Aside from the fear of putting yourself on display by creating content, another thing that stops people from diving into building their brand is time.
In just the last week, I've had countless messages from people on LinkedIn and coworkers, asking me how I find the time to work on my brand consistently.
In this post, I will share three things with you that I do to make the time (while being a full-time worker, mom of six-year-old twins, and a homeowner) but let's get the obvious out of the way now: It's no walk in the park!
Why are you doing this?
"The WHY can help set a vision to inspire people. The WHY can guide us to act with purpose, on purpose." — Simon Sinek
Without your "why," it's hard to make time. Period.
I spoke to a friend recently who said he wanted to give talks for a living –– I love that! That is a powerful "why" because to give talks, you have to be recognized, and to be recognized, you first need to put yourself out there.
For me, working on building my brand was powered by feeling stuck, and later on, my "why" turned into teaching others and building relationships. When in doubt, I'd always lean on my "why" to keep up my momentum.
Your "why" is your drive, and a strong sense of "why" will lead you down the path of taking action. To start things off, I want you to think about why you want to do this. There are no wrong answers here.
Where are you spending your time?
The more I talk to people about brand building, the more I hear about time being the main reason they don't post. And I don't want to be that annoying person that's like "we all have the same 24 hours" 😑. Yes, everyone starts at 24 hours, but different factors allow some of us to have more time than others.
I want to invite you to take inventory of where you are spending your time right now. Nearly a year ago, I spent at least an hour a day on Instagram and then another hour watching TV. I also slept in, so I was already down additional hours.
To focus on brand building and creating content, I had to make some changes. I started waking up at least an hour earlier each morning, and I also deleted Instagram 😱.
⚠️ This is extreme ⚠️
Instagram was a great way for me to see what my family was up to, have a good laugh, and sadly it was also the platform that regularly made me feel less then. In my feed, everyone's perfect life was on display, and it sure as hell didn't stir up any good feelings inside of me. It was hard to walk away from the app (it's addicting). But I knew it was for the greater good.
I'm not telling you to stop watching TV and delete all of your socials, but if you find that you are dedicating time to do either or both, you can borrow some time from these activities to work on your brand.
There are also little things that I felt "I" had to do, but I just needed help. I'm talking about crockpots to help me start dinner in the morning and buy me back sometime later on. I'm talking about hiring a housekeeper every other week to help around the house (laundry kills me every 👏 time 👏). And as a mom, teaching my kids how to become more independent.
These little things add up throughout the day, and maximizing my time as best as possible made more space for other things in my life.
How long does it take to create content?
Time is a huge factor, but deep down inside, it's also being afraid of judgment. And judgment can exaggerate the time it takes to create content.
On average, writing a post from scratch can take me up to 20-30 minutes. That time includes brainstorming ideas, writing, proofreading, and posting. In the "finding ideas and organizing them" section below, I'll get into how you can reduce this time.
If you're afraid of judgment and therefore err on the side of perfectionism, on average, a post can take you 1-2 hours to write (I know because I've been there). When you get started, you'll have to be okay with knowing that your content will get better over time; it's a progression. No one begins with consistent killer content. Letting go of perfectionism is the key to freeing up time.
Finding ideas and organizing them
Knowing what to write about also takes time. If you're thinking about your ideas on the fly, that takes even longer.
Here's one thing I wish I did sooner that has helped me produce more content faster: A 30-minute brainstorm session. For 30 minutes, I write down any ideas that come to mind for a post. I Don't worry about grammar or judgment; my goal is to just write!
After 30 minutes, I'll have a bank of ideas for posts –– some good and some not so good. I can then choose an idea and create a post out of it. I find that creating ideas is incredibly challenging, especially at the very beginning of a brand-building journey. This exercise can help you navigate that hurdle.
Once you have your ideas ready to go, the second part is organizing them.
I don't sit at my computer every morning at 9 AM to post something. Here's my little secret... I use a tool for that.
I started with Hootsuite and have moved to Buffer recently. These tools allow me to schedule my posts when I have time. I usually post at 9 AM. At that time, I may have my hands tied with getting my kids ready for class or maybe jumping on a call with a customer. With Buffer, I fill in my calendar with a few posts and auto-schedule them for 9 AM.
While you're organizing your posts, you're also organizing yourself. If you tie everything together, you'll find pockets of time to either create a post or engage with others on LinkedIn. Add a block on your calendar and get serious about it. If you devote 30 minutes to brand building 3X a week, you're on track!
If you're a planner like me, build it into your schedule and then leverage the tools to help you maximize what you have.
Figure out your "WHY."
Take inventory of where you spend your time and make space for 30 minutes 3X a week.
Come up with ideas for posts during a 30-minute brainstorm.
Goal: Create one post on LinkedIn (you can do it 🙌)