so that you can visualize the long-term. However, checking back and looking ahead at the beginning of every quarter is also helpful.
  • Evaluate your quarter and see if your schedule needs to be tweaked or updated. Life happens, customer feedback is received, goals shift. Don’t be afraid to bend if it means greater opportunities (or sanity)!
White doors.

Learning how to use a content calendar for my handmade skin care business has been the BEST tool for my overall success. I look forward to hearing how it keeps you on track towards your goals as well!

Grow Your Skin Care Business!

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