Recently I’ve received a ton of feedback about how people are held back in their content creation by the amount of time it takes. Undoubtedly it can get overwhelming, especially if you are on multiple platforms.
Also, if you are newer to online business, you may not have the traction established yet to receive back the encouraging results of engagement and sales. And when I say new, I don’t just mean those who started a month ago. If you look at people with really large platforms, like Marie Forleo, Amy Porterfield, youtubers Amy schmittauer or Sunny Lunnadarzi, they’ve been in this space not for a year, but years, closer to or over a decade. I’m bringing in a little perspective to help you come from a more encouraged place. I know how quickly discouragement leads to desperation and trying to do #allthethings and execute them perfectly. That combo quickly leads to unnecessary and unhelpful overwhelm. So lets release those results and agree to keep taking one manageable step forward after another.
Your content is the front half of your sales funnel, or as I like to say, relationship path. Especially as you are gaining traction in your business there are other activities, like complimentary calls, discovery calls, individually following up with people etc. that help give people the courage and certainty to move forward in working with you. However, in order to transition people from fans to clients, they need to connect with you and become a fan. That is what your content does.
Content is important but it does not need to consume your life. In this blog post I’ll address 4 keys to a streamlined, time-saving content creation system.
1 - Pray
Christian entrepreneurs, God is always with you and the Holy Spirit dwells within you. However, there is something special that happens when you take even 1 minute to prayer and specifically ask God to work through you.
Whether you are about to plan your content, execute the plan or reflect on the results, prayer is always a good thing. If you forget, I suggest praying as soon as you remember and asking God to help prompt you the next time. God knew before you started that you would end up praying.
2 - Plan
Yes, planning takes time. But often planning is at least half of it. You can’t start creating content until you’ve identified what you are talking about anyway, so you might as well take 15 minutes and look forward beyond 1 day or 1 week so you have a more congruent strategy for your content.
I suggest making a plan for the next 4-12 weeks all in the same sitting. Even if you don’t create the content for all those weeks at once, at least you have a more narrowed down focus for the next time you sit down to work on your content.
I have all kinds of tips about topic pillars and aligning your content with your offers that I shared in the Client Attracting Content Creation Kit. If you want more depth to this idea, check that out. For now, I’m just encouraging you to start thinking and planning further out.
Don’t let this step take too long though. Seriously you can map out your topics in less than 15 minutes really. This is a great opportunity to practice decisiveness, a trait that all entrepreneurs must develop.
3 - Process
Planning saves time and so do processes. Having a flow in how I go about my content creation saves me so much time. There are a couple elements of a streamlined content creation process that I encourage you to work into your system.
Bulk actions: This is hard to do at first, especially when you need your content for tomorrow. However, it is possible to start getting a head. I am a stay at home mom of a toddler and have a baby due in 8 weeks yet I’ve made huge progress on creating and scheduling my content for the next 4 months. This has been possible because of bulk actions.
For example, instead of “write next week’s email” I’ve pushed myself to write all the emails for December by FOCUSING on just writing emails and moving other tasks to another days. One day I recorded like 10 youtube videos in one day. There was another day where I scripted out all the videos I needed to record on that video day. I create my written content and THEN I do all the images all at once.
Another way you could implement this is by creating certain types of posts in bulk. For example, if you have a post each week with the purpose of creating engagement, write out 20 engagement posts at once. (For instance every Friday in my facebook group I have a #friendshipfriday question such as “What is your favorite candy?” or “What do you love about the city you live in?”) It shouldn’t take very long to come up with simple questions that spur on conversations. However, it’s easy as you get into the groove vs. every single week needing to come up with a question.
As you work through this, consider how you typically go about your content creation and then take a simple step further into content creating in bulk. If you spontaneously come up with a post a couple times a day, just precreating 1 days worth of content for tomorrow is a big step.
Organization can be a black hole for time but I’m going to give you a couple tips to help you.
Basically, know where you are going to put things. Even if you end up saving different things in different places, that is okay. The real test is “how much time do you spend looking for stuff?” If you spend a lot of time looking for research you did for a blog post or finding the images for a post, then more than anything what you need is consistency.
For example, for longer pieces of content, I save in my google drive. I’ve started creating more folders in my drive, but also it’s really easy to just search for things. I put shorter pieces of content in Trello, particularly facebook posts. I also script out youtube videos in Trello and also include a teaser post that I can use to share the video on different platforms. I save all the images in my downloads folder because when I create them in Canva, that’s where they go. After I create the images, I create a folder with that week’s content theme on it and move the images into that folder. (And that folder remains in the downloads folder.) If I did research for blogs, I’d save it in my favorites under a folder called “research” that has sub-folders based on my topic pillars or on the title of the blog post I intended to write. So that is 4 places where content creation related things are stored, but as long as I knew where to find the stuff, it’s still a great system.
Use a timer
This is a tried and true productivity strategy. Estimate the time you think it should take you to accomplish something and set that timer. Sometimes it helps you it doesn’t take as long as you think and sometimes it shows you that maybe you are thinking too hard about things and perhaps need to let go of perfectionism.
4 - Reuse
Nothing saves time like literally copying and pasting a piece of content onto another platform. Or even the same platform at a later date.
For instance, I don’t currently emphasize my facebook page in my business. But I don’t want it to be totally inactive. So a lot of posts that I post in my facebook group, I also post in my facebook page and I schedule them in Hootsuite at the same time.
Using the same content on the same platform on a later date makes sense as well. Perhaps you’ll want to make a note on your content of which pieces got engagement so later you can just use those and create a few fresh ones or you could go back and tweak it to improve.
However, if you just want to totally re-use I think that makes a ton of sense. If you posted something in a facebook group 6 months ago, I seriously doubt that somebody would remember. And even if they did, it’s not as if they were thinking about that post 6 months later, so it’s a great reminder of it. I know a full-time, successful coach who basically repeats her content quarterly. If you know where your content is stored and you have it organized by for example, weekly topic themes, then this can save a ton of time.
I plan on having guest hosts for 8 weeks after the baby (that’s another strategy to cut down on your content creation time) but after that I will likely reuse my content for at least 4 weeks after that.
Content creation can be a beast but remember to always start small and build up vs. putting yourself in overwhelm and paralysis. Through really awful morning sickness I continued to receive compliments for my consistency in showing up and the value of my content, I’ve helped many women 1:1 with getting visible online and their content and I’ve learned even more as I’m preparing to create space for my second child. I know a lot about this and created the Client Attracting Content Creation Kit, which is a 6 part video series with worksheets, bonus handouts and a bonus video of the behind-the-scenes of how I organize my content with Trello, to help people with their content. One thing I love to do is empower people to feel lighter about their content creation, both in their mindset around it and their strategy in actually creating it. This kit is only $49, so if this blog post was helpful but you want to go deeper, I definitely recommend checking it out.
Leave a comment with your greatest content creation struggle!