It’s not always easy to think of things to say and come up with relevant and interesting ideas. There is this false premise that what we say and share has to be original and nothing is further from the truth. Not only that, but it is almost impossible to do so.
Our thoughts and mindsets are a product of existing ideas and philosophies. In one way or another a lot has been said and we are just re-telling stories that match our worldview and our mission.
So what I’m trying to say is that creating content is less about giving birth to ideas as much as it is about being a good storyteller to those who are ready to listen.
It’s more than obvious that internet is overwhelmingly filled with information, and your audience isn’t necessarily looking for something new. They are looking for the right information. They are looking for their next step. They need a reminder about what is essential and most effective. They want to feel stories and grow with the community.
All of this leads us to look where that content is hidden and how to shape it. There are 5 ways you can create content:
1. Document Everything You Do
The tool doesn’t matter as much as the perspective does. You can document by recording videos, sound, taking pictures, drawing, writing a poem or keeping a journal. It’s just a way of expressing yourself and the more you do it the better you become at it.
From experience I learned that the problem is not in how to tell a story, but in what story to tell. Most people find their life boring. When that is the case it usually means they are not invested enough in their mission or they stopped being creative in their personal life.
Everything is a story.
Change the perspective — you change the story.
Change the conditions — you change the story.
Change the direction of the thought and you change the story.
Not everything is a good story, though. But good stories get discovered only by challenging bad stories. It doesn’t really matter where you start.
What matters is that you start.
So, start documenting. Play, experiment, write about your desires, map out your mission, record your process. Keep a journal, let your imagination take over and I promise, at least 1 in every 5 days will have something worth sharing.
2. Create Lectures For Your Audience
Imagine you are designing a course on one topic you are extremely passionate about. Structure it by dividing it into 10 short lectures. For each lecture do 1 hour of research and 2 hours of writing. This is called Macro-content.
Every lecture can be shared as an article and from every lecture you can share paragraphs in a form of a post or a story. In other words, use your macro-content to create many micro-contents on all of your digital platforms.
Example: I will turn this article into a carousel, share tips in stories, share main takeaways on LinkedIn and it will become a part of my future course.
3. Filter And Curate What Is Essential To Your Audience
There is so much information out there and every day we are bombarded with news, updates and new apps. We simply don’t have the time to go through it all if we want to focus on our business.
This is where you come in. You have the opportunity to prove yourself as an authority in the industry.
You have developed the most important thing with your audience — TRUST. Without it it wouldn’t matter what you’re saying, but it does. And people are ready to listen. They need somebody they trust to tell them what is the most important thing to know so they can keep growing.
They need somebody to filter the news, sum-up the 2 hour podcasts, get insights on what’s happening on the market.
Curating means selecting, organizing and presenting the information, typically using professional or expert knowledge.
By doing this you are proving yourself as an expert. To do this you need the skill to present it well and make it interesting. People have a short attention span and they don’t want to waste time. Give them value and give it without hesitation. Give it without asking anything back.
4. Re-visit Your Bookmarks!
Still have no idea what to publish?
Remember — your audience is in most cases very much like yourself. People follow like-minded people and communities. In other words, what is interesting to you will most likely be interesting to them. So, share everything you research. Go back to your laptop and check all those bookmarks that you have been saving for years. What is in there? Why did you think it was important?
Of course, it’s not just about bookmarks.
- Your email conversations — what questions have people asked, what advice did your share? Never leave a good conversation for yourself!
- Notes from the courses you took — what have you learned? Explain in your own words and spread the knowledge.
- Books on your shelves, e-books — what have you read, what has helped you?
- Audio books, podcasts, documentaries — what have you documented and learned from it?
- Latest research — what is new that has happened in your industry?
- Case studies — report about businesses in your industry which are doing it right and explain why.
- Re-post valuable content — share other people’s work which you value. Tag them and give them a shoutout.
5. Communicate Directly With Your Audience
If you want to learn what they want to see and hear from you — here’s a wild thought — ask them.
Ask a question, create a poll, interview some of them on your social platform. Send them an email with questions to learn more about them and present it in a written form.
Ask them what obstacles annoy them the most and offer a solution.
Offer a free service to 1 to 3 person to really understand what they need. Combine this with writing lectures and use their feedback to improve your service and communication.
In part 3 I will share one of the most important thing you should share in your content. It’s something most people forget about after building a business, and it really shouldn’t be left out if you want to create a strong and authentic brand.