Ah, content creation. Pillar of the plugged-in, business-savvy, globalized internet society. A regular task of mine at Swash is to help clients maintain their social channels and online presence. This comes after we work through the who are you? phase of brand identification and leads us into the land of how do you communicate who you are with others? This always means developing the tone and voice of the brand and zeroing in on the audience, but once you have the tools to do the job, you need to know what you are actually meant to do with them.
That’s where content creation comes in. When you start digging into the day-to-day of a company, business, or industry, the specialized knowledge and exclusive moments, the people and the interaction... this is where the magic happens. This where you find your story, and where you begin letting people know what you’re all about.
This sounds simple but it’s harder than you would think. From the inside, it can be difficult to harness what it is others want/need to hear from you or what you should have to say for yourself. There’s a lot of noise around you. You’re living in the story, so it can be difficult to get a grip on what that story really is, and what it should look like from the outside. That’s why having a well-developed list of content ideas is crucial to anyone who wants to reach an audience and do it well. Of course, it’s pretty great having a team of pros on your side to help you accomplish this... Just sayin’.
I have been thinking about this today for a few reasons: 1) brand communication and message development is something I’ve been working on frequently at work lately, so it is naturally on my mind, and 2) I find it ironic that I spend so many hours a day thinking about this and making long lists of content ideas and suggestions for clients, but when it comes down to needing to write a simple blog post for Swash, I spend days struggling to find something to write about. As it turns out, I inadvertently made another kind of list as I agonized over this, a much different list from those I make for our clientele confirming their authority on X, Y, and Z. This is my own list of uncertainty, a collection of titles I hereby name Blog Posts I Have Started That May Never See the Light of Day:
Doing Is Important
What Is An Intended Destination?
Wedding Planning for Singles
Freelancing For Free & Other Mistakes
Intention v. Action: Are You Sure That’s What You Mean?
For A Moment of Sanity
Why I Write
Shut Up and Communicate
The Care and Keeping of Good Ideas
That’s How You Get Ants
When I Grow Up...
Okay, so some of these might still be usable. I will spend the next few weeks looking for the sweet spot: something inspired, yet work-appropriate, interesting, but not too bonkers. As the creators of content we must find the delicate balance that suits a given platform: this is an important lesson to learn, and the only thing that I hope you take away from this, should you still be reading.