Meet content repurposing expert willow paule
Willow and I met through The Ecopreneur community, hosted by Davey from The Eco Helper and Amy from Blue Raspberry Design. Her calming energy and insights on content creation stood out, so it was a pleasure to find out more about what she does and her entrepreneurial journey. She also shared plenty of tips on how to repurpose your content, so you’re in for a treat!
table of contents
- Exploring the term ‘content creator’
- Willow’s favorite type of content to create
- Balancing content creation for yourself versus clients
- Creating content for clients
- Willow’s dream clients
- Why incorporate sustainability and ethics into your brand values
- Taking a closer look at one of Willow’s recent favorite project
- Top content repurposing tips
- The difference between content distribution and content repurposing
- Should you start with long or short-form content?
- The benefits of working for yourself
- Entrepreneurial advice
- Goals and projects in the works for 2023 and beyond
Hi Willow! How do you typically introduce yourself when you’re meeting someone new?
Hi, I’m Willow. I’m a content creator and I mostly work with coaches and other busy service providers – women in particular. I try to help them make their content creation process fun and sustainable so that they don’t immediately get overwhelmed by it and stop.
When I hear the term ‘content creator’, I tend to first think of online influencers. How do you explain content creation to people who might have that mental association as well?
That’s a good point because I’m always assessing the way that I explain what I do. Sometimes ‘content creator’ does mean influencer and/or a lot of video work.
Although creating video is part of what I do, what I do is more about helping my clients use their existing content to create new content. Some clients really enjoy writing and long-form content. So [for them], I might look at their old blogs and come up with new content from that by repurposing it.
Or sometimes [clients] prefer sending me voice notes on something they know a lot about. It could be a topic that they’re familiar with, but it’s not something polished that they would share with their audience [as is]. I would go through that [voice note] and transcribe it, then use that to build new content for them. I do email marketing, blogging, social media posts… A lot of different things.
What’s your favorite type of content to create, if you had to pick one?
That’s a tough question. I think I go through phases. I enjoy written content a lot. But then sometimes I get on super video kicks where I just really enjoy short form content. I think there’s something kind of addictive about it, so that’s part of it.
I’m [also] really enjoying blogging because I have a lot of things I want to talk about in depth and I have some goals about how often I want to blog, but I try to make it attainable because I spend a lot of time on my blog, probably too much time. I don’t want to give myself such a big goal that I just get stressed out and don’t do it at all. So if I do a blog post every 2-3 months, I’m really happy with that.
Then, sometimes, I go through periods where I have a lot of ideas that I want to play with and I find that Reels are really fun for that because you can gauge people’s reactions. Sometimes just creating the Reel is good for my own creative process. It’s not going to take me as much time as a blog so it [enables me to] experiment a little bit with my ideas.
So what I’m in the mood for creating varies at any given moment.
How do you balance all the content that you create/repurpose for clients versus creating your own content?
I go through phases where the ideas are flowing and I have a lot of inspiration for my own content and then sometimes I don’t feel [as] motivated.
I just did some market research recently and talked to 15 coaches and people working within that industry. It was so interesting how often people talked about not wanting to create content when they didn’t feel inspired versus how they could really harness their inspiration and make a lot of really good stuff when they were feeling it.
I think there’s something to be said for consistency, but there’s also something to be said for being in tune with what your body needs and having a plan in place so that you can still have something going on [content-wise]. Something that’s not as trying or that feels right for the season you’re in.
Maybe you need to have a place where you’re saving content you can put out there when you are focusing on other things or when you’re just not feeling inspired.
I love that tip! Do you find it easier to create content for clients or for yourself?
I think in general, working for clients is a bit easier. That’s probably because I work with people [whose jobs I actually understand]. I’m probably not going to be the right fit for a corporate banker or something like that, because it’s not an industry that I know. I think being able to be clear about who you want to work with and working with those people makes it easier to create good content for them.
Who are your dream clients to work with?
I often work with people who are doing something creative or have some big part of their life that’s creativity-focused. I’ve worked with coaches for creatives and with creators, like artists/vocal artists.
I also enjoy working with people who are in the healing space, like alternative medicine or the healing arts.
I seem to understand those people well and be good at helping them with their marketing.
The people I work with [tend to be] a little averse to marketing in general because it [often] doesn’t feel authentic to them. I like working with those clients on finding something that they feel comfortable with and that feels right.
Creatives and the alternative health space, I feel like those are two areas where there’s so much interesting content to create and repurpose.
What motivated you to incorporate sustainability and ethics at the core of what you do?
I think it’s a natural evolution for me. It was part of my values already. It’s nice to see other people making a clear statement about what their values are and have a group [the Ecopreneur Community] to learn more about how to manifest those values in your business.
I think it’s something I’ve been doing intuitively, but it’s not necessarily something I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about analytically. Like, I don’t want to employ people for less than their worth. I want them to make a fair salary. I am not really into capitalism in general. I feel like there’s a lot of inequity and I want to live in a more equitable world.
I want people to care about the environment that they’re creating for other people, animals, and whoever’s in the world… These are things that I’ve kind of cared about since I was small. I think maybe it has to do with how I grew up.
My parents were entrepreneurs and had some of these values. They owned a clothing business where the people that created the clothes worked out of their houses. [My parents] actually got taken to court by the labor department because they thought that it was inequitable. Then all their stitchers testified in court that it was so much more equitable [for them] to work at home versus being in a factory because it allowed them to take care of other things. Like being caregivers. It was a piecework-style system so they could decide how much they wanted to do.
Values like treating people fairly and thinking outside the box were ingrained in my upbringing and are important to me so I wanted to bring them into my business.
I’m also really bad at hiding my feelings about stuff. It would be really hard for me to work with someone that I felt was doing really unfair things to other people or the environment.
We can all learn more about what we could do better, I guess. But there are certain types of people that I’m attracted to working with: people who are curious and want to learn more about how they can be more equitable in the world and how they can be less biased.
Do you have a favorite project that you’ve worked on recently that stands out to you?
Recently, I helped someone I have known for a long time come up with a marketing calendar for a specific event they were putting on.
They were very open to my ideas and it was fun to come up with them. I also helped them with ideas for their Reels and how to create content that would speak to the people that would come to the event. And it was a really fun topic too [because that client has] a trampoline fitness company.
What are your top tips when it comes to repurposing content?
I think it can be really useful to keep an idea bank (TIP #1) so that when you come up with a new idea, you can keep it there. Then you [might] start to see sometimes there’s multiple ideas around one theme or something you need to think about more before you actually put it out there. Then you can also start to think about how you want to share [that idea] later too, because you’re not always sure what form it’s going to take [at first].
Also, have a place where you keep track of what you’re publishing, where, and on what dates (TIP #2). So if you have a blog, try to keep a list with all your blogs in one place with the link, the publication date, and whatever other information you need to be able to access easily.
My next tip would be to do a bit of extra research rather than haphazardly repurposing things (TIP #3) for the fun of it or because you heard you’re supposed to be repurposing.
A really big part of why you should repurpose content is so that you can save time. But it actually does take some time to do it well.
So, I recommend assessing your existing content before you start repurposing. Take a look at your Instagram insights, for example, and see what are some of your top performing posts. Try to get to the bottom of what about them resonated with people and why. Then you can also find some of the top posts that relate to your expertise.
The other thing that’s really good when you’re repurposing is to revisit ideas or posts that didn’t do so well. Something that you know is important to your marketing message, but you didn’t feel like it got as much of a response as you wanted it to, or it didn’t get in front of the people you wanted. Those are also good things to repurpose, I think.
Can you clarify the difference between content distribution and content repurposing?
I think sometimes people get confused between distribution and repurposing.
When you’re posting something on Instagram and then you say “okay, I’m going to post the exact same thing on LinkedIn and Facebook”. That’s your content distribution.
If you put a little extra effort into analyzing [a piece of content], seeing how it does, then reworking it, that’s actual repurposing.
Do you recommend people start with longer-form content to repurpose into smaller, more snackable, social media-style content, or not necessarily?
I think sometimes it’s easier to repurpose a video because you can go back and analyze it, and there’s a lot of different ways to use it, but I don’t think there’s one right way to repurpose. I think we all learn and consume [content] in different ways.
So I don’t want to say that there’s one correct way to start it out. I think you’ll figure out what works well for you after some testing.
What do you enjoy most about working for yourself?
I’ve learned a lot from the jobs that I’ve had in the past, and I really miss the people and those [social] aspects. But I really like the freedom of not having to leave my house.
It’s a double edged sword, because I struggle with structure. But I like that I can hang out with my cats and eat something from my kitchen, and I don’t have to think about all these things far from home.
I remember when [in a past job] we had this tiny little office we would go to between hours of teaching English. It was so crowded. I really needed time by myself, so I would go into the cleaning supply closet and do yoga. I enjoy having my own space now.
What tips would you give a fellow entrepreneur or someone who’s starting out in their business?
I go through periods of feeling very isolated so, for me, it’s good to try to build up your entrepreneurial circle as much as possible.
And doing research is important too [when it comes to starting or running your business]. Looking at Facebook groups, but also doing your own research, whether it’s reading books or looking something up on Google. […] Approach it like you would in college versus just taking everything that people say as truth.
Even though I urge you to do your own research, I’m also grateful that people in this online space are so generous with their time.
When I was starting out, I was still researching what I wanted to do in the online world. I had owned a photography business since 2009, while I also had other jobs. Then, I moved to SE Asia and I needed online work because of the visa I was on.
I was researching what virtual assistants do, because it seemed [to overlap with] skills I had learned through running my own business. Some really generous people took the time to explain things [to me] or even got on calls with me and went through how to create packages, how to do retainers versus getting paid after you do the work and maybe not having the person follow through… I was appreciative of people’s expertise and that they were willing to share it with me as a newcomer.
What are your goals for 2023 and beyond? Any exciting projects in the works?
I just created a referral program for my business so, at the beginning of 2023, I would like to get that news out to lots of people. It’s pretty generous, so I hope that it will help me attract soulmate clients.
I’m also still in the midst of analyzing the market research I did in November and December. It takes a lot of time to go back through videos and really listen carefully to what people are saying. I already have some conclusions that I’ve come to, but I want to go through and take my time and make sure that I’m understanding what people are saying about what I do so that I can do a better job of marketing my business.
Thank you so much for your time, Willow. I look forward to seeing all the wonderful things you are going to be up to in the coming months.
My 4 main takeaways after talking to Willow:
- Connect with like-minded entrepreneurs – it’s a great source of support and inspiration.
- Ask people questions about what they do, or around what you do so you can better serve your clients.
- Repurpose your content with intention, do some research beforehand, and play to your own content strengths.
- Make your life easier by keeping an idea bank and tracking what you post.
Want to find out more about Willow and how to repurpose your content so you can make an impact while saving time and creative energy? Check out her website and follow her on Instagram for even more tips!
She also has a free guide on “15 ways to repurpose and get more life out of your content” that you can download HERE to get started on your repurposing journey!