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59 ideas in 12 minutes?

When you’re marketing your business, at some point you’re going to have to provide some information to your target market. This could be in the way of articles (on or offline), newsletters, tweets/status updates, talks and seminars, content for your website and so on.

Now, be honest – how often do you site there completely stuck and lacking in inspiration, wondering what on earth to write/tweet/talk about, meanwhile busily sorting out your paperclips? It can be quite difficult, not to mention dis-heartening, to sit there fingers poised over keyboard, or chewing the end of your pen, feeling uninspired and with a completely blank brain.

Here’s a couple of ways, then, that you can very quickly come up with some ideas (and I did this myself and timed it – and ended up with 59 ideas in 12 minutes!).

Firstly, write down the letters of the alphabet on the left hand side of a sheet of paper. Against each letter, write one, two or three things beginning with that letter that are to do with your industry. Don’t edit – just write everything down that comes to mind.

For instance, I write about marketing a small business, so my A could be Advertising, my B could be Branding or Budgets, C could be Client Management or Customer Relationship Management. All things to do with marketing, but now I’m getting into individual subject areas under the general heading of “Marketing”.

And when you get stuck (because you will) – cheat! Grab yourself a text book on your area of work and have a look in the index. What have they got listed that you could use? Can you fill in some more letters? Complete as many letters as you can, although personally I have to admit that I had to admit defeat over the X and the Z, but you may be luckier with your industry.

Don’t take too long over this, you’re not trying to fill in the detail (you can do that later), and you’re not trying to work out if you could write or talk about that subject, you’re just trying to brainstorm some ideas.

The second idea is to pick something within a foot of where you are and write that down. For example, within a foot of me now I can see some sellotape, some chocolate, a cup of tea, paperclips, my mobile phone, and very oddly, a new pack of Snowfire (an ointment stick that my mum gave me!).

Pick one thing – anything. I chose my Snowfire (hey – it was obviously lurking on my desk for a reason!). Write down the letters to that, going down the page. Now think of your target market and then the problems that they may face beginning with each letter of your word.

So I came up with Sales, Networking, Opinions, Where to promote?and a few more that finished my word for me. Suddenly you’ll have a whole new list of ideas.

So, two very simple, and very quick, ways in which you can come up with ideas fast. All you need to, then, is pick one that inspires you right now, and write about it, create a talk around it, tweet about it or produce a video about it.

Problem solved!

And if you need some help in developing that subject area into an article, I have a whole series on my blog on article marketing – from how to write them to how to publish them. The first in the series starts from here.

See you next week,

PS If you like what you read here, make sure you subscribe to my weekly MerrieZine – an information packed e-zine full of hints, tips and strategies for you to promote your business well.  Oh – and you’ll get a free copy of my audio programme (worth $27) called “How to Get More Clients, More Money & More Time for Yourself.” Just hop over to to get that.

PPS With great excitement, I’m about to launch the long awaited for CD Programme “Magic Marketing: How to Find Your Niche With Ease“.  You’ll be able to buy it here at its full price (which will still be great value!) or subscribe to my e-zine where you will get a launch discount!

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