There is a lot of work that goes into content creation. Planning shoots, writing copy, filming videos, taking photos, editing, and publishing content—often on multiple platforms—requires several hours a day. You also need to spend time engaging with your audience by responding to comments and messages after-hours. Even when you take a vacation, it’s hard not to hop online to post photos and interact with your followers for fear of losing engagement numbers or dropping from the algorithm’s favor when you stop posting for a day.
But when you’re expected to be “on” all the time, you’re not getting that much-needed time to relax and reset before the next workday. Unlike a traditional 9 to 5, content creators have less of an opportunity to log off for the day. Working around the clock like this is a fast-track to burnout, which can leave you feeling less inspired, creative, and energized to put out your best work.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, whether you produce content full-time or you run a popular account as a side hustle, here are some top tips on avoiding creator burnout.
1. Remove Performance Pressures
Remember when we all used to share photos for fun? These days, posting is more so about performance metrics. When you’re trying to secure brand deals, there’s a constant pressure to keep up: hit X number of followers, get a certain amount of likes per post, and achieve at least 3% engagement rates.
Social media insights and analytics can give you more information on how your page is growing, which can be helpful in setting goals for the future. These numbers can help you see what posts and videos your audience gravitates toward. But these aren’t end-all-be-all statistics. Use them to help you plan content, but don’t feel discouraged when numbers dip or you don’t achieve ultra-high metrics on a post you enjoyed creating. Happiness and fulfillment are important parts of the job, too.
To help alleviate some of the pressure, take full advantage of the recent Instagram feature that allows you to hide likes. This way, you can create based on your own ideas without fear of people not ‘liking’ a post you made out of passion.
2. Set Boundaries
Social media can make users feel closer to people they follow, even if they’ve never met. But keep in mind that your profile is yours, and you are allowed to set boundaries on and offline. If you have a partner, kids, or family members, you don’t have to share them with your followers. You can keep parts of your life, from relationships to health to events to current locations, private.
Another way to set boundaries is to define your work day. Schedule content ahead of time to go up in the evenings or on weekends, when you’d rather be offline. Hold yourself to your stopping point, too, and plan to log out at a certain time of the day or after spending a set number of hours on your work per day.
You can appreciate your audience and connect with them without owing them every detail about yourself. Keep burnout at bay by setting boundaries with your audience, too. Although it is tempting, you don’t need to respond to every DM and comment. If you need to shut off DMs sometimes, do it.
3. Plan Ahead
Planning ahead goes hand-in-hand with setting boundaries. If you want to take certain days of the week off, it can be helpful to schedule content ahead of time to post while you are away.
Creating a content calendar can also prevent creator burnout by defining weekly or monthly expectations ahead of time. When you plan ahead, you can jot down all your ideas, note any holidays or special events, and even map out the process for styling and filming, then schedule content for days, weeks, or even months in advance. Best of all, this approach will make your feed look and feel more cohesive and ensures shoot days run as smoothly as possible.
4. Journal Goals and Intentions
Sometimes, your workload just doesn’t allow for you to log off and take a vacation to reset. When you really need to push through, reminding yourself of your goals can help motivate and encourage you to keep creating.
Journaling is a popular form of self-care, and it can also be used as a tool for influencers to avoid burnout. Keep one handy, whether at your nightstand, on your desk, or in your purse. When an idea, no matter how small, comes up, jot it down. These notes can become inspiration on days when you’re feeling less creative.
You can also use a journal to outline your goals and intentions for your business, from dreaming up partnerships to finding your content niche.
- Write down the dream brands you want to work with.
- Write down what your goals are as a creator, both short-term and long-term.
- To find your niche, write down all the things your friends or your community come to you for and pick three that you want to focus on.
5. Seek Support
Even if you try your best to avoid burnout, it can still be inevitable in this line of work. That’s when it’s time to reach out for support. Consider talking with other creators, friends, family members, a life coach, or a therapist to express your feelings and receive advice and tools to improve your mental health. While connecting with others is all part of an influencer’s job, reaching out for deeper discussions to your support system can be just the kind of IRL engagement you need to reset.