On Creating Content That Feels Good

How does this piece of content make me feel?

Why did it leave me feeling this way?

What have I gained from it?

Do I want to intentionally choose to receive more content like this?

Is this what I want for my own content to feel like, too?

These are the type of questions I’ve been intentionally asking myself about the content I consume recently.

Last winter life was… well, life-ing… and I didn’t have the capacity to keep creating new content in that season. But there was something else going on there too – I was going through a deeper reevaluation of my own purpose and vision for how I show up to lead my brand.

“Create before you consume” is good advice.

Your best ideas are not found on a scroll.

Giving yourself space to connect with your own ideas, voice and perspective first is how you create content that’s unique to you. But there’s a time and place for observing before contributing, too. 

Your best ideas also won’t have a chance to come through if you’re caught up with the pressure to feed the algorithm and create non-stop.

When I stepped away from the hamster wheel that creation felt like, I intentionally chose to pay even closer attention to what I consume and why.

It left me even more discerning of what I allow into my online space and mind.

I took notice of how other people’s content made me feel. And it led to so much clarity around how I want my own content to feel like, too.

In the last year or so, “be a thought leader” has become the new “give value” in the online space. Which has led to a watered down idea of “thought leadership” content flooding the scene.

But not everyone is or needs to be a thought leader. Having a point of view doesn’t make someone a thought leader. If the POV is presenting the same ideas that have been around for a while, delivered in a way that brings nothing new to the conversation, it’s definitely not thought leadership. It’s just an opinion. Not every opinion has equal value.

Of course, I absolutely do believe that sharing our perspectives in itself is needed. Our opinions, experiences and beliefs don’t have to be ground-breaking. They just have to be genuine and offer something to our people, be it a unique perspective, an insight from our experience or a helpful idea that may support them along the way.

But there’s a lot of content around that adopts a “better than thou” attitude as a way to position the creator as a “thought leader” to bolster their own “expertise.” Whilst such hot takes content may have some value to offer, it’s also leaving many of feeling anxious and criticised on the daily (a.k.a like shit).

The more I paid attention to how different pieces of content made me feel, the more I noticed how tired and frazzled I was feeling from what was on my feed.

Every other piece of content prying for attention on our feeds is screaming (often in all caps) at us what to do, what not to do, or how apparently EVERYTHING we are doing is wrong.

The truth usually being complex, nuanced and lost somewhere in the grey area of the middle.

But who has time for nuance, context and complexity in the online space? Right?

Actually – I do. And I’m pretty sure you do, too.

You know that life is full of nuance, that context matters. And you’re likely also tired from the oversimplified content and half-baked advice the internet is full of.

After a while, In noticed that whatever value there was in the preachy hot takes style content, just wasn’t worth it for me. So I would tune out to protect my peace and wellbeing.

I’ve noticed a few people call this type of content ‘mean girls’ marketing. And I love it. It says the exact reason why I hate it so much – I was happy to finally leave mean girls back in high school. I sure as heck don’t want them around now.

“I open the app and I just feel exhausted immediately” – said my client Sara as we caught up for a drink in Brighton this winter.

She’d moved to Mallorca since we last worked together, taking a big life break to rest and figure out what’s next for her, and noted on how little time she’d been giving social media ever since her move to the island.

She was also sharing just how happy she has been in her new environment. And honestly, she radiated that peace and joy. But when she mentioned social media, I saw a familiar tiredness in her face. I knew exactly how she felt.

“Honestly, same. And many others are feeling that, too” – I confirmed.

I knew we were not alone, because the conversation echoed so many others I’d had and continue to have still.

[Side note: If you’d like to feel some of that peace Sara embodies, you should check out the video we created for her hypnotherapy brand here. And if you want to create unique story-telling video content for your own brand – check out my video services here and inquire here to chat.]

And so I continued to re-evaluate how I truly wanted to show up and lead my brand in the online space.

I am sure of this: how our content makes people feel matters deeply.

So if we know this to be true, we have to take ownership and recognise that we have a part to play in how the online space feels. Because we are the online space.

I want my content to feel like a solace from the current online noise instead of adding to it. And I am sure you do, too

So you may be asking, ok – but how do we change this. So many of us are feeling the content overwhelm and fatigue. Both from a content creator and consumer point of view. But how do we change the way the online space feels for the sake of all our sanity and wellbeing?

I think that begins by paying attention to what content elicits negative vs positive feelings in us, and why. Then, allowing that to inform both how we curate and engage with what we consume, and how or what we create.

If you’ve been here long enough, you know that I’m not about finding THE way to do things, just my own way. So I hope that seeing how and why I’m navigating my content strategy the way that I am, encourages you to give yourself permission to do things in your own way, the way that feels good to you, too.

Here’s how I’m approaching this…

A visibility strategy that prioritises avenues that are aligned with my personality, skills and gifts. The things that feel easy, come natural get bumped up the list of priorities. The things that are not – are dropped entirely (because it feels so fucking good to let go of crap you really don’t want to do), tabled or moved further down the list.

Prioritising content that feels good to create. Choosing to believe that the content I love to create, is the content that my right people love to receive. Because I know this to be true for me, as a consumer, too.

More focus towards long-form content that allows me to go deep, rather than worrying about people’s attention span and how many words is too many to hold it. I’m here for depth, I’m over short and gimmicky content and I have a strong feeling that so are you, or you probably wouldn’t be here reading my novels.

Less “educating” and more connecting – sharing my experiences, perspectives, what inspires me and content that feels like a heart-to-heart with you.

Letting go, changing my mind, experimenting and trying new things. Because I make the rules.

Repurposing, collaborating + finding ways to make content simpler and easier to create. I think we overcomplicate content and sometimes choose the harder way when we don’t have to. For me, it looks like focusing on types of social media content that feels simple, natural to me, easy and creatively fulfilling to create.

Getting more social. Threads has been an amazing space to pay attention to conversations people are having, and join in. It’s the social, two-way conversation element that’s been missing so much from social media. I’m also working on a content collaboration which has also been an antidote to the loneliness I’ve felt in my business for quite some time.

Radically flexible schedule that puts quality + how it feels above quantity. Instead of planning a strict schedule and then beating myself up when I inevitably struggle to follow through, because life and work happens, I am planning so I know what’s next and what I need to work on to create the content I want to create, but with a mindset that it’s not set in stone. I used to really worry a lot about how inconsistent I am with content and I am just letting this shit go because it serves no-one.

Figuring this stuff out is part of the journey in the Aligned Brand Course. Where you will uncover how you want your brand to feel through every touch-point and create a visibility strategy that’s aligned for you. If this is something you feel ready to work, but need some guidance or personalised feedback – this course is for you.

    From now on, how about instead of asking “how will this content perform?” or “what works better for the algorithm?”, or even “what will lead to more sales?” when we create, we ask instead – how will it feel? For us and for our people.

    What happens when we shift focus from performance and results to feelings and impact? 

    When we focus on humans over data, sales and algorithms? 

    Does it change the way or what we create?

    I for one, am far more excited to see what gets created from that place. What about you?

    This blog post was originally shared as part of the Trail Notes – a regular email series where I take you behind the scenes and alongside me on my own brand-building adventure. If you enjoyed this and would like more, you can see another example here and here. If you’d like to receive more insights and reflections on the brand journey directly to your inbox – join the Trail Notes here.