Let’s talk about content. And more importantly, about thinking about content differently.
Because when you think about it in a different way, you do things differently. Differently to your peers, differently to your competitors, and differently in the eyes of your clients
Which means you stand out from the crowd and make people remember you.
Today I want to talk about “Days Of” content
We’ve all seen the posts, right?
- It’s National Secretary day – let’s say thanks to all the secretaries in the world!
- Today is National Cheese Day – what’s your favourite cheese?
- To celebrate World Barbecue Day, we’re having a barbecue – what would you put on it?
Historically they’ve been a lazy way to create engagement. They’re greatly loved by Social Media Managers and a lot of copywriters alike.
But they’re shit.
They’re shit for so many reasons:
- Lots of people are doing them, so you don’t stand out, you look like sheep.
- Most of them aren’t related to business, so you look like an idiot when you try
- Most people reading them don’t care
They’re empty, meaningless filler. Like the bits in between the bits you really want to know about on your favourite TV show.
And they don’t generate business.
No-one is going to think about your business when they need a copywriter/translator/coach/trainer, just because you remembered it was national Guinea Pig Day 3 years in a row.
But that’s how most people use them.
- The business that posts once at the beginning of BLM month, yet never mentions the BAME community the other 11.
- The company that brings in doughnuts for an Instagram post on National Doughnut Day, but treats their staff like shit every other day of the year.
- Or the freelancer who fills up their social media feed with cutesy little images saying which weird day it is today, but you’re not even really sure what they do.
DON’T DO THAT.
Don’t get me wrong – if you’re a pet shop or a doughnut shop, then celebrating Guinea Pig or Doughnut day makes sense, in a literal kind of way.
For the record, there’s a Copywriters Day, a Trainers Day, a Translators Day and a Graphic Design Day, as well as loads of other industries’ days.
But literal is too easy – you’re not here for literal, are you?
Let’s think differently about content…
In the video above are just some of the ‘Days of’ for the day it was recorded, and one for the day afterwards. I used 2 websites to find these, but a simple search on the search engine of your choice will throw up a load of websites dedicated to national and international ‘days of.
Today is apparently National Corned Beef Hash Day – I threw a blank at that if i’m honest, but put it in because I like corned beef hash and liked the picture. I guess if you’re a shop selling corned beef you could go about it literally.
But let’s look at some of the others and see what content ideas we can come up with in about 5 minutes:
National Day of Forgiveness
Remember, don’t necessarily think literally.
- What mistakes have you made in your business that you’ve had to forgive yourself for?
- Have you ever done something you thought was a mistake that turned out better than you thought?
- What’s one thing that can’t be forgiven in your line of work?
- Do people make assumptions about your industry that you’re happy to forgive them for?
Ancestor Appreciation day
This makes me think of history and the past, so:
- Talk about the history of your company/freelance business – how did you start doing what you do?
- What did people do before a service such as yours was around?
- How has your industry changed since you’ve been working in it (for example, when I started doing what I do, Google didn’t even exist)
- What sort of things were accepted practice in the past in your industry that are old hat or even frowned upon now?
National Women’s Health and Fitness Day
If you’re a woman, or write about health and fitness, this one is kind of easy, but let’s presume you’re not.
- Can you offer a business health and fitness test for potential clients? An audit, a review, a chat.
- Is your business a physical or a mentally challenging one, or both? Why?
- How do you ‘warm up’ to do your job? Like a runner doesn’t just dive into running marathon, how do you warm up to do what you do?
- Which female business owners inspire you? Don’t be patronising. No, seriously, write this one well or leave it alone.
World Tourism Day
Most of you are UK based business owners, but if you’re not, relate this to the country you work in.
- If someone from another country, who does the same job as you, had your job for the day, what would they think?
- What are some very British things that happen in your job (words, ways of working, idioms, idiosyncrasies)?
- How do you do things differently to your overseas (US, European, etc.) counterparts? Is there a marked difference?
- Could you do your job in any other country in the world? Have you?
National Good Neighbour Day
I don’t know if you’re friendly with your neighbours – I’ve lived here ten years and I’m not sure I’d even recognise mine, but as we know, this isn’t about neighbours.
So, National Good Neighbour Day:
- Has someone gone above and beyond for you? I’ve said this before, but shout about it on your social media and in your blog. They in turn will want to share it with their connections and more people will hear about you.
- What would you do if you were ill or had too much work? A great lead in to talk about communities or networks you’re a part of to show your customers or potential clients there’s always a back up plan.
- What businesses are adjacent to yours that you could talk about working with? Trainers, do you work with consultants and coaches? Copywriter, do you work alongside editors and proofreaders? Web designers, do you work with SEO people? Talk about the relationships – it might even lead to new ones.
- What about when things go wrong> Have you ever had a business relationship that went downhill? How did you deal wit it? What did you learn? Social Media isn’t always just about the good stuff.
So, there you go, that’s 20 ideas, 4 for each of them and none for National Corned Beef Hash day,. But I’m probably going to have corned beef Hash for dinner tonight, so that’s a win for me at least.
Content Dos and Don’ts
I’m hoping this has started you out on looking at content in a slightly different way, so here are a few dos and don’ts
- Do look at up and coming days and hashtags – there are so many of them you can’t fail to get an idea or two.
- Do let them spark ideas and give you things that you can relate to your business and services
- And please, as we’ve done already, think differently.
- Don’t think you have to be literal – national iceskating day doesn’t have to be about the time you went ice skating.
- Don’t jump on every single ‘day of’ – if you take it literally, you’ll never have time to do any work, and if you try to think too laterally every bloody time, you’ll be mentally exhausted.
- Don’t post for the sake of it – if it doesn’t fit you or your business, leave it, it’s not the end of the world.
- Don’t be wanky. In the live version of this presentation, I spoke about not using hashtags in your posts if you have taken the idea so far beyond what it started out off as, but also, don’t jump on days, weeks, months of, just because they’re popular. Pride month is another great example where, if you can’t do it well, don’t do it at all.
So there you go – in this little video I’ve given you 20 ideas from 5 ‘days of’ – please do share with me any ideas it gives you, and if you liked this, I would of course love it if you could mention it and tag me on LinkedIn.
This video was part of a presentation I gave to my Content Engine membership group in September 2023.