One of my colleagues recently asked:
This is embarrassing to share, but I can’t seem to find my flow. I start and stop when it comes to posting. I’ve even done it with my podcast. I’m excited when I’m posting, and then I get to a point where I just can’t anymore. Do you have any tips for staying inspired and consistent?
Staying consistent and inspired can be a challenge for any creator, but don’t worry — I have the solution. My answer is a two-parter. First, I’ll share actionable steps you can take to stay consistent, and then, I’ll address an important topic: whether it’s time to outsource.
Let’s dive in!
First, Ask Yourself: Are You Interested or Committed?
Before we go any further, I’m going to ask you to sit down and think about whether you’re interested in creating content or committed.
I first heard Chris Harder ask this question, but to give credit where it’s due, management expert Ken Blanchard once said, “There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.”
Being committed doesn’t mean that you have to be Gary V and post multiple times a day. But you do have to be honest with yourself.
Are you only creating content when it’s convenient, or are you doing it no matter what – without excuses?
If you are committed, then the tips below will help you stay consistent. But if you’re only interested in creating content, then there’s really no magic trick that will help.
Next – Get Real with Your Expectations
You’ve established that you’re committed. The next thing to think about is your expectations. Are you being realistic?
I often see people just dive right into content creation and go all in – which is great! Initially, creating content is new, fun and exciting. But they set unrealistic expectations of posting every day (or too often for their schedule), and guess what happens? They get burned out.
Like any other habit, it’s important to start small and work your way up to posting more frequently. Set a pace for yourself. Yes, quantity matters, but so does quality and consistency. In fact, it could be argued that creating quality content on a consistent basis will win out over quantity in the end.
So, sit down and really think about what’s realistic for you. Three posts a week is very doable for most people and a great place to start.
If you’re podcasting, can you realistically do one episode a week? That’s also a great starting point for this type of content.
Ultimately, if you want to succeed with being consistent, then you need to get real with your expectations. Once you’ve done that, you can move on to the next important step: scheduling.
Create a Schedule and Stick to It
Creating a schedule is something that I’ve talked about a lot, but it’s so important. Now that you have set realistic expectations, you can create a schedule based on what you know will work best for you.
Maybe you’re someone who likes to create content throughout the month, or maybe you’re like me – someone who likes to batch create and batch content on a monthly basis.
My process looks like this:
- I’ll brainstorm one day
- Write content another
- Film on another and send everything to my editor this day
This kind of process works well for me and a lot of my clients, but it may not be something that works well for you.
You may be someone who needs to allocate time blocks into your schedule every week for content creation.
Not sure what will work for you? Experiment. Try different things. Just make sure that you stay committed. Remember – objects that stay in motion will stay in motion.
If you commit to filming five videos and after the third, you don’t want to film the last two, I strongly encourage you to do it anyway. If you follow through, you ensure that you don’t break your promises to yourself. And when the next month comes around, you’ll know not to try filming five videos in a single day.
Use Your Audience as Inspiration
One hack that I like to use for content ideation is to let my audience wear the creator hat. This is one of my favorite ways to speed up content creation.
You could do something similar to what I do with my newsletter. All of my topics are provided to me by my audience, thanks to their questions. You could do something similar, or take your own unique approach.
For example, you could hold weekly roundtables and invite people to join and ask questions. Those questions can then turn into your content. Suddenly, you have a whole list of content ideas to build off of.
Speaking of having a list of content ideas – my next tip is all about building up a reserve of content.
Build Up a Content Bank
Do you save for a rainy day? If so, you can do the same with your content. Content banks work a little something like this:
- Creativity strikes? Jot down the idea.
- Feeling spunky? Write a few additional posts.
- See a post that you have a different take on? Add it to your list.
If you save all of your content in a central location, you can access and use it on those days when you’re too busy or tired to create content.
You can also flip through your old content and create so much additional content from it. For example, you can put a new spin on an old post or turn it into multiple social media posts.
Tip: If your old post is over a year old, can you repurpose it? I’ve found this works very well on LinkedIn, and most people won’t seem to notice. This is my top tip for staying in the game when you run out of steam. I don’t repurpose all of my old content, but I’ll repurpose some top performing pieces here and there.
Outsource the Energy Vampires
Energy vampires zap your energy. ⚡ An energy vampire can be a person (not the blood-sucking type), or it can be a task. When you’re creating content, you’ll find certain tasks:
- Stifle your creativity
- Lead you to stop creating
You can outsource these tasks while remaining authentic. For example, you can outsource your video editing. Provide in-depth instructions, and have someone else handle the task from start to finish for you.
If you like editing, you can outsource blog or social post creation – or anything you want. A general rule of thumb is that if someone can do the task 70% as well as you, outsource it. That being said, I DO recommend you stay involved to an extent. You’re the one with the great insights. So even if you have someone creating content on your behalf, stay involved in helping guide the overall strategy.
Get an Accountability Partner, and Put Some Skin in the Game
Sometimes, the only way for a person to remain disciplined is to have something to lose. If you’re breaking your content consistency promise to yourself, it’s time to put some skin in the game.
What do I mean?
Team up with a friend and hold each other accountable. For example, let’s assume you both agree to post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If you don’t post, there are consequences. I recommend putting some skin in the game because when you pay, you pay attention.
Miss a post? Pay your friend $50 or $100.
Alternatively, you can hire a social media manager who you work with and meet with monthly. The manager can help create your content plan and be the catalyst for you coming to each meeting prepared.
Content consistency takes a lot of dedication and commitment, but if you’re serious about taking the leap, you can create content and build your brand – and your following along the way.
None of the tips are groundbreaking, but I promise you that when you implement them, they have a 100 percent success rate.
And, that’s a wrap on this Dear Katie question.
Now I want to hear from you. Do you have a question?
Until next time, cheers to your success!