Dear Business Owners: Stop Creating Content & Start Telling Your Story

As a content creator, you know the feeling: sitting down in front of a blank screen, feeling the weight of creating new content, fully knowing that your community growth depends on it. As the line blinks on the page, you think to yourself:

Why am I trying this again?
I don’t have anything new to say.
People are already making sooo much content.
Why should I add to the noise?
And what if I actually grow a following?
Could I take that pressure?
What if I do it wrong?
What if I can’t do this?

As you drown in self-doubt, you’re also weighed by the technical side of digital marketing. Maybe you never went to school for this. Maybe you doubt your capabilities to make it happen. Or, maybe you don’t think you can keep up with how fast the digital world changes.

In fact, digital marketing is constantly changing, and that’s intimidating. How can you find foot with so much unpredictability? All the new algorithms to appease. The expert advice to follow All the platforms wrestle with.

It’s too much. How can one person possibly stay on top of it all?

As someone who creates content daily, I see you. I feel you.

“Creating content” is a lot of pressure. The emotional experience and practical problems are totally real and overwhelming.

That’s why I wanted to find a way to engage with digital marketing that felt different. Something that excited and empowered me to share my unique perspective. A method that reflected my values and benefited my audience at every touch point (ideally... but no one is perfect). Something that fostered a real community with less stress.

Through my own struggle in trial and error, I discovered a new method; and it has nothing to do with creating content.

Instead, it’s all about capturing your story that already exists.

My Content Marketing Philosophy

As entrepreneurs, we know how content creation works. And there is no shortage of “ultimate guides” or “how-tos” on social media marketing. Just look at this exhaustive blog from Hubspot. (It’s nearly a 20-minute read!)

My method for capturing content removes so much of the unnecessary pressure, because it focuses on what inspires you and only shares what’s most authentic to you. This genuine transparency will fuel your content and build your audience.

Pro tip: It's time to change our mindset on capturing content. Let's approach it like this: YOU ARE THE CONTENT.

I wholeheartedly believe that every voice is valuable and has something worthy to say. Your story and life experiences are completely unique from everyone else. That means you have worthwhile things to share. Period.

Who you are and what you experience are worth sharing, because no one else has “walked in your shoes.” Your unique perspective can teach people to see differently and find value in things they wouldn’t have otherwise.

If you really are the content, what does that mean?

Well, it means your life is worth sharing: your real-time struggles, wins, lessons, life happenings, milestones, and unique personality. Every one of these elements is worthy to capture and share.

I’ll get into the “how-to” of this later on. However, for now, it’s important to internalize this Truth: you are the content.

Emotional Barriers to Capturing Content
Capturing content comes with emotional barriers. If you want to use this method, it means you need to do some inner work...

Barrier 1) impostor syndrome.

When capturing your content, you might feel like phony or as if no one cares. You might feel like your content doesn’t “measure up” or that it’s not good enough to post. You might feel like you're not sure how to say what you'd like, or struggle finding the right words.

So, let’s take a moment to poke that narrative.

Genuine question (imagine a softer tone): When has impostor syndrome ever served you?

When has impostor syndrome led you to your next opportunity, created a life-changing bond, or fulfilled your career dreams?

I’ll let you chew on that as I tell you another secret: your audience wants to see the real you.

Think about this: we've been attacked with so much artificial media over the last decade. We're starting to see right through it and can tell if a piece of media feels authentic in the first few seconds!

Now, more than ever, audiences want to engage with authentic brands. A recent study from Stackla reveals that 88% of consumers consider a brand’s authenticity as a key buying factor.

Additionally, mentions that almost 94 percent of all consumers are more likely to be loyal to a brand when it commits to full transparency.

Barrier 2) feeling incapable.

From my experience, feeling incapable comes from tackling too much or lacking clarity. When you have a clear plan and practical tools at your disposal, you’ll feel more at ease jumping into the process.

One goal I hope to achieve with this article is to boost your confidence. I want you to feel like this is possible.

Barrier 3) I don't have the right words

Have you ever felt like you can't fully express what you're feeling because you can't find the right words? You have no idea how many people feel this way. As someone who used to experience life this way, I honor exactly where you're at.

But I want to provide a gentle reminder: the only way to get better at communicating what you're thinking or feeling is by communicating what you're thinking or feeling. So take that first step. And what you'll discover is capturing content will actually help you get better and more confident in communicating.

Again, I’ll share the step-by-step process near the end of this article. One that you can copy and paste for your own digital marketing strategy.

Capturing Content Leads To Self-Discovery

You might find that capturing content and telling your story leads to more benefits than you thought possible. That’s because capturing content is also a modality of self-discovery.

As you face impostor syndrome and respond to your inner critic, you’ll grow as a person. You’ll discover the courage to show up and the grit to follow through. You’ll learn how to articulate your ideas and navigate challenging conversations. You’ll find humility, very quickly, and learn how to take criticism. You’ll uncover what you deeply care about, and find connections that make life more meaningful.

All these things are an inseparable and invaluable part of the process.

Now, let's talk process: how can we authentically and sustainable be creating content for the long haul?

4 Simple Steps To Capture Your Content

Capturing content begins with defining what you want to capture. And what you capture stems from your real-time experiences. Where are you already giving actively giving value, right now?

Really. Take out a pencil and write down a list. Here are some ideas of real-time content you could capture:

  • An event you attended
  • A speech or presentation you gave
  • Lessons you’re learning
  • Meetings with a team member
  • Conversations with clients
  • Insights from a coaching call

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Get creative! If you experienced something of value or provided something valuable, your audience might also find it insightful!

Now here are the 5 simple steps...

1. Capture

This one is simple. Pick one of the things you just listed and go capture you and your experience.

2. Organize Your Captured Files

Next, it’s time to get organized. If you've ever dealt with capturing video, the files stack up very quickly. Staying organized is a great way to save time and speed up the process.

Voice and Impact manages over 2 dozen brands, here's how we organize our content production files:

You'll notice we keep it simple. Let me explain the purpose of each of these folders:

00 - Production Brand Board
This folder contains all the key assets for the brand. Music files, logos, any animations that we use consistently, photos... you get the idea

01 - Highlight Bucket
This is where we put all the highlights we discover in the content review phase (that's next..) More to come on this.

02 - Social Packs
This is language I made up. A social pack, as I've defined it, is all the production files for a weeks worth of content.

To make things even more efficient, I have all the file templates set up in here for a plug and play production experience. With this system, content production is fast.

03 - RAW
A RAW file means it is untouched. Think of RAW materials. Raw iron ore is essentially iron ore that is straight from the ground. It hasn't been processed into anything yet. Same rings true with a RAW video file.

So, this is the folder I store all my captured footage.

Pro Tip: Name the footage like this: DATE - Title of Event or Capture
Example 1: 08.23.22 - Keynote Speech @ Startup Conference
Example 2: 03.22.21 - Podcast Episode 1 with Simon Sinek

Simple. Easy. ORGANIZED.

3. Review Content and Extract Highlights

I'll admit... This step can feel awkward. Especially if watching you share your ideas is new for you. So allow yourself some time to get used to it, but don't use it as an excuse to not review the footage. (I've been there.. and it delays the process.)

In this step, I’ll review the raw capture and look for highlights of sharable content that are about 1 to 3 minutes long. My goal at this point is to find key moments where value is obvious and exchangeable.

Once I have these video highlights, I’ll export the short clips in the "01 - Highlight Bucket" and give each one a simple, distinguishable name so I can easily identify them in the next phase.

Man, making content has never been easier!

4. Turning it into "Content"

Post-production is all about editing and formatting your highlights so they are ready to distribute. This is part creative part structured. So lets talk about the tools and tactical process.

There's so many tools out there for content creation. And, often times, it feels overwhelming. How can we make progress on content creation if we don't even know which tools to use? Personally, I use Adobe Suite for this. It simply can accomplish more than any of the other tools in less time.

Pro tip: the secret to saving time in the content creation process is by building production systems.

Here is the tactical process.

1) Set up the Resolution to 1080 x 1920
It's all about the vertical content these days. Let's make sure our resolution is set up right so when we export, it's ready.

2) Identify The Hook
As I review each highlight, I’ll pay close attention to finding the “hook.” The hook is the thing that grabs the most attention. Once I find the hook, I’ll cut everything leading up to that moment and drag it to the end of the video.

Why? Because the hook is the most interesting part! We lead with it so we can grab people's attention. As someone scrolls through their feed, the hook will pique their interest and (hopefully) keep them watching until the end of the video.

3) Cut the Fluff
Now that it’s leading with the hook, I’ll watch the highlight again so I can cut out the “fluff” which are the extra long spaces, any phrases that don't quite make sense, awkward pauses, or anything that doesn’t relate to the hook. We want to bring more value in a shorter period of time, without getting too choppy.

At this point, I try and shave down each highlight so that it hits 60-90 seconds or less. Most platforms have a length limit on their videos, so keeping to this benchmark makes distribution much easier.

{Pro tip: Though these recommendations are great starting points, things are changing all the time, so pay attention}

4) Edit Positioning
I want to make sure the video is positioned well. Wouldn't it suck if your head was cut off? ha. I'll usually break the video down into coherent ideas, and when the idea pivots or develops, I’ll change the angle or zoom slightly as to (hopefully) engage the viewer’s attention.

5) Add Captions & Emojis
Let me start by saying every brand is different. You should really sit down and reflect what your brands look and feel is to get this right. But, this is where I add captions. I may even add emojis, if its the right vibe. This is just sort of the industry standard for content right now. It makes your video more accessible for viewers, and can grab their attention even if they’re scrolling with their audio off.

{Pro tip: In Adobe Premiere you can add captions with the click of a button, in any style you want... check out this video for a tutorial}

{Pro Tip: The post-production strategy needs to be about creating production systems, not just producing content. There’s a different mindset at play. As your production strategy falls into place, you’ll create more templates and add more settings that will benefit you and significantly speed up this step in the process.}

{Pro Tip: Leave room for learning. You're not going to have this down right away, but you are diligent and capable - and it'll get easier with time}

5. Publication Strategy

This is where those “ultimate social media guides” focus the most. They share the data and algorithms telling you what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to posting.

Yes, it’s important to know where and how often you’re posting content, but don’t let the advice overrule what feels authentic to you.

My publication strategy is rather simple. Every week I’ll define how many pieces of content are going where. That’s it. Your strategy doesn’t need to be overly complicated. Seriously. Just pick a number and be consistent.

Usually, the same piece of content can be posted across all platforms: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and TikTok

But, here’s the deal: life might get in the way. And that’s perfectly normal! You’re a real person with a real life, and, sometimes, life happens. If you fall off the ideal for a few weeks, don’t beat yourself up. You’ll get back on the horse and gallop into a rhythm that works for you.

BONUS: Capturing Content Isn’t Just for Solopreneurs

Maybe you’re not an entrepreneur, but you work for a larger company. In that case, don’t ignore this advice. Capturing content and telling your story isn’t something exclusive to solopreneurs.

On the contrary, I have a theory:

What if employees at big corporations did a good job at telling their own stories?

Now, this is just a theory. I haven’t seen it practiced before, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening! If you know of a company that’s doing this, I would love to hear about it. Just shoot me a quick email with the details.

Want Help Telling Your Story?

Then let’s connect! I would love to tell you about my process in greater detail. Or, if you want to skip the DIY, let’s chat about a partnership opportunity.

I would be honored to learn more about you and put together the systems that will empower you to honor yourself, tell your story, and scale your impact.

Adam Schneider
Hi, I'm Adam! I'm a business consultant and founder of Voice & Impact. Voice & Impact empowers businesses and entrepreneurs to achieve clarity, make measurable progress, and enhance their operations through dedicated mentorship, strategic consulting, and unmatched creative solutions.