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Let's talk about launch content batching and the many benefits that come from batching your content.
I’m sure you’ve heard the term content batching before, and maybe you even do it yourself. I’m a HUGE fan of content batching and it’s a strategy that I use on a regular basis, so I can’t wait to share some tips, tricks and strategies with you today specifically related to launch content batching.
Most importantly, we’re going to talk about how content batching can help you not only prepare and warm up your audience for your digital product launch, but also how it can give you more time and space in your schedule to work on high priority launch tasks.
Our guest today is Amanda Warfield. She’s a simplicity-focused time management and business strategist and she helps overwhelmed entrepreneurs take back their time and energy so they can stop trying to fit it all in, stop feeling guilty for spending time not being productive, and stop feeling worn out and defeated at the end of each day.
Her goal is to help other women run simplified and intentional businesses so they can find a good work-life balance and the financial freedom, time and flexibility that they were looking for when they started their business in the first place.
I learned a lot from my conversation with Amanda, and I hope you will too! Let’s jump in.
Content batching is a way of creating content where you do like tasks with like, instead of breaking all of your tasks apart. You want to break down your work step by step, versus item by item or piece by piece.
Amanda says that you should think about content batching like you think about making cookies. When you make cookies, you don’t mix up the batter for one cookie, then bake that one cookie, then move on to the second. Instead, you’re mixing a whole batch of cookies at once, then baking all of them, and getting everything done much more efficiently and quickly.
There are a few different ways you can batch your content – you can batch your schedule as far as themed days, so for example doing all of your marketing on Monday, creating all of your content on Tuesday, doing all of your admin work on Wednesday, etc.
You can also batch your content in terms of tasks, so for example, writing all of your blog posts for the month on Monday, and then editing all of the blog posts the next day, and then creating the graphics for all of them the following day and so on.
So aside from getting a lot of work done, what are the benefits of batching your content?
Amanda says that one benefit is it saves you a huge amount of time.
The way our brains work, every time you switch gears it takes about 23 minutes to get back into focus every time you get distracted by something. If you’re working on your content, you’re not only saving time because you’re working on everything together, but you’re also saving yourself from having to switch gears and refocus on every new task.
Sitting down and really focusing on one specific task, like outlining, writing, or editing, means your brain doesn’t need to take that 23 minutes to refocus every time you switch to something different.
Content creation is an important part of any digital product business, but it’s important to balance content creation with everything you need to do in your business. How much content should you be creating and how can you include that in your content creation planning process?
Amanda says that the amount of content that you should be putting out is the amount that you can handle.
This may be different than you’ve heard in the past – there are educators out there who have rules about how much content you should be creating, how often you should be posting, and what you need to be putting out there on a regular basis. The funny thing is everyone is going to tell you something different, and none of it is going to be 100% right for you.
Realistically we only have so much time, and Amanda says that what often happens is entrepreneurs get so caught up trying to meet best practices that they're not taking into account what they can realistically accomplish, and then they get so overwhelmed by the content process that they give up on it totally and don’t put anything out or they stop working on other important aspects of their business, like launching. Launch content batching can help.
What Amanda teaches her students is that they need to be able to create a month’s worth of content in just one week so they can leave three weeks free for the rest of the month to do other things. If it takes you more than a week to create your month’s worth of content, you’re putting too much out there.
This strategy works for whatever amount of time you’re able to work, which is different for everyone. Whether you can work 40 hours, 60 hours, or 10, you still should only spend one week creating that month’s worth of content.
Keep in mind that this may fluctuate – for example the amount of time that you were working per week in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, may be different than the amount of time you’re able to work now. And that’s okay! This structure takes that into account so you’re not spending too much or too little time on your content creation.
You don’t need to follow “best practices” for every single thing – sometimes you just can’t! It’s okay to adapt your strategy around content creation to accommodate your needs, schedule and season of life.
One thing that is absolutely critical for content creation is making sure that you’re consistent.
To stay consistent with that creation process, Amanda recommends that you choose a week out of the month, every single month, to be your batch week.
When she creates her plans for the New Year, she sits down and first marks what time she’s planning to take off, and then she plans out her batch weeks. That way she knows that she’s set aside time specifically every single month to work on creating content and nothing else.
There are so many distractions on the internet. Whether or not you’re batching your content, if you’re on your computer I’m sure you’ve had the struggle of wanting to check your email, your bank account, your social media accounts, and everything else other than the work you actually need to get done.
So what are some tips to drill down on what you’re doing and not get distracted by all of the other things in life?
Amanda’s first tip is to remove all of the distractions that you can. So if you’re on your computer, close out all of your tabs, turn off your phone, do whatever you need to do so those distractions aren’t right in front of you.
Even if you don’t have those tabs open right in front of you, or you aren’t staring at your phone, sometimes a thought might cross your mind that you can’t ignore and won’t go away, urging you to do something else. What do you do when one of those thoughts pops into your head?
Amanda recommends having a notepad handy whenever you sit down to work to make note of these mental distractions. If you think of something that you feel like you absolutely have to do in the middle of working, your brain may not let it go until you achieve some kind of resolution. Writing it down to do later can help you to process and move forward with it.
This way you also won’t forget about them, and can also go back and get all of these important things done when you have time and aren’t working on your content.
Another thing that Amanda recommends is following the Pomodoro Method, which allows you to instill a sense of urgency in your work, take breaks when your brain needs a break, and work in batches.
The average human adult can only focus on one task for about 23 minutes at a time, so set a timer for 25 minutes (or whatever time works best for you) and when the timer goes off, take a short 3-5 minute break and then come back for another 25 minute work cycle.
The Pomodoro Method helps Amanda stay focused, because it keeps her from getting distracted while also setting a work and break schedule that allows her to be productive. If you have a set deadline and goal, you’ll accomplish a lot more than just having unlimited time without a set plan or deadline in mind.
One final tip that can help you focus on the task at hand is really prioritizing what needs to be done now versus what needs to be done later.
Responding to all tasks that come in like they need to be handled immediately is one way to easily get distracted when you’re trying to do a lot of work. For example, sometimes it feels like you need to answer every email that comes in immediately, which can be super distracting when it comes to getting work done.
It’s okay to just focus on the one thing you’re doing, so make sure you set some boundaries, and evaluate whether or not emails or messages are an immediate concern (does each email need to be answered right now? Or can it wait until later?) to help remove that distraction.
If you’re able to set aside a week to batch each and every month, and get all of your content creation done during that one week, you’ll have three full weeks to plan your launch and actually move your business forward.
Content creation is a maintenance task. While it’s important, it isn’t going to be what moves the needle of your business forward. Creating a new podcast episode or editing your YouTube video will engage your audience but won’t directly make you any money.
If you’re constantly focused on content creation, it’s easy to let the creation of one piece of content stretch through the entire week. If you let it stretch out and consume so much of your time and mental energy, that’s time you’re throwing away.
But if it’s already created, scheduled, and putting itself out there in the world, you don’t have to continue to worry about this and can move forward with other aspects of your business, like product creation, launch planning and more.
Also, when you batch your content and keep records of the content you’ve created instead of just posting an Instagram post to get it out there really quickly, it also makes reusing that content for your next launch so much easier.
Your content is an important part of your business, but your content is not your business. It should move people towards the things that you’re doing to make money, whether it’s selling a digital product, a service, or something else. As you shift towards batching your content, remember that if all you're doing is creating content, you're not moving your business forward in any way!
One huge benefit of content batching is that since you’re creating everything so far in advance, you’ll have the mental capacity and space to plan, create a longer launch runway and pre-launch, bring in new audience members and develop a more cohesive strategy.
Also, once you start planning your content in advance, you know what’s coming so you can start doing more to supplement your content strategy in other places.
For example – let’s say you write and schedule an email about a particular topic as part of your content batching. Once it’s sent, you can now go on your Instagram stories during your launch week and talk about that as part of your launch strategy, instead of spending that time writing the email itself.
Content batching and the scheduling that comes as part of that process can really tie into a strong, cohesive launch approach to help you get better results with your launch. 30 days should be your absolute minimum for a launch runway, but the best case scenario is 90 days, and if you content batch this will only help you in planning out that pre-launch.
One way to save a TON of time in content creation is by repurposing content that you’ve already created in different ways. There are so many different things you can do with one piece of content so you don’t have to constantly create new and different things.
Let’s say you’ve created a blog post or podcast episode. You can turn that content into one or more emails, content for your newsletter, social media posts, blog posts, Pins on Pinterest, Instagram stories, and more.
This will save you time, but it’ll also help you have cohesion across the content you’re creating.
There is also nothing wrong with taking successful content that you’ve shared with your audience, tweaking it a bit, and then reusing it. If you're keeping records of what you've done in the past, what the clickthrough rates were and things like that, and how it actually performed for launches, you can reuse it.
Then instead of spending time creating 20 new emails for the next launch, you can just tweak and make better what you've already created to optimize in a new way.
The same is true for your sales page or other content that you create. If you’re trying to create sales copy or emails, don’t start from scratch! Pull from what you already have – for example if you’re writing your launch emails, you can pull directly from your sales page. It’s okay to reuse content and this will save you a ton of time in the long run.
Amanda has one final tip to get you started with content batching, and that’s just to do it.
You can look at content batching as a ton of work and so much to do, but she promises that you’re going to get more done in less time if you set up some boundaries with it and just get started.
Remember, you don’t have to follow all of the best practices – you just have to put something out there so that you can be consistent for your audience. You want two things:
The best way to create high-quality, consistent content? Setting aside some time every month to get it out and done through batching!
Check out Amanda’s podcast, Chasing Simple, all about uncomplicating life and business and entrepreneurs
Follow Amanda on Instagram @mrsamandawarfield.
Pick up Amanda’s freebie, 8 Tips for Faster Content Creation. This is a free audio training that will make content creation faster for you and speed up your batching process.