Row of matches at different levels of being burnt. On a bright yellow background.

Fueling Creativity, Not Fatigue: Marketing Tips to Beat Burnout

The world of marketing is thrilling. It’s a rollercoaster of campaigns, analytics, and creative bursts. But like any thrilling ride, if you hold on too tight, you’re guaranteed to dizzy yourself. It’s time to talk about the silent enemy plaguing even the most passionate of us: burnout.

What is burnout?

Burnout is a word being thrown around a lot these days, but what does it really mean? It’s a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged or excessive stress. It’s like a candle that’s been burning brightly for too long - eventually, the flame sputters out.

Some of the ways you can tell if you're feeling burnout include:

  • Constant exhaustion (even when you get enough sleep)
  • Cynicism and negativity - losing interest
  • Having difficulty concentrating and getting things done
  • Changes in appetite and sleep
  • Headaches, body aches, and other physical ailments

What causes burnout?

Some of the factors that can contribute to burnout include:

  • Work overload
  • Lack of control
  • Unfair treatment
  • Lack of support
  • Work-life balance
Man laying on the floor with a hand on his forehead in frustration

How can I avoid burnout?

While taking vacations and talking to a friend/therapist can help with short-term feelings of burnout, they probably won’t stop burnout from occurring again. Here are some tips you can integrate to your everyday habits that can help protect your health and well-being before you burn out.

#1. Make lists

You might have a lot of thoughts, ideas, and deadlines floating around your head. It can be very easy to become overwhelmed by the seemingly endless tasks placed before us. Plus, what about all of the daydreams we want to work on? With all of these things vying for our attention, a simple tool we can turn to help our lives makes sense is simply, making a list. What exactly makes lists so special? 

  • Listing everything out gives us the mental space for new thoughts and ideas, we don’t have to worry about forgetting something, it’s *write* there 😉 
  • You’re able to prioritize items when you see all the other items they’re competing with for your time and energy
  • They help break down big goals into smaller, actionable steps. They’ll help you achieve your SMART goals
  • Lists can often turn into brainstorming sessions, which are great ways to find unexpected connections and can lead to creative breakthroughs
  • The ability to cross an item off a list which always feels really good.

Find the best list-making system for yourself and go forth! We’re already giving you this first one to help you get in the mood to make lists, make sure to add your own tips that help keep you sane. 

#2. Recycle your content

Recycling symbol on a phone in a person's hand

Realistically, even the people who already follow you don't see all of your content, and even if they did, there's a good chance they don't remember it. Studies show that it takes customers somewhere from 3 to 11 different instances of contact with a brand to make it through the customer cycle - 3 to 11 times where a person has to see your content/business before turning over to a client. You may be tired of posting what feels like the same thing all the time, but no one else sees it at the same volume you do - they’re not tired of it. Actually, they probably haven’t even SEEN what you’re talking about. How do they know how awesome you are and how much your services could change their life, if they don’t know (or forgot) you exist? Repackaging your content allows new audiences to see it and reminds your existing audience of your best work strengthening their connection with your brand. 

Time is your most valuable asset. Creating brand new content from scratch is time-consuming. So why waste all of that time and energy when you can take the same idea/concept/product/offer/service and keep repeating it (maybe in slightly different ways) over all of your platforms? 

SEO loves consistency. Search engines love websites that consistently publish fresh content. Recycling allows you to maintain that frequency without starting from scratch every time. Plus, internal links back to your evergreen content (content that doesn’t work for recycling) boosts their SEO juice, which can give your whole library a ranking bump.

Creativity can thrive on constraints. Repurposing your content challenges you to think outside the box. Maybe your blog post can become a podcast episode, your infographic transforms into a social media campaign, or your webinar slides morph into a killer blog series. The possibilities are endless and don’t require you to start from a brand new idea every time.

#3. Embrace flexibility

The marketing world is ever-changing; sudden algorithm shifts, new trends and platforms, Meta’s backend has changed again this week. The one quality that’ll help you navigate these changes is: flexibility. The ability to bend without breaking, to adapt with agility and grace. It’s the difference between riding the waves of change and getting pummeled beneath them. 

We’ve all made plans that haven’t worked out. We need to be able to pivot to something new when what we’re doing isn’t working anymore. Being flexible and making changes quickly and effectively allow you to stay ahead of the curve instead of always scrambling to catch up. 

You should still be focused on your ideal outcome without getting bogged down in rigid methodologies. Set clear goals and objectives, but be open to different ways of achieving them. Don’t be afraid to experiment - track your results, analyze what works, and be willing to adjust your approach based on your findings. Believe that you can grow from any situation, even if the outcome is not what you wanted. Mistakes are going to happen, but if you use them as learning experiences, you can build resiliency and handle future challenges effectively. 

#4. Master the art of delegation

As much as we wish we could, we simply can’t do it all. Lists are helpful, but easier to sift through with some help. Marketing is a team sport. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks, bounce ideas off colleagues, and lean on your network for advice. Collaboration lightens the workload and fosters a healthier, more resilient work environment. 

Pegs representing people with different colored arrows pointing at others showing how work can be delegated
  • First, we must be able to delegate our own time. Learning what needs to be prioritized, making and tackling a plan to reach a goal. Sometimes it can be hard to keep up with everything that needs to be done because there are so many tasks that need to be done often. Being able to batch similar tasks together helps create laser focus and saves you from context-switching fatigue. For example, sitting down and creating all of the emails you’ll be sending out over the month at one time vs. taking the time and creating an email every time you need to send one out over the next few weeks - the latter will need more of your attention because you’ll need to prepare to be in “email writing mode” every time. 
  • Find the places where your plan hasn’t been working. Maybe something that’s been ignored - not because it isn’t important, but because it isn’t as important as other tasks- instead of thinking of every possible solution, there’s a good chance there’s someone on your team who would have ideas. Once there’s an open dialogue, you may even find that they can think of a way to streamline the process you hadn’t thought of. There is a beauty in collaboration and allowing people to help you (and helping when you can, sometimes you’ll be the best person for a task!). 
  • Outsource work with companies who are experts in their field. No one is an expert at everything, you don’t need to be able to do everything in your company - just find people you trust to do it. (If you need a new web design, you know who to contact!)

Even if you don’t have employees to manage, you can find ways to delegate some of the workload to a digital friend instead…

#5. Use tech to your advantage

There are loads of new and ever-changing technological creations that can help someone be more efficient in running a business. There are tons of software out there that can help take some of the more technical parts of your business run more efficiently, while also allowing new people to easily integrate into the routine. You can do anything from automate emails to assign tasks, it’s easy to automate some of your processes to give you more time for more important things. It may take a moment of adjustment to the new program, but it can save hundreds of hours in the long run. Let the robots handle the repetitive, and focus your energy on the strategic. 

Some ways to use technology to help include:

  • Content optimization platforms
  • Scheduling tools
  • Social media automation 
  • Email automation
  • Setting boundaries on screen time/when people can contact you

In 2024, we have an advantage that most marketers before us didn’t have, easily accessible artificial intelligence. Here are some ideas on how to use AI:

  • Write copy: writing lots of copy can be mentally draining. Use AI to help you build a framework and work from that. Make sure the info is accurate before sharing and that it has a human touch - no one wants to feel like they’re talking to a robot.
  • Generate ideas: sometimes a bad idea generated by a chatbot can become a GREAT idea with your human brain. While you might not be able to create a complete comprehensive marketing or social media plan, it can give you a good place to start. 
  • Simple edits: use programs to help split your webinar into smaller tidbits, check your grammar, and more. 
Woman sitting on floor in front of laptop with arms up cheering.

#6. Celebrate small wins

Being able to cross off some of the items from all these lists we’re making can make us feel good about ourselves. When we realize how far we’ve come, it’s easier to keep going. It’s easy to get lost in the grind.

Recognition field motivation. Small wins lead to more small wins, snowballing and leading much bigger wins. However, they usually don’t happen in a linear fashion, they’re often scattered in between other events we may not consider wins. But those small wins, small moments where things make sense, are evidence of our resilience. Our choice to try something different and -while not always achieving the exact thing we want- maybe learning something new from a different angle. Anything from a successful campaign, a catchy tagline, a well-crafted email, even getting Jerry from finance to smile at one of your jokes - celebrate them all! 

So hooray! You made it through this post, that’s something to celebrate. You’ve taken one step to helping yourself. Burnout doesn’t have to be a working inevitability. By implementing some of these tips, you can navigate the chaos of this industry with a clear head, a healthy heart, and a fire that keeps burning bright. (Personally, I think these tips can apply way beyond marketing, but take what you need and leave what you don’t!) Now, go forth, and conquer your campaigns, and remember that taking care of yourself is not an expense, but an investment in your success.

If You Have A Growth Mindset,  Let's Talk.

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