It All Starts with an Idea: with Catrinel Bartolomeu @glamatron #VCBuzz

It-All-Starts-with-an-Idea--with-Catrinel-Bartolomeu-@glamatron-VCBuzzContent marketing starts with an idea…

Everything starts with an idea. So how to keep coming up with awesome ideas? Let’s talk about that!

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About Catrinel

Catrinel Bartolomeu @glamatron is a multi-media journalist, producer and digital strategist with over twelve years of editorial and marketing experience, and head of editorial at Duarte.

Connect to Catrinel on Linkedin

Questions we discussed

Q1 Please tell us your career story! How did you become a creative content marketer?

I had always wanted to write and make things. I interned at Esquire and the Voice in NYC in my early 20s, then wrote furiously  for magazines and early blogs as the web grew and print shrunk.  Was little $ and a lot of work, so i paid the bills making websites till I got pulled into the advertising biz. I worked on some amazing projects, like an interactive iPad magazine  for Cessna. While I loved the digital strategy, and (and big budgets) I missed the long form writing.

Then, creating “content” for clients was a hard sell. But, I saw companies like @contently and @hubspot were onto something.  One day, I just left because I felt like I’d lost my center.  I took a year off and freelanced and talked to everyone I knew  I found a home at @ideasbyoz and launched their content program. I was blown away.

Growing an audience is one of the most satisfying accomplishments of my career because I gave people info and help they cared about. When we first started getting comments and emails response, i was absolutely giddy. Still am!

Definitely. I worked really hard, to direct and learn skills that would take me back towards editorial.

Haha. I was early on Twitter– what young lady doesn’t want to be a glamorous robot? Should’ve probably gone with my name

Q2 Let’s talk about @Duarte! I was quite intrigued by the site message!

I’m so happy to be @Duarte. It’s new, but I feel like I’ve come home, something I haven’t experienced professionally before. There’s so much talent–and @nancyduarte & @PattiSan literally wrote the books on persuasive presentations.

But the same philosophy drives informal meetings & comms for long-term buiz cultural transformations.   It’s about the Big Idea and what makes people feel something– and you know I like that, that’s why you  invited me here.

There’s also an academy to teach people the methodologies. I’m psyched for my #visualstorytelling workshop.  It’s riveting to work w/ thoughtful people who can tap into emotions. Nothing’s more interesting than what makes people tick.

Get a taste reading @pattisan or @nancyduarte on leading through storytelling.

Duarte works with any company that needs to use communications to transform. To move people from one place to another.

The audiences’ needs, the audiences’ mindset — how are people feeling when you approach them. What can you give?

Both! A lot of companies hire @duarte help with their presentation design or to move from Vision to Action but… They also have these awesome workshops and online courses where people can learn the methodology.

B2B in that we are hired by organizations and we train them. B2C in that we run public workshops.

Q3 How do you come up with content ideas on a continuous basis?

It’s a mindset.  I’m constantly trying to trigger and collect ideas like a squirrel collecting nuts. I’m probably more neurotic.  Like @TonyRobbins says “rarely does a good idea interrupt you, you must actively seek it out.” Can’t over emphasize: HUNT IDEAS.

Every morning: a short idea session on any topic. Be rigorous, focused, don’t censor. Be outlandish–forget budget and physics.

  • Read voraciously, daily, & take notes. What do you wish you’d thought of? How can you respond to the last thing that moved you?
  • Ask more questions than you think necessary. Push your curiosity, it’s the key to an engaged, creative life. Get uncomfortable.

This post  is on types of questions (curiosity, synthesis, exploration) you can ask to instigate ideas.

Embarrassingly, I go on short “observation walks.”  I make mental notes of what I see, smell, hear. Tap into your senses.

  • Make a conscious effort to tie everything you read and experience back to your work and themes and categories you’re writing on.
  • Go back to your personas. What questions are your readers asking? What do inquiring minds want to know? How can you help?

A lot of writers write for specific person. You, a content marketer, probably write for several. But write for one at a time.  I can talk about coming up with ideas forever.  Possibly even longer than even @jaltucher — has there been in idea-off yet?

Here are links to ideas posts I published or commissioned:

They try to create a presentation before they understand what they want to say. They can’t articulate the big idea. People also have trouble visualizing complex data and eliminating unnecessary information

Q4 What do you do when you feel stuck? What if life gets in a way? How to never stop generating great ideas?

The first thing is to realize you’re stuck and to accept that for just a minute. Chill man. Take moment to pause and evaluate.  To read about the “pause” in a spiritual way, see @AniPemaChodron. Give the feeling full attention for 90-seconds, then move on.

Ask questions to reframe the situation. Can you change your perspective to where you wouldn’t be stuck?  Usually, when you feel stuck, you’ve either gotten too narrow or too broad. So zoom in or out to get perspective.

If you find you’ve hit a wall, turn around. Work on another project, go for a walk, leave it alone, take a freezing cold shower.

Hemingway used to drink, but that’d put me to sleep. Focus on figuring out what works for you.

Best case scenario,  you have a clip file or an idea pipeline of topics you can pick up and start writing about.  If a creative mindset your lifestyle, you can compile it in hours.  Have a few topics that don’t need tons of research.

Q5 What are your favorite idea generation tools? We love tools!

I love tools too and I believe they can inspire you and give you direction, but they can’t come up with a “great idea” for you.  A “topic” differs from an idea. A topic is broad and static. An idea’s got legs and is ready to run in a certain direction.

I also think you can use analog tools, like ideation games when it comes to coming up with ideas.

I definitely use keyword tools to see what topics I might want to rank. I use @semrush, @ahrefs and @ideasbyoz

Also use SEO tools for competitive. to see what I can write better. On a mission to rank good content above bad. Want to join?A6: I use a lot of organization tools too, to organize ideas. I’m a long-time @evernote user — the trick is to use it for everything and to tag.

Like everyone else, I use @pocket— but I need to highlight, so I export important articles to @evernote and mark them up.  Devs of the world, I know a more graceful solutions must exist, happy to talk about it.

Also crucial to organize your time, and to set creativity goals. I’m a big fan of @getplanapp and of @StridesApp

Tools are very personal. You have to find the tools that fit your systems, rather than building your systems around tools.

Our previous content marketing chats:



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