Inspiration is fluid. It takes over in one moment when we are completely unprepared to write it down or do anything with it, or we can't seem to find it anywhere when we need it the most.
I've always found that the people who have the easiest time writing and creating content consistently are the ones who take care of their inspiration. What this actually looks like varies from person to person – but it usually involves some method of collecting inspiration and organizing it in a way that referring back to it when they need to call it up is easy.
Which of these sounds more like you:
Do you have a million ideas and no idea where to start with them?
Or do you find that creating content is difficult because you don't know what to write about?
I find that we usually tend to lean in one direction or the other, but we're not usually a hundred percent in either camp. That's why nearly every one of my programs includes some aspect of systematizing inspiration.
One of my favourite methods for this is to collect, examine and leverage content crushes.
Content crushes are people or brands you see doing interesting things with content that attract you to them. The amazing thing about having a handful of ‘content crushes’ is that you can pick and choose from the best of their ideas and find creative ways to apply them to your content.
If you’re stalling for inspiration – these are great because they’ll re-inspire you by seeing how you can connect your content with the content that you personally enjoy and find interesting.
We’re not talking about taking their words or topics but the ways they’re putting things together and formulas they’re using. This is why it’s best to actually look to businesses or brands outside of your industry because that’s where you’ll find the ideas that haven’t been done yet in your topic area.
Where to find your content crushes:
I’m betting you already have some brands that you’re crushing on.
Maybe big brands or smaller businesses or bloggers. So the first place to look is your closet or home – what do you buy yourself, look to social media (who are you following). Think outside the box of where to find your content crushes and how to use their inspirations.
Here are some questions to discover yours:
- What blogs do you read?
- What YouTube channels do you come back to again and again?
- What are your favourite Instagram accounts?
- What companies do you follow and buy from again and again?
- Can you remember the first few blogs that you ever started following regularly?
- If you were stuck in bed with your laptop or your iPad with no work to do what websites and blogs would you be checking out and reading?
- Who are your favourite online personalities?
- In your industry, where do you get your news from? And why do you trust them?
- Whose pins are you constantly repenting?
- If you have and ideas folder what sources are you storing in there?
- Who is content do you love because of the way it's delivered or put together?
Compare Without Comparing Yourself
While we’ll be generating your list of ‘content crushes’ – it isn’t for the purposes of comparing yourself against them or making you feel inadequate. It’s only to get a high-level snapshot of what factors attract you to their content so we can bottle those up and infuse them into your own strategy.
Everyone has their own style (that’s what’s going to make creating your unique content plan really work) because it’ll be a blend of everything that makes you, you. So ditch the comparisons, because you, my friend, are incomparable, in a league of your own and the happy inhabitant of your own delightfully blue ocean.
What we are going to do is take a look at what each of your content crushes share and how you might want to use those in your own content.
1.Use the worksheet to create a cross-view of your different content crushes. This is how you’ll start identifying patterns and trends of what you respond to.
2. Create an inspiration folder in your bookmarks, on your desktop, in a Pinterest board – the place isn’t important as long as you consistently use the same thing so you can go back and refer to it when it’s time to plan out your own content.
3. Make of list of experiments to start trying with your own content over the coming month based on what you discover through this exercise.