How to structure your ideas so they lead to leads

Have you ever been so full of ideas for your business that you start to feel a bit dizzy?

All these ideas float around and around in your head until they become confusing. It’s like a room full of butterflies, each colourful little creature fluttering around in a different direction, all vying for attention. They churn about with no clear intention, it’s hypnotic but ultimately unhelpful.

(Fun fact about me, I have a butterfly phobia, so this room full of butterflies is my personal idea of hell!)

Idea overload pretty much comes with the territory when you run a business alone. You have so much value to share and there are so many options on how best to communicate, it becomes more and more tricky to see the right starting point and even more challenging to stay consistent.

Having oodles of ideas can be a blessing and a curse.

Inspiration comes in waves, the butterflies keep multiplying (shudder) but frustratingly, having too many ideas is not conducive to progress. You Google one idea, brainstorm another… And you end up with EVEN MORE ideas!!! Pffff.

This can be really frustrating. And it can mean that you end up NOT posting any of them or sharing your valuable insights. Or worse still… your communications get so muddled that they confuse the bejaysus out of people who actually could’ve become clients.

As we all know, confusion doesn’t lead to leads or sales.

“The confused mind doesn’t buy” — Donald Miller, author of StoryBrand.

Get the ideas out of your head and in front of the right people

Having all these ideas is a great start. Having a clear path for other people to consume them is how your ideas can lead to leads.

If you’re working on your website copy or social media content, here’s a quick process that captures one butterfly at a time so you can show it off. To turn your ideas into clearer communications.

This little exercise will help you get a piece of content posted. It’s particularly useful if you haven’t shared anything in a while and you’re kicking around several ideas without posting anything.

If it works, tag me in your post 🙂

Brain dump

Scribble down all the ideas you have. What offers, services, content, and formats have been fluttering around your mind?

I’m a weirdo who still uses pen and paper. Apps and screens just tend to get in the way of my creative flow. I have a stack of paper ideas on my desk. Literally scraps of paper. They’re so random! I get inspiration throughout my week and I’ll make a note and add it to the pile. After an interesting conversation with a client or business buddy, or after reading an article. While not all of them are good enough, it helps to stop them turning into butterflies and distracting me from my work, I’ll get them down and add them to the pile.

There’s no right or wrong way to capture ideas. It’s whatever suits you.

Step into their shoes

When you have your ideas down, sift through them looking for pieces most relevant to the people who need your service.

This is a total game-changer. Not all ideas are useful. Sometimes we get swept up in a social media trend or caught up in things that other people are doing well. Everything you create should be like a little note to your ideal clients that make them feel seen and understood.

At this point, you could create content pillars and a content plan for the coming week, month or year! But honestly if you’ve been inconsistent with your content lately and a big structured plan freaks you out, just pluck out what you’re drawn to in the moment and create an outline. Always make sure you’re keeping it relevant to the service you offer. Start with writing down what valuable point you’re sharing, note down key points and try not to drift into tangents or related topics.

Choose a platform, create, share

Choose where your content will go. Is it a post? A video? A blog or a cornerstone piece of website content? It could be all of those things, but take the pressure off and just choose one format to start with.

Decide how long you’re going to spend on it and try to stick to that deadline. That’s the final hurdle. If you give yourself too much time, it’s almost worse. More ideas start to come or you begin to overthink and the energy of the idea is lost.

Write (or record) what you can. Do a last check that it feels relevant, valuable or at the very least entertaining, grab an image from Pexels*, do a screenshot or take a selfie and post it. Do it quickly before the butterflies start to swarm again!!!

* Grabbing an image can also be a time vacuum! If you have personal headshots or a collection of brand images use one of those. Otherwise, get a decent stock image that supports the message you’re sharing.

Beware of the artichoke effect!

Try not to cram in too much information when sharing ideas. Often when I help clients with their web and social media content we get, what I call, the artichoke effect. If you’ve ever eaten an artichoke (yum) it comes as this compact vegetable that you tear apart leaf by leaf. In the end, when it’s all been dismantled, it looks like you’ve got more on your plate than you started with.

An idea that seems compact and self-contained can expand out into a much, much bigger thing. Try to keep it simple for the reader / viewer. If it runs too long or there are too many tangents, you’ll lose people.

When you want to use your ideas to get perfect-fit leads booking in to speak with you, you need to get those ideas out of your head and into a format others can understand. (

(Take this further: The Curse of Knowledge)

To be really strategic about it, you would ideally have a no-brainer next step for them to follow. Content on social or words on a web page should be used to establish what your services are and who they’re for. Remember to have a clear next step. A call to action or simple instruction. LIKE THIS ONE…

If you want to get more perfect fit leads booking appointments with you check out my services here! I help service-based business owners to corral their ideas to get more leads online.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Claire

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