10 Prompts to Get the Content Wheels Spinning
“But I don’t know what to say.”
Ah, the age-old objection to a writing assignment.
Whether you’re writing a 260-character social media post or a 100-page dissertation, you’ve probably experienced this feeling, typically called writer’s block. Everyone has experienced it at some point. You’ve likely found a way to get over it and click send or post.
But how do you get over writer’s block when you don’t even know what direction to go in? What do you write about when there is no 'assignment' or social media holiday? 😉
This is how a lot of my clients feel when it comes to creating content for marketing and visibility purposes.
Like Boiling the Ocean
When you’re writing for your website, there’s at least some direction—you know your story and the components of a website, so you can get by. But when you’re trying to identify content for your blog or social media and turn it into engaging posts—that can feel like boiling the ocean.
This is a challenge in any industry, but especially in the spaces that I work in. For life sciences and other technical and regulated industries, the content isn’t easily churned into a cute Instagram post or a Facebook poll.
So, what do you do?
Host your own brainstorming session with the prompts below, of course.
Bear in mind, these prompts are no good if you’re thinking about what your Aunt Alice would like to see on your company’s Facebook page.
Think about who you’re targeting and what they would want to hear about. Then answer these questions with that in mind.
10 Prompts to Get the Content Wheel Spinning:
· The business: Do people really know what you do? Do they understand your deliverables?
· Client/customer/partner FAQs: What are the questions you are typically asked? What are the key issues people to come to you about?
· Company story: The company story should be somewhere on the website, but not everyone is going to read it so what can you share on social media that would build trust? What untold stories can you share that relate back to your services? Do you have any pictures or documents that would be interesting to share?
· Employee stories: Did an employee accomplish something important or go somewhere unique? Did a new person start? Did the team do something fun together or give back to an organization?
· News/press releases: Did the company make the news? Or does the company have any news to share? Did something great happen for the business? What about press releases? Those shouldn’t just live in a hidden section on the website.
· Case study: Can you create a case study with concrete proof that your services/product work? If you have numbers, even better!
· Testimonials: This is challenging for a lot of my clients in regulated fields, but double-check on industry guidelines to see what’s possible. If a client is willing to share and it is possible, be sure to get their picture. If it’s not possible, what are some ways you can share “proof” of your work?
· Client story: Slightly different than a testimonial or a case study, but more like the employee story. Do you have a client doing something awesome in the world?
· Events: Are you attending, or did you attend an industry event? Put a Save-the-Date on the calendar to remind people, Tweet while it’s happening, write a recap, or share pictures on Facebook.
· White papers/reports: Do you have white papers or reports on your site? Take the top few points and turn it into a blog post or a social media post, encouraging people to sign up to receive the full copy.
This is just the tip of the iceberg! Once you start to answer those questions, the ideas start flowing. It’s important to have these brainstorming sessions on the regular, so you can be sure to stay relevant and consistent.
The next step is the execution--taking these ideas and turning them into actual content, so the writing and graphic designing.
For some people, the execution is the tougher part. For others, it’s that brainstorming step that holds them up. Just remember, whatever is holding you up, I’m happy to help. 🙋♀️