Welcome to today’s episode of the Business Bite’s podcast. I am your host, Rachel Brenke. I want to talk to you a little bit about content creation when you have absolutely no idea what to write about. I know that there’s many of you listening that are from all sorts of industries, and having a blog or creating content may not be readily apparent, or even if you’re someone that creates content for a living, you may be running into feeling like your well is dry on ideas. I want to give you guys some easy, cheap, free ways that I come up with my content that is super simple easy. In fact, it’s so easy that’s how I ended up with this podcast because a lot of the questions that I receive through various mediums or things that I see online, I’m going to share with you guys.
Now, social media and the internet can be a cesspool of a lot of crazy things. We know all sort of things go on out there, but the great thing about it is, if you dig through the muck, you will end up with some really good nuggets of information and right away, in most groups online or just on people’s random feeds, you’re going to find all sorts of questions of those yearning for specific content. I want you to start in a couple of different places. Depending on the industry, again, this depends on all what yours is about, so you may have a huge one, you may have super small, but either way, there are pretty much Facebook groups, Facebook pages, Twitter posts, hashtags, all sorts of places on the web, those are the main ones, I just gave you guys exactly where I go to, but there are all sorts of ones that will be connected to your industry that you’re able to search through and find the information that people are seeking.
Now, if you are a content creator who’s trying to set yourself apart, this may be a little bit more difficult. You may feel like, “Oh, this has already been blogged about 100 times”, or “Other people have beaten this dead horse,” or maybe it’s a topic you don’t really want to touch on. Any time that you see a repeated question coming up in these groups, in Twitter, in your inbox even if you already have an audience that is connected to you, pay attention to the top questions that are asked. I know for myself specifically, my brands, each of them has their own Facebook group on top of our email inbox and our newsletter and evaluating our Google analytics of what the top pages and posts are.
The groups are actually a great resource for multiple reasons. I can develop the community. I’m able to tackle specific product questions that people may have, since I have online and physical products, I’m able to answer directly right there. It kind of helps to clean out the email a little bit and the support chat, and other people can see the answers as well which is really super awesome because if someone has a question about something that they can safeguard their business, since I am in the legal industry and I provide the legal services, other people may not have thought of a specific inquiry, and then they read it from someone else in the Facebook group. Then they realize, “Oh, I maybe do need this product.” The great thing about that is people start chiming in. They’ll start asking questions. I try to facilitate a very conversational, as opposed to just a knowledge-based/customer chat support.
Getting talking about what do you really need, what is it you’re seeking after because some people may think one piece of information or a product, and it actually goes another direction. Within that thread, I pull from it. I’m able to shape sales pages, I’m able to shape email blasts and/or followup content emails after someone has purchased or engaged in a service with me, and I’m also able to produce content creation which could be a blog post, it could be a podcast like this, or it could be an email newsletter, it could be a lead magnet eBook that I’m going to distribute, whatever format that you want to look at. Maybe you’ve been thinking, “Huh, I want to create a lead magnet, but what do I need to do to get these people on my email list? What are their top questions?” I go right to the Facebook group.
Now, I do want to note here, it’s really important, I don’t want you ripping off other people’s ideas and other people’s content. I’m merely wanting you to dig into these avenues to get inspired and to see what the top questions are. Now, the fact that I have a Facebook group of almost 20,000 individuals at the time of this recording, it’s really good because most of the time their questions are for me. They’re wanting to get that information directly from me anyways.
I’m in a lot of industry groups across Facebook, and I even check out Reddit sometimes. I’m able to see these top questions that I’m able to add to my editorial calendar list that I’m going to pull from I’m ready to sit down and whip up a blog post or a podcast. We just simply tally it. It’s not something highly sophisticated. We just have a running excel sheet. We say what the question was, and then if there’s any context notes that go with it, the date that we saw the person request it, as well as, as we go along we do little tick marks of how many people have asked related questions or that exact same question, so we know how important that question truly is.
For me, since I have online products, and I reach out the majority of even my in-person service clients through online mediums, I know that a lot of times I’m able to track and make sure once this content is created, it’s going to be delivered in a digital format, I can see if it’s really being utilized because sometimes you can be off-base. You can see a lot of questions, and it may have just been a trend of something that was going around in your industry, and it may kind of fall off. That’s why it’s important for you to followup with any blog post or content that you do, that you try to capture the emails as much as possible so you can continue feeding these individuals content. I just know that for myself, I’m able to have a running list all the time of blog posts and emails, and I want to create a new lead magnet, I can whip one up just by simply pulling up my excel spreadsheet that I keep in my Dropbox, and I’m able to formulate it.
I have one of these running for each of my brands, and it’s really important that we always make sure what the source was. The individual that has posted it, I also like to do a little covert research into who they are and what they do because sometimes the question may just be a one-off. It’s not something that people necessarily are that really interested in, and while you may be interested in it, as the person creating the content you really want to make sure that they are even in your industry because there’s people that pop in and out of groups on the pages and ask questions all the time but don’t really have any skin in the game, so to speak.
Whenever I see that question, I think it’s an awesome question that I can create content off of, I’ll click in and research them on social media. I’ll cross reference it over into my email list as well to see if I can find them there, and the great thing about that is, and this is a total nice little bonus for this podcast, even though we were talking about content creation, we can cross over to customer service. I’m able to directly email these individuals if their on my email list as well and do a lot more followup and in depth discussion with them. I’ve actually created a lot of good business networks this way by reaching out, getting the customer service for them. They probably buy into the product or service, but then we’re able to also facilitate more of a symbiotic relationship, especially if they align with what I’m doing or they have a good product or service that would really compliment what I offer to my audience.
This just sounds like common sense for you guys, but just take my method like I just explained, look at maybe 3 to 5 of the top places where you see a lot of questions with your industry, and by places, I mean like Facebook groups, the Twitter, Reddit, Facebook pages, even your own friends list. You can crowd source and ask questions and get questions from other individuals, and then I go from there and keep that running list. Again, that top information is the person who posted it, when they did, what method, any followup questions, the context of whether or not they’re in the industry or maybe they’re a purchaser of the industry which is really important.
Let me give you an example on that one. One of the industries that I am involved in is the photography industry. I am a lawyer and business consultant for photographers as well as a photographer myself. One of the big things is I find that photographers, while I service them and I’m feeding them information, they get lots of questions from their clients as well. Not only am I able to serve and create a post or a guide on maybe copyright law and what exactly that means to the photographer and what exactly that means to the photographers client. Not only will it educate the photographer themselves, but also gives the photographer a tool to be able to give to their client. It’s just super awesome. I’ve got a couple of freebies and lead magnets out there that they can use for that. It’s great resource because I’m serving multiple industries, I’m sorry, multiple individuals within one industry, within one action that I’ve taken, and all of it has derived back to some of the top questions that I’ve seen in my Facebook group and on my page.
I’m going to flip over really quick here before we end our Bite session for today. If you are unable to find this information, you’re in a really small niche where you don’t have a group yourself, just ask around, ask your friends. Look at what other people are being asked. Again, don’t copy verbatim exactly what people are asking or the content as it’s being put out there, but maybe another little spin that you can put on it.
That’s how my brands actually came about. I was seeing a lot of legal questions coming out of the woodwork, and I was like, “I could be general legal person, or I can narrow into this niche.” One of the things I saw was that photographers really need help, and I’ve been able to cast my net very deep as opposed to very shallow and wide, and it was simply just by keeping my ear to the ground, my eyes on social media, and to see what the top questions were in my industry at the time. I thought my industry was just legal, and it ended up becoming one of my brands was in the photography and creative arts industries. That’s I found it was simply by social media and listening to those around me.
Don’t be surprised if you’re digging into this content, drilling, so to speak, and you’re trying to find this information, if you feel like your vision may be shifting a bit, your brand identity may change because if you see a need, you need to take it. You can’t see a need, you can’t develop content if you don’t know what people are actually requesting.
One last thing to leave with you guys, while you are are creating this content, I kind of mentioned this previously, make sure you’re watching all your analytics, that these posts are actually getting any traction, you’re sharing them on social media, and that if they’re not working well, maybe you need to reformat them, repackage them in a way, or maybe you need to kill them and pull them from your blog. This is why it’s really important to keep track of the demand of questions and not just to write one-off questions. Those are really better for emails, just one-to-one to the person who asked. You know, reach out to them, and talk to them directly. You want things on your blog of what you’re creating and what you’re putting out to reach the most amount of people, but also the most amount of people are going to actually consume it, not just have it fill up your blog or your website because then it’s just going to be filler, and it’s going to make it harder for those that are seeking information from you to actually find it.
That’s it for today on the Business Bite’s podcast. I really encourage you to share this with any of your friends who may be having a super busy life, but also want to become a more successful entrepreneur. Log on and check out Business Bites podcast on iTunes. You can also hear it at RachelBrenke.com. Thanks, have a good one guys.
Rachel Brenke is a lawyer, author and business consultant. She is currently helping professionals all over the world initiate, strategize and implement strategic business and marketing plans through various mediums of consulting resources and legal direction.