How do we, as content creators, create videos when we don’t have enough time to create videos? This is the one thing that all content creators share… the one hurdle that we all run into at one time or another or possibly… every single week. So how to get over it?
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This video is sponsored by Envato Elements.
If you’re anything like me as a content creator, things are hectic. Always. So if you’re looking for a short term solution to finding time to create videos, one of the ways I can breakthrough this roadblock is I ask myself: what is the minimum viable video that I can create while still bringing value to my audience?
This is also the question I ask Video Pursuit Society members when they are stuck wondering how to create videos when they don’t have time! Another good question is: “Am I setting my own expectations for quality too high, so high that I can’t get videos made at all?”
There may be some easy ways to simplify your content, shorten your videos, or just create fewer videos (could you create one video every two weeks instead of every week, or could I just skip this week and get ahead?).
Those kinds of questions might help you in the short term, but what about long term? How are you going to build a profitable YouTube channel, a content creation business, if you don’t have time to create content?
I have some ideas that I think may help you in the long run, they may not all work for you but take what you want and apply it to your business. So I want to tell you what has worked for me to make videos when I don’t have time to make videos.
Make Videos with Batch Recording
When I started my channel, I had a full-time job and two little kids but I knew that I needed to COMMIT to being consistent. Knowing myself, I know that f I couldn’t be consistent during my first year or so on YouTube, I would lose my own creative drive. I wanted to publish every week for a year and “see what happened” so I would know at the end of the year that I gave it everything I could to creating a thriving business!
And that worked out for me because I started with a runway of content and created a spider web on my channel.
I created a runway of content by starting with a list of about 12 topics for my channel that I knew I was going to create videos about. I did the keyword research for the YouTube videos and for the blog posts, and I knew there were people searching for these topics but there wasn’t a lot of videos or a blog post discussing these topics. And I planned out what I was going to say in the videos and what I needed to shoot for those videos.
It took me a couple of months to do that for 12 topics!
I kept track of all of this using Evernote. So if I had a few minutes to work on it on my phone, I could, or at my laptop, it would be all right there.
I gave myself a deadline of the end of the year, in 2014. That’s because I knew that I had a couple of weeks at the end of the year off of work where I could focus on getting those videos recorded.
I took a couple of days to record the intro and outro of the videos which was all “direct to the camera” (also known as a talking head video). Then I recorded the screencasts for those videos. I think almost all of those videos were what I call a tutorial sandwich where I have a screencast tutorial in the middle and I have a face-on-camera intro and a face-on-camera outro.
Tip: The tutorial sandwich is my go-to video type when I am short on time because they’re easy to edit and I don’t have to spend a lot of time on camera looking camera-ready.
I even got a couple of these batched videos completely edited and ready to upload. This is where the runway comes in… I didn’t upload them all at once. I uploaded one video a week starting the first week of January. And that gave me time every week to–little by little–edit my next videos.
So for the first couple of months when I started my channel I was ahead by a couple of weeks. Because I batch recorded several videos at a time for those first videos and created a runway for myself.
Now telling you to batch record your videos so that you can make videos when you don’t have time is kind of silly because how do you batch record videos if you don’t have time to batch record videos, right? I get it!!
And to be honest, as proud as I was of myself for the perfect little runway I just described, ever since then, I have SUCKED at batch recording videos. Finding a LARGE chunk of time to batch-record is just not easy for me. I’m getting better, lately, but I feel the time pressure every single week like most creators.
Create your own workflow
Whether I am batch-recording videos or recording a new video each week, I manage my process by breaking up the workflow into bite-sized pieces.
For example, when I was working full-time, I always published a video on Thursdays. That meant that every Wednesday night, I needed to have a video ready to be uploaded. And in order for that to happen, I needed to edit my videos on Tuesday night, and record on Monday night. As long as I took some time on Sunday figure out what I was going to create that week, I could use my own workflow throughout the week to keep moving.
One way that makes this work for me, that I’ve always done, and has been an incredible time and energy saver for me is creating my own process and workflow and keeping it SIMPLE. I have a check list of sorts using Notion, which I outlined in this video.
And this has not only saved me time and stress over the last few years but also made the transition to working with a video editor on my videos a little bit easier because there is a system and process. There are bumps in the road but having a specific workflow is huge.
Create a Video Editing Template
One thing I don’t do when I’m short on time, is I don’t stress or even pay much attention to trying to get fancy with my video edits. I have some specific details that I re-use and re-do. I often use the same background music, the same lower third graphics for my name and Instagram handle, and I created a template for myself with all of those elements that I could drop in my new footage and start editing from there.
My template has changed a lot over time but I always start from a template and only fiddle with adding new things if I HAVE time, when it feels FUN – not when I have video to upload in 2 hours.
Now often times this question comes up about fancy graphics, sound effects, lower thirds, background music and people often ask me how I create them…HOLD UP!
I don’t create them, I download them!
One of the best places to find things like that is Envato Elements, who is the sponsor for this video and blog post. I’ve been an Envato customer for the lifetime of my channel, and even before I created video content and was just in the web design space!
But with Envato Elements specifically, you can have a subscription and use an unlimited number of everything… so background music, lower thirds, all the fancy animations, and graphics your heart desires, and so much more, and what’s really cool is that you save half the price when you choose the annual option.
So you can use my link here to snag that and if you’re looking for something really fun and easy to add to your videos to spice them up, so that you can create your own workflow, and video template to re-use instead of inventing the wheel for every YouTube video.
I hope I offered you some ways to make your life easier as a content creator but I’m open to hearing your tipcs, so sound off in the comments.