Where to Find your Next Content Creation Sensation
Updated Sept 2018
The old adages "there is nothing new under the sun" or "it's all been done" have been around forever.
Cavemen were probably saying it in some form or another. And yet, somehow despite these inspiration killers, we continue to see people creating new things that no one ever thought or at least never took action upon.
Dear, reader please don't believe this terrible myth.
I'm not going to lie to you and say, i don't look at what's out there, what's popular and what's gone viral in the past. But if this is the extent of your inspiration, you may want to reconsider why you are a writer, graphic designer or artist in the first place.
There is so much more to see and do when we move out of our comfort zone. Escape what's already been done.
How much do we berate Hollywood for always taking the safe bet and creating a "remake" instead of giving us something new. Total Recall, anyone?
Yes, it fills seats because of brand recognition, star power and maybe some "member berries" (Sorry, South Park Reference).
But does it inspire anyone? In the marketing profession, are we really generating leads, converting leads to sales and expanding our CLV like we could be if we are not connecting with our audience in a meaningful way?
It may work for a while, but according to survey's some 30% of CMO are losing their jobs this year. We need something fresh. We need something new. We need to connect. Here are my top 7 sources to create sensational content.
Find uncommon inspirations. When you are consuming the same blogs, journals and videos as your competitors and cohorts, you will all talk about the same things and have surprisingly similar content.
You'll have trouble developing new angles or cutting-edge content that hasn't been done 5000 times. Evaluate your industry. Where can you get a fresh perspective?
Bonus: Sometimes the freshest perspective comes from considering content outside of your industry. Find out what other industries are saying about your industry. Or find a fresh way to relate 2 totally unrelated industries.
Studies and Stats
Hunt for new studies and stats from reputable sources that no one's writing about yet.
Where you find these depends on your industry. Take these studies & stats and build a hook around it.
Then write/design your piece. As humans, we are always learning and unlearning new things. People love to know and learn and share something new they learned.
If you're worried about making a piece that going to seem dated in 6 months to a year, incorporate some evergreen info into it and make it more globally relevant.
Bonus: Track all of your content pieces that contain stats or time-bound info in a spreadsheet. Once a year, go back to your source and grab the new stat.
This takes next to no time to do. And as long as the new stat doesn't completely change the premise of your content, you just made an old piece completely relevant again. It's ready to generate more leads and loyalty.
News & Research Publications
Definitely stay current with publications from your own country. I think all content developers do that. But don't just stick to your country.
Check out other news sources around the world. If you are mono-lingual, several countries produce content in English even if this is not their primary language.
Others may be talking about something that "we're" not talking about yet. But in a globally-connected world, we will be.
If you are a polyglot (speak/read 2 or more languages), go to publications in other languages as well. Something could be trending in Chile or Sweden that hasn't crossed over into your country yet.
But if it's working and has cross-over potential, it likely will. By having the foresight to identify this, you'll be ahead of the trend. Or perhaps labeled a "trend setter".
But maintain integrity. Always give credit where credit is due.
Words That Could be Visuals
Don't just rip one person's blog and take all of their ideas. But pull related ideas and information from multiple sources into one place and make it visual with infographics.
Be sure to site your sources. Often creation is about taking what is and making something totally new out of it. A sculptor has his clay. You can't make a statue without a block of marble.
Bonus: Think twice before siting another blog if you can help it. Find out where they got their information, which should be linked or sourced on their blog.
The site where they got their facts and figures is probably a higher authority site than their own and will therefore be better on your own SEO rankings. Not to mention, you are doing your due diligence to make sure they didn't just make something up.
If you totally trust the blogger and they are considered an industry authority, you can bend this rule a bit.
In retail, they say if one person asked a question, then 100 people wanted to, but didn't. It's human nature to want to figure things out on our own or discover the answer rather than ask.
Look for industry questions that people are asking that you can answer in content. On the internet it's likely 1000 for every 1, so you are anticipating customer demand and providing new information.
Listening to Customer Stories
Storytelling is effective. Just the act of reading a story brings back all kinds of fond memories and nostalgia is a very strong emotion. How has your product or service helped your customers.
Don't use the real names or other identifiers that could possibly lead back without permission. But make it personal. give the person a name and job and maybe a little background that flows into the story.
Show your customers that you understand how what you do impacts them.
Start with A Hook
Sometimes the hook comes first and sometimes you have to work long hours to find it. Be flexible? Based upon the purpose of your content, start thinking of a funny hook first and then build your content around it.
Bonus: Browse funny, bizarre, unique attention grabbing images or gifs. Develop a hook around the image. You can then use the image to promote your content or include it in your content.
Get In Touch with your Inner Child
Your inner child never lost her creativity. Your adult brain's simply tells him "no" when he wants to express himself. Reach out to your inner child.
Let her know it's okay to be silly, strange or let her personality shine through. Work together on your next project. The adult can always take control when things get too out of hand. But don't be too restrictive. We can learn a lot from the inner child.
Forgive me. I'm going to get a little metaphysical for a minute. Your sub-conscious speaks to you through your dreams.
When we are sleeping, our inhibitions and ego are at their lowest and our primal creativity can often shine through. I'm not saying you are going to blog about your dreams. But be aware of what your dreams might share with you that you can share with others in a totally realistic and professional way.
You don't have to tell them about the unicorn raccoons, samurai butterflies or the aliens you pulled out of your ear in your dreams last night. We'll just keep that TMI between us.
When you're working out, you're increasing blood flow (O2 and nutrients) to your brain, reducing inhibitions, increasing endorphins and expanding your creative inner processes.
Don't try to force creativity during a workout. And don't stop working out to start creating. But always be ready to grab the nearest device or note pad to jot down an idea right after your workout.
Seeing Opportunities Instead of Challenges
If you're scrolling through your feed of industry professionals, customers, entrepreneurs, small businesses -- whoever your target is -- and you see a common myth or lament among the masses, like "it's all been done before", bring a solution. This is what we call a pain point.
Get your audience's attention by sharing in their pain and then provide viable solutions to their "problem" through your content.