Whether you’ve recently seen the big bold works of Creator Burnout in the news headlines or have dealt with it yourself personally, Creator burnout is something that is becoming more and more prevalent in the Influencer industry and it’s an issue that’s important to address for many reasons that we’ll cover in this article.
At Sidewalker Daily, we work with Creators and Influencers to build their businesses and we also work with brands on their Influencer campaigns. In the many years we’ve worked in the Influencer Industry, we’ve seen Creators grow their business and following to only crash and burn, sometimes ruining everything because Creator Burnout got the best of them. We’ve also heard many of the Creators in our own community telling us how overwhelmed they are from the pressues of being a Creator and we recognize that it’s something that everyone in the Influencer industry is facing more and more.
The mental health and well-being of the Creators we work with is extremely important to us so in this post, we want to cover what Creator burnout is, how to prevent it and go over 6 solutions you can use to deal with burnout as a Creator if you’re facing it now or run into it in the future.
What Is Creator Burnout?
First off, let’s identify what Creator burnout is and how you can tell when you’re going through it. Most simply, you might be experiencing burnout if actions or tasks that you once really enjoyed doing no longer feel like something you want to do. Creators experiencing burnout might feel:
- highly unmotivated
- uncharacteristically tired
- a general lack of energy or interest for the things that are typically enjoyable.
Essentially the Creator feels like they have nothing left to give and the pressure of showing up social, running a business and having to be creative all the time catches up to them. Creator burnout has even been linked to depression which is why this is such an important topic to discuss.
Is There A Creator Burnout Quick Fix?
Unfortunately, we don’t think that taking just one day off is going to relieve you from burnout as a Creator. Of course, it’s always important to take breaks and days off if you need them to re-charge. Creators and Influencers have this pressure to be constantly showing up online. This causes the line between real life and social media to blur a little, and there is often an added pressure to show the best sides of yourself. That being said, a day off from showing up online can be beneficial and give you a little break. If you’re concerned everyone will forget about you – no need to worry – even the biggest creators take time off and their followers and community are waiting for them when they come back.
The true fix for Influencer burnout often requires digging into the symptoms and analyzing the causes in your Creator business that may be contributing to this sense of overwhelm and lack of motivation. You really need to take some time to self-analyze why you are feeling this way and come up with a plan to deal with what you are going through to hopefully prevent it from happening again in the future.
To help you out, let’s take a look at some of the symptoms of burnout and the most common patterns that lead to Creator burnout.
Symptoms of Burnout
The biggest sign of burnout is when you start to feel like you don’t want to do something that you used to love doing. For example, if you absolutely loved creating TikTok videos and now you don’t even want to open up the app and post another video, this is a sign that you’re feeling burnt out. No matter what your job is, everyone has days when they don’t want to work. However, frequently feeling this way could be a sign that you’re burning out and that something needs to change.
Having a feeling of dread associated with posting new content or other typical Creator tasks is another sign that you’re experiencing burnout. As an Influencer or Creator, there’s a lot of pressure to put your best foot forward online and create stunning content. Of course it’s good that a Creator would want to post their best work, but feeling overwhelmed and full of dread about each and every post is a sign that something isn’t quite right.
For example, if Instagram is bringing you very little joy even though you spend a lot of time on it, this can lead straight to Instagram burnout. We’ve seen Creators with hundreds of thousands of followers who even do brand partnerships on Instagram just delete the app because it was too overwhelming for them – we don’t want you to get to this point. Feeling depressed and a lack of motivation to do daily Creator tasks and run your business are also major symptoms of Influencer burnout.
Why Creators Are Facing Burnout
From an outside perspective, Creator life looks pretty glamorous. It’s so common to hear people say things like, “Oh how fun it must be to post content for a living!” But if you’re a Creator or an Influencer, you know that while this job can be a lot of fun, it’s a lot more than just taking pictures and posting them. There’s so much more than what meets the eye—from coming up with concepts, shooting and editing, re-shooting because something didn’t work, and so much more.
Producing content is really just the tip of the iceberg! Outside of content creation, Influencers also have to deal with the entire list of tasks and responsibilities that come with being an entrepreneur and a business owner. We remind our Creators all the time that they’re not just being creative…they’re building a business!
There’s a huge amount of work to be done, combined with a constant output of content, so it’s really no surprise that Creators are feeling a sense of overwhelm. Let’s quickly look at 4 of the major reasons Creators are facing burnout:
1) Unrealistic Expectations
There is an unrealistic expectation to produce content on every single platform. Showing up consistently on one or two platforms is already a lot of work. Imagine having to produce for all of them all the time. The content you publish also needs to fit into your content strategy, showcase brands and products, and generally be appealing to your audience.
We understand it’s a lot of work and know you are not alone! Feeling the pressure to keep up with each platform can lead to Creators working well over traditional full-time hours and taking on too much simply because they feel like they have to.
2) Fear Of The Algorithm
There is so much mystery that surrounds the algorithm and many Creators believe that it will “punish” you if you don’t post. Because the algorithm is notorious for pushing out content for those who are active, it’s really easy to start thinking that you’ll be forgotten if you stop posting for even a second.
As a Creator, it’s extremely important that your content is seen. To keep up with the algorithm and lower the risk of it limiting reach, Creators push themselves to create even when they’re feeling tired or overwhelmed.
3) Fear Of Missing Out
The fear of missing out is something that everyone deals with at some point in their lives, and Creators are no exception. In the Creator and Influencer industry, there is a general sense that you have to be posting all the time if you want to be remembered.
Plus, every time you go onto a platform, you see tons of Creators posting content and this can make you feel really behind and start playing the comparison game.
4) Sense Of Competition
Along similar lines, there is a bit of competition when it comes to social media. With so much content being pushed out on each platform daily, it’s really not hard to feel like you aren’t doing enough and that others are doing a lot—and doing it better than you.
To keep up with the competition, Creators push themselves to participate—sometimes beyond their ability—and without having the right systems in place, this can become very difficult to manage and lead to feelings of overwhelm.
Solutions For Dealing With Creator Burnout
Getting to the root of the problem first is important. But now that we know a little more about what could be causing some of these feelings of burnout, let’s take a look at some tried and true solutions. If you feel like you’re on the track to burning out soon or are already burnt out and looking for help, consider these options. We hope that they answer some of your questions on how to deal with burnout and can provide you some relief.
1) Recognizing That Burnout Is Happening
The first step to finding a solution for Creator burnout is to actually acknowledge that it’s happening. Depending on the severity of the burnout, the best thing to do might be to hit pause on everything until you have some clarity and can move forward happily. So in order to even do that, you have to take a second and recognize that something is going on and that you’re feeling a bit burnt out.
Everything that you’re feeling–fear of missing out, stress about the algorithm—can wait. Your health has to come first, or you run the risk of breaking down and not being able to keep your business.
2) Take A Look At Your Habits
Once you’ve identified that you’re starting to get burnt out, you need to take a good look at your habits. Where are you spending most of your time? Can you find a way to track how much time you’re spending on your phone? Out of all of the things you do each day for your Creator business (or life in general), which ones are sucking up your energy?
Sometimes we have certain apps on our phones that immediately put us into a competitive space or a space that requires a lot of energy and brain power. If we never take a break from those, it can start to feel really overwhelming or become an energy drain.
In terms of other habits, look outside of your content creation work. Are you spending time with friends? If you’re constantly thinking about creating content and it’s detracting from other things in your life such as relationships or keeping up with your health, this could be causing your burnout.
We recommend outlining your day and designating time for content creation. Work other things into your daily routines so that you have a space to refuel your creative engine and take a break from work. Here are some ideas:
- A morning routine that doesn’t involve work
- Mid-day workout
Making time for relaxation is productive in the long run because then you will be able to show up as your best self for your business when you need to. It’s all about creating routines and systems that allow you to stay organized, get stuff done, and build a sustainable business.
3) Create Space For You And Your Work
If you’re going through burnout, this is one of the most important steps you can take to get back to normal. Oftentimes, Creators and Influencers are their brand. Their brand is very forward-facing and involves showing online audiences and ins and outs of their lifestyle, so much so that the line between work and actual life starts to blur.
Because of this, it’s really easy to become too emotionally attached to the Creator version of yourself. It’s so important that you create space between your physical persona and what you post online. You have to remember that you are not your work!
Focus on the things that bring you joy and excitement, and budget permitting – delegate the rest.
4) Ask For Help And Delegate Tasks
Getting help from someone in regards to your mental health can be something that you consider. Talking to someone about what you’re going through can help give you some clarity about how to move forward in a way that ensures burnout doesn’t happen again.
But it’s also important to ask for help with the tasks of your Creator business that you might not be as great at handling on your own or that take you too much time. We aren’t going to sugar coat it–as a Creator or Influencer there are going to be things you have to do that you don’t like doing. That’s all part of running a business! But, if you are able to get someone to support you in administrative tasks or other tasks that can be outsourced so you can focus on the stuff you’re really good at, this can help reduce your stress levels and get you back to loving your Content Creator business again.
While delegating tasks to other people might cost you some money, if you are able to focus on what you’re good at, you’ll be able to bring in more money and help your bottom line in the long run. When you hire someone or build your team you should be thinking with this mindset.
If you want to scale your Creator business, looking for an assistant or some kind of help is eventually going to be necessary. We know you want to be involved in everything you do for your business, but if you want to flourish and avoid spreading yourself too thin, this is the way to go! Make the investment and you’ll be able to grow your business and hopefully avoid burning out.
5) Join A Community of Like-Minded Creators
Let’s face it, many people in the world don’t get the Influencer and Creator business and have a hard time understanding what we do. Having a network and group of people who understand what you’re going through and can relate to your wins, struggles and everything in between could be the support system you need to keep you motivated and inspired to keep going.
We have a Creator community called the Inner Circle where Creators can access group coaching calls with our Influencer and Creator Coaches to ask questions or get feedback and to check in on each other. We also have events throughout the month, a monthly bookclub and stay connected in a WhatsApp group in between. The Creator life can be a little isolating sometimes but having a group of people who want to see you succeed and cheer you on can make a huge impact in your mental health, business and overall success as a Creator.
If you feel like you’re burning out, or can’t seem to figure out why you aren’t being productive, having a safe space to turn to for support can make a huge difference. Talking it through and hearing from others who may have gone through similar situations is an amazing step to take to overcome burnout.
6) Think About Your Accomplishments And Other Inspirations
What are the things that excite you most? That make you feel most alive? Take time to think through these things, whether it’s accomplishments in your Creator business or external factors that make you feel really inspired and creative. Inspiration doesn’t always just come to you; you have to go and find it!
If you’re inspired when you’re out in nature, make time for this. Maybe you feel really inspired when you’re around other groups of creatives networking. Figure out where inspiration comes to you and jot these down. That way, next time you’re feeling a bit down you can go back to these areas that inspire you and revisit those highs.
Dealing With Creator Burnout
Creator burnout is a tough topic to talk about, but it’s crucial that we have these conversations. As a recap of what we covered, here are a few of the major takeaways about dealing with Creator burnout, including the 6 solutions you should try:
1) There isn’t really a “quick fix” to Creator burnout. If you feel like you’re burning out, you need to dig into the symptoms and address your situation to see what’s causing it.
2) The biggest symptom of burnout is feeling dread, anxiety, or lack of interest around things that used to bring you joy.
3) Creator burnout is linked to depression, and your mental health needs to come first if you want to be happy as a Creator (otherwise the alternative may be going back to your corporate job).
4) Major causes of Creator burnout are dealing with unrealistic expectations to post constantly, fear of the algorithm, fear of missing out, and a sense of competition around keeping up with other Creators.
5) The first step in dealing with Creator burnout is recognizing that the burnout is happening or that you’re heading towards burnout.
6) Look at your habits as a Creator to figure out what is taking up most of your time and using most of your energy.
7) It’s important to create space between yourself and your work in order to avoid burnout, especially when your Influencer brand is closely linked to your physical persona.
8) Ask for help. Not just for mental health help, but also help with tasks that are draining your energy or are taking away from the parts of your business that you are really good at.
9) Join a community of like-minded individuals for support and to vent about your feelings. Isolating yourself makes being a Creator lonely, and it’s important to have a tribe.
10) Think about your accomplishments or spend time with other things that give you inspiration so that you feel connected and encouraged in your work.
We hope that if you are feeling any sense of Creator burnout that this post helped answer some of your questions and gave you some direction on how to bounce back from burnout. Remember that your mental health comes first, because without your positive energy and motivation, your Creator business cannot thrive. If you’re looking for support, check out our Inner Circle membership or get in touch for a coaching session with one of our Creator business experts. We want to help you build a sustainable business to last without getting burned out along the way.
If you found this article helpful, let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear how you’ve overcome Creator burnout or if this advice gave you some clarity.