Episode 165

Create your content contingency plan (and why you need to)

Do you ever wonder what would happen if you needed to take a break for your business?

Maybe you need to take time off because you were unwell or to care for someone in your family that wasn't well.

Or what about if something went really well, like you won the lottery or you suddenly came into some money that meant you could take a long trip abroad? What would happen with your content?


That's why you need a contingency plan for your content.


In this episode of the Courageous Content Podcast, you will hear from Diane Mayor. She is a business strategist who specializes in helping business owners to protect their business by creating that contingency plan. 


Key Links

Janet Murray’s Courageous Content Planner

Janet Murray’s Courageous Content Live event

Janet Murray’s Courageous Planner Launch Content Kit

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Janet Murray's Courageous Blog Content Kit

Save £30 on my Courageous Email Lead Magnet Content Kit using the code MAGNET67.

Save £30 on my Business Basics Content Kit using the code PODCAST67.

Save £30 on my Courageous Launch Content Kit using the code PODCAST67.

Janet Murray’s Courators Kit

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Diane Mayor’s website

Diane Mayor on Instagram

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Transcript

IMPORTANT: THIS TRANSCRIPT IS AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED. WE GIVE IT A QUICK CHECK THROUGH BUT WE DON’T CORRECT EVERYTHING AS IT’S INTENDED TO HELP YOU FIND PARTS YOU WANT TO LISTEN TO AGAIN - NOT AS AN EXACT TRANSCRIPT. SO THERE MIGHT BE A FEW QUIRKY WORDS/PHRASES HERE!

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Ever wonder what would happen if you needed to take a break from your business, maybe you need to take time off because you were unwell or to care for someone in your family. That wasn't well, well, what about if something went really well? Like you won the lottery or you suddenly came into some money that meant you could take a long trip abroad,

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what would happen with your content? Well, that's why you need a contingency plan for your content, which is why I'm really excited to share this interview with you with Diane Mayor. So Diane is a business strategist who specializes in helping business owners to protect their business, to create that contingency plan. And this episode is a recording of one of the sessions from my annual content marketing event,

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Courageous Content Live. If you're thinking about coming along to the event this year, I think it will give you a flavor of what to expect. And of course the link is in the show. Notes is courageous content live, enjoy. I'm super excited to chat to you about creating your content contingency plan. And I know this can be a bit of a scary topic.

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People are not that excited to talk about it, but I promise I'm going to make it engaging and entertaining and that by the end of it, you'll see just how simple this can really be. So I want to dive in because we're doing all things content, right? So would you rather, your content went viral and a million hot leads come flying in your direction or your content attracts the attention of a hacker who attacks your website.

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We're creating content so that we can get traffic so that we can get leads so that we can get sales. But here's the deal. It makes no difference. Which of those two you chose because both of them are going to give you the exact same results. Both of those things are taking a website down where small businesses were not designed to have a surge of a million leads.

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We're also probably a bit more exposed to hacking, right? So our website comes down, whether the traditionally good leads thing happened or the traditionally bad heck a thing happened, the result is the same. And it's really important that you understand that the good or the bad have created this crisis for you. The crisis being a website is down how you respond to that,

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how quick you are to respond to it, how effective you are to respond to it. That's going to get you to that good or bad outcome. If your website goes down, it's down for 30 seconds, that's a blip. If your website goes down and it's down for three months, that's a massive business impact, but we really need to stop thinking of a crisis as this big,

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scary monster that's lurking in our business closet, because what happens is then we get scared. We get scared to talk about it. We get scared to think about it. We don't prepare for it. Then one hits, we do it react quickly or effectively and get a bad outcome. And then we think, oh my goodness, the crisis is something bad.

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So before we go any further, we're going to reframe that a crisis is simply a turning point is a moment in your business. It is an event that has happened. Your website is down. That is not a good, nor bad. It is simply a fact. And you get to choose how you respond to that option one, you choose not to have a plan.

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This is the traditional option that we see a lot of in the entrepreneur world. What happens is that website goes down and we panic natural human reaction. Things happened not quite what we expected. We don't a hundred percent sure what to do. We panic. The problem with panic is when you're in that mode, you go into fight or flight when you are in fight or flight mode.

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That's when you start to make decisions that are designed to get you away from the thing that makes you scared or puts you in danger. So you're making really short term decisions to just get you away from the scary thing as quickly as possible because your brain in that moment cannot decide that, oh, it's just my website. That's done. It's having the exact same response as a lion is trying to eat me.

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So we make really short term based decisions, which then lead us into this frantic action, right? We're having these terrible decision-making moments. We're taking all this frenzy action. Cause we're just desperate for this thing to be over. And then we get a bad outcome and that creates more panic, more bad decisions, right? So we get stuck in this panic spiral.

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Can you remember what I told you was really important to getting a good or bad outcome in a crisis? How quickly and how effectively you react when you are in this panic spiral, you are first of all, wasting time. And second of all, we've just said it. You're making bad decisions, taking forensic action. You're not being effective. So this is option one.

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Oh, we get to choose to have a plan. And what the plan does is we have the event. So your website goes down and the plan steps between you and that action. You don't need to make any decisions. You simply open the plan and do, as it tells you, it is designed to keep you out of that panics arrow. Everybody thinks the plan is all about like,

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if then this, that the next thing, decision trees. It's if you printed it out, it would look like a set of encyclopedia. It's not designed for that at all. The reason we want you to have a plan is so that you don't go into the panic spiral so that you are not circling around like a bit of a headless chicken instead,

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you know exactly what actions to take first. Now, when you take that action, you get an outcome from that outcome. You gather information and then you can adapt and you can take more action. Now, this cycle very familiar to you. Have you ever run a Facebook ad? You run the ad, you get the outcome, you gather some information you adapt.

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What has Janet been telling you about content? You create a real, you see how it does. You gather information, you adjust, you make another real. So this is a non panicked cycle in your business. This is familiar territory. And so what the plan allows you to do is get into momentum into this action outcome information, adapt cycle, until you can go back to business as usual,

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much better response. So how do we create this plan? Well, this is the super simple contingency plan framework, and don't worry. We're not going to cover absolutely everything. But the idea behind a contingency plan is to decide what's the turning points. Is that possible in your business? Is it likely in your business? Could you prevent it? Can you plan for it?

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What I'm going to do is I'm going to talk through the two main risks that I know that everybody has for their content. I'm going to talk about how to prevent them and how to plan for them. So what are those two risks, two things risky and your content. One that people will not be available. And two, the tech will not be available.

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So let's chat about people. This is the point where usually somebody says to me, well, my team does my content. So we don't have that risk. And you not being involved in your content creation doesn't mean you don't have people. Risks. It's simply means the people who are risky or not you. So if the person touches your content workflow,

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you have this risk. The other side is tick. I think that one's pretty self-explanatory, we've all probably had a piece of tech go down at a really inopportune moment for all of us. There's a lot of tech involved in our processes. So how do we, first of all, prepare for them or prevent them. And then how do we plan for them?

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I want to keep this super duper simple for you because I know that the second it gets complicated. People stop trying to do this. So first act, we're going to talk about batching. I want to take it from a different angle. I just want you to know that batching has an additional benefit. If you are creating your content today for tomorrow and a person isn't available or tech isn't available,

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how does that feel like that piece of content has to go out tomorrow and the text's not available. If you're creating a piece of content, that's going to go out in two weeks or a month or two months, and something's not available. That feeling is completely different because you've got space to reschedule. You've got time to think about it and alternative. You've got time to go and dig into your repurposing library that you now have and pull out a different piece of content.

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So what's the point of a contingency plan. Let's not get into the panics viral batching is keeping you out of the panic spiral. Next stop. We're going to talk about buffers. Okay? Woo. Who also loves those Instagram reels or videos where like they tap that first domino and it spreads out into that beautiful pattern. I'm obsessed with them. That is kind of like business,

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except not as pretty. So when something goes wrong in our workflow, that first domino tends to take out all the rest, but not into a beautiful pattern just into complete chaos. And what often happens is the first domino falls, the next one, the next one, and everything gets worse as we go. So let's think podcasts workflow, you have to record your podcast and you're late.

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So now it goes late to editor. Your editor has other clients. He's got to fit you in when he can. So now he's late to your copywriter. Who's going to do the show notes and then they have to fit you in. And now they're late to your OBM. Who's going to sort it out, having it loaded to your host. Every time a domino falls,

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everything gets a little bit worse. So what we want to do is add buffers into our content workflow. We want to put space between those dominoes so that if one falls down, we'd then lose the next five at the same time. And it's really simple to do this. You just work backwards. You go, okay. My podcast goes out on a Tuesday.

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It needs to be loaded by this day. Therefore, I need to have everything from the copywriter by this day. And you add a day of buffer and then you go back and you add a day or buffer to the editor. And you add several days of buffer to whoever's doing the recording because the podcast is it usually the cause of the problem. All we're trying to do is put some space in between the Domino's and batching and buffers.

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That's going to catch most of your issues. If you are doing things far out and you've given yourself some space, whatever comes up, you're most likely just going to be able to deal with it really easily. So let's talk about when everything else happens. So the batching and the buffering didn't catch it. So how do we do backups to people and tick?

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Remember, we're thinking about our two big risks. It's talking about tech. First of all, the tech that we're using, they entire business is having that piece of technology or software up and running all the time. They will have contingency plans and backup plans up the wazoo for that. You are going to be able to have very little impact in that scenario.

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If you think about when Facebook went down, what could you have done to stop Facebook going down? What could you have done to get Facebook back up again, very little impact. So short of having a backup for every piece of tech that you have is not a lot you can do in this space because that's just cost prohibitive. We can't afford to have like multiple versions of every single piece of tech we have on the off chance.

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It doesn't work. So the only time I encourage you to think about backups from a tech perspective is if you are launching or doing a live event, then you want to think about what is my critical tick and prepare for backups for that people on the other hand, very likely to be touching some part of your process, whether they're creating, approving, uploading,

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wherever they touch, you want to think about what does that look like from a backup perspective? And I want you to do it very, very simply again. So all we're going to do is we're going to answer three questions. I want you to work through your content flow. And every time a person touches a piece of content, I want you to ask yourself if that person was not available,

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what needs to be done, then who is going to do it? Now, this piece is key. You would think the watch is key, but the, who is almost as key, what you want to make sure of is that the person whose name you write down agrees that they should cover that particular deliverable, right? You want to make sure they know how to do it because you do not want to be hemming and argument in the middle of a crisis or after a crisis about who was supposed to do,

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what do they needs to be bought in. And if you're going to put your name down, because you used to do this process three years ago, as a solo preneur, you better make sure that you know how to do it now, using the tools that are being used now using the workflow that's being used now. So that's a really key area.

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You will have a tendency to just write names down and not actually think about what that means. And then the final question is where are the resources that they need? Where is the standard operating procedure that tells them how to upload a podcast? Where is the formatting example for what a blog post needs to look like? What do they need? Where are passwords,

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those sorts of things. And you can do the same thing. If you're doing the tech for launch or live event, you can go through your critical tech and say, if this tech was unavailable, what needs to be done? Who's going to do it. Where are the resources? So we want to keep this really simple, really high level. And so that is all it takes is being able to answer those three questions in a crisis.

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So if it all goes wrong and the website goes down or it all goes right, and you get a million hot leads, you're going to be panic proof. You're ready, more prepared than 99.9% of entrepreneurs out there. So can we talk about what happens if a key member of your team or your VA is suddenly not available and you need someone last minute,

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this actually happened to us just before my Panadol this year, actually somebody in my team got COVID, it's one of those things that you think, oh, no, that will never happen to me, but it does. Doesn't it. So when I do this at a bigger level with people, I get you to think about your team as a matrix.

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And so we don't just think about who's covering something. We think about if they stepped out and that person has to now come and cover this stuff, what can they drop? So, first of all, can we avoid needing to get somebody to come in? First of all, is there like some non-important stuff? If there is something that is like a launch,

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that's very big, like the plan of wine or something, I would always look to have a list of people on coal and outside of content, where you say to people, like, make sure you have an accounts and on call a lawyer on call or a PR person that needs to be on retainer. But what you don't want in that crisis moment is to be thinking,

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oh, who would that person be? You want to actually know, okay, here are like three people I can call. And hopefully someone can step in if it is big enough and important enough, you need to have a floating, backup person who's on your team for the period of that long Finding a good fit is one of the reasons that we've moved to active campaign for our email marketing,

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because although I love Infusionsoft, which is now keep, there are less specialists around. So if you want to launch and something happens or your regular person isn't available to do it, it's harder to find Infusionsoft specialists at short notice. I mean, the key to it is, is not looking for somebody at short notice, right? As soon as you're in that mode,

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you're more inclined into the panic thing. And you're more inclined to just grab whoever you can get. One of the things I do is I'm considering changing my emailer. I have had multiple conversations with people who I know are pros in that area to say, like one of my risks, one of my, you know, are people available to help? Who would I turn to?

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If it all blew up, how do I do the migration? So those are like, it's almost, you want to risk assess everything in your business. So again, it's back into that. Like, is it possible that this could happen to me? Yes. Is it probable? And then if it's probable, can you have a spare member on your team who knows how to do infusion soft or keep,

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or do you need to send someone on a training course? Or are you saying, well, I can't afford that. And I need to have a list of trusted key people who I can throw money at. If who usually has availability, unlikely for something like Infusionsoft, someone who does convert kit more likely to find someone on short notice and availability. So you put it all into your risk assessment.

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It's not a simple answer. It needs like evaluate. Yeah. I always feel as a business owner, myself, even though probably the volume of daily tasks and content is a lot higher something I think that can be hard for contractors to understand is that as a business owner, you want to feel like you're not strangled by having a team or using contractors that if you needed to jump in and thought something in your business,

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if it was a weekends and evening, it was public holiday, you could do it. And for me, it's like a balancing act between outsourcing, which is a good thing to do, especially with things that you're not good at. But also as a business owner, having operations in your business that you set up in such a way that you could either jump in yourself and fix something,

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or you will be able to find the right person at short notice. There's a lot of thinking through and scenario planning. Isn't that As making sure everything's really documented. So it's making sure that if somebody needs to step in, there are really detailed standard operating procedures that literally tell them, go click. Like you want somebody who isn't you to be able to follow it through step-by-step whether that's you,

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the owner, or whether that's somebody else in the team, or, you know, if you're a solopreneur and it's you, who's sick. Maybe your partner can log in and push the like three buttons that need to get pushed for that day. Right? Right. You want to make sure if something's going on, if you're in a crisis that you don't create more drama with your out of office and that you're not inviting people to be phoning you going,

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oh my goodness, are you okay? You know, when you're out of office to be inviting questions, you want it to be like, I'm going to need you to leave me alone. And I'm coming back to you here. You want to be able to pull emails that you just copy paste and send to someone so that you can focus either on you feeling better,

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or you fighting the crisis. I'd love you to talk about drama actually, and drama in content, because I sometimes see business owners and it's something I very much try not to get involved in, but I see business owners posting these kind of cryptic, social media posts, where they're obviously referring to a particular person or situation. And everyone's like, oh my God,

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what's going on? You. Okay. Kind of thing. What are your thoughts on those kinds of drama posts? Yeah. I always just want to email the person as soon as I see them do it and go like, I need you to delete their posts, right? If something happens in Facebook and someone's raging against Facebook and the algorithm and all this ignoring the fact that it's a free platform,

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you have to understand that when you're in a crisis, you want to communicate as much as you need to. And as little as you can. So you want to make sure your clients know what's going on. Your team knows what's going on. People who know what's going on and anybody outside your business, who isn't affected by it, doesn't need to know that you're having a bad day.

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You want to create content from the scar, not the gaping wound. That is your crisis day. Right? Get through the crisis. Write the blog about it. Write about what happened when your Instagram account got hacked or whatever. The only time I think that it's even valid to maybe ask is if your account has been hacked and you're asking for people who might have connections for you,

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but honestly you should already know what you would do. If your Instagram account got hacked, you shouldn't need to go and ask widely on social media to your audience. It doesn't give a lot of confidence watching you melt down in a crisis, no matter how bad that crisis is, rather than when you've resolved it. Cause you're just creating this horrible open loop for them that then now associating you with,

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oh, what happened? And very often people don't come back and close that loop. They realize it posted, they take the post down, but not everyone's left, hanging, wondering like what happened? It's just lost everybody going. Like, did she tell us what happened? Yeah. There's a heck of a lot of drama that goes on online. And personally my policy is to avoid it as much as possible.

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I don't think that means that you can't be vulnerable in your content, but some really good advice I've heard is to share from the scar, not the wound. So if you want to share personal experiences, do it afterwards, the crisis out first, that is more important than posting about it on Facebook and communicating with the people who need to know right in the middle of when it's all happening and also less risky.

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I think I do think vulnerability is important, but I think for me, it's about managed vulnerability. Thanks for listening to the courageous content podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a review on apple podcast or share the episode on social media. That way more people can benefit from the free tips and strategies I share and be sure to tag me in when you do I'm at Jan Murray on Instagram,

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Twitter, and TikTok.

About the Podcast

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Courageous Content with Janet Murray
Content marketing advice for small businesses

About your host

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Janet Murray

I’m Janet Murray and I’ve helped thousands of coaches, creative and entrepreneurs learn how to create engaging content – so they can build their online audience and make more sales in their business.

I’m also a podcaster and keynote speaker who has spoken all over the world about content marketing and building online audiences.

Work with me and I’ll teach you the strategies I’ve used to grow a multi six figure online business, selling digital products (including Ebooks, online courses and two membership sites). And launch a physical product – the Social Media Diary & Planner, which has sold thousands of copies, all over the world.