After being asked many times, I’m sharing how I come up with content ideas. When I bumped up my LinkedIn activity from occasional to daily, I needed more ideas than ever before. And before this, I agonized over writing a post to the point it may never be posted.
So how do I find all these ideas? Well, that is a work in progress.
Here are a few ways I’ve done it.
Read and listen to other people’s content. Podcasts, books, and conversations are great sources of inspiration. When I’m listening to a podcast, if I hear something that makes me thing “stop, what did they just say?” I write it down – on post-it notes, the notes app on my phone or on a Trello card. If there are lots of stops in an episode, I listen to the whole thing again with the intent of taking notes like a college lecture. I keep all those notes in spiral notebooks that are labeled with the episodes in each notebook for easy reference.
And pay attention to the questions you are being asked in conversations. Answering your audiences questions is the backbone of They Ask, You Answer philosophy outlined by Marcus Sheridan in his book by the same name. If you are hearing questions, remember them and use it for content.
Writing prompts. When I started writing daily for LinkedIn, I was lucky the timing matched up with the release of the Speak Up challenge with the What Work’s Network. The point of the challenge was to share a perspective about the word of the day for the month of October. I used about half of these words as the starting point for my writing each day.
If you are looking for prompts, Pinterest is a great source of ideas. In fact, I’ve created a board for writing prompts I’ve found. Hope you’ll enjoy those.
Create a calendar. This is one I am not good at but I certainly see the benefit of it. Make a calendar of themes and how you’ll build on that theme day over day. Another suggestion is to map out a variety of different ways to present content (case studies, stories, testimonials, statistics, infographics) and then take each of your major themes – mine would be branding, purpose and marketing – and plot out ideas for each of the content types. This could give you a non-traditional calendar.
Share quotes and their meaning. I keep a book of quotes on my desk and use those for weekend posts. But I don’t just share the words. I always add a few sentences about what the quote means to me, always connecting it back to branding, marketing or purpose.
Movies, TV, and Musical. My family enjoys watching movies together. And almost every weekend, I find some message or correlation to business, branding, or marketing I can use for a post or podcast idea. My favorite is Kinky Boots. Back when I first wrote the blog post about the business lessons I found in the musical, I tweeted and had more engagement with that post than I’d ever had. Finding ways to bring new meaning to something many can relate to is one of my key strategies in developing content.
Repurpose what you already have. This is another one I need to continually remind myself to do. Make that content you’ve already done work harder. Keep it circulating by breaking it into smaller pieces of content. Create a social media post from quotes in your podcast. Expand on a topic from a social post and make it a podcast. Convert stats into an infographic. Work harder not smarter applies here.
Get out of your own way.
I was my own barrier when it came to finding content ideas. I had convinced myself that perfection was more important so I just avoided the task. Not every idea will be a winner but you’ll never know until you share it.
Also allow your mind to wander. Our best ideas are just beyond the horizon of boredom. When we fight boredom, we miss out on our most creative ideas.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Marcus Sheridan, They Ask, You Answer
- The Marketing Book Podcast with Douglas Burdett, They Ask, You Answer
- 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne’s Precepts
- Pinterest board of writing prompts
- 60 days of LinkedIn posting
How to rate and leave a review for a podcast
- On your iOS mobile device, launch the Apple podcasts app.
- Tap the search tab in the lower right corner of the screen.
- Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review.
- Tap the Reviews tab, then tap
- Write a Review at the bottom of the screen.
- Go to The Pursuit of Purpose on Stitcher
- Scroll down until you see Write a Review under “load more episodes”
- Write a review or leave a rating
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