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When It’s Time To Recycle In Your Business

When It’s Time To Recycle In Your Business

“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.”
~ Fred Rogers

I want to talk to you about recycling in your business. What it is, why it’s important and when it might be time to start recycling in yours.

My word of the year has been EASE for the past two years. One of the overarching goals of my business at all times is:

To make more money, doing less work, without sacrificing impact.

This is something that guides the many business decisions I take and recycling is a huge part of this for me.

What do I mean by recycling?

I basically mean reusing things that you have already created in your business to achieve further growth.

I also refer to this as repurposing. Some examples include:

  • Re-sharing content on different platforms or in different formats. For example, turning a long-form blog post like this one into a carousel like this one on Instagram.
  • Taking something you’ve created for one purpose and recycling it to use for something else. For example, I’ve taken classes that I’ve taught to my Conscious Business Mastermind and recycled them into paid for workshops to my larger audience or used them for presentations in a colleague’s membership.
  • Taking a class that you’ve taught and turning it into an interactive free (or paid) challenge or vice versa — taking a challenge you’ve created and turning it into a paid offering.

Why is it important to recycle?

 As conscious folks, we wouldn’t think twice about recycling our waste for the sake of the planet. Being mindful about resources and recycling where possible is a given for many of my clients, yet when it comes to business and our own precious resources like time and energy, we’re far more laid back.

It takes time to create content and the longer you’ve been in business the more content and resources you will undoubtedly have created. Something I see often is people pouring their heart and soul into creating something wonderful for their audience or customers and then never using that creation again.

Perhaps you’ve written a ton of blog posts, that largely sit there, unread because you barely get any visitors to your website. Perhaps you spent hours and days creating an amazing free challenge for your community but once completed, it is never looked at again.

If you’re anything like me, you might be sat on a goldmine of resources that could be recycled into fresh content, workshops, classes, ebooks and countless other possible products.

Despite this, for some reason, we’d often rather spend twice as long creating something new than taking something that already exists and recycling it to make the most of the time and energy you’ve already invested.

I’m not sure why we do this. Perhaps it’s because we feel we should always be creating something new lest our audience think we’re not working hard enough. Perhaps it’s because we think that we only deserve financial rewards if we’re working really hard. It could also be boredom and our propensity to veer towards new and shiny rather than old and dusty!

Regardless of the reason, I do believe we have a propensity to look ahead and leave behind things from the past, even if they still hold value for us and our audience.

Recycling, however, allows our time and energy to be put to best use. It also allows our audience to go deep with our work rather than hear something once, never to hear of it again. It’s a way to create ease in your business without reducing impact and can often mean a much-needed boost in income.

Time to recycle

If you’re brand new in business then you might not have much to recycle but if you’ve been at this for a few years then you might be surprised by how much you do have that with a little time and effort could be repurposed and used to benefit not only your audience but also your bottom line.

In just four and half years, I created 116 blog posts, ran 4 free challenges and delivered well over 20 workshops and classes. Some of these I’ve repurposed or recycled, many I haven’t. I know that with a little thought and effort, there’s a ton of “new” things I could create with this old content.

I could launch new and improved workshops and generate a welcome boost to my income.

I could collate many of my articles and turn them into a book about conscious business.

I could run many of my smaller classes into longer, more in depth deep dive group programs.

I could turn free content into paid content.

The possibilities are endless. Which is why sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in indecision and overwhelm.

Can you relate?

If you are sat on an archive of content, here’s what I recommend:

Step 1. Create a place (ideally online, ideally a spreadsheet) to pull together in one place a full list of all the content you have created.

Step 2. Review your content. Now you don’t necessarily have to read every single piece of content or rewatch every single video. But review the titles and reacquaint yourself with the body of work you have created.

Step 3. Dive deeper into the pieces that excite you. As you review there will be pieces of content that you had forgotten you even created, that you feel a surge of excitement about or simply a pull to revisit. Go deep with those pieces, read them, if it’s a video of a class, watch it. And as you do think of ways to improve and recycle it for your audience.

Step 4. Can you turn it into a paid product? Could it bring in a boost of income this month or next? If the answer is yes, then go for it. And please let me know how you get on.

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The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

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10 Things That Support My Content Creation Habit

10 Things That Support My Content Creation Habit

In this blog, I share the tools and strategies I’ve adopted over the years to facilitate a consistent content creation habit for my business.

I hadn’t fully appreciated, till I started to really think about it, just how many things I have in place to make the delivery of my content marketing strategy as easeful as possible.

Without further ado let’s dive in.

1. I create sacred space

Since my business really took a few years ago, my schedule has become very full. Despite that, I have Monday mornings blocked off in my calendar for content creation. This time is held sacred, I don’t bump it to squeeze in other things, I don’t skip out on it when I don’t feel like it. Monday mornings = content creation and that’s just the way it is. Does that mean I always produce a finished piece? Nope, sometimes despite my best efforts, I don’t get a piece of content created or published but the commitment to trying is there.

Something to mention is that I used to have content creation in my schedule daily and I actually found that then it was easier to miss or skip those sessions. Knowing that the only space in my week is Monday mornings means that I know that if I don’t do it then, it won’t get done.

2. I have a deadline

Monday afternoons through to end of play Thursday are filled with 1:1 and group coaching calls. If I don’t get the piece written before lunchtime on Monday, I know it won’t go out because I literally don’t have the space in my week to finish it. This is what happened last week. I have a half written piece about Visibility sat in my drafts folder because it was too big a task to finish in the time I had available and half-way through writing it, I ran out of steam.

Having this lunchtime deadline on a Monday really helps to motivate me to get my ideas out of my head without overthinking it too much. It also means that if I miss the deadline, I don’t send out content that week.

3. I use accountability

This comes in the form of mindful coworking sessions from the cabin. These are 75 minute sessions that contain movement, meditation and a 52 minute focused working session. They are run by a client of mine, which gives me an extra reason to go and for me they are brilliant. I’m actually typing this very piece in my morning cabin session.

Coworking with others and sharing my intention for what I plan to get done during the session keeps me focused on the task at hand. Left to my own devices, with the whole morning open for content creation, it’s easy to succumb to distraction. To open up social media or my email and get lost in busy work. working alongside 4 or 5 other people, knowing that we’re all trying to complete an important task really helps me stay on task.

4. Never miss twice

Years ago I watched a video, in which someone shared the idea that if we endeavour to never miss a habit two days (or two times) in a row, we’re guaranteed to hit our target at least 50% of the time. I loved this idea so much and it has played a big part in how I approach habits in my life and business ever since. Allow me to explain what this means in practice, when it comes to content creation.

My commitment is to create one piece of long form content a week. However, there are times I don’t manage to do this. Maybe I’m just really not feeling it that day and as hard as I try the words won’t come, sometimes I’m sick or one of my children is, sometimes I’m exhausted (two children under the age of 5 will do that) and I just need to go back to bed for an hour. Whatever the reason, I don’t execute my plan to create content every single week and I am completely okay with that. If I miss a week, for whatever reason, I’m not going to give myself a hard time about it.

What I’m less relaxed about is missing my commitment two weeks in a row. This never miss twice idea makes so much sense to me that it’s how I overcame my resistance to writing this very letter this morning. Because I missed last week, I knew that missing today would break my never miss twice rule and the reason I’m so strict about it is because if we go too many days or times in a row without honouring our commitment we undermine our self-trust and it becomes increasingly more difficult to get back on track. To hear James Clear, author of Atomic Habits talking about this in a super short video click here.

5. My Content Strategy

Another things that provides accountability for my habit of content creation is that my entire content strategy depends on it. My whole approach to content marketing is to create one solid piece of content each week and then repurpose it so that I can publish daily content without having to create daily content.

My whole strategy is create — repurpose — promote.

If I skip the create part too many weeks in a row the whole strategy collapses. It’s taken me years to create a marketing system that is simple, enjoyable and that brings in new clients, so the idea of not showing up for the most important part of that system is often enough to get my butt in the chair.

6. I plan ahead

Planning what I’m going to write about before I sit down to write is make or break for me. If I sit down to my Monday morning cabin session with no idea what I’m going to write about or several ideas for what I could write about, I know for a fact that I won’t get a newsletter out that day. No joke it’s that clear cut.

Not having thought about my content idea ahead of time means I inevitably spend the time allocated to create, thinking instead. My ideal is to have come up with the topic for my piece of content the Friday before so that my subconscious can chew it over in the background over the weekend. Sometimes, however, like with this piece, I came up with the idea less than 30 minutes before I sat down at my desk, but that still gave me enough of a head start to be able to start writing as soon as my content creation session began.

7. I write about what is

Years ago I dreamt about being the kind of content creator who could batch create content and have a month of newsletters or blog posts pre-written and pre-scheduled but since then, I’ve well and truly let that dream go. Why? Because I feel inspired to create when it relates to what is going on for me and/or my clients in the present moment.

Let’s use this piece for example. It started life as a newsletter and the Monday it was due to be sent, I hadn’t come up with an idea for it on the previous Friday. Given my weekends are busy with my family, I didn’t get a chance to think about it until the morning it was due to go out. On my walk I went back and forth on several ideas, capturing some of them by talking into my phone, but none of them felt right (you know how it goes). Then the thought of not sending a newsletter out popped into my head and all of the reasons I’ve outlined above started to come up. I’d missed the week before, so don’t want to miss another week, I had a cabin session planned in so I didn’t want to waste or miss it, if I didn’t write something that day, my assistant wouldn’t have anything to repurpose a month from now etc etc.

And then it hit me, I could simply share with you all the things I have in place to support my content creation habit. Et voila 🙂 Looking at what is present for me right now, is often all the inspiration I need.

8. I draw on real conversations

Similar to my last point, I also draw much of my inspiration from my conversations with other business owners, my clients and mastermind participants, I have many coaching sessions each week and these conversations are rich with ideas and topics for content that I know will help my audience.

Side note: In case you are wondering, this is where I got up to in my 52 minute coworking session — not bad eh? What happens when I put a timer on a task and throw in some shared accountability is nothing short of magic! 🙂

Now if you don’t have a schedule filled with client sessions to draw on, don’t despair. There is nothing to stop you having regular conversations with your ideal clients. These could be complimentary sessions, research calls or just virtual coffee dates, the format doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you are out in the world talking to the very people you’re trying to support. Hearing from your ideal clients directly about what they are struggling with and need support with has been an endless source of inspiration for me.

9. I always have you in mind

If I didn’t have the reader in mind when I sit down to create content, I think I would find it overwhelming. There are so many things I could talk about in the realm of business and so many ways to talk about them that I would struggle to know where to even begin. What works for me is to think, first and foremost, about what would support you the reader, as I craft my piece of content.

It’s for this reason that I focus mainly on content that moves the reader from doubt and resistance to clarity and action.

My hope for nearly every piece of content I create is that they contain practical strategies you can go away and try on for size, that the content is genuinely useful and practical rather than simply inspiring or thought-provoking. Don’t get me wrong, inspiring content has its place but always coming back to the question: What can I share that will support my audience to grow their business? really helps me to create my content with more ease and flow.

10. I have space to think

And last but not least, I walk every day — now for an hour, which gives me 5 hours of thinking time each week. Time to mull over content ideas as well as listen to business podcasts (a brilliant source of inspiration). Having space to think (albeit no so much that I overthink) is essential to me and it’s why I upped my morning walk from 30 minutes to an hour.

Of course I don’t just think about content, I think about my offerings and business model, my business goals and other ways to make my business work for me, so that I can enjoy life as much as possible. Not just that, but I’m finding that as a result of these daily walks I have so much more energy and feel so much more alert than before. And it’s worth noting that sometimes I don’t think about work at all and instead spend the time taking beautiful sunrise photos, leave voice love notes for friends and family or simply listening to music.

So there you have it, ten things I do to support my content creation habit. I truly hope that you find a few things in this list that you can use to support you. If you feel called to, please leave a comment and let me know what practices you might adopt in your own content creation efforts.

SIGN UP FOR MY SOULFUL STRATEGIES WEEKLY

 

Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.