Last year I was in a restaurant, typing non-stop to finish my book manuscript when I ran into my friend Toby.
We exchanged hugs and pleasantries. Then, he asked me what I was up to.
“Oh, just getting my ass kicked by this book manuscript. That and growing my team, running the business, writing and producing my show, building our podcast, renovating a house, spending time with Josh and my family — you know, the usual.”
He responded, “Marie, why are you writing a book in the middle of all those other projects? It’s not like you need to write a book. You’re already full and doing great work. Why did you take this on?”
“Honestly,” I said, “if I got hit by a bus tomorrow, everything is figureoutable is the one idea I’d want to leave behind. It’s that one thing I know, in my heart of hearts, that can make a difference — almost beyond everything else I’ve created.”
Toby got a little misty and said, “Marie, promise meyou’ll put that in your book. It’s the best reason to write a book that I’ve heard in a long time.”
When I’m having a rough time or when a shitstorm comes to town, everything is figureoutable saves me. Those three simple words give me hope and strength. They calm me down. Get me clear and focused. It’s something I say to myself and others, practically every day.
But throughout this process, I’ve come to realize that everything is figureoutable is more than just a fun phrase to say. It’s a philosophy of relentless optimism. A mindset. A mantra. A conviction.
The book ships on September 10th, 2019, but don’t wait. Pre-order now and save your receipt. Because I’ve created a brand new immersive coaching experience that launches this fall. I’ll be teaching new material that goes even further than the book, all for FREE. That’s all I can say about this for now, but know that the *only* way to get free access is with your book pre-order receipt.
Now, here’s a special behind-the-scenes MarieTV detailing the process behind bringing this book cover design to life.
The Design Process: How We Made The Book Cover No One Saw Coming
Getting Everything Is Figureoutable out of my heart and onto the page was a challenging process. It involved countless late nights, early mornings and more than my fair share of frustration, stress, and self-doubt. But writing a book is only half the battle.
Designing a cover that captured the essence of my idea was another crucial step. While the actual content is the most important component, the cover is huge. For someone browsing their local book store, the book’s cover design might be the onlyreason they stop to pick it up.
In today’s massively saturated markets, great design is essential to any successful brand. Design imbues emotion. Good design (on books or anything else) can make you feel something. It can ignite your imagination or energetically transport you to a world of new possibilities. While we can’t always put our finger on it, great design pulls us close and makes our heart say, “Yes please!”
Whether it’s books or soup bowls, we want to be surrounded by interesting, artful objects. No one’s ever “bored” into buying.
An uninspired cover design was NOT an option.
To be honest, I was really nervous about the design of this cover. I’m used to having complete creative control over everything I do. I like it that way. My creative team is made up of magical design unicorns. Not having them fully in charge of the book cover made us anxious.
Turns out, my publisher Portfolio/Penguin Random House was nervous too. They’re a well-oiled machine and design top-selling books for a living. This is their industry. Having a strong-willed author stroll in with her own experienced crew could be a blessing, or a curse. No one knew if we were gearing up for a brilliant collaboration or a total disaster.
Design is largely subjective. And high functioning teams — no matter how accomplished on their own — don’t always work well together, despite the best intentions.
Not going to lie. It was frustrating and messy at times (as the creative process always is). Plus, we had to do the bulk of the work during an extraordinarily busy time for our company (B-School!). But both of our teams learned how to trust and lean on each other. We gave ourselves permission to play, create, and find out what we were capable of, together.
Eventually, we found our way to a few beautiful covers. Some represented tried and true examples of what performs well in the publishing world… but there was one I kept coming back to again and again, even though it was completely unconventional.
Not everyone was initially on board with this risky choice. In fact, the cover I wanted (and chose) went against some solid testing data, and the advice of a few folks on our larger team.
But the cover we chose was the only one that gave me that full body “YES!”
A lesson I’ve learned time and time again is that you have to trust your gut, even if it goes against the grain and the advice of others. On today’s MarieTV, you’ll find out which cover we chose, and why.
You’ll hear from my legendary publisher Adrian Zackheim, Portfolio’s Art Director Chris Sergio, and some uber talented people from Team Forleo. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at what it really takes to design a book cover that represents your voice and vision.
Last but not least, you’ll get to see the final Everything Is Figureoutable book cover. It’s something we’re all extremely proud of.
Yes, I’m repeating that message. Your receipt is your ticket to an incredible online coaching experience I’m launching later this fall. It’s a brand new program that you’ll only get for free if you pre-order the book before September 10th, 2019.
If shame and stress bubble up anytime you think about your finances, you’re not alone. Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck and have less than $1,000 in their savings account, according to Bankrate’s January Financial Security Index survey.
But David Bach, today’s MarieTV guest and brilliant money expert, says that most of us don’t have an income problem, we have a spending problem.
Imagine achieving financial freedom. Guess what — it’s likely within your reach if you put three simple (and painless!) money habits into place right now. David Bach is here to walk you through each habit in his new book, The Latte Factor.
For instance, you could be a millionaire simply by saving as little as $5 a day. Or, you could simply feel richer with your same income — just by changing the way you manage your money.
What Is The Latte Factor And How Will It Help Me Save Money?
But The Latte Factor is different. It puts all of David’s financial wisdom into a parable, making personal finance more accessible and relatable than ever. In fact, he wrote it for the 98% of people who have no interest in reading a book about finances.
Told from a 27-year-old woman’s point of view, The Latte Factor will inspire you to take a closer look at your daily money choices… and see that you’re far richer than you realized.
Join our conversation and learn:
The money myths that keep people (especially women) from living the life they really want.
What’s one insight or key takeaway you got from this episode? What’s your soul telling you about where you want to put your money? Leave a comment below and let us know.
Share as much detail as you can. Because hundreds of thousands of souls come here for insight and inspiration. Your story may be just what someone else needs to have a major breakthrough.
Important: please share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Links to other posts, videos, etc. may be removed.
Thank you so much for watching, sharing, and encouraging this community with your voice. It matters and it makes more of a difference than you know.
I promise, you have everything you need to start building wealth and managing your money right now. You don’t need to wait for anyone to save you. Keep going, keep learning, and you’ll be amazed at what you’re capable of.
Ever feel like you’ve run out of content ideas? Like you’ve hit a wall and have nothing fresh or interesting to say?
If you consistently write blog posts, email newsletters, podcasts, videos, or social media content, you may feel this unending sense of anxiety and dread.
“What do I write about now? What can I post that hasn’t been said a million times before? Is this it? Have I reached the end of my creative career? What am I even doing with my life?!?!”
I know folks who are making themselves sick and stressed because of this constant content treadmill. They don’t yet have the right mindsets or habits in place, and they’re burning out.
Good news. It doesn’t have to be that way!
As someone who’s been creating content consistently for nearly twenty years, trust me when I say: Not only can you overcome this common form of writer’s block, but it’s possible to generate relevant, high-quality content on a consistent basis.
In this MarieTV you’ll learn three principles that will help you become a content idea machine — turning casual readers into raving fans.
Once you’re done, scroll down for an unforgettable formula and a whopping 100+ writing prompts to help you plan 365 days worth of blog posts, newsletters, social media updates — even podcast and YouTube episodes!
Want to churn out a steady stream of content that’ll have your customers hooked on your every word? The following five strategies are your ticket to never running out of ideas. So you never forget it, these five content strategies also are an acronym — SERVE.
Why SERVE? Because the secret to long-term success is focusing on what you can give, not what you can get. Make your business about being of service; about contributing beyond yourself; about making a real difference to others and I promise, you’ll find endless topics to write about.
Even when you feel tapped out of ideas, there’s always another way to serve. There’s always someone who could use a helping hand, a reminder, a kind word, or encouragement along their journey.
SERVE stands for… Solve a problem Explain your industry Reveal your secrets Visualize! Embrace your quirks
If you put your focus where it matters —on your customers — your content will become instantly more valuable and effective.
Generate A Year’s Worth Of Content Ideas For Your Blog, Newsletter & Social Media Posts With SERVE (& 100+ Writing Prompts)
As you explore each element of SERVE, take advantage of the 100+ writing prompts that follow. Write down any ideas, thoughts, or aha that pop up. They’ll give you a hit list of content ideas you can use for months and even years down the road.
Now let’s get ready to SERVE!
1. Solve a Problem
The easiest way to serve your audience is to answer their questions — big ones, small ones, and yes embarrassing AF ones. Comb through comments on old blog posts, social media accounts, forums like Quora or Reddit, even old emails from past clients. Identify what people are struggling with and step in with your knowledge, experience, and expertise to solve their problem.
Get started with these prompts:
1. What are 25 common questions people ask you about your business, product, service, or area of expertise?
2. If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing for your audience — what would it be and why?
3. When it comes to your area of expertise, what specific mistakes are you constantly educating people about?
4. What false beliefs keep people from working with a business like yours?
5. What three books do you wish every one of your customers would read and why?
6. What expensive or heartbreaking mistakes do people often make when working with someone like you?
7. What are signs that someone is getting a good deal, product, or service in your area of expertise?
8. What are signs that someone is getting a bad deal, product, or service in your area of expertise?
9. How might someone save money, time, or effort by working with a business like yours?
10. Write a checklist your audience could use to produce an outcome they really want.
11. What are the top five hurdles people experience around your topic, product or service area, and what are the best ways to overcome them?
This is also a lens I look through when I consider a guest for MarieTV. When well-crafted, interviews with experts who can help your audience solve problems make for winning content. Stuck for ideas? Think about what books, podcasts, or interviews have helped you the most.
2. Explain Your Industry
Going to a concert is exciting, but going to a concert with a backstage pass makes it unforgettable (think about Beyoncé’s Netflix film Homecoming!). When you share the inner workings of your business, your audience will forever remember you as an expert they can trust. Don’t forget, your industry is often a mystery to the people outside it, and mystery makes for intriguing, memorable content.
Try some of these prompts:
12. What’s the most common misconception about your industry?
13. What breaks your heart about what you do?
14. What lights you up about what you do?
15. What’s your industry’s biggest controversy right now? Share your opinion.
16. Who’s your mentor? What lessons did he or she teach you?
17. What industry terms tend to confuse people, and how can you explain them in a way that’s really easy to understand?
18. Write a myth vs. fact post about your profession.
19. What’s the weirdest thing anyone’s said or asked about your business?
20. Is there anything you thought you could never achieve in your career or business… but you did?
21. What’s the most important piece of advice you’ve received about your career or business?
22. What do you tell yourself you “can’t” do? Are you right?
23. What’s one positive thing someone said to you that changed your mind about something?
24. What are three major changes you’ve noticed in your industry this year and why is that important for your audience?
30. Who do you look up to in your industry and why?
31. What was your first big personal or company failure and what did it teach you?
32. Which industry experts could you interview that would bring even more insight?
33. What predictions do you have for where your field or industry is going?
3. Reveal Your Secrets
We humans are hardwired for connection. That’s why our brains respond so well to stories. Share your secrets — the moments, the events, and the thinking behind what you do and people will feel more inclined to do business with you. This also makes for irresistible copy and leads to greater engagement with your audience.
Use these prompts for inspiration:
34. What’s a struggle you’ve overcome?
35. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made recently and what did you learn?
52. Have you ever had a friend who wasn’t good for you?
53. What strengths do you see in other people that you wish you had?
54. What are weaknesses you have that you’re always working on?
55. Share a detailed behind-the-scenes about your typical day.
Secrets aren’t just about revealing your deepest darkest fears — they’re about revealing what you know, love, and use every day! Think about how much you appreciate that friend who gives the best recommendations about what to read, where to shop, and what music to listen to. Remember how quickly Oprah’s Book Club or Favorite Things became a hit!
This “Favorite Things” content writing strategy is popular for a reason — it gives people value while being endlessly customizable and unique.
I bet your audience would love to hear your answers to these questions:
56. What are you loving lately? Could be a single recommendation or a themed list.
57. Are you obsessed with a book, podcast, or quote right now? What about it resonates with you?
58. Roundup links to your favorite posts on a single topic or during a single week and tell us why we should read them.
59. Write about the tools you use (in your business or life) every day. What five could you never live without?
60. What Twitter profiles/blogs/podcasts do you think everyone in your field should follow?
61. What’s the best purchase under $20 that you made in the last 30 days and why?
62. What resolution do you make every year?
63. Which apps could you not live without?
64. When/where do you get your best ideas?
65. What five industry-specific books would you recommend to your audience?
68. What’s the most interesting piece of scientific research you’ve read recently?
Help your audience visualize their future, fire up their imagination, elevate their ambition and define their core values with creative content pieces. This type of content is fantastic when people are primed for reflection, like at the start or end of the year.
Here are some prompts to get you started:
69. If you could put anything on a Times Square digital screen, what message would you share and why?
70. You have three wishes from a genie. What are they?
71. If you had half the time to do your job, what tasks would you delegate or get rid of completely?
72. If you could choose one age to be for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
73. If someone wanted a career like yours, what would you tell them?
75. If you had all your financial needs taken care of and never needed to earn another dime, what would you do?
76. If you could teleport to one place in the world, where would it be?
77. How would you survive during a zombie apocalypse?
78. If you knew you had three months to live, how would you spend them?
79. What’s on your bucket list and why?
80. What habit would you most love to magically acquire?
81. If you could pick a superpower, what would it be?
82. What natural talent do you most wish you had?
5. Embrace Your Quirks
You’ll find that some of your best content is hiding in plain sight behind your quirkiest traits or most nostalgic memories. For example, Everything Is Figureoutable — which is also the name of my next book, comes from a series of memories I had as a child.
Use the questions below to get your creative juices flowing:
83. What movie can you recite by heart every time it’s on TV?
84. Do you remember a commercial from your childhood? What was it for, and why did it stick with you?
85. How many times in your life have you moved? What did you learn from it?
86. What’s your earliest memory around money?
87. Can you remember the first dream you had?
88. Who was your childhood best friend? Are they still in your life?
89. What teacher do you remember the most, and why?
90. Do you have any superstitions?
91. Who or what was your first love and why?
92. What’s your favorite meal and why?
93. What family photo do you remember best? Describe it and what it makes you think about.
94. Do you have a favorite day of the week? Why?
95. Do you consider yourself “lucky”? Why or why not?
96. Do you have a great, totally useless skill?
97. What did you want to be when you grew up?
98. If you could invent anything, what would it be?
99. Tell us what’s on your bedside table right now.
100. What’s the wildest story you always tell at parties?
101. What makes you happy every time you see it?
Remember, creating content for the sake of content doesn’t help anyone. And it certainly won’t serve your business long-term. Stick to SERVE, and you’ll generate valuable, relevant content for the life of your career.
*Pro tip — bookmark this page so you have it handy the next time you experience writer’s block!
Now That You Have Content Ideas, What Comes Next?
These prompts are designed to get your creative wheels turning. You should now have new content ideas for your next hundred or so blog posts, newsletters, social media posts, podcasts, and/or vlogs.
But you may already be wondering, “How do I take these content ideas and make them relevant to my audience?” Or even more important, “How do I gracefully transition to a sales message or promotion?”
There’s an art to this. It’s nuanced and depends on a variety of factors including the selling context, the medium through which your selling (Email? Social media? Podcasts? Videos? IRL?), the strength of your offer, and how well you’ve established trust with your ideal customers — to name a few.
These are all elements we cover at length in our copywriting training program called The Copy Cure. It’s a writing program designed to help you write more powerfully, persuasively and in your unique voice.
We walk you through exactly how to take your best, most creative content ideas and make them highly valuable and high converting. You’ll learn how to captivate readers with irresistible headlines and write selling segues that feel natural and effortless.
Get on the list now to receive the 7-day free writing class and notification when we open enrollment!
What’s Your Favorite Way to Generate Content Ideas?
Now I’d love to hear from you.
When you get stuck on ideas for fresh content, what’s your favorite way to generate new content ideas?
Leave a comment below and let us know. Remember, share as much detail as possible in your reply. Hundreds of thousands of incredible souls come here for insight and motivation, and your story may help someone else have a meaningful breakthrough.
Important: share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Links to other posts, videos, etc. will be removed.
Thank you so much for reading, watching and sharing your voice.
As mentioned, when it comes to some important things in life like love, cheese, money, and — YES content — there’s always more where that came from.
Know someone who struggles to come up with new content ideas? Share this post.
What if you could sit down with your coffee and pour out words that spark an aha, a revolution, or thousands of clicks to your “buy” button?
What if you stopped second-guessing yourself every time you sat down to write and the words just flowed — sounding as good on the page as they did in your head? Imagine: no more writer’s block, website shame, or devastating silence in response to your work.
Guess what? You can.
Those words — the words in your blog posts, emails, sales pages, headlines, business tweets, and all over your website — those are called copywriting. Or, “copy.”
They’re the words that inspire emotion and action. They’re words that sell. If you’ve been having trouble writing in a way that sounds like how you talk, and gets people to love and buy what you sell…
Good copy can work miracles in your business. And yes, you can write it.
Over the last few years, thousands of ambitious creatives and entrepreneurs have gone through our stellar writing program, The Copy Cure. Our students have seen enormous growth in comments, fans, and sales. Some even before they finished the course.
By Module 2, Mohamed had built an international community of over 6,000 members — from scratch! And in English, his third language.
In just 3 months, Carolyn and Cynthia went from $54,000 in sales to $119,000. Three months! And the only thing they changed was their copy.
If you’ve been a fan of this blog for any amount of time, you know how committed we are to serving our audience at the highest level.
Last year, our company did something big.
We took The Copy Cure, which had been doing well, and decided to make it 10,000% better. We analyzed over 16,000 survey responses from people who were struggling with their writing. Then we created even more training, tools, and exercises to help solve those exact issues, once and for all.
The response to the new program floored us. I was fielding DMs on Instagram and even my team members were getting texts from their friends.
Our students started sharing results like this:
We believe in the power of using the right words to create positive change in the world.
We believe your voice deserves to be heard. We believe that your message matters. We believe the world really needs that special gift that only you have.
That’s why we’re offering a handful of scholarship seats to The Copy Cure.
This Scholarship Program Is Based On The Honor System
Getting an education isn’t easy. My early journey was filled with work-study gigs and, frankly, anything I could apply for that might possibly ease the financial burden on my family.
Education is the most powerful tool we have to transform our lives.
If you’re familiar with my work, you know I believe that talent is universal, opportunity is not. That means we strive to make sure everyone has the opportunity to benefit from what we create, regardless of economics. It’s why 99% of our creative work is offered free of charge.
To be clear, our company is a for-profit business.
Our paid programs not only fund the production of our free content but also pay the salaries and benefits of everyone on Team Forleo who works to help produce what we feel is some of the best, most inspiring, and educational training in the world.
We’re grateful to host an audience that spans 195 countries. We’re aware of the vast range of economic realities that comprise our beloved audience, both domestically and abroad.
This 2019 Copy Cure Scholarship Program is based on the honor system. Please, only submit an entry for a potential scholarship if it’s truly needs-based. I’m entrusting you — on your honor — to apply for a scholarship because, without it, improving your writing skills with a program like The Copy Cure would not be financially possible right now.
In our selection efforts, we strive to focus on creatives from underserved and marginalized communities. Check out the details below, and get started. (Act fast, because the deadline is Monday, May 6th at 3pm eastern US time.)
The Copy Cure Scholarship Program
What it is: Complimentary access to The Copy Cure digital program.
How to be considered: Read the following questions and post your answer in the comments below. Make sure your response is 250 words or less.
What’s your biggest struggle with writing and why?
What’s your business, career, or work dedicated to? Who do you serve and/or what’s your mission?
If admission to The Copy Cure landed in your lap, how would stronger writing help you, your business, your family, and community? What tangible, specific difference would this make to you and those around you?
Everything You Need to Know
You apply with a written comment below. Yes, it must be public. No email entries will count.
We’ll award a handful of scholarship seats. A specific number is not predetermined.
The entry deadline is Monday, May 6th at 3pm eastern and the recipients will be announced on Friday, May 10th by 5pm eastern.
No purchase is necessary to receive a scholarship.
We’re the judges and our decision is subjective and final. We respect, love, and appreciate you more than you know.
Remember: We’re looking for heart, creativity, kindness, and the ability to follow directions. Show us how stronger writing will help you reach your dreams and create meaningful change.
Our minds are BLOWN! Thank you so very much for all of the goodness, heart, and soul you shared. We read each and every word of over 1900 entries. Huge congrats to the following winners. Our team will be in touch with you via email about next steps.