Goals vs systems. I know. It’s a tough choice, right, when it comes to creating content? I think when we hear the word “GOAL” we have a knee-jerk reaction. We recognise what we know and what we’ve been told.
For a really long time, it’s been drilled into our heads that we must set and meet goals. Targets are set, and off we go, with a bit of a plan for sure but hardly a system in place. Why? Because systems TAKE TIME to set up and are harder to do.
Goals are way easier and since they offer the illusion of an immediate something to hold onto, we grasp onto them like a girl in a doll store.
That’s a stereotype, I get it, but I also think there is massive truth to it.
Anyway, I want to talk about how you can achieve SUCCESS with your content strategy this year. I have a trick I want you to try.
I don’t want you to put your focus on setting goals, instead I need you to go for the gold and build a content system, instead.
Hold on. I’m about to tell you why, and later as you move through this post, I’ll share some step-by-step recommendations on how you can build it out.
But I really want to get down and dirty with you on the stark differences between having a content goal and building a content system so by the time you get to the end you have a framework to create something meaningful.
Let’s dive in!
Understanding Systems No. 1| Know what you’re really talking about
The first thing I want to do is be clear with your definitions. Here’s something from my personal files.
I used to be 15 pounds heavier than I am now. And it was such a big buzz to lose the weight but I could not have done it without a system.
First, I set up a meal delivery system that allowed for portioned meals to get to my home every day by lunchtime. Second, I worked with a nutritionist who visited and measured my results every week. I also developed a reward system for every five-pound I lost, a treat system that kept me motivated.
I didn’t just declare a weight loss goal, I built a system for success.
Goals Are Achieved In The Future
Here’s where the definition becomes even clearer.
You see it’s fun and easy to talk about goals. I mean the idea of losing 15-20 pounds was once the big dream and exercising has always been fun, for me at least.
But no one can out-exercise a bad diet. So the dream of fitting into a size 8 pant would not have happened for me unless a system was set up. Too much focus on the goal would not have yielded the results.
Here’s the thing. I’m not completely kicking goals to the curb. Heck, I make them too.
But once I do my focus is on creating systems.
Goals are all about what we *might* achieve *some day*. We all want to get to the end, to bust through to the finish line, to feel accomplished because we CRUSHED the goal.
The truth is most of us don’t. And every day we don’t, we feel far removed from our intentions. No wonder we lose hope and give up.
So what should you do? Build systems. Focus your energy there. Make them sustainable and if you can, automate them. This is where you build momentum.
Let’s go deeper now with your content.
Content System No. 2| Why systems are important for content creation and small biz growth
Ok, raise your hand if you’re a member of my SOCIAL MEDIA PRIVATE MEMBERSHIP CLUB and have been posting more content consistently because of my training? Yayyyyy. I see you, sis!
Ok. Next question. Raise your hand if you hear me preach about systems and have done a lot to implement them?
And I’m talking about anything from lead offers, landing pages to funnels to customer journey email sequences and paid for ad campaigns,
Hmmm. See. There are fewer hands!
I’ve had a few students do some of it, but not enough. And I get why. Content goals are easy. So some of my students will say: “Ok. I’ll post 5 times this week and 4 times next week.” That’s the goal. And it is a fair one.
But it will never be enough. In fact, you can post all day long, create content from Sunday to Sunday but it will get you only so far.
Things to consider
With a post you get a few rewards: some followers, likes, if you’re doing it right, comments, shares, saves. As you build on your goal to grow an engaged community and increase revenue streams from it, the reality of success will seem far away.
For instance, there are going to be days when the likes don’t flow and the comments come as fast as molasses drip.
What happens next is that you’ll begin to feel discouraged, post less, and in some cases give up.
I see this happen all the time. There is no system for planning, no system for getting your photos and videos together.
Don’t get me started on building revenue streams.
With systems you’re building brick by brick, you’re rewarded on a daily basis. And guess what, you need those tiny wins because it will give you the juice to carry on. With every little win, your momentum grows.
In other words…With a goal mindset, your momentum slows down because 9 out of 10 times you won’ hit your target and you’ll be bummed and give up because you’re overwhelmed.
With a systems mindset you, accelerate.
Ok. Breathe. If you are confused I want you to scroll up and look at my personal weight loss example.
If you’re still with me I have a question for you.
Which one do you think is more likely to lead to success?
Okay, you’re sold on systems…now how do you go about building a content system that can fuel your business? I’ll explain how I built my own.
Content System No. 3| Narrow your focus
The first thing I did was to recognise that even though I post on social media content every day I needed to double down on building out a system for revenue.
So I went back, looked at my individual output: blog posts, offers, landing pages newsletters, social media etc.
I thought about how could I be more strategic and which parts of my output could be linked to the other to create a customer journey that was deep and meaningful for my potential customers and profitable for me.
It was like building a puzzle and I didn’t find the answers overnight.
My best tip on this process is to dive into a deep brainstorming session, focus on what areas of business you want to grow, and align your content system with that —but here are specifically my *BEST* Ninja tips.
- Brain dump
- Gather your team
- Think out of the box
Lay it all out on the table. What you are really looking for is to identify the areas for growth and what content system will allow you to earn revenue over time.
Maybe your list is long. Maybe it’s short. That’s fine because it really depends on where you are with your build-out. Any which way, you are now at the step where you’ll begin to narrow and start to identify all the parameters that work best for you.
Content System 4: Rank & Prioritise
From that first list, I was eventually able to map out 3 systems that would lead my ideal customers to my signature product. Remember my goal is to build a revenue stream.
Now I’m not going to lie. 3 systems are an awful lot, especially for someone who knows that all you need is one offer, one product, one system, to be successful.
So my next step was to rank them so I could zero in on my priorities. Now ranking 3 systems that all look effective can feel like if you’re choosing a favourite child. That’s impossible. I’m not a parent but even an aunty know that.
Yet the right ranking strategy yields a solid enough tactical approach. If you set it up well, theoretically you will arrive at the answers that make sense for you and your business.
Here’s my formula.
Score each output on a scale from I -5.
- What’s the existing content output?
- How easily can pieces of it be linked in a content and customer journey map?
- How likely is each system to work once linked?
- How much effort is required?
- Am I looking for a low-hanging fruit system that can be built out more fully later or am I going in deep at the start?
- How big of an impact might it have in cost vs revenue (FREEDOM NUMBER).
Once the numbers reveal themselves, I do a gut check (data and instinct are the best) and I move. You see there are microsystems in every system and all I keep doing is moving toward the next step.
Content System 5: Organise
The next thing I want to do is show you how I organise doing the prep work for the system. This is where the goals come in. See, it’s almost towards the end. My systems have yielded tiny wins along the way. I know the path. I feel good about the results as i build my systems out.
At this part, it’s about planning; don’t get upset but I have a system for that too.
I usually do it at night and I just get to light a candle and get a cup of chocolate and go through this.
I will link the video below about my planning process. It’s dated but still soooo good.
My planner gives me a great opportunity to plan the rollout. I’m super nerdy here. Actually, if you like I can share this with you. Comment below, let me know, do you want me to do a systems planning template that you can grab and go? Let me know.
Anyway, it’s TIME to make things actionable. You need to get granular.
- Who is doing what?
- How long will it take?
- What’s the cost?
- Priority: In what order will they be tackled?
- How will you determine success?
Deciding in advance will make it easier for you to pull the plug or double down when the time comes.
Content System 6: Automate
I have a confession. Remember I said this will not happen overnight, I took a full 2 years to build out a full funnel and a content system that goes so beyond me posting to my social feeds every day. Every time I thought I had finished, I learned something new and had to implement it.
If I had defined all of this in terms of goals I would have given up when I hit my tenth roadblock.
Here is the red flashing light kicker on why I love systems; you get to automate them and hear the ching of your notifications letting you know money is hitting your account.
My end goal is location freedom. I run a small business, and I’m not married, I have a global team and I want flexibility. Once you have built your system automate your email sequence, customer journeys, sales systems etc.
I’ll be doing another post on that.
No matter how you cut it, success is hard.
We have to do things we don’t want to do. Moe beyond goal setting. But there are ways to make it easier. By embracing systems you can make momentum work FOR you. Those tiny wins matter.
✅ Content goals are ok, set them, but build systems
✅Systems accelerate success and give you tiny wins which makes you go further
✅ The more you work on your systems, the more wins you get
✅This creates results as your foundation goes up
✅Results build momentum
✅ It gets you over hurdles
✅And creates the structure for automated revenue
✅ Focus on systems, achieve more.