I recently got asked a question from one of my clients that I hadn’t been asked previously. He was inspired to share content with his clients and asked:
“What I am amazed by with your content is that not only do you write the newsletter every month — and that’s nice volume and everything — but it seems like you have creativity on demand. And I’m wondering if that’s something that is natural to you or if there’s a process that allows you to have creativity on demand?”
My response was:
It’s a great question. And to update you, I don’t just write the newsletter. That in itself is 14 to 16 pages. So, I write that every month. I also write MSP Success, which is roughly about another 12 pages of content. I do that every other month. I write an article every week for MSP Success, and I write all the copy for our websites that you’re looking at, like MSP Sales Playbook. I wrote the copy for that. I write the copy for our campaigns that go out. I write the copy for most, not all, but most of the content in the campaigns we give you. So what most people don’t realize is what a prolific writer I am.
You have to get speed in order to do that because otherwise you’ll just never get it done.
So there are a couple of strategies. My first one would be in order to be a good writer, you need to be an avid reader. And so, you know, I have piles of magazines that I subscribe to, such as Fortune, Forbes, Kiplinger, Southern Living and Reader’s Digest.
So it’s not just business magazines. It’s a whole lot of other things. And that way I don’t read every article, but I go through, I skim, I get ideas, I read a lot online that’s published. I listen to a lot of podcasts for ideas.
You have to be in a constant state of gathering information.
It’s not deep dive reading it to study it, but you’ve got to be like consuming, knowing, skimming, being on the hunt all the time. Right? So that’s number one.
Then number two is you want to have a place that you can compile it. So when I’m ready to write the newsletter, I’m not sitting down starting from scratch. I’ve got a big pile on my desk of things we show you. I got it right here. But this is like a big pile of articles that I read, marketing campaigns that I’ve got. These are notes from a seminar I attended there. I love this Arbor Day Foundation sales letter here. So cool. I want to use that. I mean, just like piles of content. It’s like an inspiration bucket
So when I’m ready to write, I pull that thing out and I go, “What’s striking me? What am I going to write?” So that gives me ideas. And so your mind has to be prepared. You’ve got to have a soup starter pile of things.
The next thing you’ve got to do is you’ve got to write a lot, so you get in the habit of it.
So I would recommend that you write every single day, every morning, get up and write an article or write a blog post or start something, whatever it is. Even if you just say, “I’m going to take 45 minutes, I’m going to write no matter how far I get.” You might only get as far as the headline. Yeah, but you’ve got a headline and then tomorrow you write something else, right? So get in the habit of writing frequently because that’ll help you get speed.
Seth Godin has this saying that there’s no such thing as writer’s block. It’s that you’re basically being hypercritical of what you’re writing. It’s writer’s hesitation more than it’s block. It’s not that you don’t know what to write about. You’re just criticizing your writing before you even get it out, right? So yeah, read a lot, a lot of input, start a starter pile, and write every day.
Paul Cissel, one of our experts in residence, knows a lot about mergers and acquisitions. And so we’re mapping out this content plan that we’re going to be putting together for Producers Club members. Accelerators Club members…that’ll trickle down to you guys as well. And I said to Paul, “Do you have a framework for what you are teaching?” And he does, but it’s not complete. He’s kind of using a framework from something else that’s not his own.
And so another thing — and this goes for everybody, whether you’re writing or not — you need to have a framework for your expertise.
Now, our marketing roadmap is that framework for us that is saying, “Here’s what the framework of what a good marketing plan is.” It’s the roadmap, right? And if you check all those boxes, you’ve got a pretty kick ass marketing plan cranking. Right?
And it doesn’t matter who you are or what you’re selling because you think, “Oh, marketing, it doesn’t matter any bit in business advice.” You look at Dave Ramsey, who was my old neighbor, he has the baby steps. How do you get out of debt? “There’s this overriding goal of what we’re trying to accomplish. And then here’s all the steps.”
If you look at The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. What that book is showing is a framework. So another thing I would encourage you to do is create some sort of framework. So that you say, “Here’s all the things that would make up good cybersecurity, good IT,” whatever it is, write your own version of that. And each of those components, like the 12 items on my roadmap, give me something to talk about in every article, in every video. I just can just roll through it.
If you go back to MSP Success magazine, I publish a short article every single week, and it’s on a single concept or idea. It’s all about behavior, success, core values and those type of things, not about marketing. That’s what people love to read about. And it’s a lot about what good is and “This is what you should aspire to.” And that’s why people love reading it, because it’s not making them the hero. It’s saying, “Here’s what you want to aspire to” and people love it. They eat it up.
And then one other topic I would suggest you use for articles is questions from clients.
You know, what do you get asked about all the time? I feel like that’s a great topic.
What do you get asked about? Name the top ten things you get asked. What are the top ten things you should be asked but no one ever asks you? There’s 20 articles right there.
So do I just sit down and power through it, or does it take multiple sessions for all my writing? It just depends. Sometimes I let it rest. So if I write something, I’ll let it rest for a day and go back and review it. Sometimes I change a lot. Most of the time I tweak it a little bit, right? But I always let it rest for a day. Okay. Like the newsletter, I can bang that out in about, you know, 5 hours.
12 to 14 pages. I can bang it out in about 5, maybe 6 hours. So that’s like a Saturday project for me. I just get up early and bang that thing out, but I don’t like to do it that way. I kind of like to do it in chunks and pieces, you know, because there is writer’s fatigue.
Gary Halbert was a very well-known copywriter. Gary’s process for writing great copy was take a nap first and put in your mind what you want to write, take a nap, because you got to get all the sleep out of you, because if there’s any exhaustion, you won’t be able to write well. And he’s right. If I’m really tired or I’ve been writing for a long time, I’ve got to step away and take a break.
It’s just like working out at some point. If you keep working out and keep working out, it’s actually negative. It’s not making you stronger or fitter. It’s actually tearing you down. Right? So same thing with writing. So schedule a time every day, have your work pile, just get in the habit of doing it. Model others, be on the lookout for articles for inspiration that you like and just write your own version of the same sort of topic.
To read my MSP Success magazine articles, go to https://mspsuccessmagazine.com/category/robins-rants/