As a content creator, you get to live the dream that so many have: to be your own boss. It sounds amazing… until you realize that you are solely responsible for your income. There’s no manager to tell you what to do next and no one making sure that you stay on task. It can be very easy to spend an hour on TikTok when you should be creating your next marketing campaign.
As a co-founder of a company myself, one of the things I had to learn on the go was how to manage my time effectively since I am my own boss, so I’m going to share some of the tips that saved me early on. Because if there’s one thing I think we all could use, it’s a strategy for how to stay productive in a world constantly begging for our attention!
When you’re ready to work, be present. Mute your notifications, listen to music that won’t distract you from working, and give your fur babies something to focus on for the next few hours.
HAVE A PLAN
Whenever I meet with content creators who’d like to work with us, I ask what their goals are for themselves. This tells me several things, one of which is whether they’ve thought about the future. If you haven’t already, take some time and determine what your goal is in being a content creator. Is it just to make money for a year or two and then move on? Do you want to become a top creator? Do you have ambitions to one day have other content creators working with or for you? Knowing your end goal will help guide your planning. One thing I know for sure is that you can’t just focus on your business today; you need to be thinking ahead and planting the seeds for success in the future each step of the way.
MAKE A SCHEDULE
When our company transitioned to working from home in early 2020, a tip that I gave all of my employees was to start their day the same way they would if they had a commute. Get up, get dressed, make your coffee and do everything as if you’re about to walk out the door and head into an office. It’s a simple concept and helps those of us who get sidetracked easily. If you’re not a morning person, you can start your day a little later and get that extra shut-eye you need; just have a plan for what time you’re “clocking in” to get the work done.
Scheduling isn’t just about what time and days you work, either; you can also schedule what days are designated for specific tasks. For instance, if you find that you’re most creative early in the week, plan to work on content creation Mondays and Tuesdays. If you need a pick-me-up towards the end of the week, plan to work on the tasks that you enjoy most, like reaching out to other content creators or going live on a platform.
You should have one day that is just a planning day, if you’re able to focus your attention long enough. Planning is essential: holidays, special events and vacation breaks all need to be accounted for in your content. You’ll need to know what you need for your shoots, when you’re going to get everything put together and what you need to get if you’re missing items. No matter how carefully planned a project may be, something can still go wrong. But, if you’re organized in your planning, you will be able to see where the possible issues are and plan accordingly for a backup if needed.
DON’T GO DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
Technology has made our lives easier in a lot of ways, while simultaneously making it far too easy to get sidetracked. Email on our phones, a dozen different messaging apps, pop-up notifications from food delivery apps and puppies begging for attention all clamor for us to stop what we’re doing and look at them this instant. I have to block “quiet time” into my schedule just so I can use that time to work without distractions. If I don’t mute notifications and block my calendar, it’s too easy for me to start talking to a friend or scrolling through Reddit. Before I know it, an hour has gone by and I am no closer to finishing my work. When you’re ready to work, be present. Mute your notifications, listen to music that won’t distract you from working, and give your fur babies something to focus on for the next few hours.
REUSING & RECYCLING ISN’T JUST GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
If a video you did a year ago fits in with a theme you’re working on today, reuse it! Not only is it OK for you to reuse your content, but I encourage you to do so. Fan turnover is real and something you did a year ago may not have been seen by the fan who subscribed last month. Not only will this save you some time to help you focus on fresh content, it also gives your old content new life and another shot at bringing in revenue. You can even build on this old content to create something new, such as starting a series or planning a future bundle.
THERE IS ONLY ONE YOU
If there’s a type of content you want to make, but someone else is already doing it, don’t take that as a sign to stop. Make your content, because only you can put your perspective on it. Unless you’re doing an exact copy — which I would not recommend — your own personal style and touches are what makes your content your own, and it’s what your fans want: your personal touch! Don’t try to be someone you’re not, just be yourself and trust that your fans care about you enough to enjoy it. No one else can be you! Be your own cheerleader and go for it.
Even when you’re feeling discouraged, always cheer for yourself as you’re going through it. It will show through in your work. If you set aside distractions, stay organized and plan ahead, your stress will go down while your productivity goes up — along with your earnings.
Megan Stokes is a co-founder of NMG Management, the premier content distribution & management firm. A veteran of the adult industry, she has proven to be an endless well of knowledge and is a collector of data that she gladly shares with those who seek her help.