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Podcast Episode 15: Generating Content Ideas

Jeffrey Lambert
May 7, 2019 4:17:00 PM

Today on Inbound Academy we’ve talked about telling an inspiring story to getting your name out there. So now that you have a story, you have to share it! But good ideas can be hard to come by. So let’s discuss how you can generate content ideas to tell others your story.

Episode Transcript 

Jeff Lambert:                00:00                Today on Rizen Academy, we've talked about telling an inspiring story to getting your name out there. Now that you have that story, you have to share it, but good ideas can be hard to come by. So let's discuss how you can generate content ideas and tell others your story.

Jeff Lambert:                00:32                Welcome to the show everybody. I'm Jeff Lambert. You know, humans are always coming up with new ideas, whether we're just laying in bed, commuting to work or going out for a run. Our minds have a seemingly endless ability to generate new ideas. But as natural and easy as this process may feel, sometimes it can get tricky when your job depends on it. So you need a process to talk about how you can come up with ideas that are fresh and engaging on a regular basis. I invited Nicole Mena back to the studio. She's the creative director at Rizen and she's going to share some best practices for being able to do that. Nicole, thanks for coming on the show.

Nichole Mena:              01:16                It's great to be back.

Jeff Lambert:                01:17                So let's talk about content generation. Do you have any ideas that you can share with our audience on how you come up with new ideas?

Nichole Mena:              01:26                Sure, absolutely. I really recommend the framework from advertising executive James Webb Young. He published a short book back in the 1940s, which is called "A Technique for Producing Ideas." And it's really become a favorite among copywriters and creatives really of all stripes. His thesis is that idea that creation isn't just about waiting for inspiration to strike. It's a process. And if you can understand that process, then you can really build a more efficient ideation process and become better content marketers essentially. And he really breaks it down into four steps. So gathering new material, digesting that material, unconscious processing, and the "eureka moment."

Jeff Lambert:                02:16                So before we talk about those steps, just to be clear, you're saying that if I just rent a cabin up in the Rockies, that's not good enough to come up with new ideas?

Nichole Mena:              02:25                Uh, well inspiration may strike, but if you follow this process then you'll be better adapted to getting those ideas of creating those ideas.

Jeff Lambert:                02:35                All right, well I'm skeptical but I'll hear you out. So let's talk about these four steps. So what are these four steps?

Nichole Mena:              02:42                So the first is gathering new material. So great content marketers read and consume content from really a wide variety of places. Read whatever you can, whenever you can, and then maintain a repository for all those great ideas.

Jeff Lambert:                02:59                Now, for me, I use Evernote and Pocket. Those are two things that I used to be able to save resources so I can go back if something catches my eye. Do you have any tools that you use digitally or otherwise?

Nichole Mena:              03:08                I use Evernote and OneNote as well. They're great tools. Okay.

Jeff Lambert:                03:12                So there's some options for business owners if they're looking to find a way to catalog all that stuff.

Nichole Mena:              03:17                Yep.

Jeff Lambert:                03:17                Okay. So I am gathering that new material, I'm reading everything I can read, and I'm just educating myself. Right. What's the next step?

Nichole Mena:              03:25                So now it's time to digest the material. So the goal here is to bring those ideas together and see how the fit you're looking for relationships, connections, and combinations, right? So the goal is to synthesize those ideas in interesting and compelling ways.

Jeff Lambert:                03:43                Do you have any examples of how someone could do that in a concrete way? Do I buy a bunch of red string and a bulletin board and just tie circles to everything?

Nichole Mena:              03:51                I guess you could!

Jeff Lambert:                03:52                Well there's just one way.

Nichole Mena:              03:55                You want to really consider the content from all possible angles and think of really the stage as the content digestion process.

Jeff Lambert:                04:03                Got It. Okay. So I've gathered the material, I've digested, I'm looking for those connections. As I'm looking for those connections, what's the next step?

Nichole Mena:              04:12                So the next step is unconscious processing, which is interesting. So stop trying to bring those ideas together and do something else entirely different. So you can listen to music, go for a run, even watch a movie, anything like that to take your mind off of the process and let your unconscious takeover. And even when you're not actively thinking about a problem, the mind has its own way of processing this information and making those connections for you.

Jeff Lambert:                04:41                So this is where I would go to my cabin in the Rockies?

Nichole Mena:              04:44                Yeah maybe so!

Jeff Lambert:                04:44                Okay, so there are steps before that, but I've made it back. Okay. So I have gathered new material, I've digested the material, I've given my brain a chance to kind of just do its thing, right? By not actively engaging with that content. What's the next step?

Nichole Mena:              04:59                So the final step would be that Eureka moment. This process isn't anything new or terribly surprising. It's how all of us come up with ideas really. But as creatives it's really valuable to be aware of each step. So you can work and improve them.

Jeff Lambert:                05:16                Now this process...have you used this yourself?

Nichole Mena:              05:18                Yes, I have used it myself.

Jeff Lambert:                05:19                And do you find that it works on a daily basis, a weekly basis? How do you integrate it into your life?

Nichole Mena:              05:26                I wouldn't say that it works on a daily basis. It's something that works maybe on a monthly basis. It's a gathering of all that information and really processing it takes time. And then this connecting from that information, you know, when do you have time to really disconnect from information when we're always bombarded with information? So it is a process but it definitely does help to create those fantastic ideas.

Jeff Lambert:                05:50                You know, that third step I think is really important because it's like you said, it's really hard for us to just be able to disconnect with everything bombarding us, but that's important to the process. So to our listeners there's a blueprint that you can follow to be able to develop new content and I'm certainly going to give it a shot. Nicole has vouched for it and we certainly see that her company has benefited from using this ideation process. So Nicole, thanks for coming on and sharing these tips with our listeners.

Nichole Mena:              06:18                It's a pleasure.

Jeff Lambert:                06:19                Well, to our listeners, again, thank you for tuning in. Remember we have new episodes that come out every weekday and they're never longer than 10 minutes. They're always focused on growing your business. And if you need a little bit of help when it comes to being able to market your brand and your product, I would recommend checking out Rizen. They're results oriented and they're really focused on building a relationship with you. Everything we talk about in terms of the inbound methodology they put in practice and it's refreshing to see a company be able to do that effectively. So if you'd like to see what services they can offer your business, check out Remember, they're also available on social media. You can check them out on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter at Rizen_inbound. That's one word, Rizen_inbound. Thanks again for joining us today. We really appreciate it. If you've really liked the episodes that we've put together, take a moment, go on iTunes or your podcast subscriber of choice and leave us a review. It helps us get in front of other listeners and you know we can share the good news with everybody because there's certainly enough business that we can all do to be able to help reach customers and improve their lives. Thanks again for tuning in to today's episode. We'll see you on the next one.


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