Struggling to stay consistent with content?
It’s a phrase I hear all the time but when I ask any follow-up questions, there’s never a set answer to what consistency actually means. What it means for me and what it means for you are likely completely different things. And knowing what your definition of consistency is, holds the key to actually achieving it.
So in this post, we're breaking it down. I'm going to help you redefine what it means to have consistent content and the BEST 5 ways to increase your consistency.
So grab a pen and let's dive in!
There’s a BIG, GIGANTIC misconception about consistency that I've seen through my work with thousands of business owners which is that people tend to think that consistency is all about being disciplined. Just doing it. Following through. Showing up rain or shine.
And while that approach can definitely work for people (a teeny tiny number of people), that approach of white knuckle follow-through isn't for the vast majority of business owners who all have lives, other commitments, challenges and struggles going on too.
And the saddest thing is when people think they've failed or they're just no good at content because they lack the quote-unquote discipline to consistently create it.
Not the case.
Consistent Content Secret #1: Design A Content Creation Process That Puts You First
The first consistent content secret is to design a content creation method that puts YOU at the center.
While our content is about delivering value to our audiences, when it comes to the method you choose for content creation, I encourage you to be selfish. One of the biggest secrets to consistent content is to put yourself at the centre of your content input (aka how you create it) and your audience at the centre of your content output (aka what you create).
Think about it this way: what if – instead of relying on discipline to create your content consistently, you created a process you enjoyed and looked forward to? That way content creation wouldn't feel like a chore or something you wanted to put off but instead a treat to indulge in.
There are several ways to up the fun when it comes to content but the HOW of it is a big part of the puzzle.
Here's an example:
- I know writing works for me but speaking at random off the cuff a la a podcast or a live does not.
- I know writing in free writing sprints works for me but writing a great blog post in one sitting, from start to finish, does not.
- I know that stockpiling behind the scenes photos works for me but stopping to share them at that very moment on social sucks the fun out of living life for me.
- I know that creating a piece of content every morning before starting on the rest of my to do list fills me with joy and purpose, I know skipping this, makes me a little resentful.
And I also know that I have complete permission to change my mind on any of these what I knows. And so do you.
So keep that in mind as you define your own rules for joyful, consistent content creation.
Here’s how to write your rules:
- Step 1. Journal your answers to these questions: What works content-wise for you? What type of content? What process for creating it?
- Step 2. Next, pull out a piece of paper and write your main categories of content types – blogs, email, social platforms – and then for each of those, write down what works for you.
- Step 3. Turn these into a set of rules for content creation.
- And then step 4. Rework your process to follow these rules.
And if you don't know the answer to many o f these questions, we'll talk about this shortly, but open yourself up to the possibility of experimenting until you find your secret consistent content creation sauce.
Consistent Content Secret #2: Choose Topics You’re Curious About
I can't stress this enough, but scratching your own curiosity itch with your content is key to getting into that ‘lost-in-moment' flow that so many of us are chasing.
Remember when you first started your business, you probably had a zillion things you wanted to learn about. You probably thought about it all the time and couldn't get enough of it. It's easy to lose that as we get a few years or months in, we get busier and have more things pulling at our attention.
So getting back a little bit of that curiosity can help you start to enjoy content creation. Especially when it comes in the form of a juicy blog, video, podcast or social media topic you're dying to talk about.
So what makes you curious?
As a starting point, I would whip out a piece of paper and start brainstorming.
Think about the questions that you have about your industry and area of expertise. Then think about the things you'd love to still learn if you had the time (side note – having to create a piece of content about something is a great excuse to learn something new and internalize that new know-how by teaching it).
After you have at least 10 things written down, make this a running list. As you come across new ideas and things you're curious about – add to that list.
Consistent Content Secret #3: Connect Your Content To Real People
Related to topics is to find opportunities to connect your content to real people (in this case, the people that you've built your business around supporting through your offers).
Especially if you're an online business, it's so easy to start feeling disconnected and isolated from your customers and increasingly as your business grows and you’re being pulled away to other aspects of the business. Bringing the joy back to content in many cases can be solved by reconnecting and putting a face to the people you want to help with your content.
- Start by sourcing questions from your audience or people who should be in your audience. What I mean by that is if you have an existing audience – send a survey, call for questions on social (i.e. What are your biggest questions when it comes to [topic]?), or ask the next time you're on a chat with a client or customer. If you have a community, go through and see what questions are being asked and capture them! If you don't have much of an audience yet, find some groups where people in your audience hang out and then search for questions using keywords, jot those down.
- Then when you're creating content, pull one of those questions to answer. It'll feel like you're responding to a real person (because you are) which will help your content feel less rhetorical and more connected to the people you want to help
- Then head back to that original link and pop in your response.
This is such a double win – not only are you creating real-life inspired content but you're also getting the opportunity to start showcasing your expertise and generosity!
Consistent Content Secret #4: Embrace Content Experiments
The great thing about finding what works is that you've found what works for you and can ignore the rest. And with so much noise out there, focus is everything.
However, the troublesome thing about finding what works is that it can prevent you from experimenting and finding something that works even better.
I find with my agency clients and students – it's about a 50/50 split. Those who are eager to jump into new things and those who resist change. I actually happen to be in the change resistance camp so it's with a lot of intention that I get myself to experiment with my content and marketing.
The best thing about embracing experiments with your content is that it frees you up to fail without it feeling like you failed. After all, it was just an experiment and you were simply testing a hypothesis.
Want to try a little experimentation this week?
Brainstorm 5 things you've seen others do with their content or marketing that made you think, “Oh that's cool – I'd like to try that someday”
Then for each of those 5 things, think about what the smallest possible, lowest commitment possible option of trying it out
Pick one of those to take on a spin this week
Then decide if you want to take it one step further by really trying the full version option of it
Consistent Content Secret #5: Outsource The Content Tasks You Don’t Enjoy
There can be a lot of pressure to outsource before you're ready – so this is not that. It's about figuring out what you like to do and what you'd rather not do (the things that are essential though) so that when you are ready, you can dip your toes into the delegation waters. And once you have this list, it might come a lot sooner than you'd think.
We help a lot of entrepreneurs with their monthly content – it's the bread and butter of our agency – we work with visionary business owners who are the faces (and voices) of their brands to create high-converting monthly content that grows their audiences and nurture them towards becoming customers.
But that full done-for-you solution is definitely not right for everyone, and especially not for beginners. But there's nothing to say that you can’t start by hiring a VA to take care of the time-consuming parts of your content process that you hate. The things that kinda prevent you from getting your content out there.
So how you do start with outsourcing?
Well even before you're ready to officially start outsourcing – whether it's as small as having a couple of hours a month from a VA or as big as hiring a full-blown content agency dream team like us – you can start taking steps to get ready.
And here's what I usually recommend:
#1 – Make a list of all of the individual tasks that you do to get your content created and published
#2 – Give each task a couple of scores from 1-10 – how much you dislike it, how easy it would be to outsource with training and also how long it usually takes you to complete
#3 – For each of those tasks that have a high outsource-ability and a high “I don't like it” score – document the steps in detail that you follow to complete it either in written checklist form or walkthrough video (ideally both)
Then once you're ready to hire, you'll have everything you need to outsource with minimal training!
Ready to Create a Content Workflow You Love?
Hopefully, you're feeling revved up when it comes to your content and let me know in the comments which of these 5 content joy hacks you're going to try first. To recap, they are:
#1 – Design a content creation method that puts YOU at the centre
#2 – Choose Topics that You're Curious About
#3 – Connect Your Content to Real People
#4 – Embrace content experiments
#5 – Outsource the Content Tasks You Don't Enjoy