Four Simple Ways to Reduce Stress & Consistently Create Great Content

Chris Nardone

If you’re an artist, the word “content” might trigger you at this point. And you’re not alone.

TikTok has empowered independent artists more than any other platform I've seen in over fifteen years of working in music. The opportunity for free exposure to real music fans is better than Spotify, YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook. But with that opportunity has come a whole new burden of pressure and expectations for artists at every level.

Today artists are expected to be content-creation machines. Always on and always genuine. Compounding that pressure is the fact that developing artists usually manage posts across various platforms and then engage with fans all on their own. That workload can be enough to drive any creator over the edge. It's also just at odds with an artist's creative process. 

The easiest way to avoid burnout is to avoid overdoing it. But that's not realistic sometimes when you're on your own and trying to build momentum for your career. Looking at all the success the Venture team has had with content and creators this year, a few things stood out. These four ideas have consistently helped our artists and with some effort, they can help you too!

Four Simple Ways to Reduce Stress & Consistently Create Great Content:

  1. Focus on serving your fans
  2. Make sure you're having fun! 
  3. Film content in batches
  4. Take risks

1. Focus on serving your fans

Focusing on serving your fans is a simple hack that pays dividends more than you might realize. What exactly does that mean though?

The biggest mistake we see artists make with their content strategy is to become too transactional and self-serving. As an artist, you're not in the business of selling products or services. Your job is to create experiences and nurture a community. You are the conduit but in reality, fans mostly just care about the experience and community.

When creating content, one thing usually fuels anxiety for most artists: feeling like you've always got to be the best you. By shifting the focus away from yourself and instead onto your audience, you can alleviate the pressure you feel to be the best you. When you’re giving us what we want, we don’t care if it’s perfect. So with everything you create, maintain an outside perspective looking in. What is it about what you do fans love? What is going to motivate them to watch or share your video?

Here’s the bonus - when you make someone else happy, it makes you feel pretty damn good too. Over time you can reframe all this effort put into content and socials as a positive. As a way to give back to your community. You can start to see the grind as an opportunity instead of just… a grind.

Sometimes worrying about how you look and how you sound is essential. It's how we all push to get better. At a certain point though, that pressure becomes a blind spot. For many artists, the need for perfection with content is the biggest hurdle that stands in the way of consistency.

2. Make sure you're having fun!

If you're not truly enjoying the moment you're creating, no one else will either.

Life is hard and filled with so much bullshit. Which is why we all spend so much time online trying to avoid our boring, stressful, anxiety-filled lives. We're drawn to people with charisma and talent because they inspire and give us hope. We're also just drawn to people having fun following their dreams.

If you're not truly enjoying the moment you're creating, no one else will either. It doesn't matter how recognizable you already are. If you’re not present, engaged, or passionate about what you’re doing, we’ll be too distracted to care.

Here's a simple way to reaffirm this on your own. From now on, start really paying attention to other people's social content. Notice their attitude, their tone, and body language. Whenever you see a video with a ton of engagement, what stands out? Does the performer or narrator seem present and engaged? Does it seem like they're doing something they love? Are you having as much fun being present in your content?

In our experience, the more fun performers have creating their content, the better it performs. So do your best to be present and have fun doing whatever it is you're making. We will respond with the same level of excitement and commitment.

3. Film content in batches

As an artist, pushing yourself to film content every day or even every week isn’t healthy. 

Professional actors know their charisma is a finite resource. They film content in batches and take long periods off in between. Don't hold yourself to higher standards than people who make their living on camera. As an artist, pushing yourself to film content every day or even every week isn’t healthy.

Filming content in batches—10, 20, 30 videos at a time— takes a lot of effort but it frees you mentally to focus on being an artist every other day. It's unrealistic to think you can plan every post beforehand, but most can be with some effort.

4. Take risks

Taking risks just means doing things your fans wouldn't expect you to do. 

Doing the same things everyone else does won’t get you noticed. And once you’ve built a community, people will lose interest quickly if you just keep doing the same things over and over. Taking risks just means doing things your fans wouldn't expect you to do. This experimentation helps your brand evolve and keeps your community engaged.

3:1 Ratio

In practice, we like applying a 3:1 ratio to any artist’s short-form content strategy. For every three pieces of content you make that are on brand and in your comfort zone, make one that's an experiment.

Experimenting can mean so many different things, and that's okay. Whatever it is—an unfinished song, a collaboration, a skit, an instrument, a new place—just try something out of your comfort zone. But don’t forget to have fun while doing it, and focus on serving your fans in the process!

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