When I first started my blog, I had no real grasp of organization or a process put in place. Once I started focusing more on the branding for Lauren Elyce a few years ago, I put all of my energy into bringing that branding to life through imagery, storytelling and graphics. A few weeks ago I just really started to feel stuck. I wasn’t feeling organized at all and it just sort of seemed like I was doing everything pretty randomly. I was scheduling photo shoots last minute to keep up with project timelines or was churning out short + poorly written posts just to meet my “quota” for the week. Safe to say I was starting to lose some inspiration.
I sat down and blocked out an entire day to get this shit together. I started a list of the things that created the most stress and the parts of my business that needed some improvement. I started a list of the things I loved working on and the things that made crazy. And then I got to work.
Step 1. Finally created an editorial calendar.
Oh man I was so against an editorial calendar. I have tried them and stopped using them a handful of times over the years and just didn’t think it was something I needed. I was wrong. For those that aren’t familiar this is basically a calendar to help me plan out future content for the blog, social platforms and my newsletter.
In the past, I think I had a little too much structure which drove me crazy. Now, instead of planning out very specific posts for every single day I’ve assigned a certain number posts each month to different categories. For example, next week will feature 1 style post, 1 fitness post, 1 conversation post and 1 beauty post. At the start of each month, I’ll plug in any upcoming paid projects and assign them to the associated category day. I also have a running list of ideas that I can flush out and then fill out the rest of the calendar with. So far, it’s working VERY well. The best part, it helps me plan out photo shoots more strategically which brings me to my next step.
Step 2. Have more fun creating content.
I hinted at this last week but I’m ready to start having more fun with the imagery I put out there. I’ve always been pretty organized when it comes to shoots. I make a shot list, I plan out how much time I think each shot will take, etc. Now, instead of just worrying about checking things off a list I want to spend more time sourcing inspiration and ideas to make the next shoot totally kick a$$. My goal is to think a little more outside the box and let my personality shine through the photos a bit more. And not just my personality, but I want to share images that inspire and empower you.
I know what you’re thinking. How is a photo of you with some hairspray supposed to empower me? And look – I get it. Me posing with hairspray on my bathroom counter isn’t very exciting. It might not catch your eye as you’re scrolling through Instagram or my blog and that’s where my new goal comes in to play. I want to create an image that makes you STOP, catches your interest and then makes you excited to read the caption/blog post and potentially take action. So that’s what I’m working on.
Step 3. Stop putting all the things in my to-do list.
I can’t be the only one that has a never-ending to-do list. In the past I have been so guilty of creating work for myself that just wasn’t possible. Sure, I could get it all in if I was okay with skipping on sleep or the gym or a personal life. But, of course, I didn’t want that so I would move tasks to the next day or the next week and then beat myself for it. I’m now prioritizing things a bit differently. I reevaluated the ongoing “admin” tasks and instead of doing them weekly, I now do them twice a month. I moved around business hours so instead of doing a few hours each day I block out a few days a week that I can truly dedicate this time to – and then I have more freedom to get other projects done and also have some flexibility for unexpected projects/tasks.