The most important thing you do in business is communicate.

One of the key times to communicate with people is after you’ve met them but before they become a client. During this the time you create your relationship. You nurture them. They get to know you and hopefully, based on what and how you communicate, they grow to like and trust you. As time goes on you continue to develop and deepen that relationship and when they are ready, they buy from you.

One of the main tools I use, and many of my clients use, to help develop a relationship with prospective clients is to write articles. In fact, you’re reading one of my articles right now.

Article writing is a way to get in front of prospective clients, former clients and even current clients and develop and deepen the relationship you have with them.

There are two goals to keep in mind when you write an article. The first is to share a strategy, skill or insight that has something to do with the product or service you provide. The second goal is for your reader to get to know you a little more.

The articles you write can then serve multiple purposes. I include my articles in my weekly newsletter. The articles are also posted on my blog and posted on social network feeds where they often get shared or posted on other websites. And my articles often become parts of products or programs I create.

One thing about article writing, though, is you have to do it regularly for it to be effective.

People always ask me where I come up with ideas for the articles I write. It’s really not hard. There are situations around you every day that you can turn into articles.

Here are my top sources for inspiration.

1. What question(s) do you get asked again and again? That’s where I got the inspiration for this article. Everyone asks me where I come up with ideas. Write an article answering that question.
2. What problem do you see? Keep an eye open for themes that arise. All of a sudden everyone is talking about something or everyone has the same complaint. Write an article on your take about the situation and specifically how that situation can be related to the work you do with your client. I wrote an article on the blue/gold dress debate and how much time was being spent on it as opposed to using that time to grow your business.
3. Things that make you go “huh”. What catches your eye? What interests you? How can you relate that situation or topic to the type of work you do? What lessons did you see? How can that lesson be helpful to your client?
4. Your mistakes. This is a big one. I make at least one mistake every day. Some mistakes are big. I have found that the articles that get the most response are the ones when I step out in the light and share the mistake I made along with the lesson that I learned from it.
5. Nuggets that you share during conversations, especially with clients. This one is golden. Have you noticed that many of the articles I write start with something along the lines of, “I was speaking with a client and…” Write about something that you shared, or an idea that you came up with. A great clue that you just shared something writable is when someone responds to a question you asked with “That’s a great question.” Or responds to something you said with “Wow, that’s a great idea.” That way many people can benefit from your idea instead of just one. And you can share the point of the conversation without sharing the specifics, so it is easy to maintain client confidentiality.
6. Emails you send. Take a look at the emails you write. I bet you are often asked questions and provide answers or make suggestions. Or you may send an email to someone about something you see going on, maybe it interests you or annoys you. These emails can easily become the source of inspiration for an article.
7. Everyday life around you. What’s your interpretation of what’s going on around you? How can you relate that idea to what you do in your business? How could that thinking help others? What lessons are you seeing?

I want to share an example with you about how I come up with ideas from everyday life. I recently wrote an article about my son going to our local Carvel ice cream store. It was a Wednesday and every Wednesday they have a buy one get one free campaign. He went in, wanted a milkshake but ended up with two sundaes because the woman who worked there suggested it and he went with it.

The next day I was speaking with a client. She wanted to start writing articles but didn’t know what to write so she asked me for help. She coaches people around their beliefs about money. I told her there were ideas all around her. As an example I mentioned that my son had been to Carvel the day before and ended up with two sundaes. She could relate that situation to her business by writing about how people make buying decisions. Do they only buy when something is on sale? Do they buy what they want regardless of price? Are their buying decisions easily swayed? What lesson can her clients get from it?

My son going to Carvel was just an everyday occurrence that had no real significance, but the important point was that I took the situation and related it to something else, specifically something that was relevant to my client and her readers. By the way, after I spoke with her I wrote about the same situation only I connected the lesson to what’s important to my readers.

You do this all the time. You look at one thing and you think of a connection to another. You can watch someone walk through a doorway and based on how they walk, how they approach that door, the look on their face or what they are wearing you infer something. Now take that one step further. What can you say about what you are thinking that can teach a lesson or convey a message to your readers?

Here’s a quick exercise to get you going.

-Look around you. Look at the things on your desk, around your office or out the window. Pay attention as you walk down the street, observe the way that people interact with each other, observe situations that you find yourself in.
-What do you notice? It can be big, small, and significant or not.If there’s an award on your desk what does that say about you? How much work that went into getting the award? Does the award mean anything to you or is it just sitting there? Does the award relate to anything you’re currently doing? What about the way you relate to that award can provide a lesson to your readers? If a traffic light changes to red and you see someone go through the light what can you say about the driver or maybe about how you or the other people reacted to it?
-Make the connection. Think about how your observations and connections can relate to what you offer in your business. How can you make what you’re thinking relevant to the people you work with?
-Write an article about it!

The seed of this article came from the many questions I get around writing articles, an insignificant exchange I had with my son, and the conversation I had with that client specifically around my son getting ice cream. (Items 1, 2 and 7) It’s all about connections.

What are you going to write about?

Author's Bio: 

Carrie Greene is a speaker, author & business coach. She is a business strategist & who helps entrepreneurs get clear on what they want and creating simple plans to get there. She is the author of "Chaos to Cash: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Eliminating Chaos, Overwhelm & Procrastination So You Can Create Ultimate Profit!" Resources at