Constantly coming up with fresh and new content ideas for your business can sometimes be easier said than done (especially if you've been writing content for quite a while now *raises hand*). There are heaps of really excellent ways to find inspiration and of course, I'm a big fan of repurposing content for different platforms and audiences.
But one of my favourite ways of creating content ideas is also the only way guaranteed to ensure your content is unique to you.
And that's drawing on stories.
Storytelling works; humans have known that for millennia. Nothing draws people together like a shared experience and the love of a good story.
In a world where everyone's an expert, telling your story is what sets you apart from the crowd and drives real and genuine connection with your audience. And wrapping a lesson up in a story is what turns a simple educational post that anyone could Google, into something only you can deliver.
And so let me tell you a story about the unexpected smash hit song of 2020.
Chances are pretty good that you've heard the song Heat Waves by Glass Animals. It was voted the best song of 2020 as part of Australia's Hottest 100, hosted by the national radio network Triple J. For Australian's, the Hottest 100 is a really big deal and the kids out here take it very seriously, so yeah, it's major league.
And you can argue with me all you like about such-and-such song being better than Heat Waves, but I'm just going with what the people of Australia want!
Glass Animals are known for being a bit psychedelic and well... weird (and I love them for that). But Heat Waves is disarmingly honest, soulful and heart-breaking, which is (arguably) why it's done so well.
Heat Waves is storytelling at its finest, in a way that is so relatable even those who've never felt longing and loss find themselves connecting with it. Love it or hate it, you have to admit the song is powerful.
And the reaction shows. Despite only being released last year, at the time of publishing Heat Waves has over 200,000,000 streams on Spotify. The only other song of theirs that comes close is Gooey, which was released in 2014 and so has had up to 7 years to wrack up that many streams.
And no one is as shocked by the reception as Dave Bayley, the singer / songwriter from Glass Animals. When they first noticed it had exceeded 100,000,000 streams, they said this:
"i can’t believe what is happening with this song. it’s one of the most personal things i’ve ever written. i recorded the vocals all alone in my room late at night holding the microphone in my hand with one tiny light on as the words still felt like some kind of little secret."
So what can we, a bunch of small business owners, learn from the biggest song of 2020? Well, for me, it's that story-driven, connection-first content works.
Being authentic, and honest will always cut through the noise and connect with people in a way you might never have seen coming.
Of course, I'm not saying you need to air your heartache on Instagram for everyone to see. There's a lot to say about the danger and harm of trading trauma for likes, and it's absolutely something you do not have to do (and arguably shouldn't do in this business context).
But finding a way to tell a story - your story - in amongst all the selling, authority building and fact sharing is gonna be what draws your audience to you. Not only that, but it's actually way more fun for you than just regurgitating the facts you hold in your head over and over again for clout.
So if you're sitting down to write some content this week, and you're feeling defeated by seeing the same information shared by your peers in a dozen different ways, try finding the story.
How can you share a lesson or some insight with your community that ignites their imagination, or gives them that 'ah-ha!' moment?
What is the lesson? How did you learn it? How did you explain it to one of your clients? How did you implement that lesson in your own life or business? Or even, what big song or movie, or TV show can you pull a lesson from? (I've obviously already called dibs on Heat Waves!)
By finding the story, you can put your own spin on what everyone else is already talking about. It helps you to share what you know in a way that is uniquely 'you', which is something no one else can be!
Until next time, be kind to yourself and create something remarkable!