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During a “Creating Fantastic Content” workshop I was presenting, we were discussing what to blog about and the opportunities associated with compilation blog posts.

A compilation post brings together links to a variety of previous posts related to each other in some fashion. While you can feature links to external content, compilation posts can be a great way to showcase evergreen content from your own social media site.

Compilation-Blog-Post

6 Benefits of Compilation Blog Posts

What are some of the other benefits of creating compilation blog posts?

  • They highlight content gaps (i.e., subjects you should have addressed, but haven’t for some reason) where you can create new content and add new valuable content.
  • Compilation blog posts put older content back in front of longer-term readers who may have new needs for it but would struggle to recall and find it otherwise.
  • You can apply an easy-to-remember URL to the compilation (i.e., yourcompany.com/successfactors), making it easier to communicate, share, and find the compilation.
  • They can be handy resources and references for your own employees to use as training tools.
  • They create new, valuable destinations prospects (whether at sales calls or presentations) can first access at your website.
  • A compilation blog post is an interim step to a longer compilation (i.e., an eBook, training course, etc.) that you can offer as downloadable content.

It doesn’t take hundreds of blog posts to create valuable compilation blog posts.  Once you have created seventy-five or a hundred posts on your brand’s blog that are on topic, you should have a variety of options for creating compilation blog posts delivering these benefits! - Mike Brown

 

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When was the last time you invested 45 minutes to check your social media strategy?

9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy

Is your social media implementation working as well as it can? In less than 60 minutes with the new FREE Brainzooming ebook “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy,” you’ll have a precise answer to this question. Any executive can make a thorough yet rapid evaluation of nine different dimensions of their social media strategies with these nine diagnostics. Download Your Free Copy of “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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The past eighteen months, I’ve participated in several life changing Bible studies produced by Jeff Cavins.

The point of this blog, however, is not to share the impact they’ve had on me. The objective is to share intriguing learnings about visual thinking and the value of organizing content and infographics the courses have taught me.

Visual Thinking and Organizing Content

Bible-Timeline-InfographicAt the heart of Jeff Cavins’ “Bible Timeline” series is a visual thinking and teaching method.

He organizes the books of the Bible based on the type of literature each represents. To help readers understand the “story” the Bible contains, Cavins focuses on fourteen narrative books. These books span twelve specific historical periods. Other books are slotted to fill in details or expand understanding of what happened during each period.

To visually communicate this multi-faceted content, Jeff Cavins developed a color-coded infographic. The Bible Time infographic illustrates multiple patterns within the Bible’s content.

Cavins creates additional insights into the content by highlighting and organizing content in multiple ways. These include the following organizing concepts:

  • Sequential – A beginning to end arrangement of selected content to create a story
  • Chronological – An earliest to latest historical timeline of broader events
  • Thematic – Specific related message and content grouped together
  • Purpose / Function-Based – Arranging pre-existing content in new ways to highlight more subtle patterns (i.e., geographic movement within the Bible)

I had an opportunity to see Jeff Cavins present in November 2013 and videoed part of his talk where he discussed the strategic thinking behind developing the Bible Timeline infographic.

If you’re interested in creating visual thinking insights from complex content, it’s worthwhile to view Cavins’ discussion about organizing content and using an infographic to communicate his message.

While you may think this is far afield, if your organization has a wealth of content that’s been created by multiple people at various times for different purposes that would benefit from SOME type of organization to make it easier to use, there’s a lot to learn here.

As a blogger with more than a half million words written (vs. the Bibe’s nearly 800,000 words), I definitely think about the lessons learned in creating the Bible Timeline and how they apply to adding value to our Brainzooming content.

What about your organization? What lessons are there here for organizing your content to better tell your story? – Mike Brown

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WritingWhen you write, how do you write best?

If you’re writing when you are by yourself, it can be great. You might be more productive and experience stronger creative thinking with fewer distractions, no drop-in interruptions, and extended opportunities to focus.

This is non-friction writing, and these types of writing situations CAN BE incredibly productive.

The challenge of non-friction writing for me, however, is the friction of interacting with others creates problems, issues, opportunities, and challenges that all beg for resolution.

In the resolution of these situations you develop new learning, creative thinking, and the impetus to write.

That’s why I’m definitely a friction writer when it comes to generating new ideas and creative thinking.

But then maybe I’m a non-friction writer when I can get away and just write, with the memories of friction inspiring my creativity.

Which do you prefer?

Friction or non-friction writing? -  Mike Brown

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Is your social media strategy missing the mark?

9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy

Is your social media implementation working as well as it can? In less than 60 minutes with the new FREE Brainzooming ebook “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy,” you’ll have a precise answer to this question. Any executive can make a thorough yet rapid evaluation of nine different dimensions of their social media strategies with these nine diagnostics. Download Your Free Copy of “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy.

Mike Brown

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Audio-recorderUnless something has happened to prevent it, I have audio recorded every presentation I have given since 2005.

That date coincides with starting to more aggressively search out presentation opportunities and build my repertoire of content. The overall objective was to gain as much speaking experience as possible before leaving corporate life.

7 Reasons to Record Every Presentation

You may ask why you should record every presentation you give.

Here seven reasons why you should record presentations:

  1. The recording will allow you to hear your presentation in a relatively similar fashion to how the audience members heard it. This gives you a much stronger sense of the experience for the audience.
  2. Being able to review the audience reactions to the content provides a better sense of what worked and didn’t work throughout the presentation.
  3. You can revisit specific content where audience members sought clarification or more information, providing opportunities to deepen or refine your content in future presentations.
  4. You can confirm audience questions and your answers so you are able to more easily develop them into online content.
  5. You can edit the audio into small segments to share through a podcast.
  6. You will be able to detect the bad speech patterns you use (i.e., ummms, slang, mispronouncing words) so you can begin to work on eliminating them.
  7. Before the next time you give the same presentation, you can listen to previous versions to refresh yourself on the content and all the things you say that aren’t on the slides.

That’s really just a start to the list.

Another benefit for me is that the recordings capture unplanned stories I drop into presentations based on the interaction with the audience. Being able to listen to the presentations later helps turn those stories into more permanent fixtures in the content.

If you’ve been recording your presentations, what other advantages do you find? And if you haven’t been recording your presentations, what else will it take to get you to start doing it? Mike Brown

 

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Brand marketers can find it challenging to identify all the brand language available to communicate a brand’s distinct benefits and value for customers and prospects.

Based on a recent client brand strategy experience, I highlighted an often overlooked source of compelling brand language in my first LinkedIn article: Is Your Brand Exploiting All Its Brand Language?

If you’d like to read the brand strategy lesson from our experience, you can do so over on LinkedIn.

As an alternative, we also put together a screencast that recaps the article plus adds visuals the LinkedIn article does not contain. This is the first time we’re introducing screencasts into the blog. We’re excited by the possibilities because it gives you the opportunity to have a richer experience with Brainzooming blog content. Additionally, because audio and visuals are incorporated in a screencast, I expect it to open up new topics that just don’t come across as strongly when using words alone.

So go ahead and ask yourself: Is our brand exploiting all its brand language? – Mike Brown

Brand Strategy Screencast – Is Your Brand Exploiting All Its Brand Language?


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The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you with a strategy session and branding development to create strategic impact for your organization.

 

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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I was facilitating a strategic planning session and letting the conversation among participants extend much longer than typical.

To my surprise, several participants in the strategy session repeatedly apologized throughout the day for “talking too much.” 

As I told them multiple times, I was allowing the conversation to take up more time than expected because the group needed to address certain issues and better understand each other’s perspectives. This was vital since we needed to reconcile their differing perspectives before creating the organization’s strategic plan.

I reassured them that the minute they drifted off into unproductive conversation (i.e., discussions that didn’t move us toward creating a stronger strategic plan), I would most certainly shut it down and take the group to the next strategic thinking exercise.

5 Reasons to Cut Off Conversations in Strategic Planning Sessions

StoplightAnd what would constitute unproductive conversation not moving the group forward toward a stronger strategic plan?

The answer is akin to the Justice Potter Stewart reply to the question about what is or isn’t obscene: I know it when I see it.

In the interests of being more definitive, however, here are five behaviors that stand in the way of productive conversations within strategic planning sessions:

  1. Needlessly restating obvious information or view points
  2. Over-sharing knowledge in a way that stops out others from contributing
  3. Heading into off-topic issues that don’t contribute to delivering expected planning outcomes
  4. Filibustering (on even a relevant topic) without adding anything new to anyone’s understanding
  5. A group or key individual who refuses much needed help to improve

So if we’re facilitating a strategic planning session for your organization and call “time” on a meandering conversation, you can come back to this list to figure out what just happened! – Mike Brown

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The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

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A few weeks ago, I texted one of my strategic mentors thanking him for one of the most valuable content strategy lessons he taught me: strong content works in nearly any order.

Over the years I reported to him, I saw him arrange, rearrange, and rearrange again so many presentations as he tried to get the flow just right for the topic, audience, and experience of a particular situation.

The original beginning might wind up as the new conclusion. The apparently logical order of primary messages might be completely upended to make a stronger point. At the last minute, a well-rehearsed transition during a multi-presenter presentation might shift so you were handed the microphone earlier or later than you expected, with much more or much less time to fill, respectively.

And you know what?

The changes worked nearly every time because we had spent so much time making sure the content was strong.

This content strategy lesson benefits me continually in creating blogs, articles, and presentations. This lesson provides countless opportunities to refresh and tailor content for the situation or audience, serving up what is most important in an order designed specifically for each audience.

If you or your brand struggle with generating enough content and adapting it to your audiences’ tastes, put this vital lesson into practice: 

Strong content works in nearly ANY order. 

Go ahead and give it a try.

THE END . . . or maybe this should be the beginning? -  Mike Brown

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“How strong is my organization’s social media strategy?”

9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy

Is your social media implementation working as well as it can? In less than 60 minutes with the new FREE Brainzooming ebook “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy,” you’ll have a precise answer to this question. Any executive can make a thorough yet rapid evaluation of nine different dimensions of their social media strategies with these nine diagnostics. Download Your Free Copy of “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy.

 

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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