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My Strategic (sometimes Chaotic) Content Creation Workflow as an Autistic ADHDer & Business Owner

Differently Aligned Podcast – Episode 6

by Adina Levy

    In this episode, I’ll be sharing my content creation workflow and process. When you own a business, whether you signed up for this part of it or not, you are a marketer. A certain part of your job is going to be marketing, sharing messages, telling people what you have for sale, what great ideas you have, helping people connect with you. And a lot of that happens through content creation. 

    Links & Resources

    Content Get it Done Day!: https://courses.ndbusiness.co/offers/yYWB79Ga/checkout

    Instagram Post: 

    https://www.instagram.com/p/C5rkaxtMqUB/?img_index=1

    Free things for neurodivergent business owners: ndbusiness.co/freebies

    Learn more about future events: 

    https://ndbusiness.co 
    www.instagram.com/neurodivergent.business 

     

    Transcript

     Welcome to the Differently Aligned Podcast for Neurodivergent Business Owners. I’m Adina Levy, an autistic ADHDer and a multiple business owner. From a card-making business at age 8, through to handmade cloud cushions, running a speech therapy team with a traditional office, and now to my lean, profitable, nimble, and fun online businesses, Play. Learn. Chat. and Neurodivergent Business Coaching and Consulting.

    I’m all about supporting neurodivergent business owners like you to build a business that is aligned with your brain, your skills, your passions, your wants, your support needs, and your life. And it can be profitable, fun, and impactful along the way. So join me for ideas, support, conversations, and guidance to grow your business without burning out. Let’s turn up the fun, the flow, and the alignment.

    I’m recording on the traditional lands of the Gadigal and Bidjigal people, and I acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands wherever you’re listening to this.

    When you own a business, whether you signed up for this part of it or not, you are a marketer. A certain part of your job is going to be marketing, sharing messages, telling people what you have for sale, what great ideas you have, helping people connect with you. And a lot of that happens through content creation. That’s anything that you’re putting out there in the world. It could be podcasts, social media posts, newsletter-type emails, YouTube videos, TikToks, or whatever else you do to share your content, your thoughts, your information with the world. As an autistic ADHDer, I thought it would be helpful, and I’ve heard from many of you that it is helpful, to hear what I do in my process. And then hopefully it will support you too. Either get started or keep going in your content creation process in a way that is most aligned with the way that your brain works.

    You need to cross-check it with yourself, your brain, your blocks, your challenges, and your strengths. The ways that you tick and what lights you up. And that is what you need to go with. You need to find your process that works best for you.

    I have kind of two ways. And that’s why I’ve shared, I have a process. And there’s sometimes chaos. I kind of see them as tied to my different brain types, my neuro types. So the autistic side of me loves to have a big plan. It loves to look at my content calendar. It loves to see the next month laid out in terms of what I’ll be doing, what I’ll be selling, how I’ll be sharing messages that relate to those things and getting people excited about those things. And yeah, the big plan ahead and I dream of batch creating a bunch of content and having it sit there and having support from my virtual assistants to put it out there. And being super organised and calm and getting stuff out there at a really good pace.

    My ADHD side says nah. My ADHD side says, oh, here’s an idea. I just had it. It’s fresh. I really want to talk about it right now. I am so motivated. No matter what else I’ve got on, I’m going to go and put that aside and just create that content immediately. And if I get it to the point that I can hit publish or schedule, then it’s going to get out there.

    And if I get it to the point where it’s just sitting somewhere as an idea, then it may languish forever. And I may not get excited about it again. So, can you see the conundrum here? I’ve got a few different ways that I think, and kind of react to my brain. And they’re not always compatible, but I’m learning more and more to work with my brain.

    So in my other business Play Learn Chat, I teach all about neurodiversity affirming practices.

    In this business, Neurodivergent Business Coaching and Consulting, I still talk about neurodiversity affirming practices. It’s all about creating a life and expectations and supports around each neurodivergent person. In this case, it might be you. That is most aligned with you and your strengths, your needs, your passions, the way you tick. While trying to get as much support as possible, or even removing the things that are not aligned with how your brain and life and mind work.

    I find that having a bit of a flexible approach to content creation is what is working best for me, allowing myself both the structure and the planning, but also scope for flexibility within that. So that when I have the space and time in my calendar and I’m organised and I’m ready for it, I’m actually doing some really good kind of pre-planning and creating content with real good focus and purpose and intent.

    And I’m going to share that process with you shortly. But other times when my

     inspiration is high and I’m just very excited about something or a big, important idea has taken over my brain. I just allow myself to go with it and kind of create that content to the greatest extent that I can in that moment. Sometimes it is just capturing an idea, writing it down quickly. Other times it is about writing the whole thing just in a really messy way, but at least it’s drafted. Other times it’s about scheduling the whole post and creating it right there.

    And then in that moment, so I kind of try to take it as far as I can in the moment. Because any other time in the future, when I’m less excited about that idea, it will be harder for me to complete the job. I can do it, but it will be harder.

    All of that intro is to say, I want to share what I do when I’m in my more autistic brain.

    So how I kind of hope to plan and create content and how I managed to do it slightly more and more over time. And the thinking process that I go through. Now, by the time this comes out, it’s going to be about a week, I think until I am posting a content, get it done day. This is a very practical, small group event. I don’t know how many spots we’ll have left when you’re listening to this, but I would really encourage you to check it out.

    If it’s of interest to you. So if you have a business and you’re trying to put any kind of content out there in the world, well, you’re even planning to, and you haven’t actually got started yet. You are absolutely invited to this event. Members of my Neurodivergent Business Collective, get it for a 50% discount as a big bonus of being a member, but anyone is welcome and it’s really really practical. You’re going to get a lot of feedback from myself and the other participants. We’ve got a maximum of 16 people for the date.

    I think it’s about four or five hours. I don’t have it in my head, but, go to the link. I’ve got the link in the show notes and you’ll be able to take that out.

    So these ideas that I’m sharing is something that I’ll be putting together. I’m sort of most of the way through my workbook that will go alongside that. Content, get it done day. So I’ll be guiding people through this, but everyone gets to spend time at the stage that they’re at. So there’s broadly three stages of content creation. There is strategy. That doesn’t feel like creation at all. It’s thinking. Areas planning again, it is not content creation. It is thinking. And then there is creation. That is the third stage. Now, as you’ve heard, sometimes I jumped straight to creation when I’ve got, the spark of an idea, or something’s really interesting or important in that moment. I will jump straight to step three creation, but I prefer to cover off steps one and two first.

    When I’m talking about step one strategy, it’s all about linking my content creation in with a purpose. Now, for me, the purpose for both my businesses is that the content ends up leading towards selling my things. Most people who consume my content are not going to be buying my things, I would love it if they did, but I understand how this works and I’ve got quite big audiences and growing for both businesses and.

    There’s always a percentage of my audience who wants something more for me.

    And that might be a little bit more in one of my little things, like a shorter webinar or a workbook. And it might be a longer thing or a bigger thing. Like one of my online courses, things like that.

    In your own business, your content creation does need to be a big part of your marketing plan. Depending on the kind of business you have, especially if you do need to be attracting more clients or more leads or more customers.

    Now for me, I do have some additional purposes. I don’t sell something or want to sell something or need to sell something from every single thing I create. But it is all pulled together to create a big picture about who I am, what I believe. And I can put a lot of education out there in the world, whether it’s for people supporting neurodivergent children or Neurodivergent Business owners and supporting you guys directly.

    Putting out the content that I do means that I can share a lot of free support.

    Oh. And this podcast as well. A lot of free ideas and support, and it also builds familiarity. So you get to know me a bit. I don’t know how much I do on sort of entertaining people, but I think I’m pretty good at educating. Sharing tips, sharing ideas, exciting people, motivating people, and also, connecting people up with how they can get more support if that is right for them. So broadly, those

     are the strategy and goals behind my content creation for both businesses.

    So at the highest level, what I do is plan out what I’m going to be selling across the year. I’ve got a wall calendar with the whole year that I can see. I’m looking at it right now. If you hear me turning away from the mic. I can see what promotions I’ve got going on when I’ll be releasing things, I’ll be doing certain things.

    So that’s all there on the calendar. And the next step is to work out. What is the period of time that I’ll be kind of leading up to that thing and what sort of information or topics I’ll need to be sharing on so that I can connect people up with that information. So that’s the sort of highest level strategy, what is the goal or purpose of my content? Once I’ve mapped that out once I’ve sort of mapped out the promotions calendar or the kind of events and things like that. I then can get deeper into each specific piece of content.

    What is the CTA? So CTA. Stands for call to action. Now, some people say every single post or every single thing you create must have a CTA. I don’t think that’s necessarily a hundred percent true. And in fact, some of my more off the cuff, quickly thought of this idea to share. That kind of content.

    I don’t always have a CTA, cause it may not necessarily be directly connected to the things I’m selling and doing. Regardless. It’s a good idea. And it’s important that most of your content has a CTA, but it doesn’t always have to be buy my thing for me. A lot of the time it is because I’m really happy to keep people educated about what things I’m selling and that does help. I can see it drive sales and get people more connected with the things that I offer to help them.

    So that’s cool. It works.

    At other times the CTA is for people to get free stuff from me. So I have quite a few lead magnets, which is, free PDFs often. And various other free things that people can access. Sometimes I run free webinars and things like that. So the call to action is for people to get connected up or register for those or download that thing. And that also lands people like you, perhaps on my email list, once you’re on my email list, I’ve got some other ways that I can keep you informed.

    You get even more in-depth information from me. And I also then have your permission. To share things. I’ve got, promotions and sales and things like that that come up. And I always am walking the line, the balance, which is hard to find between me feeling like I’m being a bit too noisy, but also recognizing that pretty much nobody sees all of my stuff.

    So if I send three emails, you might read one of them. So yeah, it’s something that I’m always kind of experimenting with and watching the results. And yes, some people do unsubscribe from my email list. And I’m okay with that. I’m completely cool with that because. I myself only want in my inbox, what is valuable to me? My hope is that most of what I’m sending is valuable to the people reading.

    And I also really try to share information and helpful tips along the way.

    But yeah, I completely respect that. It’s not always valuable. So weirdly actually kind of celebrate unsubscribes. Not that I hope for a lot of them, but I really recognize that it’s part of people kind of saying, yeah, this is not for me right now.

    And I go, cool. Okay. No worries. And lots of people do want to read what I’m sharing. So that is awesome too. So really the idea here is every post or let’s say most posts should have something that is a call to action. I mean, the other calls to action could be share with a friend real typical. Kind of gestalt. Like a little phrase that you might hear at the end of a YouTube video is like, like comment and subscribe, that kind of things.

    Those are calls to action. So I kind of work backwards. I’ve got my content calendar planned out. And being strategic and thinking it through. And then I look ahead to perhaps the next four weeks. I plan out the calls to action. I love to get this to eight weeks. Depends on kind of how my workflow’s going.

    Sometimes I get there. So I’ve kind of plan out what do I want people to do with each post? And once I’ve got that in place, Then I can actually plan what is going to be the topic of that post or that email or that podcast episode. Something that aligns with the information that I’ll be sharing in the thing that I’d like them to buy at the end or the thing that I’d like them to download at the end.

    So

    . Yeah, you can see that that process goes from strategy to planning and we haven’t even done the content creation yet.

    In that planning phase, I often am pulling from my ideas bank and what I really encourage a lot of you to do if you’re short on time. Perhaps if you’re an ADHDer and you’ve just got heaps of ideas and they’re coming out your ears, but you don’t always have time to implement them. Don’t let those ideas go. Do write them down, but find one place, one central place that is really, really easy for you to capture your thoughts. And be very disciplined about only putting your thoughts in that one spot.

    I don’t always do it. I actually have two spots for full disclosure. So yeah, there’s a little bit of my chaos there, so, but I would really encourage you for a lot of people. It might just be the notes app on your phone, but literally just keep one note and just add to it. And as you cover off a topic and you’ve actually created the content on that topic, just strike it out or move it or color it, make it clear to yourself.

    What is sort of a remaining idea that you haven’t really fully engaged with yet? What’s something that you have kind of dealt with, or you’ve taken that idea and done something with.

    But the key here is it’s got to be very, very simple for you to use.

    Let’s head into step three, which is the actual creation moment. And this is something that we’re probably going to spend most time on in our content creation. Get it done day. So I will be walking people through the strategy and also through the planning. And some people might really stick there.

    They might spend most time on those stages if that’s where they are and that’s where they need to be. But for many people that might be done quite quickly and we might move on quite quite quickly so that most of the days actually spent doing the doing. Now I know for me, this is a huge challenge is like I have these ideas.

    I have these. Big plans. I have all these things that I want to create. When do I get the time to do it? So.

    One way I help myself with that is I do have virtual assistants who can help me, but I’m not always organised enough and we’re still working on the workflow and tweaking that. And truthfully, for example, my Instagram posts, I actually really enjoy the creative process of creating them, but I just don’t always have the time. So one thing that the content get it done, they will do is actually create that space in that time.

    But also give you a space to get some feedback as well.

    So how I do my content creation, it changes, it varies quite a bit. So I kind of start my content in different ways. Sometimes I started with an Instagram post that I turn into a podcast episode and funny thing that is exactly what I’m doing right now.

    You may have seen the Instagram post. That I’m literally looking at as my notes while I’m talking through this podcast episode. Because I heard from a lot of you, it was very helpful. And yeah, and I just thought there’s more that I can share on the podcast then I could put into that post. So I thought you might like to hear it in a different way. I will probably then turn this back into Instagram posts in different ways as well. So sometimes I start from the Instagram post and go, Ooh, I can talk more on that topic. Other times I start with the podcast.

    So I write a few notes for myself as an outline, and then I just speak and then do a bit of editing.

    And then the podcast is kind of the beginning point for all of that. I will usually repurpose one piece of content in at least two other ways and how it starts really depends on my mood. Other times I feel like writing.

    So I’ll probably start then. Either writing it in my project management software, which I use, which is click up where I can just draft things very easily. Sometimes I will write it straight into my email software, which is convert kit as one of the weekly emails that I’m sharing with people. And that will be the origin of kind of the content that. The creation of the content, rather than just the simple idea of the content.

    So it depends on my mood.

    It depends what’s going on for me. Podcast recording. I am literally doing it here on a Saturday morning. I have a little bit of a pattern. I think of doing that where my family. The lovely noisy kids and my husband go out. On a Saturday morning and it leaves the house quiet. And while I do have other days in the week where I can do that. I find something about Saturdays is where I’m ready to chat here on the podcast.

    So that’s what I do, but it’s not always Saturday morning when I feel like

     sharing an idea. So that’s where it usually I’ll head into CAMBA or Or into my writing ways of doing this as well. So yeah, it just depends what’s going on for me. And partly, I think.

    This really suits my ADHD brain is just allowing myself to create in different ways and letting that be completely fine.

    There’s no one way. And that keeps it fresh. It keeps it a bit novel. It keeps it interesting. And I just go with my own flow in that moment.

    I might do another, either Instagram posts or perhaps another podcast episode in the future about repurposing content and how I do that. One of the main things that I do. And I’ll just share here is. I guess I put this down to my ADHD brain when something has stopped being the most important thing, and it’s not so visible for me.

    And it’s complete. It can become completely invisible to me and I can stop really, even registering that it existed. So for example, I have a list of the podcast episodes that I’ve done before, and I need to go back and look at it, especially for my other podcast. Exploring Neurodiversity. I’m up to, I think, 31 episodes.

    I have to go back and check the list that I haven’t done another podcast episode on that exact topic before, because honestly, I don’t trust my memory and I need these visual cues and these simple ways of cross-checking things from the past.

    And what that means is once I’ve sent out my weekly email, once I’ve published my podcast episode, Once I published an Instagram post, it has the ability to become invisible to my brain. And to stop that happening when I’ve done a piece of content that I know is really interesting and can easily become something more or be sort of translated into a different format. I’m developing a lot more.

    Discipline to actually take that content.

    So I’ll just sort of copy paste or at minimum, get the link for that content. Paste it into my project management software, where I do lay out all the content that I’ll be creating in the future. And make sure it’s not lost. So for example, I actually had this podcast episode, literally in my calendar, it says episode six. And it just said content creation.

    And I had a link back to the Canva document that I’m looking at now of my initial Instagram posts around this. That meant that it wasn’t lost to me. I didn’t lose what I was going to be talking about. I didn’t sit there with a blank page going, oh my gosh, what am I talking about? I had reminded myself and I’d put in place the system where I went, oh, here’s the content I’ve done before I can now bounce off that and speak about it. So you need to make it easier for yourself.

    You do need to set up really good systems and that’s something I love talking about systems. If you’ve heard. I think it was my last podcast episode about systems and automation. It’s always worth setting, taking the time to set up systems so that you’ve got ways of making it really easy for yourself in the future. To you. Plan your content to create that content, to keep it somewhere central and to link back to the other pieces of content you want to make in the future. So you don’t have to do all the thinking again.

    You’ve got your spark there and you get to just keep rolling from that point onwards.

    So that’s my overview of the three stages of how I do my content creation when I’m in autistic organised process mode. But actually coming back to the beginning of all this, the whole point of where that Instagram post came from in the first place was because. I was actually in the middle of creating content.

    And then I got really excited thinking. People might want to hear about this so that I just kind of distracted myself from the content creation. To get very meta and talk about the content creation. That is how that Instagram post came about. Anyway, here we are. We have reached the end of this episode. As I’ve been talking about the content, get it done.

    Date is coming up on the 30th of April, 2024. There may be spots left when you’re listening. It is live only. There is a workbook that will also be available to the members of my Neurodivergent Business Collective. So in the show notes, you will find a link to how you can join the Neurodivergent Business Collective anytime. You’ll find the link to check out the content, get it done day.

    And if that is done, if it’s finished. Whether it’s full or a date has passed, you’ll be able to add yourself to a waitlist so we can actually keep connected and I’ll let you know if we run it in future. I want to hear from you how this has helped you, if there’s any

     kind of confirmation or change or thoughts that it sparked for you and your content creation process. And, finding the way of doing that in an aligned way for your brain.

     Thank you so much for listening in. I hope that you’ve taken something helpful from today’s episode and please do share it with a fellow neurodivergent business owner friend. You can find me on Instagram @neurodivergent.business and all the links that I’ve talked about are in the show notes.

    Remember, your business can feel aligned and easy and it’s okay to do business 📍 differently. I’ll see you on the next episode.