Hey guys, today I would really like to talk a little bit about a hard subject. And it’s, it’s about the unhealthy side of content creation. If you’ve ever felt like:
- creating content is running your life
- or even worse, ruining your life
- or if you’ve ever thought that content creation is just frickin hard
- “and they changed the algorithm, oh, gosh, I have to do TikTok now. Nope, nope, not doing a YouTube channel. Can’t I just write a post and have people falling into my lap?”
I know that I’ve had these questions. I know I’ve had these feelings. I know my clients have because I’ve heard various versions of each one of those statements. And the reality is that social media platforms want us to create, create, create. And frankly, make money off of us. You’ve heard the adage that if you are not paying for the product, you are the product. And while I don’t think that is entirely always true, the reality is, if we did precisely what Instagram wanted us to do, we’d spend 35 out of our 40 work hours a week (if you work that many hours, which I do not), and we’d spend them all creating content.
That content would get dumber and dumber because the mindless scrolling promotes dumb content.
I don’t like dumb content. So I want to cover this unhealthy side of content creation and what you, as someone who has to market your business, can do about it in a good, healthy way.
So there are three premises that we’re going to talk about:
1. Content creation shouldn’t feel hard.
Now, marketing will always be work, especially if you are not a marketer, but–and call me crazy here–your content is about that thing you love doing. So it shouldn’t feel hard to create.
Do you have to carve time out to do it? Yeah, yeah, you do. But you should feel some level of passion for your content. It’s talking about that thing that lights you up, it’s encompassing that thing that you’re really good at, and you are helping people get results doing that thing. You should feel excited about that.
I am not a quick-fix marketer; I’m not an overnight success. And since I know you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t like helping people, I know that you are willing to put some time into doing it and doing it well. And part of that time does include content creation, almost no matter what kind of business you are.
So we’ve cleared the time investment issue out of this, in today’s day and age, you will need to market at some point and a solid organic content plan is a must.
Now, knowing what works to present your content and knowing the best way to craft a hook, write a headline, or simple ways to ease into that call to action at the end–those are the mechanics, there the tactics, and some of that might feel hard at first. That’s okay. That’s not the meat of content creation anyway, it’s simply the mechanics of it. And those are things you can learn.
It’s the actual meat, that thing you’re good at, that thing you’re talking about in your content–that’s the hard part. And that’s where you, as an expert, get to shine.
So what do you do when content creation feels difficult when it does feel hard?
If creating content has taken over your life, and you’re spending more and more time on it than actual client work, you have an unhealthy problem.
If you’re dreading the content on your task list, odds are you’re trying to use tactics and mechanics that you’re not aligned with.
I know video is ever more popular. And if you’ve given it a fair shake, and still carry that upper lip sheen of sweat and terror three months into it, maybe it’s time to look at why you are doing a video and why you chose that avenue. I am not sitting here and saying you have to be on TikTok. But if your audience loves TikTok and you are not enjoying it, maybe you’re not a good fit for that audience. Maybe it’s time for you to choose a new best client that isn’t heavy on TikTok, for example.
If you want to have a balanced and healthy content creation in your business, you need to ensure that you are aligned with the kind of content you produce. And that leads us to our second point.
2. Attention shouldn’t be easy.
I know it’s four simple words (and they’re not even my own). I heard them from Roberto Blake at the Creator Economy Expo. I’m so jealous. It is such a brilliant four-letter quote. It’s genius.
Our world is crazy, guys. And some days it is sheer nuts just trying to finish and get through the day. For you to expect a stranger or even a semi-acquaintance to give up 5 or 15 or especially 45 minutes of their time for an info session or a webinar, you had better be offering really good stellar content in return. Not regurgitated ideas from your coach or the latest influencer around the worldwide corner. Nope. And certainly not fluff–double nope.
You’d better be offering:
- thought-provoking ideas
- ‘aha’ realizations that shift their perspective
- a win for the viewer that they can apply immediately (so they can actually tie it to what you said and not forget who they learned that from, of course)
If your content isn’t doing that, it’s not just not valuable, it’s a time-waster.
You may as well go into their house and turn their bathtub on and leave it running for three days. It’s that kind of time and money waster. In today’s world, time is the most precious resource. And before you get defensive, I’m guilty of this. If I were to sample five random pieces of content I’ve created over the last year, they’re probably not all going to be that good list of things I just gave you. When I take a hard look at them, they’re not all perfect. Some of them are reaching beyond what I actually should be asking my audience to do. That’s something I’m working on. It’s something that you can work on, too.
And also, clamoring for attention constantly will often mean that you’re going to lose sight of your original goal. And that was, of course, to help people. So if you’re spending more time shopping for likes and comments than doing actual working with your clients, you’ve probably fallen into the unhealthy side of content creation. And that right there leads me to my third point.
3. Marketing will always take work.
All of marketing is a test. I see this so often, and I won’t back down on it, because, frankly, the minute I do, I should probably hang up my marketing hat and call it a day.
The reality is that things change, tactics change, trends evolve, and they come in and out of style. Free webinars, SLOs, five-day challenges, info sessions, application funnels, and workshops are all tactics. And some of them are the tactic du jour, and everyone starts doing them, and then they stop working. You’ll probably still be hearing about them as really good things for years after that because that’s how it works.
I still sell the Show Up System, and I will stand behind everything I include in it if you buy it today, it is a wonderful product. I think it will help you organize and post your content consistently. But if I was still running thousands of dollars of ads each month to it today, I would be losing money. That kind of SLO funnel or self-liquidating offer is no longer profitable for most people. I’m not saying people can’t profit from it; I’m just saying it’s really hard to make it work in today’s ad age.
Testing matters. And testing in your content is the same.
Marketing will always take work, and work means time.
You’re going to pay in either time or money and often both at the same time.
This hasn’t changed. Running a business has always been like that. Twenty years ago, we would all be paying for ads in the phone book or newspaper. Today, we’re still paying to market even if the venue has shifted.
Creating content takes time. Hiring someone else to create content for you takes money and will probably still take time. If you’re not a brand, and you don’t want to be a brand, the content might be more optional. If you’re a word-of-mouth provider only, you might be able to get away with that. But you’re going to have to embrace other marketing methods. And networking, which takes time! You’re going to have to work out strategic partnerships, and meeting those people. Lots of those things will also take money. So if you’re not creating content, you have to be willing to put time, effort, and money into these other marketing methods. It’s going to be something, and for most businesses in today’s age, content isn’t a maybe, it’s a must.
If you’re building a larger business and a brand around that business, you absolutely have to create organic content because people need to be nurtured along the way.
No matter what you’re selling, the sales cycle is becoming longer for most things. People need that time to build trust.
So those were the three big ideas I wanted to address here. Content creation shouldn’t be hard. Attention shouldn’t be easy. And marketing will take work and effort.
So how do we stay healthy and how do we stay balanced with content creation, given what we just talked about and what we know here? Systems are going to save your bacon in every area of your business–and content is no different. It’s simply another example of that same rule.
- Have a content creation system.
- Have a content organization system. (They’re not always the same.) By the way, the Show-Up System will help you stay consistent, but it’s not going to necessarily be a good database of all the content you’ve already created.
- Have a posting system.
- Have a way to consistently and efficiently measure your results.
These are the things that I’ve been talking about all year in my lives, on my podcast and on this blog. If you’ve not yet heard of my Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue Method to creating client-focused content that balances out how you publish your content plan, I have done you a favor: I’ve created a free, five-day email course. I’m having it delivered straight to your inbox. Or if you’re more of the binge kind of person, you know, the Netflix generation, you can actually click the link to get right to the next one. I’m not going to make you wait five days if that’s more your style. (Really, I’m trying to serve you in whatever way is best for you.)
This free five-day email course will walk you through how to stay healthy in your content creation and get off the content creation hamster wheel. And yes, live your life. I organize my business to run around my life. But I’ve also organized my life so I don’t have to spend all my time working. And because of that, there is some crossover.
I want to make sure that you have the same level of healthy and balanced content creation, so it doesn’t feel like a chore in your world or your business.
So if you want access to that, again, I want to remind you, that it is free. It’s a free five-day email course. And you can get it at https://workwith.britneygardner.com/healthy-balanced-content-creation-plan/. It is really easy to do that.
And I want to make it very clear. My goal is to support you in creating content, no matter how you want to do that. If you never buy a single product from me, and you just make your life a little bit more stress-free, that sounds great to me. So if that’s who you are, I don’t want you to feel guilty about it. I want you to enjoy the resources that I am offering here. Because I genuinely want to make sure that less is more in your world, less content creation time, and more results with it.
Part of having a healthy and balanced content plan is knowing what to not spend your time on and which content you can bless and release and never touch again.
Are you ready to create a measurable content plan?