Trouble brainstorming ideas for posts? Try this...
Trouble brainstorming ideas for posts?
Let me give you a peek into how I do it…
For many speakers, authors and coaches, especially those who don’t post often to social media, it’s a real challenge to come up with ideas that resonate and connect with their audiences.
Forget about resonate, they can’t come up with a single idea, period!
They sit in front of their computers for hours and watch the world go by and witness their hands dying a slow death as they sit motionless on the keyboard, waiting for inspiration to strike.
Now, why is it so hard to create an idea?
Well, your idea muscles are similar to your actual muscles in that if you don’t work them out consistently, you won’t get any results, which means your ability to consistently draw interesting, compelling and relevant ideas on command will not be there when you need it.
Several years ago, I would go through this charade day-after-day, sitting in front of the laptop with zero ideas coming out. After an hour of staring at a blank screen, I would tap out, shut it down and walk away without so much as to putting one sentence together.
Frustrating, to say the least.
Eventually, I found my way. How’d that happen?
I got some direction from an outside source and just forced myself to write consistently.
By forced, I mean set time aside to brainstorm, develop an opinion or an insight based on a conversation or random thought I’d had, bullet point what I want to say about it in a very loose way, and then once a concept started to make sense, I’d develop the bullet points into paragraphs and transitions from one thought to another.
Still sounds like a big mountain to climb?
Okay, let’s try to get some blood pumping in those idea muscles through another tactic.
Rather than generating stories from memory that will convert into content that resonates with those that you serve, reverse engineer the storytelling process by picking one of your lifestyle portraits and brainstorm ideas that strike you as you look at the photo.
Normally, the image you pair with your story acts as a visual punctuation to the sentiments, emotions and lessons you’re sharing with your audience. But, when you have zero ideas flowing, starting at the end is a good way to fire up your creative juices.
Allow me show you what I mean by illustrating this concept with a photo of one of my clients.
This photo is a lifestyle portrait of health and nutrition coach, Tricia Kallmeyer, prepping meals for her clients as she zoodles her zucchinis…
…is there any other way to treat a zucchini, really?
Now, when I look at this photo - her expression, the activity itself and the other elements within the frame - I have a bunch the idea nuggets that immediately pop into my head:
Write about a post about the joy of healthy cooking and how it makes you feel to provide that for your clients
Gratitude post about being a business owner and balancing the challenges with these moments of doing the thing I love
Even though it’s a lot of prep work to serve myself and my clients, it’s a labor of love...
A post about the zoodle itself and how it helps expedite the prepping process
A post about the zucchini and its health benefits
Talk about how this one vegetable will make its way into a very special meal tonight
Write a story that contrasts this smile - Tricia can talk about being overweight and unhappy, and how that affected her emotionally, and arc it to how she now lives healthy and it’s made all the difference in the world.
A post about how the kitchen is your stage and the joy it brings
Talk about the client that this food prep is going to serve, and how gratifying it is for you
Share the recipe, and lay out the health benefits
Look at a recent blog post and pull one sentence that encapsulates the way you feel about how you serve and start the piece off from there.
Obviously these are raw ideas and would need to be further developed, but, do you see the power and potential of starting with the image that you want to post and creating ideas simply by studying the details?
I pre-planned none of these ideas - in fact, I’m wasn’t even looking at the photo as I write these ideas down - but, once you train your brain to view your images in a different light - that light being a way to leverage them and tell storied that matter and are relatable to your audience - you automatically get the ball rolling with creating idea nuggets that you can further develop into full-blown posts.
The point being here is that images evoke a ton of feelings, thoughts and insights, so, if you’re stuck, pick some photos of yourself that matter to you and allow yourself the space to go into the laboratory and cook up some interesting ideas.
Look at your expression, what emotion does it represent for you? How can you build a story around it similar to what I did with Tricia’s lifestyle portrait?
What are you doing in that photo? Working, talking, laughing? Leverage those bits of information to inspire an interesting story to share with your audience.
Remember, EVERY image that you post on social and in your blog are meant to visually punctuate the sentiment of the stories you share. Allow that visual punctuation to inspire the story in the first place, and see if that helps kickstart your content creation process.
Turning to you…
After reading this post, do you still feel like you need help getting yourself started down this road of consistently creating social media content?
I get it, it’s hard and you want some guidance. I can help you with that.
Schedule a call with me and let’s see if we’re a fit to work together.
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, :)