Bear with me on this one friends. It’s going to start out as a bit of a bummer but I promise it gets cheerier. It’s not all doom and gloom, but you’ll need to stick around for a bit.
Why is everyone in marketing so exhausted?
We need to talk about mass burnout in marketing.
Whether it’s folks like me rage quitting their jobs (more on my freelance origin story here), small business owners struggling to come up for air, or one-person marketing teams expected to do everything.
If you only take one thing from this week’s newsletter, let it be this: you are only one person and that is perfectly ok.
Here’s the round-up for this week:
- A content strategy for burnt out marketers
- Questions to ask yourself to help with burnout recovery
- No such thing as a stupid question
- Brand new consultancy packages
The anti-burnout content strategy for small marketing teams and one-person businessesn
If you’ve been here before, you’ll know I’m a big fan of repurposing content. Why?
Because it builds reputation, shows expertise, gets more milage out of the content you have poured your heart, your soul, your brain, your blood, sweat, and tears into. And, critically, because it makes your life a whole lot fucking easier.
I’ve done the whole one-person marketing team in a B2B tech company thing. Where you have sales breathing down your neck, a CEO who doesn’t really get marketing (you know, the kind who thinks a brand is just a logo) and expects the world from one person because how hard can it really be?
You and I both know that marketing is complicated and content is more than just words. So here is how you make the most of the content you create without burning the fuck out to please a middle aged white man who doesn’t really understand your job.
The anti-burnout content strategy
Write a list of everyone who needs to be involved
in the creation of a big piece of content (like a webinar, ebook, or whitepaper). This will include anyone you need to interview for expert quotes, webinar speakers, the designer to work on the social graphics, PDF artwork, etc. and everyone who is in the sign off process.
You want everyone who isn’t you out of the way in this process as early as possible.
Create your lead-capture asset
This means that there’s going to be some delay before you publicise the first bit of content. But trust me on this, you’ll thank me later.
If you are writing an eBook or a whitepaper, deliberately plan and write it so it can easily be split out into separate bits of content. (E.g. chapters that are 500 – 1,000 words long)
Create your landing page
Split that asset out into 3-5 blogs
A 5k word eBook for example can easily be split into four 1,000 word (ish) blogs. No need to repurpose the intro or conclusion.
Split each of these into a bunch of social posts
LinkedIn posts, Twitter threads, Reels, TikToks. Wherever your business is online, you can create content straight from these blog posts. Adapt as needed for each platform.
Record each blog being read aloud (optional extra)
This is optional but a great choice for accessibility and an easy way to create a podcast. Plus people love to learn while they’re doing other things.
Newsletters/email content (optional extra)
Increase the reach of your posts and your website traffic by sending an email to your audience letting them know you have new info. This also acts as a form of relaxed lead nurture without the need for complicated email automations.
Guest posting (optional extra)
If you have the time, it can be great to pitch your posts for publications on other sites. We all know the importance of those tasty tasty backlinks. This does take a little more time, so please do not punish yourself if you don’t have the time.
Cornerstone content (your big beefy SEO friend)
This is the endgame of your content campaign. Cornerstone content is typically a 3000-5000 word piece of content that links out to all of the wonderful pieces of content you have already created. Rich with research, data, and shit tons of useful information, these take a bit of a time investment but well worth it.
Questions to ask yourself to help with burnout recovery
If you are in the pits of marketing burnout (or life burnout, we don’t discriminate here) know that I see you and I genuinely hope you find time to take care of yourself.
Full disclosure: I was severely burnt out last week. So I disappeared for a bit. Said goodnight to socials, stopped checking my emails, and clocked out for about 4 days. For some of you, that won’t seem like long. But if, like me, you’re running a one-person business, that can feel really scary.
As an autistic person, I burnout more than your average bear, so it’s fair to say I have a good bit of experience in this field. Here are some questions I ask myself when I’m feeling creatively, emotionally, mentally burnt out. And some examples to help clarify what each question is really asking.
- How much sleep do I need to feel like a human again? (for me it’s usually 10-12 hours per night)
- What activities provide mental stimulation and rest at the same time? (relistening to my favourite podcast, going for a short walk and listening to music, colouring books, rewatching a comfort show)
- Can I fit a nap into my day today? (as a self employed human, I usually can)
- What is the bare minimum I need to do today? (get out of bed, brush teeth, eat at least two meals)
- Do I have any meetings and can they be rescheduled?
- Do I have any deadlines? How, realistically, will be life be impacted if I don’t work today?
- Are there any low-maintenance (or fun) tasks that I can do today? (for me this is often writing this newsletter and scheduling my own social posts)
Balancing exercise with exhaustion
- Is time outside likely to make me feel better? (usually yes)
- How many steps are involved in getting out of the house? Can any be cut? (feels like many steps. Make up isn’t necessary, just put on some sunglasses and head on out)
- What sort of movement feels both good and possible right now? (I took last week off of the gym because lifting heavy things wasn’t going to help me, but gentle walks and stretching did)
To people or not to people
- Who makes me feel better and/or energised when I talk to them? (send them a message)
- Do I want to be social or do I need quiet time alone? (usually, I’ll want to see my partner and avoid everyone else)
- Do I have social plans? And do I want to reschedule them?
- Who inspires me and makes me laugh? (Reach out to them)
- Is social media helping me right now? (if not, delete the apps and come back another time)
Just know that the world will not come crashing down if you take some time off. And your mental health may come crashing down if you don’t.
No such thing as a stupid question
Whether you are unravelling marketing jargon, trying to figure out a meta description from alt text, or you just have no idea where to start, there is no such thing as a stupid question.
I’m a big fan of questions. And I ask a lot of them (anyone on the demystifying website copy series will have seen the extent of my copywriting briefs this week).
More information and more context is always beneficial. Especially when translating a business idea into words. Whether it’s your business or someone else’s. Life is a lot more exciting if you let every day be a school day.
And it is always ok to ask for help.
Need a hand with your SEO content strategy? Not sure how to create a content process that works for your team? Let’s have a chat and a cuppa to see what we can do.
This article has been adapted from my newsletter Thusfar, Untitled. Sign up for my fortnightly newsletter to be the first to read the articles.