One of the best ways to generate work is via content marketing or what was typically known as thought leadership. However, the problem with a content marketing approach is always having to come up with new ways to identifying content which will be valuable for your clients and prospects. It is so easy to get stuck for content ideas. This blog post explores unexpected ways of getting brilliant ideas for content which your clients and future clients will love.

Stuck for content ideas?

It happens to us all. Particularly if you have thought that you really can’t write any more on a particular topic! One of the best ways to not get stuck for content ideas is to plan out your content calendar in advance. That way you always know what you want to write or record. But even if you have a content calendar, writers’ block can hit. So read on for ideas to get inspired when you have got stuck for content ideas.

Conversations with your clients.

After each conversation with a client or someone well connected with my industry, I aim to jot down a note about the essence of the conversation. For example, what challenges are or were they facing? What do they really want to know to make themselves more successful or effective? What mindset challenges are they facing? At least 80% of all the content I produce comes from conversations with clients. Because, if my current clients have these problems, future clients will also have these problems. It is probably one of the best ways of always being able to produce meaningful and valuable content to help your current clients, but also attract in new clients as you are speaking their language. And if you are wondering, this post did come about as a result of a conversation with a client.

Emails to clients.

It may surprise you to know that every single day, you are probably producing content without realising it. Yes, every time you email back a client, there is potentially some seeds of great content. For example, I recently asked my accountant whether it was worth changing my bank feed to Xero from a Yodel bank feed to a direct bank feed. This would be a great article for my accountant to write. I also asked, was there a good point in time to do this or not? After all, if I have this question, I am sure that many of their other clients would have this.

Social media posts.

I’m always on a constant mission to know what my clients are thinking about or worrying about. What is going on in their minds? Aside from asking them directly, I am known to lurk on social media in the groups or newsfeeds that my clients use and populate. These are often triggers for ideas for content:

  • A post, particularly a ‘how to’, e.g. ‘How can I get my staff to use Slack properly’, has prompted several blog posts for me.
  • The comments on some of my posts or the big posts, particularly when someone is disagreeing with me or the person who posted.
  • What known influencers in my industry are posting up about.

Social media, whether LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, is a huge rich seam of content for you to be writing about. Of course you can spread your search for content to Quora, Reddit or other relevant industry forums or groups.

Keyword searches in Google.

It may surprise you but half of all my business results comes from SEO, i.e. appearing high in the search engines for keywords which are important for my business. As a result I am often googling these keywords to see what else ranks highly OR what are other related searches recommended by Google. This exercise is a great one to help you identify different ways or different angles when writing about a certain topic.

Agendas for industry conferences.

An event manager lives or dies by the amount of bums on seats they get at the conferences they organise. This means they are often right on the money about what people are interested in or will pay to hear about. As a result I often scour conference agendas to give me ideas for what content to write or talk about.

Client personas.

Every so often I go back and review the client personas for the various parts of my business. These client personas are fictitious representatives of my ideal clients. All the content I produce is typically written for one of these personas. Every time I review these personas, I bring them up to date with the exact clients I am attracting and the challenges they face. This normally brings up some new inspiration about the content I need to write or record, in order to become more attractive to the type of clients I want.