These dresses have something in common — other than the fact that I’ll likely never have the chance to wear them during a Scottish summer.
Each one of them was a panic purchase.
Two of them were bought when I was actually on holiday and realised that a couple of big meals and a pitcher of sangria was all it took for me to burst out of the already-too-small dresses I’d stuffed in my suitcase two days earlier. Whoops.
The other was a last-minute buy one year when I realised that half of my holiday wardrobe was too big — and only had one day to do something about it.
And I don’t actually like any of them. Not really.
They don’t make me feel great, they don’t fit that well, they aren’t really my style, and they don’t reflect the way I want people to see me.
And, unless you’re an experienced minimalist, a full-on fashionista, or someone who’s way more organised about holiday packing than I am, I bet your wardrobe has a few clangers too.
- You know…the ill-fitting dress you bought for a last-minute party because you couldn’t find anything else you liked.
- The new outfit you got for a night out on the town because all your pals had already seen all your ‘out out’ clothes.
- The shoes that pinch your toes and that you only purchased because you realised it had been ages since you last wore something new and you figured you should probably up your game a little.
So what the heck does this have to do with your content?
Because we so often treat our content creation in the same way we treat our wardrobes.
- We realise that we haven’t put anything out for ages so we scrabble to think of something to say.
- The deadline you set yourself for a new post is fast approaching and you’re coming up blank so you dash something off at the last minute and hope for the best.
- The post you cobble together because you worry that your feed is looking a little empty and you want to fill it with something — anything — just to make it look busier.
But, just as last-minute panic purchases are unlikely to do you any sartorial favours, last-minute content creation probably isn’t going to hit the spot either.
Instead of well-planned, creative, thought-provoking, strategic content, you’ll likely end up with the content equivalent of one of my summer dresses:
Something that doesn’t make you feel great, that doesn’t suit you, and that isn’t the best reflection of who you really are.
So how do you avoid this scattergun approach to content creation?
Create a strategy.
When you have a design strategy, clothes shopping becomes far easier (I imagine, I’m still trying to figure mine out!).
Instead of panic buying grungy band t-shirts if you usually prefer a more sophisticated look, or ending up with a gazillion things with ruffles when you’re usually more of a clean-lines kind of a person, you know exactly what look you’re going for and what kind of clothes would suit you. Not only will your strategy save you a bunch of time, it’ll save you from a world of embarrassment too.
So it is with your content strategy. When you know exactly what kind of content you want to put out there, what kind of message your want to convey, and what you want your business to look like, it becomes easier to weed out the stuff that simply won’t suit you or your brand.
Create a plan.
It sounds obvious — and it is — but that doesn’t mean we do it, right? But, rather than leave everything to the last minute, it really does help to do a bit of advance planning. So have a look at the next few months in your diary and think about what sort of content you might need.
Do you have any upcoming product launches? Any conferences you’re planning to attend? Are there any big events like Halloween or Christmas on the horizon?
Commit to repurposing.
Sorry, shopaholics, you do not need to wear something brand new to every networking meeting or conference. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing the same outfit twice. After all, people rarely remember what you were wearing last time and chances are you’ll be meeting a whole load of new faces who haven’t seen your favourite suit yet anyway.
Likewise, you do not need to post something fresh on every single channel, every single day/week/month.
That live Facebook video you did last week for example: have a think about how else you could use it. Could it be a jumping-off point for a podcast interview with a related expert? Could you expand on the points you made and write a blog post? Could you turn it into an Instagram or LinkedIn post?
Sure, it might feel like you’re being repetitive but apart from the fact that not everyone in your audience will have caught the original live video, the very act of repurposing something can give it new life, can help you come up with even more helpful information, or can encourage someone to look at a familiar topic in an entirely new way.
Now, if you need help sorting your wardrobe, I’m not the person to ask (see exhibit A). But, if you want help defining, planning, and creating content that suits you to a T, makes you feel incredible, and reflects exactly who you are (and who you want to be), give me a shout. I’d be happy to help.