Procrasticontent – you know that content that we tell ourselves is so important, but it’s really to avoid the REAL work? Believe me, I know all about this, and it’s something I have to be vigilant against at all times, and I see it in entrepreneurs so often; because if your website’s always in draft mode, you don’t have to beat yourself up for the fact that you’re not fully booked yet! And if you’re slaving away on an epic blog series, it’s ok to skip that facebook live, surely?
But here’s the thing, unless we recognise what this kind of behaviour really means for our business, we are never going to get to those big lofty dreams of where we really want to be; whether that’s touching the lives of millions with books and podcasts, or growing a loyal, dedicated following of thousands who love everything that you do.
So that’s what this episode of the Content Download is all about. A gentle little wake up call/ friendly kick up the butt/ “I’m telling you this for your own good” real talk, that’s basically saying: “STOP HIDING!”. So have a listen.
HOW TO LISTEN
Listen here, scroll down for the transcript or subscribe via Apple podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast app.
Have you ever spent so long crafting a blog post, that you don’t have time to show up on your social media channels that week? Or maybe, you’re on draft 327 of your website (which is never finished)? Or perhaps you keep saying you can’t launch that program until you have a proper sales page (which you never do…).
I see this all the time with coaches and creatives and entrepreneurs trying to market their business’s online, and while all these types of content play an important role in your visibility and marketing, when they become an excuse for not creating the content that really pushes the needle inside your business, and it’s stopping you from showing up and being visible, what you’re really doing is sabotaging yourself under the guise of being busy.
Welcome to Episode 22 of The Content Download: Procrasticontent – the sneakiest sabotage of them all…
When I had the idea for my business back in 2017, the first thing I did was get a Square Space account and spend hours building and writing the copy for a website – that was before I had even done any market research or even connected with a single potential customer online! Needless to say, when I finally did have a shiny website to present to the world… I had no traffic to drive to it.
When I decided to launch my first course a couple of years later, Copy Camp, most of my very limited launch time (because I had a very small baby at the time) was spent writing the long form sales copy for a custom-designed super duper sales page – and it was awesome, and I had a good conversion rate but… I can’t help thinking that had I spent those two weeks showing up in my facebook group and sharing value and talking about my new launch, then maybe more people would have gone to that sales page (which might not have been quite so slick), and perhaps more than 4 people would have bought the course.
Looking back, I now realise that what I was doing in these various different guises, was spending my time on procrasticontent. Because it was easier to get lost in the busy work of creating the perfect polished webcopy for my home and about pages, or sales page for my launch or spending hours on a blog post (that I’d probably only mention once and no-one would read) than it was to spend time on the content that was going to get me results now.
Because the content that was actually going to me results now was scary and involved not hiding. It involved showing up and being visible and connecting, and I kept putting it off.
And this is something I see a lot… people in the early days of their business or even a few years in telling me that they can’t start selling that program or offer right now because their website’s not finished, or they’ll start promoting that book they’re writing, once it’s published, or they can’t show up in their facebook group because they needed to write their blog and it took forever….
And 99.9% I would say this is a bit of self sabotage, and I say that because I have done it and it’s something I am vigilant about not letting myself slip into. Because while you think you are focusing on something really important (redoing your website – yeah! Pimping your sales page – vital!), if you’re neglecting something that is even more important – like being visible and nurturing and connecting with your audience so you have someone who wants to check out that website and sales page, it’s all for nothing.
Now I think there are a couple of reasons we do this and they both come down to the same thing – we’re in a sense, hiding.
Sometimes it’s perfectionism: “People won’t take me seriously unless it looks as good as…” insert market leader’s name here. And that’s absolutely something I can relate to as well – I didn’t think anyone would invest in me or take me seriously, unless I had a slick website and branding which is why I focused on that first.
And there is some element of truth in that for sure. You need these things. But not necessarily straight away. And I know hundreds of successful online business owners (me included right now) whose websites no longer reflect exactly what they’re offering right now. Because business is growing and evolving and pivoting fast, and sometimes there isn’t time to get all the content and copy boxes neatly ticked, because you’re too busy seizing the moment and prioritising your limited time and resources. It will get done in a timely fashion, but what’s most important is moving forward.
Which means sometimes we’ve got to do things back to front; so if getting the perfect website and branding sorted is your main focus when you have zero client enquiries, and the website project goes on and on and on…. That’s when it becomes procasticontent. And as a recovering perfectionist myself, I want you to understand it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be shared.
One of my favourite books is Chillpreneur by Denise Duffield Thomas, and in it she says to show up even when you’re second guessing yourself, and perfect as you go. And that is definitely my now philosophy too, particularly as someone who doesn’t have all the hours to devote to my business and my content, but has all the ambition and plans.
So what does that look like in practice?
Well for me, that means showing up on my social media channels and growing my audience is more important than continuously updating and tweaking my website – I’ve got big plans for my website, yes, but it’s a long term project that has to be running in the background and not my main focus right now; it means having a consistent presence on social media where I can grow my know, like and trust and connection with potential clients and followers, is more important than writing one blog post – I’m a massive fan of creating signature and evergreen content, but it’s no good if you’ve not got an audience to drive to it; it also means promoting the high-converting freebies I already have, is often a much better use of my time than creating a shiny new one (I do think having a few freebies up your sleeve is great, but if you’ve got ones that are working maybe a new one isn’t the best use of your time right now).
Now I have been on a bit of a journey with this myself. I started off doing things like building a website before I had an audience, and spending hours on the behind the scenes of a launch without properly nurturing my audience. Compare that to my last three product launches which took place at a particularly time-poor period of my business.
My Fearless Content membership – I did a Stu Mclaren style founding member’s launch, with no sales page, no website, not even a google doc. I just had an idea, did a few facebook lives in a facebook group that I’d let go dormant up until a month before, and I had 23 of the 300 people inside that group say yes!
My Content to Clients Sistermind, again had no sales page, just a google doc outlining what it was about, but I did do an email campaign for that which was really successful and it converted at the market standard of 2%.
And again the same with my Sistermind launch which was somewhere in the between the two.
Could I have launched these programs in a slicker way? Yes definitely! Would I have made more sales if I had? Yes and no. Because, as a mum squeezing her business into the cracks, I recognised that the time I spent getting things perfect, and procrastinating behind the scenes, was time not spent showing up and serving – and it’s the consistent and regular service and know, like and trust that is going to get you the yes, not the flashy landing page or the monthly blog post.
Now you might not be a mum, you might be growing your business on the side of a full time job, or you may just really value making it easy and finding the path of least resistance, in which case on occasion, this approach can work for you too.
Now there are pros and cons to this, and spending time on these things isn’t always procrasticontent, particularly if you have the time and set SMART goals around the creation of them (that’s specific, measurable, achievable, results-oriented and timed). And what I’m currently working on right now is playbooks for all of my marketing, so that I can rinse and repeat what works, and free up time for more of those bigger nice to have projects, like re-doing my website, expanding my blog and podcast offering etc. And I’m starting to do this with my next launch which is for my Fearless Content membership again.
So there are 3 things I want you to take away from this episode. Growing a business is messy, fast-paced, and often about taking quick decisions and quick action, and that means when it comes to our content we need to be focusing on the parts that are really growing our business.
- So be honest, where are you creating procasticontent? Is it redoing your website over and over? Spending all the time on a blog you’re not driving any traffic to? Is it in Canva creating graphics and quotagrams? Which content is busy work and which content actually is getting you results right now?
- Those big projects that do have a long term benefit to your business but aren’t getting you immediate results now, like working on your website or starting a new podcast or writing a book – how can you schedule them into your calendar and set smart goals around them so they get done? You don’t want them to be forever this thing you’ll do tomorrow, but equally need to make sure that working on them doesn’t impact the must-happen visibility and marketing you need to be doing week in and week out.
- And finally it is ok to be imperfect. Messy imperfect action – AKA showing up when you feel like you’re making it up as you go along, is part of the entrepreneurship roller coaster – and that’s absolutely ok. Because sharing your message is more important than worrying about whether you’ve got your mascara on, ok? So stop hiding behind the stuff that feels safe, and go out there and share about your passion.
I hope this episode has given you lots of food for thought around where you might be wrongly investing your time and energy when it comes to your content, and I would love to know if there is anything that has come up for you around this – which content are you currently hiding behind? What are your A/ B projects – A projects being thrones that need to happen as a priority because they grow your audience and bring in money; and B projects being the ones that need to happen but not necessarily right now.
If you’ve got some value from this, I’d love you to come over and join the conversation in The Content Download’s Free group https://www.facebook.com/groups/thecontentdownload.
Ps. The doors to Fearless Content are re-opening soon! Make sure you’re the first to know by jumping on the waitlist here https://catebutlerross.lpages.co/fearless-content-waitlist/