“The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.”
– Elder Uchtdorf
If ever there was a time to create, it’s now.
Creating content is vitally important for our businesses, each other, and our souls.
There’s no doubt these are interesting times we’re living in. Everyone is trying to find a new normal and figure out what feels right in terms of what to say and how to say it. Some people feel like they shouldn’t be making offers and selling while others are saying we have a responsibility to keep selling.
We fall into the latter category.
I have no doubt that when we get to the other side of the COVID-19 crisis it will be entrepreneurs and small businesses that bring us out of this.
In fact, history has proven that plenty of people thrive during times like these. It’s through innovation, persistence, and commitment to serving that people succeed.
Before I get into why you need to be creating now, I’ve got a wee bit of a rant to get off my chest.
I’ve seen so many social posts coming from ‘hustlers’ about what a waste of time T.V. is or why you should be putting something good into your head.
“Why would you watch Netflix when there’s so much you could be learning and improving upon?”
Human beings are not wired to be in a state of productivity 24/7.
Trust me, I used to believe this and took pride in how productive I was.
We need time to decompress and switch our brains off.
The last thing people need right now is to be shamed.
As esoteric as it may sound, feeling good is more important than producing.
Because when you feel good what you produce is better.
Being kind to yourself is the first step to feeling better. Allowing yourself to have some fun, make the most of a challenging situation, and not judging yourself is just the beginning.
Doing things that feed your soul in all areas of your life will only benefit your business and customers.
Let’s start with ‘Why You MUST Continue Creating Content Right Now.”
For starters, you’re in business.
Content is simply marketing and now is not the time to stop marketing. In. fact, I’d say it’s just the opposite. Everyone is at home and online. We need to know that things are continuing to move forward.
A friend of mine, Lisa Delaney Anderson says:
I couldn’t agree with her more.
Being altruistic in all areas of your business will cause you to go out of business.
The more profitable and successful you are the more good you can do in the world.
I listen to a podcast called “For the Love of Money” by Chris Harder.
In his intro, he says: “…where we are making you unapologetic about your pursuit of success by sharing the tools, tips, and stories of those who have already made it. My name is Chris Harder and each week I’ll bring you incredible guests to prove that when good people make good money, they do great things.”
It’s a lot easier to help others when we’ve taken care of ourselves first.
We hear this every time we get on an airplane (which might be a while): put on your oxygen mask first! (hard to help anyone else when you’re not breathing, right?).
Become a resource.
Back in the day when I was still running ‘The WPChick’, I realized I need to step up my engagement on my Facebook page. This was before I had started my podcast and really found my voice.
Because I was still finding my way, I decided that I would share as many valuable resources as I possibly could. I made sure to subscribe to WordPress related blogs, newsletters, and paid attention to what was happening with plugins and themes.
I didn’t just share things on my page though. I made sure to add a little commentary, thought, or extra content as to why I was sharing it.
I became a trusted resource because I wasn’t just pushing my own content at people.
At some point in the last few years, you’ve probably heard Gary V. use the term “Jab, jab, jab, right hook.”
This basically means, give, give, give, sell.
Word of warning: be VERY careful about ONLY giving right now. It’s imperative for the livelihood of your business and personal well-being that you keep making offers, selling, and producing income for yourself.
Nothing will build resentment faster than creating an audience of freebie-seekers whom you have trained to never buy from you.
Keep it real.
I recently shared that I’ve made a big move in my life. I moved from Northern California to Boise, Idaho.
This move has been in the works prior to everything happening with COVID-19. I double-checked with the property managers and moving company that everything was still o.k. and made sure there was a contingency plan in place.
Was I nervous?
A lot has changed, very quickly with my business.
While I know a couple of people in Boise, I don’t have any roots or life-long connections here. My furniture still hasn’t arrived (a week later) and my body hates me from sleeping on the floor and air mattresses.
But here’s the thing…
There’s nothing I can do about most of what is going on.
What I CAN do is keep moving forward. I shared this with my audience and am continuing to share the journey. People want to do business with people.
I do believe there is a fine line between sharing and dumping.
You’re the only one who can answer this, but make sure you are sharing from a place of moving forward, reflection, and awareness. No one needs more drama or negativity dumped in their lap.
Creating is good for your soul.
Ideally, you do what you do because you love it.
When you create content from that place I can guarantee you it will resonate with others. Which is exactly what the planet needs right now.
To feel good.
This doesn’t mean we should pretend we’re not scared, worried, or have serious concerns. We’re human and we’re going to feel those things, but you always have a choice. Allow the feelings, just don’t feed them.
You can’t always wait until you “feel” like creating content.
Often times when I know it’s time to produce or publish something I’m not in the mood. Then as soon as I start the work I find myself getting in the mood. No one talks to this principle better than Stephen Pressfield in his book “The War of Art”. If you’ve not read this book, I highly recommend it (and this is a good reminder to myself to re-read it).
In the book, he talks about how he goes to his desk every day to write, whether he wants to or not. He sits and writes for a set period of time.
Does this mean you should force things?
Not at all. But it can be very easy to create a habit of needing to feel inspired to do the work… this usually leads to no work.
Show up, do the work, and edit later.
There’s something magical that happens when you do what you say you’re going to do. Focus on mastery of the craft and let go of the outcome. The more you master, the better the outcome.
Context is everything.
I’ve been ranting for a while about people who push the idea that you can “create content for a year!” with templates, repurposed videos, etc. This is horrible advice.
Can you create evergreen content that provides massive value and connects with your audience that will stand the test of time?
Of course, but most of the messages behind this ‘set it and forget it’ content creation isn’t coming from that place.
SO much has happened in my life and business in the past year that there is no way that I would want something I created last May to be what I’m sharing and publishing today (I’m not referring to content that has been queued in a social scheduling tool and is being reshared).
What if you are a retailer or restaurant selling things for Easter and spring? Do you think any messaging you created months ago would be usable today? Possibly.
But most likely it would be completely off.
Restaurants and retailers are having to completely shift the way they do business if they’re able to be in business at all right now.
What would be much more helpful is to do what Marcus Sheridan did during the economic crash of 2008. Long story short, he had a fiberglass pool company and couldn’t afford the marketing budget they had been planning. So he simply started creating content by answering questions his customers had.
Without a doubt, his content saved his business. You can read about how he did this and his story in his book, “They Ask You Answer.”
Too many people overthink content creation.
You can’t get much simpler than answering questions your customers are asking, can you?
Lastly, to wrap this all up, if you want to go a little deeper with all of this, Content Marketing Institute has a post and podcast that addresses this very issue.
Listen to “What Is Your Brand’s Responsibility To Content Now?” here.
The world needs you.
Keep showing up and keep creating content.