Jumper cables for your idea muscles...
Sitting in front of a blinking cursor and nothing is coming out?
Here’s 5 quick solutions to jump-start your idea muscles…
Before I get into the remedies, I want to first mention something very important that you...
Although it’s extremely frustrating and oftentimes, upsetting, to sit in front of a computer screen or phone with zero ideas coming to mind, it’s very important that you avoid one very common pitfall…
DON’T JUDGE YOURSELF.
Creative blocks happen, and everyone who cares deeply about sharing their expertise through their writing goes through them, so, DO NOT sit there and beat yourself up.
You’ll simply be exacerbating the anxiety around it.
There are a variety of factors that lead to creative blocks, and by dwelling on any of them, it’ll further plunge you down the whoa-is-me, rabbit hole…
…so don’t do that shit!
Instead, let’s guide you in the right direction with some content creation ideas that you can work with to generate some unique stories that will provide value and inspiration to those you serve.
Here’s a couple that just popped into my mind. Whichever resonates or is more relevant for you, jump down the rabbit hole with them and see what you create:
1 - Think of the last conversation you had with a potential client in person or on the phone.
What was one of the questions that they asked you about your services? What was your answer?
Use this question/answer banter as a way to put together something that could be used as a social post and re-purposed as a blog post. Remember, if one person has a question about your services, chances are there are plenty of other people who will have the same question.
After all, that’s why we have FAQ pages, right?
Then, think of an image to visually punctuate this story.
Some ideas that immediately pop into my mind:
Branded lifestyle portrait of you talking on the phone
An image of your phone on speaker sitting on a flat surface or in your hand
A selfie of you with this particular client
2 - Choose a slide from one of your recent talks
Write down 2-3 bullet points that summarize how you elaborated on the slide in your presentation
Choose one of those bullet points and further elaborate on that to create either a social post.
Option B would be to flesh out all 3 for a longer-form blog post that you can share with your audience.
In terms of attaching an image, well, you already have the slide, so you’re covered on that side of the conversation already. Of course, if you’d like to get a little more creative, look at the copy that you’re writing and brainstorm a couple ideas that would visually punctuate the sentiments of your words. Perhaps it’s not a branded lifestyle portrait that you leverage in this case; perhaps it’s something abstract or metaphorical that works here.
Sit with the idea and see what makes the most sense.
3 - Open up your book, white paper, or last blog post that you’ve written.
Scan for an interesting chapter title, sentence or uncover some of your unique phraseology that you’ve created
Grab that phrase, sentence or passage and elaborate on it in either a social post or blog article.
Whenever I’m searching for something about which to write, I oftentimes dip back into my archives and see if there is something worth mining out to give an updated and unique take on it, especially if it’s a cornerstone piece of your thought leadership.
Even though you’ve written about it before, as time goes by, your take on it will inevitably evolve as you continue to grow and adapt your expertise through new experiences.
With regard to visually punctuating this story with an image, this can go a variety of ways, but, the easiest solution is for you to take a camera phone image of the phrase in the book and use that.
If it’s digital only copy and you don’t feel like snapping an image of your blog on the laptop screen, you could copy the phrase and paste on one of your images and create a quote post in Canva or Photofy.
Don’t feel like piecing it together in an app like these?
You could simply create a 2D text post natively in Facebook or Instagram, leverage a cool background color or gradient, and call it a day.
Either way, if you’re in a creative bind, it’s not a bad idea to go back, revisit and re-purpose your previously published content.
4 - Scan your desk for mementos and chachkies and choose one.
Why does this memento emotionally resonate with you? Or, why the hell is it still on your desk - let’s start there!
How can you make this story relatable to those you serve?
I have a ton of shit in my office that means something to me. In fact, whenever I bring someone new into my office, I point out that I have photos, drawings, and mementos from a childhood and high school all the way through to today.
Once you choose an object living on the desk or in your office, write a little story about it, take out your camera phone and snap a photo of it in order to get an image that could be used to visually punctuate the story.
5 - Write a post of gratitude for something or someone.
Grateful for a friend or family member that helped you with something recently?
Grateful for a particular colleague or mentor?
Grateful for an app that helps you with productivity?
Grateful for waking up this morning?
Once you have the story, then, it’s time to think about how to visually punctuate it. If it’s about family, friends or a colleague, find an image of you two together and snap a shot of that, or scan it. If it’s a long-time relationship, an old school looking image is even better!
If it’s about something, think about a cool way to visually punctuate the story - if it is about waking up, for example, an image of a sunrise could work in this case. Think literally and metaphorically, and eventually, something unique and specific will pop into your mind.
And just go with it!
Although it’s frustrating to go through a creative rut, there is ALWAYS a way out.
Think of these 5 content creation ideas as jumper cables for your car; once you get the kick-start, you’ll undoubtedly be able to generate more ideas from this simple exercise.
The key is to get the process started and not sit around and get trapped in a self-defeating loop of kicking yourself while you’re down.
Give this a shot and let me know how it goes!
PS - For those of you who aren’t in the know, I mail out these blogs 3x a week, and lemme tell you, they’re a real party, so, if you’d like to get in on this,sign up for it here and I’ll throw in a free gift for you, because I care, :)