Let’s be honest. Creating content is time-consuming and can often feel stressful, overwhelming and even frustrating because the effort you put in rarely feels like it matches the results it creates.
But what if I told you there was a way to make content creation easier AND faster while likely INCREASING the results it creates for your business or personal brand?
Yep, in this episode, I’m going to give you 5 practical, easy-to-implement tips that you can use today to start making content creation a breeze.
READ THE TRANSCRIPT
You’re listening to episode nine: 5 ways to make content creation easier in 2020. If your content creation efforts are currently a little bit sporadic, if you find that it just takes too long to do, it’s overwhelming, it’s stressful, it’s a negative experience in any way, then this is definitely the episode for you. Because I’m going to give you five very actionable tips, things that you can do right now, to immediately make your content creation process so much easier and even more fun. So keep on listening. Welcome to the personal branding project. I’m your host, Kat Elizabeth, an actor and personal branding coach who is obsessed with helping creative entrepreneurs like you, build personal brands that change your life for good, from attracting bigger opportunities, more joy and freedom in your life and the ability to get paid to do the things that you love most. Each week I’m bringing you inspiration, practical advice, and occasional dose of tough love so you can stop dreaming and start doing what it takes to make those dreams a reality.
Welcome back and thank you so much for being here. This really is a continuation of our last chat in episode eight where we got into creating a content strategy for 2020 so if you missed that one, make sure you go back and listen because these are going to go hand in hand and once you’ve listened to them both, I am certain you’re going to be so much better equipped to create content strategies for yourself and also content creation workflows moving forward. So let’s just get straight into why I think this episode is really important. So I am not going to call myself a lazy person. I’m going to call myself a *busy* person and I have a lot of things that I’m always trying to juggle and you probably are to. The fact is, whether you’re doing this as a side hustle, as a full time job, like if you’re a startup or if you’ve been doing this for ages, life and business and marketing and all of those responsibilities that go along with them, it’s intense and we are constantly juggling a million different things.
And while content creation is absolutely crucial for growing your business or growing your brand, if it is too difficult, if it’s too time consuming, it can actually get in the way of business growth because it keeps you from doing all the other things that you need to be doing. And also if it becomes overwhelming and a negative experience, you’re less likely to do it consistently, which can also harm your business. So I really wanted to create this episode in order to help equip you to actually make content creation work better for you within whatever time restraints you have. And just really like some of these are actual hacks that might seem so obvious once you learn them. But it took me a while to figure these things out. Like I realized I was working way harder than I needed to with content creation and there’s a really good chance you are too.
So be sure to listen right to the end because all five tips that I have are very relevant and you can start using them immediately. So point number one ties into the last episode and it’s just to really simplify things by giving yourself monthly themes for your content. I say this because I found that when you do find your flow with a certain topic that you’re talking about and your audience becomes more invested in whatever it is that you’re talking about, it’s like more ideas tend to spring from that place. And so if you can kind of set an overarching theme for each month of the year, it makes content brainstorming so much easier. You’re going to keep being able to just dump the right ideas in the right buckets for that month. And when you’re creating your content, everything is going to tie in really beautifully. So you can actually be referencing very easily other episodes or blog articles you’ve mentioned, you can create themed posts, so let’s say you create three posts a week on Instagram.
Well, you could actually use each post to build on each other and start creating content. That’s kind of serial. So people actually want to go back and binge all of it. And I was taught this very early on — I was taught that when I launched my YouTube channel, one of the best things to do to get people hooked is to create mini series. And I think mini series tie in beautifully if you do have a monthly theme. So you could have a series on something very practical like to give you an example, like I could do a series on how to edit your videos and you know, we could break down the process into multiple steps or it could be a much more like high level themes. So like how to become more productive working from home or how to start decluttering your apartment, something like that, which could have again, so many different elements to it.
And they could be mindset elements, they could be practical elements, they could be how-tos, Q and A’s. Like really when you have one topic idea, I don’t want you to just create one piece of content around it. I want you to milk it for all it’s worth and be thinking, okay, here are all my platforms here, all the different ways that I tend to share content, like all the different formats, whether that’s you know, written in posts, written in emails, whether it’s videos that are short videos, long videos, Instagram stories, lives, there’s graphic posts, there’s photo posts. I want you to think about all the different ways that you could create content around that theme and see how much of a month you can fill out before you start having to scrape for more ideas. And I really do think this is already going to help you just speed up the process and make it so much easier.
Tip number two is to create a content library for yourself. So this is different to the brainstorming document that I talked about in the last episode. A content library is somewhere that you actually store all of the content that you’ve already created. So you could do this a few different ways. Like you might want to set up a Google Drive folder for yourself called content library and then you could break it down and have posts, emails, videos, podcasts — all the different things that you’ve ever created and make sure that you file them really well or might want to file them by theme, you know, whatever works for you. It’s just so that it fits in with your, you know, your workflow. And by creating a content library like, cause keep in mind that a lot of the time it’s actually okay to recycle your content.
I think teaching a lot of my clients about this, about how, especially on somewhere like Facebook or Instagram posts only have a very short lifespan. Meaning we can actually resurrect them. We can actually have a cycle, a timeline for these posts where we bring some of them back. And there are some posts that you’re going to write for yourself that you know, just a relevant no matter what time of year. And you might want to just like replace a few words or update it slightly. So I really want you to think about all of the pieces of content you’ve ever created and start curating them for yourself and putting them in one place. And so, you know, like for blog articles you might want to save them all on individual word documents for Instagram posts. Like you should have the written content pasted somewhere. But also if you’ve created graphics then have them somewhere and it’s just going to become this beautiful vault for yourself that anytime you’re feeling uninspired or you’re like, Oh, I need to create something.
Just remember you’ve already done so much of the work. Obviously if you’re new to content creation, it’s going to start small. But the beauty of this is that you’re actually setting yourself up for long term success because when you check back in in six months time or 12 months time after, you know, consistently creating content, you’re going to have so much to draw from. And I also love going back over the stuff that I’ve already created and seeing how I could turn it into something completely different the next time around. Like you could actually find a series of blog posts that all are great, relate to each other and you could go, Oh, maybe I should turn this into a little a mini email course. Or maybe I could create videos out of these now like and give the content new life.
So however you need to do this. And again, like there’s other things — like I use Bear app, which is a really cool app for collecting your thoughts and note-taking. You could use Microsoft OneNote – like there are honestly, we have no shortage of options these days when it comes to technology. So just find one that feels nice for you, that’s really easy to like, just make sure it’s really easy to file things and find them again. So make sure it’s got some sort of search function. And other than that, it’s up to you how you want to figure this out. But don’t let all that content you created over the last year or few years go to waste because you can definitely give it some new life in the new year. Tip number three is something that you may already be doing, but maybe you haven’t fully maximized it yet or maybe you haven’t thought to do this.
So I’m going to say it — I want you to create templates for everything. So you’re going to have everything from really obvious templates like having graphic templates for Instagram posts for your Instagram stories, for Pinterest posts, like all of the things that you’re going to be creating regularly. You might want to set up a template template for your blog header. You’re going to set up templates for YouTube thumbnails. You’re going to set up templates for even the footer information. Like let’s say you always sign off with the same kind of information at the bottom of a blog article or the bottom of a video, so you know links to other resources and things like that. I want you to set up templates for those.
Another way of setting up a template for yourself, it’s not really a template, but I’m categorizing it — this is just set up Bitly links, so short links for all of your best content and having it like, because obviously this is one thing is going to mean that they all kind of look consistent and you can name them the right way, so they’re kind of on-brand, which I love, but also you can track the analytics of these ones too and you want to have them all in one place. So like have one note section on your phone or on your computer, or maybe it’s one document where you have links to all the kinds of content or free downloads, landing pages, anything that you know you’re going to be sharing again, have any one place and it’s just going to streamline your entire process. So much I, I’ve lost count of the hours I’ve wasted of going back and looking for links that I needed to reference again, especially links that I was using on a weekly basis.
Like at one stage I was like, Oh my gosh, what is wrong with you? So I finally went back through and made links for everything in Bitly and I found all of my affiliate links, all of the stuff that I’m constantly referencing and I now have only one place so I can just copy and paste. Templates are so great too because if you do start using anybody else to help you create content, you’re not going to have to walk them through all of your brand guidelines. Try and explain what you want. You can just go, here are all my templates, this is how it works. Feel free to tweak them a little bit, but you know the colors and the fonts and things and non-negotiable. So leave those in and it’s just going to make outsourcing much more stress-free. And it’s also going to be more affordable because people aren’t having to set templates up from scratch.
This is a time consuming thing if you don’t already have templates for yourself. So it’s one of those activities that I highly recommend. If you know you’re coming into a quiet period for your business or you know you’ve got some holidays coming up, block out a day to create templates for everything. Go through all of your online profiles, your blogs, like the videos and try and spot anything that you could turn a template that’s going to make your life easier moving forward and then make sure, just like with your content library, you have saved these all in a place that makes sense, that’s well labeled, that’s easy for you to search so that you can just go back in and quickly tweak it and create that new graphic that you need. You know, in a couple of minutes instead of having to sit down and be like, okay, where’s the file?
Oh no, I didn’t have the right colors set up that time. Oh, where are my photos? Is there something to be said for taking the time now to set up all your systems properly so that in the new year you can make content creation way more of a breeze. All right, and speaking of the actual content creation, point number four is batch creating, which I’m sure I’ve mentioned before and I’m definitely going to mention it again. Trust me when I tell you right now that the effort it takes to create one video is very similar to the effort it takes to create four videos. I know that sounds nuts, but keep this in mind the actual setup time that it takes, you know, to set up your camera, to actually shoot something, to transfer everything to your computer, to open up your editing program and start editing to create the thumbnail.
All of that set p time is going to be the same no matter how many videos you’re creating. So what we want to do is try and create multiple pieces of content in one sitting while your brain is in that zone. Because again, it’s not just about the technical setup, it’s what goes on with our brains. Our brains really struggle to switch gears. It takes us time and our brain, like we use different parts of our brain to do research versus scripting versus design versus talking to the camera versus editing versus uploading. So if you try and do all of those things in one day to just create one video, you’re actually exerting so much more energy than if you split up those tasks and did more of them in one sitting. So everything that I just mentioned, I do in bulk. So I do a bulk research and brainstorming session.
I write all of my scripts in one setting, and when I say all of mine, usually I’m going to probably script two to three months worth of content in one go. So that could be 8 to 12 videos, which sounds like a lot, but once you’re in flow, it’s not that big a deal. And then I sit down and I will do as few recording sessions as possible for those videos. Obviously I’m not a robot, I can’t really just sit down and record eight to 12 videos in a day. I’d just be exhausted. Plus, we’ve got limited light and all those things, but I try and make sure that over the period of two, three days maximum, I’ve recorded all the videos. I need three months and I’m not going to have to get in front of the camera again, which is amazing because I’m sure you know it’s a lot of effort.
Creating any sort of content is a lot of effort, but especially if you know that you’re going to have to make yourself look a certain way, get your energy levels up, have the room set up, the lighting, all of that. So if you can do that as few times as possible, fantastic. You save yourself a lot of time. It’s the same with the podcasts, like I’m in the process right now of recording a whole batch of them because I know that I’m going away for the holidays. I’m not going to have access to my gear and I want to be able to enjoy my holiday, but not let you know, not skip a beat when it comes to producing this content. I want to be here every week for my, for my audience. For you at least one person who is hearing this right now and just make sure that all of the tasks that I know that need doing before I have to fly out, they’ve been done and then I can just do, you know like there are always going to be some week to week tasks that we do in real time and that is, that’s totally fine.
But the fact is like while content creation is absolutely crucial, it can’t be the only thing we do in our businesses. I have definitely fallen into the trap of being stuck in content creative mode 24 seven feeling like it was the most important thing for me to be doing. And yes I’m laying foundations and these are things that pay off in the long run, but the fact is is probably more important. Revenue generating activities that you could be doing right now like that are actually going to affect your bottom line and those things are not the content creation, the content creation, just like it’s kind of a gateway for people to find you and then get in touch with you. But then you need to be there active, engaging with them and getting people on sales calls or buying things or you know, answering their questions.
Whatever it is that you need to do to nurture your audience, you need to be there in real time to do that. And if you’re stuck in content creation mode all the time, you can’t. So that is why I’m all for batching and getting all of this really time consuming, high energy stuff out of the way so that you can have that just going out like clockwork and then be there for the really important stuff like the, the conversations that you’re going to be having with your audience because they’ve seen your content. And finally, point number five, which I did tease in the last episode, is about creating a content hierarchy. In other words, a process for up-cycling your content. And the way I like to do this is to start at the very top and start by thinking about, okay, what is my hero platform?
Where am I creating the most high value content that has the most involved in it? And so for me, I actually have 2 now — I have my podcast and my YouTube channel — and I put a huge amount of effort into this content and every episode is going to be full of mini pieces of content if I can get strategic with it. And so if you can start with this top down approach, I want you to think, okay, what is the platform at the top and where are the smaller platforms sitting underneath that this can trickle down to, and then also be thinking about your emails as well because this, this isn’t a platform necessarily, but it is another form of communication and it’s important that your emails are high value. So what can you take from those big pieces of content to create smaller piece of content?
One way is to, from big videos to create little videos. So to create bite-sized snippets, you might like if you teach five points in a video, then grab one of the points and turn it into a shorter video, like under 60 seconds. If you want to share it in Instagram posts or if you want it to be on Facebook, you could do a couple of minutes and then you know that’s an individual piece of content. You can write a post about it and then you can also encourage people to click through and to watch the entire video if you want them to do that or you might just share the next point the next day so that you’ve got this steady stream of content. Another way to do this is to get your content transcribed, so whether it’s audio or video, you can get it transcribed and then you can go back through and you can either take little chunks of that.
You can get little quotes from it to turn into graphic posts. You could grab some of the teaching points and turn it into a written post, or you could actually turn it into a full blown blog article. Now I like to actually embed my videos and my podcast into a blog article and then I’ll literally copy and paste the transcript below that. If you wanted to take it to the next level, you could actually edit the transcript or if you’ve got a VA or copy editor or someone who works with you that could actually go back in and like really polish up the transcript and make it look even fancier and more blog article like so you know, including headers and bullet points and images to make it way more, you know, kind of high value and easy to read.
And you know, that is going to be great for the viewers that you know, consume your content that actually just want to read it. And it’s also so good for Google as well because you could probably optimize it a little bit better for search and it’s got Google picking up this article as well as the original piece of content to a couple of other things I do is really look at any topics that I’ve talked about in an Instagram post that’s kind of like a mini blog and going, Hmm, how could I turn this into an email friendly story? So I don’t want to just copy and paste it because there is a high chance that someone on my email list has maybe seen that Instagram posts, but maybe I could use that. Does spark another idea, copy and paste a section of that post.
But then right along the story around it, because there’s obviously no character count in your emails, and also keep in mind that videos that you’ve posted in one place could then be posted in another place. So if you’ve done a Facebook Live, you can download those and upload them to somewhere else. You could embed them into a blog article, you could upload them to YouTube, you could upload them to IGTV and vice versa. My main recommendation, and I got this from sunny Leonard Dusy who I am, you know, she’s, she’s my mentor and she doesn’t even know it. So her recommendation is to upload to YouTube and then make sure you drive, drive all the traffic straight to YouTube for the first few days because YouTube, the algorithm itself values that velocity. So they want to see as many people as possible watching and interacting with your video early on.
And that’s going to give you extra brownie points with that video and help with it ranking for search later on. But then let’s say a week later you can have that video scheduled to go out to Facebook to go out to IGTV and make sure you’re reaching people who aren’t necessarily watching YouTube. Because keep in mind some people just have a preferred platform of choice. I used to have way more people watching my Facebook lives and I found that a huge amount of my audience these days are actually preferring to watch IGTV. So you just, you need to make sure that you are offering content wherever your your audience are and just making sure that you actually optimize it for viewing wherever they’re seeing it. So don’t be lazy and just, you know, grab the video from one place and upload it to another place. Be really thinking about, okay, what dimensions does this need to be in?
Do I need to change the frame? Do I need to add subtitles? Because people don’t tend to, you know, watch with the sound on here. All of those kinds of things are really important. So this is where, again, setting up your templates and things, you know, having some frames preset, you know, a preset in your editing software so that you can, you know, change the dimensions and exported again and upload it to a new platform is really important. Or you might want to hire a VA to help you with this kind of thing because often it’s like the hardest thing is the creation of the content in the first place, but then the repurposing it is really formulaic and it’s easy for someone else to do this for you. So I highly recommend that if you are in that stage of business where you do have a little bit of a marketing budget and you really wanting to get the most bang for buck out of those, here are pieces of content you’re creating that you consider getting whatever help you need to make sure that you can get more mileage out of this content because it’s so going to be worth it.
So those are the five big tips I have you on making your content creation easier in the new year. So just to recap, you’ve got your monthly themes, you’ve got creating a content library for yourself, you’ve got creating templates for just about everything, you’ve got batch creation – so content creation in batches – and you’ve got your content up-cycling. So I really hope all of these tips were helpful for you and that you at least learn one new thing from this episode. Please be sure to screenshot the episode and share your biggest takeaway with me over on Instagram. You can tag at @iamkatelizabeth and @personalbrandingproject – I’d love to see, and I will always re-share. Also, I would be eternally grateful if you would leave the podcast a review on Apple podcasts or wherever you are listening to this. It makes a really huge difference. And of course don’t forget to subscribe so that you keep getting notified about my upcoming weekly episodes, not just on content creation, but everything that you need to know about building a personal brand. Thank you so much for listening and I will chat to you on the next one. Bye for now.