Ideas are all around us if we pay attention.
So often, people who want to build an online presence or develop a personal brand get stymied about what kind of content to create. The same goes for companies. They become trapped in what I’d call “Creator’s Block.”
The truth is content creation is not reinventing the wheel. Not every piece of content has to be totally original to stand out or add to the conversation. One might even argue that true originality doesn’t even exist. For example, you can do roundups of opinions from industry leaders. You can also curate content from around the web and provide your own spin or unique point of view alongside it.
Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mark Schaeffer, a sought-after marketing consultant, blogger, and keynote speaker. In his latest book, Known The Handbook for Building and Unleashing Your Personal Brand in the Digital Age, Schaeffer says the best way to keep your content fresh is to “view your daily life through the lens of possible new content…My catalog of new ideas isn’t coming from a flash of personal insight or alien intelligence beaming into my head. It’s maintained through an awareness of my environment and developing a nose for news.”
Don’t break your head thinking about what sort of content to create. Accustom yourself to pay greater attention to the world around you. Everything from current events to daily occurrences in your personal and professional life contains ideas for your next blog post, article, video, or voice note.
Observe your surroundings with an eye and ear toward content opportunities. Keep a notepad handy or use the Notes app on your phone. If you don’t like write, make an audio recording. Jot down questions your clients or customers ask you. Play around with Google’s search bar and answer questions people frequently search. Take note of interesting things you read or hear. Catalog interesting or funny things that happen to you throughout your day. And, remember, things you might think are obvious might be new and interesting to others.
Pretty soon, you’ll probably store enough content ideas to fill up an entire month or two on your content calendar. Learn to find the story angles in your everyday life and tell those stories in a way that only you can tell them.