The empty screen, cursor blinking like the ticking hand of a clock. The empty flip chart as silence hovers over the meeting room; the brainstorm more like an ideas drought. “Just be creative,” says the boss. “We need some creative minds on this!”
O’, mythical creativity! Known as this vague, elusive quality that some of us have and some of us don’t. Or something you wait to ‘happen’ to you with fingers crossed, like a lottery win. The truth is, anyone can be creative at any time. All it takes is work (…well, you already knew it wasn’t going to be easy).
Marketing agencies in Basingstoke like ours wouldn’t survive if we simply sat around on meditation cushions, stroking our beards, channelling the creative spirits of the great yonder until they decide they’re ready to grace us with a perfectly-packaged idea for a marketing campaign.
Creativity isn’t a lightning strike, it’s a process – and the results are all the better for it. You just have to BEGIN.
Here are a few ways to help you do just that…
We’re exposed to so much information every day via social media, web, tv, radio, advertising – or even just from the people and environment around us. Any of that information, when you really hear it and see it could be the seed of your next great idea. The trick is to record it: that news snippet, anecdote, joke, tweet, line from a song or quote from a film. So, keep a note pad handy, be it electronic or old-fashioned pen and paper. When you’re in the business of effective communication (and who isn’t?), constantly gathering these seeds from real life to grow ideas when you really need them will help you create something equally authentic that resonates with your target audience.
A common approach to product or campaign development – or any creative pursuit – is to start with a bird’s eye view and zoom in from there. But what happens then is that we’re too focused on the bigger picture and we don’t spot the devil in the detail until it’s too late. Delays are also likely as we labour over all those big, unwieldy questions that nobody seems to have the answer to. Break it down. Instead of mapping out the whole strategy of work in advance, do the opposite. Start by focusing on a daily schedule, zooming in on the smallest detail. Do away with perfectionism and allow inconsistencies to develop. Over time, these small, ‘insignificant’ parts might just become the finished piece. Trust the process.
A change is as good as a rest
You’ve decided that TODAY is the day you will come up with the best product design, ever! So, you sit down to ‘make it happen’. Empty hours pass and you just feel like that wind-up toy car that keeps on spinning its wheels even though its bumper is up against a dead end. Your battery is draining, yet you labour on. When your flow of ideas is blocked, the best thing to do is something completely different. Switching to another task often helps dislodge creativity. Come back to your creative pursuit later and watch the creative sparks fly.
Don’t have the luxury of changing your task because you’re up against a deadline? Don’t panic. Switch your surroundings and you’ll be amazed how much this changes your perspective, too. Get away from your screen, take a walk around the building, talk to someone in your team about it for five minutes, doodle on a sheet of paper, listen to a piece of music. The magic will come.
Brainstorms are often the designated starting point for the launch of a product or campaign. Many heads are better than one and thrashing out some ideas with your colleagues is a vital part of the creative process. Think of any cool new invention or advertising campaign – it’s almost certainly a mosaic that has evolved from the ideas of different people across the business. The key with brainstorms is to keep them going for at least an hour. Encourage the view that no idea is a bad idea, get it all out there. Here at Brevity Marketing HQ, we have a ‘Dream Board’ where we stick up any wild and wonderful idea that strikes us and nothing is taken off until we’ve discussed it freely and let it evolve into the end result. Trash nothing – those flaws and failures might metamorphosis into your next big success.
Creative block still slowing your business down? You’re on our dream board! Brevity is a marketing agency in Basingstoke who can help jumpstart your creativity and develop marketing campaigns across all online and offline channels. Let’s talk about how we can help you make more of an impact on your customers with marketing. Call us on 01256 536 000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org