I’ll be honest. I actually love creating content, but often dwell on sharing it. Why? Because I feel it’s not up to the standard. I know it could be more engaging, better designed, more specific. Perfectionism has always been a jealous friend.
Because of that, I take way too much time on content creation. I am not a designer, but also I don’t think of myself as a visually creative person. So, designing an Instagram carousel, for example, is a double-edged sword. On one side I love that it gives me an opportunity to practice my creativity. On the other, I don’t want to let myself publish something that most designers would throw in trash the second they look at it. So before I start, I usually spend some time finding inspiration in good design work, researching the composition rules, typography, contrast and all possible tips and tricks the web has to offer.
In the last month I have been thinking a lot about my on and off sharing, randomness in my content and lack of consistency. I decided that it has to come to an end. As I’m developing my business in marketing and building my own brand, I realized that without a solid structure at some point everything will crumble down.
I want to share with you my process, ideas and focus in creating content. This will be a 3-part article, and today we’re starting with the process necessary to build content creation mindset and habits. So, let’s cut to the chase.
1. Lack Of Identity = Lack Of Focus
Let’s cliché the hell out of this — IT STARTS WITH YOU.
Don’t just say it, feel it in your bones because it’s THAT important. I have wasted so much time on picking directions that have blurred out in couple of days. Not knowing who you want to become and what is your main mission is going to mess up your creation process and confuse your audience. Trust me.
Start from self-awareness and set your priorities straight. Choose one thing that truly matters and start talking about it 24/7. The narrower the focus, the bigger the opportunity.
“Stop talking about 1000 things once. Start talking about 1 thing, 1000 times.”
2. Define Your Brand Guidelines
Part of your identity on the web is your visual presentation. Choose your brand palette, your fonts, your icons and your communication voice. The more you can define what are the tools you have on disposal, the easier it will be to know how to design and present your content.
My Brand Color Palette:
My Brand Typeface: Poppins
My Communication Voice: relaxed, open, educational
3. Find Your Format
When you have your brand guidelines, it’s time to define your templates. You want to make your content creation as efficient as possible.
What is the most important thing in your content? The answer is — your message. It is one thing that will change from content to content, so the best way to start is to keep your format the same. Reduce the workload by choosing a format you like where you can easily just change the text and images.
4. Create A Realistic Plan
My goal here is to keep things simple, so I am not going to recommend apps where you can schedule your posts in advance. For most of them you also need a professional account so today we’re not going there.
To plan out what you want to post open a fresh and clean Excel document and start writing.
I dedicate 1 sheet to 1 month and give it a theme that I want to educate about. I write out all the dates in one column, specific topics in another and categorize if it will become an article, a carousel or a story. Here is my plan for the second half of February, themed — content creation:
It’s important to be realistic in your scheduling. Figure our first how much time it takes you to design the content and then estimate how often you want to do this.
5. Work Like A Chef — Cook In Batches
I have learned the hard way that creating content from scratch every time is a big waste of time. But then again, that’s me. It depends on how creative you are, what are your priorities and what format you are using.
I am not good in waking up every day and figuring out what I should post. Inspiration doesn’t always come easy and I struggle with keeping everything in the same tone.
I am trying to dedicate days to each part of the process. For example:
- Sunday: I will sit down and write my plan — topics for the content I will create in that month. As I have a theme of the month, the ideas come easy and they make sense together.
- Monday: I will start writing copy (texts) for the carousels and researching images that go with it.
- Tuesday and Wednesday: I will design carousels. This is the process that takes the most time since I want that my designs are not always completely the same, although they follow the same principles.
After that I publish day by day with everything being ready. For those who want to be more efficient and have a business profile, this is the time to schedule your posts for the whole month in an app or FB Creator Studio.
This is my process and for me it is essential if I want to produce content that is relevant and connected. In the second part of this topic I will talk about where to look for ideas what to write about.
There are many ways to get inspired and to tell good stories. All we need is a little push in the right direction and to build on that momentum.