Your brain has an amazing ability to generate ideas. But, it’s not always easy to access them. Few things are more frustrating than needing an original idea, but not being able to come up with one.
This is Week 5 of 8 Marketing Must-Haves – and we’re talking about generating great content on one relevant platform, and doing it consistently. The biggest reasons my clients give me for not creating their own content regularly are:
I don’t have any idea what to say!
I don’t have the time!
I am not a writer!
If the second or third reason sound like you – then reach out to me, and get some marketing content assistance. I can’t over-state how important regular content is to growing your business. However, if the first one is your only challenge, then this blog will help you generate great content ideas like clockwork.
Most of us are clear what platform will best reach our customers. We also know what those customers struggle with, and we even know how we help them. So, why is creating fresh content so difficult? Well, many of us are waiting for inspiration to strike. Instead, get in the mindset of generating great ideas regularly. So whether you are blogging, podcasting, or developing video content, you are continuously providing the content that makes you an authority in your field.
Here is how writers and other creative content developers plan their own creativity – rather than waiting for inspiration to strike:
Like many other things in life, generating great ideas requires practice to be able to do it consistently.
Unfortunately, most of us are only looking for good ideas when we’re ready. That added pressure to “be creative now” can make it even more challenging to come up with a good idea. We typically don’t work as well under pressure as we do when relaxed.
Practice these techniques to improve your ability to generate useful ideas:
Set an intention. Decide each day that you’re going to be creative. Each morning, tell yourself that you’re going to generate some great ideas today. You’ll be much more likely to be successful, just as if you reminded yourself to notice all the blue cars that crossed your path today.
Mix it up. Try a new environment regularly. The same environment leads to the same thoughts and behaviors. Put yourself in a new environment if you want to have new ideas. Spend the night at a hotel. Take a trip to the city. Go to the park. Walk around a cemetery. Sit in a chair in your backyard if you rarely get out there.
Write in a journal. Writing generates thinking. It also creates space in your brain for new thoughts. The more you write, the more natural the content will flow. Get the old thoughts out of the way and you’ll begin thinking about something new. Make a habit of writing in a journal each day.
Get online. Plan a defined time to see what is happening in your world and in your industry. Cruise around the internet. Spend some time on sites you wouldn’t normally visit. Watch some videos. Look at some photos. Read a few blogs on topics relevant to your content area. There’s so much available online, and it helps refine your own position on important topics.
Set aside time each day for idea generation. Just as you might set aside time to hit the gym, set aside a time to generate great ideas. Be clear on the topic and desired outcome. “I want to find the optimal solution regarding the delivery issues my business is suffering.” You’re bound to come up with some great ideas if you do this each day. When you practice generating great ideas, you become good at it.
Skim books on the topic. Yes, I said skim. It’s not cheating. You don’t have to read every word to find a new idea, but you could. Skim through a few books and see if something triggers a new idea. Maybe someone already has a great idea you can use.
Ask others for ideas. Maybe someone you know has a perspective you haven’t considered. You could even send out a mass email to everyone you know and ask for help. You’re certain to hear a few ideas that you never would’ve thought of on your own.
Understand that you’ll often get many ideas at once. Ideas often come in floods. You can have several days without a good idea, and then you suddenly have 10. That’s why it’s important to keep at it every day. Be open to receiving several good ideas at once.
Do you regularly have good ideas? Whether you do or not, you can definitely strengthen that ability. Creativity requires practice, and few of us make the time for regular practice a true priority.
We’re only looking for solutions when we have a pressing need. This is shortsighted. Spend time each day looking for the best possible solutions to the challenges in your life, no matter how small they might be.
Build your idea-generating muscles, so they’ll be ready when you need them. From there, your regular content will already be accessible and inspired when you need it. No waiting required.