You might be surprised to learn that… it doesn’t take a special talent or a certain level of education to be creative! When I took the time to look up what determines creativity, I was a little surprised. Simply stated; it is the ability to make something new and useful. Period. That’s all it is. Well, that should make you sigh with relief to know that at any time, you can be creative!
Here’s the thing… creativity in marketing has been positioned as something that comes mainly from a creative department and designers! The result is that many great marketing campaigns and content strategies have been sent to the morgue because strategy does not always involve the 'creative team'. And too many marketers feel ill qualified to be creative because they don't think they have the proper training or talent.
This is a good place to state that… creative graphics in marketing is necessary! Really, who doesn’t love those creative thumbnails, headlines and content! However, it’s not the only way be creative!
There’s a dramatic difference between viewing graphics only as the creative substance of marketing vs embracing all segments of marketing as part of the creative process!
Keep in mind… it’s not one or the other - it’s both!
Being bold and developing strategies that are untried and untested, now that defines creative marketing! Getting your audience interested in a new way while demonstrating how it can be useful, that’s being creative in all aspects of the marketing process! Marketers, at every level, should trust their instincts and proceed with their ideas.
Let me share a creative tactic that I witnessed first-hand…
A small retailer had just started out and had exhausted their $15,000 marketing budget with zero results. The future looked bleak. Their total investment was well over tens of thousands of dollars into their small start-up. But that didn’t stop them from exploring another creative tactic intended to propel their business forward!
This is where it gets interesting. Within one month after initiating this creative move, the company had over 50 new clients! To further the excitement, a ‘buzz’ was being created in the community! It was the beginning of a successful launch for a small retail business! It was a creative approach to introduce a new and useful product to the area!
This is a case where perception is everything. If you perceive being creative in marketing only as a ‘graphics’ function, you stymie the true meaning of creative. A good daily habit is to ask yourself and you team… ‘how can we create a new and useful strategy?’
What can you and your team create today?
It’s Obvious - Everyone Wants To Be Unique!
But here’s the dilemma… most people want to feel secure and “safe” in their content. Being safe means that no one can fault the accuracy or truth of what you say. It means you are not willing to risk being wrong! And if you are telling the same story that everyone else is telling, you can feel pretty secure that you’re in the “safe zone! But, where does the “safe” zone end and going “too far” begin?
When you venture past the point of being safe with content, you take the chance that your research, your feelings and your experiences may be wrong. And, knowing that every supposition or result does not always have a positive outcome can prevent many content marketers from leaving the “safe zone’. Safe feels good. Safe means acceptance. The worst part about being safe though… it prevents content from being exceptional!
Is being unique worth the risk of being wrong!
The word unique means different, special and “one of a kind”. A unique person is one who is willing to stand out from the crowd. It’s a choice and choices always carry the possibility of failure. So, to be unique, you must be willing to be wrong! Scientist and scholars of great renown had many documented failures. They learned from them. They found better solutions and explanations and had the courage to voice them! It didn’t stop them! And it shouldn’t stop us if we want to be unique!
There’s more… Being wrong gives you the opportunity to share why and how your view has changed. When you share your successes as well as your failures, you do stand out! Being unique is not for everyone. But, content marketing is heavily populated. Only the fittest will succeed. Something you might want to think about!
Not all motivation is created equal!
And here's why...
Our actions and the way we behave are mainly due to the things that motivate us! Ummm. For instance….
A love of art can motivate you to take art lessons or start an art gallery. An interest in children can motivate you to become a Foster Parent or a volunteer school aide. These are only two of an unlimited number of things that can get us motivated to change and act according to our passionate desires.
But, here's the downside…
What if you had a love or desire for gambling or performing dangerous stunts! OK, hold on, I know you’re already conjuring up many more illustrations of how a life could change simply by acting on the wrong motivation! If the resulting behavior has negative consequences it's not good motivation!
We have been trained to “get motivated” and act!
That certainly sounds reasonable and a good thing to do on the face of it! But just because you may really, really like kids does not necessarily correlate to a “mission” or motivation that gets you involved with all things kids! The same goes for a love of art, sports, cars, and more!
So, what’s the point of defining your motivation? That’s easy. You need to know what’s motivating you! Does it produce a good outcome, make your life more enjoyable and create positive emotions? Are you happy? Do you enjoy the outcomes of your behaviors? Or do they drag you down and cause negative consequences? Are you satisfied? Or, are you angry and self-destructive? Finally, this is important; do the actions and behaviors elicit dark emotions?
It’s important to know what is motivating you!
And it's not that difficult! You don’t need any advanced training or education to identify motivation. If you isolate the way you behave because of a passion (something that you like or makes you feel good and one that keeps you going day after day), then that’s what’s motivating you!
You can change what motivates you! Once you know the answer, you can decide whether to change gears or continue in the same mode! If your motivation is good, keep doing more of the same. Add more passion and zest to all positive motivation! But motivation that causes negative emotions needs to be eliminated immediately!
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