Burn out – every business owner experiences it at some point or another.
The truth is that feeling burnt out impacts your business and your life in many ways you may not even realize. When you’re in the middle of a season of burn out, you’re missing the energy and passion you usually have to complete mission-critical tasks like customer service. The likelihood that you feel up to creating content as well is pretty slim.
Although you may like to believe that you’ll never personally be the victim of burn out, that’s not realistic. That’s why it’s critically important to plan ahead and put a strategy in place for how to continue creating content and keeping up with your marketing strategy – even when you don’t feel like it.
6 Ways to Continuously Create Engaging Content
1. Create a Content Calendar
Have you ever felt like you knew you had to write a blog post, or record a video, but your creative well had run dry? Sidestep this issue by sitting down and writing out a 6-12-month content calendar. Think through what evergreen topics you’d like to cover, as well as what seasonal or more timely content would be relevant to your audience.
For example, you may want to record several videos about Social Security spousal benefits – and these can be published at any time without losing relevance. However, you may also want to write a blog post that covers how your ideal client type might navigate open enrollment season. A more time-sensitive piece like this can only fit in a handful of spots in your content calendar, so plan accordingly.
If you’re feeling stuck on what topics make the most sense for your target audience, leverage your current clients! Send out a brief survey asking what type of topics they’d be interested in, and what type of content they prefer (video, podcasts, blogs, etc.). You can use their answers to create a tailored content calendar that you know will resonate with your ideal audience.
2. Find a Pace That Works For You
When building your content calendar, you need to be honest with yourself about how often you’ll be able to create content – at your best, and at your worst. When you’re feeling energized about your business, you’re more likely to dig in and create more content. But if you’re burnt out, you might find that you slow down and struggle finding motivation.
Create your content calendar with this in mind. Expecting that you’ll always be able to produce a blog post a week, or a video every day, may not be realistic. When you build your strategy, think about the best way you can strive for consistency – even if you only have a few hours a month to dedicate to content during a tough season.
3. Develop a Process
If you wait for creative genius to strike, you’re going to have varied levels of success. Instead, build out a process around content creation. The more scientific you can make it, the less likely you are to deviate from your schedule.
Remember, consistency is key when it comes to content marketing. Your process should reflect this. Try to block time in your calendar for one afternoon a month to write a blog post, and a few hours later that same week to revise, publish, and send it to your email list. If you record podcasts or video, dedicate one or two days each month to record several episodes on different topics. Having a consistent time where you focus on content creation can help you stay on track, even when you aren’t feeling energized about your business.
You can also put together a process around content creation itself. Here’s a sample process for writing blog posts:
- Reference content calendar.
- Research the next blog topic.
- Create an outline for the blog post based on research and professional experiences. It can be helpful to create a template for blog posts so that your outlines are consistent.
- Find 1-2 past blog posts on your website to link within this blog.
- Find 1-2 outside sources to link to that support the point you’re trying to make in your writing.
- Block off two hours to draft the post.
- The morning after drafting, set a timer for 30 minutes and revise your post.
- Publish the blog post on your website and on LinkedIn’s article platform.
- Schedule the blog post to be shared across social media.
- Draft a newsletter featuring the blog post and schedule to be sent.
Make sure to document your process so that you can reference it in the future!
4. Batch Your Work
If you find that you’re having an extra-creative day, or that you have a few unexpected hours available during the month, consider batching content creation. In other words, rather than only tackling the next blog post, video, or podcast in your content calendar, try to knock out a full month’s worth of content at a time. Feeling extra motivated? Work on getting ahead by a full quarter in your content calendar. This way, if you’re ever burnt out, you can confidently continue to develop content a quarter in advance at a pace that meets your current needs.
5. Pull in Team Members to Help
You don’t have to be the only one responsible for your content marketing strategy! If you have team members or an outsourced provider who matches your voice, feel free to pull them in and have them help you create content. This is where developing and documenting a process for content creation can be a huge help! If you have a process written down, or a training video recorded, you’ll be able to easily train someone else to create content for your business.
6. Refocus Your Energy
This may be the most important thing you can do if you’re in the middle of burn out, but still have to keep up with your marketing strategy. Take time to refocus your energy and think about the types of topics you’re excited to create content about.
This might mean making a brief departure from your existing content calendar – and that’s okay. You want to align your content with what you’re passionate about, even if it means adjusting your strategy a little bit moving forward. The truth is that your audience can tell when you aren’t invested in the content you create and share. So, in the event that you just can’t engage with the topics on your content calendar, don’t be afraid to refocus on topics or ideas that you’re motivated to tackle!
Feeling burnt out in your business can be incredibly challenging. However, when you have a plan in place, you can more easily navigate these difficulties to avoid falling behind on your marketing strategy.