If you find yourself stuck in the feast and famine marketing cycle (you know, doing some solid marketing, gaining clients, completing projects, and then starting from scratch), you know that it can be frustrating. Running your business this way isn't ideal, but with all the different hats you wear in your life and business, finding time for marketing can be challenging. On top of that, it feels like there's always a new popular social platform to keep up with - hello threads! So how can you manage it all?
Today, I brought on Amanda Warfield to share her strategies and tips on this exact topic. This episode is packed with ideas to boost your productivity by batching your content in just ONE week, so you no longer have to worry about marketing every single day. You'll learn how to be more strategic with your content, which will ultimately lead to more revenue (and ideally - relaxation!).
In this episode, we talk about:
- how to make time for marketing when you're busy
- Amanda shares her system for creating an ENTIRE MONTH’S worth of marketing content in just one week
- how she manages to batch 20-ish podcast interviews in just one week, two times a year, leaving her with a backlog of episodes.
- how to prevent boredom when talking about the same topic repeatedly
- planning your batch weeks around your energy cycles
- how to get out of the feast or famine marketing cycle for good
And honestly - so much more. If you find this all amazing and wonder how it's done, don't worry - I asked all the follow-up questions to get all the details.
Before we dive in - are you in the Breakthrough Brand All Access Facebook Group yet? It’s free to join, and it’s where we take conversations like the one I had with Amanda today further. Pop in and ask questions, share insights, and even peek behind the scenes of my own business and what I’m trying lately. You might even see Amanda Warfield in there! I’d love to see you inside!
LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE NOW:
Who is Amanda Warfield of Chasing Simple?
I'm a simplicity focused content marketing and launch strategist and copywriter, and I help my clients create the copy and the marketing materials that they need, but I also help all of my students learn how to simplify their marketing so that they're not spending all of their time on it. My mission is to help other entrepreneurs find the time to market their business without their marketing taking over their business.
In this episode, we are going to talk about getting out of feast or famine marketing and content marketing, so let’s dive into some context first!
What is Feast or Famine Marketing?
The name gives it away and it’s a trap I see so many small business owners fall into. It’s “I need to get clients” and then you put in a lot of time and effort into marketing. Whether you use Dubsado, HoneyBook, or any CRM tool, you are busy keeping track of various client-related tasks and you're focused on doing the work they've paid you for, which consumes all of your time and energy. Then, you end up neglecting marketing. It's still on your to-do list, but you never manage to prioritize it. Eventually, you realize that you've completed or nearly completed all of your client projects, but you haven't received any new inquiries because you haven't been marketing. This leads to a cycle of feast and famine where you go from having a lot of clients to having none.
What is Content Marketing?
Let's take a step back and define marketing. For many, marketing can be a vague and overwhelming term. Marketing is simply the effort you put into getting your business seen by new people. Content marketing, on the other hand, specifically uses the creation and sharing of online materials, such as podcasts, blogs, social media platforms, or YouTube channels. Essentially, any online content you create and share falls under content marketing. The beauty of content marketing in the online space is that it is a cost-effective way to promote your business. While networking and other marketing methods require time and effort, content marketing can be done from the comfort of your own home.
In order to get out of the feast or famine marketing cycle, we have to stay consistent. What advice do you have for staying consistent when we are busy?
Do less. You don’t have to follow best practices.
I find that when we are trying to figure out a new platform, let’s say you want to start a podcast for example, the first thing we do is go to Pinterest and search, “how often am I supposed to put out a podcast episode?”. Then you find information on what the best practice is. But we don't have to follow best practices in order to see growth in our business.
That's something that I think a lot of us don't realize - especially those of us that are solopreneurs. We don't have the man hours to do all the things and to be in all the places and to put out all of the content. So instead of focusing on following best practices, focus on putting out less content that's higher quality. You can also show up on less platforms as well. We don't all need to be on YouTube and have a podcast and write blog posts and show up on Instagram and show up on TikTok and do email marketing. It's okay to start with less and then build up as you get in the rhythm of showing up consistently.
How many marketing platforms should we be on as small business owners?
So, if we're talking strictly social, start with one. My recommendation is to begin with one platform and get comfortable and consistent with it. Establish a strategy and then you can experiment with adding another platform.
But remember - it's not just about social media. I highly recommend showing up with an email newsletter. If possible, also consider some form of long-form content like a blog, podcast, or YouTube channel. And Pinterest is its own unique platform, more like a search engine marketing platform. However, if that feels overwhelming, at least have an email newsletter because, let's face it, you don't own your social media platforms.
How important is consistency?
Consistency is key. It's the most important thing you can do with your content. Having high-quality content is great, but consistency is what truly benefits your business. When you show up consistently, you're building a relationship with your audience and establishing trust. If you suddenly disappear after showing up regularly, people will notice and wonder what's going on. This applies especially to your super fans who trust you the most. By consistently showing up, you cultivate that relationship. If you ghost them, that foundation starts to crumble. It's like a friend who cancels plans all the time; you don't expect them to show up anymore. The same goes for inconsistent marketing. Remember, even though you don't owe your audience anything with free content, consistency builds trust and strengthens your relationship.
EM: Just to add to that (and I agree with what you said), I know some people listening may think that no one is listening to their podcast closely enough to notice or care. While it may be true that you won't receive many direct messages if your episode doesn't air exactly on time, people are still paying attention. On top of that, consistency is important for YOU as a business owner. Without a plan, you may become one of the many podcasts that eventually stop airing episodes. Instead, when you are starting, consider implementing a minimal viable product concept. If you aren’t sure you want to commit to airing an episode every Wednesday, try doing it for six weeks straight first and then decide if you want to continue, switch to seasons, or even switch to a monthly release. It doesn't have to be a commitment for the rest of your life. It can be an experiment. However, having an agreement with yourself and your audience makes a big difference.
How much content is “enough”?
In order to get out of the feast or famine marketing cycle, it's important to align the amount of content you create with the time you have available and that’s why I recommend batching a month’s worth of content in a week. Whether you are a side hustler and have 5 hours a week or you do this full-time and have 40 hours in a week, however much you can fit into that is how much content you can realistically produce for a month. This way, you are setting clear boundaries for your marketing based on how much time you as an individual really have.
Can you share your process for batching content?
Absolutely! The thing is, the way I teach is that it's unique to each person's business. We all have different time constraints, and I don't expect everyone's batch week to be identical. But I'll share what mine looks like. My students have different day ones - some start on Wednesday and batch until the following Wednesday, while others do Monday to Friday. It all depends on what works for you!
Day one: Create strategy and plan for the month. Analyze what's working and determine messaging based on audience needs, promo, and launch schedule. This is when you decide ”what you need to create and when”.
Day two: Create the bulk of your long-form content. Write or record episodes, blog posts, or videos for the upcoming month.
Day three: Edit your content. Revise audio, video, or written posts for quality and accuracy.
Day four: Format and design. Focus on formatting and create graphics for your content.
Day five: Repurpose and schedule. Adapt long-form content for email newsletters and social media. Schedule posts for publication.
Batching isn't simply about creating a bunch of content all at once, like writing a blog post, editing it, formatting it, and scheduling it, then moving on to the next. True batching involves breaking down the process step by step, rather than focusing on completing individual pieces of content.
You spend so much time on this long form content, so make sure you let it work for you for longer than you spend working on it. So take that long form content and turn it into your email newsletter, and your social media posts. Then you just schedule everything out and that's all done for the next month. You have three weeks where you don't have to worry about your content.
How does batching help with productivity?
There was a study conducted by Dr. Gloria Mark where it was found that every time you context switch, you lose 27 minutes of your day. Batching properly helps you avoid this context switching. For example, when you switch from writing to editing, to formatting, then scheduling, you context switch four times. Breaking up the tasks step by step (instead of per piece of content) allows you to be more productive, without losing those 27 minutes each time.
How do you handle a batch week if you have a team helping you?
I let them work at their own pace. If you don’t handle the formatting and design, for example, you can take “day four” off. If they want to batch, great! But it’s up to them. How I work as a business owner to help is by working two months ahead. For example, in my batch week in June, I’m creating the content for August. So my team has until my batch week in July to get the August content done.
You do your podcast interviews over a span of two weeks annually (instead of doing some interviews each month or each quarter). Can you share a little more about that?
I don't like interrupting my weeks with interviews for my own podcast. It's different when I'm doing interviews like this, but for my own work, I just want to get it done and out of the way. Here's what I do: I choose a week on the calendar, usually about two months in advance, and invite around 15 to 20 people to be interviewed on my show. Sometimes people can't make it, or the week I set aside doesn't work for them, so I offer to invite them back in the next round.
Once I have everyone scheduled, I use HoneyBook to streamline the process. I give them a form to fill out, automate emails, and manage the scheduling. I also set up the episode details and questions in Trello so I can easily access everything I need. During interview week, I focus solely on interviews, usually having about two to four per day. I only air 1-2 interviews per month on my show and leave the rest as solo episodes so I’m also not trying to do 52 interviews in a week.
What’s your process for post-production?
After each interview, I'll take notes and add them, along with any mentioned links, to the respective Trello card. I'll write the introduction immediately so I am able to remember what we talked about. Then, when it's time to prepare for the episode, I'll record the interview with the episode number in the intro. Finally, I delegate show notes to my VA and editing to my editor.
Do you ever worry that your content won’t feel relevant when you record something and then air it 20 weeks later?
I'm intentional about choosing evergreen topics so they stay relevant. If something is timely, like the episode on creating content using AI after my guest batch week in February, I make sure it's bumped to the front of the list.
How do you feel after a batch week? Isn’t it exhausting?
Inside my course, I tell my students, "You're going to be tired after batch week." That's why the only thing on your calendar should be batch week. But the benefits are worth the exhaustion for that one week because when you only have to create content once a month, you have three weeks where you can work on moving the needle in your business. You can focus on client projects and rejuvenate your creativity. Then, you also avoid burnout because as we all know, constant creation leads to creative depletion. Use that time to renew your creativity.
Then, in the next batch week, you'll know what you want to talk about and have something to say. PLUS, with your content running in the background for the last month, you'll still have clients and you’ll be able to finally get out of the feast and famine cycle we discussed earlier. The benefits are worth it.
How do we choose which week to batch out content?
So when it comes to choosing a calendar month, it really depends on your preference. Pick a week and stick to it. In fact, I encourage all listeners now to mark their batch weeks down for the rest of the year. There might be times when you need to adjust the schedule due to vacations or other reasons, but as long as you stay consistent, it's not a big deal.
For female listeners who track their cycle, it's great to try to match batch week with one of your higher energy weeks, especially if you're creating content for platforms like YouTube or a podcast. However, if most of your content is written, it may not be a bad thing to do it during a lower-energy point in your cycle, as you won't be on camera. You can simply sit on the couch and get it done if you prefer. So take into consideration the type of content you're creating and whether you need to be more energetic and front-facing during batch week or not.
How do we stop ourselves from getting bored with our content?
You need to be okay with being a broken record. When I think about my best friend, I think about California because she talks about it all the time. When people think about me, people are going to think about Disney or my cats. You are going to get bored, and it doesn’t matter because your content is not for you. Your audience needs you to talk about it over and over and over again. If you allow yourself to get bored, it's going to be harder to get out of that feast or famine marketing cycle you are stuck in.
Remember, only a small percentage of your audience actually sees each piece of content you create. Let's assume that 5% of your audience sees any given piece of content. This means you need to talk about a topic approximately 20 times before everyone has the chance to see it. On top of that, let’s take into account the marketing rule of seven, where people need to hear about something seven to ten times before taking action on it. Combining those, in order to truly resonate with your audience, you need to mention something around 200 times before they will consider joining your course or signing up for your service. It may seem repetitive, but it's necessary to reinforce your message and drive action.
I mean, look at the Breakthrough Brand podcast. With over 200 episodes, it's impossible for someone to listen to all of them. The early episodes may still get some listens from those who start from the beginning, but the ones in the middle tend to be ignored. You can always revisit a topic since you've grown and evolved as an entrepreneur too. Talk about how you mentioned this in episode 100 but times have changed and you have new hot takes to add. Your content does not have to be (and shouldn’t be!) one and done.
How should we pick what old pieces of content to repurpose? And how should we repurpose it?
Depending on the available time, there are two instances where reusing or repurposing content is worth considering.
The first case is when unexpected circumstances come up. Let’s say during a planned batch week, your toddler falls ill, leaving you with less time for new content creation. In these situations, simply copy-pasting previously used content is a great option.
On the other hand, if you're feeling uninspired or unsure about what to discuss, you can simply revisit previously created content and upload it with a different video or text. In that case, you might be able to change up the old content a bit.
In your book Chasing Simple, you share the three phases we go through with our content in relation to our business journey. Can you share more about that?
In the book, we discuss what to do with your content based on your current phase. With so many marketing strategies available, it's easy to get overwhelmed and try everything without a strategic approach. Park of my book is divided into three sections providing tailored strategies for different phases of your business journey.
Phase One: Content Creator - in this phase, you're focused on creating content and turning it into a business. Not everybody goes through this phase!
Phase Two: Foundation Builder - in this phase, you have a specific skill and are developing your offers.
Phase Three: Established Entrepreneur - in this phase, you are refining your offers, messaging, and customer journey. The goal here is to simplify and optimize your marketing efforts for better visibility.
Rapid Fire Questions with Amanda
What is your most unpopular opinion about marketing?
You don't need to worry about the algorithm. Stop trying to figure out what the algorithm wants. Stop trying to post at the best times. Just stop. It doesn't matter. It really doesn't. The algorithm wasn't created for you. It was created to make the owner of said platform rich. So stop focusing on it because it's a waste of your time.
What do you spend a “silly amount” of money on in your life but that's totally worth it?
Food and Disney - for sure!
What Disney tip can you share with people about planning their own trip or being at a Disney park? It's so cool and unique that you have both a Disney travel planning agency and another marketing business.
It is much more enjoyable if you're not trying to do it all, which is very on brand for me, I guess. When people go to Disney, they feel like it's a once in a lifetime trip and they need to do everything, but that's not possible. It's much better to take it slow instead of packing it all in.
What would you tell someone considering an Elizabeth McCravy shop template?
I originally bought a website template in 2021, and I set up my whole website using the template, and it was great. Then, I finally invested in a professional brand because I had been struggling with one I put together five years ago, which was terrible. Last month, I went to Disney for a week and I stayed in a hotel room. I completely redid everything with the new branding.
It was so nice to have your templates because over the past two years, since I initially set it up, I've made changes. It was great to be able to go back to the base template and see how things were originally designed by Elizabeth. Then, I could add the new branding and make it look clean and right. Truly - I could go on and on about your templates. If anyone wants to chat more about them, I can sing their praises in my Instagram DMs.
We are friends on Goodreads and you read so much! How do you make time for it and what are you loving to read right now?
I read whenever I can throughout the day. Instead of scrolling through TikTok or other apps, I choose to pick up my Kindle. I definitely fit it into the pockets. Whether it's during breakfast or lunch, I enjoy a few pages in those moments.
Currently, I'm reading a book called "Rest is Resistance." It’s so good. Personally, I've faced health issues and struggled with finding my worth and productivity and that’s what this book is kind of about - it has been incredibly eye-opening and enlightening.
Want More From Amanda?
Her book, Chasing Simple Marketing, is available on Amazon now! Or, go over and say hi on Instagram @mrsamandawarfield.
Are you looking to upgrade your website without redesigning everything from scratch?
If so, you need to check out my Showit add-on templates in my template shop. You'll find podcast pages, sales pages, a landing page bundle, and the all new quiz template and speaker page template. These templates can be added to any Showit website in just a few clicks and integrated into what you already have on your website. With your purchase, you also get access to tutorials where I'll show you exactly how to set everything up and customize your new pages in under an hour.
August 1, 2023