What is a content creation mindset?
A content creation mindset is a set of beliefs that shape a person’s attitude towards creating content.
Psychologists define attitudes as a learned tendency to evaluate things in a certain way. Whether we do this consciously or unconsciously, it influences our behaviours, beliefs, and feelings.
Loathe it or love it, content creation, like any other business activity, relies on your own energy and drive to make it happen. And when you are solely responsible for creating content for your business, the biggest threat to success can often be yourself.
In the early days of my business, I experienced my own subconscious barrier— something I couldn’t put a finger on was holding me back. I learn that it was imposter syndrome and set myself on a path to overcoming it. I did some research to define what it was and to understand why I was feeling that way. But what made the most significant difference was the realisation that I wasn’t alone, and once I grasped that understanding, I could begin to overcome it.
It turns out that most content creators have barriers to break through when they start their content creation journey. You may recognise some of them in the following list.
The 7 biggest barriers to hitting that PUBLISH button
Barrier #1 Imposter Syndrome
This is the biggie, the top of the list and the biggest hurdle I had to overcome. It turns out that I was in good company – Tom Hanks, Serena Williams, Arianna Huffington, Maya Angelou, Michelle Obama and Albert Einstein have admitted to having struggled with imposter syndrome. All had feelings of being ‘found out’ — either as not competent, skilled, talented or deserving as people perceive them to be.
Imposter syndrome is tied to self-limiting beliefs and poor self-confidence. To tie in with content creation, it can be related to worrying about your credibility. Often expressed as a nagging doubt, a little voice that says, “Who do you think you are to being doing this?” (or versions of that). It can be a subconscious fear of what people think or a fear of being discovered that you’re not good enough, that you can’t write or because you aren’t expert enough to express your opinions, no one will read your content. Imposter syndrome is widespread among women and stems from the old-world narrative of ‘you’re a woman, you shouldn’t be doing this’.
One of the best ways to overcome imposter syndrome is to understand it for what it is and talk about it. When you put these feelings out in the open, you’ll realise that you’re not alone, and you’ll get positive feedback on your abilities, which will give you strength. You’ll recognise that these self-beliefs are not true because you wouldn’t be doing what you’re doing if you didn’t belong where you are.
So when that little voice rears its ugly head, acknowledge it, then tell it to naff off.
Here’s a thought: Imposter syndrome is so universal – they gave it a name!
Content Creation Mindset Barrier #2 Worrying About What People Think
If you’re new to publishing blogs, videos, podcasts or images of yourself, then you’re going to be pushed beyond your usual comfort zones. The hurdle to overcome here is the fear of doing it in public.
Putting yourself ‘out there’ can be daunting. But if you’re hesitant to hit publish, then there could be more to it than that. I’d like you to consider something. Are you someone who needs approval from others? Are you a perfectionist, so much so that it hinders your performance? Are you honestly worried about posting selfies because of what you look like? If you answer yes, then this could relate to imposter syndrome. Michelle Obama discusses this candidly, in a quote from this video when, with feelings of imposter syndrome, she had to show up as the first lady in a boardroom full of men
It’s important to acknowledge that you’ll go through a period when you start to publish content when you feel that hardly anyone is paying attention because very few people are reading your blogs or engaging with you. But it won’t always be like this. Because when you show up consistently, publishing content that you know your audience wants, you’ll gain confidence every step of the way— and your audience will grow. It takes time, but it will happen.
Mindset Barrier #3 Being Too Busy
If I had a dollar for every time I heard this…
Yep, you’re busy. You’re a business owner. To be fair, this isn’t an excuse. It’s a fact. People are busy.
The only way to overcome this mindset hurdle is to make it a part of your routine. Set aside a couple of hours first thing in the morning for content planning and creation. Use a content calendar to map out your content and a social media calendar to schedule your posts.
While you’re planning your content, think of the benefits of why you’re doing this. And just to remind you of those benefits, here are 7 of them:
7 Benefits of Blogging
- More potential clients
- Higher profile
- Greater trust & influence
- More connections
- Strong website traffic
- Larger email list
- More social media content
Content Creation Mindset Barrier
#4 Giving up Too Early
This is where you need to draw on your resilience to keep going. The main reason new businesses fail is that they give up too early, and if this is something you often feel like doing, then reading Kanter’s Law may help. Keep it on hand and read it often.
It’s about showing up consistently
When creating content, know that recognition leads to brand confidence and that confidence creates loyalty, so if gaining loyalty is one of your goals, it’s essential to show up consistently. When you post a blog on your website, you get traffic, when you post on social media, you get engagement. When people engage with your content, their friends see it. All of it is eyes on your content, so you are on their radar, and as a result, your audience grows. Statistics say that it takes at least 8 touchpoints before a potential client reaches out to you. So make it easy for them and show up regularly.
Make it enjoyable for your audience to read your content
Is the format of your content scanable? Most readers scan the content first, particularly if it’s a long article, then if it piques their curiosity, they’ll then go back and read it. It’s important that your article looks inviting by being easy on the eye? A lot of newbie content creators publish walls of text which turn readers off. There are some tricks to laying out content which you can easily learn.
Barrier #5 Fear of Technology
There’s no way around this. If you want to get good at something, anything at all, you must build up your skill level. And if you’re going to DIY your online marketing, that means learning software. This usually involves several hours of learning and in the beginning, a fair amount of frustration. People call it a learning curve. And it’s always worth it because you’ll have control and save money. And it’s nice to know that it always comes with support.
When you choose a reputable piece of software, there’ll be tutorials on how to use it and communities of users that offer advice and problem solve. This is the norm. It’s doable, and it’s learnable. Case in point – remember when you first got a smartphone?
Back in 2012, I had an online jewellery store, and I needed a website. For $250 (so cheap back then), a start-up website company built a 4-page website for me using WordPress. As it was a jewellery store, I had to regularly upload a lot of content, which meant an outlay of money to the website company every time I needed it done. Having had a bit of experience managing websites before (in an ancient program called FrontPage), I decided I’d learn to use WordPress, which is NOTHING like Frontpage. If any of you have been on a similar journey, then you’ll know what I’m saying when I say – it was a MASSIVE LEARNING CURVE. But learn I did. Fast forward to today, and I’ve built my own website; I upload my own content and save a lot of money. (I’ve even learned SEO).
You must get over your fear of technology
If you want to make your business more streamlined and content creation more productive in the future, then you’ll need to learn new software programs. Accept it because technology here to stay.
Content Creation Mindset Barrier #6 Procrastination
“I don’t have time now; I’ll do it tomorrow.”
“Have you seen that document I was working on last week?”
“I’ll just check my Facebook page for a sec.”
Any of this sound familiar?
Another big hurdle for most people. Procrastination – derived from Latin to mean to put off until tomorrow, is one of the main barriers blocking people from living the life they dream of.
Lack of willpower is often blamed for our tendency to procrastinate. But the new thinking is that it’s our motivation that’s to blame.
If procrastination is holding you back from achieving your goals, there’s a couple of excellent books that I recommend you read
- The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
Based on the concept of doing the one thing that will get you closer to your goals, it discusses the dangers of multi-tasking and the truth behind trying to live a balanced life. It will completely rewire your thinking to get more productivity from your work and life, master what matters, and have less stress and a better lifestyle.
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
This book shows you how you can change your life by thinking big. The precis is that by forming habits to become a part of your daily routine, you can accomplish more by focussing on less.
Content Creation Mindset Barrier #7 Forgetting your Content Strategy
Sometimes we get drawn towards new things. There’s always a bright shiny object in the distance beckoning our attention, and it’s easy to get distracted from the path we’re on to achieving our goals. We put aside our strategy, try new tactics and reach for new opportunities.
When you often change tactics or publish random content unrelated to your business or target market, it can confuse your audience and dilute your message. But when you go off strategy, you’re in danger of losing your direction.
In Gary Keller’s book The One Thing, he identifies what makes people successful. After studying the careers of numerous highly successful entrepreneurs, he found that it’s their ability to prioritise and set goals, and then to focus on that one thing that moves them towards achieving that goal.
If you find that you often stray from your strategy, then perhaps it’s time to review it. Have your goals changed? Is your business moving in another direction? If so, then it’s time to develop a new strategy.
If not, then it’s crucial to get back on track.
It’s important to take action
Content is such a massive part of marketing a business online, so it’s crucial to approach it with a positive mindset. Should you recognise some of the unconscious barriers in this list, try and face them head-on. Because only then can you confidently move towards achieving your business marketing goals.