[390] How to stop overthinking your content

Do you feel like you’re spending far too long on your content creation? Perhaps you procrastinate because you’re not sure if your topic(s) will resonate with your audience. Or maybe you worry because the topic has already been covered by a competitor and you’re worried people might think you’re ‘copying’ – or that people have just heard enough about it already. It could be that you hold back on sharing content because you’re worried you’ll look too ‘selly’, or you’re worried about offending people or /being judged/criticised.

If any of this sounds familiar, you’re almost certainly overthinking your content. Which means until you stop thinking – and start doing – your content planning and creation will continue to take you longer than you’d like.

In this podcast episode, I share practical strategies you can use to stop overthinking your content – so you can get more done in less time. 

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode}

1. Commit to a regular publishing schedule (and do it publicly) 

I release a new podcast episode every Friday – come hell or highwater. This means I can’t procrastinate or make excuses – I just have to pick a topic and go for it. 

Commit to publishing a blog, newsletter, podcast and/or even a social media post at the same time each week/month (or whatever you can manage. You’ll be amazed how it focuses the mind.

2. Create a content plan

You wouldn’t set off on a long car journey without directions. So if you don’t have a content plan – setting out what you’re going to publish, when and where – you’re likely to get lost. And I don’t just mean creating a content calendar, I mean understanding the type of content you publish on each platform.

So for example, with my podcast I know I generally publish one interview per month and three solo episodes of around 30-40 mins.

On Instagram, I publish three types of content on my grid:  educate, sell and inspire between 2- 4 times a day. And I aim to post on my Stories every day. 

3. Align your content to your paid product/services

If you have a copy of my 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner you’ll know I recommend planning your content around launches and/or ‘peak points’ in your business. Not only does this make it easier come up with content ideas, it can also help you decide what content you should be publishing when. 

For example, when I was launching my podcasting course, I scheduled a podcast episode on how to launch a podcast to go live around the same time. During the earlybird launch week, most of my content  focused on the topic of podcasting, including blogs on compelling reasons to start a podcast to common concerns about my podcasting course. I also did a number of social media posts/Instagram Stories focused on common objections to starting a podcast. So there was little time on the content schedule for anything else. 

If you sell just one product/service you may be thinking: “My business is static – there aren’t going to be any new launches, products and/or events?’. But that is exactly the point. Even if you sell just one product/service, you shouldn’t be promoting it in exactly the same way all year round – otherwise people will start to ‘tune out’ from your content. 

So how can you create peak points in your year that allow you to create fresh excitement around your product/services? The obvious choice is hosting a sale/special offer, but if that isn’t appropriate for your business, there are still many other things you can do. For example:

  • Host an online webinar/challenge
  • Collaborate with related businesses to host an online/in person event
  • Host your own awareness day/week. Find out how here 
  • Publish a special series of blog posts/podcasts around a specific theme
  • Launch your Facebook group, podcast, Youtube channel – if you plan ahead you can make an ‘event’ of it

Even if you sell a seasonal product like my 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner you have to keep thinking of fresh ways to talk about your product – otherwise your followers will switch off. For example, we recently took one of the dates from the diary – Blue Monday and created a Banish Blue Monday campaign, where we offered a special rate on the Hawaiian style diary in the week running up to Blue Monday and a chance to win a pizza. This created a much-needed buzz about the diaries (which we had been marketing for over 90 days). 

You may also find yourself thinking ‘but what if my plans change during the year?’

Just because you write something down doesn’t mean you have to do it. Things may change in your business during the year and that’s fine. But it’s much less time-consuming to tweak a plan you’ve already worked on than to start from scratch. So just apply your best thinking right now.

4. Don’t create images for every post  – just ask questions 

If you’re struggling to keep on top of your content creation, it may be because you’re creating images for every single post. But you don’t need to. In fact, text-based posts can often outperform image-led posts. 

Asking questions can be a great way to get engagement on social media. For example, some of my best-performing posts on LinkedIn include: do you give your real name in Starbucks, should you bother posting on LinkedIn if you’re not getting any engagement or (I kid you not) which topping do you prefer on your pizza.

Don’t get up hung about your content not being related to your business (although it’s usually possible to find a business ‘angle’). People like to do business with people. Which is why you may find personal subjects often get more engagement than business- related topics. And once you’ve developed a personal connection, it’s usually much easier to start talking business.

5. Forget about fancy equipment

One of my clients shared recently that he was struggling to meet his commitment to publish a weekly video on Youtube in 2020. The reason? He was new to the platform and had to figure out how it all worked. Plus he had to learn video editing first. Which meant he’d have to delay his video content for a few months. 

I advised him to shoot a video on his phone and put it on IGTV (Instagram’s version of Youtube). In the time he was stressing about learning YouTube, he could be publishing content and building his audience. He posted his first video on YouTube a few days later and has managed to keep up his posting schedule since. 

Remember that social media is about exactly that – being social. And you don’t need to create pro-level video to create a connection with your audience. Which is why Instagram Stories is so powerful. Showing people behind the scenes of your business – and simply what you’re working on that day – can be a great way to connect with your audience. 

6. Do live video instead of pre-recorded

If you’re overthinking your video content, it’s generally because you’re suffering from perfectionism i.e. you want every video you make to be perfect. Live video is the perfect antidote to that….because you can’t be perfect. If you make a mistake, you have to keep going.  The confidence this gives you will help you when you do create pre-recorded video content. 

And finally, remember there is only one of you. If you’re worried about covering a particular topic, remember there is only one of you – which means they can never have your unique ‘take on the topic.

Podcast shownotes

  • About this podcast episode (2:50)
  • Why making a public commitment to regular content will stop you procrastinating (3:58)
  • Why creating a content plan will take the overthinking out of your content (5:55)
  • Why planning the type of you need to create will stop you overthinking it (7:32)
  • Why planning ta schedule for your content will stop you overthinking (9:11)
  • How aligning your content with your paid services/products will give you focus (10:40)
  • How to plan your content if you sell the same product or service all year round (13:08)
  • How to create peak points in your business if you sell the same thing every year (18:09)
  • Why you should apply your best thinking  and not let details hold you back (20:04)
  • Why you shouldn’t let the worry about creating images get in the way of content (20:17)
  • Why you shouldn’t get hung up about posting business stuff all the time (22:01)
  • How overthinking equipment can hold you back from creating content (24:13)
  • Why you should do your video live rather than prerecord it (27:46)
  • Why you shouldn’t worry about having the same content ideas as someone else  (31:10)


How to create an editorial calendar for your business (blog post)

[343] The three audiences you must build to create a successful online business (podcast)
[346] How to look and feel more confident on video with Ian Anderson Gray (podcast)
[348] How to write social media posts that sell (podcast)
[355] How to create and launch your own planner (podcast)
[358] 13 Ideas for engaging social media posts for when you’re all out of ideas (podcast)
[374] How to create a year’s worth of content in one morning (podcast)
[381] How to use awareness days to create content for your business (podcast)
[386] The four types of content to create that will help you make more sales in 2020 (podcast)
[387] How to create more content in less time with Amy Woods (podcast)

How to write social media posts that sell (online masterclass) 

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