One of the questions I get asked the most by my clients and the coaches, creatives and heart-led entrepreneurs inside my membership is:
“how do you create so much content, without burning out?”
And I do create a lot of content. When you run an online business there’s a ton to do. Personally I have a YouTube channel, a blog and a podcast that get updated weekly; I have anything between 1 and 3 facebook groups to keep populated; I do weekly emails to my list, weekly emails to my members, am constantly creating new paid trainings for my membership or new courses; plus of course I try to stay present on my social media channels too.
And that is a lot.
And there have been times when I have literally just worked myself to a standstill. Now I do have a little bit of admin support these days which has been essential, but the most important thing that has allowed me to do all this has been having a tried and tested content creation method, a game plan if you like, which I’ve honed over the last few years and probably will continue to hone.
These aren’t things I learnt as a professional content creator back in my magazine days, because quite frankly I was a full time content creator back then. I didn’t have to balance my time with all the other responsibilities I have now. And that was a hard realignment for me to find when I started my own business:
How do you balance content creation and marketing with serving your clients and doing your business admin? And when you’re in the trenches wearing every single hat, how do you take a step back and get that 30,000 foot view of what’s working and what isn’t?
It’s taken me a while to work out, but my content creation gameplan has some really valuable strategies and approaches that have transformed the way I show up. And so I’m going to share with you my top 3.
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As entrepreneurs particularly in the early days of our online business, we wear many hats.
We’re Marketers, we’re publishers, graphic designers, sales people, customer service reps, and of course we’re content creators.
Your content marketing is likely one of the most important ways that you get visible and under the eyeballs of more soulmate clients. But sometimes getting it all done feels impossible!
So how does a busy entrepreneur with clients and customers to serve, a business to run and a life to live, create enough content to keep you visible and serving your audience without burning out?
Well, I’m not saying it’s easy, but after three years of trial and error I know there are easier ways to go about it.
I say I have tried a whole ton of methods of content creation to fit it all in.
And for the most part, my business has been run on just 2 days a week childcare, with all school holidays off, and a hard end to each day. And that meant that in the early days I worked a lot of weekends, a lot of evenings and that really wasn’t how I wanted to be running my business and so I knew I had to find a better way.
And so here are 3 of my favourite content creation methods, honed over the last 3 years that are currently working for me.
- Schedule content creation time into your diary using a skeleton calendar.
You understand how important your marketing is but still you’re squeezing it into the cracks. I know I’ve done it too; many was the day I would be tapping out a facebook post while walking down the road to fetch my daughter from school, or writing an email to my list while pretending to watch a movie with my husband.
And then we wonder why our content feels hard, overwhelming and isn’t having the impact we desire. In short, we aren’t taking our content seriously enough.
And if you truly believe that content is powerful, you need to give it the space and focus that it deserves. If you’re not doing that, it probably isn’t working for you as well as it could.
That’s why setting aside time that’s dedicated just to content creation will be a total game changer for you. And I do this using a skeleton calendar.
A skeleton calendar is a separate calendar from your main one, with defined zones of how you spend time every day, week and month. In fact it’s great for scheduling everything that needs to happen inside your business from your accounts, to your admin).
How you do this really depends on your own working style. You might find that you like to spend a little bit of time on content each day. I know entrepreneurs who spend the first half an hour of every morning doing their social media post for example.
Or maybe you prefer to do it all in one go once a week or a month, or even a quarter (AKA batching which we’ll talk about in a minute). Either way, schedule the time you need to create content inside your calendar every single month, because that way you can give it the focus, and attention and time it deserves.
- Try out A/B weeks
If you find it hard to switch from creative tasks, admin tasks and client tasks constantly this one is for you.
This was a problem I had. I could never really get into my stride with anything because I was doing everything (all at the same time it felt). And one of the ways I got around this, was to create A/B weeks in my skeleton calendar.
This means that although I might have time set aside every day where I am posting spontaneous content onto social media or engaging, I find to create anything more detailed or thoughtful or that has a really strategic goal in my business, requires some distraction free time where I’m not jumping between tasks and projects. And that’s where my A/B weeks come in.
My A weeks are my client weeks. So these are the weeks that I schedule client calls, discovery calls, and guest trainings or events I might be participating in. My B weeks are for content creation. And those are the weeks where my focus will be totally on more creative things like content planning, writing scripts, blogs or trainings. It doesn’t always fit neatly in, but I find content creation is so much easier when I’m not having to break off and constantly switch gears.
- Batch and schedule the big stuff
We already mentioned batching, but this is a great way to get the main bulk of your content done for the month/ or even longer. Batching is basically sitting down and creating several blog posts, podcasts, social media posts or other pieces of content in one go, so you can schedule them ready to roll out for the next few weeks and months. Now I don’t love batching social media unless it’s to promote something specific. Because it just doesn’t feel right to me.
My highest engagement always comes on social media posts and emails for my list that have not been planned in advance but written from the heart. And I therefore always believed that’s how I had to play things.
But that was a massive recipe for burn out.
So instead I now do this: I batch signature content like my podcast, or YouTube videos. This is the evergreen, legacy content that’s as relevant to my audience now as it will be in 4 years time.
I also batch launch social media content and occasionally anything that’s promoting my weekly signature content. But the rest of my social media I then leave to be a bit more spontaneous.
And this works amazingly for me. Because visiblity is cyclical. We don’t always feel like showing up or feel like we have something to say. So when we batch content we can be sure that whatever is going on in our life, week to week or day to day, every week there is one piece of good signature content ready to be shared with our audience. But at the same time, because you’re not having to constantly be on this content creation treadmill, it leaves room for you to create that more inspired content.
If you want more content creation support, as well as training in copy and content writing, storytelling and visibility, you need my monthly membership, Fearless Content. Find out more https://catebutlerross.lpages.co/membership