If I had to take a guess at the one thing that is costing you the most time when it comes to marketing your business online, I’d put my money on content creation.
Creating great content can feel like a momentous, never-ending task. When will it stop feeling like such an up battle? Does it have to be a source of frustration and a massive burden? No, it doesn’t! There is one habit that you can adopt which will make the whole process of creating content so much easier and it will help you make better use of your time, so you’re no longer wasting any time staring at a blank page!
Make content creation a habit not a chore
There is nothing worse than sitting down to create content and finding yourself staring at a blank page.
Creativity is not something that you can force; in fact, the more you push it the more your inspiration will run in the opposite direction.
The key to being able to create a steady stream of content for your business with absolute ease is to get into the habit of capturing ideas as they come to you, rather than trying to hunt them down when you’re in content creation mode.
Decide where you will capture your ideas
The first step is to decide where you’re going to capture your ideas. What works for you will be different to what works for someone else so there may be a little trial and error involved before you find the right solution. It could be anything from a notebook that you always have to hand, the notes app on your phone, a Trello board, a spreadsheet…the options really are endless.
Personally, I like to capture my ideas and thoughts on the notes app on my phone. The obvious benefit is that I pretty much always have my phone by my side (I know, I know, perhaps not the best habit but I’m happy with it). What I love most is that the notes on my phone sync up to my iPad and my laptop. I usually draft my social media posts on my laptop so when I sit down to create that content I just pull up my notes and start pulling everything together. Some of those notes will sit there for weeks, even months before I’m ready to use them, but I have the peace of mind that I’ve not wasted any great ideas.
As for my blog posts, my process involves more steps because the content is more in-depth and so those little seedling ideas need to be watered and nurtured before they become fully fledged blogs. So, in the case of my blogs, I capture the ideas on my notes but then I sit down with my iPad and pad out those ideas. I use a fab app called Nebo which allows me to handwrite my notes with my Apple Pencil and it then converts them into text for me. I have to say, there is something about the connection between pen and paper (or screen in my case) that really helps the creative juices to flow, so this gives me the best of both worlds. I can then take that blog outline on to my laptop and write it up in full.
That’s just what works for me, but, as I said, try different tools and processes out and find out what works best for you.
One word of warning, notebooks are great (who doesn’t love beautiful stationery?!) but be wary of jotting down notes in lots of different places. Too many notebooks on the go at once can result in you spending tons of time hunting through the pages and losing track of brilliant ideas.
Tune into your inner voice
I don’t mean this in any kind of spiritual way. I’m talking about the thoughts that run through your head every day that you’re working in your business, and, if you’re anything like me, the times when you’re meant to be doing something else or the minute your head hits the pillow.
When you’re busy working on something else, it’s easy to ignore those passive thoughts and tell your inner voice to be quiet because you’re trying to concentrate! Instead of shutting that voice out, start tuning into it and really listen to what it has to say. I promise you it won’t turn into a distraction if anything it will improve your concentration. Those thoughts are itching to get us so if you take a few seconds to jot it down, your brain won’t be trying to hold onto it and concentrate on the task at hand at the same time.
The more that you tune into your inner voice, the easier it will become. In fact, it can almost feel like you’ve opened a flood gate! You will start to pick ideas out of the conversation you have every day and you will be more attentive to the questions that you’re being asked by your clients. Rather than just answering those questions and moving on, start noting them down because if one person has had that question you can pretty much guarantee that there are more people out there looking for the same answer.
Be patient, habits take time to form
I started this blog by talking about forming a habit; not a trick, or a tactic or a hack, or a strategy. A habit. Because that’s what it is – when you tune into your inner voice and make an effort to capture those ideas as they come to you, it becomes almost second nature.
There are lots of figures that fly around about how long it takes to form a habit and it seems that this is another thing that is different for everyone, but what is clear is that it takes time. So do be patient with yourself and don’t get hung up on the times when you forget to capture an idea or tell yourself that you will do it later, and then forget. It will feel much more natural over time and it’s well worth it because, now, every time that you sit down to create content, whether it be for social media, for your blog, for your newsletter, website or anywhere else, you will have stacks of ideas ready and waiting for you to develop. No more blank pages!!
For more time-saving tips, check out these blog posts: