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10 ways to make content creation take less time for your business

Hands up if you're running a business and have too many things to think about?

Adding content creation, social media and marketing your business to the list can lead to overwhelm.

To avoid overwhelm, there are ways to make creating content for social media, email marketing and your website take less time.

If you'd like daily advice on how to make your marketing quicker, simpler and more consistent, join us for The Best 90 Days Ever.

Here are 10 ways to make content creation quicker for your small business. If you'd like to jump to one of these just click the link below.

1. Look back at what you've already posted

If you're sitting there thinking 'I have no idea what to post or where to start' then your marketing is going to take a lot longer than it needs to.

To get you started, look back online at this time last year. You might find this easier to do on your laptop so you can copy and paste the text.

What did you write about? Can you copy the content and share it again? Could you use the same picture with a different caption? Did you send a newsletter? Write a blog?

Has your opinion changed? Why has it changed? Could that be a post?

Did you post something great for the bank holiday? Summer? Christmas?

Only a small percentage of your audience will see your posts each time and if they can remember what you posted last year I'd be very impressed. We spend all this time writing content and then only share it once so make things easy for yourself and look back at something you posted last year to share it again.

2. Ask your audience what they need

When we don’t know what to share each day, we end up sharing nothing!

You can save time on your marketing just by asking your audience what they want to see, hear and read.

There are a couple of ways you can do this, and you might say - but Hannah this is adding time, not taking it away! It will take longer, at first. But the ideas that your audience gives you will be invaluable and mean you are writing content that speaks directly to them.

1. Ask a member of your audience if you can talk to them for 15 - 30 minutes. Help them with a problem, but listen to what questions they are asking you. Do they look at things in a way you hadn’t thought about?

2. Ask questions using polls on Instagram, Facebook or in your email. Get specific. Don’t ask - ‘what can I help you with?’ Ask for details about each area and encourage replies or do a Q&A session. Even if only your friends answer, they might ask in a way you hadn’t thought about.

3. Set up a survey with a few quick questions you can ask your audience that will lead to detailed answers. See if there is anyone who will answer them for you (you can reward them with a discount or freebie!) or add this form to your website after someone purchases. I like to use Google forms.

The main thing is to listen. Listen to your audience and the problems they have that you can help with. Listen to the way they describe their business and the words they use. Write down everything that you hear for this task and keep it somewhere safe.

3. Turn the ideas into content

You should hopefully have ideas, words, phrases and questions floating around from your audience. Now you've asked the right questions you can think about turning this into content.

This content can usually be turned into a social media post such as a graphic or a carousel that answers the questions your audience has asked. But what else could you do?

Squeeze the juice out of this content!

  • You could put a few of these questions together and turn them into a helpful FAQ blog.

  • You could make it into a newsletter based on a conversation with your audience you’ve had this week.

  • You could do a live video where you explain the answer to a question.

  • You could do a short video for Tik Tok or a reel where you give a quick tip around the subject.

  • You could even ask one of the people who answered your survey to come and do a live video with you or a podcast.

The trick with creating content quickly is to not waste time coming up with new ideas. If your audience is telling you they want to hear more about X Y or Z, then tell them that! Repetition is key.

4. Limit the time you spend on content creation

Content creation will only take the time that you give it. If you give it hours, you’ll spend hours. If you give it 10 minutes, you’ll take 10 minutes. I'm not saying the content you create in 10 minutes will be as good as the content you create in an hour, but it will be done. Scrappy. Out there!

Sometimes we have to let go of perfectionism and think about the benefits of promoting our business and just getting it out there. No one else will notice if you stumbled over a word or if you think one of the sentences could be better.

Set a timer for 10 minutes and see what you can do in that time. Before you do this, think about the time of day that you are most productive.

If you struggle to get anything done in the afternoon (like me!) then trying to write an 800 word blog post is not a good idea. But early in the morning or late at night with a cup of tea? I can write so much more.

  • Can you record a quick 30 second video with a tip?

  • Can you finish a post that you’ve had in your drafts?

  • Can you copy a post from a few months ago?

  • Could you write the outline of your next newsletter?

Creating content quickly is something that takes practice. Once you get into the habit and routine it gets much easier to do, but you can only get quicker if you start trying to be quicker.

See how you get on and make sure there is a reward at the end. A cup of tea usually works for me! How much can you get done in 10-minute bursts today?

5. Make content creation easier for yourself

How often do you make content creation easy for yourself? To do this it’s about working out what easy means for you.

  • If you hate writing but you enjoy recording videos, do more of that.

  • If you like videos but never know what to say, read out one of your blog posts.

  • If you hate the sound of your own voice, focus on useful blogs that drive traffic to your website.

  • If you always struggle with which image to post, try taking some as you’re out and about today.

  • You could also take some short videos and put them together in a reel to show a behind the scenes.

  • If you have a product, show how you’d use it over the weekend or how it is a part of your life too.

Most businesses benefit from being more relatable and one of the ways you can do that is by relaxing and doing the easiest thing for you when it comes to your content.

When it feels simple and easy it makes it so much easier for content creation to be quicker.

6. Organise your content

Instead of scrambling trying to find something to post all the time, have your content saved somewhere easy to reach. There are so many options for this and it really is up to you which one you choose. Try them out and see which one you get on with!

A few you might like to try include Trello, Notion, Asana or even just a Google doc.

I have boards on Trello for my content and I also have boards for each of my courses.

It means when I want to launch something that I’ve promoted before I don’t have to start from scratch each time.

I save the graphics I use, social media posts, blog posts, newsletters, ideas for reels and anything I think would be useful.

You can do this for different times of the year, different products if you have new launches and even just themes for your content. Setting up a system like this to save your content will pay off massively over time.

Give yourself a little bit of time to get organised. Just 20 minutes can save so much stress and overwhelm in the long run.

7. Learn to spark ideas for when your mind is blank

How often do you sit down at a blank screen with a plan to ‘create content’ and end up doing nothing for 30 minutes?

Starting from nothing can be really tricky, but starting with ideas already is much easier.

One way around this is to learn what sparks ideas for you.

When you get an idea, pop it in a note on your phone or somewhere safe where you know you can come back on content creation days. This will help to make the process faster because you have a foundation to start with.

Some of my favourite ways to get ideas are…

Watch - Watch TV shows and look for the message, watch Youtube videos from experts, watch what happens when you post different types of content.

Look - Look around, what’s working well for others? Look for messages that could turn into posts, look at what’s trending and new, look at what you enjoy doing.

Listen - Listen to what your clients are saying. What questions are they asking? What do they need help with? What do they love? Listen to podcasts about your industry and the themes they are talking about.

Learn - Learn more and share your knowledge, learn how to do new things, learn what your audience likes and dislikes, learn how to send emails or do reels.

Before you try to create content, whether it’s for newsletters, blogs, social media or videos, try sparking some ideas first.

8. Repeating your message

Many business owners worry about being too repetitive, but if you’re repeating the same message that’s a good thing.

It’s the thing you’ll be known for and what customers will think of when they think of your business.

What we want to aim for is a website and social media that feels consistent and part of that is talking about the same messages.

Here is a simple way you can do that.

A. Take a big piece of content and chop it up

B. Take smaller pieces of content and put them together.

What do I mean by that?

Taking a bigger piece of content could mean taking a blog and picking out key parts for social media posts.

It could be recording a podcast and taking bits to record a video. Use those big chunky pieces for lots of smaller things.

If you have lots of smaller pieces of content you can put these together to make something bigger.

One of my favourite ways to do this is by creating a ‘5 ways to…’ blog post using my social media posts.

Pick your top 5 of something and put all of those together into a blog. This also works well for product businesses, post about each one individually and then put them together in a round-up.

It’s quicker, it shows you as an expert and it helps you reach audiences who view content in different ways.

9. Structuring your content with content pillars

Sometimes I don't like structure and sometimes it’s the one thing that helps me get things done.

With content, structure can often be a good thing especially if you’re used to procrastinating.

Often we don't need to spend hours scheduling content, we just need to have a plan that keeps us on track and reminds us of the content we haven't posted recently.

To add some structure into your content you might find content pillars useful.

Think of content pillars as themes for the type of content you want to post.

By grouping content together in themes, you can often see the type of content you’re missing out on, and I bet for many of you it’s selling!

Content pillars can be whatever you want them to be and what your audience will find useful, but here are some I use myself.

- Selling/promotional ---- What can people buy from you this week?

- Educational - How can you educate them on a topic?

- Shareable - What would they want to share?

- Personal - A post about you or your brand

- Entertaining - A meme or reel to make them laugh

- User-generated content - Pictures, reviews, testimonials

How can you use different methods to show these? Why not try an IGTV, reels, posts, live videos or newsletters.

10. Putting in a plan to stop procrastination

We’ve been talking about making content creation quicker, but when it comes to running a business there are many things we want to take less time.

- Our tax return (have you started yet?)

- Sending invoices

- Packing up orders

- Updating our website

The best way to make these things take less time is to look at what is making you distracted and put a plan in place to stop.

Sounds simple doesn’t it.

Here are a few of the ways that work for me…

  • Clearing my desk

  • Getting up earlier to write without distractions

  • Use the Forest app to block my phone (actually life changing)

  • The Pomodoro technique

  • Setting a timer for small tasks I’m putting off

  • Listening to library sounds or music with no words

  • Making a list in Notion

  • Organising my content in Trello so I know what I’m working on

If I want things to be quick, the distractions have to go!

What works for you to get things done quicker?

I really hope you’ve enjoyed these tips!

If you'd like daily advice on how to make your marketing quicker, simpler and more consistent, join us for The Best 90 Days Ever.

It's a 3-month membership for just £34.99 with daily marketing support, an amazing community and advice on how to get the most from your social media so you can enjoy promoting your business.


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