Get pro tips for better content writing for small business owners
As small business owners, we know the importance of putting the right content in front of the right audience to boost client flow.
However, the task of writing high-leverage content can be like facing a mountain climb on Mount Whitney.
One of the first questions that come into your mind might be:
What on earth can I write about?
In this article, I promise that I will give you one powerful practical tool for generating ideas.
First, let me tell you a story to illustrate this tool.
It was the first day at the beginning of a new school year. I was a brand-new high school teacher all excited to get started with my new art and writing classes.
I had my lesson plans ready. The lesson plans were carefully thought out to make sure I met all the learning intentions in the curriculum.
I walked into the classroom. The art classroom was newly renovated. It was a nice big classroom with a large workspace for the creative endeavors by the entrance and student desks in the back.
It was a wonderful summer morning. The sky was blue outside of the classroom. The bright summer light came in through the large windows facing the bike parking area outside the classroom. The sunlight hit the floor through the big fire exit glass doors facing the football field. There was a great ambiance in the classroom. The excitement of being back in school after a long summer was buzzing in the air. The students were busy chatting.
I walked past the big workspace tables. They were filled with newly bought art supplies. Everything was ready for the new school year.
As I entered the sitting area the students stopped talking. They were curious about meeting their new art teacher.
“Hi everyone, I’m Sophie. I’m your teacher in Visual Arts.”
I continued: “Let me tell you about all the exciting things we are going to learn about this year.”
I had the full attention of the classroom.
Then I made a mistake
I started reciting the learning intentions from the ministerial curriculum.
And as I was reciting, I realized that I had made a mistake. This was too dry. The eyes of the students were turning like a tidal wave from attention to daydreaming.
I finished my sentence. “Let’s have our 5-minute break”
I was going over alternatives in my head. I had to change the approach on the fly to get the class back on track.
Then an idea came into my head 💡
I took a piece of chalk and drew a grid on the blackboard.
In the grid, there were 28 spaces. A square for each student.
The 5-minute break was up. I said to the class:
“Okay. Now we are going to do something completely different.”
The light was back on in the student’s eyes. I said:
“As you can see here is a grid on the blackboard. In the grid, there is a square space for each one of you. There are only two requirements:
1. Whatever you put into your square has to make us think it has something to do with the letter X.
2. It cannot be the same content as in any of the other squares.”
“Is everyone clear on the exercise?”
All heads were nodding.
“Who wants to be the first to come up to the blackboard?” I asked.
There was a sea of hands. They all wanted to go first to get their answer in first.
What happened was that the first answers were the obvious choices.
X and +
Because they couldn’t put the same content in the other squares the solutions, they came up with continued to be more and more creative.
Soon I had 28 different, creative ideas on the blackboard.
The key point is to initially get as many ideas as possible. To let creativity flow unobstructed by reasoning.
It is important for the process of idea generation to park the inner realist and critic. Just let him know that he can enter the scene later.
This brings me to the big idea that you can put to use right away to jumpstart your creativity.
If you struggle to get ideas on what to write about in your content to market your business.
Use a proven method for idea generation
My preferred method for idea generation is Mind Mapping.
In Mind Mapping, you put one idea in the middle – like in the exercise of the X above. And then you let your ideas flow from there.
Let me illustrate 3 simple steps you can follow to start creating your own Mind Maps.
In my business, I write persuasive copy and provide business coaching that moves the needle. High-quality copywriting is a core value I provide for my clients.
This means that I would circle “write persuasive copy for business” in the middle of my mind map.
The next step is to get creative and generate ideas about how I can illustrate this core value in the content I publish. From there I can add a circle with Writing tips for SMO’s. Another circle with Marketing tips for SMO’s. Mindset tips for SMO’s.
Whatever comes into my mind goes into the next circles and then another layer of circles can be added.
3 simple steps to generate ideas for high-leverage content
As you can see in the example above using a mind map for idea generation is pretty simple and effective.
You can use a simple piece of paper or put a board on your wall. I have a board on my wall myself. I find it extremely helpful to get the writing up on the wall. I can then keep adding to it as I see fit.
To sum it up. If you are struggling to get ideas for your content to promote your business. Follow these 3 simple steps to spur your creativity and get your ideas to flow:
1. Draw a mind map 💡
Put the core value of your business in the middle of the mind map. What’s the main reason your customers come to you? What value do you offer that no one else does?
2. Add all ideas that come to your mind 💡
Add circles to your mind map. One main idea in each new circle. Add an extra layer of circles with ideas related to the ideas in the second layer. Continue generating ideas. All ideas are allowed in this phase. You can make your mind map as large as you want. The more ideas the better.
3. Allow your rational mind to enter the scene 💡
Now it is time to let your rational mind take a look at your ideas. How can your ideas be organized? Are there patterns? What content ideas would be of the highest value to your clients? What ideas will answer questions that your customers ask of you? Those are great ideas for content!
If you follow these 3 simple steps you will develop more ideas. Ideas you can write content about to promote your business and boost your client flow.
This article is the first in a new series with copywriting tips for Small Business Owners. I already have a mind map full of ideas to share with you. 💡
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About Sophie H Higgins, MA, MBA, MBC: I’m a freelance copywriter, professional speaker, business coach, and martial artist. I specialize in providing high-quality content and in helping people and businesses grow. Need a copywriting magician? 🧙♀️ 📖 ⚡As a copywriter and business coach, I can help you and your consulting business boost your client flow.