Melanie Deziel is a keynote speaker, award-winning branded content creator, the Chief Content Officer of StoryFuel, and the author of The Content Fuel Framework: How to Generate Unlimited Story Ideas.
The Content Fuel Framework: How to Generate Unlimited Story Ideas – Share a photo of yourself with the book and tag Melanie on social media; you will get a chance to WIN random fun prizes!
The Content Fuel Framework – Use the code ‘FIRE’ and get a discount on The Content Fuel Workbook for your business!
3 Value Bombs
1) In business, your content is an excellent way to showcase your expertise and keep your customers engaged.
2) Focus on curating other people’s resources or expertise for your content – it is an excellent way to start.
3) You are creative! You have it within you to create excellent content – you just need to know when to activate it.
**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.
Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: How to Generate Hundreds of Content Ideas to Support your Business with Melanie Deziel
[1:03] – Melanie shares something interesting about herself that most people do not know.
- She was one of the top 5 ranked Javelin Throwers in her state when she was in high school.
[2:01] – Why do entrepreneurs need content for their business?
- Your interpersonal life is made up of sharing information and telling stories all the time.
- In business, your content is an excellent way to showcase your expertise and keep your customers engaged.
[3:21] – Do all business types need content?
- Content is not just about creating a YouTube channel or a podcast. It can also include emails to your audience, copy, and imagery on websites, and it is everything that you are doing on Social Media.
- There are a lot of ways to connect and communicate with your audience.
[4:44] – How can you still develop content ideas, even if you are not that creative?
- Everyone has innate creative ability.
- Think of all the creative ways you have imagined that things would go wrong!
- Creative solutions are infinite; you have to activate it when you need it.
[7:40] -Melanie talks about the unique content system in her book.
- She wrote The Content Fuel Framework: How to Generate Unlimited Story Ideas to help people who think they are not creative.
- Melanie wants to break down what she does when trying to develop content. She puts it into the book so that others can adopt it.
- 2 Things to Remember When Creating Content:
[12:33] – What if someone is just getting into content creation, or maybe they aren’t quite comfortable creating it… where should their initial focus be?
- Focus on curating other people’s resources or expertise – it’s an excellent way to start.
- You can build your confidence, build your systems up, and provide a lot of value to your audience.
[15:24] – How do we know which formats to start with as content creators?
- Everyone has a first content language – a type of content that you are most comfortable creating from a format perspective.
- Consider the types of content that your audience prefers to consume.
- Remember that some talents and tools can fill the gaps between your first content language and your audience preference.
[18:23] – Why should Fire Nation read or listen to your book – The Content Fuel Framework: How to Generate Unlimited Story Ideas?
- The book helps spread awareness for the incredible work that you are all doing. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, and it doesn’t matter who your audience is.
- The system is designed so you can learn and adapt it to your needs. You will learn the skills that you need to set up a system that works for you.
- Melanie wants to empower you to feel confident and passionate about telling your story in many different ways.
- It could be a game-changer in terms of how you engage with your audience.
[20:35] – Melanie’s parting piece of guidance.
- You are creative! You have it within you to create excellent content – you just need to know when to activate it. Find a system that works and that will let you turn your struggle into a creative system whenever you need it to make a significant difference in your business.
- The Content Fuel Framework: How to Generate Unlimited Story Ideas – Share a photo of yourself with the book and tag Melanie on social media; you will get a chance to WIN random fun prizes!
- The Content Fuel Framework – Use the code ‘FIRE’ and get a discount on The Content Fuel Workbook for your business!
Lights that sparked fire nation. JLD here with an audio master class on how to generate hundreds of content ideas to support your business, to drop these value bonds. I brought the Melanie diesel on the mic. She's a keynote speaker award winning branded content creator, the chief content officer of story fuel and the author of the content fuel framework, how to generate unlimited story ideas. And today fire nation, we talking about why entrepreneurs need to create content is all content good? What if we're not that creative? How do we come up with ideas and a specific system that Melanie has crafted in so much more fire nation?
When we get back from thinking our sponsors, we're all looking for new ways to stay active from home these days and fight camp can help fight. Can't brings the boxing gym right to your home with a mix of cardio and conditioning for a full body workout. Visit join fight camp.com/fire. To get free shipping on your new gym today, that's join fightcamp.com/fire hiring is challenging, especially with everything else you have to consider today. But there's one place where hiring is simple, fast, and smart that places ziprecruiter try ZipRecruiter for free at ziprecruiter.com/fire that's ziprecruiter.com/fire ZipRecruiter. The smartest way to hire Melanie say what's up to fire nation and share something interesting about yourself that most people don't know
1 (1m 33s):
What's up fire nation. I am super excited to be here and let's see a little fact about me that not too many people know is probably that when I was in high school, I was one of the top five ranked javelin throwers in my state. This has not proved to be a useful life skill beyond track and field, but definitely a, a fun little claim to fame,
0 (1m 54s):
Man. You know, we all have those claims to fame. I always share some like state accolades that I have, but I always conveniently don't share that I'm from Maine, which makes everything so much easier to be like all state and the best in the state when you only have like a million odd people or so, so great staff, great share and fire nation. As I shared in the introduction, when we were talking all about how to generate hundreds of content ideas to support your business. And Melanie is a wonderful person to talk about this with. So Melanie, why, why do entrepreneurs need content for their business? Break it down.
1 (2m 31s):
Things that we realize in our, you know, in our human life or like interpersonal life is that we tell stories all the time. You know, when you're catching up with friends or talking to family, it's all about sharing information and telling stories. And I think what happens is when we put ourselves in our business mode, we forget that sometimes those human natural stories are what really connects best with people. And so it's a really important tool for us to be able to attract consumers who can, you know, attract customers who will have a better understanding of what it is that we stand for and what we do. It's a way to showcase your expertise, you know, to show what it is that you are so good at, that you actually went out and created a business around that skill.
1 (3m 13s):
It's also a really good way to keep that customer engaged because for a lot of our businesses, it's not something people are buying every single day, right. There might be weeks or months, or maybe even years between each time that they engage with us. So we need something worth saying in the interim. So content can be a really powerful tool for attracting, retaining, engaging your audience and making sure that you're still top of mind. They're still thinking of you still learning from you and engaging with you when it comes time to make a purchase decision down the line,
0 (3m 43s):
Do all businesses need content to like dues every way, shape and form every type of business needed content?
1 (3m 50s):
I think absolutely. You know, one of the things that's kind of tough as content is a bit of a buzzword, right? And so maybe some of your listeners are thinking that content means a YouTube channel or a podcast like yours, but content also includes, you know, emails that you're sending to your audience. It includes the copy and the imagery on your website. So, you know, it's everything you're doing on social media. And so I don't think there are too many businesses out there that are thriving without a website, without a social presence, without any email lists. They're generally doing it, at least a couple of those things, you know? So we, we have to, we definitely have to be more aware of how we're communicating with our audience in all those different ways.
0 (4m 28s):
So back in 2012, like I looked in the mirror and I said, John, if you're being honest with yourself, like you're just not a super creative quote unquote type. And I, and I was honest with myself that I just wasn't. So I decided to go down the path of encouraging and asking and then having other individuals provide the content for me. And that was going to be in the form of these interviews. And I've now done over 2,700 interviews in the past eight years. And guess what? Like I'm relying on other people's creativity, other people's content for my content distribution channel, which is this podcast entrepreneurs on fire. So that's my question. Like what if we're not creative types? What if somebody in fire nation's like, I'm kind of more like, JLD like, I'm not super creative.
0 (5m 11s):
How can we still come up with content ideas?
1 (5m 14s):
I have a confession jail day. When you said back in 2012, I wasn't creative. I got a pit in my stomach and I held my breath. I was like, no, no, we can't have that. It's so sad because so many of us and the study has proved this out. You know, when we're young, when we're kids, we have so many creative ideas. We are really uninhibited with sharing all the crazy things we think of, you know, you're telling stories about dinosaur aliens that becomes zombies and take over your middle school. You know, like you, you are totally uninhibited. And as we get older, we sort of learn to ignore those things to suppress it. We're afraid of being made fun of or making a mistake or failing or whatever that that fear is for you.
1 (5m 56s):
So we all that innate innate creative ability. And the way I convince everyone that you are in fact creative is think of all the creative ways you have imagined that things would go wrong. You, there is absolutely no end to the creative solution you can come up with for all the reasons why something won't work or, or why it's going to be difficult. So we still have that skill. Usually what's lacking is a prompt or an ability to activate it when you need it. So when we say we're not creative, it's usually more that you you're sitting down to achieve some goal, like come up with a content idea, you know, figure out what to say in your next YouTube episode or email. And you can't come up with anything on the spot and you convince yourself it's because you have no creative abilities deepen your soul anywhere.
1 (6m 44s):
So really what it is is we often lack a system and that's, what's really important is understanding that you do have that creative ability everyone does. And it's more about figuring out how to activate it when you need it. It's sort of like if you think someone woke you up in the middle of the night and said, arm wrestle me and you lost. And then you're like, well, I have no strength. I am a neutral arm, human being, you know, and that's often how we treat our creativity. We give it no warning. We give our brains this challenge to come up with some huge solution out of nowhere, no warning. And then we count ourselves out, you know,
0 (7m 18s):
And that's one thing as well that I think that a lot of people don't realize is that being creative doesn't mean you have to come up with a great idea every single day or just this stroke of brilliance every week or so. It's like, I can look back over my eight year career where I've generated over $20 million in my business and I've come up with like three or four good ideas. Like I've been creative, like with these ideas, like just a handful of times, but they've made all the difference. Like those two or three or four or five things, again, over eight years, fire nation are been what has been responsible for the bulk of my success of my financial success of my brand success, et cetera, et cetera. So, one thing that I want to talk about next, Melanie is you break down a really impressive content system in your book.
0 (8m 4s):
So first off, give us a little background about this book and then expound upon the system.
1 (8m 9s):
Yeah. So the, the book is called the content field framework, how to generate unlimited story ideas. And I wrote this book because of statements like you made before saying that you're not creative, it breaks my heart. So what I wanted to do is really break down what it is that I do in my head when I'm trying to come up with content ideas. I know that that's kind of my super power is to come off with ideas off the cuff. And so I wanted to put as much of that process into the book as possible. So people could adopt that for themselves, if it's helpful for coming up with ideas. So at the core, it really just means understanding that while we think of content and ideas and creativity as this amorphous thing, you know, a muse or a lightning strike or a light bulb moment, it's really just two things.
1 (8m 51s):
There's a focus. So it's about something, right? There's a perspective or a lens through which we're telling our story. And then there's a format we're bringing it to life in some way, you know, like audio here or video map, infographic, whatever else. So if you understand that formula, that every piece of content is just a focus plus a format, all you need is sort of a laundry list of focuses and formats at your disposal, and you can create combinations at the drop of a hat. So that's really the goal with the book is to kind of prompt people, to think about content ideas in that way. And once you have that shared language to talk about it, it becomes a lot easier to say, okay, I want to tell a history focused story about this particular topic.
1 (9m 34s):
What's the best way to bring that story to life. Hmm. Maybe a timeline would be really helpful. It kind of gives you a step-by-step process to activate that creativity so that you're not just sitting at a blank white board or a blank Google doc, and hoping a miracle happens.
0 (9m 48s):
We're not hoping for miracles. Well, we were hoping for is having a system that we can trust that we know that we like and that we can act upon. I mean, systems automations, you know, and this is also part about building a team as well. This is going to make your content system unbreakable. So we have so many things going to be talking about fire nation about this and about the systems and about so much more. When we get back from thanking our sponsors, finding great candidates to hire, it can be like trying to find a needle in the haystack. Sure. You can post your job on some job board, but then all you can do is hope that the right person comes along, which is why you should try ZipRecruiter for free at ziprecruiter.com/fire.
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1 (12m 31s):
One of the things that is really helpful when you're starting out and you're trying to get comfortable is actually curating other people's resources. And it's not unlike what you did with your podcast, right? You weren't feeling necessarily comfortable being able to put that content out on your own. So you brought in outside experts and curated their expertise. So you can really take a curated approach to your content when you're starting out to help you build that confidence, you know, build your systems up and provide a lot of value to your audience. So my suggestion is always that when you're in a position, you know, you're running a business or you're an expert, a thought leader in some way, you have a lot of resources at your disposal that you may not realize your audience doesn't know about.
1 (13m 12s):
So curating lists of resources is a really good place to start. That might mean you collect, you know, 10 podcasts that everyone in our industry should listen to, or books that are helpful for people who are pursuing the career we help with or events you should attend, that will help you network with other people who are professionals in this same field, you know, by collecting all these different resources, you're creating content without having a heavy creation lift on your end, but you're also providing a real service to your audience. You're really demonstrating that you're here to give them value and that's something they're going to notice and really appreciate.
0 (13m 48s):
It brings me back to my early days when I was really struggling for content. And the idea is to create content is I came up with this email subject line that said the one email you must read each week. And what I did was in that email, I would list out these five really awesome entrepreneurial slash small business articles that I thought were super fascinating. And you know, a lot of people thought I was taking a ton of time to curate these articles cause they were all spectacular. But what I was doing is I was going to one of a couple of services. I don't remember what it was called now, but where it was like up voted and ranked all of these articles that came out about entrepreneurship each week. So it was so easy for me just to go to this one place, look at like the top 20 articles and kind of handpick five of those that I thought were really make sense for my audience from that list of 20.
0 (14m 37s):
And I knew that they were all high quality and I knew that they were all really good meaty content because you know, they wouldn't be on this list otherwise because it was a really highly respected and valuable list. And then I would just put that into my newsletter and I would be linking those articles and people would come back, you know, my, my readers and be like, wow, John, like, this is so helpful. Like thank you for curating this. And you know, cause they thought that I was maybe just scouring like hundreds or thousands of websites and blogs, you know, every single week to get this list going on. So, you know, it was always just like, yep, you're welcome. So I mean foundation that you don't have to make it super hard on yourself. There's already great content out there as you're developing your own systems, your own content, your own voice and brands.
0 (15m 18s):
So Melanie, how do we know which formats that we should be starting with as content creator?
1 (15m 24s):
So one of the things I talk about is everyone has what I would call like a first content language. It's like a type of content that you're most comfortable creating for you. I'm guessing JLD, it's probably audio for me. My background is in journalism. So it's always writing for me. That's where I, that's my sweet spot. I feel most comfortable. I can create most efficiently in that format. So that's one thing you definitely want to consider. Obviously, if there's a type of content that you're really comfortable creating, that you have the skills and the technology and the tools to create, that's probably going to be high up on your list. But the other thing you want to think about is is that the way your audience also likes to consume content because JLD, if you were creating an amazing podcast every day, but for whatever reason, entrepreneurs don't listen to podcasts, like you'd be in trouble, right?
1 (16m 12s):
Like you're creating something ethic, but your audience isn't consuming it. So you also want to look at the flip side, what's the type of content your audience likes to consume. You know, the good example of this is so many brands have hopped onto tick-tock and started creating tick-tock content and their audience isn't gen Z. So it's not really hitting, you know, exactly the tone that they're hoping for. It's kind of getting made fun of instead of reaching their ideal audience, right? So you want to think about that? Where do I like to create? Where am I most comfortable from a format perspective and what does my audience likes to consume? Now, sometimes you'll get super lucky and those things will line up and you can create awesome content that you're super comfortable with that you know, is high quality, that your audience is going to really value.
1 (16m 54s):
But sometimes those things won't line up and you'll maybe feel hopeless for a minute and realize first that there are talent and tools that can help you fill that gap. So for me, like I said, I'm a writer. That's, that's my sweet spot. I could write like there's no tomorrow. If I know my audience wants a podcast, then what I can do is write script. And either me or someone else can read that and turn it into audio. Or if I know my audience really wants video, but I'm a writer, I can write that script and get someone who's better on video to help me turn it into that through B roll or, you know, hire a talking head, who's going to be the face of the company and those videos. There's all kinds of ways. You can close that gap between your first content language and your audience's first content language.
1 (17m 36s):
So you're creating something that they're going to value and engage with, but you're also not pushing yourself so far out of your comfort zone that you can't live up to the quality you want
0 (17m 45s):
Fire nation, a lot of major takeaways here. And remember, I am a big believer in the fact that you need to get out of your comfort zone because that's where all the magic happens. But you know, when you're creating content for your audience to consume, you know, it's gotta be within your realm of comfort within your realm of expertise and you are hopefully continue to push that ball forward and to push that envelope every day in a structured and meaningful way. And I want to finish our chat today, Melanie, by diving back into your book. So again, the title, fire nation, the content fuel framework, how to generate unlimited story ideas. Why should fire nation read or of course listen to your,
1 (18m 22s):
So the wonderful thing about this book is it doesn't matter what industry you're in. It doesn't matter who your audience is. As we talked about, when we first started our conversation, content is a vital part of the way we engage with our audience and the way we convert consumers or the way we spread awareness for the awesome work that we're all doing. And this system is designed so that you can learn it and adapt it to your needs. So you'll learn the skills that you need to set up a system that works for you. I'm not trying to get you to use my system. I'm trying to get you to figure out the version of it that works best for you. So it doesn't matter again, what industry you're in. It doesn't matter if you have a background in content. I actually think it's better if you don't have a background in content, because I think that's really what happens with a lot of entrepreneurs.
1 (19m 7s):
We're, we're really good at our one thing. Like the thing that drives us, that we're passionate about, that we want to create or, or teach to others. And we usually weren't trained to be marketers or to be podcasts or video producers. And that's been sort of thrust upon us as just a virtue of the world that we live in now. And so it's really helpful to kind of fill those gaps and help you feel confident that you can share those skills and that passion in a lot of different ways. I really just want to empower people to feel as passionate about telling their story as I do, because I see the power of storytelling, especially for entrepreneurs, startups, small business owners. This could really be a game changer for the way that you engage with your audience.
1 (19m 48s):
And I hope that the book can give you that skill
0 (19m 50s):
Fire nation. I just want to share that Melanie was kind enough to ask for, and I was very honored and excited to give a blurb on this book. I'm going to read it for you real quick. The content fuel framework delivers on its promise. Melanie system will ignite new ideas for getting your message out and get you fired up to create content in ways you've never considered. So fire nation, you can see I'm all about staying on brand myself when I create content ignite fired up. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You get it. And that's exactly how I feel about this book. So if that resonates with you, I hope you do check it out. So Melanie give us the biggest takeaway you want to make sure we walk away with, from our chat today, the best way fire nation can follow you, consume your content, get your book, and then we'll say goodbye.
1 (20m 34s):
The one thing I want you all to take away, if nothing else is that you absolutely are creative. You have it within you to create amazing content. You just need to know how to activate it. So find a system that works for you, mine or someone else's that lets you turn that sort of creative struggle into a creative system. So you can activate that creativity whenever you need it to make a serious difference in your business. Do you want to learn more about me and my team at story fuel and how we help people tell their stories, just check out story fuel.co and you can find the book as they said, the content field framework, how to generate unlimited story ideas on Amazon Barnes and noble Kindle, and soon on audible as well.
1 (21m 14s):
And I do have some goodies for fire nation. So if you visit me, I know we love it, right? If you visit contentfuelframework.com/fire, and you use the code fire and you'll actually get a discount on the content fuel framework workbook. So we have a PDF workbook that goes along with the book. You don't even need the book to use the workbook and it's full of 80 plus pages of prompts that are going to walk you through creating literally thousands of content ideas for your business. So there's a really great active turn this learning into action. That's what we want to do with this workbook. So contentfuelframework.com/fire and use the code fire. All the details are on that page for you. And as a, as an added little bonus, like you guys do get the book and you share a photo of yourself with a book on social media and tag me.
1 (22m 1s):
So I see it. I'm going to randomly give out some other fun prizes. We'll do some, some one-on-one strategy sessions. I've got a content you'll gain. I can send out to people. You've got stickers. I mean all kinds of fun stuff,
0 (22m 13s):
Fire nation. You're the average of the five people you spend the most time with. And you've been hanging out with MD and J L D today. So keep up that heat and head over to eofire.com type Melanie in the search bar and her show notes page will pop up with everything that we've been talking about today at best show notes in the biz links to all that jazz story, fuel dot C O check that out, but your direct call to action content, fuel framework.com/fire, and then of course use code fire to get those awesome goodies ins. Once again, the content fuel framework is Melanie's book. So Melanie, thank you for sharing your truth, knowledge value with fire nation today, for that we salute you and we'll catch you on the flip side.
0 (22m 57s):
Hey, fire nation today's value bomb content was brought to you by Melanie. And by the way, if you've had your big idea, you're already ready to ignite, but if you don't, I have a free training for you. That's going to get you to your big idea in less than an hour. So visit your big idea.io today, and I'll catch you there fire nation, or I'll catch you on the flip side. We're all looking for new ways to stay active from home these days and fight camp can help fight. Can't brings the boxing gym right to your home with a mix of cardio and conditioning for a full body workout. Visit join fightcamp.com/fire to get free shipping on your new gym today that's joined fightcamp.com/fire hiring is challenging, especially with everything else you have to consider today.
0 (23m 43s):
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