How to generate content ideas

The question clients often ask me is how to generate content ideas. Most find it easy to come up with two or three topics but then the creativity well dries up. The following simple exercise can help to unlock a stream of content ideas.

generate content ideas
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What are your firm’s areas of expertise?

Most firms are particularly strong in certain areas. An accounting firm, for example,  might excel in advising family businesses or charitable organisations. Maybe you’re a generalist with a lot of sole traders on your client list or maybe your tax team includes some experts in wealth management. The first step in planning content should be to list four or five of your top topics.

Frequently asked questions

Next, for each topic on your list, think about the problems that your clients typically encounter. What are the questions they ask? What themes recur again and again? For family business clients, this list might include cross-generational disputes, divorce, retirement, death, knowing how and when to bring external expertise into the business, expanding the business, selling the business, and so on.

Talk to your experts

Before long, you’ll have a good list of potential topics. The next step is to share this list with the relevant experts in your firm. Take the time to talk to them and further topics are likely to emerge from that discussion. If you’re lucky, your experts may even volunteer to write some content for you. More likely, however, they’re too busy to write or they may not have the skills to create the types of content that you need. If that’s the case, consider getting someone else to interview them and  write up the interviews for your website or blog or record the interview for your Youtube channel.

Check your assets

It’s also worth reviewing the content you already have — brochures, reports, Powerpoint presentations, videos, slideshares, press releases, speeches, articles, and so on. Some of this material will be ‘evergreen’ or easy to update. While you are at it, check that the online biographical information about your firm’s key executives is up to date and that all links referenced in your content are current and working.

Schedule

While the exercise outlined above will help you generate content ideas, remember when you are writing to stay focused on your reader. Try to be clear, relevant, helpful and readable and don’t publish everything at once. Instead, consider creating an editorial calendar to remind  you to update and publish material on a regular basis. Even something as simple as a reminder in your Outlook diary can be enough to make a difference.

I hope that you found this short article helpful. Thanks for reading and please consider sharing it with your network.

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