(Or – How to stick to creating great content).
Recently, I looked at Tik Tok for the first time.
Ok listen, I am fully aware that I am very late to this party. I’ve been trying to stay away from social media more generally in order to maintain my mental health and use my time more strategically. I was begrudgingly dragged to the Tik Tok party by my own coach, who suggested that Tik Tok content is the way to go in order to gain a following for my coaching work. Fair enough, and probably totally correct, but guys – I hate Tik Tok. It’s quick and frenetic and nonsensical and I can’t follow anything and it makes my brain hurt. It makes me nauseous.
I am not a fan. And, I’m not a Tik Tok creator.
And I’m not going to be one.
In building my private practice, I had the opportunity to discover pretty quickly that if I don’t like something, as disciplined and committed as I am, (and I really tend to be those things), I’m just not going to do it. And it’ll hang over my head and I’ll self-flagellate that I’m not doing it, and that feels bad. And then I’ll wake up feeling bad, and go through my day feeling bad, and I’m just not about sustaining a long-term business that way, you know?
But for many of us, blogging or Instagram (or Tik Tok!) is the way that we build visibility and market our practice. So – how then do we create? How do we market ourselves with content that we actually enjoy making? Here’s a few good tips to get started:
- CHOOSE ONE OR TWO THINGS YOU LOVE TO DO. DO THOSE THINGS (And only those things!) When building both my therapy and coaching practices, I found myself dragged around to all sorts of possible avenues for visibility and marketing, and everyone has a different opinion about what works best. Facebook, groups, Instagram, Tik Tok, blogging, videos, newsletters, in-person events, etcetera – there are a billion ways to put yourself out there, and if you try to do them all, I promise you will end up doing none of them particularly well. So, sit for a minute, and run through the different ways you might market your private practice in your mind. What resonates with you? What sounds fun, interesting, and like something you might even look forward to making or doing? Lean into the things that capture your interest, and then narrow it down to your top two. I promise you, doing two things well is much better in the long run than doing ten things halfway.
- CONSISTENCY IS KEY Obvious, but also weirdly difficult to stick to. We all have eight million things going on all the time, and it can be incredibly difficult o stick to a calendar (especially if we’ve overbooked ourselves). So, take the time to think through a calendar that you will actually stick with. Like, really. Don’t be ambitious – think about what you think you’ll be able to do, and then cut that in half. Schedule around that. When I started my practice, I was lucky enough to land a blog on a high-visibility online space, who needed me to blog for them once weekly. The added pressure was helpful, because I knew that if I didn’t blog every week, I’d get the boot, and the blog allowed me to reach a lot of people and gave my website great SEO and high visibility off the bat. I blogged every Sunday morning (which is still my preferred writing time), in the same place, and generally gave myself the same time frame to complete the task. The blog was something I could commit to, consistently, for my first year. It worked very well in getting me started.
- CREATE IN A DEDICATED SPACE AND TIME Content creation is hard enough on it’s own, let alone trying to do it when distracted, or when you’re on a really tight schedule. Sometimes these things just are what they are, but if you can carve out a dedicated time frame (something that will act to both free and restrain your creation), you’ll be able to lean into your work much more easily. The space you choose to work in is more important than you’d guess. At the start of my practice, I tried writing from my bedroom, because I didn’t have any other in-home choices available. I was constantly distracted by the dust on the floor, the laundry, and the fact that my bedroom now felt like a workspace, which was not the juju I was going for in that space. When I moved to a local coffee shop that I loved for blogging, I found I could much more easily focus and attend to my work. The coffee shop became the place where my brain switched into writing mode, and my bedroom was allowed to return to the space I wanted the bedroom to be – a decidedly not work-related space.
Being intentional about how you create as you’re building your private practice is essential to keep yourself sane, and to keep on creating in a manner that is both consistent and of high quality. Reach the audience you’re looking for, and love what you’re making!