Where do ideas for content marketing come from?

I love this quote from the Stoic philosopher, Epictetus.

And I wholeheartedly agree!

I talk often about "listening to the market." Lately I've also been talking about "listening for a tingle" -- which together form a kind of dual listening, internally and externally.

That's why I was thrilled to see the way these ideas come together in a recent email newsletter/blog post from Danielle Hughes, whom you might know for her Genuine Personality Brand.

The way I see it, "personality brand" is all about listening to yourself to identify the unique elements of your own personality so you can bring them out into the world through your brand and your marketing. 

According to Danielle, your personality brand is what will differentiate you from everyone else who does what you do.

In Danielle's recent newsletter (read it here or below), she spills the beans about where she gets ideas for her email newsletter, her best marketing tool -- the one that's brought her more "feast" than famine.

Here's Danielle's recent newsletter:

Where do you get your ideas for your newsletter?

I get asked this question a lot. One of the reasons I hesitated starting a newsletter is because I didn't want it to just be another marketing newsletter. I didn't want it to be prescriptive or trite. I'll likely never do a '10 ways' or '5 things' type of newsletter. It's just not me.

But what would I write about?

What would people care about and what would I feel compelled to share?

For me it came down to what do I want to write about.

What would make me not only be able to create a regular cadence of emails but compel me to want to write them in the first place?

The art of attention
So I just started listening and looking. Anytime I saw or heard something interesting, I wrote it in my notes app.

Could this be something?

Was there an idea here?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Sometimes I didn't write enough of the idea to even recall what the idea actually was. But, because I knew I wasn't going to plan out my newsletters in advance and create an editorial calendar of content, the ideas needed to be fresh. And they needed to keep coming!

So now I'm always listening for the next idea. This can be from a podcast, a commercial, something someone says to me, a quote, a line from a book, a song, anything.

Anything can be content.

Anything can be an idea.

You just have to pay attention. And sometimes you just have to make it up. (they'll never know)

If you're just getting started, check out my 7-step guide to marketing for creatives.