For far too long, as business owners and solopreneurs, we have been forcing ourselves to create content, even when we hate it. We think that because we are not primarily bloggers or content creators, there's no room for enjoyment in the process. Creating content becomes similar to forcing yourself to go to the gym or the dentist. Or is it just me? Try shaking off the shoulds.
If you feel like you should create certain content, you have probably asked yourself these questions:
Should we quit content creation if we hate it?
The problem with quitting content creation is that you miss out on all the benefits that come along with content marketing such as increased visibility, increased sales and increased trust from your audience and leads. Content is not something that you want to quit and I don't think that content rebellion means bucking the trend and giving up completely.
I do think that there's a way to find more enjoyment in the process of content creation. Finding this joy takes a little bit of reflection on your content strategy and method of creating content to find what works for you.
Why do we keep getting stuck in the content creation struggle?
We are surrounded by what the experts, bloggers and other business owners are telling us we should be doing to make our content marketing work (I’ve been guilty of this myself). These pressures and expectations are enough to make the most creative of us hate the very idea of creating.
If you feel like you are stuck in a tug of war between having to create content but hating the process, the first step is to put down the rope for a moment.
If you were to honestly try to do all of the things that people say you should do you're not going to have time for anything else. You are not going to have any time for being creative in your content creation.
This is the place we get stuck in. We find ourselves not being able to do all of the shoulds so we feel like giving up completely.
Why quitting content is usually the wrong solution
I think that content marketing is the most powerful, affordable and effective way to build a business today. Even when it seems like there's new content being published every second, it is still one of the most effective ways to get found and to stay top of mind with your ideal clients.
I get a lot of people telling me that they hate content. I also hear a lot of people telling me that it's something that they can't keep up with or struggle to stay consistent with. But what I suspect is true in the majority of cases is this: We often confuse disliking content creation because we hate the how we’re forcing on ourselves.
Try Shaking Off the Shoulds and Create a Clean Slate
“I try not to listen to the shoulds or coulds and try to get beyond expectations, peer pressure, or we're trying to please and just listen. I believed all answers are ultimately within us.” – Kim Catrall
So next up is our title activity, shaking off the shoulds, so as I mentioned we're going to take stock of all of those things that you've been told you're supposed to do by other experts, mentors, peers, blog posts you've read, all of those shoulds. Because while some of them are exactly what you should be doing if they fit with what you actually enjoy doing, many of them are not.
And since you can't possibly do them all, we're going to get really clear on what you want to be doing so that the shoulds actually start to appear and they're going to be a lot clearer on the next steps and the things that you should be focusing on.
So this absolutely applies to our content strategies as well as just our lives in general.
Step 1: Brain Dump
Write down everything you’ve been told you’re supposed to be doing in your business or how you should be using content from peers, mentors, family members, friends, colleagues, blog posts or content you’ve read. Some of these things might be exactly what you want to be doing, some are way off base. But we won’t know until we see them all in one place and can look at each one. So we need to see the full menu before we can make our selections.
So you might write down stuff like using Facebook ads or start doing webinars or collaborations, anything that you've thought about doing or have been told that you should be trying. So pause the videos, set a timer, I like about 5 to 10 minutes and just do a brain dump of all of these things. The rest of the workshop is going to be here when you're ready to hit play.
Step 2: Make a Colour-Coded Mess
Get at least 3 coloured pens or highlighters and evaluate each item using the decision matrix. Colour code each item as either: (1) Yes! (2) No (3) Maybe/For Later
For the items you decide to include, we’ll build these into your final content rebellion plan
This was the motivation behind my upcoming book: Your Content Rebellion
Your Content Rebellion is all about shaking off the shoulds, what everyone else is telling you that you should be doing, and finding an experimental approach to find a content marketing strategy that you enjoy doing. I don't think that it's an if/or. You're not going to love content and not get results, but you’re also not going to hate content but get results because you force yourself to do it.
It is possible to have a content strategy for business growth that you enjoy that also gets you results.
That is why I wrote my book Your Content Rebellion – to help you rebel against the content creation treadmill and find a path to content creation you enjoy.