What If You Just Stop Creating Content? with Claudia Schalkx

marketing fridays with claudia Oct 01, 2021
You know how sometimes you want to burn it all down? Trash the whole thing?
 
HIDE HIDE HIDE and just give yourself a freakin' break?
 
Creating content can feel like an endless DREADMILL of grinding out work...
 
So sometimes - we just want to STOP. 🛑
 
But - CAN WE DO THAT?
 
Let's talk about what happens when we want to take a break from content creation - and why you need to think about the very necessary strategy of stepping OFF the content DREADMILL!
 
If you'd like to connect with Claudia, be sure to check out  Bridge2MORE!

Watch The Full Interview! 


 

Full Transcript 

Jen Liddy
Welcome. Welcome. If you are somebody who has ever felt like you just want to walk away from all your content, you want to shove it down in that digital drawer. You want to never look at it again and you find yourself wishing that you could just give up content creation or stop content creation. Today's conversation with Claudia is going to be really helpful to you. Hello, Claudia.

Claudia Schalkx
I was going to say tomorrow.

Jen Liddy
But what the after three in the afternoon where you are?

Claudia Schalkx
Yes. Welcome to a rainy period. And finally, the sun is shining. So I am ready to into the topic.

Jen Liddy
So you as a marketing expert, I know as a content creation specialist, I have people who are hiding from their content and just I think for my people, one of their big fears is once I start creating content, well, I have to just endlessly create content.

Claudia Schalkx
Yes. And they are not far from the truth, but the way it how you're going to endlessly create content. So I think they need to have a reason why they are creating content. And it has more than I need to create a blog or on LinkedIn because everybody says I need to be on LinkedIn, you need to have a real reason to do it. What is what you want to create with your content? You want to create awareness. You want to position yourself as a thought leader, as a consultant, as approach, as somebody who can help because managing a business is difficult.

You will have your up and down and you know, well, not always will have inspiration to write or discipline, to write or to create content. And one day not having the discipline is not a problem. But the problem is this lack of discipline, it starts to creep in. And when you realize three months have passed and you haven't got anything yet? Yes. Which is different from taking a vacation from creating content or taking a break. A break has a start and an end date. And I take a break intentionally.

I'm taking a break because this content is not fulfilling me or because I want to study market trends or because I want to feel to realize how I feel about when I'm sitting out there. But then you should put a start on an end date so that you also create in your mind the structure that will allow that break to be productive for you. But if you let this one day, two day, three day creep and then you run the risk of not only not being heard by the people who is relevant to you, but even more sadly, disconnect from your business.

Jen Liddy
When people are, I just really want to normalize the idea you and I were having this conversation the other day just normalize the idea that sometimes we won't feel like creating content, and sometimes we won't have the focus or the discipline or the inspiration that's really normal. What you and I were talking about is how it creeps and kind of bleeds into, like, week stays first, then weeks, then a month goes by, and then it almost feels oppressive. And you're like, how do I climb out of this hole?

And if you have ever felt that and you're watching this cloudy and I really want you to know it's incredibly normal, which is there's two things we want to talk about today. I think one is the intentionality of when it's time to take a break, to take a break and how to do that in a way that works for you. And then two how to put systems into place so that when you need a break, you kind of got your content working for you already. So do you want to start with talking about the second one?

Because I know that's your specialty.

Claudia Schalkx
Well, the system in place is more going back to the first one I did when we started is why are you creating funded what is the function of content in your market strategy? So, for instance, if you have business goals, let's make it very simple. I want four new subscribers here. I want four people for my program between this period and this period, that is your business call. But you need to have a strategy in place to reach the business call. And that will be your marketing strategy.

So what is the tone of your message? What is the main message you're going to send out? What is the purpose of your message?

And from there you have the tactics. I will use social media or I will use Facebook ads, or I will use content creation, or I will use speaking gigs, etc. The thing is, we tend to avoid the first two spots, which is your business goals and the strategy to reach your business goals. So what happens? Your tactics are kind of floating in the air and the example you were using the other day of the anchoring, that is the perfect way to do it. And I think you should explain your analogy of the anchor.

Jen Liddy
I was saying that you want to Orient yourself to wherever you're going. And the first example I want to give is like I would come in out of the subway in New York City and Orient myself wherever I was by looking for the world Trade centers when I lived there in the nineties, and it was a way to just constantly know where I was headed. And once I saw that anchor point, I could know that's north, that's East, West. But in the content and marketing world, we're actually in our business, our business world.

We need to anchor ourselves because we're always going to be pulled in a different direction. Sometimes we're going to get spun around. Sometimes we're going to get confused or distracted or lost. And so having that anchor and we like the boat anchor better than using the world trade here as our model. It lets you kind of be grounded in your purpose, even though a current might come along or a distraction might come along or a storm might come along. You're always going to be grounded. And so you can kind of float without floating away and losing yourself, which is what you know.

I think when we don't have an intention and we don't have a focus in our marketing, we don't know why the hell we're doing it like somebody told us, like you said at the beginning of the call, somebody told us we're supposed to be on LinkedIn. So I'm just on LinkedIn, but I don't really have a goal or a purpose. The anchoring is this business goal that you have, and it's different depending on where you are in your business growth. I think, too.

Claudia Schalkx
And then again, the idea of the anchoring and being swayed or being able to move with the currents will also allow you to evaluate how trends affect your business.

Jen Liddy
That's right. Right.

Claudia Schalkx
You can see. Okay. It's a trend. I can go with a trend, or this trend is not going to help. My business has a different strategy. So it's not this anchoring of your business idea of your marketing and of your content is essential for the survival of your business, because whatever is thrown at you, be a pandemic. Be a trend, be a change in the market. Even if your clients don't change, you will know how to do it. And an example for this last one is, for instance, let's suppose you've been selling healthy Moffit, you know, blood on free sugar, low in sugar, etc.

And you've been selling to the people in the gym. You know, they leave the gym. And because you have healthy muffins, they come to you. The thing is two shops. Further, there is a new battery selling the exact same muffin. But they call it the Palio keto muffin. And in a market. And everybody thinks this is the new thing, and it's exactly the same muffin, maybe even the same recipe. But the way this guy is jumping on the trends will take the market away from you.

The same thing as we eventually emerge from God or from whatever crisis there is. You know, we need to see how the market has changed and how our products or services can adapt to that new market. And you can do that when you know where your business is going and all the elements around it are helping you to achieve that goal.

Jen Liddy
So when you have the anchor, it's easier to take and you have a framework in place. So you're not just kind of going into your marketing by the seat of your pants every day, trying a whole bunch of different things. When you need a break from your cart from your content creation and you're the machine, it's easier to do that may be because you have watched it, maybe because you have a team. But maybe you also have been just intentional and said to your audience, I'm taking July off.

Don't look for my podcast, don't look for my emails or whatever, but you communicated it intentionally. And like you said at the beginning of our chit-chat, there's a start and there's an end. So you feel the relief of it versus the other. The thing that I think happens to people when they take an unintentional break is because they're either burned out or hiding or they're overwhelmed.

Claudia Schalkx
That's what I yes.

Jen Liddy
Yes. It's like this invisible weight is on them. It's the opposite of relief. They're like another week. And I didn't post on Instagram for another week, and I didn't do that email that I wanted to do. And that just is so heavy emotionally, and it's an invisible weight that just kind of seeps into everything. And we don't get our motivation back from that.

Claudia Schalkx
No, definitely. But that happens then again because it's not tight or related or linked to a higher purpose. So even if you know, you need to know, why are you doing things? You need to know why you have a business. You need to know why you are directing your business in a given direction, and not, as you say, by the fire of your pants. Like, okay, today I'm going to do that because that is an intentional action is on coordinating that's going to hurt your business much more than any other things.

So you really need to take this break if you need it. If the content is not working for you, if the content is not doing what it needs to do for your business, take a step back. But, you know, put it in your diary, put it in your calendar from week to week. So I am going to take a break and schedule. How are you going to take the break? You know, at the end of the break, I will have achieved is this every day I will work for an hour.

Oh, my God.

Jen Liddy
Yes.

Claudia Schalkx
Yes.

Jen Liddy
And then that's the other thing. If you are taking an intentional break, the question that you need to ask is, what am I doing to rejuvenate myself during this break, not beating myself up? It might not even be learning something new. It might be just moving your body to get a different inspiration or having some different experiences to see things in a different way. I decided in June to take July off from my podcast, and it was just kind of a relief. I felt tapped out, felt stressed out by all of the things going on in my real life.

And so I called my producer and she said, That's not a problem at all. My clients do it all the time. And she and I talked about when I was going to start again, and I wanted to start back up in September. And she actually kind of challenged me. And she said, you can totally do that. But I encourage you to get back to it in August, at least with two little episodes where you're kind of engaging your audience again. And that made a lot of sense to me.

And I felt like, oh, I I have the relief of June, and I already it's only like July 16. I already feel energized. I know the direction that the podcast is going in when I pick it up again.

Claudia Schalkx
Well, the other thing is if you have a situation like a podcast or regular content that comes out. And especially in the case of podcasts or blogs or resources, not newsletters, but resources, you can create a bundle. You can create a topic for the month. July is a slow month in general, because the weather, it's nice, the slow. The base is different. So you can create a bundle podcast that helps you to make the most of that time. So how can I see? And then you can send people a newsletter.

This is a selected bundle that talks about this topic. If you're not interested, this is another bundle you can do in that way. You repurpose because it's very difficult that somebody has listened and remembers every podcast, even if they follow the like I said, the other thing that it's also interesting is that before you take this intentional break, you are really clear what is what you want to get out of this race and prepare for it. So, for instance, if your content is not working touch base with the people who are reading and receiving your content, ask them, what are you missing?

What do you like? What strikes you most? Because then you can take those insights to your reflection time. Instead of using your reflection time to collect this information, prepare your break intentionally. Like you go on holidays. When you go on holiday, you do bookings, you check the place, you check your card. Robert, you can your car to the mechanic to make sure that the car is okay, or you check that your A membership is up to date, et cetera, et cetera. You feel the tank so you don't go on holidays like I'm going on holiday with what I have in my hand back because you don't know what's going to happen in those holidays.

Really plan this break like you would plan a lounge-like you would plan anything else in your business.

Jen Liddy
In order though, to plan intentionally, you need to know you're going to take a break before you burn out. So sometimes we take the break because we're just like, I can't anymore, and then we have it planned intentionally. So I love this idea of knowing like, oh, I know that the holidays are coming up for it. Let's just use it as an example. And I'd really like to be present or I have a vacation coming up, and I'd really like to be present, or I feel particularly depleted in the spring, whatever.

But you have to know yourself so that you can prepare to take the break and you're not just coming to a screeching halt, which I actually have done that before coming to a screeching halt. But this brings me to the other point I wanted to talk about when I take a break. I trust myself that I know I'm coming back. And I think a lot of people, have kind of cheated on themselves so much when they are hiding from there, they don't have a good practice around taking a break.

So taking a break feels like I'm taking a screeching halt. I'm hiding from it. I don't have a plan to come back, and it is just like last weeks or months, and then you earned your own distraction.

Claudia Schalkx
The key is what you said. You don't have a plan to come back to. It's like the same thing with the holidays. You know, when you go on holidays and you travel, whether it's for a week, three days or six weeks, like we have the benefit here in Europe. When you come back, it's kind of so difficult to get into the routine again. It's like your body, your mind, everything is still on your white sand beach and your Crystal in water place. So you really need to have a plan.

What's going to happen after when I come, you know, I schedule that again and stick to it because at least you don't have to create it or pull it out from thinner. So, yes, you definitely need to have a plan for when you come back.

Jen Liddy
Yeah, I think this is a practice that we need to have with ourselves is trusting that, first of all, trusting that we need the break and it's okay to take the break and then trusting that if we take a two week break or we take the month, whatever we take that we put a plan in place. But even if you are listening to this program and you're like, okay, I've been hiding. I've taken a break. I didn't have a plan. I don't know when I'm coming back.

The first thing I want everybody to do is touch base with themselves and say, I know why I want to come back. I know why content and marketing is important to me, because if you don't have a driver of why, then why the hell would you come back? It's going to just be more the same ship from before it's going to repeat.

Claudia Schalkx
And you want to break the pattern. So, yes, if you have bypassed this ground work in your business, which is why am I doing it? Why do I want to it's not only I want to use my knowledge to pay the bills because the money is not coming in or where the market is against you, you still need a driver to get out of your bed. Yeah, there is a higher. Ideally, there is a higher purpose with your business. You know, for instance, with me is letting people know that marketing doesn't have to be hard and that if you find the marketing, that it's in alignment with your communicational style, with your personality style, it will be much easier to hang in there for the long term.

And for you, it's like content doesn't have to be hard. You don't have to sweat your content. There are ways to get much more out of your content without working more. So that is your kind of big umbrella for those things, right? When you have a driver, it's much easier to get back because we will all get hits that we are like, oh, my God. What happened here? And it might be simply that light happens. The kid falls sake apparent. You fall from the staircase and break a leg, then it goes away.

Claudia Schalkx
Whatever. So you really need to have this higher purpose for your business and for yourself.

Jen Liddy
And if it felt hard in the past, it's going to be not motivating to come back from that.

Claudia Schalkx
So.

Jen Liddy
So one of the things I think we can leave people with is understanding that it's necessary to take a break at some point, to rejuvenate yourself, have your big y and know why you're marketing your business. Why are you creating content? And if there's one thing I could leave people with is your point. Just before Claudia always says, marketing does not have to be hard, she helps you actually unravel all of the hard pieces, and it doesn't even have to be more right. Like, we don't have to be doing more and content as part of your marketing strategy does not have to be complicated, and it doesn't have to be a grind.

Jen Liddy
And it doesn't have to be a treadmill that you're just constantly on our hamster wheel. So I would love for everybody listening to this, to take a moment to think about when they would like to take their next break and start to plan for that and get excited about taking that break from content and marketing. But make sure that you have the plan in place. Yes.

Claudia Schalkx
Get excited about it. Like you would get excited about holidays.

Jen Liddy
Yes. When I knew that I wasn't going to send out an email to my list on July 4, and I was just taking that one weekend off, I was excited. I was like, oh, I have a couple of extra hours in my week this weekend, but it was a very intentional decision.

Claudia Schalkx
You have to be intentional. Otherwise, you can fall into the trap of falling into the black hole that you don't know how to get out of.

Jen Liddy
Yeah. So if you are interested in learning how to make your marketing easier and put a framework in place so that you really are not working so hard, Claudia is your person for that if you are really interested in understanding how to make content work as a part of your marketing strategy, that's already working for you. I'd love to chat with you about that, too. So I'm going to put both of our links here. Claudia is bridge to more, except I need to spell it right. Bridge to more with the with the two, and you can find me at jenliddy.com.Thank you for staying with us this whole time. I really hope we've inspired you to plan for a break. Do you have anything else you want to add in?

Claudia Schalkx
No. Enjoy your weekend and be intentional.

Jen Liddy
I love that.

Claudia Schalkx
Yes.

Jen Liddy
Goodbye, everyone.

Claudia Schalkx
Bye bye.

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