What do I post when I have nothing to share? Part 1 | Friday Chatter

FRIENDS! It is FRIDAY, and I am so happy you are here. First… thank you for such an overwhelmingly positive response to last week’s post. It is one that I have wanted to do for a while, and it feels good to be able to share it with you! Can I tell you the truth though? The moment I pressed publish, I was instantly flooded with insecurity, ideas I wanted to include, things I wanted to say, adjustments I wanted to make, and so on and so forth. My mind was spinning. Anyone else know that feeling?

Last week’s post was heavily geared towards content production, personal scheduling, goal setting and finding your focus when producing and sharing content. I felt, though, that a huge point I left unanswered was how I created content when I was short on time or felt like I had nothing to share. If you tuned in and left feeling a little panicky about figuring out what to share, I’m here to help you out… with a full blog series! Yes, that’s right! Today’s post is actually the start of a mini series that will be under the Friday Chatter umbrella!

I always feel like I have to be very clear when I say that I speak from the perspective of a wedding photographer. Other creatives could do things totally different, and that is what makes our industry so beautiful! However, what I’m have shared and will share are tried and true tricks that have worked for me, and I hope they help you too!

I remember feeling this way not too long ago: I was dreaming big… I was not the happiest in my full time job… I was hungry to make this creative outlet of mine into a business… I wanted something to happen. However, I felt like  I was stuck because I didn’t have a ton of time to blog… take and/or select images for social media… share at the optimal time… but what I mostly felt was: “What in the world do I post?! I’m just getting started and don’t feel like I have too much to share yet.”

First friend, take a deep breath…. I promise you have way more to offer this world and your industry than you think.

You are a creative person with an artistic mind, and sometimes, when we add in the technicalities of social media and website design and fancy computer programs and writing captions and blog posts, that creativity can instantly go out the window. This happens to me all the, and especially happened to me when I was getting started. Writers block is REAL y’all…. even more than that “posting block” is definitely a thing! I’m here to tell you some good news though:

You’re a creative. Which means, all it takes is some dreaming and planning on your part to make it happen. I promise, you have way more content stocking your hard drives than you realize!

Maybe you’re just getting started… maybe your goal is to increase your following this year by ramping up your social media calendar… maybe you want to breathe some new life into your already existing brand…  maybe you’re looking to connect with clients in your market… maybe you want to network with other creatives… maybe you’re just sitting there looking at a blank screen thinking: I know today is the day I post something, but do people even want to hear from me today?! (Spoiler alert: yes, they do…)

Today, we’re breaking it all down… how do you decide what content to share to match your focus when you are in a season where you feel like you have “nothing to share?” Next week? We’re breaking it down into WHAT you can produce (and how to have the pretty images to go along with your posts!) when you feel like you have nothing to share! Today’s focus will be more on repurposing old work while next week will be geared towards creating fresh content!

To keep things clear, the majority of what we are focusing on in this series will be geared towards the platforms I use most often: Instagram, my blog & Facebook. Now… let’s dive in!

Curating Content in a Slower Season

This is something that I hear a lot: “Should I be posting if I don’t have any new work? If so, what should I be posting?” Simple answer: YES, you should be sharing often, maybe more so than when you DO have new work! But… how do you decide what to post when you feel like it has been a while since you have created anything new?

Repurpose your work

  • First things first, I’m going to need you to take a deep dive into all of your previous work. From personal work, to vacations, sessions (paid or unpaid) and everything in between. Find the gems and put them into a folder that you have at the ready!
  • We’ve all heard the phrase reduce, recycle, reuse… right? While this typically applies to waste, we’re going to apply it to content production today. Glamorous, right? I’m here to tell you that it is okay to use images that have been taken in the past to serve your business now. DO ensure the content you are sharing is aligned with your current goals and vision for the future though! (That’s the KEY!)
  • Now… how do you reduce, recycle and reuse content you have already produced? I’m glad you asked…
    • What if you reduced the quantity of your posts online and instead focused on the quality of posts? We talked a bit about this last week! (Think catchy captions, questions for your followers and gorgeous images in line with the work that you hope to do in the future).
      • Be honest! If you don’t have enough captivating content (tailored towards your goals and visions!) to post each day, it is okay to reduce your posting schedule to something more manageable. With the way algorithms work right now, you DO need to be posting, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be everyday.
      • DO set and stick to a legitimate posting schedule. DO set goals and benchmarks for yourself. Set the days of the week you plan to post, what you will be posting on each day, which platforms will be posted to, and then work to curate beautiful content for these days! Sticking to a schedule or calendar is KEY.
      • Example here: on Instagram, you could decide to post to your feed on Monday, Wednesday and Friday! You could then choose to engage with your audience by posting to your story on Tuesday and Thursday. *Note this isn’t what I do, but it is a posting pattern that you could opt for! Next week, I’ll be sharing a dose of inspiration to help you decide what to post where, so hang tight!
    • What if you recycled beautiful images from previous work with your current editing style and a catchy caption to help solve a client’s problem or to share about the things currently happening in your life or business?
      • While I don’t really recommend sharing the same image in your feed multiple times (unless there is a reason you are doing so!), it is okay to use different moments from the same session, wedding or shoot to keep your feed looking full and pretty! Have a pretty image that you think you want to share with the world but have no idea what to caption it because the photo was taken about six months ago?! Been there…
      • Try sharing the image with a note on what you are doing in your business that day or a fun fact about yourself. Maybe you write about an exciting business accomplishment or the plans you are making for the weekend. Maybe you share a helpful tip for your ideal client or a teaser about your goals or upcoming work. Don’t be afraid to let people in behind the scenes! In this day and age, while your caption shouldn’t be totally random, it also doesn’t have to be totally related to the image either! See a few examples of where I did this in my feed! HERE, HERE & HERE!
      • DO make sure you are mood matching between image and caption though: you wouldn’t want to post a somber and serious image with a caption about how you are SO excited for the exciting plans you have for the weekend. That wouldn’t make much sense!
    • Now… what if you selected and then reused some interesting and personal points about your life or business to help your audience get to know you as a person? It may sound crazy, but the people that follow you want to know who you are as a person!
      • I’m sure you all may know about how I love my plants, tacos, a good workout and tea! 😉You may also know that I tend to be a pretty upbeat person, love bright colors and am typically longwinded with what I have to say (OOPS working on that last one…). While I may not say all of these things directly, you can pick up on them in my posts or online content. They are all things that are true to me as a person and won’t come as a shock to anyone that meets me in real life!
      • This sounds so silly, but it really helps to have a few of these things in your back pocket push you forward to produce captions for Facebook and Instagram when you have “nothing to post.” When you start to get the hang of this on social media, maybe get a little bold and do a blog post on something you keep close to your heart? (More on this next week!)
      • This is something I am working on in the Katelyn James Business Journey right now: think of a list of things that get you excited. It could be long… or short, but it should definitely be true to you.
      • This could be anything from putting away fresh laundry, to spending time with your family, to your favorite TV show, to the candles you burn daily, to enjoying time with friends, to your favorite day of the week… you get the point. There are a lot of things that you can dive into here! When you are feeling stuck on content, pull out your favorites list and challenge yourself to share a little something with your audience about who you are as a person. As you continuously introduce these items into your online presence, your audience will slowly, but surely latch onto these things! They’ll feel like they are getting to know who you are(because they are!!!), and you will have some fun and engaging content to post on the reg!

Now, for the repurposed content… how do you quickly pull content for the day when you are in a pinch?

  • If you are wondering how I quickly pull and curate images for use online, I don’t really have a system for that right now other than planning ahead at the beginning of the week. OOPS.
  • When I was so busy in life outside of my business though, I kept a folder of images on my desktop to pull from on a day where I planned on posting but didn’t have any brand new work. You could do the same, with a folder on your phone or desktop!
  • After a time where I had my camera in hand— whether it was for a personal walk around DC or work I was hired to do, I selected a few of my favorite images to stash away in a folder on my desktop. This was a game changer, y’all! After the images were shared on Instagram, Facebook or as a blog header, I stashed them away in a “USED” folder to ensure I wouldn’t double post any of the images.
  • If you feel like you don’t have ANY images that you want to share with your audience… we’ll dive head on into this topic next week. Stay tuned, friends! 

Ok… so this post definitely morphed into something I didn’t see coming! Also… I am feeling real grateful that I decided to split this post into a mini series because it got long, fast! I hope you are feeling encouraged and better equipped to take on the task of using work you already have to fill your networks with beautiful and meaningful things. Next week, we’ll dive into some ideas that will help you produce content when you may not be at your busiest with work that you enjoy! In the meantime, enjoy your FRIDAY!

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