This interview is a part of a collection known as Creators Unlocked that delves into the world of content material creators to uncover the tales behind their social media posts.
From Twitter to TikTok, the articles purpose to supply insights and learnings for aspiring and established creators whereas additionally providing a glimpse into the lives of these behind the screens. Check out the other interviews here.
For Creators Unlocked, Elisa Doucette offers us a glimpse on the tales, processes, and classes from her 10+ yr journey as a web-based creator. She shares how she discovered her area of interest, catering to pushed writers, and her strategy to mixing private pursuits inside her content material.
Elisa additionally offers us an unique behind-the-scenes take a look at what it takes to run a profitable inventive enterprise. Spoiler: it’s the invaluable workforce members at Craft Your Content, her editorial company, who assist carry her imaginative and prescient to life.
Elisa, the writers’ author
If Elisa Doucette is understood for something, it’s writing. That’s the main target of all her on-line content material in all its codecs, from the workshops and programs she runs to her newsletter. It’s additionally the main target of her company, Craft Your Content material. Her viewers is usually writers, and she or he describes them particularly as “pushed writers who’re enthusiastic about writing and dedicated to pursuing it intensively.” This is applicable to each author, from hobbyists to these searching for a profession in writing.
When requested about increasing outdoors writing, Elisa mentions that she’s tried different codecs. “We used to have a podcast on Craft Your Content material known as “Writers’ Rough Drafts,” however she discovered podcasting to be surprisingly labor-intensive. “It was difficult to get individuals, particularly marginalized voices, to return on the present and share their experiences. Usually, they felt uncertain of their value or had been nervous about collaborating, which made it troublesome for me to persuade them to hitch,” she shares.
One other vital issue that Elisa highlights as a barrier to experimenting with different types of content material creation is a persistent sickness, fibromyalgia. It causes fixed fatigue and ache, which makes it difficult for Elisa to take part in actions that demand excessive power ranges or prolonged intervals of being “on.” Whereas she will handle interviews or visitor appearances on podcasts, taking up the accountability of manufacturing her personal podcast or video content could be too bodily exhausting.
She mentions exploring different content material codecs, akin to Reels and TikTok, which require shorter commitments. Nevertheless, Elisa primarily sticks to writing, which she says “…permits me to work at my very own tempo and accommodate my bodily limitations.”
Decide a distinct segment, however don’t lose the soul of your content material to it
Whereas Elisa appears to have landed on her niche fairly seamlessly, she’ll be the primary to inform you it wasn’t that easy. “I have been doing this since round 2008, beginning on the earth of private essays and private running a blog when it was extra prevalent on the Web.” Time and self-discovery have all contributed to the Elisa we all know as we speak.
Elisa creates for writers, sure, however she’s additionally extra than simply her experience and curiosity in writing. “I even have various pursuits as a geek and mental who enjoys exploring obscure matters.” So niches are nice, but additionally regarding to Elisa, who says, “My concern with niching down and sticking to a particular lane arises on the subject of private sharing on social media or in additional private content material like publication essays.”
She doubles down on the instance of her publication, describing a piece highlighting untranslatable however lovely phrases from different languages. Whereas it’s not essentially related to the publication, she finds it fascinating and has used it to construct rapport along with her viewers. “When Merriam-Webster put out a name for distinctive phrases in followers’ native languages, I had three readers ship me the link the primary day!”
By permitting area for private pursuits past the area of interest, Elisa has made connections and found distinctive alternatives. So, whereas having a spotlight is necessary, being too inflexible with a distinct segment can trigger you to overlook out on priceless alternatives and connections. Elisa describes her strategy as “sitting on the fence,” mixing area of interest focus whereas sustaining private touches in her content material.
Combine analog and digital for max creativity
Due to Elisa’s daytime identification as a enterprise proprietor operating content material company Craft Your Content material, she operates an extensive tool stack. Some on-line instruments she highlights embody:
- Google Preserve for jotting concepts or notes at random instances
- Trello, which serves as her content material editorial board, the place she will create playing cards for concepts, add hyperlinks and analysis, and let the concepts incubate and develop till she’s prepared to put in writing about them
- Google Docs for writing and collaborative enhancing along with her workforce
- WordPress for publishing
- Thrive Themes and Thrive Architect for her web site (particularly the Bookwise theme, which is particularly focused towards writers)
Elisa additionally loves working offline, utilizing numerous analog “instruments” to prepare and course of her ideas. She mentions:
- A traditional whiteboard for the tactile expertise of organizing concepts visually
- Publish-it notes for group
- Pen and paper for taking notes, hand-writing gross sales letters, and creating outlines for articles. “Writing by hand permits me to decelerate and assume extra deeply about what I am making an attempt to precise,” she provides.
Regardless of all the flowery instruments and units out there, generally reverting to pen and paper will be one of the simplest ways to create content material.
Going from no content material to content material, or Elisa’s inventive course of
It’s common to see a multi-step creative process (aka something extra than simply writing down an thought and executing it). However Elisa’s is especially fascinating given her lengthy historical past as a author and creator. She’s refined her course of over a number of years, and it reveals within the thoughtfulness of her rationalization. In its direct kind, right here’s her reply: “What does your inventive course of seem like?”
“My inventive course of entails numerous steps and instruments, beginning with collecting the seed of an idea. These concepts could possibly be observations, ideas, or content material wanted for an upcoming deadline. I take advantage of Google Preserve to jot down concepts on the go or Trello to retailer them for incubation. On this incubation part, I acquire hyperlinks, conduct analysis, and construct out the article idea.
I wish to assume issues by as a lot as attainable. A method I realized from the Sherlock Holmes books known as the “Mind Palace” helps me visualize and manage my concepts. I take advantage of boards, wood desks, or notebooks to put out my ideas and transfer them round to determine the article construction.
As soon as I’ve a tough define, which is extra of a twister of concepts and marginalia somewhat than a strict bullet-point construction, I sit down with Google Docs to put in writing the article. By the point I begin writing, I’ve already discovered about 80% of the content material, so the final 20% is simply discovering the precise phrases. This pre-thinking course of permits me to put in writing 1000’s of phrases per hour, just like Ernest Hemingway’s iceberg method.
After writing, my content material goes by edits and revisions earlier than being revealed. For social media content material, I at the very least have them proofread, particularly since I run an enhancing company, and it is important to keep up a excessive commonplace. For longer items like LinkedIn posts, they could undergo content material edits as nicely.”
TL;DR, Elisa’s inventive course of is about nurturing the seed of an thought and giving it the time and area to develop right into a fully-fledged piece of content material. Then, she combines digital and analog instruments to create the content material, from capturing concepts to incubation, outlining, and writing.
Balancing administration with creativity
Nobody understands the battle to discover a steadiness between sensible, mundane duties and the necessity for creativity than Elisa. As a enterprise proprietor, she typically has to deal with administrative duties and networking, however she at all times desires to nurture her inventive aspect for advertising and private achievement.
She acknowledges the necessity to discover steadiness saying, “I am not motivated purely by cash; I get pleasure from creating content material to start out discussions, share concepts, educate, and assist individuals. I consider that in the event you put out nice concepts and content material, the return will comply with. Constructing connections and fascinating in discussions have been key to my success.”
Plenty of her capacity to maintain up along with her large to-do record is because of her workforce at Craft Your Content material. They deal with day-to-day duties, permitting her to be a creator. She additionally has an government assistant that helps shield her time, enabling her to time block for numerous duties, like writing, researching, and consumer calls.
It is necessary for creators to acknowledge that there is additionally administrative work concerned past the frenzy of making and executing nice content material. Whether or not you’ve got a workforce otherwise you’re a solopreneur, you’ll seemingly want to dam out time for duties like bookkeeping and invoicing. Defending each admin and creator time is crucial to create steadiness and forestall them from mixing collectively and resulting in burnout.
Administration isn’t the one factor that may put a damper in your creativity. Stress comes while you hit essential moments of development, like a sudden inflow of subscribers or having a video go viral. The strain will be from feeling the urge to monetize your content material (in the event you haven’t already) or work with everybody who approaches you to collaborate. Nevertheless, Elisa emphasizes that giving in to the strain can battle together with your creativity.
She emphasizes being selective with who you’re employed, saying, “It is necessary to work with shoppers who align together with your values and artistic imaginative and prescient. Previously, I’ve mentioned sure to initiatives that I did not have the bandwidth for, resulting in burnt bridges and broken relationships. In consequence, I’ve needed to study to set boundaries and be extra cautious concerning the initiatives I decide to.”
Elisa mentions, “In my expertise, I’ve discovered it helpful to have a “voice and vision” framework for each my company and private content material, guaranteeing that what I create is constant and aligns with my values. This is identical course of we use with our shoppers for his or her writing.” This framework permits Elisa and her workforce to face agency on their values and supply constant, high quality companies to their shoppers.
Establishing boundaries and being upfront about who you want working with will help steadiness making a residing and staying true to your inventive imaginative and prescient. As a creator, clearly understanding your values and desired voice will help information your content material creation.
Social media has at all times skilled waves of recognition and decline, and having been an lively participant for over a decade, Elisa has some ideas on how creators can keep afloat.
“[Social media’s] development has resulted in waves of individuals getting into the area and experimenting with numerous platforms. Over time, nonetheless, many could understand they’re unwilling to place within the work required to achieve success,” says Elisa. Regardless of this, she highlights that there’s an abundance of alternatives for creators with various area of interest audiences searching for content material that caters to their distinctive pursuits.
The important thing problem for creators lies in committing to their craft, whether or not that’s writing, creating movies, or producing podcasts. If you wish to do one thing nicely, make it an space of focus and change into recognized for it. Sure, you want to have interaction with numerous platforms and channels, however having a robust basis in your chosen craft will enable you to stand out and climate the adjustments in social media developments.
Elisa additionally highlights that by dedicating themselves to their craft, creators can keep a robust core and a way of dedication that may allow them to journey out the fluctuations within the social media panorama. For instance, issues about AI writers changing human content material creators are just like historic issues about new writing instruments changing earlier strategies. Nevertheless, creators who’re devoted to producing lasting and priceless content material will at all times discover a technique to adapt and survive.
Some recommendation for creators on the identical journey
Essentially the most essential piece of recommendation that Elisa presents is to commit wholeheartedly to your chosen craft. Concentrate on creating your expertise in that space somewhat than solely concentrating on the medium, platform, or area of interest. Being devoted to your craft will allow you to create content material that resonates together with your viewers and displays your distinctive voice.
Along with committing to your craft, Elisa provides that it’s important to keep up a way of curiosity and be open to exploring new potentialities. Keep away from narrowing your focus an excessive amount of, as this could result in inflexibility and hinder your creativity. Keep open to experimenting with totally different platforms and content material codecs to find what resonates with you and your viewers.
Lastly, attempt to be the very best in your chosen discipline and prioritize creating content material you might be proud to place your title on. Keep away from focusing solely on gaining views and clicks, and as a substitute, make investments effort and time in producing high-quality content material that genuinely displays your ardour and experience.
Listed below are among the key takeaways from Elisa Doucette’s inventive journey:
- Embrace private pursuits: At the same time as you area of interest down, do not be afraid to include private pursuits and distinctive parts into your content material. You may make significant connections and uncover new alternatives by sustaining a private contact past your area of interest.
- Nurturing the inventive course of: Develop a radical inventive course of that permits concepts to incubate and develop. Seize seeds of concepts utilizing digital instruments, conduct analysis, and construct out ideas. Think about using strategies just like the “Thoughts Palace” to visually manage your ideas and create a tough define earlier than diving into writing.
- Balancing administration and creativity: The steadiness is a nice line of maintaining with the sensible duties whereas leaving room for creativity. Set boundaries, be selective with initiatives and shoppers, and shield devoted time for each. Set up the values that may information your content material creation and keep consistency.
- Set up an space of focus as a creator: Decide to your craft and deal with turning into recognized on your experience. Whereas participating with numerous platforms is critical, prioritize your chosen craft and create content material that resonates together with your viewers.