With so many opportunities to showcase expertise online, sooner or later, you will probably need to write something. It could be a blog, a newsletter article or a thought piece. Perhaps the marketing department approaches you for content or you want to build your reputation through Internet or print publishing.
Whatever the case, you need ideas but do not know where to find them. You’ve tried freethinking — the exercise of writing whatever comes to mind on screen or paper — but it goes nowhere. Your brainstorm becomes a drizzle.
It might surprise you to learn have more ideas than you realize. You just need to train yourself to see them. You can become so good at it that you have my dilemma of more ideas than time!
From whence will inspiration come?
1) Conversations. Many of my blog and article ideas come from conversations with colleagues or customers. It can be an unrelated remark, a question or a story.
2) Reading. News, blogs, social media discussion groups and other sources mention issues that you can give more attention. Take time to discover your unique approach to it.
- Did someone miss an important aspect of a problem or story?
- Do you have a totally different perspective?
- Is there another angle to cover?
- Is there a different way to approach the subject?
- Did you reach different conclusions?
- Is there any new research or conditions that will affect your clients?
- What questions are left unanswered?
3) Just doing your job. So many potential topics arise when you are just doing your day-to-day job.
- Did you find a creative way to solve a problem?
- Did you hear about a new issue that calls for further exploration?
- Can you address a customer pain point in a new way?
- How did a new law, regulation or process change create new opportunities or headaches?
Generating ideas boil down to being curious. Think critically about everything you see and hear.
Generating ideas boil down to being curious.
Consider information as reporters do. Ask yourself if the information matters and if so, to whom? Consider its impact, usefulness and limitations. Practice these suggestions and the ideas will start flowing.
Make sure you do not forget all these great ideas. Keep a file, perhaps in your smart phone memo, to jot ideas down as you go.
As the ideas lead to others, develop a file and keep them. You will be surprised how quickly it will fit up. Categorize them by topic and you might just develop the key points of your written piece. You might even realize a new product or service for your company to boost its uniqueness in the marketplace.
This should get you started. If you have other great brainstorming ideas, please share below.