Same old same old just doesn’t sell anymore. To make your marketing stand out, you need to get creative. Below are five tips designed to get your creative juices flowing. Some are brainteasers or are what Michael Michalko in “Thinkertoys” calls Linear Thinkertoys. Others fall under intuition or Intuitive Thinkertoys.
Some tips may appeal to you more than others. My suggestion is to try them all. Even the ones you’re not drawn to may still open some doors that wouldn’t have opened any other way.
These tips will work whether you sell a product, a service or both. Continue reading
Are you struggling to find a new twist on advertising or marketing campaigns?
If you’re a small business owner or a copywriter/coach/other creative professional, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Having to come up with new ideas for a long-term client (or even your own business) can be overwhelming.
As much as you love those long-term clients or established products, because of their longevity, it gets harder and harder to come up with the next brilliant product.
But never fear. Here are three ways to get those creative juices (and new ideas) flowing. Continue reading
There’s a hard truth about marketing: People don’t care about businesses (and that includes your business).
What they care about is how your business’s products or services can solve THEIR problems, meet THEIR needs and make THEIR lives easier.
In other words, you need to explain the benefits of your product or service, not the features.
According to Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, the fear of being a bad speller is a remarkably common fear for people who want to write but are creatively blocked.
It doesn’t matter that the fear is irrational, it doesn’t matter that every single word-processing program out there comes with a spell checker, the fear of not being able to spell still haunts those would-be writers. And thus, those people remain blocked. Continue reading
Worried you may not be creative or you may not be creative enough? This quiz will help you find out just how creative you are.
Take a piece of paper and number it from one to seven. For each question, write down the corresponding letter of your answer.
1. When you come across a rose, you immediately:
A. Smell it.
B. Quote every rose poem you can remember.
C. Write your own poem.
D. Sketch the rose.
E. Step on the rose.
2. One of your dreams in life is to:
A. Write a novel.
B. Become a painter.
C. Travel the world.
D. Climb all the famous mountains.
E. Just once, get everything done on your to-do list. Continue reading
When you think about the legacies Walt Disney left us, do talking mice and a multigizillion dollar company come to mind? Actually, those are only the products of his prodigious and rich creativity — dig deeper and you start to realize one of the most intriguing heritages Disney left was his processes.
Disney was a creative and problem-solving genius. He knew how to make fantasy come alive in the minds and hearts of millions of people around the world. He employed several techniques to do this, but one of the most interesting is his ability to seamlessly slip into different creative “people” or “roles.”
The dreamer, the realist, the critic
One of Disney’s coworkers once said: “There were actually three different Walts [and] you never knew which one was coming to your meeting.” Robert Dilts, a scientist who studied Disney, called the three different Walts “the dreamer, the realist and the critic.” Each persona had a specific role in the creative process, and only together did it become “Disney magic.” Continue reading
A lot of great ideas happen when two or more other ideas collide to form something completely new.
Think of this like those old chemistry movies we used to watch in school. You had all of those atoms floating around and when two collided — bam! A chemical reaction. Maybe something new was created. Maybe something exploded. Or maybe it all fizzled out and nothing happened.
Well, a similar reaction is going on inside your brain or muse. Except instead of atoms floating around they’re pieces of information or other ideas. As they drift about, they occasionally bump into each other. When that happens, you may get a new, third idea. Or a big explosion. Or absolutely nothing at all.
Now, if you have lots of atoms, or information and ideas, you’re going to get lots of reactions. Some will fail. Some will be so-so. And some will be hot — so hot, so full of energy, they’ll have the power to change the trajectory of a business. Or even a life.
The problem occurs when you don’t have lots of random information and ideas. Fewer atoms mean fewer reactions. On top of that, you still have to weed through the invariable duds. So the odds of landing that one amazing idea drop considerably. Continue reading
Here’s a quick quiz:
1) When I see a see a sunrise, I’m moved to:
A. Compose a poem.
B. Try and capture the beauty with my paints and brush.
C. Stumble drunkenly into bed — boy that party was a lot of fun.
D. Cover my face with my pillow and go back to sleep. Who in their right mind gets up early enough to look at sunrises?
2) At work, I’m the person my coworkers go to when they need someone to:
A. Think up a new theme for the office party (especially if they want it to be a bit wild and off the wall).
B. Get people excited for the party.
C. Organize the party.
D. Clean up after the party. Continue reading
I have a friend who has struggled with her creativity for a long time. She’s extremely uncomfortable thinking of herself as “creative.” We’ve been working together on it, and making progress. One of the tools that’s really helped her has been journaling.
From Julia Cameron’s The Artist Way to Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones to Linda Trichter Metcalf, Ph.D. and Tobin Simon, Ph.D.’s Writing the Mind Alive to numerous other publications, journaling has enjoyed a long history of creative-nurturing along with a host of other benefits.
For my purposes, I’m defining journaling as any sort of loose, longhand writing. Whatever thoughts come into your head you put them down on paper. There’s no structure, no form, nor concern about spelling or grammar or even legibility. Continue reading
One definition of creativity states that creative people look at the same thing everyone else does, yet they see something no one else does.
But even creative people (which includes all of you, of course) can run into roadblocks every now and then. Sometimes it’s not possible to see something different. Sometimes you’ve just been staring at a problem for so long it’s now impossible to look at it in any other way.
So what do you do in these situations?
Why not try changing your perspective?
Consider this: A friend of mind who does needlepoint has a design that’s mostly black. Rather than simply stitching the design on white canvas with black thread, she’s using a black canvas and is stitching the negative aspects of the design instead of the positive.
She changed the way she viewed the problem. And now she has a really cool-looking needlepoint design that’s different from most other ones out there.
Or what about this: An art teacher has her students turn a photograph or object upside down and paint what they see — not a picture but an arrangement of shapes. Continue reading