Without any paid vacation days or time off for holidays, the end of the year can be a time when a lot of creators hunt for ways to finally feel a bit of a work-life balance.
With seasonal deadlines looming and an audience of people expecting real-time and frequent content, a creator can either succumb to burnout or plan ahead so they can enjoy some time off. Whether this is your first holiday season as a creator or you’re looking to handle the stress differently this year, these tips will help you strategize and plan ahead so you can make the most of December.
Start creating content before the holiday season
For Paige Michael, a registered nurse and fitness influencer, content creation is something that happens on a daily basis. She starts the week off with a detailed strategy for what she wants to post and then spends 2-3 filming videos and editing. But because she knows that the end of the year can get extra busy, she starts the planning and holiday content creation process in September.
“After the summer, my goal is to always be a month ahead,” she told Passionfruit. “September is spent making Halloween content. October is spent making Thanksgiving content. November is spent making Christmas content.”
While it might seem funny to people in her real life that her house is completely decorated for Christmas by November 1st, Michael said it’s the only way she’s able to follow through with this game plan.
Even though she has at least ten videos ready to go in advance during the holiday season, she does stay semi-active on social media.
“I do encourage influencers to stay somewhat active on their stories throughout the holidays,” she said. “So many people are taking time off of work and get bored and spend a lot of time on social media during the holidays. It’s a great time for you to be engaged on your Instagram stories and have even more interaction from your followers than usual.”
Batch as much content as you can
Influencer Caitlin Spears has a rule where she always takes off four to five days right around Christmas time. Before that, she doesn’t do anything special for the holidays except stick to her year-round content strategy.
She believes in batching two weeks worth of content. Her process is simple. She picks one day a week to sit down and plan out her content. This takes her 2-4 hours. During that time, she looks for new trends and brainstorms how to make them fit her business.
Next, she begins nailing down her hooks, captions, and her various call-to-action plans. That’s her content plan for the next two weeks. After that, she schedules a few hours on a separate day to film the content and then schedules it in advance.
“This game plan allows me not to have to think about posting every single day, and frees up the rest of my time to engage with my audience, go live, and run my business,” she said. “I truly believe that scheduling and batching is the only way to get everything you need to get finished done well, while still having time to do everything else you need to do. This is true for the holiday season and your day-to-day life as well.”
Repurpose content across multiple platforms
Steph and Katie Burton are full-time creators who post on multiple platforms, including Instagram, TikTok, and their blog. In order to make it through the holiday season, they follow a content calendar they made on Notion, a productivity app, and divide up tasks to streamline their process.
“So one of us is responsible for all our photo editing, and the other is responsible for all our video editing,” Katie said. “We also each have defined roles in terms of writing captions and descriptions, scripting videos, outlining articles, and optimizing for SEO.”
They take time off during the holiday season by recycling content and posting it across all of their platforms.
“One of our favorite hacks is also repurposing and cross-posting the same or similar content across multiple platforms, rather than always needing to create entirely unique content,” said Katie. “Every audience is different and this gives each piece of content maximum visibility.”
For instance, Katie shared that their short-form videos get shared on Instagram Reels, TikTok, and YouTube shorts, and their photos get shared in Instagram Feed Posts, blog articles, and their newsletter. Plus, their Instagram captions get repurposed into YouTube video descriptions and outlines for articles on their website.
“Every theme and idea can be used multiple times, and this can really help with busy times of year like the holiday season,” Katie said. “We also suggest scheduling your content when possible, so you don’t need to be available to put everything live each day.”
Tap into scheduling content
Last holiday season, Meredith Van Ness, was new to Instagram. She had the goal of creating content that aligned with her role as a therapist. She didn’t want to spend too much time on content creation so she had an idea.
“I planned and collaborated on Instagram Reels with fellow therapists,” she shared. “We focused on important end-of-year topics like setting boundaries, self-care, and normalizing how stressful the holidays can be.”
Her advice to creators this year is to collaborate with fellow creators in your industry for two main reasons: First, it can bring fresh perspectives to your audience and a spark of creativity to your content. She said it can also help you free up the workload and alleviate the stress of putting out new content solo.
Don’t waste time checking on your content
Blogger Kristin Addis doesn’t believe in batching content. She likes to create and post when she feels inspired. During the holiday season, she’s working on blog posts, email newsletters, and social media content that highlights sales, discounts, and new products that brands are offering. But as a working mom, her time is limited, so she has to get creative.
“I’m great at making each outing also work for my work,” she said. “After I do my research for the week, which includes 20 minutes of looking at reels that certain influencers I’ve identified in my niche who are doing really well are posting, and come up with ideas, I’ll work them into whatever I’m already doing.”
For example, if she’s going on a family hike, she’ll bring along a sponsored outfit that she needs content for and spend a few minutes getting footage. After that, she’ll enjoy the rest of the day.
“Once I get home and my son is down for his nap, I quickly make the reel,” she said, “Anything can be content, so quickly film whatever you’re already doing and make it relatable and something people will want to discuss and engage with.”
She uses this approach during the holiday season too and posts when her son is napping and checks her DMs once she’s asleep for the night. For her, it’s less about taking time off during the holiday season and more about not wasting time on social media.
“I’ve been doing this for 11 years and in my experience, a reel takes 20 minutes to create once you have the footage,” she said. “Content creation doesn’t usually eat up our time, the constant checking does.”
With just a few more weeks until the end of the year, using some of these tips now can help you as a content creator free up time and take a few days off before the new year.