No one needs to convince you that content is important. After all, how many years have you been hearing “Content is king?” You know that blogging, regular website updates, and other types of content are essential to attract new customers and engage the ones you already have. However, just coming up with ideas can be a challenge when you’re new to the game of content creation. While you have certainly heard of brainstorming, you don’t know how to make it work for you. You’re not alone. According to an article about content creation on Moz.com, few people know how to brainstorm well.
Don’t Allow Brainstorming to Become a Long Session of Group Think
Some people naturally have more dominant personalities than others and may try to shut down ideas soon after the brainstorming session starts. The person in charge must ensure everyone hears the golden rule loud and clear: All ideas are valid, at least at the beginning of the process. This ensures that everyone feels heard and doesn’t shut down their creative voices. Try to cap each group at no more than five participants for this same reason. It’s also a good idea to mix teams to get a variety of new ideas.
Set the Parameters
While you don’t want to get too bogged down in rules as it could impede creativity, make sure everyone knows the purpose of the brainstorming session. For example, who is the potential audience for the content? How many people do you expect to read it? What type of priority does this content have compared to other projects? The parameters can be whatever you want, but it’s important that everyone know them.
Be Ready with Some Icebreakers
Brainstorming sessions can make people feel awkward and put on the spot, especially those with more reserved personalities. You will feel less frustrated if you anticipate this initial delay and come prepared with some icebreakers to get through it. For example, you could start telling a story and then ask the person to your left to continue for a few minutes before passing to the person next to him or her. Not only could this produce hilarious results, it quickly gets people working together.
Anything Goes, But Only at First
For the first several minutes, people should feel free to say whatever ideas come to mind. However, you need to reign it in quickly to make the meeting more productive. Get participants to think deeper by asking them how their idea will grab a customer’s attention, inspire him or her to research further, and most importantly, follow through with a specific action. This is when the session gets truly productive.
Write It All Down
If you’re facilitating the brainstorming session, you might want to assign someone else to write down ideas. This should be on a whiteboard or another spot where everyone can clearly see them. At the end of the session, take a picture of the ideas everyone contributed. From there, identify the most workable ideas and start planning for how to create the content. You may be able to re-visit ideas you didn’t use later, with or without some tweaking.
Hire a Freelance Writer to Do It for You
Perhaps your group is burnt out on brainstorming sessions or you just have other priorities you must meet first. That’s no problem. You can hire a writer from Content Runner to both come up with the ideas and write the content. They’re a creative bunch by nature and just may surprise you at how fast they can generate new ideas. You can even click here to find a writer by niche or contact our staff for additional help.