Marketing is a fun, interesting job, but like anything you spend a lot of time doing, you can get burned out.
The same goes for your audience – if you’re just handing them the same old content, recycled over and over, they’ll get burned out too.
Job burnout and audience burnout are, on the surface, separate things. But you can deal with them both at once – here’s how.
How to Avoid Burnout as a B2B Marketer
Burnout is when you’re emotionally, mentally and/or physically exhausted by something. When it comes to job burnout, it tends to happen when you’re overwhelmed and feel like you just can’t keep up with constant demands.
It can also occur when you get stuck in a rut and find yourself just mechanically doing the same tasks, over and over, until your mind turns to pudding and runs out your ears.
It goes hand in hand with job satisfaction, as well. Burnout sucks, and it’s important to mitigate it as much as you can.
The problem is, as a marketer, when you’re burned out, it’s not just you suffering – it’s your content as well.
When you’re too drained to really give your all, your marketing will feel empty, and your audience will pick up on it.
How Burnout Impacts Your Audience, Too
There’s a trick music producers use to get their vocalist to deliver the right tone: when they’re singing, they make the face of the emotion they’re trying to convey. Sing (or speak) with a smile and you’ll automatically sound happier.
Sounds silly, but it works – and marketing is the same. If you’re writing a blog and you’re having a bad day, your writing won’t be as upbeat and engaging as it probably should be.
If that bad day extends over weeks or months, when you’re burned out, then everything you’re putting out – blogs, email campaigns, social media posts – will become hollow and rote.
Not the most engaging thing ever.
And it becomes a vicious cycle, because then your results suffer, which makes your job even less satisfying, and … well, you can see where this is going.
On top of that, you’ll be uninspired and probably end up recycling content, which is both uninteresting for your audience and not much fun to create for you.
That’s when you start losing subscribers and potential leads, because your audience sees the same stuff on repeat.
So – avoid job burnout and you can avoid audience burnout too.
How do you know if you’re burned out? If you’ve been at that point for a while, it might just feel like that’s the normal state of things.
Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself:
- Is your attitude at work increasingly cynical, irritable, impatient or critical?
- Do you have to force yourself to go to work, or struggle to actually begin working?
- Are you consistently low on energy and unable to concentrate?
- Do you feel disillusioned about your work?
- Do you suffer from lack of sleep, headaches or stomach aches?
Examine your workplace, and the context of your job. How much can you influence decisions that directly impact you? Things like your schedule, workload, what resources you have available, and so on.
Being unable to at least somewhat control or have input on these things can lead to increased stress, which can lead to burnout.
Some of the most common factors that lead to burnout are work-life imbalance, monotony and workplace dysfunction.
In other words, if your work overwhelms your personal life, you’re doing boring tasks on repeat, or you’re dealing with things like an unpleasant colleague or a supervisor who likes to micromanage, you’re more likely to get burned out.
And then your marketing suffers as well.
Avoiding Burnout for You and Your Audience
Depending on what the cause is, you have a range of options to mitigate burnout factors.
If your stress is primarily due to a workplace issue, it’s a good idea to discuss your problems with your supervisor. You’d be surprised how often one small conversation can have a big impact.
Prioritize getting some exercise and better sleep. People severely underestimate how important a full night of sleep is. 33% of adult Americans aren’t getting enough sleep.
Here’s an infographic from Johns Hopkins on the effects of sleep deprivation:
Breaking the Monotony
If you find yourself struggling to write interesting content, you’ve probably been writing the same thing way too much, and your audience will pick up on that.
You’ll do yourself and your lead generation a massive favor by trying something new. Whether that’s launching a whole new channel, like starting a podcast, or just changing up the content of your existing stuff – a splash of something new goes a long way.
Instead of writing your 187th blog post about how great your product is, write about something topical in your industry.
Explore new trends in the industry, or if you want to keep it centered around your product, do a roundup of the best ways your customers use it.
Pick a successful customer and write a case study on why they’re successful with it. Then not only are you doing something a little different, you’re also generating a useful bit of content and social proof.
Burnout is what happens when you try to avoid being human for too long.
– Michael Gungor
Strategies to Deal with Burnout at Work
Marketers never stop. If you’re using content marketing (and you should be), you’re under pressure to consistently deliver engaging, top-tier content. That can get overwhelming.
You can mitigate that by planning ahead. Use a content calendar to manage your deliverables and time on whatever basis you find most effective – weekly or monthly. When you have a concrete list of your current workload, and estimates on how long each will take, you can see how much bandwidth you actually have.
More to the point, so can your manager. If you’ve got 40 hours in a week and 35 of them are already booked up with other tasks, your manager might reconsider tossing another 8-hour task at you. Either that, or deprioritize other tasks.
Don’t forget to leave space for unexpected or emergent work, so that you can deal with the inevitable sudden changes without worrying.
Setting priorities is key, and requires open communication with your boss. If you’re unsure whether something is higher priority, ask. It’s never a bad idea to make sure you’re working on what you’re meant to.
If your manager hands you a task that you know you don’t have bandwidth for, say something like ‘Sure, I can do that, but it will take [x] hours, so it’ll mean deprioritizing something else to make room.’
Managing Burnout is Important
Nobody wants to have to drag themselves out of bed and to the office every day. It’s important not to get too deep into a rut, and you can do something about it.
Don’t be afraid to have an open, honest conversation with your company about how you’re doing. Their employees’ health is important to their success, and most employers will work with you to try and help manage burnout.
Your happiness and your lead generation will thank you for it.