How hard do you find it coming up with content? Content for your social media, content for the emails that you write to your mailing list, content for your courses or for your coaching? Do you ever just think, I just don't know what to say? I kind of know what I do, but I'm out of ideas.
I'm finding it really, really stressful every day, coming up with something new.
I've heard this so many times and I felt exactly the same way - but I realised that there's a really simple method to solve this problem, so you don’t have any problems coming up with content, your courses almost write themselves and you have an endless list of subjects that you can talk about and show your expertise in. Want to know how? Well, let's dive in!
OK, let's back up for a second and talk about content. Let's talk about creating courses. First of all, you know who you are, you know what you do, you know how you help. If you don't know those things, please do go back to some of my other episodes or get in touch. Let's really nail that first, because no wonder you can't work out what your content is or what you want to say if you're not entirely clear about what you are, who you help, and what they need. Let's get that sorted first.
Assuming that you've got this, or you've got a good idea at this point, and you really want to move forward with some content or want to think about your courses and programs, then now's the time to really start admitting that you know more than you think you do.
Now's the time to really start thinking hard about what you have to say.
I frequently speak to people who say, ‘I just don't know what to say. I'm not really sure what I talk about or how I would structure it’. It’s almost never because they don't know - it's just because they don't realise that they know. Does that sound like you? Are you thinking actually, I guess I do know a bunch of stuff because I mean, I lived it, right? I've been teaching it in a certain way for a really long time and I've created this transformation, but I'm finding it hard to actually nail what I know – and because of that I've just got this big gap. When I go to create content or think about my program, I feel overwhelmed.
The method I'm going to talk about today is going to literally bridge the gap between what's in your head and what you're putting out in the world. It's going to completely remove the overwhelm.
I'm so excited to share this. I see this as really, really simple. In fact, I nearly didn't share it, but when I included this in a program that I did not long ago I got such a good reaction. There were so many excited responses saying that it's literally helped people transcend that frustration and get stuff out in the world. If I can help you do that too then that just lights me up.
At this point I just want to say that no matter if you're feeling some imposter syndrome right now - and oh, I hear you. I can read your mind. I can hear that you're saying, ‘oh, but no, not me. I probably haven't got this’ - this is just imposter syndrome speaking. The reality is just start where you are.
It doesn't matter if you’ve got ten years under your belt or just ten days. If this is something that you are inspired by, something that is calling you, then you are made to do this, right?
You just need to start where you are. Don't worry that this isn't for you - give it a go and you will be quite surprised by how much you do know. What we're really talking about here is your expertise. What I mean by this is what do you know a lot about? What could you actually produce and talk about now? What could people be interested in? What have you got in your basket?
My sister lives in New Zealand and she's a teacher out there. When I talked to her at the beginning of building my business, I said to her, you know, this is hard work because I'm having to create everything from scratch. I'm having to create training, create content, create who I am and what I teach from nothing. I said this is why I feel like it's hard work. She explained to me that there is a word in Maori, which sadly I can't remember, that literally explains things as a basket. In the basket are the things that you have - your gifts. Things that you can pull out of your basket as and when you need to teach and to share.
I really like that visual image. I picture it now as having a basket and I'm going to ask you, what's in your basket? When you open up the little lid of your pretty basket, if you can picture it, what is inside that are gifts that you can share?
That's really what we're going to start thinking about today. It's like a brainstorm of the possibilities, a brainstorm of all the things that you have in your head about your area of expertise.
The technique we're going to use is a mind map. Now, you may or may not have heard this term, or might be familiar with it anyway. Some people call it a spider diagram. It's a visual way of getting all these ideas out of your head and onto a piece of paper. I'm going to talk you through it.
First of all, I've given it a name. I'm calling it the mind map ideas generator because it’s literally going to create endless ideas for you. You can use these ideas to create content, to create offers, to create literally everything that you need for your business – it’s all going to be within this one mind map.
It's an encapsulation of your expertise at this moment in time.
If you're out walking whilst you're listening to this, or perhaps in the car out and about, just listen up and you can do this later. You can relisten to the episode if you need to. If you are at your desk or you're in the house and you can grab a piece of paper, you might like to do that now and you can literally work on this a little as I run through how to do it.
What you're going to do is start with a blank piece of paper. Make sure it's not too small and right in the center you're going to write what you are and circle it. Now, if you are a wellness coach, write that. Whatever it is you are put it in the middle. It doesn't matter if you can't define it - I'm working with some phenomenal and diverse coaches and course creators, including an empowerment coach, a cooking confidence coach, a writing coach, bad-ass cancer thrivers coach.
You get to define who you are and what you do.
Whatever that might be, even if you don't know the exact right words, just put it in the center because that is who you are and it's time to state that for yourself loud and proud. The next thing you do is you start to put lines – spokes - coming out of that center, like it's a spider. On the end of each one of those spokes you're going to write a key subject area that you talk about. Now I'll explain this in terms of a wellness coach - so she has put around her central circle at the end of each spoke the following words: food, nutrition, exercise, self-care, mindset, environment. All of these are key subject areas. What could yours be? What are the key areas that you tend to talk about that come under the umbrella of the general area in which you teach and inspire? Take a few moments and capture each of those.
Please, don't worry if you've gone a bit blank or you're thinking to yourself, ‘what if I forget one?’ The beauty of this technique is it's organic. You can come back to it. What I like to do is leave it by the side of my desk and whenever I have an extra idea, I'll add it. As I evolve in my own abilities to coach in my own subject areas that I've now become an expert in, I can simply add them and see the growth of the ways in which I can add value.
When you've captured the key subject areas within your area of expertise, focus first on just one of them, and you're going to do the same as before - create a number of spokes coming out of that circle and you're going to start adding the specific subject areas that you know about that fall under that umbrella.
Let's take the case of the wellness coach. She put food and nutrition as one of her key subject areas and when asked to go into more detail about what that meant for her, she said things like menu plans, helping families and kids, dealing with food addictions which might include alcohol or sugar, or talking about diets. Under that she has spoken about keto and vegan. You simply keep adding branches as you go into more detail about each one of the areas.
So, picture this - there's the center. It says wellness coach. One spoke comes out and it says food and nutrition. There's a circle around it. Another spoke comes out of that which says addictions. Another line comes out of that and says alcohol. Another one says sugar. You get the idea. It's like branches of a tree. At each stage you're getting into more and more detail and you're going to work your way around your mind map into each of the key areas, adding extra spokes and branches until you have really thought about all of the areas, down to the smallest detail of the subjects that you like to talk about. The subjects that you have knowledge about, the subjects that people have asked you about.
Interestingly, I have found with this technique that sometimes when working alone people draw a bit of a blank.
Yet if somebody is with them and prompting them, suddenly the ideas flow. I've worked with clients one-to-one where we've developed this together and it's been astounding how many ideas they've got when they've got somebody in front of them that's encouraging and questioning them. If that's the case for you, find somebody that can help you with this by pushing you a little bit harder, asking you questions like, ‘well, in that area, is that everything that you can think of? Have you ever helped somebody in a different way? Have you ever been asked a question about this specific area? In what ways have you helped yourself? Have you remembered things that might've happened in the past that you could include here? What are you reading books about right now that you could include?’ You get the idea.
When you've produced your mind map ideas generator - and hopefully you've got quite a lot of stuff on this piece of paper now - I'm going to explain to you how easy it is to use this information to create your programs and courses, to create content, to create a simple offer right now. If you consider that all of the spokes that you've created is a form of hierarchy, you've got tiny little things at the end of the branches, and you've got much larger subject areas the closer you come to the center.
Let's take again the example I used earlier of the wellness coach and her branch about food and nutrition. Let's say she wanted to create an offer and in her mind, she's got a large offer. She wants to go into detail, working with clients for a minimum of three or four weeks, for example. In this case, she could take the entire branch and say that she's going to do a program about food and nutrition.
Within that program she already has three branches that come off that. She's got her menu planning, she's got food addictive behaviours, and she's got different diets, so she could make a module about each one of those. Even within each one of those she has the details of what she wants to include within them. They're the smaller branches that are coming off each one of those areas. Suddenly she's got three modules of content. She's got an umbrella subject. Here is a fully formed offer. She can create something she has expertise in, something that is about food and nutrition from the perspective in which she can help.
Similarly, she may wish to just offer an hour. She may like to create one workshop and from that food and nutrition branch she could pick one area. Clearly, you're going to have to make sure that you understand your avatar and you need to know what they really want. I'm not suggesting you just create things simply because they're here on your mind map. You need to make sure that you're creating things that not only you know about, but your avatar really wants and needs in order to make the transformation. Like I said, at the beginning of this episode, if you're not quite clear on that, circle back to my episode about avatars and make sure that you've done that work first.
So, to the point of developing one simple offer, you simply pick one of the things at the end of the branches. Again, this food and nutrition example, at the end of her diet spoke she has the word vegan. She has the ability and expertise to talk about how to create a vegan diet to help with your nutrition so you can enhance your wellness. Perhaps she holds a workshop on transitioning into a vegan diet. Assuming there's a demand for that – and it's certainly something she knows about - she has a clear offer. That's just there on her mind map. Not only that, but she's got 20 other options she can simply draw on at any time. As soon as she gets the inkling that her avatar is demanding something, that she recognises a need, that she knows that she can create transformation, she can simply look to her mind map and pick one of the areas of expertise to create an offer.
Of course, the title of this episode is focused on content and the reason why that is, is because everything you talk about in your content should be aligned with what you offer - with the expertise you have and the way that you make money.
The beauty of this mind map is that it is all included here on this one piece of paper. This is how you're going to create offers and make money and this is what you're going to talk about. This is your content. Next time you're creating content for Instagram, your Facebook groups, or the emails that you're going to send, or any of the other ways that you create content - creating your podcast, being on LinkedIn, talking in Clubhouse, whatever platform you're creating content for - the content you're going to talk about is here on this piece of paper. Simply work your way round all of the different areas and talk about it in your content.
In the same way that I described before how to make a complex, longer offer or shorter snackable offer, the same thing goes for content. When you're creating short snackable content in Instagram, pick one of the things right at the end of the branches. If you're making a reel or creating a post, just call to one specific thing. That way your audience will really understand what you're talking about. However, if you're creating long form content, such as if you're into blogging or podcasting, you might like to talk about one of the larger branches - an umbrella area - and call to three or four different components within that one article or podcast episode.
What you have here in your mind map ideas generator is all of the content and expertise that you talk about, structured in such a way that it can make sense.
Whether that means you're creating offers and programs, or talking about content, it means you should never be short of ideas on what to post on social media and the content is always aligned with your offers and how you add value.
You should also now be able to get the ideas out of your head and into a comprehensive teachable structure for your offers.
To summarise, just start where you are - you can always add to your list of expertise over time. You may be surprised how much expertise you really have when you start to get it down on your mind map for the first time. Take your time and create your mind map so that you can draw on these ideas over and over again. Use your mind map to inspire your social media content, as well as help you get the ideas from your head into a structure for your offers.
I have seen this technique transform so many people that I've worked with.
If this is for you, and for some reason you cannot get it going on your own, reach out to me. I think we're going to start a power hour session where I will guide you through your own personal mind map and help you interpret it into offers and content. If that's for you, just reach out and DM me. I would love to help.
In the meantime, I do hope you're enjoying my podcast. Please support by subscribing and sharing it with others who may find it helpful. Have an action filled week. Take care.