Efficiency and cranking stuff out

I write about strategies to turn fans into customers and customers into fans. I also share ways to use real-time strategies to spread ideas, influence minds, and build business.

writing  |  Books  |  Best Practices

Joe Chernov emailed me: "My question to you is this: how are you SO prolific? Where do all of your ideas come from?"

Keyboard In the past few days about a dozen people have asked me how I can crank out so much stuff.

I announced my new book Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead: What Every Business Can Learn from the Most Iconic Band in History (written with Brian Halligan) on Friday. The book releases in the next week or so.

And in November, I have another book coming out called Real-Time Marketing & PR: How to Instantly Engage Your Market, Connect with Customers, and Create Products that Grow Your Business Now.

In addition, I’ll write about 100 blog posts and deliver about 50 talks all over the world.

I'm not as fast a typist as Chris Brogan. So that isn't how I can create so much.

Here's how I do it.

I love what I do. So writing books, thinking up ideas for blog posts and delivering talks is not really “work.”

I don't procrastinate. When I have a good idea in my mind or I am on deadline, I crank it out.

I don't have to sit in any damn meetings (unless I want to).

I'm always looking for material. I travel the world giving talks and really dig when I find a great example of great marketing or PR that needs to be told.

I am an efficient writer. One way I stay efficient is with Text Expander for the Mac which I was turned onto by my friend Steve Johnson. The product allows for codes for long strings of text that I use frequently. When I want to type "Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead: What Every Business Can Learn from the Most Iconic Band in History", all I do is type “mlgd\” and the application fills in the rest. I've got about 100 things with codes. So, for example, it takes me just a few seconds to reply to a speaking inquiry.

I repurpose content. Blog posts that have a positive reaction from people frequently become stories in one of my books.

Accidential_genius I put my internal editor on hold for first drafts. A technique called "Freewriting" that I learned from Mark Levy in his book Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content allows me to get ideas down very quickly without seeing if it is "good." (Mark's book is just about to release in its second edition.) With Freewriting, I write and write and write for ten minutes or thirty minutes without caring about spelling or grammar. Then I look for nuggets of inspiration, which I edit to become blog posts.

How about you? How do you stay efficient and crank it out?

Image: Shutterstock / matka_Wariatka