How to Come Up With Content Ideas When You're Feeling Stuck {Plus a FREE Guide}
content ideas
"Inspiration is for amateurs - the rest of us just show up and get to work." - Chuck Close

Ever sit down to write a piece of content, say a blog post, Instagram post, or video outline and feel like you’ve got nothing?

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A few days ago, it may have felt like you had 8,432 ideas swirling around, but now that it’s time to put pen to paper, nothing seems quite right. You’re drawing a blank. Everything suuuucks.

Or maybe you’re worried you’ll run out of ideas? That this will be the last good idea you’ll ever have (I know that thought has crept into my mind more than once).

As someone who creates a fair amount of content, I’d be lying if I said I never drew a blank. 

Turns out creativity doesn’t come on tap and it’s not something we can buy, but when our work or business relies on it, we can’t always wait until inspiration hits either.

I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve for those times when the Idea Well is dry. I wanted to share a few of them with you today, in case you ever get hit with the what-the-fuck-am-I-supposed-to-write-now demons. 

Turns out I had more ideas than I thought, so I’m sharing a three with you below, but if you want the full shebang, I put the rest into an easy to access and use free guide for you!

 

Click here to get instant access to The Ultimate Content Idea Generator!

By the way, these are all things I do, not just a laundry list of ideas to fill up a blog post, so they’re tried, tested, and approved! Let me know which one you like the best!

How to Come Up With Content Ideas When You're Stuck

1. Start an Ideas Journal and Schedule a Brain Dump

content ideas journal

This sounds overly simple, but it works. 

I schedule blocks of time here and there, sit down with my idea notebook, and brain dump content ideas.

The rules for a good brain dump? There are no rules! Every idea is valid. By allowing all ideas and not judging them, I find it allows more to flow freely. Often as one idea comes pouring out, it will trigger another one.

I choose a daunting number and set it as a challenging goal.This forces me to write ALL ideas down and throw some of my perfectionism to the side. Truly, all ideas are fair game in a brain dump. You never know what else they’ll inspire or mean three months down the road. You’re also not obligated to use any of the ideas you come up with, so the pressure is off.

After you’re finished, you can go through your list and mark what feels most aligned with your work or that you want to focus on next and add them to your content schedule. (Don’t have one of those? I’ve got my KISS method for you right here.)

I have a notebook dedicated to content ideas, that way it’s easy to refer to and find. I also add to this notebook sporadically on non-scheduled, brain-dump times whenever a new idea for content pops into my head. 

Additionally, I use the notes section in my phone to store content ideas and half written posts, for those times inspiration hits and I’m not at my desk (which is more often than not!). 

*A tip: I start each new note with ‘blog topic’ or ‘blog post idea’ or ‘Instagram/Social Media post’. This way, it’s easy to use the search bar at the top of the notes section to search for my ideas on days I’m drawing a blank.

Trust me, you want to do this. I’m currently at 1,115 notes and counting in my phone, and some of those are loooooong notes I’ve taken on books and lectures. There’s no way I’d be able to, or want to, wade through all of those when I’m feeling stuck and in need of inspiration.

Find a system that works for you, but be sure to include a way to search and find your ideas later. We think we’ll remember them, but that isn’t always the case!

2. Challenge Yourself to Come Up With Ideas Every Day

Creating ideas is a muscle that needs to be flexed and gets stronger with repetition.

I remember when I was acting, the thought of being able to memorize 17 pages overnight seemed impossible. It wasn’t until I started practicing memorization that it became easy. Coming up with ideas works the same way. The more we do it, the stronger the muscle gets. 

content ideas notebook

We have to practice coming up with ideas just like anything else.

You can use James Altucher’s method (which I love) of coming up with ten new ideas every day

My version of this? I challenge myself to write something original every day. I batch all of my social media content except for Instagram intentionally, and use Instagram as my playground, idea workout, and practice! I post on Instagram daily, which forces me to come up with a new idea and write something about it every day.

Are some days crap? Absolutely. Do I have to search and repurpose content once in a while, sure. Do I dig into prewritten content sometimes, you betcha. But, this still ensures that at least 5 days a week, I’m writing and coming up with something new, which keeps this muscle in shape.

You don’t have to use my way to work out the idea muscle, find something that works for you. I highly recommend working out your idea muscle daily!

3. What’s Your Story?

Another great place for original, non-derivative content? Your life story! Not only is your life filled with great stories to share, no one else has your story, so pulling content from personal experiences ensures it’s unique and helps ward off the copycats.

your story

Take some time and review the important moments in your life. What did you learn? How did you grow?

Think about your current life experiences. What’s noteworthy? What experiences relate to your work? What experiences taught you a life lesson? What’s your ‘hero’s journey’?

What personal stories represent your business and brand? What stories led up to where you are now?

Is there a behind the scenes story you can share?

Think about the stories in your life that helped you create your business or that tie into your mission. 

Get vulnerable and think of a tough time you had and what you learned as it relates to your clients and work. Pick ‘everyday’ stories that make you relatable and help explain a concept that might be confusing otherwise.

Your life is ripe for the picking with content ideas!

As a bonus tip, don’t forget to have fun!

But, really. Don’t forget to have fun. Shake it up. Have a solo dance party. Have a glass of wine. This is about CREATION and creativity.

I know the pressure threatens to kill the fun sometimes, but shake it off, and remember why you started. Remember why you want to create content in the first place. Remember you GET to do this!! You GET to make something. 

I promise you, more ideas flow when we’re happy than when we’re bullying ourselves and putting pressure on ourselves. I can say this with authority because I’ve tried it both ways ;). 

Stripping the joy from creation will stop ideation in its tracks.  

I hope this helps you come up with a few ideas the next time you're feeling creator's block.

WANT MORE? CLICK HERE TO GET INSTANT ACCESS TO 15 WAYS TO COME UP WITH CONTENT IDEAS WHEN YOU'RE FEELING STUCK!

A loving reminder, you have great ideas. You are enough. Your voice is unique and special. You have important stories to share. You are capable of so much more than you think.

With so much love, I’m wishing you happy creating!

xoxo, Kim

P.S. Want some space to brainstorm, think out loud, and strategize your content? Need some accountability? Want to figure out how to make your content work for you in your biz? I’d love to support you! Click here to learn more about working together and schedule a free coaching consultation!

Does Your Business Need a Physical?
"If you want something new you have to stop doing something old." -Peter Drucker

Not all that long ago, I had my annual Well-Woman Exam.

There were about a hundred other things I would have rather have done, and I was annoyed at the huge block of time that was being used to put on a paper gown.

But, I know it’s incredibly important (seriously, Y'all, prevention). And this time around, I found out I have a genetic mutation that affects my blood clotting. Don't worry, it’s no big deal, but it could have been if I hadn’t been tested.

When I went in for my checkup, I was 100 percent sure I didn’t have this mutation (sounds so X-menish, doesn't it?). I never had any signs or problems. My doctor was also sure I was clear and only tested me to be safe.

Turns out we were both wrong.

It made me think, how many areas of our lives do we assume are a-ok that are really in need of closer exam?

Just like we need physical checkups, the various parts of our lives need assessing, including, but not limited to, our businesses. 

As we get further into our work, we tend to get more and more responsibilities. We get into a groove and are usually chasing the next thing on our list. We often become blind to things we see over and over again and often don’t even realize when something in our business no longer fits or doesn’t work.

Taking the time to give our businesses a ‘physical’ is essential to growth. It allows us to determine what’s healthy, what needs preventative care, and what needs to be surgically removed (I might be taking this analogy too far...stay with me.)

The benefits of a business checkup include clarity, focus, new ideas, streamlined systems, a more productive workflow, and overall alignment.

I just finished giving my business a 'physical'. I checked in and reviewed all.the.things from my branding and messaging to my systems and tools. (You'll see some changes in the near future!)

Want to join me and give your business a ‘physical'? I'm sharing my 'how to' below!

(Before you get started, I made you a FREE Business Vitals Checklist to make it easy for you. Click here to get instant access!)

How to Check Your Business ‘Vitals’:

1. Make an appointment.

Make an appoitment with your business and block off a chunk of time. I’m talking a half-a-day kind-of-time. You’ll want uninterrupted, quiet time. I did a big bulk of this when I was out of town for a conference in February and recently went through the rest back home over a weekend.

2. Check your ego at the door.

Sometimes this can be tough because we’re talking about possibly getting rid of or adjusting things we’ve poured our heart and soul into. Do your best to check your ego at the door and remind yourself that some things have an expiration date

3. Get clear on your ideal business future.

Where are you going? What does your business look like in a year? Three years? What do you want to create? What impact do you want to have? How do you want your work-life balance to look? Who do you want to serve? How do you want to feel in your business?

This will act as a guidepost when you take inventory.

4. Look through the eyes of curiosity.

Go through every area of your business and do your best to look at it through the eyes of curiosity. Try your best to be an observer. It can be helpful to enlist someone else who knows your business but isn't as close to it, so you can identify your blind spots (we all have them).

4.2. What's the ROI?

Go through each area of our business and ask, “Is this working?”

“What return does this give me?” (A return isn’t only financial and can include emotional return, experience, growth, etc.)

“Is this in alignment with where I want to go (your bigger vision)?”

With areas like systems and tools, I assess ease of use, flow, and benefits. (I found I was using and paying for a few tools that were outdated and giving me very little return.)

5. Keep, update, or discard.

For each area, decide on the following: keep (and leave as is), keep and update, or discard.

6. Identify action steps.

For anything you want to keep and update, identify the specific change or improvement you want to make.  Don't just diagnose; give a prescription for change!

7. What's the urgency?

Identify the changes you want to make along with their urgency level (rate on a 1-10 scale). Then, tie these updates to a realistic and doable date. Delegate and hire out where needed!

*A note here, it can be very tempting to take stock of your business and decide everything needs a facelift RIGHT NOW! Trust me, I’ve found myself getting crazed wanting to  “fix” all the things, all at once.

Not everything is urgent. I repeat, not everything is urgent and needs updating right now. Bookmark the rest of your findings for when you have time to make changes.

Broken 'buy now' buttons would fall into the urgent category...finding a pretty new font or image may be important for your branding, but it can also wait.

The purpose of this ‘physical’ isn’t to make us overwhelmed with busy work, but to check in and elevate our business health.

After you've finished, schedule your next checkup in 6-8 months.

This is something I do about twice a year,  and I always uncover something new.

My business checkups not only allow me to see what isn't working anymore to make room for something else, they also remind me of what's important. This improves my clarity and focus.

Now it's your turn! I'd love to hear from you if you schedule your business 'physical' and what you find. Let me know in the comments below!

Wishing you your version of success,

business review

P.S. Ready for a business 'physical'? I'd love to help! Click here to learn how we can work together and UPLEVEL your business!

3 Ways My Coffee Shop Used Psychology to Convert Me into a Loyal Customer
convert into customer
"All things equal people will do business with, and refer business to, people they know, trust, and like." -Bob Burg

You might already know I have a love affair with coffee. 

It’s true, it’s one of my favorite parts of my morning ritual. So, please don’t tell me it isn’t good for me….

My guy and I brew our coffee at home and spent some time on the hunt for the ‘best’ beans. We finally found them at a small shop around the corner from our Manhattan apartment. We knew they were it as soon as we tasted the chocolate notes. 

This shop's bags of coffee are a little pricier, so for a while, we would go back and forth between the ‘good stuff’ and running to the grocery store for one of our other (less expensive) favs.

Then, a few things happened that converted us and turned us into loyal, over-priced-coffee fiends. 

First, the local coffee shop started giving out a free coffee of your choice every time you buy a bag of beans. Hello, cold brew.

Then, we became “regulars”. As regulars, we’ve come to know and like the people who work at the coffee shop, we’ve made relationships with them (we’ve even brought them cookies), and as a result, we get smiles, conversation, and the occasional extra free coffee.

Enough to convert us and warrant the higher price.

Back home, drinking my free cold brew while I put my ‘fancy’ beans away, it dawned on me that this coffee shop had taken us from people walking by, to people trying their coffee, to people who bought their coffee on special occasion, to loyal ‘regulars.’

Whether they realized it or not, the shop was employing the power of psychology, which turns out to be pretty dang powerful in its influence to keep us coming back time after time even despite the higher price tag.

There are three interesting psychological factors at play here that Robert Cialdini (who I was lucky enough to hear speak at The Digital Marketing Conference!) talks about in his famous book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. And, no, my psychological addiction to caffeine isn’t one of them!

1. They were (whether they realized it or not) employing the power of reciprocity. 

Cialdini explains that humans are wired to want to repay what people give us - favors, gifts, invitations, etc. When we get something of value for free (even if we don’t want it), we feel obligated to reciprocate. 

This has been shown in study after study, which is why freebies litter the internet and beauty counters.

Intentional or not, I realized my coffee habit was in part due to this psychological phenomenon. The free coffee with purchase and the additional free coffees here and there, caused me to want to “repay” the favor and come back again.

Business Takeaway for You and Me: find ways to authentically (don’t be slimy) give value for free. How can you find a way to serve and give something away?

2. The power of association.

Another factor Cialdini talks about is the psychological influence of association; “An innocent association with either bad things or good things will influence how people feel about us.”

We’re emotional beings, and we take those feelings and associate them with people, places, and things. These associations influence the decisions we make.

Every time I walk out of the coffee shop with a free coffee and friendly conversation, I have a caffeine-free buzz. This gives me an extra pep in my step that I associate with the coffee shop.

Considering about 95 percent of our buying decisions happen subconsciously, I’d bet that I subconsciously lean toward the ‘fancy’ coffee shop because I associate it with feeling good.

Business Takeaway for You and Me: Find ways to create positive associations with your business, brand, products, and services. How can you increase the positive emotions people feel when interacting with your business and brand?

3. We buy from people we like. 

We hear about the ‘know, like, and trust’ factor all the time, and my coffee shop is a prime example of the power of likeability. 

We tend to buy from people and companies we feel we know, we like, and we trust. 

“Few people would be surprised to learn that, as a rule, we most prefer to say yes to requests of someone we know and like,” says Cialdini.

The smiles, friendly banter, and connection at the coffee shop bumped their likability factor way up.

This has us going back week after week, even after we’ve found coffee of equal taste but disinterested customer service elsewhere. 

Business Takeaway for You and Me: in a non-manipulative way, how can you increase your likeability? What can you do to up your level of connection with existing and potential clients and customers?

What does this mean for you and me?

Business truly is all about relationships and connection. The power of good customer service is just as important (if not more) than the product or service itself.

It boils down to what I was taught growing up as a kid: be nice, treat others how you want to be treated, find ways to make other people feel good, and do things for other people without expecting anything in return.

Thanks for the coffee talk today!

Wishing you your version of success,

XO, Kim

A Bold, Intuitive, Disciplined Life with FoxFitness Founder, Lecia Fox

UNLOCK YOUR SUCCESS: SUCCESS STORIES

A fresh, real-life look behind the scenes with inspiring individuals who have created their version of success and the grit that got them there. 

Lecia Fox Podcast Interview

LECIA FOX

“It was a really scary time because I wasn’t sure why my body at the age of 24 was falling apart."

“My struggle wth worthiness is what brought me to where I am today.”

On boldness: "Genius means getting out of your comfort zone.”

On finding your purpose: “I always say one step at a time. It has to be small digestible pieces.”

On diets and nutrition: “Nothing beats understanding your body. There is no one size fits all.”

 

For any of you who have ever asked, "Who am I to do this?", this week's interview is for you.

I had the pleasure of sitting down and talking with the founder of FoxFitness, Lecia Fox. She shared her journey of finding self-love, self-worth, and her purpose.

For those of you just getting to know Lecia, you're in for a treat!

Lecia and I go 'way back' to my acting days when I was waiting tables in LA. Both of our lives were pretty different then, and we were more likely to talk about taking shots of whiskey than shots of truth.

I was psyched when Lecia agreed to this interview because as you're about to find out, she's pretty dang amazing. I also know first hand the authenticity behind Lecia's words.

After noticing her body deteriorating and feeling unsure of what she was doing with her life (something I'm pretty sure most of us can relate to), Lecia went on a mission to transform her life from the inside out. 

“Without me realizing that this was happening, Foxfitness was being born. Sometimes our darkest paths are taking us through to become these teachers."

This led to the work Lecia does now, empowering women through Intuitive body movement, combined with meditation and affirmation prayer practice.

For those of you new to Lecia's world, she's a mind/soul/body alignment coach and the founder of FoxFitness, which is a space for sisterhood, high-vibe connection, nutrition, fitness and holistic beauty practices.

Lecia and I are getting real and digging deep. We're talking fitness, body image, meditation, life transformation, and sharing a few laughs. (I get a little amped up in this one, so if you're listening with little ones around, be forewarned that I drop the F-bomb.)

Lecia shares so much goodness in this interview. Get comfy and join us in this conversation below!

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW:

(You can also download the interview and listen to it anytime.)

I’d love for you to join us for the entire conversation, but here are the 'Cliff Notes' if you want to jump around:

{1:40} Lecia shares a personal, powerful story that led to her founding Fox fitness.

{5:46} A few of Lecia's prescriptions and affirmations.

{9:00} What success looks like for Lecia.

{13:36} We dig into Lecia's mission and how boldness, intuition, discipline tie into her approach with fitness and health.

{14:54} The most common question Lecia gets asked by people stepping in to work with her and her brilliant response. 

{15:30} Lecia and I jam on the power of discipline and give it a better rap! 

{16:29} Lecia talks about the emotions behind moving your body and how we eat.

{20:53} Lecia digs into the inner work of fitness and nutrition. 

{24:21} A look behind the scenes at the transformational meditation and experience that went into creating FoxFitness. 

{33:00} Lecia acknowledges powerfully that she is worthy. She talks about how many of us struggle with being worthy of love, our dreams, and our pricing. 

{39.44} Lecia busts some fitness and nutrition myths!

{47:20 } Where you can find Lecia and FoxFitness online. (links are also below!)


Once you’ve had a chance to listen, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Let me know, what was your biggest takeaway?

I hope this conversation reminds you of how worthy you are. I also hope it inspires you to be bold and step outside your comfort zone, listen to your intuition, and trust discipline.

Lecia, thank you for taking the time to share with us so openly and generously! 

Wishing you your version of success,

Kim Argetsinger podcast interview

P.S. Join me LIVE today at 2pm EST inside Business Besties and Creative Bosses.   Click here to join the group (it's free)!


Connect with Lecia Fox and show her some love:

Instagram: instagram.com/leciafoxfitness

Facebook Page: facebook.com/leciafoxfitness

Facebook (free workouts here!): facebook.com/lecia.fox