Is staring at a blank screen a familiar feeling? Do you lack inspiration for regular social media updates? Whether you need up your content game for your website or simply want to find more creative ways to stay active on social media, creating a prompt sheet could be the answer.
One of the many ways of raising your business and professional profile is to create and share content regularly. Using blogs and social media can be one of the most effective and simple ways to keep your profile visible. So how can you make it easier to create regular blogs and also engage more with social media?
We all have those moments where we know we need to blog more and share more but don't know where to start.
One question I am often asked is "How do I pick what to write about?" (an FAQ if you will...more on that shortly!) So I thought I would share a prompt sheet I use to help me find ideas and inspiration when I'm blogging, researching content or finding interesting topics to share on social media.
What's more, you can easily create your own personal version that you can have to hand whenever you're creating content or just to jot down ideas.
Products & Services: An obvious but sensible place to start. Break these down in as many ways as possible and think about the different ways your clients or your sector refer to these products and services.
Sector Topics: This could mean your sector or how about a list of topics that are important to sectors you are targeting? There will always be sector specific issues that are hot topics and no doubt you'll have a view or valuable point to add.
Publications: Quite simply list the publications that are your go to news source. What sector magazines do you read? What news letters are always welcome in your inbox? Or which features do you gravitate to on the national news sites.
People: Think about the thought leaders or influencers in your sector. Read a great business book recently? Heard some great podcasters? These people may feature regularly on panels or articles or may be regular bloggers and authors themselves - keep a note of those people that share ideas worth commenting on.
FAQs: This is a really valuable way of picking blog topics. Keep note of the questions clients and contacts ask you and create content that will help them. Chances are if one or two people are asking you then more of your audience will want the answer too (and you may have spotted that this blog topic came from one of my FAQs)!
Clients: Don't be shy of creating a client feature as part of your content. Doing a Q&A or a case study with them is a win for both of you. And this prompt is an important one when you're using this prompt sheet for social media - engage with your client's content. Not only will you create more variety in your social media activity but more importantly it actively supports your client and keeps you in the loop with their latest news.
Events & Conferences: Pick a topic from a recent event or conference. If you're really on the case you can write and share it as a follow up to attending. But even if you don't get time to turn this round in 24hrs it is still one for your prompt list for future use.
News & Pop Culture: Last but not least keep an eye on news and pop culture for any opportunities to do a more creative post, whether it is tying your sector topic into a big sporting event or spotting a storyline in a film or soap that relates to a services or issue your business is passionate about. As long as it fits with your brand's values and tone of voice there's no harm in going off piste!*
*Full disclosure, I've recently put #LoveIsland on my sheet in the Pop Culture column! Hmm - not sure it fits totally with my brand and tone of voice but there's definitely something I can say about their savvy Love Island brand & product merchandising! Love Island water bottle anyone?!
If you want a full copy of my prompt sheet so you can just get started straight away just drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org ...get your ideas down and use it over time, you'll be amazed how quickly you build up a bank of topics. And don't forget to share your new wealth of content with me!