Content Creation 101: Tips for Working With Reluctant Subject Matter Experts

Content Creation 101_ Tips for Working With Reluctant Subject Matter Experts _ MediaOne Singapore (1)

Content creation is a joyous journey filled with creativity, but what happens when you have to work with reluctant Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)? Don’t fret; we’re here to brighten up your content creation process and share some fantastic tips to make it a breeze.

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Let’s embark on this delightful adventure together and explore how to create content with a happy spirit, even when faced with reluctant SMEs.

Understanding Content Creation

Before we jump into the tips, let’s understand the essence of content creation with a happy tone. Your positive approach can do wonders, not just for your work but also for your collaboration with SMEs.

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1. Embrace Your Enthusiasm

  • As a content writer, your enthusiasm is contagious. Approach each project with a smile and a can-do attitude. Your energy will rub off on others, including reluctant SMEs.

2. Foster Open Communication

  • Keep the lines of communication open and friendly. Be approachable and ready to listen to your SMEs’ concerns and ideas. This sets a positive tone for collaboration.

Tips for Navigating Reluctant SMEs

Working with reluctant SMEs doesn’t have to be a gloomy experience. Here are some cheerful tips to make the journey enjoyable:

3. Build Rapport

  • Start by building a friendly rapport with your SMEs. Share your excitement about the project and express your interest in their expertise. When they see your genuine enthusiasm, they’re more likely to come on board.

4. Simplify the Process

  • Make the content creation process easy for your SMEs. Provide clear guidelines and timelines. Happy SMEs are more likely to participate when they know what’s expected of them.

5. Use Visuals

  • Incorporate visuals, such as infographics or videos, to make the content creation process more engaging. Visual content often resonates well with SMEs and can lighten the mood.

6. Celebrate Small Wins

  • Acknowledge and celebrate small victories along the way. This can boost morale and make your SMEs feel appreciated, motivating them to stay involved.

7. Share Success Stories

  • Share success stories of previous projects where reluctant SMEs turned into content creation champions. This can inspire them to get on board with enthusiasm.

Types of Content That Radiate Positivity

Content creation is a vast playground with a multitude of content types. When you’re working with reluctant SMEs, choosing the right type of content can make a world of difference.

Let’s explore some content types that can brighten up your content creation journey:

8. Blogs with a Personal Touch

  • Incorporate personal anecdotes and stories into your blogs. Share your experiences related to the subject matter, and encourage your SMEs to do the same. Personal connections make the content relatable and enjoyable to read.

9. Informative Infographics

  • Infographics are not only visually appealing but also easy to digest. Collaborate with graphic designers to create infographics that simplify complex information. Your SMEs might find it fun to contribute to these informative visuals.

10. Lively Listicles

  • Listicles are a great way to organize information. Create lists of tips, facts, or resources related to the content. They are not only reader-friendly but also enjoyable to create.

11. Quizzes and Polls

  • Inject some fun into your content by including quizzes and polls. Ask your SMEs to come up with interesting quiz questions or poll options related to the subject matter. It’s an interactive way to engage both your SMEs and readers.

12. Video Delights

  • Videos are a dynamic and engaging content type. Collaborate with SMEs to create video content where they can share their knowledge. Video interviews or how-to demonstrations can add a personal touch to your content.
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13. Success Stories and Case Studies

  • Share real-life success stories and case studies related to your subject matter. Highlight how certain individuals or businesses overcame challenges and achieved success. Your SMEs might enjoy sharing their insights on these inspiring stories.

14. Product Reviews with a Twist

  • If your content pertains to a particular product or service, turn your product reviews into joyful experiences. Encourage your SMEs to provide insights and feedback, highlighting the positive aspects. This can create a vibrant and helpful review.

15. Expert Roundups

  • Invite multiple SMEs to contribute their opinions and insights in an expert roundup. This not only showcases their expertise but also fosters a sense of community among SMEs.

16. Interactive Webinars and Live Streams

  • Consider organizing webinars or live streams featuring your SMEs. These live events can be exciting and interactive, allowing your SMEs to directly engage with the audience.

By diversifying your content types and involving SMEs in various creative ways, you can infuse happiness and enthusiasm into your content creation process. Remember, content creation should be a joyful experience for everyone involved.

Frequently Asked Questions About Content Creation with Reluctant SMEs

Q1: What should I do if my Subject Matter Expert is hesitant to collaborate on a project?

A1: Begin by building a positive rapport with your SME. Express your enthusiasm for the project and show genuine interest in their expertise. Simplify the process, communicate openly, and celebrate small milestones to keep them engaged.

Q2: How can I make the content creation process easier for reluctant SMEs?

A2: Provide clear guidelines, timelines, and expectations. Simplify the process by breaking it into manageable steps. Be available to answer questions and offer support throughout the project.

Q3: What role does positivity play in content creation with reluctant SMEs?

A3: Positivity can be a game-changer. Your enthusiasm is contagious, and maintaining a cheerful attitude can inspire reluctant SMEs to participate. A happy atmosphere can lead to better collaboration and more engaging content.

Q4: How can infographics and visuals enhance content created with reluctant SMEs?

A4: Infographics and visuals simplify complex information, making it easier for SMEs to understand and contribute. Visual content also tends to be more engaging and enjoyable for readers.

Q5: Why are success stories and case studies effective in content creation with SMEs?

A5: Success stories and case studies showcase real-life examples of how challenges were overcome. Sharing these positive experiences can motivate reluctant SMEs and inspire readers. It’s a win-win approach.

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Q6: How can I encourage reluctant SMEs to actively participate in content creation?

A6: Engage SMEs through various content types, including video, quizzes, webinars, and expert roundups. These interactive formats can pique their interest and make the process more enjoyable.

Q7: Are there any specific tips for maintaining a happy and conversational style in content creation?

A7: Yes, avoid using overly formal language. Instead, write in a friendly, approachable tone. Use personal anecdotes, relatable examples, and a conversational approach to make the content more enjoyable to read.

Q8: What are some strategies for dealing with SMEs who are resistant to change or new content creation techniques?

A8: Start by explaining the benefits of the proposed changes. Be patient and open to their suggestions. Show them how the changes can make their expertise more accessible and engaging to a wider audience.

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Q9: How can I ensure that the content created with reluctant SMEs aligns with the client’s goals and objectives?

A9: Prioritize clear communication with both your client and SMEs. Ensure that everyone understands the project’s objectives, target audience, and key messages. Regular updates and feedback loops can help keep the content on track.

Q10: Can you provide some tips for keeping SMEs engaged throughout a lengthy content creation project?

A10: Break the project into smaller, manageable milestones. Celebrate achievements along the way to keep SMEs motivated. Regularly communicate and express appreciation for their contributions.

Q11: What are some potential challenges when working with reluctant SMEs, and how can I overcome them?

A11: Challenges may include a lack of time, differing opinions, or reluctance to share knowledge. To overcome these, establish a clear timeline, encourage collaboration, and emphasize the value of their expertise in the content.

Q12: How can I effectively involve SMEs in content promotion and sharing?

A12: Involve SMEs in the promotion process by asking them to share the content on their social networks or professional profiles. Emphasize how their involvement can increase the content’s reach and impact.

Q13: What strategies can help maintain a happy and productive working relationship with SMEs in the long term?

A13: Building trust and fostering a positive working relationship is essential. Show appreciation for their expertise and contributions. Regularly communicate, share the success of past projects, and maintain a friendly and approachable attitude.

Q14: Are there any tools or platforms that can facilitate collaboration with SMEs in content creation?

A14: Collaboration tools like Google Docs, Trello, or project management software can streamline communication and document sharing. These platforms make it easier to work together, especially if your SMEs are located in different places.

Q15: How can I measure the success of content created with reluctant SMEs?

A15: Define clear Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) at the beginning of the project. These could include metrics like page views, shares, or lead generation. Regularly analyze these metrics to track the content’s performance and make necessary improvements.

Q16: What are some strategies for turning reluctant SMEs into enthusiastic content creators?

A16: Begin by understanding their concerns and addressing them. Showcase the benefits of their involvement, share success stories, and make the process as easy and enjoyable as possible. Offer continuous support and appreciation for their contributions.


Content creation with reluctant Subject Matter Experts can be a joyful and fruitful endeavor. By following the tips outlined in this extended guide, you can transform reluctance into enthusiasm, infuse positivity into your content, and create engaging and valuable material for your clients and readers.

Maintaining a happy and conversational style, celebrating successes, and diversifying your content types are key to keeping the content creation journey enjoyable. Engaging with reluctant SMEs through open communication and shared goals is a recipe for success.

Remember, as a content writer, your attitude and approach play a crucial role in fostering a positive atmosphere in your collaboration with SMEs. So, wear that happy content creation hat with pride, keep that smile on your face, and let your creativity shine in the world of content creation.

With these strategies and a dash of positivity, you can conquer any challenges and create content that not only informs but also brings happiness to your readers. Happy writing and may your content creation journey be filled with joy and success!

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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