This week I was working with a. group of experts when I started to notice a common theme. Normally, this group of people would be energised and ready to take on the world, and after working together, I’d come away feeling that as well. But this time, the common feeling being expressed was one of lethargy. Almost without exception each person in the group said they felt flat and uninspired.
In thinking about it, I’m not surprised. Rather than being on stages and delivering keynotes, these experts are at home, spending their days behind screens. The energy and revitalisation they’d normally get from those interactions has suddenly been stripped away. That’s left them (and me, if I’m honest), feeling flat, lacking energy and struggling to feel creative and inspired. At the end of the day, we’ve lost our mojo.
In situations like that, it often feels nearly impossible to find ideas for content creation. Instead of seeing ideas everywhere you turn, you feel like the bucket is dry.
Experiences Lead to Ideas
Thomas Edison said, ‘To have a great idea, have a lot of them’. That works well when we’re having a lot of experiences every day. Experiences take us out of our comfort zone and lead us to tune into all those little daily insights. The more experiences we have, the more ideas we’re exposed to. The more ideas we’re exposed to, the more likely it is that one of them is going to be great.
The challenge at the moment is that we’re not having a lot of experiences. And without experiences, many of us struggle to be inspired with new ideas.
Ideas Without Experiences
The reality is that ideas are around us all the time, but we’re not always present to them. Yes, it’s easy to get one or two new, great ideas when we’re having a lot of external experiences. But even when we’re not, we’re still able to capture those moments of inspiration. We just have to be more mindful and aware.
How to Get Ideas for Your Content Creation: 3 Ways
Read, don’t scroll.
When I work with content clients, I always assign them ‘homework’ to read one book a week on their area, or a related area, of expertise. Reading forces you to work out your own perspective, and where it aligns or differs with other thinkers in your niche.
During times of disruption or upheaval like we’re going through now, some of us may not have as many clients as usual or be delivering keynotes or workshops as we normally would. That means it’s a good time to mentor.
When we mentor someone else, we are in a position to listen to their challenges and problems. This gives us an understanding of the pain points that we can address in our own content. So, when you’re in a mentoring session, always be sure to be present and write down the problems being presented.
Use industry tools.
Technology is incredible, and its ability to grab and analyse data gives us so many other ways to mine for content ideas. And there’s so much data in the world today. In fact, 90% percent of the world’s data was created between 2016 and 2018, and since then we have been doubling the data production rate every two years.
An example of a great tool that analyses data to give you content ideas is SEMRush. As an SEO platform, it gathers data about search queries in Google and has a ‘questions’ section that lists the things that people are Google searching. When you type in a topic, you’ll be given the top search queries that are related to that topic.
In the above screen shot, I typed in the topic ‘mindset’ and I got the questions, ‘what is growth mindset’, and ‘how to change your mindset’, and so on. These are great questions to create a blog post or a YouTube video from because they are queries that real people are searching for in response to the real problems and challenges that they’re facing.
- Are you reading in your area of expertise?
- Are you mentoring and staying present to the problems and challenges your mentee is facing?
- Can you access industry tools to spark ideas for your content creation?
Love to hear your thoughts….
Jane Anderson is a strategic communications expert, speaker and the author of seven books including the upcoming Catalyst Content. With over 20 years of experience helping people to communicate confidently, she is obsessed with authentic influence and human connection to drive business growth in a world of disruption and automation. She delivers Content Creation Bootcamps (Virtual and Face to Face), Coaching and Keynotes. To inquire about her working with you or your organisation please contact us here.