I am not naturally a very organized person. It usually takes some kind of forcing function to get me to have a system and process in place to follow routinely.
Interesting thing is, it’s only when you consistently follow a process and system that it has value. That, and having others who rely on those systems/processes to be able to deliver value back to you.
This is the case with me and my content creation process.
When I fail to create content on a consistent basis, it’s because I don’t follow my process or I don’t have the things that are internal blockers for me (like creating YouTube thumbnails!!!! or coming up with good ideas for my blog) in place so a member of our team can help with them.
But I do have a rather robust content creation process that I wanted to share.
This process workflow is always a Work In Progress, and I’ll update this post as it evolves, but as of today (4/12/2023), here’s what it looks like:
Everything Starts With Twitter
I know, :eyeroll. Twitter, why aren’t you on Mastadon or Tiktok already?
Twitter isn’t perfect, but it’s great at being able to test a lot of stuff, usually with very low effort.
Every new idea for a piece of content I have starts with Twitter in mind.
Even if this will later become a blog post, newsletter (I send my Founder Insights newsletter every Saturday morning), YouTube video, short video clip for YouTube/IG/Tiktok, etc., it’s always tested on Twitter first.
If something gets an OK response, it might become a Short Clip.
If it gets a really good response it might be a medium length (5 – 10 mins for me lately) YouTube video.
And if it really rocks it’ll be my weekly newsletter topic.
So, I queue up my Twitter in Hypefury. I like Hypefury because it’s a Twitter-first kind of tool and let’s me focus just on that kind of content. I’ll talk later about how I use Buffer for other social posting purposes.
Ideation for Twitter content and the actual writing of posts usually happens within Buffer itself. If I can’t quite round out a tweet that’s <280 characters or it’s not a fully fleshed out idea I’ll drop it into a Notion board that I keep with my EA and we refine it there at a later time.
There’s a lot I want to write/blog/podcast/video about, but I try to keep it in just a couple of broader topics:
- Sales and Marketing
- Being a founder
- Brand Building
Travel, my political beliefs, my family, etc. all just don’t get talked about. Gotta keep some stuff personal.
Weekly Content Audit Call
Every Tuesday morning I have a 60 minute call with Christina, my Executive Assistant.
She comes to that meeting with the Twitter posts from the previous week, and their engagement metrics (likes/retweets) loaded into a Google Sheet.
We review those posts and see which category each of them fall into. To recap, that could be:
- They did “OK” – do a short clip for Tiktok/IG/LinkedIn/Facebook. These are < 1 minute. And are just me talking, with subtitling, for the moment.
- They did pretty well – do a 3-5 min, fully produced video for my YouTube channel
- They did really well – this needs more time to marinate. It will be my weekly newsletter topic.
I record all of the short clips with my EA on the call.
I’ve been recording locally in Quicktime, as it’s super high quality and lossless. If we’re on topic and organized, this is about a 20 minute recording that gets chopped up into ~10 short clips.
In a way, she’s sort of prompting or “interviewing” me to keep me on track, and make the clips more conversational.
For those of you who’ve never tried talking into the camera for 2 minutes straight, it’s mega intimidating. I wouldn’t suggest trying it unless you’re a pretty seasoned content creator.
Having someone on the call who is motivated to keep the trains running, keeping you focused, and pointing out areas where you can improve is awesome.
Short Clip Video Production
My EA then edits down the shorts in Veed.io. Adding captions and formatting for each channel. Here are where the shorts go out (and the format we produce them in):
9:16 format (portrait)
- YouTube Shorts
- Instagram Reels
- Instagram Post
Veed makes switching between formats super simple (it’s literally just a click of a button), and then she re-exports the ones we need for those platforms.
All the short clips and their associated text contents are published to all the platforms with Buffer.
I use both Hypefury and Buffer because for starters, Hypefury doesn’t publish video at all, and I kind of like having two separate tools for video content and their associated schedules, and one for text-based content that’s mostly for Twitter.
Long Form Video Production
The (or one of the) winners for the week will be a 5-10 minute video for my YouTube channel. The Castos Productions team edits this, as it has things like animations, B-roll footage, sound effects, bumpers, etc.
This is also recorded in Quicktime on my mac, and I upload it to Dropbox for the Castos team.
They send this back to my EA who writes up the video description, grabs links, etc. and preps it all for my review in Notion. Once I give the thumbs up there they create a thumbnail image in Canva with a template we’ve put together, and post to my YouTube channel.
Founder Insights is my weekly newsletter that goes out every Saturday. If you haven’t already, please consider subscribing.
Spoiler alert, it’s also a blog post that’s published on my blog (https://craighewitt.me/blog) the following Tuesday. So if you don’t want to clog up your inbox with my ramblings, just check out the blog from time to time.
I don’t think this is disingenuous to repurpose long form content like this.
To me a newsletter and a blog post have much the same tone, format, and content. They are in-depth explorations of a thing that’s going on in my work-world these days.
I draft the newsletter here in WordPress because I really like the writing experience here. Sorry to all the WP and Gutenberg haters. It’s pretty minimalist and I don’t get distracted like I would in Notion where the rest of Castos’ work stuff is.
Copy the entire blog post contents into MailerLite, the tool I use for my personal email marketing, and schedule it for Saturday morning at 8:00 am.
The blog post gets SEO tweaked, we create a featured image (again in Canva), apply a few finishing touches, and then goes out the next Tuesday at 8:00 am ET.
This may sound like a lot, and I think if I was doing it all myself it would be a lot. But I view myself (and whatever degree of “audience” I have) as an asset to Castos, and so most all of this runs through the business.
I spend about an hour per week writing Twitter content, which is the proving ground for what ends up getting produced further.
I spend about another hour writing the weekly blog post/newsletter.
So 2 hours of my time in per week. These both occur on my non-meeting days, and are scheduled in my calendar first thing in the morning. No email or anything that morning until this gets done.
Not as much as you might think. My EA works on other things, so it’s tough to know exactly how much time she spends on this, but I’d estimate it to something like 10 hours a week. Apply that by whatever hourly rate you pay your assistant, and there ya go.
The Castos Productions team for editing the full length YouTube video is a bit more expensive, just because it’s more highly produced, but you get the picture.
Let’s say all-in you could hire a single person to do this for $500/mo.
So $500 and 10 hours per month to have a high output content machine. Not a bad deal.
No process is perfect, or is ever done. This is certainly the case with my content creation process.
Here are a few things I want to start doing, but need to either put together documentation for so that my EA can help with them, or find someone else who’s really excellent at it.
- Different captioning format and editing styles for each platform. I think this is a super pro move. Tiktok videos should just feel different than LinkedIn, and it’s likely that a different person should produce those. We’re just not there yet. Every video looks about the same, aside from the size/format.
- Posting more often. All of this is a lot of work, both for me and for the team. I’m putting out 2 Twitter posts a day during the week, so that’s up to 10 shorts, 1 long form video, 1 blog post/newsletter.
- Engaging with others. This might not exactly fall under the realm of Content Creation but rather Social Media Strategy, but I know that “just posting” isn’t the answer, I have to get in there and engage with folks. Working on a way to batch process this right now, but I’m just not intuitively a social media person, so I have to find a way to make this work for me.
- Ask my EA to duplicate the blog post from WordPress into Mailerlite for the newsletter. Easy win, I just need to document my process.
- Get at least 1 week ahead. Right now, I’m creating “Just In Time” content, and that’s great cause it’s all pertinent today. But it’s dangerous in case something happens and I can’t get content created, I’ll miss days or weeks.
Your Content Creation Process
If you’re creating content on a regular basis I’d love to hear about your process. Drop me a line or hit me up on Twitter (@thecraighewitt)