Last week we began on the challenge of creating quality content (whether it is for a book or some other information product) in which you can engage your audience. If you haven’t read the first part of this article, please click here to do so before continuing forward.
I indicated that more than anything else, you needed three elements first:
* an idea (and what kind of outcome you want this idea to help create)
* genuine knowledge and expertise on the topic or idea
* true passion about the topic.
Where so many business people find themselves lacking is writing ability–at least the level of writing skill that would enable them to create meaningful quality content quickly and easily.
Now I will give you the rest of this fairly simple, step-by-step approach to creating quality content. It can be used to craft a book or any other information product that you wish to use to advance your business or career.
During my ten-plus years working in capital fund raising, much of my work involved the production of documentary style-public relations video programs. A major part of this process was conducting on-camera interviews with community and business leaders. These interviews were more or less open conversations, in which the interviewees spoke from their experience and expertise…and often fueled by their passion.
When the interview was completed, I would have the audio extracted and then transcribed. The result: pages and pages of quality written content.
Sure, the content needed to be edited, and reworked (after all, the spoken word and the written word are completely different animals!). But for those who find themselves transforming an idea into a solid, first draft of written content, this process offers strong potential.
So here is what I would suggest, if you think this process might work for you:
* Write down your idea, and make it as focused as possible.
* Take the idea and write out some discussion points, or questions, that someone may ask if they were to interview you.
* Get a high-quality digital recorder (and preferably a lavaliere microphone).
* Sit down in a quiet room with a colleague. Using the questions and/or topics you have written down as a guide, have your colleague interview you.
While technically we call it an interview, in reality you are simply having a conversation (which makes this different from mere dictation). But you stay on the topic at hand. This is what the “interviewer” will help you do; however, you as the expert are still doing most of the talking. Talk about what you know. Make points that are valid and will educate your audience. Tell stories and give examples of how your points have an every-day impact on people.
From there, you can take the audio recording and have it transcribed. If you don’t have a resource close to you, I suggest Production Transcripts in California. Their prices are reasonable (the higher the quality the recording, the lower the cost) and their turnaround and accuracy is great.
When the transcript arrives, congratulations! You have in your hands your very first draft.
Now it’s time to edit.
Keith F. Luscher, (Google Search) is interim business development director for The Money Foundation, an independent investment professional’s think tank and production group operating within a broker-dealer. Prior to this he served professionals in the insurance and financial services industries as a management consultant. In that role, he advised producers on issues related to marketing and prospecting, and developed groundbreaking educational curriculum. In addition, Luscher is also a nationally known author, speaker, and expert in media, interpersonal communication and marketing.