Think you have a challenge coming up with smart things to say, post or write on a regular basis? Imagine if you had to make people laugh for a living. Night after night, year after year â€“ to stand in front of an audience just waiting for you to fail â€¦ and make them crack up.
How do comedians do it?
Jerry Seinfeld, one of the most consistently successful comedians in the last 30 years, was recently asked that question.
His answer, â€œThe way to be a better comic is to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes is to write every day.â€
Sounds simple coming from someone who has the luxury of time and money to write all day. But how does that apply to those of us who have to fit writing in with all of the other things demanding our time?
The secret of the Big Red X
â€œGet a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. Get a big red magic marker. For each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red â€˜Xâ€™ over that day. After a few days, youâ€™ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. Your only job is not to break the chain.â€
Notice he said nothing about producing good jokes every day. In fact, he didnâ€™t say anything about the quality of jokes at all. Volume is the engine that fuels the process.
If youâ€™re going to have a chance at consistently producing good marketing content, you need to start getting a big red â€˜Xâ€™ on the calendar every single day.
Write Every Day, Not All Day
Part of the beauty of the writing process is that when you are relieved of the pressure of producing quality, you can just write. Donâ€™t edit. Donâ€™t second guess and questionâ€”just write. Selecting and developing your ideas comes only after you have several ideas to choose from.
Choosing and Developing the Best
You did it. You sat down and wrote something every day. Now youâ€™ve got a basket full of content, need a way to identify and develop the best bits. Comedians write a lot of jokes and stories, but they also test their routines for small audiences during shows that are often un-advertised.
At this point, itâ€™s most important to pay attention to your prospectsâ€™ responses. When audiences respond with raucous laughter, comedians know theyâ€™ve hit comedy gold. When comedians are on stage and get crickets, that routine is stricken from the act.
You need a similar â€œR&Dâ€ process for your content.
Present your content to a limited number of prospects and see how they respond. Face to face, over the phone or delivered to a very small list: Present your content and measure how they respond. Do they relate with it or does it fly over their head.
Do they ask questions, nod their heads or click for more information? If they donâ€™t, try something else. If they do respond, roll out the concept to a wider audience of prospects and test the concept in a variety of media.
Write and test -- follow this approach and you will soon be producing all the content you need and you will be producing content that helps you sell more. And that, of course, is what makes the effort worthwhile.