Creating Content that Connects

creating content that connects

Creativity is the ability to find a connection between two disparate things.
The farther apart they are, the more creative the thinking.
Chris Do, The Futur

When it comes to creating content that connects we don’t always get to choose our subject.

For instance, when I started my journalism career, I had no idea how much time I’d spend creating content around tents, linens, tables and chairs. This made sense as I was editor of a magazine called Special Events. Many of you may know it. It still is published, but in digital format. When I was editor, it was a 100-page magazine that came out once a month. I had to fill at least 60 pages of that with content… every month!

Like most magazines, we operated with an editorial / advertising calendar that helped advertisers know what type of stories would be in which issue. If they sold that type of product, that was an issue they would want to run an ad in.

While each month had a different product focus, it was determined that January was the best month for tent content, that entire issue was devoted to articles about tents and tented events. That meant that once a year I had to find new stories about tents. This was a big issue as tenting is a main venue for events and there were many tent companies and much to write about.

Why am I telling you this? It has to do with process of creativity and writing.

Creating Content that Connects

I wrote about tents for 13 years. In the beginning, the stories were surface — a roundup of the top tent companies and new products, trends in tenting, etc.

After a few years, I began to look deeper. Tents were changing with new fabrics, new architecture, and engineering. Tent designers were constantly looking for new ways to provide innovative shelter for a variety of projects, not just wedding and events.

One year I had the pleasure of interviewing the tent master (coolest title ever!) for Cirque du Soleil. I learned about guy lines, wind and snow loads, how to keep the trapeze artists safe, how fast they had to come up and down, and how a community of tents housed the entire troupe.

Sometimes the stories weren’t just about the tent structure, but about how artists transformed them into mind-blowing environments using 3D projection mapping, lighting and fabric draping.

Bottom line: When you get into them more, tents have many angles!

Having to write on a particular topic each year pushed me to be a better writer. I found that writing is not just about words, but about making a connection, showing the reader (and yourself) a new world in the process.

Writing is not just about words
 It’s about using those words to make a connection

Chances are good that you have also found this to be true in your business. You are struggling to find a new way to write a proposal for a wedding, create an exciting social media calendar of story and video around daily content, or connect with your audience through newsletters that don’t just “sell” but education and entertain.

I’ve thought a lot about this process and how to expose the strategy behind generating content that connects and want to share this with you.

Three Creativity Exercises

Rather than call these “writing” exercises, I’m calling these creativity exercises. I believe we can train ourselves to be creative by training your mind to think differently. When we do that, the writing just naturally follows.

1. Research other industries and be inspired by how there might be cross over. Find a way to tie them together. For instance – tents and Cirque du Soleil, or tents and innovative housing. Referring to the Chris Do quote I put at the top of this newsletter — creativity is tying two disparate things together.

2. Write about one aspect of your business and go deep. So often we move on too quickly to putting out new content without fully using the last piece. The result is content that doesn’t resonate or is too salesy. Here’s a rock-solid (pun alert) challenge for you. Put a rock on your desk and write about it every day for seven days. Trust me, the creativity will start to come! And then apply this same method to the content you create for yourself and your business.

3. Interview someone. So much of what inspires me is what other people are doing and thinking. I believe we are all editors of our own stories and lives. Once you begin asking people if you can write about them for your newsletter, or a social media post, you will be surprised at how collaborative they are. Some ideas … if you are a florist, interview the flower grower. If you are a caterer, interview the florist … do a story on food and floral pairings. You get the picture!

Don’t be content with content…dig deeper, have fun, connect!

Note: That first photo is in  fact a tent — installed in an empty field with no power and that is what the even team led by David Beahm created for a wedding!


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