Automate all the things
Sneak peek into my No-Code Conf talk: no-code content management for everyone.
I've been working hard on my no-code conference chat where I'll be talking about More content, faster delivery: no-code content management for everyone.
Stripped of marketing speak, the title could be What did your job at Airtable and running AATT teach you about marketing workflows?
In essence, it's a lot! Running AATT and Airtable content has been a constant search for optimization while incrementally raising the quality bar. The desire to constantly push out better and more content will resonate true for most content teams but it's especially true for solo creators.
As I work through the talk, I thought I'd share the outline with y'all. I'd love to hear your thoughts about it (and I hope you'll watch it in November as well!)
Learning #1: All content is a unique workflow
Whether you're a podcaster, hucking vaccine disinformation on Youtube or writing a weekly blog post, all content is a workflow. It's an ever-evolving list of unique steps that get you to an outcome (your content)! What's most important is that no one creates content the way you do. Of course they don't, if they did, you'd end up with the same content!
Learning #2: To improve, define every output
Any piece of content can be deconstructed into a bunch of smaller pieces that need to come together. A stream involves a thumbnail, a guest, a topic, start time etc. A blog post has a thumbnail, a URL, a text, an outline.
The best content creators know exactly what it is they need in order to publish their piece of content.
One of my friends is a set creator for large Hollywood productions. His best clients are those who tell him exactly what they want to build down to the type of wood they expect for the set. That level of precision and detail comes from having a deep understanding of what it is they're going to create (it helps having thought through how to improve but more on that a little later).
In most cases, the thing you need to track down what you need (meta) is actually a database! You can imagine my stream as two tables: one with stream information and the other with guest information. You're actually probably already using a database as your CMS! Look at Webflow's CMS or WordPress' or whatever! I'll dig into this more during the talk!
Learning #3: Understand how you get to every output
Now that you see a piece of content as a decomposition of different elements that need to come together, you need to understand how you get to every piece!
What are the steps to getting a thumbnail designed? Is that something I want to keep track of? What about managing guests on my stream? How do I break that down step by step so every week I have someone lined up?
This is where no-code comes in. Today's no-code tools let you take a database and add project management functionality on top. See a kanban view of upcoming guests. Create a calendar view of deadlines.
Learning #4: Strive to be 10% better and automate ruthlessly
Now that you see your content as a database and understand how each output is created, you can start improving it over time. What's worked for me asking myself after each stream/piece of content I produce: how can I make it 10% better next time?
Sometimes that's improvements to the content itself (add a chat overlay, add music to the intro) other times it's improvements to the workflow! Edit directly in Airtable to quickly generate stream clips, create Webflow CMS entries from Airtable (because it's the same information!), see metrics directly in Airtable etc. etc.
It's only once you know what you want to create and how you're going to create it that you'll be able to actually improve.
Now I strongly believe that no-code tools like Airtable/Webflow and others allow you to incrementally improve your content quality and output over time more so than anything out there, but that's me!
I'd love to know what you think of this outline and let me know if you have anything that particularly piques your interest!
Until next week, keep building!