Can’t think of what to write for that next blog post, tweet or update? Even the most creative writer gets in a slump. I never get “writer’s block” because I’ve discovered that I’m an alchemist. What looks like ordinary matter to some is pure gold to me.
After I get my feet wet working for clients with several employees, I turn on my nosey side. Actually, that side is rarely turned off, so let’s say I ramp it up a bit and market it as “the natural curiosity of a writer.” I will actually linger in the kitchen and strike up conversations with folks I haven’t met. I’ll start a hallway conversation and invite passers-by to comment on a topic I’m covering. I’ll pop my head into someone’s office, asking if they’ve seen so-and-so (who I know isn’t around) and then casually get their opinion on a current project. I rarely talk – my goal is to get them talking. And each time I engage in one of these tactics, which could appear to be time-wasters, I’m turning what could be ordinary information into writer’s gold.
No one person knows the complete ins and outs of a medium to large organization. There are tiny pockets of useful information stored all over the staff and as a writer and social media strategist for several clients, I know you cannot sit at your temporary desk or in your cubicle-on-loan waiting for people to drop juicy details in your lap. You’ve got to go and uncover them, sometimes with the delicate brush and other times with a pickaxe. As an outside consultant, I’m fortunate to see connections that others inside the organization take for granted and overlook. It’s probably a little easier for people to share things with me than to share with their co-workers or managers. I’m thrilled when someone begins a sentence with, “No one else really knows this but…” That usually means they are about to share something really exciting and I can bring it to the attention of eager customers and loyal followers.
I also never take the credit for content I get this way. I share the love. I mention to my point person how valuable it was to speak with the lady in accounting, or the man in tech support, or the folks in operations who pointed out a new system they are trying to streamline a project. I want to person who hired me to realize what a great team they have in place. I also want the people who shared ideas and thoughts with me to realize they have a lot to offer.
So if you’re trying to go it alone and create all the content for your business blog, Twitter feed, Facebook posts, Pinterest images, Google+ page, or YouTube channel – take a step away from your computer and become an alchemist. Turn that ordinary material into social media gold!