3 best content brainstorming tips (when you’re not quite sure what to share)

Communications

Jan 16, 2019

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All hail the queen!

“Content is king” they say, or in my case, “queen,” because I believe wholeheartedly that content is the way to your audience’s heart. Content makes things relevant, inspirational, and accessible… and makes selling a breeze.

But what happens when you’re down to last tick of the clock with no content to share? Inspiration goes right down the drain, doesn’t it?

We strive to create something of value, but usually just end up hitting “send” on that e-mail, staring at the pesky Instagram cursor, or publishing that blog post just for the sake of getting it live… not because it really adds any value to the audience.

What if I told you it didn’t have to be that way?

When I first began educating & speaking as a creative entrepreneur, I started a stockpile of content ideas that I add to on the daily. It’s now 87 rows of Google Spreadsheet glory and counting. In fact, it’s how I pre-drafted 4 months worth of content for maternity leave!

I used to wait until 11pm on Wednesdays, the night before I’d send my newsletter out bright and early & panic with nothing to write. But I learned… whenever I have a moment of “What the heck do I share?” I refer right back to that list that’s just waiting for the perfect opportunity!

ONE THING I KNOW:

Content abounds, if you just work your content sourcing muscle. It’s not easy, and you may be a little out of content sourcing shape… but I’m here to help…

MY 3 BEST CONTENT CREATION TIPS

1. Make a list of 5 brand content categories: 

Create a column for each category in your spreadsheet and add to it over time. These categories should include what you know and love: in business and in life. This will help add variety to your content calendar to make sure you aren’t just sharing about your obsession with your dog every. single. day. (although, I do love dogs). This is applied in cornerstone education content, as well as in the one-off fun Instagram post! Plus, you can use your story as a content gold mine with these tips!

To give you an idea of what my 5 brand content categories are (or “buckets” as I like to call them!):

2. Look for trends & make them your own:

What’s trendy right now in the realm of your zone of genius? What do you see happening in your industry that you can put your own special sauce on? Take a trend and make it unique to you to catch the attention of your audience in a new way while positioning yourself as the expert. For example: if you’re a wedding photographer noticing there is a trend toward family style meals at weddings in place of buffet lines, perhaps you partner with a planner to coordinate a styled shoot showcasing a setting that fosters conversation & passing the plates at the wedding dinner table. Use the content to your advance to inspire your audience & showcase the type of work you could create given the opportunity to capture that trend!

A great example of this is from the PowerSheets launch a couple years back – people were excited, they were the talk of the town, and I analyzed their launch strategy & applied lessons and tips accordingly. A win-win all around!

3. Poll the audience: 

What do your people want to hear? Ask and ye shall receive. You can ask via Instagram Polls, Questions, or Lives, on your newsletter & blog, and even in daily conversation with people in your industry. When they ask you a question or give you a topic, write it down! In fact, you can even add tabs & columns to my Content Calendar Template to store all of your content ideas in one place for easy access.

Whatever you do, creating a strategy for content brainstorming is key so that you don’t get in the perpetual cycle of scrambling to come up with something to share. Get ahead of the game, and you’ll be grateful for it!

How do you brainstorm content topics, queen? Share your best tips below!

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