Podcast: Never Run Out of Things to Say – How to mine for content ideas

So the most common thing I get is,  “I don’t know what to say in my content!” And the truth of it is that it’s not that you don’t have anything to say, it’s just you don’t know how to tap that flow of ideas which quite honestly are flying around everywhere, if only you’d open your eyes!

That’s where content mining becomes so powerful. Because do this a few times and you’ll become so aware of all these hidden places that content is hiding, that it will stop becoming something you have to sit down and work at, but something you just naturally do. And that’s what I’m sharing in this episode.  A little content mining workflow to help get your idea generation fired up.

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Transcript

Welcome to episode 7 of The Content Download, I’m Cate of The Luminous, if you’re not familiar with my work you can check it all out over at theluminous.media or my main website catebutlerross.com

If you’re listening to this episode in real time, it’s gonna be hitting your ear buds around the 1st december 2020, and this is traditionally the time we are well panicking over christmas, but in terms of business, content, visibility how you’re showing up, you are probably casting your mind forward to work out how you can launch into the new year bring your A game.

And in terms of content that might mean you’re coming up with fresh ideas for the first quarter or six months of the year; or maybe you’re looking to create a new piece of signature content like a blog or a podcast to magnify your presence; Or maybe you’re not thinking any of these things and I’m scaring the life out out of you, but that’s ok if  you’re not a planner because the more fly by the seats of your pants you are, the more you’re probably going to appreciate the tools i’m going to share with you today, to make sure you keep showing up and serving your audience consistently.

Because one of the challenges I hear come up the most is you don’t know what to say in your content. The funny things is, I often find i have the exact opposite challenge, I have so much to say, and just not enough time to say it all. 

And the truth is, you have the same problem, you just haven’t realised it yet.

The only difference is that as a writer and a journalist I just naturally see my life in content and stories – in other words i have a content creators mindset, and in this episode I’m going to give you some practical tools you can dive into to generate some ideas and help get you unstuck so you can get creating.

It’s all about content mining, and this little workflow I’m going to share with you takes an inside out approach, which means you’re going to start mining for content from inside your business and then we are going to gradually work outwards to other places where you can get ideas.

And there’s lots of ways you can do this, but i’m just going to share 3 of the most lucrative in this episode to keep it super actionable.

What you need: Well a pen and pad where you can jot down notes and ideas. That’s all. This is a total brainstorming process. You can even do this as we go along with the episode, by pressing pause, doing the work and then moving on to the next step.

  1. Quickest fastest, easiest place to find content, as I’ve already said, is inside your business. Which means your attention first up is your desk, your computer – the documents you have there, client notes, projects – and your email – correspondence with your ideal clients. So you are going to use those to look for content ideas. 

Here are the themes, topics etc you need to be on the look out for….

  • What challenges are your clients facing – evergreen challenges or specifically right now, ie things that are happening to them based on the time of year, or in terms of world events? What valuable content could you create around those things?
  • What questions do you get asked all the time – whether that’s on client calls, on social media, by people who want to pick your brain – if you find you are often asked for advice etc, that means you have lots of content to create around that. Create a questions file on your computer – because literally just answering one of these questions is a piece of really valuable content.  You’ll also have a resource to send brain pickers too.
  • If you are new to business you might not have this yet. But that’s ok you can totally find it in other places or generate it yourself – go into groups where your ICI is hanging out and search keywords to see what qs they are asking around your niche, ask your audience. Do surveys, ask questions inside facebook groups, facebook groups etc.
  •  
  • Step 2 We are going to start using social media as a search engine for ideas.

You can do this really effectively on Pinterest which is essentially a search engine anyway, or even on a podcast app like apple, or on instagram using hashtags, i’m sure you could probably do the same on Linkedin as well.

What you’re going to do, is you’re going to put yourself in your ideal customer or clients shoes and you’re going to do a search on one or all of these platforms as though you are your customer. So for example I might type in “Content ideas ”; if you were a stylist you might search things like “update my wardrobe”; or if you were a business coach “money mindset”. But this is really important. I just want you to look at the headlines of the search results. So the words on the pins, the titles of posts that come up etc. Don’t go in and read the contents of it because you will become influenced by how they have written it and we want your original ideas. The other tip is keep your search terms broad initially and then niche it because the more specific you are the less variety will come up. So ‘update’ my wardrobe can be niched down for example to ‘update my work wardrobe’ or ‘update my wardrobe on a budget.’

You can also do this with magazines and books – just by flicking through and seeing what the headlines are seeing if they spark ideas for you. These won’t always be ideas on content but also on how they package it – have they done a Q&A? Have they done it as a list? Have they done something clever visually that’s easy to recreate on IG stories etc…

  1. Now I want you to head on over to your favourite news platform or pick up your favourite newspaper e and do a bit of what we call newsjacking. This is where you go in with a content creator’s mindset and you have a look at what are people talking about? What’s being discussed? Is there anything coming up that you have a professional opinion on, or that is of interest to your audience that you have an opinion on?

This is again a great opportunity to get in Media as a guest expert too. If there is a subject that is really hot in the media right now that you have expertise in, it’s likely media outlets are going to want an expert to comment on it. But only use this method where it’s relevant to your audience and on brand. Jumping on band wagons feel inauthentic and can be damaging to your brand if you’re not careful.

So there you have it, 3 ways to content mine, working from the inside out

  1. What’s inside your business – emails, files, client notes etc. 
  2. Using social media as search engine to generate content inspiration (inspiration not copying guys) 
  3. Newsjacking. 

Now next week, we’re going to dive even deeper into how to nurture a content creator’s mindset we’re going to be talking inspired downloads, so do tune into that as well once it’s landed.

>> If you want to dive deeper into this or anything we’ve talked about on this or any other episodes, you’re invited to join the free Content download facebook group, where this week I’m also going to be sharing how you can can jump on an exclusive vision and content planning workshop usually only available to my fearless content members. So if you’re a member, look out for info on this, and if you’ve not joined us yet, just search #thecontentdownload. I can’t wait to welcome you on the inside.

See you there!

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