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7 Ways to Launch a Content Strategy on a Shoestring Budget

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Do you need $250,000 to launch a content strategy for your coworking space?

Ummm, no.

Definitely, not.

But, according to an article I read last week, to execute an in-house content strategy you need a big content team, including:

  • Content Strategist: national average salary of $70,000
  • Copywriter: national average salary of $55,000
  • Content Editor: national average salary of $42,990
  • Graphic Designer: national average salary of $51,360
  • Social Media/Community Manager: national average salary of $47,190
  • plus software and SEO tools

Ouch.

One common reason small business owners give for not putting a doable content strategy in place is that it’s too expensive. Posts like this do nothing to reduce those fears.

Content does not have to break your budget. In fact, you can probably put a decent strategy into place using resources you already have—if you plan wisely.

Sure, having a five-person team that does nothing but plan, create and promote content sounds kind of amazing. But, unless you’re a big business, with a marketing budget to match, this is likely not your reality.

So let’s get real.

Many of the publications I’ve worked with don’t even have big content teams. People take on different duties, there’s a lot of collaborative decision-making, and cooperation on to-do’s is an everyday thing.

If you don’t have a designated content budget, team, or even person, don’t be scared off from creating a content strategy. Here are seven ways to create engaging content with what you already have.

1. Determine What Resources You Do Have

Is there a decent writer on your coworking space team? Are you a decent writer? Is there a member writer in your community who you can do a trade with? Can you make 20 minutes this week for a group brainstorm of content ideas? Can you spare some marketing dollars to hire a writer to create content for you? Take a look at what resources you already have and how you can leverage them.

2. Play to People’s Strengths

Chances are slim that everyone on your team will be a good writer. But, they can still play an important role in your content strategy. If someone is a good people-person, have them do Q&A’s with a few members; if someone has a good handle on tech, have them create a list of the top new tech tools for entrepreneurs that you can turn into a roundup; find out what questions are regularly asked in your space and answer them in posts.

In other words, determine your team’s strengths—the unique skills and experiences they bring to the space—and find ways to put them to work creating content.

3. Clarify Your Audience, Voice and Content Goals

Your content strategy should be aligned with the mission, vision and goals for your space. Who do you serve? How do you best serve them? What do they enjoy? What challenges do they face? Getting clear about who your audience is and how you can help them is at the heart of any good content strategy.

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4. Schedule Content Time Into Your Calendar

Make time for your content strategy, even if it’s only an hour per week, and even if it’s spread out over three sittings. Prioritizing content it will prevent you from dropping it to the bottom of the to-do list each week and it will send a message to your team that content is important and worth investing time and energy in.

5. Get Post Ideas Onto an Editorial Calendar

If content remains in the stuff-I-should-do pile, you’ll never launch a decent strategy. Commit to your content by creating a calendar with evergreen post ideas, deadlines and writer assignments. The calendar can be as simple as a shared Google doc or spreadsheet with post, publication date and writer, or you can use a tool like Trello to organize and schedule your content.

6. Tap Into Your Community for Content Help

Do you have a member who’s a writer? What about designer, photographer, videographer, data visualizer? Find ways to collaborate with these folks to get pro content into the world. You could trade for memberships, office hours, day passes for friends, space rental, sponsorships—whatever works for both of you.

7. Just Start

Don’t wait for the perfect idea, for the perfect post, for the perfect content strategy. Your strategy will change based on the feedback and response you get from your audience, so don’t try to hit it out of the park with the first post. Just start posting, see what engages people, and go from there.

Your coworking space is amazing. Your marketing can be too.

WE’LL SHOW YOU HOW IN THE LAB

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