When I started my business, I thought I had it all figured out. I had soaked up all the free content that was out there like a sponge. I just knew my business would take off so I could quit my day job and live the dream of working at home in my sweat pants.
The truth is, while I had a lot of "sidelines" skill, I had no actual real "in the field" experience and that is where a lot of people, myself included, can get stuck.
So today I'm sharing my observations on free content, why it can be detrimental to your budding business and how to deal with the overwhelm of content overload.
Let me start off by saying, I think free content is amazing, but it can be the stumbling block for so many people who are wanting to get going with their business.
Let me explain.
Consuming free content can keep you stuck
There's free content out there left and right. It wasn't this way even a few years ago but things have changed.
There are now podcasts, webinars, newsletters, blog posts, downloadables, freebies, Facebook Live and everything else offering newer, better and faster solutions.
The problem with all this is that when you're consuming, you're NOT DOING.
The reason some people out there are more successful than others is because they're out there doing rather than consuming. Sure they may get guidance and advice from freebies and podcasts but they're spending most of their time putting that knowledge into practice.
Let's go over 3 things you can do to cut back on the content overload and actually help you make progress in your business.
1. Be selective
Like I mentioned earlier, there are SO many outlets for getting advice and free guidance that I think we need to start picking and choosing WHO we're getting advice from.
It's easy to want to do #allthethings and get input from e-v-e-r-y-one. It's easy to download all the latest and greatest podcasts and sign up for all the trending webinars, but what that can do is, unfortunately, leave you in a place of feeling intimidated about where to start or worse, feeling stuck in indecision and not moving at all.
Instead of listening to everyone, I suggest cutting down your podcast playlist to your top 5 or even top 3.
Instead of signing up for everyone's newsletter, sign up for only the few people you admire and really glean from their wisdom. Maybe you respect their business, their way of communicating or their values, but learn from those people and turn off the rest.
In my experience, I found that especially when I was first starting out I listened to ALL the podcasts and read all the books and got all the advice, but I was drowning in a sea of overwhelm not knowing WHERE to start or how to make all these changes. So I got stuck.
Know who you want to have pour into you and get your guidance from those select sources.
2. Get clear on where you want to go
When you have a list of #allthethings, it can look like this:
• Create newsletter
• Market on Instagram
• Label and organize Pinterest boards
• Rewrite website
• Get brand photos taken
• Figure out copywriting
• Figure out content marketing
It's overwhelming and can leave you a little stressed. Well, me anyway.
It's important to know where you want to take your business and which steps you need to take NOW and which steps to take NEXT to get there.
Do you need to have your website redesigned to get more customers?
Or do you need to start a newsletter list to grow a customer base?
Or are you ready to rebrand to speak to another type of client?
It's important that you ask yourself what is the big goal you're trying to accomplish and work backward from there to find out which steps to take.
3. Do the work
I'm working on taking my own advice when it comes to this point. When I'm about to work on something hard, or doing something I don't like as much, I find that I either A) walk away or B) I start working on something else.
Perfect example is when I started to work on an upcoming guest post. As I'm writing it I'm getting into the technical aspects of working a DSLR (which isn't my favorite topic to write on) and I kept finding all these excuses to not finish this post. I went and did the dishes... I checked my email, then I opened Facebook. When you get to a hard spot in a project YOU NEED TO PUSH THROUGH.
This is what I'm telling myself and this is what I'm telling you. It's easy to post these little sayings of "hustle hard" or "get it done" but it's harder to actually do the work and push through on a project that's not very enjoyable.
Sometimes you need to push through uncomfortable to get to your goals in your business.
I don't want you to think I'm bad-mouthing free content, because that isn't my goal in this post. Free content has been wonderful and it's helped me in my business journey. I want to shine a light on the fact that it's easy to get stuck in consuming that we forget to follow through and put the tactics and strategies into practice.
I am speaking from experience that it's easy to get distracted in the consumption of free content, but we need to remember that implementation is the most important part.
It's more important to choose who to listen to, know where you want to go, know what your goals are and do the work.
I would love to hear your thoughts about this.
What's a struggle you have when it comes to content overload?
How do you deal when you feel overwhelmed with all the advice out there?