The most powerful writing framework I've found
You'll never run out of ideas again
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I’ve written daily for 15 years.
I studied journalism in college and began my career in media at ESPN and Fox Sports.
Every writer I've known has struggled at some point with generating ideas.
That doesn’t just apply to “writers,” either.
This applies to anyone who communicates with people.
All of us need to communicate with people in our lives.
And all communication starts with generating an idea.
What will I say?
How will I say it?
What story will I tell?
If you struggle with coming up with this content, don’t sweat.
We’re going to solve that now.
My go-to ideation framework is called the 3L Framework.
I’m going to walk through it from two different perspectives:
As an individual building your own brand
As a leader who needs to leverage communication skills
Okay, let’s start with the first.
Step 1: What have I learned?
Start by listing out everything you’ve previously learned about your topic area(s).
Experiences you had
Skills you developed
Knowledge you gained
Observations you made
Lessons you accumulated
Don’t worry if they’re “good” ideas.
Just make a list — the more ideas the better.
Step 2: What am I learning now?
Now, list out everything you’re currently learning about your topic area(s).
Skills you’re building
Ways you’re improving
Mistakes you’re making
Projects you’re building
Subjects you’re studying
Make a list of things you’re currently doing and learning.
Step 3: What do I want to learn?
Then, list out everything you want to learn about your topic area(s).
Make a list of things you want to learn in the future.
Okay, here’s an example.
Let’s say sales is the main topic area I want to write about.
Here’s how I’d use the 3L Framework to generate ideas:
Example Step 1: What have I learned in sales?
How to qualify leads
How to map org charts
How to prospect
How to cold email
How to cold call
Example Step 2: What am I learning now in sales?
How to negotiate
How to structure deals
How to expand an account
How to close more effectively
How to build C-level champions
Example Step 3: What do I want to learn in sales?
How to build a sales organization
How to sell different product types
How to structure multi-year deals
Daily habits top sales people utilize
How to use different pricing strategies
That’s 15 ideas in a two-minute brainstorm.
Is it a perfect list?
No, but it’s a solid start.
Now, let’s pour fuel on it.
Where the 3L Framework gets supercharged is the next step.
We can take EACH IDEA and run it through the 3Ls.
Let’s try it with “how to prospect,” one of our ideas from Step 1.
Step 1: What have I learned about prospecting?
How to build a prospecting strategy
Where to find prospects
Tools to use in prospecting
How to pre-qualify prospects
How to segment territories
Step 2: What am I learning now about prospecting?
Advanced prospecting strategies
How to build prospecting systems
How to build repeatable scripts
How to leverage data in prospecting
How to quickly disqualify prospects
Step 3: What do I want to learn about prospecting?
How to increase response rates
How to make discovery more efficient
How to leverage psychology in prospecting
How to shrink the time from prospecting to close
How to use content to prospect on my behalf
That’s another 15 ideas in a couple minutes.
Run each of our 15 initial ideas through the 3L framework, and we’d have 225 potential ideas (!!).
And we easily could have come up with more than 15 original ideas.
So, that’s how you’d use the 3L Framework as an individual.
Now let’s do it for leaders.
How do you use the 3Ls if you’re a leader and want to talk about your team or company?
The same way, just switch “I” to “we” in each step and apply it to your organization instead of yourself.
Here’s an example:
Step 1: What have WE learned?
Who our target client is
How we serve our market
What makes our culture unique
Why we’re in the business we’re in
How we’re different than our competitors
Step 2: What are WE learning now?
Why clients renew with us
How we’re able to grow each year
How to evolve but keep our “DNA”
Where we can operate more efficiently
Where there are untapped opportunities
Step 3: What do WE want to learn?
How to keep attracting top talent
What our next big product will be
How to keep developing our people
How to keep driving value for clients
How our industry will evolve in the next decade
Again, these are rough ideas.
The goal is just to get a bunch listed, and then you choose the best ones.
Each one contains a potential story that can connect and galvanize your team.
To summarize, the 3L Framework has three steps:
What have I / we learned?
What am I / are we learning now?
What do I / we want to learn?
List out as many ideas as you can for each one.
Then run individual ideas through the framework again to do deeper (like we did with the sales example above).
Choose the best ones.
Then repeat when you need more ideas.
Start putting this framework into practice.
You’ll never run out of ideas again.
Work with Teddy
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Thanks for reading.