Erica Holthausen, Questions and Conversations Lead to Great Article Topics – InnovaBuzz 523
Erica Holthausen, Catchline Communications
Our guest in this episode is Erica Holthausen, the founder of Catchline Communications, a collective of writers and editors partnering with consultants and business coaches to position them as sought-after experts. She coaches her clients through the process of writing, editing, pitching, and publishing high-quality, original articles. Her clients have by-lines in some of the most prestigious industry trade journals and business magazines, including Inc., Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Thrive Global, and EHS Today.
A contributing writer whose work appears in Coastal Home, USGBC+ Magazine, Traditional Building, and Period Homes, Erica is also a freelance editor for several association publications. She is currently working on a collection of essays and grappling with a novel.
In our conversation Erica talked to me about
- How writing articles starts with knowing why you are doing that and who your audience is
- How questions and conversations lead to great article topics
- Being really clear about what we want to be known for
Listen to the podcast to find out more.
Listen to the PodcastWe all have something valuable to say – don’t discount your experience. Everyone knows something that we don’t know about. @joppathoughts on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet
Show Notes from this episode with Erica Holthausen, Catchline Communications
Key points and takeaways from this episode include:
- Quiet brilliance doesn’t get you recognized. You need to get your voice out in public.
- The truest experts are the people who question whether they know enough yet.
- We all have something valuable to say – don’t discount your experience. Everyone knows something that we don’t know about.
- The thing that comes easily to us is often highly valued by others.
- Begin by defining the goals of writing articles (or doing podcasts). Those goals inform the strategy and tactics.
- Be clear about what you want to be known for. It’s much harder to stand out in the miscellaneous pile than in a specific category.
- Get really specific about who you wish to talk to – who is your target audience.
- Read a lot of content in your specific area – that can be the starting point for articles to write. Questions frequently asked are also good topics for articles. It’s important to capture those article ideas and collect them.
- Use transcription services with all your recorded content and highlight the nuggets – another valuable source of article material.
- Walk and talk – go for a walk and speak your thoughts into a recorder. There’s something quirkily magical about walking around the neighborhood with my phone and just talking into it.
- “It’s not about the ink, it’s about the think.” Robert Mankoff
- When submitting articles to online publications, look at their recent articles and learn the format they want, the topics they cover and of course, make sure that their audience matches your target audience. Make sure also, that the publication matches your brand and personality.
- After your articles are published, it’s important to promote that article. Repurpose parts of that article in many ways, to share across many different platforms. Use the article also in your marketing.
The Buzz – Our Innovation Round
Here are Erica’s answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.
- #1 thing to be more innovative – Read widely and get new information into your brain. The more new information you get, you’ll start to see connections.
- Best thing for new ideas – Schedule time for deep work every day.
- Favourite tool for innovation – My public library.
- Keep project/client on track – Co-working sessions.
- Differentiate – Get your ideas out. There are many paths up the mountain, start with the one you enjoy most.
Identify what you want to be known for – try this 10 minute free writing exercise. Get a pen and paper, set the timer for 10 minutes and at the top of the page write “What I want to be known for is…. “ get the timer going, and just write. Don’t edit. Just write. If you get stuck, write “what I really want to say is …..”, and keep going for at least those 10 minutes.
You can reach out and thank Erica through LinkedIn and her website.
Erica suggested we have a conversation with Erin Austin of Think Beyond IP on a future InnovaBuzz Podcast episode.
Cool Things About Erica
- Erica started her career as an attorney and credits her legal training with teaching her to use persuasive writing techniques, ask the right questions, and communicate complex ideas with power and clarity.
- In law school, she served on the Journal of Law and Politics editorial board and was awarded a Dillard Fellowship, a teaching assistant position in the legal research and writing program.