Let me ask you a question: Do you sleep well at night? More importantly, have you ever woken up with a great idea and then went back to sleep and forgot about it? Have you ever been walking your dog or at a meeting and you had a great idea and you said, “Man, I've got to remember this” and then you forgot about it? Well, it happens to me all the time.
As a matter of fact, one night I woke up with the title of my new book. It's called Toilet Paper Math: How to Flush Out Leads and Wipe Up Sales in a B2B Marketing World. I've been working on it for the last few weeks, but it originated from a meme on Facebook that caught my eye and it's been floating around in my head. I actually had a couple other titles for the book, but then all of a sudden one night I woke up and it was like, BOOM. So, I got out of bed at 4 AM, went to my computer and started typing. I didn't want this to be one of those times where I've had a great idea that I wanted to remember but I just let it slip away.
I have something that I call my dream catcher. When I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea, it allows me to capture it and go back to sleep. My dream catcher is my iWatch. Right on the face of it, I have a little icon for Evernote. I tap that and then I record an audio snippet Then, I go back to sleep.
In the morning, I grab my watch, I go to Evernote and I listen to what I said. Then I go into Evernote and type it up. That allows me to capture those things.
We all have these dream catchers. It could be your Apple watch, it could be another type of watch, or it could be your phone. I was walking through Walmart one day in the toilet paper aisle and decided just to take a handful of shots of some rolls of toilet paper. Luckily I was able to capture that and bring it into the same Evernote. I use that to formulate the ideas behind what it is that I want to say.
For some of you, maybe you're not as high tech. A note pad could be a dream catcher. Maybe you put it on your nightstand or carry it around in your pocket. Ultimately what you're trying to do is capture ideas and not let them flitter away. That idea could be the next great thing that you do.
The Dream Catcher
Today I want to talk about how to use that dream catcher because when you capture great ideas, you can create incredible customer focused content. The first thing you have to do is have a dream catcher. It could be your watch, it could be your phone, it could be that notebook – the bottom line is, you need to have it accessible as often as possible. No matter what the idea, no matter how silly or stupid it may sound, write it down.
Then you need to take that and put it into some kind of container. Again, I like to use Evernote because I have it on my computer, my phone, and my watch, so that way I can take that information and easily transport it into a note. From there I can build upon the idea. Inside of that note, I can go to a web browser and research things. If you've read my Toilet Paper Math blog post from a few weeks ago, you read a bunch of research that I captured in Evernote about the origins of toilet paper.
Capture, Enhance & Organize
From here on out, you want to continue to capture ideas. You don't necessarily have to put them in an outline, but you want to make sure that you're capturing thoughts and putting them in a note because you never know when one of those pieces may be that “Aha” moment that changes everything.
Once you have it, you have to start organizing it. What's the beginning? What's the middle? And, what's the end? What's the story behind all this? That's another place where a tool like Evernote or Word can help you coordinate, rearrange and start to pull those ideas into a complete customer focused content that's going to make sense to, not only you but, the people who want to hear from you.
Rewrite It & Rewrite It Again
Once you've got all that organized, I suggest you sit down and just write customer focused content. I'm known as Captain Typo because I watch my fingers as I type. I don't look at the screen, I don't worry about the spelling or the punctuation, I just want to get that information out of my head and into a format that works.
One of the ways that I've learned to capture information is to open up an audio recorder and just start talking. I let myself ramble a whole bunch of ideas. Then I go to rev.com and for 10 cents a minute, they will transcribe that. It's done via AI, but it's pretty darn good. From there, you get a document with all those ramblings. I simply cut it from that and bring it into a word processor or Evernote and start retyping. I read through and then I start to formulate the ideas more. Then I'll go back and look at it and read through it again and rewrite it a second time, maybe even a third time.
The bottom line is I've captured that original concept. I've started to organize some sub thoughts around it. Then I take that and use it as a guide to record my thoughts because that's the way I can get it out better. For some of you it may be typing, it may be writing – the bottom line is you have to get that information out of your head and into a format where you can start to arrange it, rewrite it and turn it into really valuable customer focused content. Capture that information, get it down, write it and rewrite it.
The Second Pair Of Eyes
The final piece that I want to suggest that you do is get a second set of eyes on it. I actually just finished the forward to my book this way and I took a piece of it, not the whole thing, and I threw it up on Facebook. The reason I did that is because I could put it in front of people and see if it made sense, see if it resonated with people. Of course the grammar Nazis came out and just beat the heck out of me, which is fine because I will put this in front of an editor and ultimately in front of a proofreader, but it's a raw story at this point.
I just wanted to get it out and some of the feedback I got was amazing. “Yeah, this is great.” “I loved this story.” “It makes sense.” “It's really cool.” So that gave me the impetus to continue on, to keep writing. I was on the right path.
I'm going to continue capture the essence, start to write down random ideas, go back and verbalize those concepts after I put them in some kind of order, get it transcribed, write it, rewrite it, and then get some feedback. That, my friends, is the way that you can easily use a dream catcher to capture great ideas and turn them into customer focused content. I hope this helps you better understand how to utilize these tools and some of the other tools I mentioned like Evernote to capture and speed up the process without losing sleep. So, g'night all.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about how you create customer focused content. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to your expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?
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