We all have those moments where we feel like we need to create something, even when we’re not sure what that is. Whether it’s a social media post, an email, website copy, or a piece of design. Maybe you’re not in the marketing world or not touching your marketing, and you have to create something for your business. We’ve all had those moments when our brains just don’t want to get on board.
Somebody told me once that there are no new ideas under the sun. People have good ideas. But every new idea is an iteration of an old idea or a compilation of a few ideas. The first time I heard that, I had a really hard time with it because I was like, “No, I have new ideas.” But then I started noticing that usually even my ideas, while they weren’t copycats of other ideas, they were inspired by conversations that I had with people or products that I saw, and I thought I could make better, whatever it might be. So although there might not be any new ideas under the sun, here are some tips on how to come up with ideas of your own.
Learn to Step Away
Sometimes when you have to create something, you hop on social media to consume it. But it’s easy to get distracted or even tempted to rip off other people’s ideas. One of the first things that I generally do is step away from my project, maybe go outside, take a walk, or go for a hike. As a business owner, you know we can never turn our business brain off fully. But when I go outside, I can start thinking, “Oh, I saw that billboard, that was really interesting and it caught my eye.” Or I can start noticing, “Hey, I’m on a hike. Wow, I feel so inspired, and this is the sort of feeling I want my marketing to evoke.”
I might not even be thinking about the practical part of marketing, but I’m thinking through what I want people to feel. You’ve heard it before, but that’s even how Marketing in the Wild as a podcast was brainstormed.
Spend Time with Your Favorite Accounts
When I do scroll through social media, I check out my favorite accounts and save all the posts that I love or share them with my marketing team. One that I loved was a carousel post explaining and breaking down marketing insider language. Am I going to copy the post that I saw? No, but I love the idea of explaining insider language. What are we doing that is insider language and how can we explain it? That’s where we’re re-imagining some of what we see and putting our own spin on it.
Learn from Others
One of my other favorite things to do is to watch documentaries about business owners. There is one about Madam C.J. Walker, a black woman who created a company of hair products. She’s recorded as the first female millionaire in the Guinness Book of World Records. She’s also one of the leading African-American female business owners in our history. She’s an incredible story, and to watch something inspiring and see how she was accomplishing all of these really cool things against all of this hardship was incredible.
The other thing that I love doing is listening to business podcasts. Some of my other favorites are Building a StoryBrand and Business Made Simple. Those are both good. But you might find some that are in your niche, and I would recommend listening to those. Some of my other favorite ones are peripheral. One of them is Women in Entrepreneurship. It was super interesting hearing the history and the story behind women behind major brands that we know of but might not know where they came from.
If you have tips on how to stay out of a slump or how to get out of a creativity slump, I would love to hear them. How do you fill your creativity cup when you feel unmotivated to create?
About the Author
Julia began Stratos to create a work environment that helped both clients and employees design lives that they enjoy. On the client side, she helps business owners make sure each of their marketing strategies work together to produce the results and revenue they want. On the employee side, she leads the team as we navigate the challenges and joys of working remotely.