Oh, social media. I have a love/hate relationship with social media… especially with Instagram. Can you relate? There is truly no doubt in my mind that Instagram has been a MASSIVE tool in my business, but I’m also a human… and I’ve been caught up in the hamster wheel of comparison and boundaries with it time and time again.
A few years ago, I realized how much time I was spending running on the wheel of Instagram. I knew I wanted to have a cohesive aesthetic and provide value with my social posts, but I was spending TONS of time on it. And then, I started thinking: if I already prep and batch all of my content in advance (truly… blog posts, podcast recordings, launches), then why the heck wouldn’t I prep some of my social posts?
Prepping social posts in advance saves tons of time, boosts your strategy, and frees up your headspace. Without spending so much time trying to figure out what to post/say every day or two, you can finally show up for your audience the right way, without the stress.
Sounds ideal, doesn’t it? You might be reading this, thinking “Hmm… Jenna. It’s funny that you think I have time in a day to prep all of my social content. I don’t.” What if I told you that you do? In fact, what if I showed you that you could prep a MONTH’S worth of social content in an hour? I’ve got you, my friend.
How to Prep a Month of Social Posts in 1 Hour:
I’ve been a huge advocate of batching the heck out of my workflows, and doing so with social posts is probably one of the most effective things you can do in your business. Not only will it save you time in the long run, it’ll help you get a more holistic view of your marketing efforts and give you a time to sit down and write intentionally instead of opening the app and stressing when inspiration doesn’t strike.
While it might seem daunting to prep social posts so far in advance, it’s really not. It’s all in deciding on some SMART goals for your content (a la high school leadership class, ya know?), utilizing the JK5 strategy, laying things out, and then letting your words write themselves.
So, my friend—grab a steaming cup of coffee, set up at that desk for prime creativity time, and get out your favorite calendar. Let’s make some social media moves.
Have a goal behind your social posts.
The most impactful thing you can do to share social posts that have value? Give them a goal. By thinking through your mission with what you’re going to share, you’re going to: A) create content that resonates and B) make the entire process waaaaaay easier on yourself.
My favorite way to think about my social post goals for the month are usually in the good ole’ SMART goal format, because it truly works! When each and every one of your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely, you can be sure that the content you share gives you results.
(Who knew that the acronyms you learned in high school teen leadership classes actually worked in the business world?!)
When you start trying to “plan” out anything, the inspiration is only going to last so long, right? Before you start creating a content calendar, get really real with your goals over the next month. Think:
- Do I have any launches coming up?
- Is there anything I’m wanting to promote?
- What’s a main business goal of mine this month?
- What’s a big personal goal of mine this month?
Now, dig a little deeper:
- What are specific dates, targets, and words I need to use?
- How am I going to make my social post calls to action memorable?
- Am I creating *actually* achievable goals?
- Is this realistic for the season I’m in (or for the season that the world is in)?
- What’s the timeliness peg of it all?
Just the simple act of thinking ahead to the month coming up in front of you is a great way to make sure you’re tailoring your social posts the right way—and it’s a great way to make life easier.
Use the JK5 to clarify your content.
I loooove the JK5 tactic for planning out Instagram content—so much that I’m pretty much always talking about it. Why? Because it WORKS, my friend.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, the JK5 strategy uses 5 (or so) topics that you feel really passionate about to inform your strategy. This way, you’ll know that most of your content will fit into those 5 buckets. For me, my JK5 (right now—it always changes) usually balances around motherhood, business, movement, self-love, and relationships.
This means that I like to create content in those 5 buckets most of the time. It’s a great way to build trust with your audience, to give the impression that you’re an expert in your 5 areas, and to create overall consistency with your brand.
Using the JK5 is also KEY to prepping social posts fast, since you already know the general content topics you want to share. I dig deep into the JK5 in past posts because of how transformative it’s been with my own social strategy—so check out this blog post with more JK5 info, plus the anatomy of a PERFECT social media caption while you’re at it.
The lesson? Find 5 things you love talking about and sharing, and base your social posts off of that. While it makes prepping social posts way easier, it’s also a much more authentic way to show up online.
Follow a consistent aesthetic.
First off, I am SO GLAD that we’ve leaned away from the seriously tough ~aesthetic~ parameters on Instagram of years past. You know what I mean, right? Back when everyone added white borders around their photos and filtered everything in X-Pro II? *passes out*
But, it’s also really not a question that having a somewhat consistent aesthetic online is really important to your social media presence.
My favorite way to do this? Use an app like PLANN to lay out photos and make sure everything looks cohesive. Planning social posts in feed form also helps you to get a better grasp of what you have coming up, which is super helpful if you’re a visual learner like me.
If the consistent aesthetic piece of the puzzle is tough for your graphics-wise, I totally get it. I’m a huge advocate of leaning on things like Canva (so easy!) to create simple graphics, and I’d also recommend Social Squares to anyone.
They have beautiful, stunning stock images that you can pull from to fit with your brand, AND you can use the code JENNASFRIENDS to get 20% off… for life. Just sayin’.
Write with your heart.
The hardest and most overwhelming piece of prepping social media posts? Writing the copy. I get that, and I LOVE writing. I used to get so, so caught up in finding the right words that I would spend an hour writing one social posts.
Now? I use the strategies I have to make sure that I’m laying the framework long before writing my Instagram captions and Facebook posts. When I already know my goals, my imagery, and my content buckets, I’m solid. While I can still let myself get caught up in the wording, it’s not nearly as bad as it used to be.
So, I want to encourage you here: use the frameworks you laid down, and then write with your heart. While the strategy is (obviously) important, getting real is where it’s at.
By remembering that, you can also really focus on the important part: the connection. Every time you write a new caption, ask yourself why your words matter, how you can invite someone into the moment, and what action you’re expecting your audience to take. No dead ends, my friend.
I also recommend writing the month’s captions in a Google Doc and then posting them right into PLANN so you can see the overall copy direction in order to make sure of 2 big things:
- That you’re connecting with and serving your audience at least 80% of the time.
- That you’re keeping invitations, promotions, and sales to 20% (or less) of the conversation.
So, there you have it. With goal-setting, intention, and a little visual help, you can easily create a month’s worth of social posts in an hour (or less). Just think: how much time could this save you in your business? I’m so freakin’ proud of you—this is a big move!