Whether you’re just getting started, or you’ve been involved with your organization’s lead generation efforts for years, at some point, you’ll hit the wall when it comes to content creation. It can be daunting to come up with something new to say every day. The next time you need something to write about, try one of these tips.
- Grab a magazine. I love to play this game while I’m waiting in line at the grocery store. The headlines on magazine covers sell the publication—and they can entice someone to open your email or read your blog post too. While you wait to check out, scan the magazine headlines and come up with as many possible variations that you can twist to pertain to your business. “5 Best Diet Tricks You Haven’t Tried” becomes “5 Ways to Beat Cold Calling Boredom.” And “Grading the NBA Draft” becomes “Your Lead Generation Report Card.”
- Skim email subject lines. The trick above works with the email you receive too. What subject lines got you to open the email? Which headlines within newsletters made you click through? How can you adapt what’s working and use it for your own business?
- Piggyback on current events. Yep. We’re talking about newsjacking again. Hey, if people are completing online searches for information on a hot topic, and you have information to share, you might as well be the go-to source!
- Hit the forums. Whether it’s user groups on LinkedIn, questions being asked on Quora or discussions taking place on an industry-specific forum, take note of the questions being asked. Your blog should be a tool to educate your readers and position you as a thought leader. Write about the things people are seeking answers to online.
- Visit tech support or customer service. What kinds of questions are your client-facing employees answering over and over again? Are there explanations they give repeatedly? These might be good subjects to write about.
- Take a scene from your own life. What’s going on in your world? Is there a parallel you can draw that illustrates a business lesson?
- Switch gears. Tell your story with music, video, photos or an infographic.
- Look through past posts. Remember all the times you wished you had an article on a certain topic to backlink? Identify your content holes (or better yet, keep a list!) and create content to fill the gaps.
- Repurpose content. Go through your archives and identify articles that fit together. Combine them into “The Ultimate Guide to…” or “”All You Ever Needed to Know About…”
- Read someone else’s blog. Find some articles you like, and think about how you can put a new spin on what they said. Did they leave anything out? Can you build upon what they said? Do you completely disagree? Is there more to the story? Form an opinion. Close the piece you just read. Begin a new document and teach, inform or entertain in a style that is unique to you.
And, here’s a bonus tip: scroll through your Facebook and Twitter feeds. What are people talking about? What’s trending on Twitter? Is there anything you can spin, adapt, borrow or use as an idea starter? As I write this, #Thankyoumom is a promoted Tweet. How about writing “10 Lead Generation Strategies I Learned from My Mom?”
Share your top tips in the comments below. Where do you get your best content creation ideas?
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Kim Peek is the Blog Boss at The Center for Sales Strategy.